2019 FOSS4G Bucharest Talks speaker: HaeKyong Kang


Geo-Analytic Functions for UN Field Operations – UN Open GIS: Spiral 3 Geo-Analysis

As the United Nations (UN) is a complex organization carrying out divers tasks in the world, most functions for an enterprise GIS are required. In order to support the requirements from the UN, the UN Open GIS Initiative was founded in 2016 with goals to provide GIS solutions for the UN based on open source software. The working group 3 of the initiative, named Spiral 3, aims to develop and deliver geo-analytic functions to the UN. In particular, a number of geo-analytic functions are developed by Spiral 3 to support field operations such as UN peace keeping operation.
In this paper, we present a development use-case of geo-analytic functions for the UN, which is composed of four steps; analysis of requirements and functional specification, definition of development environment and system architecture, system development and test, and documentation of user manual and education materials. First, a comprehensive study on UN operations has been carried out, which covers the following tasks; situational awareness, security operations, military operations, protection of civilians, human rights violation investigation, epidemiological analysis, mission’s support and logistics operations, electoral support, disarmament, demobilizations and reintegration program, and humanitarian response operations. From this study, we derived 26 primitive geo-analytic functions. The users of geo-analytic functions for these tasks include mostly officers at field offices and geo-analysis experts at mission headquarters.
Second, the system development environment was determined as Java using GeoTools for the compatibility and portability. The geo-analytic functions were developed as a plug-in of uDig, which is a Java-based open source desktop GIS. It means that the preparation and pre-processing of data for geo-analysis and the visualization of the analysis are supported by uDig. Third, an experiment of the developed system was performed with a scenario of Ebola virus spread. It shows that the system properly supports the field operations of Ebola virus spread. The experiment also shows the strength and weakness of the developed geo-analysis functions in comparison with commercial GIS. As the fourth step of the development, a user-manual is published via web and an education material was also developed under the OSGeo-UN Committee Educational Challenge Program.
Through the use-case study presented in the paper, we would like to share the experiences and lessons about the development of geo-analytic functions, which would be used as a reference for other geo-analytic function development.

OSGeo UN Committee Educational Challenges: A use case of sharing software and experience from all over the world

The OSGeo United Nations (UN) Committee promotes the development and use of open source software that meets UN needs and supports the aims of the UN. Following a meeting between the OSGeo Board of Directors and the UN GIS team at the FOSS4G conference in Seoul, Korea, in September 2015, the Committee has mainly worked on the UN Open GIS Initiative, a project "... to identify and develop an Open Source GIS bundle that meets the requirements of UN operations, taking full advantage of the expertise of mission partners including partner nations, technology contributing countries, international organisations, academia, NGOs, private sector". In 2018, the OSGeo UN Committee called for proposals for developing open geospatial educational materials as a part of its activities. There were three challenges: the first two (one of them sponsored by Boundless) are related to the UN Open GIS Initiative.

The first challenge, related to UN Open GIS - Spiral 1, aims at the development of education material that teaches users how to apply the GeoSHAPE platform. GeoSHAPE is a free and open source geospatial collaborative platform created from various open source projects. The developed material provides a guide on how to create, edit and share critical data on an integrated dynamic map in near real time, view map updates by users from anywhere in the world and use GeoSHAPE exchange in connected and disconnected environments. The course is structured with content to suit novice, intermediate and advanced users.

The second challenge supports UN Open GIS - Spiral 3, which provides geo-analytical solutions for the UN. The feasibility of the analytical functions developed as part of Spiral 3 were tested against an Ebola Epidemic use case. Requirements for developing suitable applications and methodologies based on actual UN operational cases were defined in 2017. Members of the UN Open GIS - Spiral 3 developed a geo-analytical library, called "Processing Toolbox", which is a plug-in for uDig, an open source desktop GIS. The training material developed in the frame of the OSGeo UN Challenge provides an introduction to the use of the algorithms for environmental analysis in the uDig Processing Toolbox, specifically those related to ecology and ecosystems identification. The training material for Spiral 3 is designed as a step-by-step tutorial, using algorithms in the uDig Processing Toolbox. While working through the tutorial, the user is familiarized with the tools covering all the available macro sections. After completing the tutorial, a user will be able to find the needed algorithms to solve a specific use case.

The presentation deals with the description of the UN Open GIS Challenge and the open training materials developed under this initiative. The material is available under an open license and can therefore be reused by anybody.

The UN Open GIS initiative – Vision, strategies, and achievements

With an aim of developing and delivering open source geospatial solutions to the UN, the UN Open GIS Initiative was established in March 2016, taking full advantage of mission partner expertise from UN member states, technology contributing countries, international organizations, academia, NGO’s and private sector.

In order to fulfil the diverse requirements of UN field operations, the scope of the UN Open GIS Initiative covers the geospatial software of the UN Spatial Data I nfrastructure. The activities are organized into four working groups, referred to as ‘spirals’; Spiral one for geo-portal and system infrastructure, Spiral two for capacity building, Spiral three for geo-analytic functions, and Spiral four for geospatial data collection.

This talk will cover an overall introduction of the UN Open GIS initiative including the vision, strategies, technical roadmaps, and achievements of each working group. The experiences and lessons learned from the initiative will be shared during the talk, which we hope will be helpful to the UN as well as developing countries. We will also discuss how to leverage the FOSS4G community and the UN Open GIS Initiative.