Introduction to FOSS GIS using QGIS .8, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, and the Grass plugin for QGIS

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"The primary goal of our teaching agenda is to expose students to OS software and participation in open source and open content projects. To accomplish this, we have taught undergraduate and graduate level geographic information systems (GIS) courses based on open source GIS software (both in the classroom at the University of Massachusetts and online)"

One significant contribution in this effort has been to develop a set of (Creative Commons Licensed) teaching material on that can be accessed at the Open Source Geospatial Foundation wiki. We are now in the process of updating much of that material for QGIS version .11. Versions of this material have been used to teach the following courses:

In the classroom...

NRC297S - Introduction to Spatial Technologies, Department of Natural Resources Conservation

* Spring 2005,

* Spring 2006,

* Spring 2007 and,

* forthcoming in 2009

And online...

* Students from several different countries, including Nigeria, Uganda, Brazil, and the United States participated in our online course. We used Moodle for the course delivery system.

"A second element of our teaching effort is to learn from and study, in a 'real' situation, how to develop and participate in an open content collaboration."

To that end, PI Schweik has been leading an international effort to develop open content educational material in open source GIS as part of the Open Geospatial Foundation's educational initiative (see http://www.osgeo.org/education). We have worked to mobilize a globally distributed group of GIS educators to build this open content collaborative effort. As of October 2008, we have inventoried over 45 different sets of open source educational material (listed at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Educational_Content_Inventory).

We have also:

* Investigated potential format standards for educational material (e.g., Apache Docbook, Open Office Writer, etc.)

* Implemented a content management system (Subversion) to support the management of educational content "source" and new derivatives. This system resides at http://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo/browser/education.