[Olpc-open] [bytesforall_readers] GIS-based Community Programs.

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 05:34:20 EST 2008

On Feb 16, 2008 5:15 AM, EWB Australia ICT4D Programs
<ewb.ict4d at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear List Members,
> I wondered if anyone on this list knew of GIS-based grassroots ICT4D
> projects that involved environmental resource mappings and / or
> training on GIS systems for the purposes of community mobilisation
> and advocacy.

I brought this up at the International Symposium on Digital Earth in
June 2007. Geographer Tim Foresman (conference chair) and several
organizations, including CITRIS, NASA, NOAA, and OneVillage
Foundation, expressed strong interest in the idea. With the One Laptop
Per Child computer going into schools an countries around the world,
it will become possible to recruit many more students to gather and
share data on weather, air and water quality, health, wildlife,
agriculture, and other kinds of data that are difficult or impossible
to gather now. The XO includes a digital oscilloscope activity called
Measure that can accept data from the built-in microphone and sound
ports, and will be able to accept data from USB-enabled instruments of
all kinds. These data can be cleaned, analyzed, mapped, and shared
with the global public in order to plan for environmental protection,
water resource management, agriculture, health, nutrition, economic
development, and much more.

See also http://www.globe.org.uk/.
A practical environmental education project linking students, teachers
and scientists in 109 countries

Over 500 schools in the UK and over 16 Million records world-wide

The GLOBE Programme enables students to measure the local environment
at your school, and compare it with other schools around the world.

We would be pleased to work with Engineers Without Borders on these
and other initiatives. EWB members are also invited to join the OLPC
mailing lists at http://lists.laptop.org/ to discuss (among other
things) engineering education and preparations for starting every kind
of appropriate engineering and manufacturing business with teachers,
students, and others involved in the process.

For example, I recently got the suggestion from Don Marti of
LinuxWorld to bring minilathes made in China into our development
process. I realized from his description that these devices qualify as
The Industrial Revolution in a Box. They have been designed to support
individuals in creating their own machine shops, and then going on to
build every other kind of tool. The base units are inexpensive, and
therefore may not be made from the best possible parts. For example,
at least one uses bushings rather than high-quality bearings, but
includes instructions for making the needed bearings, along with many
other improvements. There is a substantial tutorial literature on
these devices available at no cost. We have started discussions with
the authors of this literature about getting it on the OLPC XO in all
of our target languages.

For another example, I met Ray Cromwell, CTO of Timepedia.org, at a
Google Web Toolkit conference. Timepedia has a standing offer to host
at no cost any time series data of any value to anybody. (The
organization makes its money from consulting with companies that want
to use the data.) Geographic time series data included. Timepedia is
putting a lot of effort into developing translation software for the
multitude of geographic data formats to its own format and to others
in wide use, and to translating data from government and other
publicly available sources.

> Appreciate your input in advance,

Appreciate the question.

> Sriram
> ----
> ICT4D Projects Coordinator
> Engineers Without Borders Australia | www.ewb.org.au

Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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