Spatial Networks is once again proud to announce our support for the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference. FOSS4G brings together the largest gathering of developers and users of open source geospatial software in the world- and this year it’s all happening in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one of Africa’s fastest growing cities!
With the World Bank as a flagship sponsor, this year’s FOSS4G event will be co-hosting several overlapping and synergistic meetings, including:
- The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Annual Summit
- Understanding Risk Africa Annual Meeting
- QGIS Annual Developer Meeting
- United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – Global Geospatial Information Management Expert Group on Fundamental Data meeting
Supporting Open Source
The Fulcrum team won’t be out in full force like we were at last year’s event in Boston, but we are still very much committed to supporting this year’s African-based conference. Many of our software products are built with open source components, so we understand and appreciate the value of open source technology, particularly as it relates to building a viable, affordable SaaS product. Our developers have contributed to several leading open source tools, and we maintain many of our own open source repositories, but in addition to contributing code, we recognize the need financial support plays in keeping these communities thriving and their projects active. We’re proud to support open source developer conferences like FOSS4G and JSGeo, as well as helping to directly fund the development of critical geospatial toolkits like GDAL.
Our Work in Africa
In addition to building commercial software products like Fulcrum, Spatial Networks leverages local experts and technology to transform geographic information into tailored solutions, helping our clients in the public and private sectors solve their most critical problems.
We love Africa and our software is currently being used to help the Kenyan Wildlife Services (KWS) catalog events associated with poaching activities to counter wildlife crime in the region through the tenBoma initiative. Fulcrum was used extensively during the West African Ebola virus epidemic and we have many commercial customers throughout the region who are using our technology for:
- Mapping Water & Sanitation in Liberia
- Conducting Asset Inventories in South Africa
- Predictive Analysis for Security and Risk Management across East Africa
We are also proud that half of our sponsorship funds this year are going directly to the OSGeo Travel Grant Program, which provides funding to help offset travel costs and conference passes for those in need, with a preference for people from the developing world.
Join us in Dar es Salaam!
Joe and Kenn will be highlighting Fulcrum Community during the Crowdsourcing session at 10:30 on August 30th, with a presentation on Fulcrum Community for mobile data collection during emergencies, disasters and humanitarian efforts:
Social media has been used many times to share information in an emergency. Users will send a tweet about their situation and ask for help. Oft times these social media posts are not geospatially enabled and lack the specific information needed to affect the situation in a positive way. If we could leverage a geospatially enabled method to collect and collate relevant information in a free and open manner, many emergencies could be prevented. The method of collection should also be easily shared in a cloud environment. Fulcrum Community is a cloud-based mobile phone field data collection platform based on the successful Software as a Service (SaaS) Fulcrum. Many companies use Fulcrum to collect and manage their data. Custom forms and secure data are critical for those companies. In a natural disaster, humanitarian emergency or environmental preservation project, leverage of location, customization of forms and rapid deployment at no costs to the widest audience regardless of their geospatial awareness is critical. We should enable the community to leverage their location without complication. Fulcrum Community allows organizers to set up forms for critical data collection and sharing with all members of the community. The community can be contacted through most popular social media venues. The forms can be as simple as necessary to collect the critical information. Video and photo are fully enabled and geospatially tagged. The users in the community can contribute necessary and relevant information in near real time with little to no training. Multiple languages can also be supported. The best part is the data are free and open for everyone.
We’re hoping to meet as many people as we can and educate them on our growing portfolio of data and software products as well as our data collection and analytics services. If you’d like to schedule a meeting with us in Dar es Salaam, please fill out this form and we will get in touch. Our network of data collectors and clients is truly global and we are incredibly excited for this opportunity to meet up with some old friends and make some new ones in one of East Africa’s emerging global cities!