Breaking Down Barriers: Building a GeoKnowledge Community with Open Educational Resources (OER)
The GeoKnowledge Community is defined here as anyone who has an interest in using spatial data in their work. The GeoKnowledge Community has created educational content around image processing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), surveying, geospatial data handling and geospatial standards/open data and provided these through the Landmap Learning Zone and the E-Learning for Using Geospatial Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards (ELOGeo) repository.
The e-learning content in the Landmap Learning Zone is currently restricted to UK academia (via Shibboleth) however there has been increasing demand from European institutions, local councils and private companies for access. In addition, the Landmap Service recently partnered with the University of Nottingham for the ELO-Geo Project and created an open repository currently hosted at the University of Nottingham.
The proposed project aims to Build a GeoKnowledge Community at Mimas by utilising existing technologies (DSpace) and services (Landmap/Jorum). The aim of the use case is to open-up 50% (8 courses) of the Learning Zone through Creative Commons (CC) Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (BY-NC-SA) license as agreed already with authors. A further aim is to transfer the hosting of the ELOGeo repository to Jorum from Nottingham (letter of support provided by University of Nottingham) and create a GeoKnowledge Community site embedded in Jorum using the DSpace API and linking the repository to the Landmap Learning Zone.
Project aims and outputs
The building of a GeoKnowledge Community through the breaking down of the authentication barrier in the Landmap Learning Zone and developing a specific interface for the GeoKnowledge Community in Jorum will benefit geospatial users from a wide geographical area interested in applying spatial data in their work, who currently do not have access to these kinds of high quality educational resources. The hosting of ELOGeo at Jorum will build further onto the OER work at Landmap and provide the added benefits of being hosted, maintained and promoted by a national data centre ensuring the sustainability of the ELOGeo projects outputs.
At the end of this project the GeoKnowledge Community will have a unique space in Jorum to deposit e-learning content and open access to 8 high quality courses in image processing and GIS hosted by Landmap. The technical solution in developing a specific community site within Jorum will be transferable to other communities that may have a similar requirement in the future. All technical outputs and developments will be regularly reported in a project blog and tweeted to the user community.