Monthly Archives: December 2017

The next generation of data scientists

This post was written by Sarah Jones. Sarah coordinates work on the DCC’s Data Management Planning tool – DMPonline – and undertakes research on data policy and data management planning. She has written several articles and book chapters on these topics, and co-edited Delivering Research Data Management Services: fundamentals of good practice.

Sarah is involved in several European e-infrastructure, coordination and open science projects including, FOSTER+EOSCOpenAIRE and EUDAT. She is also rapporteur on the European Commission’s FAIR Data Expert Group. Her work in a European context focuses primarily on training and data management planning to facilitate open science and compliance with Horizon 2020 requirements. 

The last two weeks have seen the first CODATA/RDA Research Data Science school in South America. We started the initiative in 2015, and after developing a curriculum to offer broad-based, introductory data skills to Early Career Researchers with a specific focus on those from Lower and Middle Income Countries, we ran our inaugural School at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy in August 2016.

From the start the Schools were a huge success, receiving hundreds of applications from researchers in a diverse range of countries and disciplines. We’ve continually iterated on the curriculum based on student feedback and developments in the field. The event in São Paulo was an important first step to branch out to regional schools and develop local hubs of expertise. We hope the School in South America will become an annual event and will shortly be inviting applications to host one in Africa in Autumn 2018 as we’ve had many requests from there as well.

For my own part, the School has become one of the regular events I look forward to the most. The students are so enthused and keen to take the learning back to their institutions and colleagues that you really feel you are making an impact. Kevin and I have amended the Research Data Management curriculum over time, adding elements on FAIR data and new RDM services. We’re also in discussion with Gail Clements who runs Author Carpentry and Louise Bezuidenhout who teaches on open science and ethics, about how we can combine these three topics into one joint module for Trieste 2018.

In São Paulo we were joined by Steve Diggs from Scripps who put together an excellent data reuse lab. Students had to form mixed-skill teams and then review research papers for links to the underlying data. Donning their investigative deerstalkers, they then obtained the data and reproduced results. It was fantastic to see the determination and ingenuity displayed across the teams. They brought such creativity and inventiveness to the various pitfalls encountered, and the exercise drove home the message of why it’s so important to make your data FAIR.

It may surprise you all to learn that these Schools are an entirely volunteer effort. Hugh, Rob, Ciira and I give up our time to plan, coordinate and teach on the Schools, and this would not happen without the backing of our institutions. The host organisations (ICTP in Trieste and UNESP in São Paulo) invest a great deal of time and finances to make the Schools run. They provide the venue, accommodation and catering, cover student travel and administer all the visas, and provide the most excellent local support when we’re in town running the Schools. On top of that we receive a lot of small donations from too many organisations to mention. This covers the speaker travel and supports the helpers.

This year we particularly want to thank Springer Nature and Wellcome Trust, whose support enabled the helpers participation and allowed us to run a weekend session to let this new cohort of students know how they can get involved. Oscar, Sara, Marcella and Silvia (pictured below) have all participated in previous Schools and are now bringing back their expertise to help others. At the weekend session, Sara explained to a packed room how different it is being a helper and how much it enriches your learning. Students approach the tasks differently so you’re troubleshooting a really wide range of problems and learning so much more about the technology by doing so.

The next two priorities are to increase the regions in which the Schools take place, and to move them on to a more sustainable footing which is not so reliant on volunteer effort and sponsorship. In 2018 we hope to run 3 Schools. One will take place in Trieste on 6-17 August 2018, and we anticipate others in Africa in Sept/Oct and Brazil in December. As part of the CODATA Task Force we’ll be reaching out to funders to seek support for a central office, and exploring business models to sustain the Schools. One idea is to run Schools in the USA and Europe with a delegate fee that is reinvested in supporting the Schools for LMIC. We hope to trial this in 2019.

With this being the Season of Goodwill and people looking for opportunities to give back to community, I would encourage you to think about what you could do for the Schools. Are you in a position to help us to coordinate them, to teach, to host events, to sponsor or help us develop a robust business model? There’s a huge demand for the training and we need lots of different inputs to make it scale.

CODATA Working Group Co-Chairs

  • Sarah Jones, Digital Curation Centre, Scotland
  • Ciira Maina, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, Kenya
  • Rob Quick, Indiana university, USA
  • Hugh Shanahan, Royal Holloway University of London, England

This blog post first appeared on the DCC website

Geo4SDGs – a conference connecting geospatial with development community

Dear colleagues,
Adopted in 2015, Agenda 2030 outlines 17 diverse set of goals that touch several domains, yet are systemically interconnected and entwined with each other. Any shift or change in one segment can and will impact several others. Which is why it’s crucial for multiple stakeholder communities to work collectively to be successful. What is required is coordination, communication, and cohesiveness of policies and program implementation that can be built upon reliable systems, tools and technologies. 
Geospatial technologies with its ever-growing reach and impact offers an ideal solution for creating infrastructure and system that can help integrate datasets from a diverse range of sources to provide smart analytics for decision making and effective communication. Acknowledging and aligning potential value of geospatial technology for Sustainable Development Goals, Geospatial World Forum shall host a two-day international conferenceGeo4SDGs: Addressing Agenda 2030 on January 18-19, 2018 at HICC, Hyderabad, India. The conference is supported by United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management Expert Group, Group on Earth Observations, Google Earth Outreach, Radiant.Earth, ICIMOD, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dutch Kadaster and World Resources Institute. The conference themed, ‘Geo-knowledge conduit to SDGs success’, aims to provide a platform to bring collaboration and liaison among government agencies, commercial sectors, multilateral and international development organization and the civil society through initiating detailed discussions. The conference aims to bridge the gap between the geospatial community, the IT community, the policy makers and the pursuers of the SDGs.
We are happy to share the panelists for Geo4SDGs. The distinguished plenary speakers and panelists will be sharing their insightful stories and experiences on topics that will highlight the applications of geospatial data, tools and technologies for monitoring and evaluating the SDGs. If you are interested to attend the conference, please contact Ms. Megha Datta at or call her at 9811049987.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Warm regards,
Ms. Megha Datta
Director – Sales and Business Development
Market Intelligence and Policy Advocacy Division
Geospatial Media and Communications Pvt. Ltd.
A-145, Sector – 63, NOIDA (U.P.) India – 201301
Tel: +91 120 4612500
Fax: +91 120 4612555
Mobile: +91 9811049987
Skype: megha.datta



Dear All,       


I take this opportunity to introduce CEPT University, Ahmedabad which is a leading institution offering Under-Graduate, Post-Graduate and Doctoral programme in the areas of natural and built environment related disciplines in Architecture, Planning, Technology, Design, and Management. The University engages in academic, research, consultancy and outreach activities. It organizes national and international events periodically for the knowledge exchange, dissemination as well as networking for the young students.

This December, CEPT University is organizing a ‘National Symposium on Industry Academia Collaboration for Geospatial Technologies – 2017’ during 15-16 December 2017. The details on the events are available https://geomaticsindia-cept.orgThe symposium will focus on setting out innovative trends and technology driven attitude through the ideas shared by industry and academia experts. Focus will be made in understanding the concepts of Geospatial technology and how it can be useful in bringing the world together through participation of both academia and industry.


Experts from academia and industry will join hands and discuss about the emerging trends in geospatial those goals industry and the role of academia in reaching. Vision on GIS industries and trends, deciding roadmaps in GIS and have better visibility in working together for the benefit of both academia and industry. A special session is organized for the industry to discuss with the students and the academia on their requirements and the respective changes needed in the academic system.

This event is open for geospatial industry, academia, government and NGO. It is expected to provide an excellent platform for the discussion on need, limitations, challenges and opportunities for establishing the collaboration between the geospatial industry and the academia, the scientists, and the government. The University expects large number of participants from geospatial industry, academia and government. Two days long discussion will open the opportunities to the geospatial industries, through interaction, sharing of innovations and showcasing the products and respective upgrades to the core group of academia, students, government officials, scientists and other interested groups.

This symposium is intended to open the gates for the collaboration and strengthening the ecosystem of Geospatial Technology

I am very glad to personally invite you to participate in 2-Day event. Please block the dates for these events. We shall be happy to welcome you in Ahmedabad

May I request you to kindly circulate this information to your colleagues.
Thanking you
With best regards.

Prof. Anjana Vyas, Ph D
Executive Director,
Centre for Advanced Geomatics, CRDF