In recent years, free and open source software for GIS is gaining in strength as a real alternative to privative software. In the case of GIS, this situation represents a particularly attractive alternative because the high cost of many privative software licenses which can restrict the use of GIS in the teaching and research within the university, local government authorities and also to the wider geospatial community. Free and Open Source Software allow users access to the source code and modify it, edit it, improve it and adapt it to their own needs, and redistribute it.

In GIS, free and open source software is in an exciting growth phase. A good example of this is the various open source geospatial software available under the Open Source Geospatial Foundation umbrella. The range of products is increasingly broad and diverse, and there is a wide range of software (compatible with different operating systems) that integrates the ability to read and work with different raster and vector data models.

GIS OPEN SOURCE Summer School 2011 aims to ensure the highest quality of results and internationalize the curricula, in order to prepare students in an international working environment and competitive skills with emphasis on collaboration during the course. We started this initiative last year, with the first edition of this Summer School, teaching the advantages of using Free and Open Source Software for GIS.

Data capture, analysis and web publishing  are at the heart of all stages of the practical work of the summer school. We are also planning to make available the course content online for the benefit of the wider geospatial community.

The program will take place in a mixed form: lecture and theoretical sessions, in combination with practical sessions in the computer lab. The contents and techniques presented on the theoretical sessions will be applied in the practical sessions.

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