W3C/OGC Joint Workshop Series on Maps for the Web

This workshop series brings together experts in geographic standards and Web map data services, Web mapping client tools and applications, and Web platform standards and browser development, to explore the potential of maps for the Web.

The workshop program offers a lot of interesting sessions and we are happy to be a part of one of them. On Wednesday 30th September at 18:00 CEST starts a session dedicated to Advanced web graphics for mapping that will continue with one hour panel session. The concluding breakout session will allow smaller groups of interested workshop participants to hack on a technology or get a deeper understanding of a topic.

Developers of Plan4all, Lesprojekt, BOSC and AVINET have set out to build a concept that is to map-making what Google Docs is to word processing; a shared user interface that enables people to collaboratively build maps and edit spatial data where each is able to see the changes contributed by other users – as they are made.
The working title of their effort is a “Map Whiteboard” and the transport and storage for data is a JSON based format called “Map Compositions” that draws on the early work of Web Map Context documents, but that extends them with 20 years worth of added features.
With the proposed technology, we will support a number of common use cases for “maps” that have shown themselves exceptionally resilient despite the many and significant improvements that have been made to map technology.

In 2020, despite being more than 20 years into the era of web mapping, surprisingly many meeting rooms in government institutions the world over are still littered with large-format paper maps over which serious looking men and women stand hoodled, pointing with their fingers and drawing with markers — before handing the manuscript back to the resident GIS expert who puts them back into the data. With the proposed map whiteboard technology, this experience can be taken online, improving the accuracy and quality of the data and, albeit in a very small way, aiding the environment by reducing the amount of paper consumed. Thus far we support OpenLayers based clients for real-time map editing as well as visualization of Map Compositions in OpenLayers based clients and desktop clients like QGIS. (Read the full text HERE.)

A Map Whiteboard for Collaborative Map-Making and Data Capture will be introduced by Karel Charvát during the Advanced web graphics for mapping session.

A Full Agenda of the session: 

  • Map adventures in weird web standards – gyroscopes, texture cubes, and mutants (: position statement)
  • Map Compositions format (Karel Charvat: position statement)
  • MapML implementations in MapServer, GDAL and OGR (Daniel Morrissette)
  • OffScreenCanvas for rendering performance (Andreas Hocevar)
  • Dynamic and Observational Spatial Data (: joint position statement)

Are you interested in the workshop? Then do not hesitate to register HERE!

Registered Participants!

Check your email for the calendar file with Zoom video-conference links.

Not registered?

Video sessions will be posted on YouTube with continued discussion happening on the WICG Discourse.

ELISE webinar: Monitoring and understanding emerging geospatial technologies

In this webinar, Danny Vandenbroucke from KU Leuven and Gobe Hobona from the Open Geospatial Consortium, both geospatial experts, will walk you through following topics

  • What are the key drivers and general trends: looking at the vision and understanding of the UN-GGIM and other communities.
  • How can we monitor and assess technological trends: an overview of some isolated studies and more comprehensive approaches.
  • An overview of the major trends and how they fit together (and influence each other).
  • Interoperability challenges and efforts: evolving architectures and standards.
  • Ways to get acquainted with new technologies: experimenting using testbeds, sandboxes or living labs.

This webinar is part of a series of “Webinars” performed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre under the ELISE ISA2 Action. The aim of these studies is to quickly engage with new topics of relevance to location interoperabilitythe digital transformation of government and socio-technical developments in this arena.

The webinar will take place on the 24/09/2020 at 14:00 CEST (UTC+2).

For more information, click HERE.

If you are interested in this webinar, do not hesitate to register HERE. You will receive a confirmation email with the instructions on how to join this webinar.


The COVID 19 INSPIRE Hackathon webinar series is starting this Friday 25th September! The webinar series will be kicked off with the webinar called Blockchain technology to ensure food security in Africa and you are cordially invited.

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Food security is vital in the COVID-19 pandemic era and post COVID-19 as Africa still struggles to achieve food security. In achieving food security, technology becomes important so as to ensure that the farmers get their due benefit. Blockchain technology will be simplified so as to ensure that all farmers and other stakeholders benefit from their produce.

Africa has 65% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land, an abundance of freshwater and about 300 days of sunshine each year. More than 60% of Africa’s working population is engaged in agriculture, and the soil across most of the continent is rich and fertile. We are losing precious foreign exchange by continuing to pay for food to be imported, so we must quickly eliminate the negative balance, and start to sow, grow, process, consume, and ultimately to export the food ourselves. Modern agriculture, driven by technologies such as blockchain technology can track the provenance of food and thus helps create trustworthy food supply chains and build trust between producers and consumers. As a trusted way of storing data, it facilitates the use of data-driven technologies to make farming smarter. In addition, jointly used with smart contracts, it allows timely payments between stakeholders that can be triggered by data changes appearing in the blockchain This challenge examines the applications of blockchain technology in food supply chains, agricultural insurance, smart farming, transactions of agricultural products for both theoretical and practical perspectives. The challenges also will discuss the recording transactions made by smallholder farmers and creating the ecosystem for utilizing the blockchain technology in the food and agriculture sector.

The webinar’s agenda:

  • The issue with Agriculture industry
  • Reshaping the agriculture industry with blockchain
  • Blockchain 10 possible use case
  • Q&A

You will hear from

Register now!

Stay tuned! Another upcoming webinar with the topic of “Why is the traditional knowledge of African agriculture disappearing?” is scheduled on 30th September.


We would like to cordially invite you to join us at the upcoming Open Geospatial Technical Committee meeting organised by Agriculture DWG of OGC. The topic of this session will be Digital Twins for Agriculture. The session is scheduled on 15th of September 2020 between 14 00 CEST (8 00 EDT) and 16 00 CEST (10 00 EDT).

  • Karel Charvat (Plan4all) – EO4Agri White Paper
  • Peter Baumann (rasdaman GmbH.) – Datacubes for Optimizing Agriculture
  • Valantis Tsiakos (Institute of Communication & Computer Systems (ICCS) – An integrated EO-based toolbox for modernising CAP compliance monitoring and assessing respective environmental impact
  • Karel Jedlicka (UWB, Plan4all) – Calculation of agro-climatic factors from global climatic data
  • Emmanuel Mondon & Alexandre Cadain (Maxar/Anima) – Impact gaming leveraging EO (satellite, in-situ & 3D) applied to Agriculture Digital Twins
  • Walter Mayer (Progis) – Sustainable management of NATURE supported by time related satellite images, newest technology, local knowhow and global cooperation
  • Michal Kepka (BOSC) – SensLog – an interoperable solution for sensor data
  • Louis Cousin (Startinblox) – Inter-connecting geospatial and agricultural sectors: towards universal interoperability standards
  • Stefano Nativi (JRC) – Green Deal Data Space initiative and in particular the Destination Earth action
  • Zara Khan (Planet) – Planet designs, builds and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history, delivering near-daily imagery of anywhere on Earth

You don’t have to be an OGC member to attend an OGC meeting. This session is open to anyone to attend and new voices are always welcome.


Registration for the session is free for OGC members. In case you are not the OGC member and you are interested in the session, do not hesitate to contact hana.kubickova@plan4all.eu and get the 50% reduction of full week conference fee.


e-Geos presents CLEOS, the all-in-one solution to master the digital revolution of geoinformation services. As a user of CLEOS you can access the digital services of the market vertical application platforms, proprietary data (COSMO-SkyMed and, soon, COSMO Second Generation), EO and non EO third party data, specific microservices (e.g. SAR Data Preparation, Change Detection) and much beyond.

High-Valued Insights Powered by AI

A prominent feature of the CLEOS Platform is the ‘The AI Factory.’ It provides the users a friendly, professional environment to build, test, validate and scale AI based geoinformation services.

CLEOS is driven by the objective of creating Happy Customers with Frictionless Customer Experience, and its extraordinary functionalities make it super qualified to accomplish that!

Curious to know more? Read blog on – CLEOS: Taking geoinformation analytics to new heights.


CHALLENGE #10 Sustainable solution to chronic diseases like diabetes through organic farming

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Mentor: Mohammed Nayeem

Around 15.5% of the adult population of Qatar is suffering from diabetes. 55 million people have diabetes in the MENA region and it is estimated that by 2045 this will rise to 108 million. Medicines are effective but not without their side-effects. What the region needs right now are more natural and organic solutions that boost the immunity of the human body and at the same time protect against chronic diseases like diabetes,
cancer etc

What we are looking for are farming techniques feasible to arid regions that will

  • Increase the green cover of Qatar and maintain sustainability
  • Grow organically without artificial enhancers
  • Contribute to the fight against diabetes with organic supplements

A winning solution would cater to all the criteria – build a sustainable model of farming on one hand, combat diabetes through superfoods on the other hand.

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Invitation to contribute to Remote Sensing for Future Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

We would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue of the Remote Sensing journal, “Remote Sensing for Future Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture”. There are several reasons behind this special issue. Agriculture comprises a vital economic sector producing food, agro-industrial feedstock, and energy and providing environmental services through managing soil, water, air, and biodiversity holistically. The agri-food chain involves multiple actors and stakeholders that produce and provide food and agricultural commodities to consumers. In addition to farmers, there are farm suppliers, processors, transporters and market intermediaries. These actors make the agri-food chain efficient. Current agriculture is under pressure to produce high quality products with fewer inputs and in smaller areas.

In order to provide solutions to all complex problems related to the agri-food chain, we need to better understand all processes and build an interoperable knowledge management system for each agriculture sector. A key part of such knowledge management systems is data, including remote sensing data. The intention of this Special Issue is to collect ideas on how remote sensing and data derived from remote sensing can help future knowledge management for global food security and better sustainability of agriculture production in varying climatic conditions and how remote sensing can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Green Deal.

There are new systems for Earth monitoring, a number of delivery platforms have been developed, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence are now starting to be used. Remote sensing can bring data and knowledge from the global scale to provide global monitoring, monitor production on a country or regional level, but also monitor field variability. In order to optimally use remote sensing for agriculture, capacity building and training people will become a key part of the entire process.

As the Special Issue looks for innovative methods of applying remote sensing in agriculture at all scales, many different aspects have to be addressed. We hope you find the topic of this Special Issue interesting, and we look forward to your research contributions.

Please, visit https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/special_issues/FutureFood and read more about how to submit your paper to this special issue!

CHALLENGE #8 Digitalization of indigenous knowledge in African agriculture for fostering food security

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Mentors: Antoine Kantiza, Tuula Löytty

The traditional knowledge of African agriculture has been used efficiently during many decades and until today somewhat in several areas of Africa for feeding African population. 

The indigenous knowledge in African agriculture is known to be resilient to many hazards nevertheless the traditional knowledge in agriculture is shrinking as well as the indigenous languages which were the transmission based of any indigenous knowledge in Africa as well as in the rest of the world. 

Why the traditional knowledge of African agriculture is disappearing? 

The smallholder farmers using traditional knowledge in entertaining their farms are mostly retired and their traditional know how aren’t written in scholar books for being transmitted to the future generation who expect to increase the farm production by using inputs brought abroad with high currencies like fertilizers, seeds and medicines as highlighted in the studies driven from modern schools where indigenous languages are no longer taught particularly in professional high schools. 

At the same moment, scarce seeds used in the former times are also disappearing for letting more spaces to industrial plantations or new imported seeds even if researchers begin to acknowledge that some indigenous scarce seeds tested lastly hold high calorific and nutritious quality. 

What should be done to safeguard the traditional knowledge of African agriculture? 

First of all, it is mandatory to collect and digitalize all available traditional knowledge in African agriculture before being safeguarded in safe database available for African farmers. 

Secondly, it is useful to assess the performance of traditional knowledge in African agriculture including the soil and seeds preparation; the mixture of varied crops in the same field; harvesting joined to fertilizing soil by ranking unused limbs and stems; saving crops in organic storage against harmful insects or other epidemic diseases. 

Thirdly, it is gainful to spread broadly the best practices driven from traditional knowledge in African agriculture because practices of indigenous knowledge in agriculture do not need to spend a lot of infrastructures as well as financial resources. 

What are the challenges of safeguarding traditional knowledge of African agriculture? 

The available traditional knowledge of African agriculture are kept by elder persons who are reluctant to transmitted their indigenous knowledge without being rewarded even by other persons living together in the same rural community and who may understand their indigenous languages. 

Besides, there are no longer projects supporting the traditional knowledge in African agriculture as soon as traditional knowledge in African agriculture seems prior to be out-of- date and not based on structured data. Accordingly, some best practices used in livestock like traditional surgical procedures for domestic animals have not been safeguarded as the practices aren’t taught at modern schools and no project was interested in supporting indigenous knowledge. 

Also, the traditional knowledge in African agriculture are disseminated in many indigenous languages that are not used enough by the young generation prioritizing the universal languages taught at modern schools. 

How to overcome the barriers of digitalizing traditional knowledge of African agriculture? 

It is useful that each African country sets up its national project of safeguarding traditional knowledge in agriculture and livestock targeting to digitalize and to display in free access the folk knowledge driven from the elder African farmers. 

In the similar way, African indigenous languages may be safeguarded and promoted specifically at schools where books and lessons should taught the best practices of indigenous knowledge in African agriculture as well as in other fields of sustainable developments goals. 

Goals of the challenge:

The optimization of best practices driven from the traditional knowledge of African agriculture joined to modern technologies in agriculture innovation will be the support to erase hunger and to increase food security among African countries in accordance with the second sustainable development goal of Agenda 2030 targeting mainly to : ” end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture ”. 

The digitalization of indigenous knowledge of African agriculture will serve to create a big database of African traditional knowledge in Agriculture in favor of future African farmers’ productivity as well as to work out for the best issues of the hot questions below. 

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Your mentors will be:

Antoine KANTIZA is holder of a Post-University Degree in European Studies and a Diploma of Superior Studies in Using Technologies of Information and Communication for Education and Formation, DESS UTICEF in short delivered respectively by the University Catholic of Louvain in Belgium and the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg in France. As an independent researcher, he h as written many publications available online and offline in varied topics including Economic, Social and Rule of law affairs; Sustainable Development Goals implementation; ICT4Agriculture community at https://www.e-agriculture.org belonging to FAO where he is designated: “Featured Member” since 2011. He has been Professor of International Policy at International Studies Centre of Bujumbura. He has been granted by the WBG, the Awards of Course Heroes in Future of Work: Preparing for granted by the WBG, the Awards of Course Heroes in Future of Work: Preparing for Disruption and in Unlocking Investment and Finance in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies. He has been nominated: “Peer-Reviewer for Net Journal of Agricultural Science”.

Tuula Löytty earned her MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Lappeenranta Technical University, and her Bachelor in Process Technology from the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Technology, Finland. Her career can be segmented into six overlapping blocks, which nowadays enable her a wide view over business life and society. She has worked during three decades at three different lines of business: basic food production i.e. dairy- and sugar industry, metal industry and higher education. Her competences are demerged into three pillars: value chain management including logistics- and purchasing processes, continuous improvement methodologies, and project management, which covers both tangible delivery projects and research-, development- and innovation projects.
Tuula Löytty is the owner of Smart & Lean Hub Oy, Finland.

CHALLENGE #4 Rural Attractiveness Visualization

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Mentors: Otakar Cerba, Sarah Velten, Pavel Kogut

The PoliRural project has prepared the dataset describing rural attractiveness in Europe from various perspectives e.g. demography, natural capital, social capital, economy, agriculture, living conditions.

Task 1
The first task of this challenge is to find relevant methods for assessing rural attractiveness in NUTS 3 regions. Building on the existing techniques (e.g. index calculation, clustering, Multiple-Criteria Decision Analysis), the method should offer new insights and allow easier identification of similarities and differences between the regions. 

To make the results easier to understand by non-experts, the manipulated data should be visualised on a map. Which cartographic parameters and graphic variables to use is at the discretion of the team working on this challenge.

Task 2
The second task focuses on the prototype web application which currently displays rural attractiveness data dynamically for the whole of the EU. The goal is to enable custom selection of individual regions for further comparison. The resulting clusters should be presented as nodes that are grouped together according to common attributes. The figure below shows a hypothetical cluster diagram based on a custom selection of 12 regions. 

For the second objective, the team would need to work with a predefined list of regions:

  1. BE251 Vlaams Gewest NUTS 2
  2. CZ02 Strední Cechy NUTS 2
  3. IE041 Border NUTS 3 
  4. EL64 Sterea Ellada NUTS 2 
  5. ES423 Cuenca NUTS 3 
  6. ITF4 Puglia NUTS 2
  7. LV008 Vidzeme NUTS 3
  8. PL913 Warszawski zachodni NUTS 3
  9. SK Slovakia Slovensko NUTS 1
  10. FI1C2 Kanta-Häme NUTS 3
  11. FI1C3 Päijät-Häme NUTS 3
  12. MK North Macedonia NUTS 1

Task 3

The final task is all about enabling map users to explore the rural situation in different regions in more detail. This should be done by creating a pop-up window with contextual information on e.g. rural challenges, existing policies. The team can work with just one of the above regions for this task. Contextual information should be taken from the pilot fiches and D4.4 Needs-Policies Canvas.

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Your mentors will be

OTAKAR CERBA Assoc. prof. Otakar Čerba, PhD works at the Department of Geomatics (Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia, Plzeň, Czech Republic) and cooperates with Plan4all. He is focused on cartographic visualization of spatial data, Linked Data on the geographic domain and semantic issues of geographic data. He has been involved in many international projects such as Polivisu, Humboldt, SDI4Apps, SmartOpenData, Plan4all or ROSIE. Otakar Čerba is the member of the board of Czech Association of GeoInformation and the chair of the Commission on Maps and the Internet of International Cartographic Association

SARAH VELTEN, PhD,  works for Plan4all and currently contributes to the project Polirural. An environmental scientist by training, she obtained her PhD in social and political sciences at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. Her work has focused on issues of sustainable agriculture, rural development, biodiversity conservation, governance, participation, and stakeholder collaboration, using mainly qualitative and mixed qualitative and quantitative research approaches. She has previously been involved in the ERC-funded project EDGE (Evaluating the Delivery of Environmental Governance using an Evidence-based Research Design) and the RURAGRI ERA-NET project MULTAGRI (Rural development through the governance of multifunctional agricultural land use).

PAVEL KOGUT, MSc, is an experienced researcher and training facilitator who has worked on an extensive portfolio of agriculture related projects e.g. agINFRA, Green Learning Network, PoliRural. He is currently involved in the day-to-day management of an H2020 project PoliVisu, which aims to improve policy making through data and advanced visualisations. Prior to that, Pavel was an assistant analyst at the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Pavel’s career in research began in London’s third sector where he helped a number of charities evaluate their projects for the Big Lottery.

CHALLENGE #2 Atlas of Regional Specialities

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Mentors: Petr Horak, Kristyna Cerbova

Problem situations related to Covid-19, such as restrictions or temporary interruptions of work, quarantine, restrictions on the number of people in stores or restrictions on sales time, can lead to a change in shopping habits. The result can be an oversupply of households leading to unequal distribution, a temporary shortage of certain foods, and rising prices.

The challenge proposal aims to eliminate the above-mentioned problem situations by supporting regional primary producers and primary food processors (farmers, fruit and vegetable growers, butchers, etc.), collecting information about their products and making this information and products available to end customers.


One of the possible solutions is to connect regional information about farmers and their available products with various platforms for trading in these products (stone shop, e-shop, purchase from the yard). The Atlas of the Best Practices will be used as the basic technological platform, on the basis of which a pilot prototype of the Atlas of Regional Specialties will be created.

The Atlas of Regional Specialties will present regional information on individual farms, but also on related events and other regional attractions. The Atlas of Regional Specialties will be connected with a local e-shop focused on the sale of regional products – https://sumavaprodukt.regionalnispeciality.cz/. Also other points of sale will be listed within the Atlas of Regional Specialties – especially direct sales from the yard of individual farms, or stone shops with regional products. As part of the implementation, data on individual farms will be collected and updated – for this purpose, a prototype of the web application Atlas Editor will be tested, which enables the acquisition of information records about individual farms. The challenge will use technological elements and procedures based on the H2020 Enabling and Liverur projects.

Main goals of the challenge:

  • How to connect the information base and e-shop
  • Creation of data structure and method of data collection
  • Various forms of promotion of individual farms and their products – links to social networks
  • Involvement of local stakeholders in data collection
  • Creating an extensive database
  • Connection with existing databases
  • Transfer of experience to other regions

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About your mentors

PETR HORAK Education: Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry in Brno, Forest engineering. SW development experience, mainly web solution for geo-spatial data, GIS specialisation, research, development, testing and exploitation of services and geo-information technologies for spatial data management in the area of natural, technical and social sciences, new development, testing and exploitation of services and technologies for spatial data management in areas of rural development including agriculture and forestry, emergency systems, logistics and public administration, implementation of new communication and navigation technologies. Extensive experience of EC projects (project management, development and implementation): Enabling – Enhance New Approaches in BioBased Local Innovation Networks for Growth (2017 – present), Envirogrids (2009 – 2012), Plan4all (project manager, system developer, 2009 – 2011), EarthlookCZ (co-ordinator of the project, 2007-2009), Collaboration at Rural – C@R (2006 – 2010), AMI4FOR new model for knowledge management in forestry based on integration of principles of ambiente mobile intelligence, new methods of navigation and integration of space imaging (2005 – 2008), MILQ-QC-TOOL the development of predictive models on the Internet for optimisation of heat treatment of raw milk in small and medium-sized dairy companies (2005 – 2007), NATURNET-REDIME New Education and Decision Support Model for Active Behaviour in Sustainable Development Based on Innovative Web Services and Qualitative (2005 – 2007).

KRISTYNA CERBOVA Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague. She works now as a communication manager in ROSIE project – Research and responsible innovation (Central Europe). Experience in education, languages, social sciences with a special focus on philosophy, history and archival science (2005-2007 digitalization activities in the National Archives of the Czech Republic). She works for other Plan4all H2020 projects such as LIVERUR or SIEUSOIL focusing mainly on smart agriculture topics.

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