Launch of the enhanced Learning Zone

The 29th August 2012 marked the launched of the enhanced Landmap Learning Zone providing a hub of e-learning resources:

Enhanced Learning Zone

Highlights the four new sections of the Landmap Learning Zone.

Open Educational Resources: Provides courses on image processing, classification methods and the use of spatial data for a wide range of applications. These courses are authored by academics and the commercial sector and are provided free-of-charge to the global geospatial community. (Relicensed as CC BY-NC-SA as part of the JISC Rapid Innovations Project).

Protected Educational Resources: Provides courses on aerial photography, 3D modelling, LiDAR, landuse mapping and UKMap for registered users of Landmap (UK academic community only).

ELOGeo: Provides a repository for the global geospatial community for materials covering the themes of geospatial open data, open software and open standards. Students, researchers and lecturers are all welcome to contribute content to this repository to facilitate sharing of GeoKnowledge in the wider community. (The ELOGeo repository will be provided soon through Jorum).

Spatial Science for Schools: A range of tutorials aimed at 9 – 18 years to encourage the use of remote sensing in Geography, Biology, Mathematics, Geomatics and Physics. Tutorials were authored as part of the FIS Project (University of Bonn) and are funded by the DLR German Aerospace Centre and Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, Germany.

Spatial Science for Schools

See the world as you have never seen it before. Using exciting information from satellites and Google Earth.


This post is to introduce our new project member to the team. Will Standring has accepted the post of Landmap Software and Web Developer and will be taking forward technical aspects of embedding the ELOGeo DSpace repository into Jorum following on from Bharti Gupta’s excellent work. Will has repository expertise from one of his previous roles at the University of Manchester. The team are excited to have him on board. Welcome!


The INSPIRE 2012 Conference kicked off with a great two days of workshops. I especially enjoyed Debbie Wilson’s presentation ‘INSPIRE Essentials – Back to Basics’. This workshop had a few multiple choice questions to test the audiences knowledge on INSPIRE. One of the interesting points Debbie made was the fact that many geoportals have popped up on the scene but that there appears to be alot of redundancy and replication. This is one of the key problems INSPIRE is trying to address so that datasets are harmonised and knowledge can easily be shared between and within organisations.

INSPIRE 2012 Opening Plenary

Another workshop attended is M. Taner Aktas ‘Geospatial Knowledge Sharing and Transfer, Innovation & Future Trends in Geo-Information’. Taner explained  how the transfer of knowledge may not be the same as what is received but some modified version of it. This could be because of: lack of trust; different cultures, language, mental mode; lack of time and meeting places; status and rewards issues or lack of absorptive capacity.

Tomorrow I will be presenting a poster on ‘Breaking Down Barriers – Building a GeoKnowledge Community’ to help promote the work being achieved as part of this JISC funded Rapid Innovations Project.To see a PDF of the poster please view the link below.


Project Plan

Thought it was time for a project update by providing you with a plan for project outputs that have already been achieved over the past couple of months and the planned project outputs for the forthcoming months:


April 2012

  • Confirmed the re-licensing of 8 Learning Zone courses to Creative Commons
  • ELOGeo content migration successfully transferred from Nottingham to Mimas
  • Abstract submitted to the INSPIRE 2012 Conference
  • Submit abstract for RSPSoc Annual Conference 2012, University of Greenwich
  • Checked that graphic design requirements for the DSpace ELOGeo interface have been fulfilled with the DSpace developers

May 2012

  • Started consultation with Zumm (web consultancy) regarding the restructuring of the Learning Zone landing page for the Landmap website (incorporating the ELOGeo and OER)
  • Abstract accepted for INSPIRE 2012 Conference and asked to do a lightening talk at the Geoforum 2012
  • Development of an online survey to ask the geospatial community about the barriers of contributing OER and the benefits of providing OER

June 2012

  • Appoint a developer to replace Bharti Gupta for the DSpace development work within Jorum
  • Poster presentation at INSPIRE 2012 showcasing Landmap, Jorum and ELOGeo on iPad (23/06/12 – 27/06/12)
  • Lightening talk at Geoforum 2012 (20/06/12)
  • Provide Zumm with a wireframe for the Learning Zone landing page redesign incorporating the new OER, ELOGeo repository and Spatial Science for Schools

July 2012

  • Arrange with RSPSoc organisers to do a short usability study as part of the Landmap workshops at the event (to get user feedback about the Learning Zone and ELOGeo repository embedded in Jorum) confirm dates for this.
  • Appoint a developer to do the DSpace work for the project  – begin to build the ELOGeo interface within Jorum for the GeoKnowledge Community
  • Collate any feedback from the community from the June outreach events.

August 2012

  • Release the OER for the Learning Zone (8 courses) with new Learning Zone landing page
  • Release the new Landmap – Spatial Science for Schools OER to increase usage of the project outputs of the FIS Project (partnership project withthe University of Bonn and the German Space Agency DLR)
  • Testing of the ELOGeo repository in Jorum checking search functionality etc.

September 2012

  • Launch ELOGeo repository hosted by Jorum and link to Learning Zone landing page
  • Promote at RSPSoc Annual Conference (12/09/12 – 14/09/12) via conference stand and oral presentation (if abstract accepted)
  • Run usability study as part of Landmap workshop at the RSPSoc conference
  • Write a report to summarise project outputs and findings of the online survey/ usability study

Any new work will be posted on the blog including photos from the outreach events.

In a Nutshell – Breaking Down Barriers: Building a GeoKnowledge Community with OER

Building a GeoKnowledge Community at Mimas by utilising existing technologies (DSpace and services these being Landmap and Jorum. The project is in two parts:

1) Open-up 8 courses in the Landmap Learning Zone through Creative Commons BY-NC-SA and redesigning the Learning Zone area of the Landmap website, linking through to the ELOGeo repository at Jorum.

2) Transfer the hosting of the ELOGeo repository to Jorum from University of Nottingham ensuring the sustainability of the ELOGeo project outputs. Technical solutions will be sought in developing a specific community repository site within Jorum which will be transferable to other communities that may have a similar requirement in the future.

Landmap and JorumGo discover the services involved in the project at the following URLs:

Database migration

Following my last post, we investigated the import/export mechanism, and discovered that the database dump from Nottingham University will be easier to import into the Postgres database at the test version of DSpace 1.7.2.

After much discussion and effort we managed to get the database dump in sql format which is around 2 gb in size. Following commands were executed to load the data and then the dspace user was updated to elogeo in <user directory>/elogeodspace/config/dspace.cfg file. The Apache and tomcat were stopped and restarted.

-bash-3.2$ createuser -U zzelogeo -d -P
Enter name of role to add: elogeo
Enter password for new role:
Enter it again:
Shall the new role be a superuser? (y/n) y
-bash-3.2$ createuser -U zzelogeo -d -P postgres
Enter password for new role:
Enter it again:
Shall the new role be a superuser? (y/n) y
-bash-3.2$ createdb -E UTF8 -T template0  dspacelm

-bash-3.2$ psql dspacelm < <user directory>/db_dump/elogeodump.sql

We noticed there is a memory issue, so we ran the following command, stopped and restarted Tomcat, but it did not help much.

-bash-3.2$ JAVA_OPTS=-Xmx2048m

This is a very common Java problem of heap space and we should be able to sort this out very soon. We will keep you posted on further developments.

Data plans

Amir from Nottingham University has shared some documentation to import and export the items for the DSpace repository.

Basically the preliminary plan is to try testing a bulk import on Mimas front, and then get the items from Nottingham. There is a need to understand this export/import mechanism well which is not documented very well.

Once we get a database dump, we will try to setup a mechanism to be in sync with any data updates/uploads so that both Nottingham and Mimas DSpace sites are mirroring each other.

Watch this space for more about the data migration.