lecture: Train the users! No GIS is easy...
Every software platform needs three things in order to be successful: Good and solid software, reliable support and maintenance services in order to make it run smoothly, and training possibilities for the endusers to make sure they use it in a most effective way.
Open geospatial software is the basis. And, with the progress that has been made in the last few years, it is among the best around. Support and other services are more and more common. In the Netherlands, you can identify several commercial organizations specializing in FOSS4G, and others adding it to their existing portfolio of services. But what about training possibilities? Few specialized training services for geospatial software are existing, and service providers might do some on-the-job training, but it is by no means comparable to the well oiled training machine that distributers of closed source software usually run.
So, how to set up training courses for open source geo? At the Dutch Geo Academie we have some experience with this kind of training, and we’d like to share some ideas.