FOSS4G 2022 academic track

Geo-ICTs for Good: a MOOC on GIScience for Climate Justice
2022-08-25, 15:25–15:30 (Europe/Rome), Room Hall 3A

The last two decades have seen the development and diffusion of new technologies and digital ecosystems for managing geographic data. These include, among others, smartphones, drones and open access satellites on the one hand, and the web 4.0, GIS, WebGIS, geo-app and georeferenced data, both open-source or proprietary, on the other. This great variety of tools, accompanied by the sharing of new digital knowledge and skills, have made the creation and management of spatial information much more accessible than it was in the past.
This has led to a proliferation of processes for exploring, creating and sharing geographical data from below as a way for citizens, that assume the role of neo-geographers or prosumers, to take part in decision-making in different kind of processes, such as territorial, environmental and climate change issues (Goodchild, 2009; Capineri et al., 2016; See et al., 2016).
However, these are ongoing processes that have still to face technological, cognitive and economic barriers. Universities with the use of open-source geo-information and communication technologies (Geo-ICTs) in enhance geographical learning should be a primary actor in supporting students and citizens in developing their own spatial thinking in a more efficient and engaging way (Käyhkö et al., 2021). In fact, this is remarked also in objective 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals "to guarantee quality, inclusive and equitable education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” and many universities have signed the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) which commits them to integrate the concepts of sustainable development into the curricula.
In this framework is involved also University of Padova (Italy) with its Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Climate Justice (Jean Monnet Erasmus+ project 2021-2023) led by the research group “Climate change, territories, diversities” ( The Centre is trying to respond to the need of bringing the issues of Climate Justice and just transition from the EU Green Deal framework into the dialogue between the academic world, society, and policy makers. To do this, it is carrying out different research and didactical activities, among which the development of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on GIScience for Climate Justice with the use of opensource and freeware Geo-ICTs, that will be freely available for all before the end of 2022.
This MOOC will provide videos and materials about practical activities concerning climate change and climate justice issues, that the students can carry out autonomously using open-source and freeware tools. For every activity the workflow and a graphical abstract will be provided with aims and skills to be acquired and an introductive video with a real example of use and suggestions about how to build collective projects of citizen science. An auto-evaluation module will be available to students. MOOC will be tested with selected students and eventually adjusted before its online publication. A feedback and comment area to interact with staff members will be also available in the platform. The programme will follow learning by doing approach and is design to drive students through the main phases of a GIScience project:
- The exploration and use of the European Platforms (e.g Earth Observation Portals, Joint Research portals, European Environment Agency portals, European Environmental Bureau)
- The exploration and use of the Geonode on Climate Justice (, the geo-platform of the Centre that will be available to everyone with all the information collected by the Centre and the possibility to create online maps and to upload and share data by interested users or association groups.
- The Collection and sharing of environmental and social information using geo-app and webGIS (e.g odk collect app and ona platform)
- The exploration and use of Google Earth Pro and the OpenStreetMap project Umap
- The creation of storymaps to share climate change fighting initiatives and climate justice stories on the web (e.g knight lab storymap and geonode storymap tools)

By completing the MOOC, students will learn how to autonomously update and increase their knowledge on climate change and climate justice issues, learning to navigate and use European platforms and portals and to search for the documentation available in the European and international institutions. Practical activities will improve skills of students and organizations of civil society to obtain and use data and information produced by European institutions, to produce and share their own data, and to prepare and manage collaborative projects for sustainability and environmental monitoring.
Open-source software will be also the basis for the setup of the MOOC, from its preparation using open video editing and open document formats, to its publication using the Moodle of the University of Padova.
In this contribution, the theoretical background, the entire methodology and workflow process for the preparation and dissemination of the MOOC will be presented and discussed, with the aim to disseminate and share this experience to actors interested in developing similar activities of using of Geo-ICTs for Good.

Master's degree in Natual Science and Ph.D. in geography for the University of Padova, specialized in spatial and multitemporal analyses in complex territories, and climate-related issues. Post-doc researcher for the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence on Climate Justice of University of Padova