The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Enrique Pintado, presented gvSIG Batoví, the first Uruguayan distribution that has given rise to gvSIG Educa, on Thursday, 6 September 2012.
gvSIG Educa is a customization of the gvSIG Desktop Open Source GIS, adapted as a tool for the education of issues that have a geographic component. The aim of gvSIG Educa is to provide educators with a tool that helps students to analyse and understand space, and which can be adapted to different levels or education systems. gvSIG Educa facilitates learning by letting students interact with the information, by adding a spatial component to the study of the material, and by facilitating the assimilation of concepts through visual tools such as thematic maps or helping to understand spatial relationships.
In this way, gvSIG Batoví is the beginning of an open source software that will be probably adapted and used in a lot of countries. gvSIG Batoví is a software promoted by the National Survey Department for CEIBAL Project, whereby primary and secondary education students will be able to access to educational information represented on maps.
“From the Ceibal Project implementation, the government seeks to promote policies that support the development and benefit of the education of children, our future and present of the country”, Pintado highlighted, specifying that by their geographical characteristics, Uruguay can’t produce goods on a large scale, “but we can generate unlimited knowledge without any limit”.
During the presentation of this new tool, event attended by the Undersecretary of the Ministry, Pablo Genta, the National Director of Surveying, Jorge Franco and the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Héctor Cancela, the Minister noted that “Uruguayan people can distinguish ourselves by the intelligence, capacity for innovating and research, and link that knowledge to development.” “And for that, this new software called ‘gvSIG Batoví’, will be fundamental, because it allows the Gurises to access to a immense universe of knowledge”, he said.
The “gvSIG Batoví” application is the result of the joint work between the National Survey Department, the Faculty of Engineering and the gvSIG Association, and students will be able to gain Geography knowledge with it, using the XO -low cost laptops-. It will be applied to other knowledge areas like History, Biology…
The most interesting thing is that the student or teacher can create their own thematic map from the different information layers. Whit this option, the knowledge by discovery is promoted, converting the cartographic work in a learning knowledge.
With “gvSIG Batoví”, a first group of thematic maps of the Uruguayan territory is offered, for example political and physical maps, population distribution, communication and transport infrastructure and land cover. The ease to access to these thematic maps -as plugins to be installed from the application- will allow to share cartography between teachers and students of the whole users community easily.
Beyond the educational field, the professional users of the gvSIG technology will be able to access to these new functionalities from plugins. It will be an easy way to share territorial information.
It should be pointed out that there will be a presentation and a workshop about gvSIG Batoví at the 4th Latin America and Caribbean gvSIG Conference, and 2nd Uruguayan gvSIG Conference.
Finally it’s important to highlight the emphasis in the collective of the project, where 4 entities participated in a coordinated way: the National Survey Department (of the MTOP – Uruguay), as promoter of the project; the gvSIG Association, as main developer of the application and other aspects (documentation, spreading…); Group of Geospatial Information Technologies of the Faculty of Engineering (UDELAR – Uruguay), as local part of the development; and the Ceibal Center as distribution and implementation manager at the Ceibal Project (Ceibal means “Educational Connectivity of Basic Information for online learning”, apart from referring to the national flower, the “ceibo”).
- gvSIG Educa Project: https://gvsig.org/web/projects/gvsig-educa
- Batoví at Ceibal: http://www.ceibal.edu.uy/Articulos/Paginas/gvsig-batovi-resumen.aspx
- Batoví Blog: http://gvsigbatovi.wordpress.com/
- Batoví as a gvSIG case study: http://outreach.gvsig.org/node/771