Rosa Aguilar

University of Twente Assistant Professor

Fellowship project title: COSIGN: Collaborative Open-source Science for Increasing Geospatial Networked Knowledge. 

The goal: This fellowship aims to foster collaboration initiatives that bring together key stakeholders from Research Software Engineers (RSE) of the eScience Center, and the QGIS community to enhance the quality of software solutions in geoinformation science and their practical application in real-world scenarios.  

RSE from eScience Center support diverse research projects in important academic institutions, helping with addressing advanced software development challenges. The QGIS developer community is the force behind the most used open-source software for geospatial analysis and mapping. The convergence of the diverse expertise of these actors will facilitate the seamless integration of academic insights, practical research support, and geospatial technology provided by QGIS, ultimately resulting in innovative, impactful tools tailored to practitioners’ needs.  

Through open dialogues, this fellowship pursues to establish a synergic relationship to boost advancement in research and scientific software development, specifically in QGIS, which benefits both the scientific and the practitioner’s community. 

The why: Software development, such as packages, scripts, and libraries, is a core of most current research processes. With the increasing emphasis on reproducibility and openness, it is relevant that researchers can apply best practices during their research software development. User-friendliness of the resulting software should also be considered so it could be more easily adopted in practice.  

Researchers often contribute to open-source software like QGIS, which is widely adopted in the geospatial domain. However, in The Netherlands, there is still little or no disseminated participation from the academy and scientific sectors in QGIS development, namely contributions to the software or extending it via plugins.