ICA-OSGeo laboratory

The University of Melbourne is home to Australia’s first Open Source Geospatial Laboratory. The international open source geospatial laboratory is a joint initiative of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). This Australian facility is part of a global network of open geospatial research and development known as Geo4All. Currently there are 22 ICA-OSGeo labs operating globally.

The University of Melbourne is one of the top research universities in the world and has been a pioneer in Australian geospatial science research. We are delighted to collaborate with the ICA and OSGeo to create this opportunity for our students and researchers, which will encourage open geospatial teaching and related research in other universities.
Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

Vision Statement

The ICA-OSGeo lab at the University of Melbourne will promote access and use of geospatial data for evidence-based research and decision-making. This will be achieved by the provision and sharing of data and tools supporting urban issues, with a capacity for extended collaboration across multiple disciplines.

Sustainable Cities

An evidenced-based multi-disciplinary approach is critical in managing our densifying cities sustainably into the future. The lab will utilise the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN) e-infrastructure and a suite of open source software tools including GIS, to assist those interested in human settlements better understand past trends, existing conditions and formulate future scenarios through better access to city data and online tools. The lab will train and educate students, policy and decision-makers in ‘urban informatics’ to collect, analyse and synthesise various aspects of the digital city to help shape a sustainable urban future.


The ICA-OSGeo laboratory at the University of Melbourne will:

  • support urban research and educational excellence through the use of location based (geospatial) data and tools.
  • see scientists and practitioners from the ICA and OSGeo collaborate closely with University colleagues, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • undertake research and provide training resources which utilises digital data and analytical and visualisation tools to up-skill a myriad of disciplines in evidenced-based decision making practices.
  • deliver training through both into existing University curriculum and through a series of webinars, workshops and online courses.
  • attract considerable interest from urban geographers, spatial scientists, planners and policy makers who are keen to contribute to and learn about the latest available data driven techniques to support evidenced-based decision making.


The software used to support activities of the laboratory is open source, meaning the source code can be modified and re-distributed royalty and fee free. OSGeo-LIVE is a downloadable software stack containing many open source geospatial applications, free for download and use. The laboratory will utilise the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). AURIN is a $20 million open source e-infrastructure initiative, which is unlocking datasets of relevance to Australia’s cities and providing an analytical toolkit to inform sustainable urban futures.

Steering committee

  • Xavier GoldieOutreach Manager at Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN), The University of Melbourne, xavier.goldie@unimelb.edu.au
  • Dr Mohsen Kalantari, Associate Director, Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration, Lecturer in Geomatics,  saeidks@unimelb.edu.au
  • Dr Suzanne Mavoa, Senior Research Fellow, Deputy Head of the Non-Communicable Disease Unit in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, 
  • A/Prof Ian D Rutherfurd,  School of Geography, University of Melbourne, President of the Institute of Australian Geographers,  idruth@unimelb.edu.au
  • Prof Richard Sinnott, School of Computing and Information Systems, Director of eResearch at the University of Melbourne, rsinnott@unimelb.edu.au
  • Prof Stephan Winter, Discipline Leader, Geomatics, Chair of Australasian Spatial Information Education and Research Association, winter@unimelb.edu.au


Prof Stephan Winter, Discipline Leader, Geomatics, Chair of Australasian Spatial Information Education and Research Association, winter@unimelb.edu.au

June 2023