Afrigiss Analyst Joins Geoserver Project Steering Committee

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afrigiss analyst joins geoserver project steering committee

Peter Smythe, Senior Systems Analyst at AfriGIS , has been named to the GeoServer Project Steering Committee- PSC , comprising representatives from various communities with a stake in GeoServer.

GeoServer, an open-source mapping server, facilitates the sharing, processing, and editing of geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it enables the publication of data from any major spatial data source using open standards.

Smythes appointment recognizes his contributions to the GeoServer community and his efforts in advancing open-source GIS technologies at AfriGIS.

Embracing GeoServer and leaflet

AfriGIS opted for open-source solutions due to the limitations and challenges associated with proprietary solutions, such as investment, ongoing maintenance, and limited market reach. By embracing GeoServer and Leaflet, AfriGIS experienced immediate benefits, including enhanced reliability and feature sets. This strategic transition empowered AfriGIS to develop a robust mapping solution renowned for its reliability.

Documentation corrections to writing plugins

Smythe says The OGC standards compliant GeoServer, also known for its extensive and helpful online documentation, became a natural fit for AfriGIS. I started off in this open-source community by making straightforward documentation corrections through GitHub, which gradually escalated to code fixes and improvements. Over the years, we have added to that by writing plugins, testing release candidates and participating in other community support activities.

Recognizing the importance of ongoing support for open-source communities, AfriGIS allocated a budget two years ago specifically for open-source contributions. This initiative has enabled AfriGIS to undertake larger projects and engage more significantly with the community.

In 2023, Smythe volunteered to assist with the monthly release train for GeoTools/GeoWebCache/GeoServer. This initiative aimed to ease the workload on core contributors, allowing them to concentrate on vital aspects such as software development and code reviews. Smythes numerous contributions were recognized by the GeoServer Project Steering Committee at the end of 2023, who acknowledged his efforts by donating $500 in his name to the Geo-Information Society of South Africa (GISSA), a local GIS organization. This underscores the impact of corporate responsibility in supporting community-driven projects.

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at AfriGIS, Brian Civin says As a newly appointed member of the PSC at the beginning of this year, Peter is part of a group of members coordinating development and maintenance activities for the 2024 roadmap, engaging with the community through user and developer email lists, and encouraging open dialogue and collaboration.


Peters appointment is a testament to his personal and professional commitment to the GIS community and also underscores AfriGISs strategic direction towards embracing and contributing to open-source technologies. His work illustrates the impact that volunteers can have on technology communities. he adds

AfriGIS takes pride in Peters accomplishments and wholeheartedly supports his continuous endeavors to further the GeoServer project and the wider GIS community. We encourage other professionals and organisations to contribute to open-source projects; while the rewards may not be immediate, the long-term benefits and recognition are profoundly impactful, concludes Civin