Universities are showing increasing interest in using open-source tools to process environmental data. ISRIC promotes the use of tools such as Open Source GIS software and R, the open source environment for statistical computing. In April 2011 ISRIC senior researcher Tomislav Hengl moderated a 5-day R + OS GIS training course at the Australian National University in Canberra.
The program focused on using free and open-source software for geo-statistical mapping, on-line databases and web applications. The participants came from all over Australia and New Zealand and had wide range of backgrounds including biology, soil science, agronomy and geological exploration. Upon completion of the course, the participants were able to install the combination of the software packages, import and export their data sets in R + OS GIS, and run various types of spatial analysis. The course was run jointly with Dylan Beaudette National Resource Conservation Service (VS) and Pierre Roudier from the LandcareResearch in New Zealand