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Google Summer of Code 2012 at 52°North

Running Projects

Take a look at the project page to see what our students will be working on over the summer.


52°North was accepted as a mentoring organisation (see the full list) for the Google Summer of Code 2012. We are very glad about this opportunity and look forward to the progress our communities will make thanks to the concentrated effort of the excellent students we have for your projects.

"... the more code out there, the more everyone benefits."

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. 52°North plans to apply to the program with project ideas from all communities to connect with prospective developers of our Open Source software from all over the world. In short, a student will get paid $5000 by Google to work on 52°North software for 3 months during the summer, and will be advised by a mentor from a 52°North partner organisation. The overall goals are to improve usability of products and extend the user base to new domains - more on the overarching topic here.

Read more about GSoC and its goals.


Steps of the program:

Official programm Timeline:

When What
May 21 Begin of coding! Mentors guide students on their projects.
July 13: 19:00 UTC Mid-term evaluations deadline
August 13 Suggested 'pencils down' date. Take a week to scrub code, write tests, improve documentation, etc.
August 20: 19:00 UTC Firm 'pencils down' date. Mentors, students and organization administrators can begin submitting final evaluations to Google.
August 24: 19:00 UTC Final evaluation deadline
August 27 Final results of GSoC 2012 announced
August 31

Students can begin submitting required code samples to Google.

We also have a common Google Calendar for all GSoC-related activities. Please feel free to add your personal deadlines and schedule your calls with mentors/students:

For a full schedule see the official timeline.


Mailing list:, which is also available in a forum view:

Chat: irc:// (What is IRC?)

Mentor contact: See projects page.

The 52°North organization administrator ("org admin", see What is the role of an organization administrator?) for GSoC is Daniel Nüst (, IRC: dnlnst, Skype: danielnuest). Please feel free to contact him with any questions and give him feedback on how the program works from your point of view. Backup/supporting administrator is Jan Schulte (

Organisation Details

For Partners and Communities

52°North offers all partners to act as a an umbrella organisation respectively the contact hub with Google ("organisation administrator"). After finding mentors from the communities and partner organisations we will derive a list of project ideas together with the mentors. 52°North staff will provide support during the application evaluation, the mentoring phase and the project evalution, and also organise backup mentors in the event the original mentor cannot continue the program.

For Mentors

If you are interested in working as a mentor for a software project within the realm of 52°North, please contact Daniel (

Some important points to know are:
  • The entire program is run completely online, so it is expected from you to be responsive to email and chat contacts.
  • Projects must be Open Source and mentors must at least be committers for the corresponding project.
  • GSoC is not a recruiting program... but you do have the chance to get to know ambitious students interested in software development.
  • Include roughly 5 hrs/week for mentoring in your schedule for the mentoring period, May 21st to August 24th. Be aware that this is not much for the potential gain for your project, as the students are expected to work full time! 52°North staff can support you if you have absences during this time.
  • Follow the guidelines in DOs and DON'Ts of Google Summer of Code: Mentor Edition, take a look at the Mentor Manual, or read the quick guide at least.
Now, add your idea to the ideas page.

For Students

"Flip bits, not burgers."

Important steps for students:
  • Go to the ideas page and see if your find a project that interests you.
  • Read the GSoC FAQs and the Student Guide. Seriously, read it!
  • Follow the guidelines in DOs and DON'Ts of Google Summer of Code: Student Edition.
  • Use the application template below to create your application (one PDF file or website) and submit it on time. Feel free to contact mentors if you are interested in a project!
  • Subscribe to the respective mailing listof the community your idea is related to, introduce yourself and present your idea during the community bonding period.
  • The 52°North licensing model requires you to sign a license agreement to collect usage rights. Based on current experience this means no disadvantage to you at all.

During the summer

Your end of the bargain
  • Active communication with mentors and within the community (direct email contact with mentors, mailing lists, IRC).
  • Full time work on an interesting software development assignment.
  • Weekly status reports on Mondays before 18:00 CEST to the 52N GSoC mailing list, see format description below which is based on the codehaus guide.
  • Maintain a wiki page or blog to document your project.
  • Write three extensive (images, screencasts) blog articles (beginning, around mid-term evaluation/first prototype, after project is finished) for the 52°North Blog UPDATED
  • Follow our internal GSoCGuidelines.
  • A lot of fun coding!
Our end of the bargain
  • Your mentors respond in a timely manner.
  • You are introduced to a open source commnity which also supports your project.
  • The org administrators give support for organisational issues and in case a mentor cannot perform his duties.
The status of reports and related activites (blog entries, ...) is tracked on the status page.

Weekly Status Update Email Format

Subject: <community name (Geoprocessing, Sensor Web, ...)> <project> status update <date of the Monday>

  • What you've completed in the last week.
  • What you're working on for the next week (7 days).
  • Are there any blockers (infrastructure, mentors, holidays, assistance)?

Application Template

Please use the following template if you want to participate in GSoC with 52°North. If you need further information or have questions regarding the template please contact Daniel ( or join us at #52north.

We are looking forward to your application!

Please include the following contents in your application. There is no further template to give you the space for a creative and persuasive application, but you could check out the Wordpress GSoC 2011 application template for some hints.

Personal Details
  • Name
  • Contact details (email, personal website, Skype, IRC nick, phone number, location/time zone)
  • University/School name
  • Short bio
  • Description: Include a link to the description on the ideas page or make clear if this is your own suggestion. Also include potential mentors in the latter case.
  • Preliminary Schedule (milestones and deliverables, planned working hours, and potential other commitments)
  • Motivation (This might, but does not have to, include answers to questions such as: Why 52°North? Why this project? Why Open Source? Why are you suited to carry the project?)
  • Contribution of project to ongoing studies (if applicable)
  • (Open Source) software development experience (including example applications)
  • Programming level
  • Work experience
  • Academic experience and performance
  • References

Review and Ranking

The review and ranking of all applications is conducted by Albert Remke and Andreas Wytzisk (CEOs), Daniel Nüst (org admin), Jan Schulte (backup org admin), together with all mentors. For more details on the student allocation at GSoC, ask the bot in #gsoc (slot) or read this page to see how the process worked in previous years.

Code Management

Day-to-day development should be done in the 52°North repository. The finished projects must be made available on ("Step 13. Student uploads completed code to Google Code hosted project.). This could be done via (one-way) SVN synchronization or by providing packaged versions of the software - ALERT! this must be elaborated at beginning of the projects.


  • Topic created by: DanielNuest
  • Topic created on: 2012-02-29
Topic revision: r31 - 27 Aug 2012, DanielNuest
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