[OSGeo-UK] Thoughts on what a local chapter could do

Joanne Cook j.cook at oxfordarch.co.uk
Mon Jun 23 10:27:03 EDT 2008

Hi All,

After attending part of Suchith's excellent geoweb workshop last week, I thought about a few things that a local chapter could promote, and I would like people's thoughts on this.

1: One thing that came out of discussions with a few people there was that they want advice on alternatives to various proprietary packages- not because they want to move over to open source per se but because they want to play around at home, or broaden their skill sets. I think it would be handy to provide a forum where people could get impartial non-rabid advice on how to achieve particular gis tasks with open source- or at least links to good sources of information.

2: Companies considering the move to open source need something more substantial in the way of advice. Something that comes up a lot in the various discussion lists that I subscribe to is the need for good case studies for companies. We could provide links to these, or articles about the business case for open source, or write our own.

3: We need a list of places to promote our local chapter. I think a section on the wiki would be handy, including all of the mailing lists, discussion groups, websites, magazines where we could sensibly post articles, press releases, conference notifications etc. I can start this off, but help would be valuable.

4: At the meetup in May, the question was asked as to whether the local chapter should promote free software or free extensions to proprietary software (ie esri extensions). Looking through the mission statement of OSGeo, and the guidelines for local chapters- this isn't really what OSGeo is for. I also think it might muddy the waters somewhat- confusing free as in speech with free as in beer. What do people think?

Finally- I am speaking on open source software at the AGI conference in September, but will not be attending FOSS4G due to a lack of time and cash. I know of one or two people who are going, but we will need someone to report on the UK local chapter at that point. Ideally it would be good if we could have the chapter officially formed by then, though I'm not sure if that's really achievable, but whatever the state of the chapter it would be nice if someone could stand up and say a few words on our progress this year. If you're interested, let me know...

All the best


Joanne Cook
Senior IT Support and Development
Oxford Archaeology (North)
01524 880212

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