[OSGeo Africa] FOSSGIS-Africa conference updates

Tim Sutton tim at linfiniti.com
Fri Jan 29 18:08:12 EST 2010

Hi Serena

On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 9:52 AM, Serena Coetzee <scoetzee at cs.up.ac.za> wrote:
> Dear Tim,
> great news that this is going ahead.  I would definitely like to be involved
> in the academic side of organizing things.  Would Ashley Gunter also be
> interested in this?

I would think yes, but I believe he is travelling right now so when he
returns we can hear from him directly.

>  Should I join him to form an academic committee?  From
> the FOSS4G 2008 entries, it looked as if not too much is done on the
> software development side in academia in Africa. However, I think on the
> application side, there must be many stories to report.

Yes I think it would be fine by me if you form an academic committee
and start putting together a call for papers. I have been in contact
with Till Adams, one of the organisers of the German FOSSGIS
conference and from the last conference of theirs  I attended, I would
say most papers I saw were applied GIS rather than GIS programming. Of
course it would be great to stimulate African students and academics
to get involved with actually *writing* FOSSGIS tools for their
research and then making the tools public.

> In the mean time, I will try to find out more about how it is done at the
> German FOSSGIS and come up with more concrete suggestions.

I've cc'd Till in on this reply - I'm sure (hope :-) ) he won't mind
if you contact him.

 Although, the
> call for papers should probably be posted in February (already tight,
> considering the reviews that will have to be done). Did you have any such
> deadlines in mind already?

I will get some promotional materials together over the next week and
a half. If you can write up what is needed for the call for papers, I
will incorporate that and then start a bit of a publicity campaign. I
will just wait for Ashley's  return before I start sending out
promotional materials in order to make sure all our ducks are in a row
venue and date wise etc.

> And I am sure that I will find students to help as volunteers at the event
> in exchange for free entry, for example.

Oh that will be great! I think Ashley also has some volunteers up his
sleeve! I dont mind if (since this is our first one) things are fairly
low key with say 50 to 100 attendees, of course I'll be thrilled if
more can come. I would like to make as much of the process digital,
paperless and automated as possible. It would be great to get Gavin's
input so that we can use his experience from FOSS4G2008 to make thinks
run smoothly



> Regards,
> Serena Coetzee
> Department of Computer Science
> University of Pretoria
> Pretoria, South Africa
> Tel: +27 12 420 2547
> Fax: +27 12 362 5188
> Mobile: +27 82 464 4294
> On 26 Jan 2010, at 15:11 , Tim Sutton wrote:
> Hi All
> A few weeks I posted to the list my interest in holding an
> Africa-centric FOSSGIS get together this year. I received a very good
> response with various offers for venues and assistance. Of the three
> venues put forward I would like to use Monash University, Krugersorp,
> South Africa since it offers everything we need:
> - venue being donated
> - sufficient labs and lecture rooms
> - support from the staff in-situ
> - good transport network
> The Monash South Africa University campus web site is here:
> http://www.monash.ac.za/
> The venue was proposed by Ashley Gunter who is a lecturer at the university.
> I know it would have been nice to hold the conference somewhere more
> central in Africa so that those to the north dont need to travel too
> far, but since this is going to be our first time I think it will
> logistically be easier to organise the process if the venue is closer
> to home.
> I would very much like to make the entrance to the conference and
> workshops free or very cheap. Currently our budget plan calls for a
> registration fee of R500 per delegate and R1000 per workshop. We will
> look at our options, but one great one would be to have a couple of
> sponsors.
> The german FOSSGIS conference keep costs down by avoiding expensive
> things like fancy catering (they offer soup and bread at lunch and
> tea/coffee/biscuits at tea breaks) and I am looking to emulate their
> approach as much as possible.
> So what next? Now is the time to put together an organising committee
> and start promoting our conference.
> If you would like to assist with the organisation, please contact me.
> Also if you have contacts for publicising the conference please
> forward the promotional materials on to them when we have them ready.
> If you are an academic, please start thinking about what we could do
> in terms of an academic track and make some proposals for suitable
> people to review paper / poster submissions.
> I am going to set up a wiki page and other similar resources over the
> next week or two and we can use that as the basis for collaboration.
> Best regards
> --
> Tim Sutton - QGIS Project Steering Committee Member (Release  Manager)
> ==============================================
> Visit http://linfiniti.com to find out about:
> * QGIS programming services
> * Mapserver and PostGIS based hosting plans
> * FOSS Consulting Services
> Skype: timlinux Irc: timlinux on #qgis at freenode.net
> ==============================================
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Tim Sutton - QGIS Project Steering Committee Member (Release  Manager)
Visit http://linfiniti.com to find out about:
 * QGIS programming services
 * Mapserver and PostGIS based hosting plans
 * FOSS Consulting Services
Skype: timlinux Irc: timlinux on #qgis at freenode.net

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