[OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Volker Mische volker.mische at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 13:52:34 EDT 2011

Hi all,

I already wrote it in my blog post about the FOSS4G, but it should also
hit the mailing lists as well.

I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good idea. I fear
that people will be going there and the global one will die (especially
next year, when it is "in some other country").

A lot of devs in the FOSS4G world are from North America (I'd even say
the majority, but I'm not sure about it). Those will definitely go to a
North American event.

I could imagine that many people from Europe can justify one conference
to go somewhere in the world, when there's enough value. Which is for
me, in case for the FOSS4G, meeting almost all core developers of the
various FOSS4G projects.

If I have the choice to meet all the North American developers and a lot
of other ones as well, and the choice between meeting some American and
European developers perhaps at some other place in the world (where it
might even be harder to get there (think about past events like
Australia)). Where would you go?

And also important: where would the sponsors invest? It was already a
hard time for the Sydney conference to cover the costs, how hard would
it be if there's another big conference?

For me those are reasons why the a global event might die, and that
would be a shame. As we heard at (I think) the AGM, past conferences
planted seeds in those locations.

The rotating between Europe, North America and somewhere else makes a
lot of sense to me, but if there will be a North American conference
every year, we can just drop the "somewhere else" and go for a Europe,
North America, North America rotation.

For me the solution would be to make more localised conferences in North
America, like a West Coast, East Coast, Central, Canadian one. This
won't draw to much developers away from the global one. It would kind of
the same as in Europe, where we also have local Chapter conferences.


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