[OSGeo-Conf] LocationTech FOSS4G FAQ
andrea.ross at eclipse.org
Wed Nov 11 07:37:25 PST 2015
This is the contents of the FAQ we mentioned, copied and pasted for
I have made one change since yesterday noting that OSGeo is a member of
LocationTech and that Anne Ghisla & Jody Garnett have both participated
while sitting as OSGeo board members. Jody currently sits on both boards.
This document is intended as a reasonably short FAQ for information
related to LocationTech as a conference organizer for FOSS4G.
Specifically the Ottawa and Philadelphia bid teams have chosen
LocationTech as a PCO in 2017. This has raised questions for some
members of the OSGeo Conference Committee. Boston chose a different
The thoughts below are pulled from questions and concerns raised on the
conference-dev list over the past few days. The hope with this document
is to tease apart the questions related to LocationTech as a PCO, and
hopefully help people feel maybe a bit better about them.
There are many logos on a conference web site, and exhibitors in an
exhibit hall. Do they detract from one another inappropriately?
Probably not, otherwise people would never sponsor.
Someone has to organize the conference. If you acknowledge them, does it
detract from others & especially OSGeo?
No, it's the accepted and classy thing to do. This has been the norm at
past FOSS4G events... VTM, AGI, GITA, etc. LocationTech as an organizer
would be acknowledged in the same manner.
Is anyone allowed to participate in a FOSS4G bid?
Under the current RFP rules, there is nothing that suggests otherwise.
Obviously it helps if there are people with strong connections to OSGeo
such as charter members, board members, project committers, founders,
etc. All 3 bids for 2017 have good support in this regard. As well, all
3 bid cities have included partners from their local, regional, or
Are FOSS4G bid teams allowed to pick whichever PCO they feel is best?
Yes. That's the way it works. And it's pragmatic. The people from the
Ottawa & Philly teams are very community minded and care deeply about
the growth and success of the open source geospatial ecosystem. They
chose LocationTech as their PCO. Boston cares the same, and made a
different choice that suited them, and that's totally fine.
Are people who participate in LocationTech marauders from afar, invading
to steal our wonders?
No they are people just like you. And just like you, they have been
involved in the OSGeo community for a long time and still are. A FOSS4G
bid is significant undertaking and should be applauded. Having people
participating in LocationTech as well the bid is a positive thing.
Is FOSS4G a better event with LocationTech and other non-OSGeo projects
You bet. FOSS4G has always been much broader than OSGeo projects. That
is an integral part of its success. Obviously LocationTech projects (&
many others housed at neither OSGeo nor LocationTech) would prefer to go
to one event if that’s possible.
Is LocationTech trying to take over FOSS4G?
Nope. The projects & members of LocationTech care about FOSS4G and how
it’s run, so LocationTech gets involved with supporting bids. Again,
rather than viewing them as outsiders, it will likely be helpful to
consider them as long active members of the OSGeo community. If it needs
to be said, everything related to this support was done by the book,
following the processes as best people could, out in the open, etc. The
people that chose LocationTech did so of their own volition for good
reasons. Other bids made different choices, and that is not only fine,
but to be encouraged. A diversity of approaches is likely to result in
What happens if LocationTech is the PCO for a FOSS4G event?
We don’t need to hypothesize as we have a real life example. We can
expect the same thing that happened in California in March 2015 for
FOSS4G-North America: a great conference that people really enjoyed.
85% rated it excellent or very good. Add in those that rated it good,
and it’s all but 1 person. For what it's worth, it had plenty of great
visibility for OSGeo... a really good looking booth in a good location,
logo on the website, Frank Warmerdam speaking on its behalf in the
opening and closing plenaries (there were no board members present so
Frank as ex-President graciously agreed to do so when Andrea asked). It
also had some really great things like 30% women speakers & attendees.
Why doesn’t LocationTech run its own conference and stay out of the
For the past three years, LocationTech has operated its own multi-city
“tour” in the fall with workshops, full day events, and evening talks in
a number of cities around the world. These events have not been limited
to LocationTech projects and OSGeo and other open source projects are
invited and welcomed to give talks. This year LocationTech also
organized a 1-day FedGeoDay event in Washington DC. While LocationTech
has the capacity to operate its own one-week conference (and the Eclipse
Foundation operates multiple annual conferences), the members of the
organization do not feel that it would be helpful or constructive to the
open source geospatial community to operate a separate conference.
Does LocationTech threaten OSGeo?
Certainly not intentionally, and not likely at all. Do you think the
Mozilla, Apache, Linux, Eclipse, and other Foundations fret about each
other's' existence? There doesn’t seem to be much evidence for this. And
they do collaborate all the time.
OSGeo is a valued member of LocationTech. It was invited to participate.
Anne Ghisla served as OSGeo’s board member and representative at
LocationTech for some time. Currently Jody Garnett serves on both the
OSGeo & LocationTech boards.
Does LocationTech help OSGeo?
It certainly tries. It has been a cash sponsor and supporter of many
OSGeo events, including the 2015 Code Sprint and FOSS4G North America,
FOSS4G Nottingham, FOSS4G Portland, and others. Its members (it is a
member organization) have participated in OSGeo at every level for many
years. It has provided free legal IP review for OSGeo projects that they
would otherwise not have had and they resulted in serious issues being
fixed. It has invited OSGeo projects to participate in events should
they wish to. It has sent speakers from its projects to OSGeo events.
Collaboration is already happening on many facets and without any fuss.
People shuffle back and forth across an imaginary border all the time
paying it no attention.
Do we need an MOU between LocationTech & OSGeo?
It’s not clear what the objective would be, but LocationTech is happy to
discuss or review a draft if that would be helpful.
What will become of OSGeo? Will it become irrelevant?
OSGeo has been around for many years, it continues to grow, and it is
supporting lots of really good activities. It seems a safe bet that it
will do more of the same for some time. It will adapt as it needs to and
as it sees fit. And that's a good thing... it's needed. This is all
independent of LocationTech of course.
If LocationTech continues to grow will OSGeo decline (or vice versa)?
It doesn’t works that way, and isn’t a zero sum outcome. The two
organizations have optimized for different structures and funding
models, but they share the same objectives: support and grow a strong
open source geospatial ecosystem. Growing the credibility and the
number of people consuming open source geospatial software works for
everyone. It attracts more users, more customers, more developers, and
so forth. Even technology wise, LocationTech & OSGeo projects are
intertwined with projects that share and build upon common components.
But LocationTech works with ________ (pick your scary company de jour).
LocationTech is a member organization that includes businesses,
non-profit organizations, academic institutions and government agencies.
Membership dues are based on the size and type of organization. The
membership dues pay for full-time professional staff that carry out
community development, intellectual property review, marketing,
information technology infrastructure, operations, event organizing, and
administration. The governance structure is designed to prevent any
single organization from controlling the actions of any project or the
organization as a whole. Projects as LocationTech are governed by the
committers, which are elected by the existing committers on the project.
The only way to influence a project’s direction is to earn that right
by impressing the existing committers with contributions.
I heard ____ (big scary company) runs things at LocationTech.
Absolutely not. See previous question. There are hundreds of members of
all sizes, and they all get an equal vote. Committers (developers who
are individuals) get a vote too.*
On 10/11/15 23:21, Andrea Ross wrote:
> Thanks Cameron. That's a great idea. I'll do so tomorrow just in case
> anyone has any feedback before then.
> Kind regards,
> On 10/11/15 21:09, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> Thanks Andrea for writing this and answering a number of questions
>> which have been hinted at in email threads.
>> I suggest it would be worth while to cut and paste the contents into
>> this email thread, so that it gets archived with the rest of the
>> Warm regards Cameron
>> On 11/11/2015 3:30 am, Andrea Ross wrote:
>>> Dear Everyone,
>>> I hope you don't mind. The mailing list emails can rapidly become
>>> overwhelming so I picked through and turned information into a FAQ
>>> related to LocationTech's involvement that I hope is at least
>>> somewhat helpful.
>>> Please see:
>>> FOSS4G 2017 LocationTech FAQ
>>> It is our hope that it makes the information hopefully a bit more
>>> clear or easy to reference.
>>> Thank you to Robert Cheetham especially, and a bunch of other people
>>> who helped pull it together.
>>> It is open for anyone to comment should they wish in case there are
>>> any follow-on questions. I believe it all to be pretty solid, but if
>>> anything looks amiss, please just let me know.
>>> Kind regards,
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> Cameron Shorter,
>> Software and Data Solutions Manager
>> Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
>> 26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009
>> P +61 2 9009 5000, Wwww.lisasoft.com, F +61 2 9009 5099
> Conference_dev mailing list
> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
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