[OSGeo-Conf] 2017 Conference dates question

Michael Terner mgt at appgeo.com
Wed Oct 21 08:55:55 PDT 2015

​Jeroen & Helena:
David and Ottawa lay out the basics, and our proposal also explains the
reasoning behind our date selection, but I would like to elaborate and
provide a few further details on the Boston LOC's (BLOC) reasoning:

   - For an event of this size it will be impossible to find a perfect date
   where everyone who wants to participate will be able to​.
   - The need to "fix" a particular date and not have much flexibility is a
   function of how the OSGeo RFP is written. The LOCs are asked to provide a
   date, and more importantly a budget. As Dave explains, the time of year is
   a significant factor for both budget and availability. Thus, we needed to
   make a series of tradeoffs regarding availability, affordability,
   "tradition" and potential impact on attendance. For Boston, and apparently
   the other two bids, that calculus resulted in mid-late August, and indeed
   the August date for Bonn provides an important precedent.
   - In the Boston area, and for the typical Boston/New England academic
   calendar, August is far preferable to September. Our region's myriad
   academic institutions tend to startup in early September and there was
   unanimous agreement among our academic participants that August, before
   school starts was far preferable and ensured their participation. In
   addition, this opened up far more options for us to leverage our academic
   partners to obtain excellent and affordable venues for hosting our
   - October is the most expensive month to visit Boston due to the large
   number of USA and international visitors that come to see the fall foliage.
   It is also a competitive time to host conferences and there was very
   limited availability at high cost even ~2 years in advance.
   - Last, there is ample time between July and August to have a vacation *and
   *to plan to attend an important conference. It won't work for everyone,
   but as David points out (and our proposal highlights) there are
   opportunities to combine vacation and FOSS4G attendance, and August is
   arguably the best time of year to visit Boston and New England given the
   weather. Toward that end, it is worth noting that the largest geospatial
   conference - the Esri user conference which draws 15,000 people to San
   Diego - is typically held in July (i.e., it will be July 10-14, 2017).

We sadly understand that this date will not work for everyone, but as per
our proposal our goal is to make Boston FOSS4G the can't miss geo event of
2017 and give people every reason to use the next 20 months to find a way
to attend.

Sincerely, MT on behalf of the BLOC

On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 4:39 AM, Dave McIlhagga <dmcilhagga at mapsherpa.com>

> Hello Helena, and Jeroen,
> For Ottawa, the venue is the only practical one available for the size of
> event — and it really is a beautiful place in the heart of the city. As a
> consequence, choice of dates is limited for us as prices would rise
> dramatically in September / October when available.
> We considered doing this in August vs. November — and decided that given
> our weather is fantastic in August (and a bit grey and wet in November)
> plus closer to the typical timing of FOSS4G that this would be the way to
> go. With the many celebrations that will be going on for Canada’s 150th
> over the summer — it will be a special and unique time to be in the city.
> Jeroen — I have a good solution for you, just bring the family for a
> holiday. They will love it! :)
> As for the academic timing conflict Helena, I can say for the universities
> in Canada it won’t be an issue as the earliest I’ve heard of universities
> starting here is the week before Labour day. I’m not sure about the rest of
> the US.
> Thanks,
> Dave
> > On Oct 21, 2015, at 5:16 AM, Helena Mitasova <hmitaso at ncsu.edu> wrote:
> >
> > I too have a problem with the August date although for a different
> reason - I am not sure whether this is specific to North Carolina
> > but our fall semester starts exactly at the same time in August and it
> is quite important for the instructor (me) to be there for the first and
> second class (for numerous quite obvious reasons). This could be the case
> for other universities in the US as well.
> > I was hoping that Bonn in August was an exception - I most likely won’t
> be able to come, but I really don’t want to miss two FOSS4G in a row.
> >
> > And I can totally understand Jeroen’s concern. I don’t think that August
> is a good time for the conference
> > and I hope that the dates could be still changed.
> >
> > Helena
> >
> >
> >> On Oct 20, 2015, at 11:52 PM, Jeroen Ticheler <
> jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi all,
> >> First of all a big thanks to all three LOC's for your impressive bid
> documents! It will be a tough decision for the conference committee to
> select a winner I think.
> >> I will take time soon to read carefully through all bids in the coming
> days so I can ask sensible questions. But one thing that I noticed at a
> first glance is that all three bids propose a week in the second half of
> August for the conference.
> >>
> >> My question is: are your dates fixed at this point in time? If so, why?
> If not, what other dates could be possible?
> >>
> >> My concern is that August is (with July) the middle of the summer
> holidays (in Europe at least). Having kids myself, I have a conflicting
> agenda for the conference in Bonn 😢 and I'm surely not the only one.
> Planning the conference during summer holiday time may make it difficult
> for quite some potential participants to attend the conference. Personally
> I would hate to miss the conference, but the summer holidays with the kids
> would prevail when I have to choose.
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Jeroen
> >>
> >> _________________________
> >> Jeroen Ticheler
> >> GeoCat bv
> >> Veenderweg 13
> >> 6721 WD Bennekom
> >> Tel: +31 (0)6 81286572
> >> http://geocat.net
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Conference_dev mailing list
> >> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
> >> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
> >
> > Helena Mitasova
> > Professor at the Department of Marine,
> > Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
> > and Center for Geospatial Analytics
> > North Carolina State University
> > Raleigh, NC 27695-8208
> > hmitaso at ncsu.edu
> > http://geospatial.ncsu.edu/osgeorel/publications.html
> >
> > "All electronic mail messages in connection with State business which
> are sent to or received by this account are subject to the NC Public
> Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.”
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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*Michael Terner*
*Executive Vice President*
617-447-2468 Direct | 617-447-2400 Main
Applied Geographics, Inc.
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Boston, MA 02108

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