Creating a new "local-osgeo-chapter" (LONG)

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at
Wed May 31 08:34:53 PDT 2006

OGUG_Admin wrote:
> Perhaps a discussion of the benifits of a Ottawa chapter VS a Canadian 
> Chapter might make sense from a GRASS perspective anyhow. 


I'll throw in a couple thoughts.

First, I'm not *convinced* of a benefit of a Canadian GRASS, MapServer
or OSGeo chapter.  I see "local users groups" serving a few roles.
  o Local language gather point
  o To drive local in-person meetings for support, education and
  o To influence national policy.

I would claim in Canada we speak American so well, we can easily
function on the "international" mailing lists.  :-)

I thinking being located in Ottawa even a local group can have
some influence on national policy.  I'm not sure how much being
"national" would improve this.

And this leaves support local in-person meetings.  I think this is
the obvious strength of OGUG and OMSUG.  Furthermore, I think there
are a lot of overlapping interests - interests in a variety of projects
including MapServer, GRASS, other OSGeo software projects and other
sorts of OSGeo activities (geodata, education, etc).

I would also claim that trying to be truely national would be very
difficult.  As we all know Canada is *big* so outside of some focal
city it is unlikely that others would be able to attend in-person
meetings.  And this, I think, would result in substantial diffusion
of efforts.

That said, there is nothing saying an OSGeo-Ottawa chapter couldn't
maintain a "osgeo-canada-issues" mailing list that would pursue
national advocacy.

> Second thought was to expand out of just GRASS into other open source 
> projects. By its nature QGIS, and Postgis are already adopted in the 
> culture but it would make sense to include OSSIM and some other 
> traditional OSGEO projects. This way we can look at how something like 
> JUMP can be used for vector intensive projects, then move to GRASS for 
> analysis, and OSSIM to prep and process imagery before using in GRASS.

Right, this is certainly the spirit of OSGeo.  That we all use a variety
of projects, and that there are many overlaps and commonalities.

> 3. Have a joint OMSUG and OGUG meeting to hear out pros and cons (and 
> see if we can stand each others smell really)


I think this would be a good idea.  And a joint meeting, timed appropriately,
would be enough to justify my 2 hour trip down the valley into Ottawa!

> 5.In an ideal world it would be great to seek some small funding 
> oppurtunity to hire a few good people to set up the infrastructure (part 
> time of course)

I'm not sure what infrastructure this is.

> 9. No group would be complete without a conference. Besides we can't all 
> afford international conferences ass al the time. and we could aim our 
> conference as a trade industry conference to attract potential 
> commercial players to start using and eventual fund development for 
> those developers out there starving.

I certainly hope an OSGeo-Ottawa chapter could aim to put on a modest
sized meeting that would attract a variety of folks from around the
country as well as all the locals.

In case my overall angle isn't clear, I would like to encourage forming
an OSGeo-Ottawa chapter that is primarily "local" in focus with a bit of
out-reach around the country.  And that this local group would attempt to
address a wide variety of open source geospatial activities - not just
GRASS and MapServer - though those might be most substantially represented.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at
light and sound - activate the windows |
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGF,

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