[OSGeo-Board] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Is OSGeo North America-centric?

Gary Lang gary.lang at autodesk.com
Mon Sep 4 21:01:51 PDT 2006

I see.


I'd like to know how many foundations of this type have garnered this
much international participation in such a short period of time. Such a
short span of time - Japan, Germany, Italy, China, India - all
represented quickly. Members flying to China to welcome chapters aboard,
representation at conferences like MapAsia, FOSS4G, etc.  It's been less
than a year. This has to be an extraordinary accomplishment.





From: Tyler Mitchell (External) 
Sent: Monday, September 04, 2006 8:25 PM
To: discuss at mail.osgeo.org
Cc: OSGeo-Board
Subject: [OSGeo-Board] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Is OSGeo North

On 4-Sep-06, at 6:38 PM, Gary Lang wrote:

	"How to enable more people to participate in OSGeo efforts (make
it less North-America centric which is getting to be an issue in
European GFOSS communities)"

Is this purely an issue about optics - or how the organisation 'appears'
to be?  Or is it based on some deliberate decisions that make it more
difficult to participate?  


I think it's a good idea to discuss more generally how we can engage
people Internationally, but I don't see it as a North America versus the
rest of the world problem.  With such a broad geographically based
board, I'd say it has in fact slowed down the progress of the foundation
- but it has been a really good choice to have that representation.  


Like you say, when any group wants to do more or feel closer to the
action, it sets the stage for regional chapters.  Surely people wouldn't
say, for example, the German Chapter of OSGeo is too North American
focused?  Yet we are all OSGeo.  Local focus is the reason for the
chapters, so engagement at that level will be the most effective and


If there are more Americans and Canadians involved in events, etc. it's
only because of regional interest and availability (e.g. being closer to
certain conferences, etc) - not because of some decision to leave others
out in the rain.  I hope that isn't the perceived problem.

	So to the second half, please chime in and help us understand
what problems we are seeing with respect to a perceived "geo-centricism"
with OSGeo with respect to tour colleagues in Europe. When I look at the
composition of the OSGeo board, the projects that are out there, and how
easy it is for regions of the world to get involved when they decide to
do so, I confess I am stumped on this one.

I would also like to know what is holding people back from participating
in other countries, if there are more than a few.  From others I talk to
around the world, there is general enthusiasm for OSGeo and its efforts
- a tiny minority have expressed concern about geographic scope and


In my opinion, tone problem I see is that without more interactive
contacts with people on the ground in other countries, it can limit the
amount of momentum OSGeo can gather (e.g. representing at conferences,
making presentations, etc.).  It has been my hope that our international
board provides a good way of making those connections possible, as well
as the regional chapters.  Perhaps this is the limitation?  Or perhaps
there is a better way?


Would love to hear more thoughts on this,


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