[OSGeo-Discuss] Many Question about the OSGeo

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Wed Feb 21 21:29:55 PST 2007

Richard Greenwood wrote:
> I thought these were some pretty good questions, but I never saw a
> repy. Did I miss it?


I think Tyler answered directly to Kai, with references to the FAQ
and so forth.  For kicks, I'll try and answer the questions I can.

On 2/9/07, Kai Behncke <kbehncke at igf.uni-osnabrueck.de> wrote:
 > Hello list,
 > for an article in a German Newspaper I have a couple of questions about the
 > OSGeo. The aim of that article is to give informations to a broader public and
 > to promote the OSGeo in a professional journal.Maybe you can help me?
 > I need to produce an organigram, so:
 > 1. Is it correct, that the "Board of Directors" is elected by the 45 "charter
 > members"?


 > 2. Who is electing the 45 "charter members"? How do people get the status
 > as a "charter member"?

The initial 25 or so were based on who was at the formation meeting in
Chicago.  The next 20 were selected by the initial members.  Likewise
future charter members will be selected by the existing charter members.

 > 3.There are 9 committees.Everyone has a "chair-person". Who is electing that
 > "chair-person"?

The Committee chairs are appointed by the board of directors, though
generally speaking they are appointed at the recommendation of the
committee.  The chair's are generally considered to be "officers" of
the foundation, so the board reserves the right to approve committee

 > 4. What is the job of the Executive Director?

I think the most official description can be found at:


Generally speaking they act as a facilitator for the various activities
of the foundation, and help make sure stuff that needs to get done, gets
done when there is no volunteer available to do it.

 > I would write down some examples about what the OSGeo has done practically.
 > On the homepage it`s written:
 > "The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the
 > broader open source geospatial community."

A good summary of accomplishments so far can be found in Tyler's
blog post, which I have discovered is not too evident on the web site:


 > 5.Does that mean, that the OSGeo spends money ,for example, to develop the
 > code  of special OS-Software?

This is possible, but generally speaking OSGeo doesn't spend foundation
funds on direct development.  It does provide a mechanism - "Project
Sponsorship" - where by projects can collect and disperse sponsorship
funds for specific tasks on a given project.  This could be software
development or other activities.

 > 6.Which projects where sponsored concretely?

Currently on the GDAL project is participating in the Project Sponsorship
mechanism.  We have collected sufficient funds to contract Mateusz
Loskot for six months (600 hours anyways) of general maintenance activities
on the GDAL project, which should start March 1st.

Note that we also have the concept of Foundation Sponsorship.  These funds
are used for purposes such as legal support, promotion (booths at trade
shows for instance), infrastructure (ie. internet hosting) and Tyler's

 > 7.Is there somewhere an overview how much money the OSGeo spends for what?
 > Just to have an impression of the dimensions.

We have a budget, but this is highly contingent on what funds are actually


Practically speaking, the pdf attached to the following email summarizes
actual funds spent so far, not counting a variety of expenses that were
paid directly by Autodesk as an in-kind contribution.


Note that this is a preliminary financial report and has not yet been
approved by the Treasurer.

 > 8.Can you give me some practical examples what the OSGeo has concretely done?
 > So that we can write down some "hard facts".
 > Can you give me an example for the legal support?

Legal support so far has taken the form of general and specific legal
advice on various project "intellectual property" issues.  These include
the drafting, and revision of contribution agreements, and copyright
assignment documents.  We have also received a variety of legal advice
related to setting up the foundation (bylaws, etc).

 > 9. Do you have a statistic how many hits the site https://www.osgeo.org/
 > has per day, or maybe a statistic how many users are registered in
 > the various mailing lists of the OSGeo?

There are a few statistics at:


We are currently working on better web site statistics handling.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

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