[OSGeo-Discuss] The Germans and The Brazilians...

andrea giacomelli pibinko at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 11:19:52 PDT 2008

Dear "sunburned" Landon ;)

This is a very interesting topic. Two broad comments

1) on the "*vehicle that members from other language groups or nations can
use to accomplish more of their own goals under the OSGeo umbrella*". issue:

This is what happened in Italy.

Back in Fall-Winter 2006/2007 (after the Lausanne FOSS4G) the
geographic/free open source community had a very substantial online
discussion on what to do in order to promote geographic/free open "stuff" in

The result was that we decided first to create a not-for-profit legal entity
in Italy (this can be done with <600 USD at current exchange rates and
operated witha lot less than 5 KUSD/year, as we have from our books).

We (as an association in Italy) were then acknowledged as Italian OSGEO

We (as the majority of people who decided to take an active part in this
process) thought that this was the best way to accomplish more goals at the
local level (as an "association for social promotion" can formally talk to a
local administrative body,  or to a national authority for information
At the same time, we retain the possibility of relating to the global
community within the "OSGEO umbrella".

Localization (ooops...locali-S-ation...I am writing from Europe) is key to
awareness raising. This applies to all aspects of our action.

The only apparent drawback I see in first creating a local organisation
which then becomes a chapter of a global one, is that doing things "locally"
implies a "real life" cost that plain web interaction does not.
You need people to disconnect from a PC and visit government offices,
accounting consultants etc, and this maybe implies being a little less
visible on the global level for some time.

But, after a long 2007 to make this happen, I feel that we are heading out
of this startup phase in Italy, and I trust that on the 2008 FOSS4G (at the
latest) we will be able to explaing what happened, and how we expect being
able to better help the global community through this approach.

I encourage ANY new chapter to consider this prior to opening a wiki section
on the OSGEO site as a local chapter (whiche does not mean I don't like the
OSGEO wiki).

I encourage ANY pre-existing local chapter that does not yet have a local
"formal entity" to re-consider their approach (and maybe decide that they
are fine without a local legal entity ;)...but as a result of a full
evaluation of existing options).

2) *Language:* thiis may be only a relative issue.

 We are now in an era where English has been dominating the scene in terms
of development of operating systems and programming languages, but we have
gvSIG classes being created in  Spanish.

In other technical areas of expertise which have been around for a long time
(e.g. medicine), most of the terms come from Latin and Greek, while terms
from new surgery techniques come from other newer languages...in time our
medical practice is improving independently of posing a "which is the best
language" issue.

....so I guess we will see a similar evolution. Getting back on the software
side of things, surely "English language inertia" can be a bottleneck to
community development....let's see what can be done by leveraging existing
initiatives (osgeo-edu etc. etc. etc) with a "localisation twist"

I'll be glad to see more thoughts on both topics from other international

Andrea, aka pibinko

2008/6/12 Paulo Marcondes <paulomarcondes at gmail.com>:

> 2008/6/12 Landon Blake <lblake at ksninc.com>:
> > take. Why couldn't a group in Brazil or Germany form a local chapter of
> the
> > OSGeo that is incorporated in their nation to pursue not only a common
> OSGeo
> As for Brazil, incorporating was ruled out early on, IIRC, mainly
> because of the high cost of running any sort of NGO or company here.
> At least 5k USD/year, just to exist.
> --
> Paulo Marcondes = PU1/PU2PIX
> -22.915 -42.224 = GG86jc
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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