[OSGeo-Discuss] some post-FOSS4G thoughts

Daniel Ames amesdani at isu.edu
Tue Oct 7 10:48:38 PDT 2008

Another consideration: my students who attended last week said that the mix
of GISSA with FOSS4g was EXCELLENT.  The really liked having the business
GIS users/non-FOSS people there. In fact, doing a joint conference like this
gave the FOSS folks lots of great proselytizing opportunities that they
wouldn't otherwise have. So that was a GREAT idea the South Africa group
had.  Good job.
One more thing... We should be careful talking about having conferences
"closer". Come on folks, as geo-people you all know that "closer" is
relative to your datum...  There is a huge growing GIS interest in China
right now. Wouldn't it be cool to have FOSS4g there one year?

So a public "Thanks" to the SA organizers, and a "Good luck!" to the
Aussies... and as for 2010?  Anyone interested in Beijing? How about Idaho?

- Dan

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 8:42 AM, Gavin Fleming <GavinF at mintek.co.za> wrote:

> This thread has been doing the rounds on the conference_dev list as well
> Some of my thoughts in the aftermath of FOSS4G 2008.
> I have heard very positive feedback from all quarters. As Arnulf alluded
> to in the AGM, I believe the decision to host in an 'untested' location
> WORKED. The mix of FOSS and proprietary worlds WORKED. The mix of the
> full-spectrum ecosystem from geek to user to academic to businessperson
> to government official WORKED.
> It WORKED on so many levels we'll be seeing positive spin-offs for years
> to come.
> Business people loved meeting developers and picking up the sense of
> community.
> Developers loved being with other developers and interacting with users
> and funders.  And we did manage a code sprint of around 40 people.
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G2008_CodeSprint
> Cost:
> -Registration was well within the limits set by OSGeo of $600. It was
> NOT the deciding factor for most people. Academics and students got 50%
> discount, but these were a minority.
> -Travel was THE deciding factor.
> -Accommodation: yes, 'official' hotels where our agents got block
> bookings were not exactly budget prices (global tourist destination in
> high season) but we advertised and listed many links for organising
> one's own cheap accommodation from backpackers to B&Bs. So that should
> not have been a factor.
> -with more sponsorship we would have loved to support those who could
> not afford it. Luckily many who asked made a plan of their own.
> By its nature, a moving conference will be expensive to get to from many
> places. But it will be cheap and accessible to regional attendees and
> that's the point. That's part of OSGeo's mission.
> The value of bringing FOSS4G to South Africa (or Sydney or other future
> global venues) far outweighs the 'cost' to a few who could not make it.
> Sydney will be in the same boat next year - far from almost everywhere.
> But they're already focussing on Australia/NZ and Southeast Asia. And a
> core contingent of OSGeo techies WILL make it to FOSS4G each year. And
> there you have the magic mix.
> So, from me:
> -keep FOSS4G roaming the globe annually
> -stimulate and support local or regional events whenever and wherever
> they emerge
> -keep the FOSS4G mix as it is - don't split along a perceived
> technical-business divide.
> -put out RFPs even earlier to allow time to secure cheap venues, big
> sponsorships, optimal scheduling, etc. A case in point is
> http://www.igarss09.org/ where the conference was awarded years back
> enabling the hosting of thousands at a cheap venue (university).
> Gavin Fleming
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Daniel P. Ames PhD, PE
Department of Geosciences
Idaho State University - Idaho Falls
amesdani at isu.edu
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