[OSGeo-Discuss] northamerica regional chapter

Mark Lucas mlucas17 at mac.com
Sun Nov 6 05:56:54 PST 2011

I was recently re-elected to the OSGeo Board of Directors where we have been having a discussion on future organization and strategy. 

A number of us have been discussing this subject at the OSGeo board level and later on the northamerica chapter list.  Additionally, we have tried to reach out to a number of existing chapters within the the North America region.  We've decided to expand the discussion to the broader discuss list for additional comment.


The primary objective of this regional chapter would be to organize an annual north american conference and act as a resource for open source geospatial businesses and consultants as they promote OSS business models and solutions.  Recent discussion at the board level has suggested that the current board should act as an international umbrella for regional chapters.  Perhaps we end up with regional annual conferences in Europe, North America, Asia with the international foss4g conference cycling through the regions.

Business practices, cultures, and focus areas will tend to be different and carry differing priorities in various regions.  Regional chapters could better address those needs.

I'm focused on this because we are seeing a dramatic rise in interest for OSS geospatial software as government budgets are being slashed.  These government agencies are looking  for organizations to connect with.   There will be new opportunities for developers, consultants, and companies in the near term.  An annual regional conference is a good place to vector these agencies to.  As companies see these trends they are getting more interested in open source approaches - we therefore have an opportunity for increased sponsorship as well.

We are not interested in duplicating effort, and this doesn't imply any sort of oversight or management of existing local chapters - quite the opposite, we would want to work with the local chapters for any conferences that might occur in those areas.

I'd like to get your support, cooperation, and input as we sort through this and I'd encourage you to join up on the mailing list to help guide the process.  http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/northamerica

To date the discussion has been favorable in moving this forward.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.


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