[OSGeo-Discuss] report OSGeo track at GWF 2013

Paul van Genuchten paul.vangenuchten at geocat.net
Fri May 17 00:52:25 PDT 2013

Hi list at the 2013 edition of Geospatial World Forum held in Rotterdam 
13-16 may 2013 OSGeo cohosted a seminar on Open Source 
(http://geospatialworldforum.org/2013/open_pr.htm). This document 
shortly describes the key points raised in each presentation.**


Chair/Organiser: Paul van Genuchten - GeoCat/OSGeo.nl - NL

Just vd Broecke - OSGeo.nl board - NL

Just gave an introduction to 'Open', touching on open data, open 
standards, open source and open communities. Also he pointed out the 
parts of the software value chain where Open Source companies generally 
make their earnings, since the usual business case of selling licenses 
does not apply here.

Marjan Bevelander - Dutch Provinces - NL

Marjan presented on the open source strategy by the cooperating Dutch 
regional governments. She explained this on two recent projects, the 
implementation of Inspire Directive and the revitalization of Flamingo 
Geo CMS.

Mark Vloermans - Flamingo Geo CMS Community - NL

Mark then continued with his efforts to put a vivid community in place 
to support the Flamingo Geo CMS. He claimed a system as user friendly as 
this, is very important for the Open Source Sector, since the sector has 
a very technical feel.

Chris van Lith - B3Partners - NL

As one of the partners responsible for implementing Flamingo Geo CMS, 
Chris continued with the design motivation of the CMS platform behind 
Flamingo Geo CMS. Recent developments around their former Flash based 
Viewer led him to claim that any GIS framework should prepare for the 
inevitable: Any component of a product can get outdated. In that case 
you'd need to be productive with a new component asap, by limiting the 
dependencies between components and have components interact using Open 
Standards. For example OpenLayers, now basis of many map viewing 
frameworks, will soon be replaced by either OpenLayers 3, Leaflet, D3 or ...

Simone Giannecchini - GeoSolutions - IT

Simone introduced us to the world of enterprise support on open source 
geospatial infrastructures. You'll get the best support from the people 
actually involved in the projects, in his case geotools, geoserver, 
geonetwork. Stay away from forks and vampires, in the end they are no 
better than proprietary software.

Arnulf Christl -- Metaspatial - DE

Arnulf set up his presentation around Open Data. Types of open data 
where explained (Community driven, Government Data, Proprietary Data in 
a Freemium Model (open content?)), types of data licenses (ODBL, Gov 
Open Data, CCO) and options these open data licenses offer to SME to 
create new business opportunities. As an example he showed us a map 
based on Open Street Map and Ordinate Survey data printed on a piece of 
water resistant cloth.


Andrew Ross - Eclipse Foundation Inc - CA

Andrew pointed our attention to the importance of having a foundation to 
manage an open source software project as it gets bigger. Some existing 
foundations exist where one can register a project. The Eclipse 
foundation recently started a locationtech workinggroup for geospatial 

Paolo Cavallini -- Faunalia - IT

Paolo notified us on some recent developments in QGIS. His first 
inventarization learned that over 50% of the participants in the room 
have used QGis at some time. Recent developments include a QGIS server 
implementation (WMS,WFS,WFS-t), a central repository with plugin's, a 
templated client plot (which can also be used in server implementation), 
labels based on expressions.

Jorge Samuel Mendes de Jesus - ISRIC World Soil Information - NL

ISRIC operates a global database with soil profiles under GEOSS. The 
infrastructure for storing, converting, managing and accessing the 
profiles is based mainly on Open Source products like Geoserver, pyWPS, 
Geonetwork, PostGIS and Django. ISRIC has many temporary international 
students and they seem to replicate the ISRIC architecture at their home 

Oliver Morris & Alex Rushfort - Neftex Inc - UK

Neftex provides geological data services to the mining industry. They 
operate a geological world model ranging back to 600m bc. They use an 
Open Source stack to deliver the frequently updated data to their 
customers. The stack contains PostGis, Geoserver and a WebMapper based 
on OpenLayers/GeoEXT/GXP. Compared to their former platforms open source 
facilitated them to do advanced spatial representations (like display in 
a polar projection) without the interface getting complicated and 
without substantial loss of performance.


With only a few minutes left we discussed how open source components can 
operate together with proprietary products in any SDI. It appears to be 
actually the other way around, you won't find any SDI that does not 
contain open source components, being it Linux, Apache, GDAL, Mapserver, 
PostGIS, QGIS, R and/or Leaflet/Openlayers. Another question from the 
public stated that many standards registered at OGC/ISO are actually not 
that 'open', and would not really fit in today's track. However it's 
like open data and open source, you have many degrees of 'open'. There 
is no yes-no answer to that. For sure ISO standards require a fee to 
download and to vote for an OGC standard, you have to be a full member. 
However the idea behind the standards is to open up the products 
involved to facilitate interoperability, which fits very nicely in the 
'open' strategy.


We had a wide range of presentations today, however some keywords where 
repeated through all presentations. OGC standards like WMS/WFS/CSW, Open 
Data and components like GDAL, OpenLayers, Geonetwork, Geoserver provide 
enough collectivity to share experiences. It stroke me that in many 
presentations it was mentioned that local organizations which before 
wouldn't want to work together, actually start cooperating these days, 
mayor initiatives like GEOSS and Inspire seem to be a main trigger in 
that process. With an  attendance ranging from 25 to 50 the seminar was 
quite well visited (considering the 8! parallel tracks), and the 
exposure as 'conference partner' was quite high. However the investments 
were also quite substantial (mainly due to all speakers needing to pay a 
considerable entrance fee). Next year the forum will be held in Geneva 
(may 2014), anybody interested in taking the lead for this one?


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