[OSGeo-Discuss] Reflections on resignations, mergers & the soul of OSGeo

Jo Cook jocook at astuntechnology.com
Tue Sep 16 02:08:29 PDT 2014

Hi Steven, Board and Discuss List,

Well said.

I'm going to add another point to this, which is that to my mind OSGeo is
becoming a victim of it's own success- in that the projects it nurtured and
helped to grow have indeed grown, to the point where they are far better
known than the organisation. I've worried about this for a while- I talk to
people about open source geospatial and everyone knows what I'm talking
about, but I mention OSGeo and no one has a clue. So great that we
(collectively as a community and not just OSGeo) have made the projects a
sucess but what's the future for the organisation itself?

So.. basically this is a +1 for a deep breath and a thought about where we
want OSGeo to go, but... we keep having these discussions- year on year and
to my mind we're not making a lot of progress. Can we make this year the
one where we do come up with a new plan?


On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 9:46 AM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:

> The last few weeks there have been several threads running on the mailing
> lists, rather than trying to reply in line to each of them I want to draw
> out a theme that seems apparent to me as a relative newcomer to the OSGeo
> community.
> We are facing the challenges of success or what could be described as
> growing pains.
> We have recently had debates over the role of the president, the election
> of charter members and board members, references to factions forming and
> off list conversations, a discussion about the need for change in the way
> we organise FOSS4G’s (and believe me as a recent past chair of a LOC, we
> need to make this easier) and their purpose (fund raising vs community
> building) has somehow morphed into a row over our relationship with
> LocationTech and in the last couple of days a committed member of the board
> has resigned. These are all indicative of a conversation that we need to
> have about the role and future of OSGeo.
> Why do we need an OSGeo (or a LocationTech)? There are loads of reasons
> (but not for a short mail) and we as the OSGeo community need to set out
> the options for our organisation, articulate a clear vision for the next
> few years and find a way to broaden discussion to a wider group than the
> small number of individuals who have been active on the lists in the last
> couple of months, there were over 800 people at each of the last 2 FOSS4G’s
> (massive respect to the 2014 team) how do we engage with them to understand
> their needs and aspirations.
> If we can agree on a clear vision for OSGeo including whether we want to
> continue being a solely volunteer run organisation or whether there is a
> need for some other model to deliver on our aspirations then we can work
> out how we can cooperate with LocationTech or if there is benefit from some
> closer relationship.
> Open Source engenders passion, we care about this stuff massively, and
> sometimes that may lead those of us with strong opinions to become critical
> of each other. It’s time to take a deep breath.
> ______
> Steven
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

*Jo Cook*
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