[OSGeo-Discuss] We won. It's time for OSGeo 2.0.

Michael Gerlek mpg at flaxen.com
Fri Jul 31 10:49:24 PDT 2015

I've stayed out of the pre-survey discussions on charter membership and whatnot, but after taking the survey yesterday, I’m starting to think that

	OSGeo has accomplished what it set out to do some years ago, and as currently construed OSGeo will no longer serve a useful purpose.

Back when OSGeo was formed, open source GIS was a new area — islands of people here and there, looking for ways to collaborate on relatively young projects. Recall that hosting source code repositories was a big issue back in the day — but now we have GitHub and the problem no longer exists. Open source, and open source GIS, has reached mainstream acceptance, with lots of projects and lots of communities. To the extent that OSGeo helped get us to the broad level of practice we’re at today, we’ve won.

OSGeo has always been about several different things: code development, of course, but also advocacy, education, live DVDs, and more. Open source GIS is now of a size that it is increasingly hard to keep all these interests aligned and under one big umbrella. The domains of these interests areas are large enough that they should perhaps now be looking to sustain themselves as independent projects — not looking to OSGeo for sponsorship or mentorship.

Indeed, one of the things from the survey that brought me to this point was the question about whether or not some outside party “taking over” OSGeo was a concern or not… and, upon reflection, it turns out that I’m not the least bit concerned: if OSGeo went away, all the various communities of various sorts of open source GIS — MapServer users, LocationTech projects, GeoForAll initiatives — would just keep on doing their own thing.

Where can OSGeo add value? Overseeing the annual international conference? Yes, that’s something that needs to have a home. Beyond that? I’m no longer sure.

We won. It may now be time for OSGeo 1.0 to take its bows and exit the stage, making room for an OSGeo 2.0 with a new charter aimed at the world for 2016 and beyond.


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