[OSGeo-Standards] [Board] Status of the 10 OGC slots for OSGeo members

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 17:43:43 PDT 2012

I feel like this question, and measure of success about OGC/OSGeo 
involvement is framed incorrectly, and is not taking account of 
associated business cases.

There is already a reasonable amount of OSGeo involvement in OGC 
testbeds, it just happens under another banner. I can speak to 
LISAsoft's case. We are OGC members, and we make use of, and sometimes 
extend OSGeo software as part of these testbeds. We are doing this work 
under a LISAsoft banner, but OSGeo gains the fruits of this work, which 
is good. There are a number of other OSGeo companies doing something 

The OGC has been increasing their engagement with Open Source, and are 
now using words in RFQs where Open Source options are accepted, and in 
some areas even preferred. I'd consider this increased interest in Open 
Source as one measure of success.

I think there is still a need for OGC sponsors to greater recognise the 
different business models between Open Source and Proprietary. In 
particular, that Open Source businesses need to be paid up front for 
work done, as they can't sell developed product later. Proprietary 
businesses can give away effort at a testbed, then recoup costs later 
when selling the product.

Which leads to another point. Standards development is time consuming 
and hence expensive. As such, you tend not to have volunteers making 
significant contributions to standards unless there is a sponsor paying 
someone to work on the standards.

However, I could see value in the OGC providing reduced membership costs 
for active OSGeo developers (or OSGeo development companies) in order to 
increase the incentive for Open Source implementations of standards. 
(the 10 OGC slots would be partly facilitating this).

With regards to travel. The OGC does provide limited travel budget for 
participants in some of the OGC initiatives already. OSGeo should not be 
paying for such travel as attending OGC meetings is not OSGeo's core 
mandate, and we already have OSGeo companies being paid to attend OGC 
However, I could see value in co-locating an OGC and FOSS4G event in 
order to facilitate joint participation.

On 13/09/2012 6:17 PM, Arnulf Christl wrote:
> But none of this answers my original question which tried to find out
> what we can do to improve joint activities with the OGC. Apparently
> the Individual Members slots don't do the trick. There is some
> cross-over through the regular OGC membership but it has already taken
> place before our MoU. So I am still open for suggestions.

On 14/09/2012 2:16 AM, Volker Mische wrote:
> On 09/13/2012 04:37 PM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>> On 12-09-13 9:33 AM, Volker Mische wrote:
>>> Hi Jeff,
>>> I don't agree. I think meeting in person is definitely a great thing.
>>> Though I still feel connected to the OGC SWG I'm part of, although I've
>>> never met anyone of those people in person.
>>> The OSGeo slots (as I understand them) are for people who do it in their
>>> free-time and don't work for a geospatial company that would benefit
>>> from their work there (else the company should be a member). I don't
>>> think those people have the time to attend a TC meeting. This is from my
>>> personal experience, I might be wrong though.
>> Hi Volker,
>> I definitely cannot argue with how you feel.  For myself, I am trying to
>> imagine being active in OSGeo as I have been for so long, and yet never
>> attending an OSGeo/FOSS4G event once - I can't imagine that.  So, I
>> propose we do send an OSGeo rep to the TC meetings (maybe once a year we
>> do this, and rotate it between members).  But it is just a proposal.  I
>> understand you and others will disagree with me here, but Arnulf asked
>> for ideas on how to engage OSGeo with OGC and this is my proposal.
> Good point, I also can't imagine not having been to a single FOSS4G.
> Perhaps I just don't feel that connected (or on a different level) to
> the OSGeo as to the OGC.
> Cheers,
>    Volker

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
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