Tuesday 31 March 2009

Why is FOSS4G a success?

Venka Raghavan recently asked, "What can local chapters do to help FOSS4G?". It took me a while to answer, because there are so many things involved in staging a successful conference, and FOSS4G's success derives from the breath of skill-sets from the people who step up to help.

What defines a successful conference?

A successful conference is one where:

  • Delegates find people, products and techniques to solve their business problems, which they take home and implement.
  • Delegates have an enjoyable time, see the sights of the hosting country and catch up with friends in the industry.
  • Sector Sponsors (like government departments, OSGeo and the OGC) increase the effectiveness of the Geospatial sector, by training delegates in the techniques, case studies and tools presented at the conference.
  • Industry Sponsors reach targeted customers which results in future work.
  • The conference is financially successful, by attracting sufficient sponsors and delegates.

Local Networking & Viral Marketing to our Target Market

We need marketing to reach potential delegates, presenters and sponsors.

The best way to reach delegates is to have the conference personally recommended from someone they trust. Community leaders have proven to be very effective in this regard, by forwarding FOSS4G press releases along with a personal recommendation explaining why FOSS4G worth attending for a particular community. A personal, one-on-one invitation for key people is even better.

Identify relevant email lists, newsletters and magazines and either write an article for these, or organise for one of these existing articles to be written.

Magazines like good stories. If you plan to present at the conference, write an article on the topic of your presentation, completing the article with "Joe Blow will be presenting at the FOSS4G conference, along with many other presentations about Business Cases and latest technologies associated with Geospatial Open Standards and Open Source".

Translating press releases to different languages also demonstrates a commitment to these communities too.

If you wish to introduce a potential sponsor, help with translations, write an article, or add someone to the community leaders and media press release list, please let me know:

name: Cameron Shorter, FOSS4G 2009 chair

phone: +61 2 8570-5050

email: c a m e r o n . s h o r t e r AT lisasoft.com

Make FOSS4G better

FOSS4G initiatives work best when they are prepared for, publicised, supported, and then successfully and smoothly executed during the conference.

Which initiative best suites you?

Live DVD

A Live DVD will be given to all FOSS4G delegates. It can be booted into Linux with pre-installed Geospatial Open Source software. In also contains windows installers, sample datasets, and probably a few other things that you may want to throw in for free.

This Live DVD will be significantly more valuable than a conference handout. It will live on to be used at future conference, and be used as a teaching tool.

We need a number of technical people to bring this Live DVD up to the latest version of Software, provide latest documentation, and generally polish the live DVD.


Climate Challenge Integration Plugfest

The OGC are leading an initiative to install a suite of Standards based geospatial software (both Open Source and Proprietary) and demonstrate integration through a Climate Change scenario. Many of the conference workshops, tutorials and presentations will use this CCIP as their basis.

Again, this initiative will be rolled out by the OGC at future conferences and events, ensuring the CCIP is more valuable than just the FOSS4G conference.

If you are technically minded, please help install and tweak packages in the CCIP, or create presentations that use it.

If you are organising a future conference, please commit to incorporating the CCIP in your conference. Knowing that the CCIP will live on will attract more sponsors and developers to the CCIP. (We already have commitment from FOSS4G 2010, and strong interest from some others).


Workshops, Tutorials, Presentations, etc

FOSS4G needs to attract good presenters and topics and promote them to delegates and sponsors. Maybe you have a worthy presentation to give, can help attract good presenters, or can coordinate one of the presentation, tutorial or workshop streams.

House Keeping

There are hundreds of small tasks which give FOSS4G a professional touch. We volunteer for them on the foss4g email list. http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/foss4g2009

Thursday 12 March 2009

Tell is which workshops and tutorials you want at FOSS4G

Mark Leslie, the FOSS4G workshop and tutorial coordinator, is starting the selection process.

If you plan to be coming to FOSS4G, please help us select the tutorials and workshops by telling us what you would like to see from the available list he is about to provide.

Contact Mark Leslie <> directly, or join the email list at: http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference-workshops and offer your services.

Monday 9 March 2009

FOSS4G 2009 Call for Abstracts


The Organising Committee would like to welcome all interested participants to submit abstracts for presentations for the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial conference (FOSS4G), being held in Sydney, Australia October 20-23. FOSS4G offers participants an opportunity to learn from and share your knowledge, experience and ideas with a group of like minded individuals representing a wide array of industries, governments, technologies and nationalities.

Presentations are open to all those interested and will comprise a 30 minute slot which includes hand-over, introductions and 5 minutes for questions. Presentations will be selected which have a strong "Open Geospatial" theme to them. The committee is looking for a mixture of technical and non-technical presentations.

In deference to the conference theme of “User Driven,” topics of particular interest are:

  • Case Studies: Share your experiences implementing and using open source geospatial. What problems were you attempting to solve? How successful were you and at what cost? What can others learn from your experience?
  • Business Case: Have you had to sell the Open Source concept within your organisation? How did you present the concept to management? How did you present the cost/benefit scenarios and build the business case? What hurdles did you encounter and how did you surmount them?
  • Collaboration: Have you faced the trials of collaboration between organisations, remote offices or team members scattered to the far corners of the globe? What steps have you taken to improve the efficiency of your collaboration: open or de facto standards, decentralised data collection, or the myriad of solutions that only you could describe?
  • Security: Securing you data while ensuring ease of access to those select few within your inner circle can be a daunting task. Share you successes, and your failures, with others facing their own security issues.
  • Developments: Have you created a shiny new widget that is about to change the world? Or has your time-honoured project finally completed a much requested feature or two? Bring us up to date with the new developments in your open source geospatial software products with all the latest buzz: what does it do, how are people using it and what is in store for the next year.

For more information, visit the FOSS4G site at http://2009.foss4g.org/presentations/

The deadline for presentation submissions is June 1st 2009. See you in Sydney.

FOSS4G 2009 Highlights

The Climate Challenge Integration Plugfest (CCIP): FOSS4G will launch the OGC's Climate Challenge Integration Plugfest (CCIP), which demonstrates standards based interoperability between Open Source and Proprietary geospatial applications. It consists of a server with multiple virtual machines, each installed with geospatial applications offering standards based web services. All web services will demonstrate a common dataset, and will be accessed by a range of geospatial client applications installed on client computers. http://external.opengis.org/twiki_public/bin/view/ClimateChallenge2009/WebHome

Presenters are encouraged (but not mandated) to make use of scenarios and on-site data from the Climate Challenge Integration Plugfest (CCIP). This is especially important as demand for access to data over the internet is expected to be high, and Australia has notoriously slow connections to the outside world.

FOSS4G Live DVD: LiveDVDs, based on the Xubuntu operating system and including Geospatial Open Source Software, will be given to all delegates. Users can boot a Live DVD on their computer and trial the software without installing or effecting the existing system. http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Live_GIS_Disc

Installfest: The Installfest will give delegates the opportunity to meet in a common area and install a wide variety of FOSS software on their laptops, EE PC or any other system they care to bring in. Community members will be around to assist with any troubles and provide help and insight into the software. The install fest will take place after workshops on the first day.

Workshops and Tutorials: Workshops and Tutorials allow presenters to lead attendees through applications, integration solutions, or other topics in an interactive environment. Half-day workshops (3 hours) will be held in computer rooms on the first day. Tutorials (90 minutes) will be held in standard presentation rooms, run concurrently with presentations during the third and fourth days.

Presentations: The meat of the conference are it's presentations. Drawing on a huge community of local, regional and international experts we will discuss some of the most current and poignant topics in the industry today.

Demo Theatre: During lunch and coffee breaks the demonstration theatre will be showcasing live software. These short demonstrations from sponsors, open source projects and the user community show what is possible with open source today.

Birds of a Feather: Rooms have been set aside for semi-organised meetings between like minded groups. Some prominant community initiatives started in prior FOSS4G Birds of a Feather sessions.

Code Sprint: The weekend after FOSS4G is reserved for the Hackers' Code Sprint. Hackers will be locked in a basement with lots of bandwidth, pizzas and coke. (Well, maybe something better than that, but we don't want to spoil the mystical hacker image by describing it any differently.)

Upcoming milestones

  • 9 Mar 2009, Call for Abstracts opens
  • 30 Mar 2009, Notification of acceptance for workshops/tutorials
  • 13 Apr 2009, Registration for conference and workshops opens
  • 1 Jun 2009, Abstract submission deadline
  • 13 Jul 2009, Presenters notified of acceptance for talks
  • 31 Jul 2009, Author/Early registration deadline
  • 14 Sep 2009, Completed program available on the wiki
  • 20 Oct 2009, FOSS4G Workshop
  • 21-23 Oct 2009, FOSS4G Presentations and Tutorials
  • 24-25 Oct 2009, FOSS4G Code Sprint

Media Sponsors

For information about this announcement, contact:

FOSS4G Organising Committee: http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_2009#Contact_Us


Cameron Shorter, Chair of the FOSS4G Organising Committee and Geospatial Systems Architect at LISAsoft

tel +61-8570-5050

c a m e r o n . s h o r t e r @ l i s a s o f t . c o m

Monday 2 March 2009

FOSS4G 2009 One week extension to Workshops and Tutorial abstract submissions

Sydney, Australia. 2 March 2009.

In response to requests from presenters, the deadline for the FOSS4G 2009 workshop and tutorial abstract submissions has been extended by one week, to Monday 9 March 2009. If you are considering submitting a workshop, please notify your intent by emailing the Workshop/Tutorial coordinator, Mark Leslie, at m a r k . l e s l i e AT l i s a s o f t . c o m.

About FOSS4G

FOSS4G, held 20-23 October 2009 in Sydney, Australia, is the international "gathering of tribes" for open source geospatial communities. The theme for the FOSS4G 2009 conference will be "User Driven". Users and developers are encouraged present their latest projects and software to demonstrate the power of Open Source for system integration through a series of workshop sessions and tutorial presentations. Session participants should expect to see presentations on both geospatial open source and propriety software integration along with pure open source solutions.

Read the rest of the press release here: http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_2009_Press_Release_6