Saturday 17 April 2010

Report from OSGeo stand at the Federation of Surveyors conference

The international Federation of Surveyors conference finished last week in Sydney, attracting well over 2000 delegates and by all accounts was a great success. Congratulations to the organisors.
I spent most of my time at the OSGeo booth promoting Open Source and Open Standards, presented a 15 minute lightening presentation titled "GeoSpatial Open Source for Surveyors",, and attended some Open Source presentations.
At the booth I was helped by Chris Body (OGC Standards representative at GeoSciences Australia), Darren Motollini (West Australia's Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP)), Gertrude Pieper (FLOSS-Cadastre Expert Group at FAO/FIG Commission) and Lee Hughes from LISAsoft. We were armed with:
  • An OSGeo Banner
  • A stack of OSGeo Live DVDs
  • Some OSGeo fliers let over from FOSS4G 2009
  • Some 52 North fliers we inherited after FOSS4G
  • As well as some Open Source Support fliers from LISAsoft.
The LiveDVDs were very popular with everyone we talked to at the stand. I heard reports of people being seen showing the LiveDVD to people they were sitting next to while watching presentations. And we had a number of people coming up to the stand asking for the LiveDVD. I was concerned we were going to run out of DVDs, so I ensured we only had 10 or so DVDs on display at a time.
One of the 52 North fliers had "Open Source" prominently displayed on the front, and people were picking up this flier first, rather than looking at some of the other fliers, which probably would have been more appropriate for their particular use cases. Lesson: People recognise "Open Source" and don't recognise "OSGeo", so marketing material should adjust emphasis to include Open Source in a large font.
There were many surveyors keen to try out open source, who were asking for direction as to which desktop GIS tools they should use. Lesson: There appears to be a relatively untapped market for Surveyors looking for Open Source Software, for anyone prepared to step up and support this industry.

Thursday 8 April 2010

2 International GeoSpatial Standards meetings coming to Australia

The two key organisations leading the development of geospatial standards internationally—the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee on Geographic information/Geomatics (ISO/TC211)will be holding their Technical Meetings in Australia in November and December 2010.

This is the first time for over 10 years these two organisations are meeting in the same location, and it is also the first time that OGC Technical Committee has met in Australia. This is in recognition of Australia’s role in contributing to International Standard’s development and the leadership shown in promoting the adoption of these standards.

ISO/TC211 and OGC have developed a range of standards to advance geospatial interoperability, enabling spatial data and information to interact with relevant services and also to interact with other business processes in a seamless and integrated manner. In Australia, the application of these standards is essential in developing such capabilities as national water accounting, the Australian and New Zealand Spatial Marketplace and numerous other government and commercial capabilities.

Any user of spatial capability benefits from the ISO and OGC standards in numerous ways and as an early adopter of many of these standards, Australian organisations have developed considerable knowledge of these standards. Australia has played a role in developing these standards and can continue to play a significant role in their ongoing development. Australia’s influence in this area is acknowledged by both ISO and OGC through their holding of their critical technical meetings in Australia this year.

LISAsoft are proud to be one of Australia's key supporters of OGC standards development through our participation in OGC testbeds and standards writing projects, and welcome the International community to join us in Australia.

“Standards are the foundation of the spatial capabilities we use across government, commercial, research and education sectors. The concept of sharing spatial resources which is undertaken through standards-based interoperability technologies would not be possible without the efforts of ISO and OGC. Standards are usually well hidden from most users of spatial technologies, but it is essential that we understand the role they play and also that the Australian spatial community continues to actively support both their ongoing development and the adoption in our evolving systems. Australia is fortunate to be the location for these significant meetings and will hopefully take full advantage of having this body of knowledge in the country.”

Ben Searle General Manager

Australian Government Office of Spatial Data Management

OGC Technical Meeting

Sydney, 29 November – 3 December 2010

Contact: Dr David Lemon

ISO/TC211 Meeting

Canberra, 6–10 December 2010

Contact: Chris Body