Australia

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NOTE: The Aust chapter has now become the Aust-NZ chapter, and has a new home at Aust-NZ.

The mailing list has also changed (see http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/aust-nz for subscription).

This page is now only of use for historical reference

Australian Chapter Mailing List

Go to http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/australia to subscribe or change subscription options. Discussion of OSGeo issues specific to Australia will be done on this list.

Bid for FOSS4G

OSGeo Australia/New Zealand preparing a bid to host the annual Free Open Source Software For Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference. Details at https://extranet.lisasoft.com/wiki/index.php/Foss4g-sydney.

Brainstorming

This page is meant as a place to put down ideas for the formation of an Australian OSGeo chapter.

Interested?

Put you name / wiki account down below to show support moving forward,

  1. Chris Tweedie (ctweedie); Geospatial Specialist; Department of Land Information, WA
  2. Tim Bowden; Mapforge Geospatial; Perth, WA
  3. Angus Scown (Angusscown); Spatial Data eXchange; Brisbane, QLD
  4. Shoaib Burq (sab); nomad labs Pty. Ltd.; Melbourne, VIC
  5. Cameron Shorter (camerons); Geospatial Portals Manager, http://terrapages.com.au/; Sydney, NSW
  6. Jacob Delfos (jacob_delfos); GIS Analyst; Maunsell Australia Pty Ltd; Perth, Australia
  7. Brendon Ward (bward); GIS Analyst; CSIRO Marine; Hobart, Australia
  8. Rob Atkinson (bward); Principal Consultant; Social Change Online; Sydney, Australia
  9. Rad Lazic (SpatialCivil); Principal Consultant; Spatial Civil; Melbourne, Australia
  10. Milton Lofberg (lofberm); GIS Technical Consultant; Autodesk; Sydney, Australia
  11. Antti Roppola (antti); IT Architect; Bureau of Rural Sciences; Canberra, Australia
  12. Kimberlee Weatherall (kim); Law Lecturer/Intellectual Property Specialist; Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  13. Kim Hawtin(adhoc); University of Adelaide; Adelaide, Australia
  14. Brent Wood(pcreso); NIWA; Wellington, New Zealand
  15. Mike Fuller (mfuller); GIS Analyst; CSIRO Marine; Hobart, Australia
  16. Bruce Bannerman (bruban); IT Solutions Architect (GIS); Department of Primary Industries; Melbourne, Australia
  17. Derek Munneke (derek.munneke); Solutions Architect(Mobile); m.Net Corporation; Adelaide, South Australia
  18. Ian Johnson (johnson); Director Archaeological Computing Laboratory http://acl.arts.usyd.edu.au, University of Sydney; TimeMap http://www.timemap.net; Heurist http://heuristscholar.org
  19. Gordon Keith (gordon); Programmer/Data Analyst; CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research; Hobart, Australia
  20. Simon Hope (simon); Senior Consultant; ESRI Australia, Melbourne, Australia
  21. Mike Oberdries (MikeO); Business & Geospatial Analyst; iVistra Technology Ltd; Auckland, New Zealand
  22. Andrew Dennison (ADennison); GIS Solutions Architect; Gaia Resources; Perth, WA

Steps to create an Australian OSGeo Chapter

Here are my thoughts (Tim Bowden) on what has to be done to get an Australian Chapter of OSGeo up and running. Feel free to edit ferociously where needed;

Following the Local Chapter Guidelines we need to address the following issues;

  • Chapter Roles
  1. Provide member networking opportunities for support and job opportunities
    • An active mailing list, chapter wiki and occasional face to face events should answer this need
    • Forums also provide an excellent source of community support
    • Documentation pages where you can share you experiences, tips and traps installing/running OSGeo software
  2. Software Internationalization and Localization
  3. Development of prototype applications to demonstrate Open Source geospatial capabilities to local and regional audiences
    • There are already a number of publicly available applications (wms/wfs mainly?) that are using osgeo software. Perhaps a web page pointing to them that details what software is being used in each would be a good start.
  4. Software Packaging and Customization for local and regional needs
    • I can't see a need for Packaging or customisation for Australia. Possibly one of the biggest regional needs I can think of is pointers to free local geospatial data. Anyone got anything else?
    • LiveCD's with FOSS GIS tools & local data?
  5. Training, Support and Development of e-Learning Contents in local languages
    • English local enough <grin>? As far as hands on training goes, that's firmly in the hands of local contractors responding to client demand.
  6. Support Open standards and Open access to geospatial data in region
    • Supporting Open Standards and Open acces to geospatial data is a sine qua non for OSGeo, so our chapter should publicly support this position. Previous comments about lack of formal OSGeo policy on the issue of open access to geospatial data are incorrect (thanks Arnulf).
  7. Promoting OSGeo and enhancing visibility in various forums
    • We could look at getting an article in the local GIS print media from time to time. This should probably be driven by the contractors earning a living off GeoFOSS.
  • Chapter Responsibilities
  1. "OSGeo Chapter" officially represents OSGeo and is formally recognized as OSGeo Project.
  2. "OSGeo Chapter" must support the OSGeo Mission and Objectives of OSGeo.
    • 1 & 2 require that we conduct our business with the appropriate level of equanimity and circumspection with regard to the stated goals of OSGeo. We should have a formal system of oversight of positions publicly held or stated by our chapter; Perhaps as simple as ensuring that any statements/ web content are checked by several committee members before being made "public" or official.
  3. "OSGeo Chapter" must hold regular meetings (at least annual) and provide annual report of activities to chapter membership and OSGeo Board.
    • Australia being what it is, I'm expecting that most meetings will be virtual; probably irc with an annual face to face meeting of some sort.
  4. "OSGeo Chapter" will not entail any financial commitment from or on-behalf of OSGeo. OSGeo will also not provide any budget assistance to the "OSGeo Chapter".
    • So if we want to spend money we have to find it ourselves. Isn't that always the way of the world? I don't think we're going to need much anyway, at least until we get enough members to look at hosting our own conf, but that's a long way off.
  5. "OSGeo Chapter" is encouraged develop and maintain "Directory Listing" of companies, people, universities and organizations involved with or using OSGeo projects.
    • Easy to start, hard to keep up to date but worthwile anyway. At the very least a wiki page should get us started here.
  6. "OSGeo Chapter" must strive at networking with organizations to enlist participation and support for OSGeo.
    • So what organisations should we network with? SSI, GITA, any others?
    • University Departments (members with close ties to their local Uni's can encourage the use of OSS in GIS/Geomatics/Surveying/Geography/Archeology courses). Melbourne guys could talk to RMIT & MelbUni
    • Other collaborative OSGeo based initiatives like Seegrid
    • Are we restricted to links only to OSGEO related sites, or other FOSS GIS related sites? [eg: PostGIS is not (yet) OSGEO, neither is QGIS, etc]
  7. OSGeo reserves the right to terminate its relation with an "OSGeo Chapter" if OSGeo has reasons to believe that the activities of the "OSGeo Chapter" are contrary or detrimental to the Mission and Objectives of OSGeo.
    • Can't see that we'll have a problem here.
  • Chapter Benefits
  1. "OSGeo Chapter" is permitted to use OSGeo Logo and other branded resources for promoting the Mission and Objectives of OSGeo.
    • To what extent can chapter members use the OSGeo Logo and branding? As far as I'm aware, that's still an open issue of OSGeo. I'd like to see it resolved sooner rather than later.
  2. OSGeo will provide necessary infrastructure to promote communication and visibility of "OSGeo Chapter". The infrastructure will include mailing list, hosting of wiki pages, domain service for "OSGeo Chapter".
    • Should suit us. I don't think we're going to need anything too fancy. The simpler the better. Let's not set ourselves up with anything that will lead to an onerous maintenance burden. After all, no one's paying the bills; It's all volunteer work.
  • Chapter Formation
  1. "OSGeo Chapter" should self-organize (for instance in the OSGeo wiki, via OSGeo mailing list, etc), seeking to determine if a critical mass of interest exists to justify a chapter.
    • Well, the self-organisation is happening, let's see how many put their hands up to do the hard yards. I'd like to think we will have a critical mass of interest and activity.
  2. "OSGeo Chapter" should prepare a mission and objectives indicating the scope of the planned chapter (geographic or linquistic extent for instance).
    • Can't we just lift the OSGeo Mission statement and add "... for Australia" to the end?
  3. "OSGeo Chapter" should propose an official representative to liaise with the OSGeo Board. If accepted by the board, the representative will be an officer of OSGeo.
    • Shouldn't be a problem.
  4. "OSGeo Chapter" should submit an official expression of interest to form a chapter to the OSGeo board, listing initial members, mission, representative, legal form (incorporated?) and other supporting information.
    • As far as legal form is concerned, until we look at running a conf of our own, we can probably get away with some sort of non-profit club type association. Anyone have any experience/recommendations here?
  5. The OSGeo board shall then consider passing a motion forming the chapter, and designating the liason officer.
    • If we do our bit, we shouldn't have a problem.
  • Other issues to consider
  1. Does the mandate (geographically or linguistically) conflict with other existing chapters or chapters-in-formation?
    • No.
  2. Does the chapter appear to have sufficient interest to justify official formation?
    • It's starting to look that way.
  3. Does the chapter appear to be open to broad membership, and representative of the target geographic or linguistic community? (eg. if a chapter had the objective to cover all Spanish speakers, it would be inappropriate if the only interest demonstrated was from one country)
    • Given our Geographic focus we have interest from across the country. We need to work out what form our membership takes. Is there any reason we can't just duplicate the OSGeo membership model for our chapter?
  4. Any other issues?

Startup Meeting

An Informal meeting will be held in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 2nd Jan.
Drinks at Phillips Foote 7.30pm
101 George St
The Rocks
http://www.phillipsfoote.com.au/
(Meeting cancelled as per post to list)

Call Tim Bowden on 04 2316 7272 if you have any questions

Proposed informal meeting for Perth

Venue: Moon & Sixpence, Murray St (near William St), Perth
Date: Wednesday 24th January, 7.00pm (Changed from 17th)
All welcome. If you would like to come but the date is a problem, let me know (tim.bowden_at_westnet.com.au or 04 2316 7272); It's not fixed in concrete.

LCA Open Day

We have been invited by the lca organisers (http://linux.conf.au) to hold an OSGeo stand at the lca open day on Thursday 18 Jan. It runs from 3pm till 8pm. We need to organise some demos, and will have the opportunity for a 10 minute talk. There are expected to be about 400 people attending the open day. If you're interested in helping out, put your name down or contact tim.bowden_at_westnet.com.au

  • Tim Bowden
  • Cameron Shorter
  • Milton Lofberg
  • Pieter Steetsel

Details here: LCA Open Day

outcome of discussions

There was a lot of discussion at LCA2007 about the roles and functions that an Australian OSGeo chapter might provide. I will eventually try integrate them into the thoughts listed above:

  • Facilitation - OSGeo Au has a role in linking people with common interests and issues. This includes people, technology and projects.
    • Including broader contacts such as ASK-OSS, AGIMO, OSDM and others
  • Strategy - OSGeo Au might formulate a strategy to progress the adoption of FOSS geospatial solutions (aka notes further up this page)
  • Projects - Identify and progress discrete projects to promote and enhance the attractiveness of FOSS solutions
    • Demonstration projects
    • Reference Implementations & architectures. i.e. secure WFS proxy for corporate DMZ environments
    • Contributions to existing software projects i.e. funding of further Geoserver enhancements
  • Documentation - Collect and create case studies, reference implementations, business cases and other documentation required to implement FOSS solutions
    • technical
    • business/adminstrative
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