FOSS4G2008 Motivation to Attend

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I've had quite a few phone calls from mainly Government employees asking for help in putting together a motivation to their managers to attend FOSS4G 2008. Why should you or your staff attend FOSS4G 2008? If you're interested in GIS, geospatial software, open source or anything related, as a manager, user or developer, here are some reasons to attend:

  • Like it or not, Government procurement is soon going to demand Open Source solutions (www.oss.gov.za). If you're in business, what better platform to launch into this market than a conference like this? If you're in Government, what better way to learn about FOSS and prepare for the transition?
  • FOSS4G 2008 is not just about open source – the whole SA GIS community will be there, including all the normal 'proprietary' GIS community. Content, exhibitors, sponsors (including GIMS) are from the open source AND the proprietary communities, not that there is a clear distinction, with many being from both. If you attended AfricaGIS in '05, or any GISSA or local GIS conference for that matter, FOSS4G is for you and is going to be bigger and better. It is indeed also the ‘GISSA 2008’ conference. Learn about how proprietary and FOSS GIS can work together. Or, learn about how to make the transition from proprietary to FOSS.
  • Open source software in many cases (especially server and web-based) outperforms the proprietary equivalent - come and see live demos and benchmarks.
  • You can build the same or better solutions with open source than you currently build with proprietary. Come and see FOSS GIS projects in action. Learn how to use them in hands-on workshops and labs.
  • Using open source can save your clients money, increase your profits while providing the same or better functionality.
  • Many FOSS GIS projects are best-of-breed. Did you know, for example, that ESRI now uses and supports GDAL and 52North. GDAL now is at the core of almost everything you do with rasters in ESRI software. Frank Warmerdam (GDAL/OGR and PROJ4) and the lead developers on many other best-of-breed open source projects will be presenting papers and hands-on workshops at the conference.
  • FOSS4G 2008 is a landmark event in Africa, the first time FOSS geospatial is being showcased on the continent.
  • South Africa won an international bid to host FOSS4G 2008.
  • Hands-on labs and workshops will be in full swing for five days - where can you get training and experience like this for even twice the price?
  • People from over 40 countries have already registered and we have users on our conference website from over 80 countries.
  • If you are a developer, there is a full day Code Sprint.

Feel free to add to these, improve them and make them more generic.