Philadelphia Code Sprint 2015

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Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors

Airborne Interactive
Airborne Interactive

Boundless Geo

Bronze Sponsors



Coordinate Solutions
Coordinate Solutions

Farallon Geographics



Mobile Geographics
Mobile Geographics



International Chapter Support

Event Organizer



Bring together project members to make decisions and tackle larger geospatial problems as in previous years:

While past code sprints have targeted members of the "C Tribe" (e.g., MapServer, GRASS, GDAL, Proj, PostGIS, MapGuide, OpenLayers), other open source geospatial tribes are welcome to join the sprint.

The event organizer, Azavea, is also proposing that this be a joint code sprint with the Eclipse Foundation's LocationTech working group. There are several developers that work on projects associated with both OSGeo and LocationTech, and we believe it be an opportunity for some healthy exchange and collaboration.


Potential Workspace

Azavea's office is in Center City Philadelphia and we can host up to 40 people. However, based on the number of people attending in Vienna, we would like to plan for more. We currently expect to use the following venue:

Friends Center - - Conference Center operated by the Society of Friends; has wifi, but not enough bandwidth, so would have to push for augmentation. We will occupy the Cherry St Room, which includes some breakout rooms around it. Friends Center is in a central location, close to public transit and has space for 75 - 100 people. It is located at 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.

We may also use Azavea's office and other location for social events.


The three potential sites are all walking distance to:

  • Reading Terminal Market
  • Chinatown
  • City Hall
  • Franklin Institute
  • Old City
  • Liberty Bell
  • Washington Square
  • Rittenhouse Square
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art (and other museums listed below

Dates and Times


  • Welcome event: evening of Mon, Feb 9
  • Sprint: Tues, Feb 10 - Fri, Feb 13 (4 days)


Aside from the welcome social on Monday evening and other evening events, all Code Sprint activities will be at the "Friends Center" venue, 1501 Cherry Street.

For a full map of all code sprint locations and directions to each, check out this CartoDB map:

Monday (February 9th)

  • ~6:30-8:30pm - Welcome / "Ice Breaker" social at Azavea's office (340 N 12th St, #402 - Google Maps Directions)

Tuesday (February 10th)

  • 9:00am to 10:00am - Breakfast at Friends Center
  • 9:00am to 12:30am - Sprinting
  • 12:30pm to 1:30pm - Lunch
  • 1:30pm to 5:00pm - Sprinting
  • 5:00pm to 7:00pm - Historic Philadelphia tour bus, leaving from Friends Center
  • 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Dinner at Brauhaus Schmitz (bus will take us there, or you can walk yourself)

Wednesday (February 11th)

Thursday (February 12th)

  • 9:00am to 10:00am - Breakfast at Friends Center
  • 9:00am to 11:30am - Sprinting
  • 11:30am to 12:30pm - Sponsor Presentations - TBD
  • 12:30pm to 1:30pm - Lunch
  • 1:30pm to 5:30pm - Sprinting
  • 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Dinner at Bar-Ly (just a short walk)

Friday (February 13th)

  • 9:00am to 10:00am - Breakfast at Friends Center
  • 9:00am to 11:30am - Sprinting
  • 11:30am to 12:30pm - Sponsor Presentations - TBD
  • 12:30pm to 1:30pm - Lunch
  • 1:00pm to 2:00pm - Azavea Technical Staff Meeting (optional, at Friends Center. Azavea developer Kathryn Killebrew will be giving a preview of her FOSS4G talk, how to use CartoDB's Torque library outside of CartoDB.)
  • 1:30pm to 5:30pm - Sprinting
  • 6:00pm to 8:00pm - Dinner at Frankford Hall (cabs or the MFL Subway)

Getting There

Flights - Philadelphia (PHL) is a hub for American/US Air and Southwest and also has a good number of international carriers with regular direct flights, including Air Canada, Air France, Lufthansa, British Air and Qatar Airways. Other regional options include Newark Airport (EWR) which has a rail link to the Newark Airport train station, which is about a 50 min train ride to Philadelphia 30th St Station. Newark airport has a broad range of international flights, including Porter Airlines from Toronto.

Rail - Philadelphia is about 2hrs from Washington DC and 1hr 15min from New York Penn Station by Amtrak rail.

Bus - Philadelphia is connected to Washington, Baltimore and New York via the Greyhound, Peter Pan, Mega Bus and Bolt Bus companies.


We have a hotel block with the Loews Hotel for $149/night

Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Use code AZAV15 for group rate

And you can book online at


Participants should plan for the following costs:

  • Travel to Philadelphia
  • Accommodation for four nights

All other costs - food, venue, outings and entertainment - will be covered by the sponsors

Project Plans


  • Cesium / MapServer Suite / PostGIS : Discussions on streaming 3D vector data (buildings)
    • Vincent Picavet, Vincent Mora, ADDYOURNAME



We are planning for attendance of 70 - 100. Please add your name and the projects you are hoping to sprint and note the likeliness of your attendance as well as the preferred dates.

# Participant Country Arrival Departure Accommodation Work on Notes
1 Robert Cheetham US first day last day Home TBD Definite - No special needs
2 Kenny Shepard US first day last day Home GeoTrellis Definite
3 Rob Emanuele US first day last day Home GeoTrellis Likely
4 Michael Smith US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL, MapServer Definite
5 Howard Butler US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL, GDAL, libspatialindex Booked
6 Daniel Morissette CA Mon @4pm Friday am Loews Hotel MapServer, GDAL/OGR Booked
7 Michael P. Gerlek US Tuesday @ noon Friday @ noon Loews Hotel PDAL, Cesium, et al Yes
8 Stephan Meißl AT first day last day MapServer Booked
9 Brad Chambers US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL Booked
10 Andrew Ross CA first day last day, bit early TBD Various Booked
11 Steve Lime US first day last day TBD MapServer Booked
12 Connor Manning US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL Booked
13 Andrew Bell US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL Booked
14 Jody Garnett CA first day last day+1 Loews Hotel uDig Booked
15 Markus Schütz AT first day last day TBD Potree Booked
16 Thomas Bonfort FR first day Sunday TBD MapServer Booked
17 Patrick Cozzi US first day last day Home Cesium Likely
18 Matt Amato US first day last day Home Cesium Likely
19 Dan Bagnell US first day last day Home Cesium Likely
20 Tom Fili US first day last day Home Cesium Likely
21 Uday Verma US first day last day Loews Hotel PDAL, Booked
22 Eugene Cheipesh US first day last day Home GeoTrellis Likely
23 Vincent Mora FR first day last day TBD Cesium, PostGIS Booked
24 Vincent Picavet FR first day last day TBD PointClouds, PostGIS, Cesium Booked
25 Andrew Thompson US first day last day Home TBD Definite - organizing
26 Norman Barker US first day last day TBD libspatialindex, gdal, pouchdb Definite
27 Jim Hughes US first day last day TBD GeoMesa Definite
28 Travis Pinney US first day last day TBD TBD Definite
29 Chris Brown US first day last day Home GeoTrellis Definite
30 Mjumbe Poe US first day last day Home TBD Definite
31 Andy Eschbacher US Wed. Wed. TBD PostGIS Definite
32 Siyuan Shen US first day last day Home TBD Likely
33 Yujun Jiang US first day last day Home TBD Likely
34 Nathan Zimmerman US first day last day Home GeoTrellis Definite
35 Michael Maurizi US first day last day Home PostGIS,TBD Definite
36 Chuck Greb US Tuesday Tuesday Home TBD Likely
37 Diego Gomez-Deck US first day last day Hotel Glob3 Mobile, PointClouds, TBD Definite
38 Jon Tehrani US Tuesday Tuesday Home TBD Definite
39 Kanishka Azimi US Thursday Thursday Home PDAL or libspatialindex Definite

Individual Preparation

  • Bring your own computer
  • Install SVN, Git and other dev tools, and come with a working development environment
  • Spend some time getting to know the code base and open issues, if possible


  • Is the Philadelphia Code Sprint just a coding event?
    • Yes, a coding and documentation event. It is a working session for people who are already participants in open source projects.
  • Will it be possible to present new projects during this event?
    • No, this is not a presentation-oriented event. People will get together in small groups and work on areas of mutual interest within their projects.

Social Activities


  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Barnes Foundation
  • Rodin Museum
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • African American Museum in Philadelphia
  • National Museum of Jewish-American History
  • Academy of Natural Sciences
  • U-Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archaology
  • Rosenbach Museum
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Mutter Museum
  • Eastern State Penitentiary
  • Philadelphia History Museum


  • Rocky Movie Location Tour - South Philadelphia
  • Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour - Reading Terminal Market
  • Emergence of a Modern Metropolis Philadelphia Walking Tour - Philadelphia Center for Architecture


  • WXPN's Free at Noon - Free concerts at WXPN on Fridays at Noon
  • Art After Five - Concerts in the museum on Friday evenings


  • Flyers (NHL) - Various dates
  • 76ers (NBA) - Various dates
  • Union (MLS) - Various dates
  • Wings (NLL) - Various dates


In Philadelphia:

  • Yards Brewing Co
  • Philadelphia Brewing Co
  • Triumph Brewing Co
  • Yuengling Brewing Co
  • Dock Street Brewing Co
  • Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant
  • Nodding Head Brewery & Restaurant

Nearby Philadelphia:

  • Flying Fish Brewery
  • Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
  • Sly Fox Beer
  • Victory Brewing Co
  • McKenzie Brew House


We have three sponsorship levels:

  • Gold: >$2500
  • Silver: $1500
  • Bronze: $750

We encourage sponsors to support nutriment and entertainment for the sprinters as they work hard and play hard for four or five productive days. Contributions will be put towards lunch, snacks, and dinner costs for the sprinters, and potentially bringing in sprinters who might otherwise be unable to attend. Any surplus at the end of the event will be turned over to OSGeo or used for a future code sprint.

Sponsors will receive the following honors:

  • Your logo or portrait at the top of this page
  • 30-min slot to talk about how you are using FOSS GIS at the sprint
  • Mention in all of our public communication
  • Our undying gratitude, which comes in handy when you least expect it (Remember that feature you wanted...)

To sponsor, please contact Robert Cheetham (cheetham at azavea dot com) directly.

2015 Sponsors




Airborne Interactive Boundless Geo


AGI CartoDB Coordinate Solutions Hobu Mapzen Mobile Geographics OpenSCG Typesafe

International Chapter Support

Event Organizer



  • A proposal was prepared to request support from the OSGeo Board.
  • The 2015 budget is available online.
  • We had planned to use the 2014 surplus, but the 2016 code sprint may return to Europe and the strong dollar means the value have been significantly diminished.

Recaps and Photos

Lessons Learned


  • We struggled with picking the right dates, and we don't think we got it right
  • The community initially identified the first week of March, and this was a better date in many respects
  • Some potential attendees suggested that this was too close to FOSS4G-NA, planned for the 2nd week of March
  • For those traveling long distances, the adjacent weeks might have been more convenient, while others did not want to be away from home for a full two weeks
  • Despite moving the code sprint back by one month, some sprinters did not attend because it was still too close to the FOSS4G event
  • There are other potential conflicts in February and March, including the Esri Developer Summit (March)


  • Multiple rooms - Similar to Vienna, it was helpful to have a couple of breakout rooms to support breakout discussions and private phone calls. We had 2 breakout rooms rented from the venue that were used extensively (multiple times every day), and a 3rd room that we did not have sole use of but was usually empty and occasionally useful.
  • WiFi - Having good bandwidth was pretty important; our selected venue had relatively poor quality WiFi but had plenty of network capacity (100Mbs uplink and downlink), so we bought and configured our own WiFi router; this worked well and was much less costly than having a network provisioning firm. Based on, we were getting about 50Mbs up and 50Mbs down on the wifi and nobody complained about slow internet all week.
  • Wired Internet - We brought wired ethernet switches and cables as backups, but they were never used.


  • We had many new sponsors for the code sprint - LocationTech, CartoDB, MapZen, AGI, OpenSCG, and Typesafe - some of these have an obvious relationship to the OSGeo projects, but some did not.
  • There is a significant opportunity to further expand support for the code sprint by asking organizations that are outside the immediate OSGeo community
  • The invitation to LocationTech projects to participate both expanded the range of projects attending the code sprint and increased the range of sponsors
  • We encourage future code sprints to consider sponsors that might come from adjacent domains - OpenSCG is a PostgreSQL company and Typesafe supports projects that use Scala, Akka and Spark.

Hotel Block

  • Hotel usage is difficult to predict - we reserved a hotel block and some people used it, but many did not, and we ended up with too many room-nights and a significant obligation; a hotel block was helpful in order to reduce the travel cost for attendees, but we would recommend reserving blocks that expire but do not carry a minimum room night reservation requirement


  • We had at most 35-38 people in the room in the beginning/middle of the week (Tuesday-Wednesday)
  • A significant portion (perhaps 20-30%) of the attendees do not stay the whole week
  • There were several local (Philadelphia region) attendees, but many local attendees signed up in the previous week and only attended some of the days - this doesn't seem surprising, but is worth noting for gauging attendance in advance
  • Attendance declined most on Friday - by mid-afternoon we had maybe 10-15 left who came to the final dinner.
  • We had evening activities (tour bus, bars/dinners, bowling, etc) planned for every evening and worried about getting accurate headcounts/numbers to these activity providers in advance. In general, about 60-80% of registered sprinters present during the daytime attended the evening activities. Activity providers were keen on setting minimum guaranteed guest counts but were happy to add extra people at the last minute.
  • We had 1-2 women engineers/code sprinters, but diversity is still an area in which future code sprints could improve upon.

Travel Scholarships

  • We had a suggestion to offer travel scholarships to members of core teams whose employers do not pay their travel expenses. This seemed like a good suggestion, but the lack of precedent and date change made this tough to plan
  • We recommend offering travel scholarships if there is sufficient sponsor support
  • These travel scholarships can be targeted at core committers and/or improving diversity of attendees
  • An application might be an option to encourage broader participation.
  • If travel scholarships are targeted at core committers, it's unlikely that the code sprint organizers will know the identify of the core committers, so we suggest allocating funds to OSGeo project team leads and enable the teams to decide who receives the scholarships

Board support request

  • The OSGeo Board has agreed to support 2014 and 2015 sprints, but we waited too long to make the request
  • We recommend making the request at least two months in advance in order to allow for consideration of scholarships, allocation of the previous year's surplus and other concerns
  • We are sharing our formal proposal to the Board in order to make it easier for future planners to do this earlier.