This page is meant as a place to put down ideas for the formation of an Australian OSGeo chapter.
Put you name / wiki account down below to show support moving forward,
Chris Tweedie (ctweedie)
Department of Land Information, WA
Angus Scown (Angusscown)
Spatial Data eXchange
Shoaib Burq (sab)
nomad labs Pty. Ltd.
Jacob Delfos (jacob_delfos)
Maunsell Australia Pty Ltd
Brendon Ward (bward)
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
- 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
- Software Internationalization and Localization
- Anything to be done here for Australia (& NZ?)
- Some resources could be useful here, for example proj4 parameters for local projections (e.g. from Melb. Mapserver User Group's Wiki
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- "OSGeo Chapter" officially represents OSGeo and is formally recognized as OSGeo Project.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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
- 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
- "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.
- 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 to 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
- "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.
- "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?
- "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.
- "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?
- 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
- Does the mandate (geographically or linguistically) conflict with other existing chapters or chapters-in-formation?
- Does the chapter appear to have sufficient interest to justify official formation?
- It's starting to look that way.
- 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?
- Any other issues?
An Informal meeting will be held in Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 2nd Jan.
Drinks at Phillips Foote 7.30pm
101 George St
Call Tim Bowden on 04 2316 7272 if you have any questions
There will also be a meeting in Perth sometime in mid January. Check back later for details.