EGU Townhall 2018

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Ramp Up

General Information

Title of the event

OSGeo Townhall: Open Science demystified (DRAFT)

Abstract (Draft, copied from 2017)

The paradigm of Open Science is based on the tiers Open Access, Open Data and Free Open Source Software (FOSS). However, the interconnections between the tiers remain to be improved. This is a critical factor to enable Open Science. This Townhall meeting reaches out all across EGU, espescially welcoming Early Career Scientists, to network and discuss the current challenges and opportunities of the FOSS tier, including:

- recognition for scientific software: how to write a software paper?

- software life cycle: who will maintain your software after you've finished your PhD and found a decent job?

- funding software development: evolving software begun for your own research needs into something larger, that serves other's needs, and boosts your scientific reputation.

- software reviews: how to set up software development such that other developers get involved in an early stage?

- how can OSGeo help you with all these questions?

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit umbrella organization for Free and Open Source geospatial tools, including QGIS, gvSIG, GRASS GIS, Geoserver and many others. OSGeo is hosting this Townhall event to support the collaborative development of open source geospatial software by promoting sustainable Open Science within EGU.

Organizing team (Draft) [add your name!]

Peter Löwe, Massimiliano Cannata, Jeff McKenna, Edzer Pebesma, Alessandro Frigeri, (Adam Steer, ANU)

Primary points of contact

at Copernicus (conference organizer): Katja Gänger (egu2018 AT copernicus DOT org)

for Copernicus: peter.loewe AT gmx DOT de


Overview over all EGU Townhalls

Venue / Time (requested)

Requested day: Tuesday April 10 2018

Time: 19:00-20:00

Room: 2.31

Estimated number of attendees: 75–99 (optimistic) - pragmatic guestimate for catering, etc: 50 pax

Type of event

Townhalls are "networking events" hosted at the European Geosiences Union (EGU) General Assembly (GA) for up to 350 people.

EGU-wording: "Townhall Meetings are meetings open for all participants in the conference at which new initiatives or decisions are announced to a larger audience following an open discussion on the matter raised."

Townhalls are hosted in the evening following the conclusion of all scientific tracks. The events last one hour and usually have presentations / announcements taking up the first 20 minutes, to allow for an open discussion among the attendees. During this phase, refreshments are provided to ensure a lively and convivial atmosphere.

Expected Audience Size

50 - 80 people (optimistic guestimate from 2017 attendance numbers)

Audience: Topical Background

Free Open Source Software from OSGeo projects affects most if not all EGU Divisions. Currently FOSS (OSGeo projects + R, GMT, etc.) is particularly strong in the Hydrology, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth and Space Sience Informatics and Tectonics Divisions.

Attendees are expected from the following fields (Academia, Research and Industry).

  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Biogeosciences
  • Climate: Past, Present & Future
  • Cryospheric Sciences
  • Earth Magnetism & Rock Physics
  • Energy, Resources and the Environment
  • Earth and Space Science Informatics
  • Geodesy
  • Geodynamics
  • Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems
  • Geomorphology
  • Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology
  • Hydrological Sciences
  • Natural Hazards
  • Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences
  • Ocean Sciences
  • Planetary and Solar System Sciences
  • Seismology
  • Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology
  • Soil System Sciences
  • Solar-Terrestrial Sciences
  • Tectonics and Structural Geology
Audience: Professional Level
  • Doctorate Students, PostDocs, Researchers, Activists, Leaders, Visionaries, Decision Makers, Funding Agencies

Relevance for OSGeo (Draft)

how will our participation help OSGeo

  • Continuation and expansion of the "topical bridgehead" established within EGU by the first two OSGeo Townhalls in 2014 and 2015.
  • Raise awareness at and reach-out to the European geoscience community by hosting a dedicated public OSGeo event at the largest European geoscience conference.
  • Reach out to young scientists starting their careers.
  • Meeting place for people already active in OSGeo ("meta-BoF") as a large number of people congregates every year at the EGU GA.
  • Reach out to decision makers/elders/scientific activists within the EGU Divisions.
  • Culmination of the "FOSS day" at the EGU GA: The organizers are urged to to schedule all FOSS / OSGeo - related events on the same day. This will ensure we have a large audience and niceties such as "FOSS flashmobs" can be arranged for poster sessions. The "FOSS day" could and should be finished off with the OSGeo townhall, as a "multiplier/bring them all together" event.
  • Peaceful und friendly coexistence: Propiertary platforms including Microsoft, Google and ESRI are also staging dedicated events during EGU GA.
  • Awareness on the decision maker level: Significance of OSGeo within the emerging Data Science / Open Science debate ("-> OSGeo-tailored research programmes ?")
  • Venue rental cost: none
  • Catering cost: 2000 USD [Learned/Report for 2015] [required]
  • Promotional material: 200 USD (Posters/flyers announcing the event) [required] -> Lessons Learned from 2016 !
  • Budget will be allocated within OpenGeoScience Committee budget as part of Open_Geoscience_Committee/budget_2018

Total requested amount from available OpenGeoScience budget: 2600 USD

Proposed Payment Method
  • No seed money required
  • All catering expenses (ca. 2000 USD) can be charged on the OSGeo Credit Card (as since 2014) before and after the event.
Support by OSGeo
  • Finacial support
  • Use of Logos
  • Volunteers: Preparation phase, event hosting, presentations during the event (-> OpenGeoScience Committee).



Official EGU 2018 timeline and milestones

  • 2017-12-12: Open Geoscience Committee decides to do another Townhall
  • 2017-12-13: Townhall has been requested from Copernicus by PL.
  • 2017-12-13: Copernicus confirms Townhall request
  • 2018-01: Request for comments/extention of scope of the Townhall abstract (template based on last years version) was sent to Open Geocience list. No response.
  • 2018-02-20: EGU Programme available online
  • 2018-03: Catering has been ordered (PL): Max cost: 1500 EUR.
  • 2018-03: Meeting with ESSI board @ RDA plenary: Discussion of new options for OSGeo (sponsorship of medals, sessions, etc.)
  • 2018-04-03: OSGeo marketing will send promotional material to Viennabyparcel.
  • 2018-04: ONGOING: Inform potential attendees:
    • RDA Geoscience List (PL)
    • ESRI: Dawn Wright (PL)
    • OSGeo GeoForAll List (Suchith)
    • OSGeo Announce (Suchith)
    • TBD: FORCE 11
    • TBD: CodeMeta
  • Interface with Short Courses, etc.
  • 2017-04: DONE: Advertising material is ready. DONE: new "official" poster for EGU use needed
  • 2017-04: EGU begins: TODO: Personal invites @ the conference booths. TODO: Hang flyers / posters, etc.
  • 2017-04-27: 18:00 -19:hours: Reception ! 19:00 - 20:00 hours: Townhall !
OSGeo-related events at EGU GA 2018

Reach Out
EGU Announcement Poster


Meeting with local OSGeo/OSM chapter and activists
  • 2018-03: Helli and Anita were contaced by PL. A local GIS group meeting in Vienna has also been scheduled on Tuesday.

Lessons Learned

  • Avoid conflicts with Medal Lectures ! This year, the TH coincides with the ESSI Medal Lecture for Kerstin Lehnert.
  • Sync timeslots with Research Software Engineer TH.