EGU Townhall 2019

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Ramp Up

General Information

Title of the event

OSGeo Townhall: Joint OSGeo / Open Planetary Data TH



Organizing team (Draft) [add your name!]

Peter Löwe, Alessandro Frigeri, yournamehere

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: DAY MONTH 2019

Time: 19:00-20:00

Room: tbd

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, we got less in 2018 dur to competing events)

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 the upcoming OpenGeoScience budget: 2600 USD [PENDING ]

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

  • 2018-11: Open Geoscience Committee agrees to do a joint Townhall (suggestion by Ale Frigeri)
  • 2018-12-22: Townhall has been requested from Copernicus by PL.
OSGeo-related events at EGU GA 2019
  • ESSI ?
  • Hydrology ?
  • Tectonics ?
  • Workshops ?
  • Great Debates ?
  • Early Career Scientists ?
  • Data Helpdesk ?

Reach Out
EGU Announcement Poster / Flyer


Meeting with local OSGeo/OSM chapter and activists


Presentation slides




Last years Lessons Learned

  • Avoid conflicts with Medal Lectures ! This year, the TH coincides with the ESSI Medal Lecture for Kerstin Lehnert. ESSI medal 2018
  • Sync timeslots with Research Software Engineer TH.
  • Avoid time conflicts with ECS great debates !
  • Plan for a meeting with the austrian OSGeo community ahead in time (4-6 weeks).
  • Paper-based information material is becoming deprecated for reach out before the TH.
  • Personally handed over printed invitations (business card size or slightly larger) still do work.
  • A "swag-store" for OSGeo-Stickers and badgets works well AT the TH
  • Bring a large banner to be hung in front of the room
  • EGU doesn't do MoU like AGU.
  • EGU has already a large number of medals, like the [[1]ESSI medal] which is already sponsored by ESRI - they will currently NOT yet another medal by OSGeo.
  • Advertise well ahead on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), via OSGeo mailing lists, OSGeo webpage (news item) and related communities, like RDA, FORCE11, codemeta, etc.

Opportunities for 2019

  • The ESSI division is changing its overall approach. OSGeo should play a prominent role in the discussions.
    • OSGeo could sponsor a dedicated session in ESSI or cross-division.
    • OSGeo could sponsor a price / (lunch-)event /session for early career scientists
    • EGU intends to introduce a "data helpdesk" in 2019 or later, similar to the one introduced by AGU in 2017: OSGeo folks could participate by giving advice on particular software tools ("Ask a guru") - this would provide much more flexibility than normal EGU workshops, since it would be driven by real world questions of the attendees.