Election 2016 Candidate Manifestos

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Revision as of 07:54, 25 September 2016 by Ortelius (talk | contribs) (Added Candidate Manifesto for Jeffrey Johnson)
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A space for the candidates for election to the Board to share some information about themselves, their aspirations for OSGeo, what they would like to change, improve or introduce and what role they would like to play on the board.


Please don't remove this template

About me

My vision

What you have done within the community in the past

What your interests are in terms of the board

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

What role you would wish to fulfil on the board (if any)

Michael Smith

For those os you that don't know me, I'm Michael Smith, a physical scientist at the US Army Corps of Engineers. I've been involved with the MapServer community since 2001 and OSGeo since its inception. For the last 2 years, I've been honored to be a OSGeo Board member and OSGeo treasurer. Its been quite a learning experience and I greatly thank Daniel Morissette, the previous OSGeo treasurer for so much support in handling the transition.

In my time on the board and as treasurer, my focus has been on encouraging governments (in general) and the US in particular, especially the Department of Defense which, personally I know makes extensive use of OSGeo projects, to more actively participate is OSGeo and the projects beyond just use and occasional commits.

I've also been honored to be appointed the LocationTech representative from OSGeo and I've been working to make the relationship between OSGeo and LocationTech a real partnership with respect and appreciation for all the work that both organizations do. And that is my view of the relationship, these are two important organizations that work to achieve similar but compatible goals but with different focuses and with different strengths. As OSGeo is a welcoming, inclusive community, I feel strongly that we should work openly and honestly with all our partner organizations, with LocationTech being one of the most important.

If reelected, I plan to continue as OSGeo Treasurer and as the LocationTech representative.

I must say I am very humbled to see the strong list of candidates to the board. If I'm nor elected, I can see that OSGeo will be in very good hands. This is a particularly great group of candidates and it shows off the strength and diversity of the OSGeo community.

Thank you for the nomination, OSGeo community.

Maria Antonia Brovelli

About me

You can find information about me: https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/User:Maria (the nickname “Queen of FOSS4G” was added by lovely fans ;-) ) https://www4.ceda.polimi.it/manifesti/manifesti/controller/ricerche/RicercaPerDocentiPublic.do?EVN_ELENCO_DIDATTICA=evento&k_doc=1262&lang=EN&aa=2016&tab_ricerca=1&jaf_currentWFID=main Click on download CV

Then you can find me on Linkedin, twitter, facebook. Unfortunately I’m not able to keep everything updated and therefore you find here and there pieces of my life.

My vision

I have been all my life a strong supporter of open source GIS because I believe that knowledge as well as data are commons (Common good) of humanity. Geography, together with history (space and time) is one of the keys for analyzing the world around us and GIS in a broad sense (i.e., the geospatial web) are the tools allowing these analyses. Geospatial tools, data and information have to be accessible by everyone in the world and here education plays a fundamental role. We will bring our free geospatial tools to every child in every part of the world, hoping to give him the possibility of becoming a better human being. And we will spread our free geospatial tools everywhere.

What you have done within the community in the past

Mainly I have been educating people who become then part of the community. I helped in the Education and Curriculum Committee and in the organization of many Academic Tracks. I organized the first national conference about FOSS4G in 2000 (http://geomatica.como.polimi.it/grass_2000/ only in Italian) and I was involved in the organization of the International Open Source Free Software GIS - GRASS users conference 2002 in Trento (Italy) (http://www.ing.unitn.it/~grass/conferences/GRASS2002/home.html) I was one of the founder of the Italian Chapter. In fact the first official headquarters of GFOSS was in Politecnico di Milano – Como Campus. I was the chair of FOSS4G Europe 2016. I am currently part of G4A (chair of two networks: the European and the Geocrowdsourcing CitizenScience and member of the Board) and one of the two chairs of the United Nation Committee (https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/UnitedNations_Committee). As a researcher, I contributed to development of FOSS4G methods and tools.

What your interests are in terms of the board

I want to help as a connection between the Board and G4A (I’m mainly a researcher and an educator). Secondly I want to make stronger the connections we have with many sister associations (the ones we already have MoUs and those we want to create them) especially humanitarian associations like HOT, Missing Maps and so on. I will go ahead in working for the UN OSGeo initiative and I will act as contact between the Committees supporting this initiative and the Board. But above all, I will try to make us keener not only to accepting diversity but to paying more attention and value on it. OSGeo is a great community also because of its diversity. This is a richness we have to cultivate. I want to see more ladies and in general people of the Rest of the World (not only North America and Eu) in the boards of the different committees.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

I want to work in such a way to give the possibility to everybody in actively participating to OSGeo and to our meetings (e.g. FOSS4G conferences). Part of this will be giving more possibility to women to show up. We need more female leadership in general and in OSGeo also. Women are more or less the half of the population, but we have only 12 % of ladies as charter members. Can we start from this point and try to improve the situation?

What role you would wish to fulfil on the board (if any)

Considering what I said above, I want to be involved as one of the G4A point of contact and as one of the UN Committee point of Contact. Moreover I will be actively support discussion and actions for improving diversity in the OSGeo leadership.

María Arias de Reyna

"What should the community expect from my board membership?"

<TL;DR> I am a very active activist :) More known on the spanish speaking geo-world, I would say. I work with spatial metadata and GeoNetwork.

I intend to make OSGeo as inclusive and free (as in free puppies) as possible. I want OSGeo to continue being transparent, comfortable and useful to promote FLOSS in the geo world. I would like to press on public administrations so they promote open data and software. I would like to increase diversity of OSGeo (because, you already noticed, most of you are white men on developed countries with a similar vision, you know).

Anyway, all the candidates proposed are really good. So, whoever you choose to vote, you will make a good choice. But vote, be involved, please :) </TL;DR>

Many of you don't know me, I know. Maybe if I say "metadata" and "(meta)cat" some bell will ring. Maybe not. Let me talk you a bit about me, let's put humility aside for a moment.

I work for GeoCat, which you *should* remember from sponsoring many geo-events. I work with metadata. Ever heard of GeoNetwork, the data catalog? Well, that's part of my work. I am also part of the geoinquietos (georestless) group, which is one of the most active group in the spanish speaking geo-world. We are a very unorganized welcoming group spread all around the spanish speaking countries that tries to make geothings fun. Unconferences, mapping parties, geobeers, workshops,... Anything we can enjoy while sharing our knowledge and help people around us.

Some people say I'm very straight forward when talking. I can't help it. I don't like dancing around an idea losing time while the elephant sits on the center of the room eating all the peanuts. So this I can assure you: I will openly fight for what I think is better, even if it means making me look unpolite or the "bad cop". I'm used to get my hands dirty, I don't care. And if OSGeo decides to do something I don't agree with, I promise you I will fight the same (unless it makes me so uncomfortable I have to step down, but I don't think this can happen, we share the same goals). It will not be the first time I have to defend something I don't fully agree with. But, anyway, unless OSGeo changes a lot, this is not bothering me.

To me, transparency is key. You will never hear me saying opposite things in private and in public. I will not say things in public I understand they shouldn't be made public. But you will never hear me defend something in private and another thing in public. I can change my mind, of course, and that happens more often than what I am willing to admit :) But I will not be a hypocrit and I usually have no problem in sharing my knowledge or perspective on something. I don't like being manipulative. I don't like lies. I don't think the end justifies the means. I always try to be as transparent as possible.

Let's focus on OSGeo and how I see it. As we heard on the FOSS4G: This is about people. And I couldn't agree more. I see OSGeo as an organization built on top of regional chapters which are built on top of local "chapters" which are built by people. So my idea of OSGeo is like a pyramid, where local "layers" work together to get the same goal at the top. "Think globally, act locally". And that's how I think it should work. Spread the work into very small pieces so we all can contribute to a greater good. I think this is how we should always work.

So I think it is important to promote small events all around the world. Specially if they focus on target groups we are not very close to. I would like to see more diversity in the OSGeo membership, we are all very "standard". As we diversify our base, we will get better ideas and visions on the top. On my utopic OSGeo vision, there will be a group of local geoactivists everywhere, all of them making the world better while having fun. Contributing with small pieces to the complex puzzle.

But let's not forget that in the end, public administrations play an important role on the promotion of FLOSS. I am confident we can explain to them why they should work more in the open and collaborate with us. It is a win-win situation. And this can only be achieved if we are a strong organization with clear objectives. We have to show them how much can be done when we all work together.

Changing the subject to something more earthly: I see there is some buzzing around LocationTech. To me, they are important allies. They are more "open" and we are more "free", but as we agree on, let's say, 80% of the goals, why not work together on that 80%? Once we achieve those goals (if!) we can start an open war about that 20%. In the meantime, it would be stupid to fight. They are our close relatives, let's treat them like that.

If you don't understand why I distinguish between open and free, here is the answer: http://ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/misc/openstreetmap/FOSS4G-2016/foss4g-2016-1106-free_open_and_libre-hd.webm Yes, that's me. Now you know my face too :)

I think this is it. I hope to have convinced you to vote for me. If not, well, I will have to focus more on the "lower" layers of the pyramid.

Jeffrey Johnson

About me

I became a lifelong map geek when I was a small child and someone gave me a Landsat atlas, and I’ve been enjoying the freedom of Open Source software since about 1996 with my first install of Slackware linux on a stack of floppy disks. These 2 interests aligned when I started studying GIS as an undergrad and decided to install GRASS GIS since I was unable to do my coursework at home using Esri tools without a license. I started developing mapping applications with Open Source tools in about 2003 initially using Mapserver. I’ve co-founded several startups using open source GIS in specific domains. In 2010 I began my involvement with the GeoNode project and have been an active contributor ever since, helping it grow from a small project to a flourishing, sustainable open source community with many contributors and stakeholders. Along the way, I’ve been involved with several other community projects, helped organize the QGIS US Chapter, organized several local GIS events and helped found the local San Diego Code for America Brigade (http://opensandiego.org). For the past few years, I’ve been a consultant at the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (http://gfdrr.org) and have traveled all over the planet giving workshops and organizing code-sprints in Open Source GIS tools and bringing the gospel of open source and open data to governments and local organizations as part of the Open Data for Resilience Initiative (http://opendri.org). Part of my role at the Bank has been to mentor young computer science students in the process of collaborative development and the mechanics of actually doing open source development via the Code for Resilience program (http://codeforresilience.org). I’m now running a small technical consultancy (http://terranodo.io/) specialized in core development and integration and deployment of Open Source geospatial tools for some of the largest GIS Agencies in the world. Along this winding path, I’ve had the opportunity to work with local, regional and national governments, with defense and intelligence users, academic institutions, GIS professionals at small consultancies and large organizations and all kinds of non-governmental organizations focused on local, regional or global issues. I have a very strong desire to help all these types of professionals and organizations understand the freedom that comes with using, contributing to or developing open source software and the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from using GIS tools to understand the earth or the local environment and using this understanding to solve problems and improve people’s lives.

My vision

  • Help us grow beyond a relatively small club of developers, users and academics primarily in North America and Europe to being more active in marketing and outreach locally and globally as well as being active in advocacy for use of Open Source by large and small GIS organizations.
  • Take a strong focus on growing local osgeo organizations around the world into sustainable communities of users helping users and local developers and consultants working with users and organizational stakeholders in their area to meet their needs.
  • See the organization offer stronger and more coherent support to the projects in terms of policy and governance, infrastructure, marketing, branding, outreach, advocacy etc. Help the projects in terms of ‘accreditation’ of their software and professional support offered so they are considered on par with similar commercial offerings.
  • Have OSGeo be active in the promotion of the economic arguments behind open source to organizations big and small and work with the projects to ensure their communities become sustainable financially and organizationally.
  • Become an alternative route for GIS Professional (GISP) certification enabling professionals to provide demonstrable proof of their skills in open source GIS technologies (https://www.gisci.org/)
  • Continue the great work of Geo4All and spread the gospel of open source to the next generation of GIS professionals before they are indoctrinated in the GIS==Esri mindset
  • Have the organization be a stronger resource for consultants, companies and organizations using and promoting open source commercially.
  • Take a strong focus on growing the number of people who earn their living developing, using and implementing OSGeo tools, not only in europe and north america, but around the world.

What you have done within the community in the past

  • GeoNode Core developer, steering committee member, Osgeo project representative
  • One of the founders of the QGIS-US Chapter
  • Conducted trainings/workshops around the world in Open Source GIS tools for Governments, NGOs and local consultants.
  • Helping to manage GFDRRs (World Bank) investments in core development with various osgeo focused consulting organizations. One of the team behind the OpenDRI Initiative.
  • Co-founder of San Diego’s Code for America Chapter, working with the City of San Diego on their Open Data Policy and implementation and open source adoption.
  • Taught workshops at many global and local FOSS4G events.
  • Co-organizer of many local GIS events

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

  • (US/North America Focused) Develop an MoU with URISA (http://www.urisa.org/) and work closely with the North American GIS professional community to normalize and promote the use of Open Source GIS in local, state/provincial, regional and federal government agencies. Have OSGeo regularly participate in local and regional URISA events. Grow the community of GISPs using OSGeo tools.
  • Develop an integrated certification program for the entire stack of OSGeo tools and link this to the G4A initiative so there is a clear path from academic knowledge to demonstrated professional proficiency.
  • Work with the Marketing committee to develop a modern, coherent and focused marketing strategy for the organization that guides the promotion of OSGeo locally, regionally and globally.
    • Redevelop the website to be more modern and easy for projects to contribute to.
    • Develop and execute a social media marketing strategy that actively amplifies the good news and wins from the projects and organizations using them.
    • Develop a regular print publication that shares good news stories and interesting developments with people in the wider GIS community that might not normally hear about our community’s success.
  • Help the System Administration Committee become more sustainable by focusing on modern lean infrastructure (containers etc), and leveraging existing external resources.
  • Clarify the relationship between LocationTech and OSGeo and resolve the latent conflict by being very clear about the roles of each within the community. Leverage the strengths of each to move the entire community forward.

What role you would wish to fulfil on the board (if any) / What your interests are in terms of the board

  • Liaise with and be an advocate for consulting organizations and others who are making their living doing Open Source GIS in the marketplace/commercially.
  • Liaise with organizations like LocationTech, Apache etc that are more commercially focused.
  • Liaise with and evolve synergies with standardization organizations (OGC etc)
  • Be an advocate for the needs of government agencies in developing countries in terms of open source policy and acceptance in their organizations and the need for capacity building and continued professional development by their staff.
  • Liaise with global development organizations and the NGOs they work with promoting the use of open source in the developing world.
  • Liaise with external large projects like OpenStreetMap to promote the practical use of Open GIS data and the communities involved in collecting and using data locally.
  • Liaise with external Open Data focused organizations.
  • Become actively involved with Marketing Committee
  • Spearhead GISP Certification Program efforts & liaise with organizations like URISA
  • Whatever else I am asked to do :)