FOSS4G 2017 Competition Committee

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FOSS4G 2017 Competition Committee

This committee is dedicated to organising competitive events in the FOSS4G 2017 social program. We are at the moment primarily engaged in organising the Map Gallery, which includes submissions from children and adults, as well as the Iron Mapping competition.


All discussions and planning happen through the FOSS4G 2017 mailing list (subscribe)

Committee Members

  1. Heather Hillers
  2. Keith Jenkins
  3. Paul Wickman
  4. Jeff McKenna
  5. your name here

Map Gallery

The Map Gallery is a open map competition that has been held at various FOSS4G conferences over the years and has always been well received. The Map Gallery will accept digital submissions of maps from adults and from children. Awards will be given for various categories of our choosing. Submissions will be publicly screened in a dedicated space through the duration of the event.

Submission: Conference goers can submit maps digitally through the conference web site. The Map Gallery will be advertised in the conference submission form, on the web site, on OSGeo user forums and on Twitter.

Awards and Recognition:

Various Award Categories will be selected by the committee. Conference goers can vote online for their favourite submissions. Winners will be announced at the closing ceremony. There will be an immaterial awards, such as Ivan Sanchez' voice on your answering machine. For children's categories a small material award might be considered. Each submission will have a guestbook on the online website, so that the map makers can get feedback on their submissions and communicate with the viewers.

Task List for 2017

  1. Get notes on Map Gallery from Nottingham and Portland, if they exist.
  2. Write Call for submissions Content for FOSS4G 2017 Web Site, Registration site, for Twitter, for user groups
  3. Create Submission Site FOSS4G 2017 Home Page (copy from Portland or Nottingham)
  4. Get space at Conference Venue sufficient for a large display, preferably wall space in the foyer or kiosk area.
  5. Organise materials and hardware for display (large screen)
  6. Come up with list of categories
  7. Organize immaterial prizes
  8. Also organise some sort of recognition (a pin or a certificate) for each children's submission
  9. organise an announcement at opening session
  10. organise an announcement and prizes at closing session

Iron Mapper

Back in 2012, Diana Sinton organized an "Iron Mapper" event at Cornell University. Inspired by "Iron Chefs", participants were tasked with creating a map within 60 minutes. Each map had to use a specific dataset (the "secret ingredient") that was revealed at the start of the event. Some other datasets were provided, but participants were also allowed to download and use any other data they wanted to use. At the end, each person showed their map, and described what they did (maybe 1 minute each?) and then we all voted on our favorites, and a couple prizes were awarded to the winners. It was great to see the variety of maps that were produced, and also what could be accomplished in a short amount of time. This could be a fun addition to FOSS4G, and the resulting maps could possibly be funneled into a larger Map Gallery, or it could just be a stand-alone event.

The Utah Geographic Information Council has held an "Iron Cartographer" competition for at least the last two years, in which features two top cartographers who compete head-to-head. Thanks to Michael Terner, who witnessed those events and mentioned it to Guido Stein, who tweeted about it and got the ball rolling...

FOSS4G twist is that all the work must be done in QGIS (or the open tool of their choice?)

Task List for 2017

  1. Get Diane Sinton on the committee -- Keith will contact her
  2. Organize a room/space for the event
  3. Create/publish the rules
  4. Pick the "secret ingredient" dataset
  5. Find Master of Ceremonies
  6. Someone to manage the submissions
  7. Someone to organize the voting - is there a panel of judges or does the public vote (phone app?)
  8. Someone to run around excitedly asking questions during the event (floor reporter from the real Iron Chef)

Point / Counterpoint Debate (points, get it? HA!)

A friendly debate between two folks on some particularly thorny issue in GIS? Something along the lines of the NPR show, "intelligence squared" This could be set up as a twist on the longer panel sessions. In this regard I’d like to see it end with a “clear” winner of the debate (gauging audience opinion before/after the debate).

At Bonn there were interesting back-to-back talks by Vlad Agofonkin and Ivan Sanchez on vector tiles and "what the trend means" that had the same effect: two bright minds with different perspectives (although there was no back-and-forth).

There was a great unplanned debate at a FOSS4G Europe between Ivan and Peter Baumann on stage, on a thorny issue, but after they hugged, and it was fascinating to hear and see, the passion, the knowledge, it was exactly what the industry was wondering at the time, really on topic. I can think of some great thorny issues, that would definitely be entertaining to hear. Getting the 2 right people might be tricky though.

Task List for 2017

  1. A room/space: perhaps this is just a twist on a panel discussion with audience participation?
  2. A topic (or two?)
  3. Moderator
  4. Audience voting process (phone app?)

Benchmark Challenge

Reviving performance benchmark challenges. I believe they said that MapServer and GeoServer used to be lined up next to one another to see relative performance in a formal setting. Would some of this nature still be relevant in today’s ecosystem? What software tools would be tested? What performance metrics?

Task List for 2017

  1. A room/space: it is live testing or just presentation of benchmark results?
  2. What is being compared?