German Language Chapter Report 2007
The main focus of the vocal bits of the German language OSGeo community has been to spread word and promote GIS and WebGIS solutions with Free Software.
The most appropriate way to accomplish this over the last years was to organize and take part in events. In 2007 we had various of them:
- FOSSGIS Konferenzen
- The German language Open Source GIS community meets at the FOSSGIS conference. It is the largest annual conference focusing on FOSSGIS and sees growing numbers of attendees very year.
- OSGeo Park at the Intergeo
- The Intergeo is the largest recurring GIS event, trade show and congress in Europe attracting more than 10k people. The OSGeo Park hosts a presentation forum for users, free-of-cost booths for OSGeo projects and is funded by FOSSGIS companies exhibiting. It is a perfect example of Coopetition. Get some impressions from the Intergeo_2006_Report.
- OSGeo operated the Open Source Park of the Intergeo together with the Hinte-Messe GmbH, organizer of the exhibition and conference.
- With an exhibition area of 30 by 20 meters the OSGeo Open Source Park was one of the largest booths at the fair.
- Focus of the Intergeo trade show is clearly business and end customer oriented.
- Of the 16,000 Intergeo visitors several thousand made it to the OSGeo sector to pick up info sheets and listen to presentations.
- Those who wanted to get more detailed information talked to the booth staff of roundabout 30 people from all areas of IT and FOSS GIS business.
- The Open Source-Day at AGIT
- This event is focused more on scientific attendees and has a strong academic foundation.
- The recurring special seminar focusing on Free and Open Source Software methodologies in the spatial context is in its fifth year now.
- OSGeo presence at the LinuxTag
- 2006 was the first public appearance of OSGeo in Germany
- 2007 saw the joint effort together with the GAV eV.
- OpenStreetmap presented on the OSGeo booth
What else did we do?
- Create info sheets for OSGeo projects and translate them to English
- Start translation of the OSGeo Homepage to German
- Lots of presentations and articles focusing on FOSSGIS and business models
Areas for Improvement
The FOSSGIS community in Germany is quite heterogeneous and reaching consensus is a long process with frequently more or less fruitful discussions on various topics. One reason may be, that the history of Free Software in Germany goes back quite a long time - well before OSGeo came into existence. Some initiatives still have sensitivities and face problems in sharing the role of Free Software promoters with others.
Outlook for 2008
Events, conferences (FOSSGIS 2008, AGIT 2008, LinuxTag 2008, Intergeo OSGeo-Park 2008). Eventually we would like to have an organization that is well embedded into OSGeo but also has a local focus to be able to collect funding from European grant programs and the public administration. Currently it is not possible for the public administration to fund OSGeo directly. Whether "OSGeo Local Chapter" is an appropriate terminology is one of the ongoing sensitivities.