LinuxTag 2006

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Revision as of 02:29, 25 May 2006 by Arnulf Christl (talk | contribs) (report...)
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Contact the Promotion and Visibility Committee if you want to volunteer to staff a booth


The LinuxTag 2006 was organized in cooperation with the German Unix Users Group (GUUG) on May 3 - 6, 2006, in the Rhein-Main-Hallen, Wiesbaden, Germany.

As every year since 1996, LinuxTag invites to take advantage of its unique synthesis: LinuxTag is a complete conference program and a professional exhibition; a unique information platform where .COM meets .ORG.

Open Source Geospatial Foundation Projects

An exhibition area of 24 sqm has been reserved for OSGeo projects a setup that could be the forerunner of how to Operate OSGeo Booths. The OSGeo Foundation itself was presented with a large poster and a smaller copy as handout. You can find the originals in the VisCom Documents & files.

Focus and Interests

The focus of the OSGeo booth at the LinuxTag was on the software projects. Interestingly by far most questions asked by normal folk focused on availability, licensing and complaints about geospatial data. Approximately 50 individuals had the chance to get a personal contact to one of the people at the booth. All 200 OSGeo handouts were gone pretty quick so that some more had to be printed during the exhibition.

Normal Folk

People just stopping by intrigued by the maps on the screens made up about 50% of all visitors. One of their main interest was trying to understand how they could use maps by Google in their private or not-so-private web sites ((we should charge Google for clarifying their lousy licensing model to people)). Most were of the very strong opinion that public geodata must be available for free to the public because they have already paid for it with their taxes anyway. Sometimes this impulse was so strong that they complained that we (the OSGeo Foundation) should not hang around showing off cool software at the LinuxTag but rather change local, regional, national and European legislation so that they could get free access to "their" data. This was really awsome.

Software Developers and Hackers

Real developers surprisingly were more scarse and made up around 10% of all OSGeo booth visitors. But they took their time to explain and understand things. Obviously about 1/3 of the discussions revolved around whether to hack in Python, Perl, PHP, C++ or Java and whether PostgreSQL is better or MySQL faster. Development regarding maps in Mediawiki and thus Wikipedia is continuing, but their stack of change request is rather large so that it will still take some time.

GIS Professionals

GIS Pros made up around 25% and were the most satisfied visitors. Obviously those finding their way to the LinuxTag mostly are already biased toward Open Source but still many were positively surprised at how extensively OS software is already being used in the spatial context.

Management Level

The lower and middle management level people that found their way to the LinuxTag were highly interested in the OSGeo Foundation. Unanimously they embraced the opportunity that the OSGeo will give them in convincing their superior management levels. The largest problem at this level is that the understanding of the advantages of Open Source and standardization in the geospatial realm grows bottom to top. And by default at one point the understanding stops too seep up because capillary force is not strong enough. References to a strong and healthy organisation can help overcome this problem and make decisions for the upper level management easier.

What we should Learn from this

Therefore we should try to put some more focus on presenting the Public Geospatial Data Committee

Contributors and Sponsoring

Thanx to all contributors, volunteers, and companies who helped staff and sponsor the booth. And naturally a big thanx to all our visitors for showing interest, joining in a help to spread the word!

Staff Plan

Day of week Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Date 2006.05.02 2006.05.03 2006.05.04 2006.05.05 2006.05.06
Time 18:00-finish 8:00 - 19:00 8:30-open 9:00-18:00 9:00-finish
Todo setup & connect booth operation booth & social event booth operation booth & pack in
Hinrich Paulsen X
Philip X X
Arnulf X X X
Torsten Brassat X X
Peter König X X X
Athina Trakas X X
Martin Geilhausen
Olaf Knopp X X
Harald Schwenk X
Jörg Thomsen X
Raphaël Jacquot X X X X
Total 2 5 6 5 3