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Summary of the meeting on April 15, 2015


  • Ruben Cappel - Bruxelles-Mobilité
  • Marc Ducobu - Champs-Libres
  • Dirk Frigne - Geosparc
  • Gaël Kruwialis - Bruxelles-Environnement
  • Moritz Lennert - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
  • Tommy Oozeer - Geobusinet
  • Johan Van de Wauw - RealDolmen
  • Maëlle Vercauteren Drubbel - Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Main points discussed

  • Role of a Belgian OSGeo Chapter
  • Legal form of the chapter
  • Organisation of a FOSS4G-BE
  • Other activities

Role of a Belgian OSGeo Chapter

Much in line with the general role of OSGeo:

  • Community-building and networking
  • Organisation of events
  • Lobbying
  • Networking with other OSGeos (notably OSGeo-fr and OSGeo.nl)
  • Support to higher levels of OSGeo
  • Possibly: OSGeo focal point for EU-related activities

Legal form of the chapter

4 alternatives:

Dirk Frigne will explore the different alternatives and report back on advantages / disadvantages and necessary steps for each.

Organisation of a FOSS4G-BE event

  • Date: end of October, beginning of November 2015 - possible dates are 27/10, 29/10, 17/11, 19/11
  • Duration: One-day conference
  • Possible venues: Bruxelles-Environnement ([1]), ULB, Brussels central administratif building CNN
  • Audience: +/- 150 participants (possibly more)
  • Costs: ca 50€/participant, total budget around 7500€
  • Language: should be in FR and NL, but we will have to find translation facilities
  • Translation: ask Brussels administration/parlement or translation schools for possible translators
  • who will take the lead? Who wants to volunteer.


Any administration, institution or company that wants to sponsor, can sponsor.

We will provide different sponsoring levels

Ideas mentioned vaguely and made more concrete while writing these minutes:

  • Highest (Gold ?): booth at the event, logo on website and in printed program (if we make one)
  • Middle (Silver ?): logo on website and in printed program (if we make one)
  • Lowest (Bronze ?): mentioned in list of sponsors on website and in printed program (if we make one)
  • Maybe OSGeo is interested in a booth for the first FOSS4G BE event?

Content of the conference

The conference should be the launch event of the new OSGeo-BE. It should not be a dev-conf, but should target a broad audience. It should include a plenary session with general topics presenting OSGeo and show cases about successful usage of FOSS4G as well as interactive workshops/debate sessions with more specific questions. For this first event, we will not include practical tutorial workshops.

First session presenting OSGeo

  • What is OSGeo ? Presenting OSGeo-BE: objectives, structure, future activities; OSGeo as a guarantee for quality of software.
  • presenting OSGeo-Live: guide people through the different possible OSS solutions and/or libraries. Learn when to use which project.

Ideas for themes for a call for presentations for the plenary session

  • Show cases
    • How have you used open source software in your:
      • administration (notably for the implementation of INSPIRE-related infrastructures)
      • company
      • courses
      • research (notably for issues related to climate change and smart cities)
    • What issues have you encountered in migrating from closed source to open source software ? In the co-existence between closed and open source software ?
    • How has open source allowed you to successfully customize software to your needs ? How has open source software helped you to leverage budgets for customization instead of license costs ?

Ideas for workshops/debates about how OSGeo can help

    • Issues and obstacles in the introduction of FOSS4G into an organisation
    • How to build a successful open source solution ? How to chose between different solutions ?
    • How to set up a successful open source software project ?

News from projects

In parallel to the workshops/debates we could have an ongoing presentation session in the large plenary room allowing projects to present their products and latest news.

Participants enquiry

The event should also be used to survey the participants about their vision concerning the role and possible activities of OSGeo-BE.

Other activities

  • small, but regular tutorial/presentation sessions on different OSGeo projects
  • specific information event for high-level administration on FOSS4G
  • A codesprint, ideally before/after FOSDEM

Next steps

  • Set up wiki section (done)
  • Create mailing list (Johan)
  • Evaluate possible legal form (Dirk)
  • Organise FOSS4G-BE
    • Finding a lead for the organization
    • list of volunteers
    • Venue (Gaël for Bruxelles-Environnement; if not possible, Maëlle&Moritz for ULB)
    • Call for papers
    • Call for sponsors
    • Website
    • Organisation of registration

Future contacts

Even though we can still organise face-to-face meetings, other means (video conference, chat, mailing list) should be privileged.