WebCom OSGeo Site Focus

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This page is intended as a collaborative brainstorming effort in defining
how the web site should be designed, and is intended to be based on the
WHO developed in coordination with VisCom VisComTargets.

OSGeo Web Site Focus (WebCom)


Who *does* want to talk to us?

Users (Got Feature?)

These are GIS users, often with a problem to solve. How quickly can we help them solve their problem?

Peter (Hobbyist)

  • Sound Byte: Geo Hobbyist (User)
  • Scenario 1: Peter is just here to learn how to use the tools. He likes maps and has played with Google Earth and wants more, he wants to see something cool.
  • Scenario 2: Peter is into Geocaching. He wants to have tools to help with his hobby. Ultimately he wants to share these tools with his friends.


Background: Geocaching is getting big and applications like google earth and hacks of google maps have raised the public awareness of maps and geocoded data. The curious and the motivated curious will be visiting the site.

Peter has just some basic knowledge and will need to learn GIS fundamentals. Peter will show up on some interesting looking mailing lists and ask some very basic questions, and we would like to have a FAQ to point him to (to prevent developers giving him flipent responces).

If we are nice to Peter he will turn into the kind of contributor we want and need, with the learning experience fresh in his mind he can help others and update documentation.

Our Goal is to turn Peter, based on his motivation and dedication, into key contributor to the foundation.


  • Need bare essentials to understand geospatial applications
  • Glossary of basic terms and references for learning
  • FAQ for beginners
  • Page for beginners
  • Page about Geocaching and point to applications and web sites to fulfill the need

Expected Workflow for Peter

  1. Web serach for "Geocaching" or "GeoCaching free" or "GPS Track Software"
  2. Will land on a page, preferabily one called "GeoCaching with free GPS Software"
  3. Peter will go through the tutorial downloading software that has one click installers
  4. Terms that are unfamiliar on the page will open up in a seperate FAQ window (or will have a popover for their definition)
  5. Peter gets stuck when installing the "geocaching" plug-in into uDig (or qGIS)
  6. He will contact the article author directly (or the mailing list) asking for help
  7. He will be told to click on the definition for "plug-in", by which time he has already figured this out via online help
  8. Peter shows his friends and the process repeats

Humour: under a deludge of popularity the instructions page gets very detailed (and long), by which point Peter writes a quickstart and the process repeats with Peter answering the questions.

George (ESRI Professional)

  • User: ESRI Professional getting sick of status quo...
  • Senario: Told by a manager to look into what is going on?


Here is the problem "George" just wants to know *what* to use, selection of components is a real problem here and we need to have some "certified" software stacks that he can try out, or write a memo on (ie "We should evaluate this stuff that I read works together").

Would be better politically if we can ask some of the members or commercial providers to cough up a CD that can run on windows


  • Need to speak in terminology accessable to the target audience. Diagram of ESRI Architecture --> FOSS Architecture.


  • We loose points for linux distributions (sorry but true)
  • Not interested in open standards (yet), that is part of a long play against vendor lock-in that George's manager is trying to step out of.
  • George wants to see a feature list (aka answer the question what can I not do if I choose FOSS)
    • Needs to see product set he knows, compared to what we got
    • it ** will do us no good to talk about the benifits yet (cause George does not know what an SLD document is).

George wants a definitive "yes" or "no". Yes = we are ready for biz and we just stole ESRI's lunch money.

Desired Workflow for George

  1. Page 1: Starts on the OSGEO home page (that his manager sent him from our latest press release)
  2. Page 2: Will click on the AUTODESK link right away as that is a named brand he remembers from the 80s
  3. Page 3: Will click on a link for a pdf of "Feaure Comparison"


  • User: "Open Standards" GIS Professional
  • Senario: GIS Professional looking for cheap way to try out an open standards



  • Once again start with the big picture, this time focus on interactions between components
  • We are allowed to list the specificaitons (Lui did a web search to find us)
  • Video flash via wink (ie Show don't tell)
  • Expect each and every page to be "home", people arrive here via google and will not navigate the site, each page thus has to make obvious the story


  • we have at most two pages (clicks) to show a pretty picture and give them what they came for
  • it is very hard not to talk down here, we have a different set of technocati turf staked out - each with our own terms - we are both right but we need to speak the correct langauge.

Expected workflow for Lui

  1. Page 1 - Google hit centered around specificaiton (ie SLD), need a pretty picture or diagram so he knows that a) we got our act together about the SLD spec b) we can make it sing
  2. Page 2 - Clicks on a "product" page of one of the programs that does SLD (ie GeoServer SLD page)
  3. Page 3 - If Lui lasts this long it better be a demo that shows an SLD file hitting a live geoserver
  4. Page 4 - Off to the GeoServer site to sign up for mailing lists, and get to know the gang.

Developers (Got Code?)

Sarah (Undergrad)

  • Sound Byte: Undergrad
  • Senario: Looking to have her homework done



  • she can check out our toolkits (and even read the source code looking for the answer)
  • her project is in a specific lanaguage, or against a specific file
  • We can be blunt about asking her to consider our projects for graduate student work
  • many projects (like uDig) have additional facilities that are open to academics

And what do they want :-)

  • Simple functional site, see jakarta
  • No flash, it wastes time
  • Want to find the right *project*
  • These people *will* arrive via web search, there is no way they would start from our home page...

Expected workflow for Sarah

  1. Page 1: Arrives via search at geotools graph module, this was found based on a description that included "java", "graph" "shortest path"
  2. Page 2: clicks on javadocs for algorithms
  3. Page 3: clicks on "source" to look at how it was done

Structure Ideas

  • Need to be user-focussed.
  • New users? (What can I do with OSGeo projects, What is OSGeo, etc?)

Feature Ideas

  • Segmentation:
    • Education
    • Government (small, large)
    • Service Provider
    • Solution Developer

  • Convincers:
    • Community profiles (profiles of individuals activel in open source geo)
    • Project profiles (with lots of pretty screenshots)
    • Sucess stories (these are big; need to show sucessful implementations)