Welcome to the wiki page of the Belgium OSGeo chapter.
During the last FOSDEM Geospatial devroom OSGeo was represented. It was a great opportunity for Belgium OSGeo members to meet each other and start talking about organizing ourselves a bit more, so actions in Belgium can be better supported. Belgium is, as a country divided in at least 3 speaking languages and 3 official languages. The active OSGeo community members today are either active in the OSGeo.nl, the OSGeo.fr or in several OSGeo communities.
However, OSGeo-nl and OSGeo-fr are language-oriented communities with their geographical weight centred in respectively the Netherlands and France, and the separation by language has impeded on any specific Belgian activities, notably networking and lobbying with administrations that are bilingual on some levels of governance. Thus the need arose to provide a specific Belgian forum.
In the past there where already some OSGeo local activities:
- OSGeoGhent - 13 June 2013
- FOSDEM2014 - booth 1 & 2 Februari 2014
- Be-OpenGIS-Fr - 6 November 2014
- FOSDEM2015- devroom - 31 Jan; 1 Februari 201
This year we (OSGeoBE) have the ambition to organise a first Belgium/FOSS4G on 29 October 2015 in Brussels. This event will also be used to announce the birth of our Chapter.
In preparation for this official expression of interest, a couple of meetings have already taken place, one physical, most of them trough digital communication (skype/IRC). The meeting minutes can be found on the OSGeo wiki.
Mission and objectives
After discussion amongst the active local chapter members we come to the following list of mission objectives:
- Community-building and networking around specific Belgian themes and within Belgian fora.
- Organisation of events
- These two mission statements are working together. We believe it is important to meet people face2face. To help them to start open source initiatives, to start using open source solutions, to establish an eco-system that benefits from the cooperation, the sharing and the co-creation open source delivers.
- We think it is important to speak as one voice, and to get involved with other organisations: administrations, industries, user groups, ... OSGeo. Be will actively speak as an organisation to defend the OSGeo open source spirit in the broader Belgium community (government, academic, industry, other open initiatives).
- Networking with other OSGeos (notably OSGeo-fr and OSGeo.nl)
- OSGeo Belgium will focus on local activities (Belgium based). OSGeo Belgium will advertise and promote other OSGeo initiatives and invite members of the other OSGeo chapters on the Belgium events or meetings.
- We think that OSGeo Belgium can act as a bridge between several language communities and cultures, because of it's unique composition.
- Support to higher levels of OSGeo
- We believe that OSGeo only can grow if supported from the base. So OSGeo Belgium is willing to help OSGeo where necessary, to leverage idea's or act as an advisor if appreciated.
- Support to OSGeo in lobbying European Union Institutions (Commission, Parliament, etc) related to specific EU-Themes (INSPIRE, H2020, Procurement policy, ...)
List of initial members
The Belgium OSGeo Chapter has the support of the following initial founding members (alphabetic - first name):
- Ben Abelhausen - liason with OSM - Belgium community
- Dirk Frigne - founding member of the Geomajas community
- Gaël Kruwialis - active member of the local FOSS momement in the Brussels area - contact with the Brussels administration
- Johan Van de Wauw - OSGeo Charter Member
- Maëlle Vercauteren Drubbel - Supervisor and trainer in the Free GIS ARES internship at the IGEAT/ULB
- Marc Ducobu - liason with OSGeo.fr
- Moritz Lennert - GRASS GIS PSC Member, contact with academic world
- Oliver May - PSC member of the Geomajas project
- Pieter Colpaert - link with the open knowledge foundation
- Ruben Capelle
- Tommy Oozeer - OSGeo Advocate
Dirk Frigne is proposed as a liason officer to the board.
Discussions are held on the dedicated mailing list.