Election 2019 Candidate Manifestos

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A space for the candidates for election to the Board to share some information about themselves, their aspirations for OSGeo, what they would like to change, improve or introduce and what role they would like to play on the board.

Vicky Vergara

About me

I am an experimenting person, perfectionist, a test freak, and lazy. (Maybe you have not noticed the lazy part, but, I spend days, days and more days to figure out if there is a fastest/better way to do a particular task, so that when the task is done, its in seconds, instead of hours).

What you have done within the community in the past

Back in 2013, I was jobless then my only way to contribute, because of the use I was making of OSGeo projects, was to become a translator on pgRouting:

  • July 25, 2013 I offered my self as translator of pgrouting
  • August 16, 2013: I was invited to contribute code to pgRouting: Invitation
  • August 23, 2013: My first code contribution the modifying 75 files Pull request.
  • July 2015:
    • Version 2.1.0 released
    • OSGeo-GSoC mentor for pgRouting.
  • September 2015: My first FOSS4G participation
  • September 2015: Became a Charter member
  • June 2017, I accepted to be part of PSC of OSGeoLive: Accepting statement
  • 2017 elections: I was nominated to be member of the Board of Directors, did not make it to the Board ;-)
  • 2018: I still can do a lot, so I volunteered to be member of the System Administration Committee (SAC)
  • 2018: I also volunteered for CRO, because as member of SAC and because I imagined

what the CRO where doing to handle the elections, and I thought I can do a lot to facilitate that Job.

  • 2019: I still can do much more, I became member and co-chair of the Code of Conduct Committee.

My vision

The right to be the best one can be

  • Who am I?
  • What do I do?
  • Am I the best of what I can be?
  • Do I have a dream?

Those are questions that we can ask to ourselves.

Before I answer those questions, I think in society, everything starts with the family:

  • My father gladly goes with me to events (gives me some family time).
  • When on vacation on Paris with my mother, a brother and his wife. We met a colleague from OSGeoLive and

we had a great evening. (family time mixed with OSGeo time)

  • One of my sons went to Argentina and volunteered on the reception desk on FOSS4G-Argentina 2017. (allows me family time)
  • My other son is letting us use his AZURE code on transifex for OSGeoLive and on pgRouting.
  • My husband, well what can I tell, he "let me go" a full year with my kid to study my masters, he

knows that I will do what I need to do to be the best of what I can be.

  • My niece is doing the Spanish translations on OSGeoLive and on pgRouting and made a presentation on

FOSS4G Argentina 2019 about point clouds. (more family time)

I am a lucky person, my family is participating in what I do. I consider that my family is doing all what they can do, so that my right to be the best I can be is fulfilled. And my family is growing with OSGeo.

Now lets answer those questions:

  • Who am I? I am Vicky. I was thought to be a fighter and not to give up.
  • What do I do? I do whatever I need to do to make this world a better place.
  • Am I the best of what I can be? No, as for tomorrow I want to be better than today.
  • Do I have a dream? I want to make this world be a better place.

The best of all is that I have my family support.

OSGeo, is as small part of the society, but its an international part of it. And we are part of OSGeo.

We don't have borders and the people are:

  • members from everywhere,
  • users who live in any country
  • volunteers from any part of the world.

I have being one of the fortunate that has met many of them

  • on FOSS4G events
  • on code sprint events.
  • some only thru video conference
  • most of them by IRC/chat

I consider them as my heroes.

They give up:

  • social time
  • work opportunities
  • and most important: family time
    • I cheat, some family time I make up when taking a family member to an OSGeo event.

I feel blessed as I have, from some of those heroes of mine, their autograph, I am their FAN #1.

Here are the next questions as a charter member I ask:

  • IS OSGeo helping people to be the best of what they can be?
  • Is OSGeo encouraging?
  • IS OSGeo a safe place?

From my experience the answers to all questions is yes.

There might be limitations, for example of local cultural limitations: A lady I met in India who is a student. Her father, who lives 300km away, forbids her to go out of the campus, not even to the restaurant in 50 mts away, and she complies to her father wishes. (I wonder if ever she will go to an international FOOS4G).

The reason that form my experience the answer is yes, is because when rephrasing the questions:

  • Am I helping people to be the best of what they can be?
  • Am I encouraging?
  • Am I a safe person?

I can answer, without a doubt, YES.

Am I doing enough?

That I don't think so, but I am trying to enforce the right to be the best on can be on our members, volunteers, users, etc.

What your interests are in terms of the board

  • In general: promote the use and development of Free and Open Source Software
  • In particular: promote the use and development of the OSGeo projects, OSGeo incubation and OSGeo community Free Open Source Software.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

Given my location and maternal language, the following points have a stronger implied emphasis to Latin America, but its not limited to this area.

Let the kitten be known

  • Encourage developers to build open projects using OSGeo projects that can help communities from pot hole control to emergency plans, from planting trees to avoid forest deprivation, from Archaeology to Economics, etc.
  • Promote the use of open source as tools, in particular OSGeo projects that give an ample variety of backend and frontend tools for systems development.
  • Promote the participation of Latin American students/developers/users to participate from simple tasks as translation up to code contributions on OSGeo Projects
  • Promote the participation of Latin American students/developers/users to create new OSGeo Community projects that can be used by local communities.
  • I went to the OGP summit in Mexico 2015 https://www.opengovpartnership.org/ and I think there is a lot of possibilities for using OSGeo projects. Do more research, and maybe starting to see how my own country is advancing towards the openness and more details on how OSGeo can be/its being used.
  • Support and encourage smaller open source projects to join OSGeo, and make OSGeo more valuable for them
  • Reach out to Latin-American local chapters and encourage them to play an active role in OSGeo

Curiosity killed the cat

Normally people tend to see, what's going wrong, on things that are happening. What becomes difficult to observe is what is wrong that things/activities that should be going are not even started yet.

Lets not forget to think about why things are not happening.

  • Why "[abc] is NOT [xyz] OSGeo".
  • Why do some projects, do not start incubation?
  • Why is there no local OSGeo chapter in, for example, Mexico?
  • Why do we have mostly sponsors from North America and Europe?
  • Why there are so few participation from Latin American countries in OSGeo even if they have conferences every year ... same for Japan actually.
  • Why we only hear (and see) those, who raise their voice and shout out loud. But we miss to reach the silent majority?
  • What causes the "inactivity"?
  • Why ....

What role you would wish to fulfill on the board (if any)

  • As an Economist, I don't want to handle money (It was by accident that I studied economics).
  • Get things done! Solving issues and making decision.
  • Ask: why? what? how?

Helena Mitasova

About me

I am a Professor at the Center for Geospatial Analytics and Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA, and lead the Geoforall Lab at NCSU (one of the founding labs).

My vision

Make the world a better place with open source geospatial: promote sustainable, long term use of open source through research and teaching.

What you have done within the community in the past

I have been on GRASS GIS development team since 1991 and I have been involved with OSGeo since its founding in 2006, first serving on committees (conference, education) and then on the board. Since elected to the board I served as vice-president, working with geoforall initiative and managing partnerships through memoranda of understanding. I also work with my students contributing new methods, techniques and tools to GRASS GIS and developing and delivering workshops and courses - see our publications and courses

What your interests are in terms of the board

I would like to make sure that the OSGeo board provides effective support to the projects through resources for code and community sprints and many other activities. I would also like to continue my previous work with geoforall and our MoU partners and provide a voice for academic community to help open source geospatial grow new generation of passionate developers, users and community builders.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

Encouraging educational institutions not only to use FOSS4G but also increase the contributions at several levels - from educational material to the code. Also, I think that we may need to revisit the OSGeo website management issues to make sure it is always up to date and helps the community.

What role you would wish to fulfil on the board (if any)

Coordination with geo4all initiative and working with partner organizations.


About me

My vision

What you have done within the community in the past

What your interests are in terms of the board

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

What role you would wish to fulfil on the board (if any)