Election 2021 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.

You are welcome to follow the template, and add further relevant info as you need:

Contents

Adam Steer - Australian in Norway (OSGeo profile)

About me

At work I am a polar researcher based in Tromsø, northern Norway - the latest iteration of a 'mosaic career' spanning research, research support, independent consulting, guiding, fixing bicycles and more! My geospatial training was in surveying and geomatics, applied to the frozen ocean at both ends of our planet using airborne and on-ground measurements. I also have a BSc in psychology and a multidisciplinary bachelor of Antarctic Studies. I've used open geospatial tools across research, business, and just making maps for fun. As part of my open geospatial software life I have worked hard to generate a culture of giving back, for example if we build a business tool based on open software, improvments are shared with the community (rather than branched into 'business specific' tools).

At home I am an adventurer at heart and parent to two boys. In general I would like to spend a lot more time getting lost in the mountains!

My vision

I want to help maintain a community which goes out of its way to let people in, and try to help members of the community become and stay engaged. More or less ask 'how can we help?' - and more importantly, 'how can we help without becoming just another overhead in your life?'. We live in interesting times and face a lot of challenges which we can't really predict well or prepare for. So my vision is to help this community in uncertain times, maybe think more about sustainability than growth.

What you have done within the community in the past

  • FOSS4G international attendee / speaker / workshop presenter in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • part of the team which restarted FOSS4G conferences in 2018 with FOSS4G SotM Oceania
  • part of the team founding OSGeo Oceania, founding director and member
  • elected director of OSGeo Oceania
  • small contributions to PDAL, OpenDroneMap
  • advocate for open source tools and open mindsets in research, business and government
  • charter member of OSGeo since 2018

What your interests are in terms of the board

In line with my vision - work to maintain a community which goes out of their way to let people in, and work on ways to help the community stay sustainable in terms of volunteer effort, financial support, and its environmental and ethical viewpoints.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

I want to get a better sense of OSGeo overall before suggesting changes. I would like to keep guiding OSGeo along paths toward inclusivity and environmental responsibility, but that isn't really new - there is plenty of precedent there.

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

I feel at this point being an ordinary board member is the best fit. I have a lot to learn!

Vicky Vergara, Mexico (OSGeo profile)

About me

I haven't changed much from the last times I wrote a manifesto (2019) (2017)

I remember the time in 5th grade that I was in Cleveland, Ohio. But around a month after me arriving we were asked to make an essay of were we lived, And here is what is what I remember of it.

I live at a house.
A house is on a road. I live in that road.
A house is on a road on a city, I live on that city.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality, I live on that municipality.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state, I live on that state.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country, I live on that country.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country on a continent, I live on that continent.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country on a continent on a world, I live on that world.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country on a continent on a world on a solar system, I live on that solar system.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country on a continent on a world on a solar system on a galaxy, I live on that galaxy.
A house is on a road on a city on a municipality on a state on a country on a continent on a world on a solar system on a galaxy on the universe, I live on that universe.

The only change from the 9 year old me and the now me is, I would only add at the end of each sentence "and I like to take care of it"


My vision

So this time I decided to transcribe a poem from Fernando Pessoa, "A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems". I think it shows my vision.

"VII
From my village I see as much of the universe as can be seen
from the earth,
And so my village is as large as any town,
For I am the size of what I see
And not the size of my height . . .

In the cities life is smaller
Than here in my house on top of this hill.
The big buildings of cities lock up the view,
They hide the horizon, pulling our gaze far away from the
open sky.
They make us small, for they take away all the vastness our
eyes can see,
And they make us poor, for our only wealth is seeing."

What you have done within the community in the past

I am still on pgRouting and OSGeoLive, but now I am also on MobilityDB. I am still at the System administration committee (SAC) mainly taking care of mails and the website. I haven't stopped been a mentor on OSGeo-GSoc program but recently I also participated on the UN-challenge as a mentor. I started to attend the monthly UN-GIS meetings.

What your interests are in terms of the board

  1. In general: promote the use and development of Free and Open Source Software
  2. In particular: promote the use and development of the OSGeo projects, OSGeo incubation and OSGeo community Free Open Source Software.
  3. In detail: Give people (GIS) tools for making a living.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

As a member of the board, the first thing is not what I want to change or introduce, is what the community wants. I feel that our task is to listen to ideas, objectives, reasons and make things happen.

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

I would like to remain as the vice-president in the Latin America Area.

Tina Cormier, United States (OSGeo profile)

About me

I am a remote sensing data scientist with over 15 years in the industry. I have dedicated my career to using EO and AI to advance our collective understanding of and facilitate decision-making on impactful environmental and societal issues. Open source software is central to the work that I do, and as a small token of my gratitude, I take every opportunity I can to evangelize open source software, data, standards, and science. Sharing my open source experience has always been a part of my work; I have taught workshops in countries all over the world, from Peru to Nepal, as well as in my home country, the USA. Workshop topics have ranged from programming in R and using QGIS, to processing lidar with open source tools.

I was first introduced to open source while working at the Woods Hole Research Center (now the Woodwell Climate Research Center) and shortly after that, I attended my first FOSS4GNA conference - the rest is history! My favorite FOSS4G was Boston, where I gave 4 talks and taught a workshop - tiring, but so worth it!

If elected, I look forward to giving back to the community upon whose shoulders I have built my career. I would continue to promote open source, but through more official channels, and I would support the foundation however else I could. I am also excited to reach out to my networks in both the private and non-profit sectors to garner support (financial and code contributions) for OSGeo and the important work it does.

Open Source favorites (OSGeo projects and beyond): QGIS, Postgres/PostGIS, R (my first language!), Python

On the personal side: I am originally from Massachusetts and now live in Midcoast Maine where my husband and I are building a small farm. We have bees, horses, dogs, and cats, and each spring we tap our maple trees for syrup - these critters and activities provide a nice contrast to our busy work lives in tech.

My vision

My vision is that OSGeo remains a strong, important, inclusive, and reliable player in the tech space, providing FOSS4G users and developers with information, support, opportunity, and community.

What you have done within the community in the past

  • FOSS4G 2021 Argentina Local Organizing Committee Volunteer - general call for papers team
  • OSGeo Charter Member since 2017
  • Speaker and Workshop Instructor at multiple FOSS4G conferences
  • Active in OSGeo US - most recently, was a member of the US Chapter leadership conference steering committee
  • Active FOSS evangelist and communicator even outside of FOSS4G conferences - frequent talks at other conferences and to various groups (e.g., Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis, University of Maryland Geographical Sciences Seminar, Maptime Cape Cod, Maptime Maine, RStudio etc.)

What your interests are in terms of the board

My interest in joining the OSGeo board is mainly to serve as a voice for the free and open source community. As a user of open source software and tools, I don’t typically contribute code, but what I can do is foster awareness, adoption, and participation within the geospatial community. I would also serve as a voice of the user within the board, bringing the perspective of the typical user successes and challenges.

I can be most impactful within the private and non-profit sectors, where I have years of experience and professional networks. There are a few other areas where I’d be excited to contribute as well: educational initiatives, partnerships with other open source software projects, and bringing FOSS to under-served communities.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

If elected, I’d like to spend my first few months getting acquainted with the board and understanding the Foundation on a deeper level before proposing any changes. One area where I’d like to help, though, is in continuing to expand upon the good work happening between OSGeo and other open source projects - we are all on the same team and are stronger together.

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

I would be open to discussing how my skills might be best put to use to help the board.

Rajat Shinde, India (OSGeo profile)

About me

My name is Rajat (meaning shining like Silver in Hindi). I hail from India and Currently, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Geo-informatics and a recipient of the Prime Minister's Research Fellowship conferred by the Government of India to selected doctoral students in India. Before diving into the spatial dimension, I used to be an Electronics and Communication Engineer.

My journey with open-source (and OSGeo) started in 2017 when I got to attend and present at the FOSS4G Asia 2017. In the same year, I got an amazing experience in contributing to the MapMint project as a Google Summer of Code Student. From 2018 and onwards, I am trying my best to be a GSoC co-mentor and work alongside new developers for the MapMint project. Additionally, I am fortunate to be a part of the OSGeo GSoC Administration team and recently, I got elected as a Project Steering Committee (PSC) Member for the ZOO-Project (read: star_eyes). Also, I was one of the mentors for the United Nations OSGeo Education Challenge 2021 for the pgRouting project. I am also actively involved in the development of the pgRouting workshop with the pgRouting community and it is always a great learning experience.

From where I started in 2017 when I look back, I feel proud of myself to be able to contribute something back. But more than that, I feel proud of being a part of this OSGeo community; of knowing great personalities, and working with them.

When I am not in front of my laptop, I love to play the flute and read books. (I am also exploring my cooking skills these days. :P)

More details

My vision

My vision is to spread the knowledge of open geospatial research and software to the next level. We all are aware of the significance of location intelligence in the current world. Personally, I feel that immense opportunities lie in using spatial data in the real world. With the power to use existing open geospatial software and tools, a lot of problems can be addressed at a granular level. Additionally, it would be my great pleasure to see new members contributing back to the society (open-source community), learning and rising step-by-step to achieve their dreams.

What you have done within the community in the past

I have a short experience participating in diverse positions while being a part of the OSGeo community. A brief description is as follows:

  • FOSS4G 2021 Session Leader, FOSS4G Asia Workshop Contributor and Speaker
  • OSGeo-OGC-ASF Joint Code Sprint Participant
  • Project Steering Committee (PSC) Member for the ZOO-Project
  • Mentor for the United Nations OSGeo Education Challenge 2021 - pgRouting Track (Attending the UN OpenGIS and UN GeoAI WG Meetings)
  • Charter Member since 2017
  • Google Summer of Code 2020-onwards: Organization Administrator
  • Google Summer of Code 2018-onwards: Mentor
  • Google Summer of Code 2017: Student Developer
  • Google Code-in 2019: Mentor

I am also an academic manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) and I review manuscripts in the domain of geospatial and geoscience research and software.

What your interests are in terms of the board

My primary interest is in learning and propagating the experiences to the best of my capability to the new members. Also, to encourage new members to join the community and make their contributions to the OSGeo community projects with OSGeo’s initiatives like Google Summer of Code with OSGeo.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

I would always strive to support new members of the community just as the way I was supported, and I feel being capable of doing that is more important for me than proposing any change.

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

I am open to any role based on the requirements of the board. I have a lot to learn! :)

Marco Bernasocchi, Switzerland (OSGeo profile)

About me

I am an open-source advocate, consultant, teacher, and developer. My background is in geography with a specialization in geographic information science. I live in Switzerland in a small Romansh speaking mountain village where I love scrambling around the mountains to enjoy the feeling of freedom it gives me. I’m a very communicative person, I fluently speak Italian, German, French English, and Spanish and love travelling. I'm the QGIS.org Chair and work as CEO of OPENGIS.ch which I founded in 2011. Since 2014 I share the company ownership with Matthias Kuhn. At OPENGIS.ch LLC we develop, train and consult our client on any aspect related to QGIS, QField, PostGIS and WebGIS technologies.

I first came in contact with the OSGEO world during my BSc when the University of Zurich was teaching us proprietary products and I started looking around for Open Source alternatives and started using QuantumGIS “Simon (0.6)”. In 2008, when starting my MSc, I made the definitive switch to Ubuntu and I started working more and more with QuantumGIS Metis (0.11) and ended developing some plugins and part of Globe as my Masters' thesis.

Since then my whole work has pivoted around QGIS and enabling people and companies to embrace opensource for their GIS needs.

My vision

Serving as a pragmatic community conciliator - collecting thoughts from people with differing opinions and trying to find the high road through difficult issues I want to focus my and the community's energies on being inclusive and forward-thinking.

I see FOSS as a very socially responsible way to develop software, but even more, I see the immense technological advantage that writing open-source code brings. This is why I always strive to allow both pragmatic and ideological views to respectfully coexist and enrich each other.

What you have done within the community in the past

  • QGIS contributor since 2011
  • QGIS.org Chair since 2020
  • QGIS.org Vice-Chair 2018-2020
  • QField (originally QGIS for android) creator
  • FOSS4G Session Leader, various FOSS4G Talks and workshops
  • Charter Member since 2018
  • Google Summer of Code 2012: Mentor
  • Google Summer of Code 2011: Student Developer

What your interests are in terms of the board

One of my main motivations to be part of the board is to help OSGeo keep its incredible growth rate by being even more attractive to new community members, sponsors and large/corporate users. To achieve this, to me the key is maintaining the right balance between sustainable processes and helping interesting and motivating grassroots projects.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

As still fairly technical driven person, I like to understand the inner workings of things and projects before commenting on changes :)

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

I am open to any role based on how I could best serve the board.


Codrina Maria Ilie, Romania (OSGeo profile)

About me

By day, I am a technical geographer, an open source GIS/RS power user, actively working in developing geospatial data services at Terrasigna, a Romanian based SME, searching to improve by integrating data from non-traditional sources, such as the open data initiative. In the 12 years I’ve spent working, I focused on using open source solutions for geodata processing and visualisation, with a more recent spotlight on standardization and interoperability. By night, I am a loud advocate for open source solutions for geospatial and for the open (geo)data initiative worldwide.


My vision

geo-spatial.org - the Romanian OSGeo Local Chapter - and further along the way, the international OSGeo community, has been a crucial pillar of my life and personality. Joining geo-spatial.org as a young student, I have learned from them not only what GRASS and OpenLayers is, but also what it means to offer your time generously to your community, to share your knowledge and data (!) while you benefit from the knowledge and data from others, just as well as what it means to argue with elegance and kindness and to critique in a constructive way. As I am running for my second mandate on the board, my vision and what I want to do has not changed dramatically. I still strive to foster and further expand, thought my activities and contributions, the OSGeo community as the environment where one, anyone, can grow, professionally and personally - just as I did and still do - where one can comfortable continue discussing the technical complexities of a new solution started online, over a beer, in a remote corner of the world at a FOSS4G event.


What you have done within the community in the past

12 years ago, when I was in my second year at the University of Bucharest, I stumbled upon a webpage, in Romanian (!) - geo-spatial.org - filled with geospatial articles, tutorials, book reviews etc. in a time when any information on related technical literature was scarce and expensive, that was if you were lucky enough to find any. Immediately, I joined the mailing list (one of the first I ever did) and then, boldly joined a hands-on workshop on web mapping some months later. And I never left the group. It was my very first encounter with open source, but equally important, it was the first time I had ever met people that would openly and happily, within no official framework, spend their free time and resources to share their knowledge with strangers, lead by the belief that together we can do more, we can do better. The impact was incisive. Years passed and from the student in the auditorium, I slowly transitioned to presenting my work and giving my own hands-on workshops. Today, I humbly serve geo-spatial.org as vice-president.

My active contribution to OSGeo came, of course, via geo-spatial.org. After I participated at my first FOSS4G conference - Central Eastern Europe 2012 in Prague, in 2013, geo-spatial.org organised FOSS4G Central Eastern Europe in Bucharest and I was part of the active core of organisers. And what a wonderful, full of work and new experiences that time was! 2013 was also the year when I become a OSGeo Charter Member.

In 2015, I was the chair of the Open Data track at FOSS4G 2015 in Como, in 2016 I was part of the LOC for the global FOSS4G in Bonn. However, I believe that my biggest yet contribution to the community I’ve made in 2019, when I served as Chair of the Program Committee of FOSS4G 2019 Bucharest. It was by far the most substantial responsibility I have carried on behalf of OSGeo for the geospatial community and I am deeply honoured for the trust I have been invested with by my peers. Additionally, as I understand - including from a personal perspective - the intricacies in communication that can arise from cultural differences or diversity in all forms, I have supported organising side events at FOSS4G 2019 aimed at creating a welcoming environment - such as the Women in Geospatial Bof and ‘Geochicas take over Bucharest!’. Above all though, at the end of the day, what remains is the strong feeling of belonging to a community which values I share, which products - software - I use everyday and, most important, the feeling that I have too brought a contribution to its further development.


What your interests are in terms of the board

As now I run for my second term on the OSGeo board, I want to keep working on building bridges. Even though the OSGeo community has reached a stable and mature point - the numbers of participants to the global FOSS4Gs (approximately 1000 people) together with the many regional events stand proof of that reality - open source for geospatial has not fully breached into important sectors for our everyday lives, such as the public sector, no matter the level. These conclusions are still valid to me, like they were 2 years ago. The interactions I have with organisations such as The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies - where I’ve coordinated their Open Source Initiative - and the European Big Data Value Association - where I’ve been coordinating the Earth Observation working group - as well as working in various projects with institutions such as the European Space Agency, stand proof of that reality. I want to continue working in that direction, to advocate OSGeo's values and principles. As an organisation, OSGeo can and should be the leading figure that can take upon itself the role of opening these front lines with a more coordinated effort.

There are several reasons why I believe this efforts should be made, but there are 2 that I consider worth mentioning here (1) because, in sectors such as the public one, openness is crucial, including the technical aspects of their activities and (2) because I believe that introducing open source for geospatial in these types of mainstream would prove beneficial for the entire community, maybe even in terms of financial aspects on the long run.

Any things that you would like to change or introduce

I want to continue what I've started in my fist term as an OSGeo board member and that is bringing OSGeo's values and principles, its activities and solutions closer to my part of the world, as well as to Europe. I want to keep developing synergies with other communities that use geospatial knowledge in their activities.

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

I still consider that I can best contribute as a regular board member.