FOSS4G2008 Workshops

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The FOSS4G2008 Workshop Committee is responsible for the organization of both Workshops and Labs. Workshops are 3-hour classroom sessions, and Labs are 90-minute classes. The committee reports to the FOSS4G2008 Conference Committee.

FOSS4G Workshop Committee Members

Next Committee Meeting

The date/time for the next meeting is tentative

  • date:
  • time: To be confirmed[]
  • meeting will be via [[]]
  • Agenda:

Previous Committee Meetings

List of workshop and lab submissions


Final list of workshops and labs


Criteria used by the workshop committee to review workshop submissions

  1. meets conference mandate:
    1. matches with the themes of the conference
    2. makes use of software that is both "free" and "open source"
  2. submission's technical requirements can be met by the conference facilities
  3. likelihood of a quality workshop:
    1. successful workshop presented at prior FOSS4G conference
    2. expertise of the workshop presenter in the workshop subject matter
    3. any relevant input from workshop evaluations collected by FOSS4G2007, or personal experience of workshops presented by the presenter(s) at other conferences
    4. demonstrates practical applications
  4. expected level of interest in the workshop topic


The range of scores to be used is 0 through 5:

 0 = does not meet any of the criteria
 1 = barely meets some of the criteria, and doesn't meet some of the criteria
 3 = average
 5 = meets or exceeds all of the criteria

The goal is to end up with a score in the range of 0-5 for the workshop. Two ways to do the scoring:

  1. Use the provided spreadsheet, which allows for a score for each criterion. Divide the "Total Score" by 4 to get the 'score for the workshop'. Doing it this way makes it easy to see any workshops that received a zero for any criterion. Despite the 'total score', workshops that have a zero score for any criterion deserve further examination as to their suitability for the conference.
  2. Use the provided spreadsheet, but just assign an overall score of 0-5 for the workshop. If, as part of doing this, you think a workshop would score zero on any criterion, make a note, and bring it up in the discussions, because workshops that have a zero score for any criterion deserve further examination as to their suitability for the conference.

Timetable for workshop submissions review process

6-9 June; assessent to be completed and workshop presenters notified. immediately thereafter, workshops and other activities are to be put 'on offer' to registrants.

Workshops Notes

Workshop Duration and Scheduling

Refer to the master programme at FOSS4G_2008_Programme. The table below is only an indication for placement of labs and workshops.

Workshop and Lab Venues:

  • Venue1 = CTICC Rooftop Terrace
    • 100 Seats
    • 50 Computers
    • Hired For: 29/30/1/2/3
  • Venue2 = CTICC Room 1.40
    • 96 Seats
    • 48 Computers
    • Hired For: 29/30/1/2/3
  • Venue3 = CTICC Auditorium
    • hundreds of seats, but need to limit to say 40; CTICC will provide tables on top of seats + power supply
    • no computers, bring own
    • Hired For: 29/2
  • Venue4 = University of Cape Town Geomatics Lab
    • 44 Seats
    • 22 Computers
    • Available 29/3

Workshop and Lab Slots as currently proposed.
TIME SLOT MON Venue1 MON Venue2 MON Venue3 MON Venue4 TUE Venue1 TUE Venue2 WED Venue1 WED Venue2 THU Venue1 THU Venue2 FRI Venue1 FRI Venue2 FRI Venue4
8am - 10am ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 lab1 lab2 lab9 lab10 lab17 lab18 ws5 ws6 ws7
10:30am - 12pm ws1 ws2 ws3 ws4 lab3 lab4 lab11 lab12 lab19 lab20 ws5 ws6 ws7
1pm - 2:30pm Plenary Plenary Plenary Plenary lab5 lab5 lab13 lab14 Plenary Plenary ws8 ws9 ws10
3pm - 4:30pm Plenary Plenary Plenary Plenary lab7 lab8 lab15 lab16 Plenary Plenary ws8 ws9 ws10
5:30pm - 8:30pm Cocktail Cocktail Cocktail Cocktail maybe maybe Gala Gala maybe maybe OSGEO? OSGEO? OSGEO?

So, 6 workshops (3-4 hours) and 20 labs (1.5 hours) are planned for. Most submitted proposals are for workshops as opposed to labs (27:16). FOSS4G2007 had 12 workshops and 16 labs. That seems more sensible. So, what are the options?

  • We can up the workshops to 8 (Thurs) or 10 (Tues and Thurs) by holding evening sessions from, say, 6-9pm (will attendees come? will presenters want to present then? would it be unfair to make these slots for deeply technical content, e.g. coding?), but that may still not be enough. We have the venues with computers, let's use them if we can in otherwise dead time...
    • Gavin: I think Thurs night is good option as main conference is over, Tues is still open for socialising. Full conference package still includes just three 'slots' so if someone now wants to do four (Mon morning, Thurs eve, and two on Fri) they'll need to pay for an extra activity.
  • We can break up Venue2 into 2 smaller venues and run a workshop parallel to the 2 lab threads. This means that 25% less people can attend. With evening slots, this would bring workshops up to 13 (Gavin: not a good option - complicates registration packages)
  • We can try for offsite venues (maybe without even having to pay for them, though bussing participants would still cost)
    • Gavin: we can cover bussing. We can offer free attendance by some staff or students in lieu of payment..
    • Centre for High Performance Computing (backup - can only handle a small workshop of max 18 people)
    • City of Cape Town GIS Lab
    • UCT Geomatics Lab
    • University of the Western Cape Computer Lab
  • We can try to a secure slightly bigger second venue at the CTICC to be split up - no, it is booked out
  • We will use the Auditorium on Monday morning prior to Plenary - can hold a "bring your own computer" workshop.


Room Availability

Software Installation


Questions for Organising Committee

  • Number and dimension of rooms, tables (how many PCs /people can we fit in a room)
    • Venue 1 is Roof Terrace and can hold 100 people (50 PCs)
    • Venue 2 is Room 1.40 and can hold 96 people (48 PCs)
    • Venue 2 can be split into two rooms holding 24 people each (reduced config apparently due to strict fire and building regulations).
      • Gavin: how high can we push this by reconfiguring rooms and desks?
        • Graeme: cannot be done - these are the allowed sizes - PeopleSA has fought this battle already. Also, there are no bigger venues available for workshops at the CTICC.
    • Venue 3 is the main Auditorium. Desks can be fitted for a small cost and power supplied. WiFi access to internet is available. This would be a workshop where attendess supplied own notebook computers, for it would have to be rapidly disassembled afterwards in prep for Opening Plenary.
  • Can the Workshops and labs be themed?
    • With only two (maybe three venues) it is tricky - perhaps into 1) Desktop GIS and Analysis, 2) Internet GIS

Feedback from Past Conferences (things to note)

  • overcrowded workshops are bad
  • registrants could possibly list their "top 4" workshop selections
  • LiveCD for linux workshops very successful
  • grouping workshops by room "theme" successful (MapServer room, GRASS room, ...)