Face to Face Meeting Seattle 2012

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As many board members as possible (and potentially others contributing to OSGeo) are planning to meet for two days.

From left to right: Arnulf, Peter, Michael, Mark, Jo, Daniel, Frank. (Jeff and Tim missing)

When and Where

  • Pre IslandWood_Code_Sprint_2012 in Seattle, 4th and 5th February (Saturday and Sunday).
  • 9AM to 5PM on Saturday and 9AM to Noon on Sunday.
  • Cedarboork Lodge near the Seattle airport (http://www.cedarbrooklodge.com/)
    • venue includes wireless internet access, lodging, conference room, breakfast/lunch/snacks during meeting, etc


Board Members

  1. Frank Warmerdam (arrive Saturday morning, leaving Sunday evening)
  2. Arnulf Christl (arriving in Seattle on Wednesday. Friday and Saturday over night, leaving Sunday 1pm)
  3. mpg -- arriving Saturday morning (8am), leaving Sunday afternoon (after meeting ends)
  4. Daniel Morissette -- arriving Friday night, leaving Sunday pm
  5. Peter Batty - arriving Friday night, leaving Sunday afternoon (flight at 3:09pm, so need to leave at 1pm or so)
  6. Mark Lucas -- arriving Friday night, leaving Monday (I'll pay the extra day)
  7. Jo Cook -- arriving Friday, leaving Monday (I'll pay the extra obviously)

Sunday guests:

  1. Paul Ramsey
  2. Aaron Racicot

Board members not attending:

  1. Jeff McKenna
  2. Tim Schaub


  • Friday evening: informal group dinner [if sufficient people around]
  • Saturday
    • 8:30am - continental breakfast
    • 11:00am - morning snack
    • 1:00pm - lunch
    • 3:00pm - afternoon snack
    • 5:00pm - meeting adjourn
    • 6:00pm - group dinner (on-site, CopperLeaf Restaurant)
  • Sunday
    • 8:30am - continental breakfast
    • 11:00am - morning snack
    • 12:00pm - lunch
    • (some time after lunch) - meeting adjourn
    • 3:00pm - afternoon snack [if needed]

Agenda items

Please add a list of non-contentious voting items to be done first

Discussion Topics

Broader topics which need to be prepared in advance by each participant. Please move them to the Agenda items list if you can provide concise background and propose a solution.

Suggestion from Peter on how to approach strategy discussion: [1]

  • Strategic mission
    • Continue as a federation of projects
    • Focus on business models and help people make livings following our philosophy.
  • Goals
    • Support software projects (how to do that?)
    • Addressing corporate and government worlds who continue to shift towards open source implementations
    • Support end-users
  • Core staff
    • is there a need?
    • objectives
    • roles
    • budget
  • Housekeeping
    • Bylaws
      • Is there a need to prioritize charter member opinions?
      • How do we integrate regular OSGeo members
    • Membership engagement
    • Membership tracking
    • Accounting support
    • 501c3 status (see note 3 below)
    • Potential relation to GITA
  • Our budgeting process
    • Adopt a different revenue model (licenses, certificates, franchise for LC's, etc.)
    • FY2012 budget
  • Thoughts on sponsorships (see note 1 below)
  • FOSS4G 2012
  • The OSGeo Journal (see note 2 below)
    • long-term plan; intent, audience, funding, editor role, etc.

Note 1

mpg received the following email note about sponsorship of OSGeo:

I've been a consumer of Mapserver and supporting tools for years. I have never had much interest in getting down into the weeds of developing it. I was content to use the tools and accept the progress that was made.

I remember having a conversation in Victoria with one of the developers (can't remember who) about an enhancement I wanted to scalebars. The conversation quickly got into way more specification, implementation, and contract detail than I cared about. I had cash ready to support it but it just felt like too much effort to get the work done, so I never followed through.

The logo/sponsor thing on the OSGeo home page was useless to me. I'm not a Mapserver consultant, and there's no reason for me to pay for presence there--I would just be advertising to peers.

The codesprint sponsorship feels like a way to throw money in the direction of development that will benefit me (and the community too, of course), without having to become a program manager. I'm happy to trust the people involved to continue to do good engineering, to say no to bad ideas and feature requests, and to generally improve the state of the tools. I'm sure there must be other organizations who would like to support development, but would like a similarly frictionless way to do it.

Note 2

Landon Blake wrote:

I’m in the process of trying to wrap up the 2010 annual report of the OSGeo Journal. During this work some questions about the Journal kept surfacing. I wanted to ask them here. At this point, I’m unsure if work on the 2010 annual report should even continue.

Tyler Mitchell had a major role in previous efforts to prepare and publish the journal. His absence has created what I feel is an important void.

Some of this void deals with practical issues. For example:

  • How are decisions about the style, content, and format of the Journal going to be made?
  • Who has the final say on these decisions, and how is the board going to give its input, if at all?
  • Is there an official point of contact at the board for the journal team?
  • Will we support peer-reviewed articles on open source geospatial topics, and if so, what will our guidelines for submission and review be?
  • Will we have advertising of any form? If so, what will our guidelines be for adertising content?
  • Do we want to support alternate formats for the journal, like EPUB, MP4, Video, etc...

The void also creates some strategic issues. For example:

  • How does the Journal support the board’s long term goals for the organization?
  • How is the Journal related, if at all, to the organizations other activities?
  • Does the board even see a need for the Journal?

To be honest, at this point, despite repeated requests for help, production of the Journal is currently a one-man show. If the board decides it doesn’t want or need a journal, I’m OK with that decision.

If the board does feel the Journal is important, I’d like to talk with board members more about what the tasks the Journal is supposed to accomplish, how it is supposed to accomplish those tasks, and how this work will be coordinated and supported.

Note 3

David Bitner wrote:

Over the past couple years Tyler and I have had multiple conversations related to the moratorium that the IRS has had on accepting applications for 501c3 from "software" related non-profits. It seems as though they have started letting things through the system again. Sahana Software Foundation has just received our 501c3 (granted in the review process we tried to play up our humanitarian response activities over our software development) after a couple years in limbo. It may be a good time to try to follow up with the IRS if you have not done so recently.

Note 4

Venka wrote:

I think I have made several specific suggestions before;

1) Retire Charter Members who did not vote for 3 consecutive years

2) Assign more responsibilities to Charter Members rather then making them only vote for OSGeo Board and new Charter Member elections.

3) Have Charter Members vote on crucial issues

4) OSGeo Board Members can update their views of role of Charter Members in the Wiki page that you requested to be created http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_charter_member_page_instruction

5) Set up an Advisory Committee comprising of members form within and outside OSGeo. These members could be from Academia, Government, intergovernmental organizations and charitable foundations. The role would be to evaluate our performance since 2006 and suggest where and how we should be heading in 2015. Such an Advisory Committee could work with the present OSGeo Board to formulate "OSGeo - Vision 2020" that could be presented at FOSS4G2012.

6) Bring out the "OSGeo-2011 Executive Report from the President" and also for subsequent years.

7) Approve and publish the OSGeo Budget for 2010 and 2011 http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Budget_2010 http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Budget_2011 are still drafts

8) Spend funds to keep the OSGeo web-site up-to-date. For example, most of the translation are out of date. Better to remove them and show links to language/regional chapter pages.

Airport Shuttle Info

(from the Cedarbrook folks)

SEATAC AIRPORT to CEDARBROOK LODGE SHUTTLE: The airport shuttle picks up from ISLAND 1 or 3 in the parking garage. Follow the signs for ground transportation which will take you across the sky bridge to the parking garage. Go down one floor where there are 3 islands for shuttle pick up. There is a courtesy phone at ISLAND 1 or 3 with direct dial to Cedarbrook (#56). Please call once you arrive at ISLAND 1 or 3, at this time we will dispatch the driver for pickup. Cedarbrook is approximately ten minutes from the airport.

Address: 18525 36th Avenue South, SeaTac, WA 98188 Reception Desk: 866.901.9268 or 206.901.9268

CEDARBROOK LODGE to SEATAC AIRPORT SHUTTLE: Reservations are required for return shuttles to the airport. Please make your reservation with one of our Front Desk Guest Service Agents. The shuttle departs Cedarbrook on the hour & half-hour. Reservations may be made in person or by calling the reception desk at 206.901.3268. Shuttles drop off at ISLAND 1 or 3.

Please note our shuttle is not permitted to wait or circle the airport in compliance with Port of Seattle/SeaTac International Airport regulations.

Summary of Motions and Action Items


  • accept Dutch local chapter - 1/Arnulf, 2/Daniel, all +1
  • Michael to write a letter to Bruce Joffe on behalf of OSGeo - 1/mpg, 2/Arnulf, all +1
  • FrankW to talk to Beijing, as board liaison to LOC, to ask for budget framework - 1/mpg, 2/jo, all +1
  • approve Google docs based budget at 105K income and 76K outgo - 1/Frank, 2/Mark, all +1
  • look into change status from c3 to c6 after treasurer gets advice - 1/mpg, 2/dmorissette, all +1
  • in addition to the annual foss4g global conference ( which is in Beijing for 2012 ), OSGeo will support additional regional conferences the first of which is In Washington DC, April 2012 - 1/Peter, 2/Jo, all +1

Action items

  • mpg to write endorsement letter for amicus [done]
  • mpg, as secy, will make sure all committees and chapters report in once or twice a year ( and make sure we have a list of all those committees and chapters )


IRC logs:

(all times are GMT, meeting took place at GMT-8)

Day One (Feb 4th)

  • [17:18] meeting begins
    • mpg acting as secretary
    • attending: Peter, Mark, Jo, Daniel, Michael, Arnulf (Frank arrived at 17:39)
  • [17:30] motion to accept Dutch local chapter - 1/Arnulf, 2/Daniel, all +1
  • some side discussion of requirements for logo compliance: consensus is to allow changes, as the Dutch did
  • [17:33] Endorsement of the Sierra Club v. Orange County amicus letter
  • membership tracking issue to be discussed -- how many years/votes before you are deemed "no sign of life" and subject to removal?
  • MarkusN notes today is OSGeo's 6th birthday
  • issue to come up later: how to "use" charter members, in a way more than just two elections?
    • Frank notes we need to not set up a distinct elite class of members, though
  • topic for tomorrow, e.g. with racicot here: 501c3 vs 'c6, etc
  • [18:45] FrankW gives an overview of the OSGeo servers and SAC.
    • website committee essentially inactive...
    • we want to plan to get website off peer1 by mid-year
  • side discussion on project sponsorship monies: should OSGeo's cut be 25%, 5% or 0%?
  • [19:15] moving on to talk about FOSS4G 2012
    • mpg overviews the current FOSS412 situation
    • FrankW is on the LOC now
      • implicitly his role will include to oversee their budget?
      • are we underwriting the Beijing conference ( in terms of if a loss )? are we getting a cut of the profits?
      • FrankW to talk as LOC/board member about budget, contract, etc with them
      • concern that even if financial success, attendance of 10 people would nonetheless deem it failure -- need to express confidence in the event, marketing, etc
    • motion to have FrankW talk to Beijing, as board liaison to LOC, to ask for budget framework - 1/mpg, 2/jo, all +1
      • FrankW to report back in two weeks with status, and board to take action then as needed
    • summary position
      • we're felling better about the Beijing communications issue now
      • and Jeff has said he's not going to Beijing anyway, so we've withdrawn that motion from last month
      • FrankW is primary liaison to Beijing conference committee, but will bring in others to distribute load -- e.g. to preserve "FOSS4G-ness" of the 2012 event
  • [21:59] afternoon spent brainstorming on flip charts
    • pmbatty: can you post the pictures of the pages that you took?
    • Pictures of the brainstorming flipcharts are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebatty/sets/72157629248576763/
    • side notes that came up:
      • mlucas makes observations about needs and opportunities for us in the face of harshly declining govt budgets
      • mpg, as secy, will make sure all committees and chapters report in once or twice a year ( and make sure we have a list of all those committees and chapters )
      • discussion veers over to the journal and Landon's questions; FrankW emails Landon
      • much appreciation being expressed for LiveDVD work
      • mpg is totes jazzed about the idea of setting up a speakers bureau, like the service providers directory
      • on open source business models: http://osbr.ca/ojs/index.php/osbr
  • [1:38] motion to adjourn for the day - 1/Frank, 2./Jo, all +1

Day Two

  • [17:02] meeting starts
    • attending: pmbatty mlucas jo dmorissette FrankW mpg_mobile seven
    • guests: racicot msmith (pramsey arrives at 18:50)
  • [17:03] update from Michael ( secretary ) about charters members database
    • charter members on announce list? or other list?
    • so we are currently tracking charter members. How about regular members? Need to eventually come up with a way to let them register themselves as members; no time for this today, but let's get back to this later
    • mpg is updating and reviewing list of charter members
    • need for privacy of membership info noted
    • discussion of how to engage charter members, e.g. polling, can proceed once we have the DB updated
    • mpg is using a CSV file for now, could eventually migrate back to civicrm as needed in future
  • [17:25] now discussing options for bookkeeping and accounting support
    • mpg to send out info on virtual front company - virtualmgmt.com
  • [17:31] review and approval of budget for fy2 by Daniel
    • https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av9Xf1ehZXz-dE5mdDZsZkNOOW8yTU5vbWpzeVd0X3c
    • Decision to plan for a second F2F meeting this year after next board election
    • Discussion about how to best go about reviving the marketing committee
    • Budget for a new ( 3rd ) server at OSUOSL since we are starting to be tight with the 2 current ones
    • Plan to retire the Peer1 server by June ( FrankW to harass SAC about this )
    • Michael, Peter and Aaron will take the lead to bring Marketing committee back to life - Jo will also assist them
    • Several marketing related ideas were discussed in yesterday's brainstorming session, so Marketing will have lots on its place when it's back up
    • Discussing ambassador role
      • need guidelines to decide on how to allocate/authorize funds/reimbursement
      • based on strategic value, identifying best candidate for each specific event, etc.
    • Action: Arnulf will draft some guidelines and get back to the board
      • guidelines should include documented criteria
    • motion to approve Google docs based budget at 105K income and 76K outgo - 1/Frank, 2/Mark, all +1
  • [18:51] racicot takes the floor to talk about c3 vs 6c
    • motion look into change status from c3 to c6 after treasurer gets advice - 1/mpg, 2/dmorissette, all +1
  • [19:09] peter doing a recap of flip-charting exercise from yesterday
  • [19:35] now discussing issues around the foss4gna conference and strategic issues for osgeo
    • hard issues around the foss4gna conference
    • Motion: in addition to the annual foss4g global conference ( which is in Beijing for 2012 ), OSGeo will support additional regional conferences the first of which is In Washington DC, April 2012.
      • 1/Peter, 2/Jo, all +1
  • [20:47] motion to adjourn - 1/mpg, 2/Frank, all +1