Francophone Chapter Report 2007

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Francophone Chapter Report 2007

Contact : Yves Jacolin (President of the Francophone Local Chapter)

OSGeo-fr Board : Gwenael Bachelot, Vincent Picavet, François Van Der Biest


This report summarises the actions undertaken by the Francophone Local Chapter and milestones achieved during year 2007. It covers the period from January to December 2007.

The "Francophone" mailing list has been created in October 2006. First tangible actions have been initiated at the beginning of 2007 and have dealt with the organization of the Local Chapter. At present, the Francophone Local Chapter is close to adopt a legal representation as an official French association with legal status. It will make contribution to the GFOSS French-speaking community easier.

2007: creation of the Francophone local chapter

With the creation of the Francophone mailing list a large number of interested people in organising a local chapter to promote GFOSS in French language has been gathered. Year 2007 was dedicated to the organisation of the local chapter and to make it an official OSGeo local chapter. Several points have thus been addressed and numerous questions had to be answered:

  • Definition of the local chapter structure and its organisation: definition of a steering board and of sub-committees in charge of thematic and specific aspects, election of board members, internal rules, membership, etc.;
  • Clear and consensual definition of the goals of the local chapter;
  • Definition of the communication processes through the wiki;

It was not an easy task but guidelines and help provided by the OSGeo have contributed to achieve it in a reasonable amount of time. Indeed, most of the questions or problems the Francophone local chapter has faced were the same for all other OSGeo representations. So answers were often very similar. The Francophone local chapter is now organized in three sub-committees. They respectively deal with “free organization”, “free data” and “free software”. A steering board with 4 persons has been elected in 2007 for a one year mandate. The board manages the Francophone Local Chapter projects. For time-consuming projects and specific questions, a dedicated manager can be assigned by the board. He or she is selected among volunteer active members of the mailing list. In September 2007, the OSGeo Board has accepted the proposal for the creation of a Francophone Local chapter. It is now an official local chapter of OSGeo.

In 2007, actions have mainly focused on increasing OSGeo visibility in Francophone countries, aka marketing missions. Two projects have thus been carried out: 1) important participation and communication in two major geospatial tradeshows (GeoEvenement 2007 and GeoTunis 2007) where several presentations about OSGeo, OSGeo-fr and OSGeo projects have been performed and information to a large public have been provided; 2) the translation of the OSGeo journal. The first two volumes of the OSGeo journal have been translated and are now published. They can be downloaded from the OSGeo Journal home page.

Participation to the 2008 edition of the GeoEvenement tradeshow is planned and the organisation of a more important open source village than the one set up during the 2007 edition is anticipated. The number of conferences given during this tradeshow should increase too.

2008: one year to improve our organisation

Year 2008 will be dedicated to the creation of a legal representation (as a French association with legal status) for the OSGeo Francophone local chapter. Such a legal organisation will help to manage sponsorship, to organize various events in the name of a legal entity, etc.

We would also like to improve our internal working, decision and communication processes, by creating dedicated working groups on specific subjects such as translation, event organization, sponsorship, and so on.

A list of possible actions to carry out in 2008 has been initiated. It will be submitted to a consultation and a vote in order to prioritise actions to be undertaken. The result will define the roadmap of the local chapter during year 2008!


As abovementioned, many actions are planned for year 2008. It demonstrates the increasing involvement of the local chapter to promote geospatial FOSS and free data. The local chapter will thus:

  • participate to GeoEvenement 2008 (the major geospatial tradeshow in France) and will organise a more important open source village than the one set up during the 2007 edition of this conference;
  • try to organise a Francophone FOSS4G conference, in France;
  • work on free data opportunities;
  • perform further translation works in addition to pursue the translation of the OSGeo journal on a regular basis;
  • initiate new exciting projects to promote free and open source software and data in French language.