FOSS4G 2009 BirdsOfAFeather

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During the FOSS4G2009 conference in Sydney, Australia, there will be conference rooms available for people to hold Birds-of-a-Feather sessions.

Birds-Of-A-Feather sessions are unstructured timeslots where people can self organise themselves to discuss topics of interest.

This year, Birds of a Feather sessions will be held on Thursday 22nd October.

A number of rooms are available. First ones in get the rooms.

Organising Contact

  • Bruce Bannerman, Tyler Mitchell

Timeslots Available

At this stage, each room is scheduled for one hour between 1615 to 1715.

The rooms will be available for longer, however remember that the FOSS4G Harbour Cruise Dinner starts at 1900.

If we get a lot of demand, we may need to reduce the time that each room is available for. This will allow us to share the resources between more people.

Rooms Available

  • Parkside G02, capacity 45 people
  • Parkside G03, capacity 50 people
  • Parkside G04, capacity 170 people
  • Parkside G07, capacity 20 people
  • Main Auditorium, capacity 500 people
  • Room 110, capacity 200 people

Other rooms available

  • Speaker preparation area
  • Charging station
  • Anywhere in the hallway where you can find a place to sit

Room Assignments


Below is a summary of the BOFs and when/where they will be run. Contact Tyler or Bruce for any questions or changes. Times and rooms may change - changes will be posted on announcement boards during the event.

Room (capacity) Thu 22 October Contact
BOF 1 FOSS4G in Government Contact person: Cesar Medina or Bruce Bannerman
BOF 2 PostGIS Users Group Contact Person: Paul Ramsey
BOF 3 Marketing Geospatial Open Source Contact Person: Cameron Shorter
BOF 4 Development of INSPIRE data application profile support in GEOFOSS Contact Person: Jeroen Ticheler
BOF 5 MapServer Users Meeting Contact Person: Jeff McKenna
BOF 6 Ingres Users Group Contact Person: Andrew Ross
BOF 7 GeoServer Users Meeting Contact Person: Andrea Aime or Simone Giannecchini
BOF 8 OpenLayers Meeting Contact Person: Tim Schaub
GeoExt Meeting Contact Person: Andreas Hocevar
BOF 9 MapFish Meeting Contact Person: Eric Lemoine (eric dot lemoine at camptocamp dot com)
BOF 10 Education and Curriculum meeting Contact Person: Scott Mitchell
BOF 11 Participatory Mapping Contact Person: Shoaib Burq or Chris McDowall or Charles Burnett
BOF 12

BOF organization

You can use this page to organize your BOF session:

  • create a section below for your BOF
  • have people edit this page to indicate they will be attending
  • if you need a bigger room than that which has been assigned to you, let Tyler or Bruce know
  • you must provide a contact person who is managing the meeting
  • also make your description as clear as possible, for many attendees it will be the only thing they read before choosing one

BOF sessions

FOSS4G in Government

To start the ball rolling, seeing that everyone else is sitting back and waiting for everyone else: some potential discussion points:

  • The UK Government's policy on Open Source It would be good to get a UK person to talk to this.
  • How can governments exploit open source spatial:
  • Implement based on Open Standards.
  • The GeoNetwork example where we all need a Metadata entry tool and catalogue.
    • We all don't want to pay for the same development, but share / pool resources.
    • how do we coordinate this work, while working sensitively with Open Source communities who own the code base and may not want to go in the same direction that we do. This includes issues relating to working with Project Steering Committees etc.
    • We can't expect communities to do our work for free. Therefore we will need to either engage our own people or consultancies to do the work. The consultancies could come from within the community from anywhere around the world, until we build up our own local communities. This could create procurement problems.
  • The need for governments to engage with Open Source communities at all levels, not just as developers.
  • The need to allow employees to participate within OS Communities as part of their day to day jobs: i.e. we need to build up our technical skills.
  • The need to treat OS on a level playing field with proprietary solutions. That will mean looking at the Solution life cycle (See the new UK OS policy).
  • Experiences in other countries:
    • What is working.
    • What is not working.
  • Given national and international experiences of all, what models will work for Governments to break down the perceived barriers and myths associated with FOSS
  • A plan worth considering / discussion is a proposal by the South Australian Government to implement an Australian Open Technology Foundationwhich is currently before Australian Governments, selected ICT / Open Technology Vendors and Academia for in principle support.
    • Would a foundation acting as the 'common glue' assist in these endeavours
    • focus on openness to improve interoperability, independence, resilience and flexibility in ICT operations
    • Authorative registry of open technologies in use in Governments around Australia with appropriate learnings and contacts
    • Facilitate sharing of resources, technologies and knowledge
    • Link with existing programs underway nationally and internationally to share information to all
    • Link with international Open Technology Groups

Who is coming:

  • Bruce Bannerman
  • Stephen Schmid

PostGIS Users Group

  • How are you using PostGIS?
  • Want a beer?
  • What features would make your life better?
  • Want to buy the developers a beer?
  • More fruitful topics gratefully accepted!

Who is coming:

  • Paul Ramsey

Marketing Geospatial Open Source

  • How can we collaboratively market OSGeo?
  • What marketing works for Geospatial Open Source Businesses?
  • What tools, messages, guidelines can we put in place which will help us individually and collectively?

Who is coming:

  • Cameron Shorter
  • Jose Diacono

INSPIRE Data Profile Support in FOSS4G

We want to discuss an approach towards the upcoming INSPIRE data specifications and how to best support them in our open source software. It is important for the FOSS community to come up with a story that is more than just "Yes that is possible but contract us first". This BOF is to seek feedback from those of you that see the same need and to investigate if some work has already been done, seek input in how we would best approach this, if there are options for a Europe wide collaboration on this etcetera.

Questions and/or points of discussions are:

  • Considering that clients would like to see a product that does some of the INSPIRE data conversions out of the box, how do you approach this when usually we only implement things after they have been contracted? (in contrast to proprietary software where often an investment is made that is earned back through licensing schemes)
  • Have any application schema's already been implemented in some form by you in GEOFOSS?
  • What tools have you used or do you want to use (e.g. ogr, Talend, deegree, GeoServer)
  • How would we go about joined development, or maybe even joined investment etcetera?

Who is coming:

  • Jeroen Ticheler

MapServer Users Meeting

  • How are you using MapServer?
  • Want to have a beer with the developers?
  • What features would make your life better?
  • More fruitful topics gratefully accepted!
  • you can also follow along on IRC in #mapserver (exact time)

Who is coming:

GeoServer Users Meeting

  • Meet the developers (yes, beer welcomed!)
  • How are you using GeoServer?
  • What will be the next GeoServer features? What are the features you're still missing in GeoServer?
  • Anything else GeoServer related you want to talk about. Come and share!

Who is coming:

Ingres Users Group

  • Brief update: What is the current state of Ingres' new geospatial support
  • Q & A, interactive discussion
  • Roadmap/ planning/ community feedback & input

Who is coming:

Education and Curriculum Project

  • meet, progress updates, future plans
  • specific topics:
    • refer to Charlie Schweik's email
    • responsibilities (today, moving forward (subcommittee chairs to lighten load?))
    • curriculum discussion
    • connecting to local groups
    • connecting to individual OSGEO software projects
    • FreeGIS book
    • new tasks?

We have limited time, and a lot of things to discuss, so we'll cover what we can. I (Scott Mitchell) suggest that I can take notes as best possible to send back to Charlie / other interested parties on the mailing list; if someone else could handle watching the clock and herding us as best possible through our agenda that would be much appreciated.

Who is coming (initially populated based on mailing list responses - please add yourself if you're not here but you're coming):

Result: FOSS4G2009 Education BOF minutes


Come talk about OpenLayers. Ideas for the future, gripes about the library, raves about the library - all fair game!

Who is coming:

  • Tim Schaub
  • Éric Lemoine
  • Roald de Wit
  • Bart van den Eijnden
  • Andreas Hocevar
  • Marc Jansen


  • Synergies with OpenLayers
  • Ideas for the future
  • Meet the developers and tell them how you are using GeoExt
  • Anything GeoExt related you want to talk or share

Who is coming:


Come talk about the future, organization and PSC creation of MapFish.

Who is coming:

  • Éric Lemoine
  • Till Adams
  • Cédric Moullet
  • François Van Der Biest
  • Claude Philipona
  • Jorge Rocha
  • Julien-Samuel Lacroix

Participatory Mapping

Lets discuss tools and techniques that can be used for capturing geographic information during participatory meetings which may be attended by those possessing local knowledge learned over generations.

"Maps are more than pieces of paper. They are stories, conversations, lives and songs lived out in a place and are inseparable from the political and cultural contexts in which they are used."

Who attended:

Synopsis (please edit/add!):

Nine participatory mapping 'birds' flocked into Parkside G04 at the end of the Day 3 of the Conference. The first 3 birds, Marc, Chris and Charles, quickly realized that we were also the line-up for the Friday morning 8:30-10:00 Session. Dozens more birds came by, but many moved across the room to the 'FOSS4G for Government' BOF (those birds looked quite well fed). In total 9? P-GIS folk perched and during a round of introductions offered contexts to why we were interested in FOSS4G. Working with indigenous communities was a central theme. We also learned that one of our party was a member of the public! How many other BOF sessions had non-map-geeks?! Well, turns out Renee Mason from the Powerhouse Museum, a pretty geeky place, is herself pretty geeky. And she likes maps. So, she was made an honorary member of our flock.

Charles gently encouraged the group to distance ourselves from the Gov folk and off we went to the James Squire Brewpub. Joined by half a dozen others. After that there was much clucking about saving the World by freeing local spatial data.

Here's an image of the group... Foss4g pgis bof.jpg

Renee left us with a challenge: can we as a group produce a repository of FOSS4G tools and procedures and recipes and case-studies that could be picked up and quickly put into practice by a small community with little capacity, like an indigenous community for example.

Who likes to Join in Future: