FOSS4G Report 2008

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FOSS4G 2008 - South Africa

FOSS4G 2008 was a very succesful conference by all accounts. This is a preliminary report and there is lots more scattered about the OSGeo wiki, the conference website and the Web at large. We succeeded in attracting 550 attendees from 40 countries to the bottom end of Africa, which was no mean feat considering the cost to get there and the economic downturn that was about to become a freefall. We filled a week up with 16 3h workshops, 20 90min labs, and loads of presentations and BoFs and of course plenaries with guest speakers and lightning talks. It was the first time FOSS4G had an academic track and this was well subscribed and popular. The programme and all abstracts were published in hardcopy and general and academic proceedings with full papers and presentations were published on separate CDs, each with an ISBN. We also hosted an OpenStreetMap mapping party in Hout Bay and an outreach programme in local schools and for geography teachers from across South Africa. The social event at Moyo in Stellenbosch was a huge hit, the conference food rocked and even though Cape Town weather was behaving a bit like northern Europe or America, we had some glorious days where attendees made the best of Table Mountain and many other local attractions, and many stayed on for longer tours around the country.

Half the attendees were local, which has given a huge shot in the arm for FOSS GIS in South Africa and started the stirring motions that will change the local GIS landscape forever.

Rounded financials:

  • Income: R3100000
  • Expenses: R2900000
  • Profit: R226000

(R24000 income oustanding to date)

As agreed, the profit will be split three ways, with R75000 going to each of OSGeo, GISSA and a South African GIS education fund.