FOSS4G Report 2009

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contact: Cameron Shorter, FOSS4G chair

OSGeo premier annual international conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) was held in Sydney, Australia in October 2009 and showcased the latest Open Source Geospatial technologies, standards, case studies and geospatial trends.

The conference highlighted technologies revolving around location based applications, driven through ubiquitous mobile platforms, extensive access of no-cost maps and data, crowd sourcing, development and uptake of solid spatial standards, integration of cross-agency data through Spatial Data Infrastructures, development and commercialisation of Geospatial Open Source software, cloud computing and more. There were presentations from the best international Developers, Policy Makers, Sponsors, Decision Makers and Geospatial Professionals discuss the latest geospatial applications, standards, government programs, business processes and case studies. It continued to retain many of the engaging characteristics of its Open Source heritage. With Bird of a Feather sessions, code sprints, install-fests and impromptu project meetings, it was an unparalleled opportunity to take part in active communities and provide input into the direction for a variety of projects.

FOSS4G 2009 saw a consolidation of companies offering enterprise support debunking the myth that there is no one you can call to support Open Source. At FOSS4G, attendees talked with the enthusiastic communities in workshops, install-fests, and between sessions, and met the companies stepping up to provide enterprise support for Open Source products.

Some highlights of FOSS4G 2009 were:

  • Introduction of strong OGC involvement though the a Climage Challange Integration Plugfest coordinated by the OGC.
  • The introduction of the Arramagong Live DVD (later renamed OSGeo-Live) which contained preinstalled Open Source GeoSpatial applications, and which was handed out to all delegates.
  • A refinement of the marketing pipeline with press releases being forwarded through community leaders.
  • Both the main website and press releases were translated into 12 languages.
  • The conference was planned before, then run during the year of the Global Financial Crisis, and continued to retain a moderst profit, when similar conferences were reporting losses.
  • A comprehensive marketing pipeline was developed with press releases translated and distributed into 12 languages.
  • Extensive metrics were collated for both this conference and previous ones
  • An extensive wiki tracking the process for running foss4g for use in future conferences