Initial Ottawa Local Chapter Meeting 2006-07-20

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Ottawa OSGeo Local Chapter Initial Meeting


DM Solutions' office



Dave Sampson
Jeff McKenna
Frank Warmerdam
Peter Brimacombe
Debbie Pagurek
Dave McIlhagga
Shawn Barnes
Yewondwossen Assefa
Zak James
Girma Gebrehana
Mark Sunohara
Robert Roberts
Paul Spencer
Dave Howlett
Christy Nieman
Regie Alam
Richard Alam
Grahame Cole
Pedram Karimi
Mike Adair
Scott Mitchell
Peter Pulsifer
Jean-Francois Doyon
Xiaoyuan Geng

Project Representation




  • round table introductions
    • diverse backgrounds, including government, private, academic, NGOs, contractors, general interest
    • background on Ottawa GRASS users group (OGUG) by Dave Sampson
    • background on Ottawa MapServer users group (OMSUG) by Jeff McKenna
    • background on Mapbuilder project by Mike Adair

OSGeo Foundation Background

Frank Warmerdam, the president of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGF), gave some background on the foundation:

  • OSGF now gives member projects credibility
  • OSGF is a common vehicle for open source geospatial projects
    • projects and members have a stronger voice in the corporate world

Frank also discussed the possible benefits of creating a local chapter:

  • builds interest in the groups, and can sustain longer
  • as part of the umbrella organization, the groups gain instant credibility
  • chapter can use and build on the existing OSGF infrastructure (site, wiki, mailing lists etc.)

OGUG Background

Dave Sampson gave some backgound on the Ottawa GRASS users group:

OMSUG Background

Jeff McKenna gave some background on the Ottawa MapServer users group:

  • small group, that needs some life
  • members formed the organizing committee of the first ever Open Source GIS conference in north america, in June 2004

Benefits of Creating an Ottawa Local Chapter

The group discussed the possible benefits of a local chapter:

  • local chapter can start something, and other OSGeo groups/members can also join in the action
  • GRASS/MapServer integration
  • knowledge and technology exchange
  • collaboration
  • possibly build more services available to public
  • broadening group gives more opportunity to learn
  • "need to get out of the silo"
  • teaching within the group can create documents that can be contributed back to OSGeo community
  • vibrant group can help getting people "off the fence" and become active
  • group can help show benefits of Open Source locally
  • face-to-face meetings with interesting people

Limitations of Creating an Ottawa Local Chapter

  • no current way to become a member of OSGeo
    • the response was that there are currently 2 types of members: charter members and regular members. However presently there is no way to become a regular member - but this should be resolved soon.
  • membership brings responsibility

Next Steps

The following was discussed in the next step to become an official local chapter of OSGeo:

  1. Internally develop a chapter executive (chair etc.)
  2. Develop a mission statement
  3. Make a motion to the OSGF board

Next Meeting

Date: Thurs August 31st, 2006
Location: possibly a room in a pub (Fox and Feather?)
Possible demos: Mike Adair with Mapbuilder (?), Frank Warmerdam with ?