OpenTechnologyConference Mar2007

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Open Technology Development - Realizing the Vision

We are currently working with the Associate for Enterprise Integration (AFEI) to organize a two day conference in Washington DC, 14, 15 March at the Hyatt at Crystal City. The 14th will be focused on the Open Technology Development effort within the federal government. The 15th will focus on open source geospatial capabilities and support for those technologies. The Open Source Geospatial Foundation will guide the planning and agenda for 15 March.

Conflict with venue is resolved and conference continues on schedule, March 14-15, Hyatt Crystal City, Arlington VA. Attendees have choice of attending just one day, or both days. Day one focuses on DoD Open Technology Development. Led by Advanced Systems and Concepts organization of OSD, it focuses on making open standards, architecture and open source software metods available in DoD acquisition processes.

Day two focuses on Open Geospatial Software, co-sponsored by OSGeo. Please watch AFEI website ( for more details. Registration will begin soon. - Dave Chesebrough, President, AFEI


This is an opportunity to communicate the benefits of OSGeo and Open Technologies to government agencies and contractors. Perhaps the key message is that these technologies are mature and supportable through existing organizations and companies.

Why should you attend?

Learn about the latest trends in bringing open technologies solutions into government systems and acquisitions. A special focus will demonstrate open source geospatial solutions and their supporting organizations and companies. Open source software and open systems have revolutionized how complex architectures are implemented. The collaboration, tools, and technologies used in open source systems provide agile technology paths that are critical in our ever changing environment. This conference will educate the participants on open technology initiatives and open source software solutions that are backed with commercial support.

Who should attend?

Decision makers, systems integrators and technologists from contractors and government that are interested in how to improve government solutions through the use of open architectures and open source software. The conference will focus on the efforts of the Open Technology Development Initiative within the Department of Defense with a special focus on advanced open source geospatial technologies from the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.


14 Mar - Open Technology and the Federal Government

Keynote Speakers

Chris Dibona, google open source manager
Sue Payton (AF Aq) - no
Gen Croom (DISA)
Capt Shannon (Navy OA)
Eric Haseltine (DNI)



- Business
- Gov
DoD Software Group


2 tracks
- 1st track, open source 101 (andy gordon has the material)
- 2nd track, advanced issues
Hosted Social - Unisys


15 Mar - Open Source Geospatial Software and the Government

The goal this day of the conference is to educate the attending government decision makers and contractors that open source geospatial technologies are mature and supportable. These technologies and open source practices would provide substantial benefits to government programs and projects. The collaborative technology development methodologies employed by open source geospatial projects can be accessed through collaboration with the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.

Potential speakers:
Tyler Mitchell - OSGeo Executive Director (accepted)
Geoff Zeiss- CTO Autodesk (accepted)
Mark Lucas - Large DATA JCTD/OSSIM (accepted)
Dave McIlhagga - DM Solutions (accepted)
Canadian Government Speaker (DM working)
Joel Schlagel - US Army Corps of Engineers (accepted)
Al Kelly - Ilabs (accepted)
Jim Long - NGA (accepted)
Steve Jayjock - NGA Open Geospatial Policy (potential)
Chris Holmes - (accepted)
Michele Weslander - DNI CIO (invited)
MetaCarta - OpenLayers
Refractions - Paul Ramsey uDig, PostGIS (accepted)

Agenda 15 March 2007

7:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 AM Introduction and Welcome
8:15 AM Keynote Speakers
Michele Weslander - accepted
Tyler Mitchell - Executive Director, Open Source Geo-Spatial Foundation
Dave McIlhaaga - President & CEO, DM Solutions Group  
A Survey of Successful adoption of commercially supported Open Source Web Mapping technologies in the Canadian Federal Government
10:00 AM Networking Break
10:30 AM Government Panel Discussion: What's ahead for Open Source Geospatial Software
Moderated by 
Joel Shlagel, US Army Corps of Engineers
Jim Long - NGA - Chief, Web Access Division
Al Kelly - ILabs - Systems Architect for the ILabs.  Classified laboratories for advanced national systems.
12:00 Lunch
1:00 PM Keynote Speakers
Finding the Role for Open Source Geospatial 
Geoff Zeiss, CTO  AutoDesk
OGC Presentation - in process of inviting, Chris Holmes working with Dave Chesebrough
Large Data JCTD and Open Source Geospatial
Mark Lucas, Principal Scientist, RadiantBlue Technologies Inc.
2:30 PM Networking Break
3:00 PM Panels Industry Panel Discussion

3:00-4:30(?) -

  • moderator: Michael P. Gerlek (mpg) - LizardTech & OSGeo
  • panelists:
    • "nonprofit/NGO" - Chris Holmes (TOPP)
    • "small company" - Schulyer Erle (MetaCarta)
    • "large company" - possibly someone from Microsoft, DaveC to check
    • "OS-dedicated company" - Paul Ramsey (Refractions)
    • "major defense contractor" - (mpg is contacting someone from NGA)
  • topics & questions:
    • Welcome and Intro (mpg)
    • Intro, by each panelist
    • topic: How can use OS software be used in various govt/DOD projects?
      • as finished product? for integration into larger package? for extension/customization?
    • topic: What barriers exist to OS adoption in projects?
      • concerns about IP? concerns about GPL/viral licenses? lack of understanding / misconceptions about what "OS" is?
    • topic: How to manage OS-based projects within the traditional DOD arena?
      • OS development style is different; how does this affect the traditional DOD procurement, contracting, and development processes?
    • topic: What kinds of DOD projects are suitable for OS?
      • large multiyear projects? small R&D-type efforts? ..?
    • topic: Specific examples of successes and failures from panelists?
    • [other topics?]
    • Final thoughts, by each panelist
    • Conclusion and Thanks (mpg)

Speaker Information

This section includes biography paragraphs, a quick synopsis of the presentation and speaker contact information.

Tyler Mitchell

OSGeo Executive Director (accepted)

Tyler Mitchell serves as the Executive Director for the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo). OSGeo provides support for open source projects focused on geospatial software applications. Projects include web mapping tools, data access libraries, image processing libraries, tools for web services access to data using OGC specifications, desktop GIS analytical tools and metadata catalogs. Special projects are focused on providing easy access to freely available geospatial data and for developing teaching material to train users in these projects. While OSGeo has a particular set of projects that it supports it also serves to generally encourage the use of other open source geospatial applications.

This talk will provide background on the groundswell of activity leading up to the forming of OSGeo and how it is improving options for end user and those implementing geospatial technologies. An overview of the various tools and applications will also be provided.

Dave McIlhagga

DM Solutions Group

President & CEO
DM Solutions Group
(613) 565 5056

Dave McIlhagga is the president and founder of DM Solutions Group Inc., a leader in web mapping solutions delivery since 1998. Dave has positioned DM Solutions Group as the leading provider of commercial products and services to the open source web mapping community.

During the past 9 years, Dave has been actively involved in bring open geospatial technologies into the Canadian Federal Government - a success demonstrated by the significant adoption rate of these technologies.

As the president of DM Solutions Group, one of Dave’s key roles is fostering alliances and key partnerships both in North America and internationally. Dave is a Board member of the newly formed Open Source GeoSpatial Foundation and an active contributor to the open source geospatial movement.

Joel Schlagel

US Army Corps of Engineers (accepted)

(603) 646 4387

Jim Long


Chief, Web Access Division
Applied IT Solutions
(301) 227 0156

Al Kelly

Chief System Architect ILabs
Open Systems Integration (OSI)
(703) 585 3883

Mark Lucas


The Large Data Joint Capabilities and Technology Demonstration is providing a showcase for open source geospatial software within the Department of Defense and Intelligence Communities. Participants are the DoD AS&C, DISA, STRATCOM, NGA. The Large Data effort will provide hardware and software infrastructure for global collaboration, processing and visualization of very large data sets. ossimPlanet is an open source global visualization and collaboration infrastructure that is being showcased on the Large Data project. It preserves scientific accuracy while allowing native national and commercial geo-spatial formats to be directly accessed in remote archives.

Mark Lucas has pioneered efforts in Open Source Software Development in remote sensing, image processing and geographical information systems. Mark established and has led several government funded studies and development efforts since 1996. These efforts include the Open Source Software Image Map (OSSIM) projects for the NRO, the Open Source Prototype Research and Open Source extraordinary Program projects for NGA. He is currently leading the Open Technology Development effort within DoD AS&C in collaboration with NII, and the Business Transformation Agency. Mark has a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Universtiy of Arizona and a MS in Computer Science from West Coast University, he was commissioned in the Air Force and assigned to the Secretary of the Air Force Special Projects organization. He has experience as both a government and contractor program manager through a number of classified programs. He is on the Board of Directors of the Open Source Geo-spatial Foundation, the Open Source Software Institute, and the National Center for Open Source Policy and Research. Mark is currently a principal scientist at RadiantBlue Technologies Inc.

Mark Lucas
Principal Scientist - RadiantBlue Technologies Inc.
(321) 266-1475

Geoff Zeiss


Geoff Zeiss has 20 years experience in the geospatial software industry and more than ten years experience working with utilities, communications, and public works in enterprise geospatial IT around the world. Currently he is Director of Technology at Autodesk (the world’s fifth largest software developer), a position he has held since 2001. His particular interests include open source geospatial and Web 2.0, streamlining the infrastructure management workflow at utilities, telecommunications firms and local government, and converged BIM/CAD/GIS solutions. In 2004 Geoff received one of ten annual global technology awards from Oracle Magazine for his technical innovation and leadership in the use of Oracle. Geoff is a frequent speaker at GITA events in North America, Australia, and Japan as well as other geospatial industry events around the world including GeoBrazil, GeoTec, MapAsia, and MapIndia. Prior to joining Autodesk, Geoff was Director of Software Engineering at MCI VISION* Solutions, which was acquired in 1999 by Autodesk, Inc. Geoff was responsible for the engineering team which designed and developed VISION*, a three-tier, enterprise-scale product for automating infrastructure management. VISION* supports high concurrency, high volume online transaction processing for complex data models based on a commercial relational database management system. VISION* Solutions became known for developing innovative solutions based on leading-edge technology and, among other innovations, is credited with introducing RDBMS-based spatial data management, long transactions, CAD/GIS integration, and UML-based object modeling into the enterprise geospatial market. Autodesk GIS Design Server and VISION* solutions are installed in many sites around the world including some of the largest telecommunications and utility companies. Prior to joining VISION* Solutions in 1993, Geoff was Vice President of Product Development at TYDAC Technologies, where he lead the development of SPANS Map, one of the first Windows desktop geospatial analysis products. At the time of Geoff’s departure, TYDAC Technologies was one of the top ten GIS companies in the world, with more than 3000 systems installed in over 60 countries. Finding the Role for Open Source Geospatial Software

200 word abstract

The geospatial industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation because of the widespread recognition that geospatial is no longer special and has joined the IT mainstream. One of the dimensions of this phenomenon is the maturing of the open source geospatial community to a point that is reminiscent of the early days of the internet, when major IT vendors like IBM decided that it made more business sense to support the Apache Foundation’s web server instead of developing their own. Last year in a move analogous to the formation of the Apache Foundation, people active in the open source geospatial community with Autodesk support decided that the community needed to move to the next stage in the development of open source geospatial software. This recognition culminated in the formation of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation ( in February 2006. We will discuss what motivated Autodesk, a very successful closed source vendor, to support the formation of the OSGEO and to participate actively in the open source community by donating its next generation web mapping project representing many person years of internal development to the OSGEO. We see will also discuss what we see as some of the implications for the geospatial sector.

Paul Ramsey

Paul Ramsey is the President and founder of Refractions Research, a spatial database and geomatics consultancy. Refractions' staff of 30 provide consulting on spatial database design, spatial data infrastructures and enterprise GIS systems. Refractions is heavily involved in the open source geomatics community, making contributions and providing commercial support for PostGIS, Mapserver, GeoTools, GeoServer and uDig.

Paul has been working with spatial data, open spatial standards and open source tools for the past 8 years, and has kept Refractions focussed on open source tools and technologies. As a frequent conference presenter and writer on geospatial topics, Paul maintains a high profile in the professional geospatial community. Paul holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia and a MSc in Statistics from the University of Victoria.

Paul Ramsey
President, Refractions Research Inc.
(250) 383-3022

Chris Holmes

'Chris Holmes is Managing Director, Strategic Development of The Open Planning Project (TOPP), a non-profit organization based in New York. TOPP's mission is to build technology to enhance the role of the citizen in democratic society, and leads development on the open source GeoServer Project to help create a free, distributed, and open geographic information infrastructure. TOPP is more of a hybrid organization, similar to the Mozilla Foundation, in that it employs top developers to advance the state of open source software, and can perform contract work to serve as expert implementors on GeoServer. Chris has served as lead developer of GeoServer, and currently chairs the Project Steering Committee, and he is also on the Project Management Committee of GeoTools, the leading Java GIS toolkit. Chris is additionally a board member of the new Open Source Geospatial Foundation, of which GeoTools is a founding project.'

And a blurb. I can change it around any which way, it's just what occurred to me first.

'This talk will give an introduction to the Java 'stack' of Open Source Geospatial Software that has been quickly maturing in to some of most solid mapping solutions, open source or otherwise. At the center is GeoTools, a generic GIS Java toolkit and an OSGeo project, which in turn has been combined with a variety of best of breed open source Java projects for particular applications. GeoServer is built upon GeoTools and the Spring framework, plus either Tomcat or Jboss, while uDig builds upon GeoTools plus the Eclipse RCP to build a flexible, customizable desktop GIS. And a number of other projects are emerging. The talk will also look to the future, of what's on the immediate horizon and what will be possible as the community of users, supporters and developers grows.'

And contact info:

Chris Holmes
Managing Director, Strategic Development
The Open Planning Project
349 W. 12th Street #3
New York, NY 10014

Michael P. Gerlek

 Michael P. Gerlek
 Engineering Manager
 1008 Western Ave / Suite 200
 Seattle, WA 98104


Michael P. Gerlek has been with LizardTech for seven years, and is currently responsible for all engineering efforts within LizardTech: product development, QA and testing, and research into future products. Gerlek was one of the lead engineers for LizardTech’s MrSID/MG3 image compression technology, and has since developed or managed a number of LizardTech’s products, such as the MrSID SDK and the GeoExpress encoder suite. He also serves as the technical lead for the company’s JPEG 2000 related efforts, including work on the OGC GMLJP2 standard for bringing JPEG 2000 into geospatial workflows, and has published or presented a number of articles and workshops on the subject.

Gerlek is a charter member of OSGeo, the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, and currently serves as Vice President for Promotion and Visibility, helping to coordinate a number of marketing and outreach activities. In the past, Gerlek has worked for Tera Computer Company, Intel, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 1995 he received his MS degree in Computer Science from Oregon Graduate Institute and in 1991 he received his BS degree, also in Computer Science, from Merrimack College.


This panel will focus on the use of Open Source geospatial software in the government sector. The panelists -- from industry, the nonprofit sector, and the government -- have a broad range of expertise in this area and will offer their thoughts and experiences on such topics as when it makes sense to leverage open source solutions, what you need to know about licensing and IP issues, and working with the open source community development model.