Friday 18 September 2015

FOSS4G 2015 Day 3

Navigation: FOSS4G 2015 | Workshops | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | CodeSprint

To start out day 3 we must of course talk about ... coffee! Coffee Zip across from the conference is a lovely hipster Korean experience with pourovers, cold press ... and small robots standing guard.


Keynote and Presentations

Presentations were smooth on the last day of the conference, with both attendees and presenters knowing what to expect in terms of pacing. I really appreciated the additional questions today as I had a number of talks scheduled.

  • Citizen Science, VGI, Geo- CrowdSourcing, Big Geo Data: how they matter to the FOSS4G Community (Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli, Vice Rector, Politecnico di Milano). This talk explored how Citizen Science (i.e. Science done by the general public) is key to sourcing large datasets and the advent of "volunteer geographic information". This talk quickly explored many of the technologies enabling this shift, I was very happy to see geopaparazzi highlighted in the list!
    This was a cheerful positive talk and a great way to start out after a night on the town. I was especially impressed with the QA process checking open street map data against an "authoritative source" via WPS. It looks like WPS may finally be reaching critical mass.

  • QGIS - from a geodata viewer to a GIS platform - Dr. Marco Hugentobler (Managing Director, Sourcepole AG)
    It is hard to introduce QGIS to this crowd, I was impressed with one individual out of hunderds in the audience admitted to using ArcView Desktop. DSC00705
  • Giving Away the Code Without Giving Away the Farm: A Business Model for Open Source Entrepreneurs - Blaine Hackett (Flat Rock Geographics), Paul Wickman
    Tricky balancing act, exploring the financial side of keeping the mapFeeder task tracker product going while contributing back to open source projects it is built on. There were some good questions raised - I expect this is a topic/track (that like free vs open) should be explored at future conferences. DSC00708
  • Earning Your Support Instead of Buying it: A How-to Guide to Open Source Assistance - Ian Turton (Computational Geographer)
    Hard love from a kind man - with examples that are painful to watch as an open source developer. Ian draws on his long GeoTools experience (and StackExchange outreach) for this excellent talk. DSC00710
  • Location-based Task Management for Mobile Business - Daniel Kastl (Georepublic)
    Task management for mobile business (vertical app using open source components). Great example of building a company around open source components. DSC00711
  • Lightening talks
    Fast, fast fast - with a nice open mic format. The conference tagline featured "towards diversity" and the lightening talks delivered in that promise. A special call out María's "braveheart" presentation discussing Free vs Open - it is important to keep "open source" advocacy alive and well at FOSS4G and not just focus on how helpful all the technology is.
    DSC00714 DSC00715 DSC00716 DSC00719 DSC00723 DSC00728
  • Everybody wants (someone else to do) it: Writing documentation for open source software - Jody Garnett (Boundless), Mike Pumphrey
    Thanks to Mike for letting me run his talk, and thanks to everyone for the kind words after the presentation. My only question was a scheduling one - how is a talk of documentation highlighted in an "Innovative use of GIS" session :)
  • Semantic assessment and monitoring of crowdsourced geographic information - Hamish Mcnair (University of Canterbury), Paul Goodhue
    Good Aussie content with Hamish and Paul, I was pleased to see CRC-SI and 43/PL research getting out into the world. Although this was an academic talk, it provided a clearly spoken take on moving from data models to ontologies.DSC00730 DSC00732 DSC00729
  • COBWEB, a citizen science data collection platform - Panagiotis Terzis (University of Edinburgh, EDINA)
    I am starting to see more of these vertical apps built on open source spatial foundation. In this case the stack was cordova, jquery, open layers / leaflet, requirejs for a modern mobile stack. Storage was provided by a personal cloud api (dropbox and rest api). The project is available at under a BSD license. DSC00733
  • How to build a succesful co-operation around your FOSS software - case Oskari - Jani Kylmäaho (National Land Survey of Finland)
    Don't duplicate work, don't throw away tax payers' money. In this case highlighting collaboration between a small company and the Finnish National Geoportal. Collaborate by virtue of working at the same time resulting in joint development. While this seems sensible I feel it requires a lot of luck (for concurrent funding) and did not account for the communication overhead involved in an open project. Both of these factors require a lot financial backing to be successful. I have had several great technical opportunities for projects to collaborate sunk due to lack of funding for BOTH development teams to work together at the same time. This talk really raised more questions than it answered. DSC00737
  • Leaflet vs. OpenLayers: which is best for our indoor maps? - Iván Sánchez Ortega (MazeMap)
    We all know Iván as an entertaining individual - it was a pleasant surprise to see him use his charm for a good comparison of these web mapping technologies. The OpenLayers team is certainly motivated, and aware the shortcomings highlighted, and Iván cheerful accepted the challenge when Leaflet could not meet his needs for indoor mapping. DSC00746
  • WPS Projects Update - Gérald Fenoy, Jachym Cepicky, Jody Garnett
    A quick status update from the WPS projects present (no benchmark this year as it is hard to figure out how to usefully benchmark a WMS service). In this case Jachym and Gérald carried the show. PyWPS is as cheerful simple and direct as always, and the ZOO Project has rounded up an impressive number of new features and an army of processes.
    The big news for GeoServer is that WPS is finally production ready (with support for security, limits on the amount of resources processes can consume and clustering support). I hope we get a chance to implement WPS 2.0 and catch up with the other implementations in the year ahead.
    What really pleased me about this talk was the number audience members who had head of, and were using, WPS.
  • OSGeo and LocationTech Comparison - Jody Garnett (Boundless)
    Last presentation of the day - on what I hope is an important and useful topic. It is a bit of an honour to represent these organizations as they support our development teams.

Awards and Closing

  • OSGeoLive: the best collection of Geospatial Freee and Open Source Softwares - Mr. Luca Delucchi (Fondazione Edmund Mach)
    Big shout out to the OSGeo Live team - releasing software is the point of what we do and OSGeo Live helps make that happen. DSC00749
  • Global Vision: The Open Source Geospatial Foundation - Mr. Jeff McKenna, President, OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial)
    Jeff provided an enthusiastic, measured overview what our foundation is doing well and where we have opportunities in the year ahead. Jeff amused everyone with gradually coming around to the idea of 'shaking hands with a suit' as a positive activity - with the key insight being the growth of Geo4All being built on such relationships. I also liked the increased recognition of organizations directly support OSGeo projects. DSC00750
  • Developer Recognition - Jeroen Ticheler (OSGeo)
    A really classy move recognizing the developer community which makes this possible. Kudos to Gérald Fenoy and Thomas Bonfor. DSC00762
  • Student Awards - Venkatesh Raghavan (Geo4All)
    Presentation and poster recognition. DSC00756
  • Map Awards 
    My notes were not quite able to keep up, so see the news announcement. I was happy to see the Hiroshima Archive win the prize of "The Best Cutting Edged Map."DSC00753
  • Sol Katz (slides)
    Maria Antonia Brovelli was recognized for outstanding contributions to our community with the Sol Katz award. Check out her slides above for some great pictures of the early days of our community. DSC00767
  • FOSS4G 2016 Bonn, Germany
    An entertaining video, an amiable host - next year will be great! Making it Happen
  • FOSS4G 2015 Organizing Team
    A big thanks to the organizing team.  DSC00781 Thanks Again! Take a Bow! DSC00778

FOSS4G 2015

The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial was held in Seoul, South Korea in 2015 (see round-up blog post). Thanks to my Boundless colleagues for such an enjoyable week and the Open Source Community for giving  us so much to celebrate with this lovely conference.

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