FOSS4G 200705 Feb 2007
I have not said much about it, blog-wise, but one of the big things I am doing this year is chairing the FOSS4G 2007 conference, which will be in Victoria from September 24-27.
We got off to a late start (compared to most conferences), only getting official approval at the end of 2006, so January 2007 was really the start of organizing. I decided to spend the first month concentrating on sponsorship, since so many other decisions are dependent on available resources — knowing how much sponsorship is available is really helpful. It has been a great month! We are going to meet our budget targets for sure, and maybe substantially exceed them.
Committed sponsors so far are:
- DM Solutions
- BC Integrated Land Management Bureau
- Safe Software
- Pacific Alliance Technologies
- Open Geospatial Consortium
- City of Nanaimo
And there are more in the pipeline!
Today the Call for Workshops went out too, which marks the start of our program activities. We have already confirmed Damian Conway as our keynote speaker – an excellent speaker on open source topics, I am really looking forward to that talk.
Unfortunately the web site does not yet reflect some of the cooler things we have planned for the conference this year:
- A live integration demonstration on the exhibition hall floor, exhibitors will have the opportunity to show their products interacting with products from other exhibitors in real time! Refractions will provide a PostGIS database instance, full of data from BC ILMB, which web mapping servers will render, and desktop apps will edit, and web frameworks will provide wrapped access to, and so on and so on. Unlike proprietary vendors, open source vendors have to interoperate, because no one has a complete stack to sell.
- More conventional, but a first for FOSS4G. Since we have a real show floor, we can have a real demonstration theatre and get exhibitors and projects to show their software strutting its stuff on the big screen.
Friday Code Sprint
- At the end of the conference we will be retaining some space and internet connectivity so that projects can get together in one room and plan or hack or just talk for an extended period. The internet is great, but face-to-face is the highest bandwidth connection available.
Last year, 535 people came to Lausanne for FOSS4G2006 (including me!). It was a great event, but far away from the USA and Canada. It has now been over two years since a North American open source geo-spatial get together (last time was Minnesota in June 2005).
So much has happened since then!
Autodesk has joined the community, Mapguide is going great guns, slippy maps have transformed web mapping, the desktop apps are all making huge strides, PostGIS has been OGC certified, Oracle has started buying open source companies…
It is a new world, and FOSS4G 2007 is going to be the place to take the pulse of that new world.