TylerMitchell's blog

It's the Final Countdown!

It's the final countdown to FOSS4G. Earth may remain intact, but your life will melt away if you don't attend! Only 23 days to go at the time of writing... (see the full post to see the countdown timer)

While the milliseconds spin by, mesmerising you, consider that 8% of our FOSS4G workshops are already sold out and others are quickly filling up. Review the workshops here.

If you've been holding out to the last minute to register, now is the time, to avoid disappointment. On the other hand, any workshop would be worth attending!

Have a friend, colleague, supervisor or spouse who doesn't have a whole week to spare for this pivotal event? Encourage them to take to the one day "Intro" workshop - check out that line up of speakers!

Finally, here are some of the top rated talks to encourage you to come. They are just the tip of the iceberg, with so many great talks...

  • PostGIS 2.0, the new stuff - Leo Hsu/Regina Obe, Paragon Corporation
  • Web Mapping Performance Shootout - Jeff McKenna, Gateway Geomatics
  • State of PostGIS - Paul Ramsey, OpenGeo
  • Tips for the PostGIS Power User - Paul Ramsey, OpenGeo
  • OpenAerialMap: Free Imagery for the World - Schuyler Erle, SimpleGeo
  • HTML5 for Rich Geospatial applications on the web - Javier de la Torre, Vizzuality
  • OpenLayers Mobile - Eric Lemoine, Camptocamp
  • Tuning GDAL Raster Performance - Frank Warmerdam, Google
  • Advanced carthographic map rendering in GeoServer - Simone Giannecchini, GeoSolutions
  • Advanced Cartography for the Web - AJ Ashton, Development Seed
  • PostGIS Replication - Steven Singer, Slony Development team
  • QGIS, what's new? - Pirmin Kalberer, Sourcepole
  • Store, manipulate and analyze raster data within the PostgreSQL/PostGIS spatial database - Pierre Racine, University Laval
  • Turning Data into Beautiful Maps - Tom MacWright, Development Seed

Until next time,

FOSS4G 2011 Promo VIDEO!

From vimeo.com/osgeo/foss4g2011.

FOSS4G 2011 Denver from Tyler Mitchell @ OSGeo on Vimeo.

OSGeo.org is proud to present the annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference, to be held in Denver, September 12-16, 2011. Hear from some of the local organisers and sponsors about this foremost geospatial education and training event. We hope to see you there as our communities continue to extend there reach. 2011.foss4g.org - see you there!

Sleeping In Denver @ FOSS4G 2011

While you won't get as much sleep as usual during FOSS4G 2011 Denver, you'll still want to get a place to stay - for the internet of course!

I visited the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel last week and had a peek in the guest rooms that are part of our package. They were all very nice and comfortable.

But more importantly, our arrangement with Sheraton also includes free internet in the guest rooms (~$15/day value). Add to that the location, upstairs from the FOSS4G meeting rooms, and you'll find it a great place to stay. It is centrally located for all activities in the downtown area.

The primary rooms we have reserved include a single king bed or two queen beds in a larger room.

If you would like to get one of the Executive Suites, they are laid our very well - the one I saw had two queens, a large bathroom and a very comfortable seating area.

See photo and videos from their site. Need a good spot for entertaining clients or holding a reception, consider their Presidential Suite - with a couple separate rooms and space for entertaining a dozen or so people.

Did I mention that all their guest rooms will have free in-room wifi if booking through our contract? I used the same service and didn't have any challenges.


Note: You may need to phone to reserve any of the suites. I believe the cost for the Executive Suites are +$50 compared to the standard room price in our block, so could be a great way to share a great room with a couple other people.

Raw survey data results

Thank you very much to the 160+ participants in the survey I posted last month. The goal wasn't to just gather information for myself, but was to see if there were any patterns of common thought across the community of respondents. Then we can work toward some of those goals together without wondering if anyone else cares :)

I'm the first to admit the questions were far from perfect (and I hadn't meant to force/require answers to everything) but I still think the results may help encourage those who are thinking of new ideas or next steps for OSGeo. Rather than wait for me to continue to summarise the results, I thought some of you might like to play with the raw data: :)


Interested in other survey questions/ideas? I'll be glad to run other ones to gather more ideas. I plan to use some to help drill deeper on some of the items.
Hey if anyone reading is a survey or stats guru interested in regularly polling the community, I'd love to work together.

Hope it's interesting!

Vote for OSGeo Direction

Add your voice to the 150+ OSGeo members who have already voted. Only 4 quick questions!

Ways to Donate to OSGeo

A recent comment was passed along to me suggesting we need to be able to accept micro-donations. Those are donations from anyone except those who use the sponsorship programs.

The good news is we can do it already and have been able to for a while!

Here is a brief overview of the various donation and sponsorship opportunities that exist at OSGeo. Have some special way you want to give something? Drop me a note and we can talk about it.

Donate Button

We have a PayPal "Donate" button on the front page of OSGeo.org. Donors can contribute any amount!

You can also use this URL to accomplish the same thing but using email.

We also have a bank account you can direct deposit or wire funds too, though for small amounts most won't want to do this - email me if you do.

Focused Marketing Funding

Local Chapters, and friends, around the world help take OSGeo before more audiences than we know of. You can help them directly by offering to fund many different things, some may only cost $100 or less, others in the thousands: purchase a booth at an industry tradeshow, donate a speaking slot at an event, fund printing of brochures, pay for a printed pop-up banner and more. For some ideas of the kind of marketing material available see this wiki page

You can pay for the purchase directly yourself, or offer to do it through a Local Chapter. Alternately, OSGeo HQ can take help if needed. I have an account with a "cloud-based printing" company from which I can order material and have it printed and shipped locally around the world. If you want to make a donation to fund something in particular, use the donate button and drop me a note.

Meeting Space

Local Chapters may also need someone to just simply donate meeting space. Having a Friday afternoon meet-up at a restaurant is fun, but sometimes a boardroom with projector can really be all that it takes to help a Chapter grow. If you have a room, offer it up, get the kudos (and good P.R.) and help make a difference without having to spend a cent.

Likewise, Local Chapters are often heavily involved in running events (including FOSS4G). The two largest costs to running an event are usually food and meeting space. If you can help with either of these you will be a great asset and worthy of much praise!

I'll do a follow up post on the other ways you can donate but before I sign off please take a moment to check out our Sponsors page to see the great sponsors that help make the larger funding happen. Their funding has gone toward a hundred different things including: buying booth space, giving OSGeo a presence at events, funding printed material, duplicating OSGeo Live DVDs, keeping web services lights on and helping keep our annual events going. Our sponsors are at the forefront of helping fund all our bigger efforts. Thanks a lot!

Stay tuned for part 2...

Funding Ideas...

On the survey (you can still vote!) I listed several potential ways that I've heard others suggest for raising some funding. I admit some are controversial or lack a bit of meat on their bones - but I still found the answers interesting.

The goal was to collect your thoughts and hopefully brainstorm some even better ideas! I'll touch on the "better ideas", that some shared in the survey, at another time - there were definitely some folks thinking about alternatives.

Clearly training/certification programs were a popular idea along with events. Speaking of events - register early for FOSS4G workshops - they usually sell out!


A few survey stats

We just hit > 100 respondents on my recent survey! You can still chime in with your thoughts on the direction and priorities for OSGeo.

The first two questions were around priority "target areas", basically constituents/groups/areas that we should, collectively, spend more time working with e.g. Academic, business, government, etc.

The first question just asked if they were good ideas and the results were all pretty much positive - but with Academic development coming out on top with the highest number of "this is important" votes.

The second question forced voters to make a decision and rank the ideas from least to most important. Again, Academic development came out on top. I'll crunch some more stats later, but thought you might find this graph interesting. Sorry if you don't like 6 axis graphs :)


The area within the blue line represents those who voted "unimportant" for the topic and within the red line those who voted "important". These are aggregates of "least important, low importance" vs "fairly, very, most important". "Marginal importance" was ignored for this graph. Note the larger the gap between the red and blue lines on an axis shows a greater difference in voting preference. The two rings represent 50% and 100% of votes.

Even from this perspective it shows a very strong support for the academic idea, with Government in second. Then Open Standards and Open Data.

Not a perfect summary but it's got me thinking and thought you might find it interesting too. More to come when I get a chance to dig through the numbers.

Thanks to all who voted!

Survey: Next Steps for OSGeo

Spring is in the air over here in Western Canada, which always gets me thinking about future strategies for OSGeo. I think it's a good time to step back and take stock of where we all think OSGeo should be heading in the upcoming months and years.

I've put together a very short survey, only 4 questions, and invite everyone to share their thoughts. I will post aggregated results and discuss it further on the discuss mailing list in a week. I'll also present the results to the OSGeo Board during an upcoming board meeting.


Looking forward to your thoughts!

Influence FOSS4G Program!

http://community-review.foss4g.org/ is our handy community voting website that gives you the chance to help determine the program for the FOSS4G 2011 conference.

Nearly 300 abstract proposals were submitted and less than half that will be ultimately selected. Have your say on what would make the best selection of presentations!

Note: Several great workshops have already been selected, register early to ensure availability.


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