Mr. Jeff McKenna was honored today with the 2016 Sol Katz Award
for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software during the
FOSS4G-2016 conference in Bonn, Germany. The award was announced by Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan, President, OSGeo Foundation.
The award is presented in recognition of Jeff’s deep passion for FOSS4G and relentless effort to promote OSGeo Foundation around the world. He has been involved in OSGeo since the foundation was formed in 2006. The OSGeo Foundation wishes to thank Mr. Jeff McKenna for his dedication and invaluable contributions towards furthering the goals and objectives of the OSGeo Foundation.
The Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software is
awarded annually by OSGeo to individuals who have demonstrated
leadership in the GFOSS community. Recipients of the award will have
contributed significantly through their activities to advance open
source ideals in the geospatial realm. The hope is that the award will
both acknowledge the work of community members, and pay tribute to one
of its founders, for years to come.
Sol Katz was an early pioneer of GFOSS and left behind a large body of
work in the form of applications, format specifications, and utilities.
In the early 80’s, Sol assisted in the development of a public domain
GIS package called MOSS (Map Overlay and Statistical System). This
software was arguably the first open source GIS software in the world.
Sol would later go on to release and maintain PC MOSS. He was also one
of the first involved in public data translator utilities. Utilities
that he developed for converting DEMs and reading SDTS files were
contributed back to the geospatial community, and are still available
today. Sol was also a frequent contributor to many geospatial list
servers, providing much guidance to the geospatial community at large.
Sol Katz’s collection of GIS utilities at the BLM is still available at
ftp://ftp.blm.gov/pub/gis/. Sadly, after fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
for almost a decade, Sol died April 23, 1999 in bed. His legacy will
always live on in the GFOSS world.