The Map Is Not The Territory

A blog by Christian Willmes.

FOSS4G Nottingham wrap up

| categories: conference, geospatial | View Comments

TL,DR: FOSS4G was just amazing! This was (until now) the best conference I went to.

Things that I did

I did a presentation on: Building Research Data Management Infrastructure using Open Source Software. And I think my talk went quite well. You can find the slides of the presentation here. I had some people giving good feedback, directly after the talk or later somewhere at the conference. If you are interested in more detail on what I have presented, you can find my paper directly relating to the talk here (Please send me an email, if you can't access the paper from Whiley, it is possible to send copies to individuals).

Then, I chaired (is this the correct term?!?) two sessions. A Session which I titled Spatio-temporal Visualization, featuring Augmented Reality and WMS-V (V for Video) and a Session on 3D GeoInformation, featuring PostGIS 3D, X3Dom, W3DS, Mobile and WebGL based rendering frameworks. This went very smoothly. I was a bit nervous about this task, because I never chaired (still?) a session at a conference before. The presenters where all good in time and attendance (mostly) asked lots of questions. And best is, that got me an exclusive red FOSS4G volunteer t-shirt and a FOSS4G hero badge! :]

On thuesday evening I went with a group of FOSS4G fellows to the Nottingham City Ground, to watch the Football League Championship (by the way, this name is awkward for a national 2nd level league) match Nottingham Forrest vs. Middelsborough. The match was very entertaining, we had two penalties, four goals and a red card. Before the match we met at the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem Inn, which claims to be the oldest inn in England. Very nice in a very historic setting right beneath the famous Nottingham Castle. And they had an awesome IPA (which you can't easily get in germany), wich I enjoyed a lot. In short it was a great experience. Thanks to Jeffrey Jhonson of OpenGeo for organizing this!

group shot
FOSS4G Football Group Photo at Nottingham City Groud Stadium. (Photo by: Jody Garnett @Flickr.)

Things that got my attention

First, I went to the geonode developers workshop. This was very interesting, because I learned that it is possible to extend the django based geonode with existing dajango Plug-Ins. This should make it possible to implement a REST API (hopefully more or less similar to CKANs great action API). I will try this in the next couple of weeks and do most probably a blog post about it (stay tuned).

Another quite new software project, that got my attention, is GeoGit. I can think of quite some very interesting use cases regarding collaborative editing of geospatial datasets for my project. Especially the GeoNode Plug-In of GeoGit, from the Rapid Open Geospatial User-Driven Enterprise (ROGUE) Joint Capability Technology Demonstrtion (JCTD) (what a name ^^) project described in a White Paper featuring "CyberGIS" [FTW! ;)], looks very promising to me. This is definetly on my agenda for upcoming development of the CRC806-Database!

FOSS4G impressions. (Photos by: FOSS4G Group @ Flickr.)

Things worth mentioning

The event was very well organized, the FOSS4G 2013 Committee did a marvelous job in preparing an running this event! This will be the reference, which upcomming FOSS4G's organizers have to look at and learn from.

The Acedemic Track organized by Barend Köbben and Franz-Josef Behr was in my opinion a great success. And to have a special issue in a well known journal like the Transactions in GIS makes it very interesting for researchers from academia to participate in the Conference, which I think is a very good thing to cross pollinate with the developer community. This just makes the whole event richer in my opinion.

Another good idea was the map contest Opening up the Map, organized by Kenneth Field. This is just a great opportunity to get visibility for map applications and also to get recognized for great work. It also is a feature to include more users of FOSS4G software projects into the conference.

The Sol Katz award was this year awarded to Arnulf Christl, what is in my opinion well deserved for his longtime high level contributions to the OSGeo cummunity. The award was directly legitimated by an remarkable speech by Arnulf, proving that he is one of the leading heads of the OSGeo idea.

The closing Keynote by Paul Ramsey was just outstanding! One of the best talks I ever attended in a conference yet. It is good to have such bright personalities in the OSGeo community!

Looking forward

I met again many old and new friends at the FOSS4G, this also one point which makes the FOSS4G / FOSSGIS conferences so valuable to me. I will definetly try (need to get some good new stuff until next year to talk about to get fundet for the trip - but don't worry ;) to get to Portland for FOSS4G 2014!

Have fun!


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