This is an article I wrote a while back and was published elsewhere. I wanted it published here too. I am one of the Founders of LocationTech. These are my words and perspective on what LocationTech is. Thank you for your time and attention to read it. –Andrea
Simply stated, LocationTech is a community of people who care about place.
Each participant brings their own unique inspiration. After travelling the world and hearing their stories, I’ve decided the strong common value is to help society be the best it can be. What does this mean?
Each perspective is unique. I have heard smart and passionate people talk about better urban planning, better stewardship for nature, better safety and security, pursuing knowledge, advancing the state of the art, teaching & learning skills, entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs building their businesses, people who just want to tell a story, and more. These ideas give us purpose. We would strive for them no matter the tools and technologies we have.
While we would strive for them no matter, better tools and technologies make it easier to achieve our goals. Collaborating helps us do more, faster, better, and with less risk.
There are practical aspects to the group like great geospatial software under open source licenses, collaborative infrastructure, good governance, intellectual property review services for the software and data, great events around the world, warm camaraderie & networking, challenging but rewarding internships, and more. These things are wonderful, but they don’t bind the community together. What unites us are the desires to collaborate and to do so under the same model.
The software libraries at LocationTech provide fundamental implementations of data types, algorithms, indexing, data management, and similar features that enable more complex operations. These components underpin everything built on top of them.
Technology change has created an inflection point for geodata. Mobile devices, social media, retail transactions, and more generate a tremendous amount of data. The volume, variety, and velocity of data is ever increasing. The high performance geoprocessing services enable orders of magnitude faster processing velocity and storage capacity. These services change the rules of what can be done.
Data has become crucial. A considerable amount of geodata is commodity. This is to say that it is not a source of competitive advantage if it does not differ from organization to organization. Collaboration based on a common pool of data makes sense. The data commons is a new initiative for sharing open data.
Tools to provide distributed and intelligent version control allow for mobile devices that have just the right data, but can update it based on context or to incorporate updated information. Flexible and easy to use version control features enable useful multi-directional workflows.
The visualization components turn data into rich user interfaces. While they do often enable maps, they also enable models, charts, graphs, and others. They do so on mobile devices as well as other platforms. The off-line abilities of the mobile libraries, combined with version control allow much greater flexibility.
Each of the components can be used alone, or together to develop more complex systems. They can be built into proprietary or open solutions. Collections of components help can be used to unite big data on the server with small data on mobile devices. They enable rich & intuitive user interfaces and help solve interesting problems.
This is what we need to achieve our purpose and to help society be the best it can be. This is LocationTech, and everyone is welcome.
For those that don’t already know, FOSS4G North America 2016 is running in Raleigh on May 2-5, 2016. It runs at the beautiful and spacious Raleigh Convention Center in the heart of downtown Raleigh. It’s a great location, within walking distance to innumerable restaurants, bars, shops, and more. The weather that time of year in Raleigh is gorgeous.
If you have not been to a FOSS4G NA yet, it is one of the better geo events of the year. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming to everyone. People are happy to share ideas for the cool stuff they’re doing, and hear about what you’re up to. As you’d expect, there’s a strong focus on web mapping, GIS, and such. The industry has changed, and so you’ll also see talks on drones, microsatellites, spatial features in big data technologies like spark/accumulo/hbase/cassandra, IoT software working with sensors, libraries for augmented reality and amazing mobile applications, and 3D rendering. This is just a small taste. The best part about this conference is the really great people there.
The 2016 program was just announced, and it’s so strong. This year, the response to the call for proposals resulted in an avalanche of really excellent proposals. The committee did a fantastic job of evaluating them, voting on them, and crafting a program. If you’re interested in checking it out, the list of talks is available here.
It was my pleasure to help organize it again this year. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m certain it will be a lot of fun. Hope to see you in Raleigh! By the way, the early bird registration deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
As many of you know, FOSS4G NA is an important annual conference for a number of communities, projects, and initiatives. OSGeo & LocationTech are two of the well known Foundations participating, but FOSS4G NA spans well beyond both.
In 2015, a number of people participated in crafting governance for FOSS4G NA. Following that governance, the core committee (see below), is working on making a decision regarding FOSS4G NA 2017.
The key decision for the short term is whether FOSS4G NA 2017 should be held in 2017. FOSS4G Global will be held in Boston in late August (IIRC), so the decision is not as simple as it would have otherwise been.
Discussion is taking place on the FOSS4G NA selection mailing list. All are invited to participate.
- FOSS4G NA has grown into a good sized conference in its own right, and keeps growing. The next one is taking place May 2-5, 2016 in Raleigh North Carolina. FOSS4G NA has done some things differently than global such as free passes for speakers, registration discounts for committers, and and more.
- In other regions, the regional conferences have run in the same year as FOSS4G Global with no serious issues noted. It is likely FOSS4G NA could run anywhere other than the North-eastern United states, and both it and FOSS4G Global in Boston would succeed.
- A few groups have expressed some interest in FOSS4G NA 2017 being hosted in their region including San Francisco and Ottawa. It is now time to decide if we proceed with NA 2017, or not.
As per the FOSS4G NA governance, the committee consists of:
- 3 past chairs of FOSS4G NA (Currently: Eddie Pickle, David Bitner, Rob Emanuele)
- 1 representative for OSGeo (Currently: Mark Lucas)
- 1 representative for LocationTech (Currently: Jim Hughes)
Sarah Cordivano (chair 2016), will soon join the FOSS4G NA core committee as Eddie Pickle (chair 2012) retires from it.
For those interested, the kinds of things the committee is looking for in a place to host FOSS4G NA are:
- Good flight links nationally.
- Appropriate sized venue (500-700 people).
- A choice of accommodations at various price points.
- Economical price point for the conference venue.
- Active community in the region.
- Downtown location near many points of interest is a big plus.
For those interested in open source geospatial technologies and open data, you will want to take a look at the FOSS4G NA 2016 conference. This conference runs May 2-5 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
If you are working with data that has a location component to it, this conference is a really good one to learn about some truly excellent technologies, techniques, and initiatives. It’s a great place to meet with experts in this field who are keen to share their thoughts with you and each other, and learn about what you are doing.
The conference features talks about popular technologies such as PostgreSQL, PostGIS, Leaflet, QGIS, Cesium, GeoServer, GRASS, GDAL/OGR, and many others. Leading big data & container technologies such as Spark, Hadoop, Accumulo, HBase, Docker, and others are prominently featured in talks from the GeoMesa, GeoTrellis, GeoWave, and other projects. If you are interested in learning about kite, drone, balloon, and microsatellite mapping, this is a great conference for you. Learn how to version control your data and share it with others using GeoGig. All of this is just a taste to communicate what a great conference this is.
FOSS4G NA is also a really warm and welcoming conference to everyone. At last year’s conference in Burlingame (near San Francisco), it was really great to see so many women speaking and participating. In my opinion, the proportion of women to men was much better balanced than many other similar conferences and made for a better conference as a result.
For those doing interesting work, you may consider proposing a talk to share your ideas. The deadline for the call for proposals is due on Monday, February 8th. To submit, visit the CfP page. Speakers who have their talks accepted will receive a free full access pass!!
For those planning to attend, you’ll save money if you register by February 26th.
There are scholarship grants for those that might benefit from them. The deadline for applying is February 8th.
Hope to see you there!
For those interested in FOSS4G NA 2016, it runs May 2nd to 5th in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.. This post is intended to be helpful for budgeting purposes, as many of you are doing budget planning for 2016.
Registration will open early in the new year. Here’s a bunch of hopefully helpful notes about registration in the meantime.
Oh, and the Call for Proposals is now open. You may be interested to learn that:
- The first speaker on each talk will receive a free full access pass!!
- The first two workshop speakers for each workshop will receive a free full access pass!!
- We will also be offering a limited supply of scholarships for people that need them. More on this soon
There are a variety of passes for FOSS4G NA 2016. We anticipate being able to hold pricing the same as FOSS4G NA 2015. Here’s a synopsis so you can plan ahead:
- Full access – 4 days, $800 early, includes all workshops and sessions, plus receptions
we’ll offer a special $100 discount to alumni who participated last year and to project committers for OSGeo or LocationTech projects.
- sessions only – 3 days, $600 early, includes everything except workshops
- non corporate pass – 4 days, $500 always (doesn’t go up), includes all workshops and sessions, plus receptions. This pass is only for those people whose organizations are not reimbursing them.
- student pass – 4 days, $400 always (doesn’t go up), includes all workshops and sessions, plus receptions.
- theme day pass – 1 day, $200 for the day (doesn’t go up), only provides access to the theme days and keynotes (i.e. PGDay, Web Mapping day, or Big Data Day.)
- Exhibits only – 4 days, but limited to exhibits, $150 (doesn’t go up), Does not provide access to sessions & lunch is not included.
Addendum: Some people have asked if pricing goes up as we get closer to the event and especially if people register on site. Yes, it does. Please do register early and save yourself some money.
This is my story I was afraid to tell you. I still am afraid how you’ll react, but I’m doing it anyway.
As best I can tell, roughly 1% of the population are the same as me. We have a gene flipped. A little thing really. Similar to being left or right handed, brown or black hair, blue eyes or brown, pale skin or dark. I have a characteristic that is sometimes noticeable and sometimes less so. In my case, I am transgendered.
Why am I coming out about this now? Many reasons. I guess the important one is that I am who I am, and I need to walk the earth as that person.
If you’re curious, I am not broken. I am not mentally ill. I’m just a regular person, a good person, who just happens to be transgendered. No more or less worthy. It’s really not a problem. It’s not harmful. It just is.
OK, if you’ve read this far, here’s the part where I need your help please:
It is my wish that you call me Andrea (on-DRAY-ah) from now on. Please also use pronouns like she, her, etc. when referring to me. It’s obviously going to take me a little bit to update the many places my name is used, however I am doing so. Thank you.
(FYI, scroll down past the ads & such to view comments people have left)
FedGeoDay is returning on Thursday, October 15th. This one day conference takes place in Washington D.C. at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Tickets are just $79 and include lunch, beverages, snacks, and an evening reception. I’ll be there, and hope to see some of you there also.