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Just 4 days until the FOSS4G NA deadline

Dear Everyone,

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!


Sneak peek at FOSS4G NA 2016 Pricing

Dear Everyone,

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.

My name is now Andrea

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 2015!

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.


Where do YOU want to go for FOSS4G NA 2016

You may recall we recently designed and implemented a new governance model for FOSS4G NA. Thank you once again to the large team of people who participated in that.

Over the past weeks, we bootstrapped the model for FOSS4G NA 2016. We have created a RFP for venues to host the conference and received a great response. With much effort we were able to find two especially great options for the conference. They are the DoubleTree in downtown Philadelphia, and the convention center in downtown Raleigh.

We’d like to ask you where you’d like to go. Please take a moment to complete this short survey here:

crashing ipads keep planes from taking off

I read a story about ipads crashing causing American Airlines pilots to be grounded. This reminded me about a topic I’ve been thinking & talking about lately.

The software and data underpinnings for much of modern society have evolved to be very complex. I can’t help but notice that this often makes modern life brittle. We depend on systems working well together and getting the right data at just the right time. When they don’t, we have a bad day.

In some cases it’s just inappropriate and ridiculous use of technology… why the heck does my fridge need internet access?! In many other cases, R&D is rushed, done poorly, and contributes to a more brittle world.

Rather than low acquisition costs (free as in a puppy!), here’s where I think the main advantage to open source resides. There’s nothing intrinsically more secure or robust about open source. However, if you can collaborate with others, and figure out common components that each of you can build upon, then it opens the door to a large and vibrant ecosystem of collaborators. Such a community enables sharing the costs, risks, and benefits from those components. As those components get more and more widely adopted, issues are more likely to be found and can be fixed quickly. This helps keep the forces compelling a brittle world at bay.

Shiny new FOSS4G North America Governance

A little over a month ago, I posted to share details of an effort to create governance for how FOSS4G North America (NA) is run. The governance includes things like how the site & venue are selected, how the chair is selected, and how decisions are made.

On behalf of the team, we would encourage you to take a look. We’re hoping to resolve all feedback by end of today, April 29, 2015.

Huge gratitude to the large team of people who worked on this over the last month and a bit!

And please stay tuned regarding FOSS4G North America 2016… if all goes well, and our process works as well as we hope, there should be an announcement soon.


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