Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

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Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Dave McIlhagga
It depends on what OSGeo is trying to achieve through running conferences. Is it:

1. Provide an opportunity for a maximum number of developers to connect face to face
2. Encourage adoption of OSGeo technologies
3. Raise funds for OSGeo
4. etc...

Encouraging adoption fo OSGeo was the primary driver for the current 3 region rotation, but I'm not sure if that's still the highest priority of the organization. Uncertainty in this matter led in some part to the difficulties in the selection process this year.

I'd like to suggest that the Board conduct a full review of the conference selection process -- as it currently feels highly disconnected from the priorities of the board. The recent decision of the board to eliminate the Exec Director position was in part rooted in finances -- that's understandable, however at the same time, selecting China was likely not a wise choice if finances were the primary driver. Is it possible that this selection led directly to the termination of the ED position? Was that wise?

I believe the FOSS4G selection process is one of the most important decisions made annually by OSGeo as an organization. What concerns me is that this decision is currently effectively made by this committee without it being strongly connected to the priorities of the organization as a whole.

If nothing else, given the financial link between this selection, and the viability of OSGeo, I believe fixing this process needs to be one of the top priorities by the board.

My 2 cents.

Dave





On 2011-09-23, at 3:05 PM, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:

> I totally agree with what Volker says here.
>
> My personal preference would be a two year rotation between Europe and North America, with only local conferences in Other.
>
> Bart
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Sep 23, 2011, at 7:52 PM, Volker Mische <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I already wrote it in my blog post about the FOSS4G, but it should also
>> hit the mailing lists as well.
>>
>> I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good idea. I fear
>> that people will be going there and the global one will die (especially
>> next year, when it is "in some other country").
>>
>> A lot of devs in the FOSS4G world are from North America (I'd even say
>> the majority, but I'm not sure about it). Those will definitely go to a
>> North American event.
>>
>> I could imagine that many people from Europe can justify one conference
>> to go somewhere in the world, when there's enough value. Which is for
>> me, in case for the FOSS4G, meeting almost all core developers of the
>> various FOSS4G projects.
>>
>> If I have the choice to meet all the North American developers and a lot
>> of other ones as well, and the choice between meeting some American and
>> European developers perhaps at some other place in the world (where it
>> might even be harder to get there (think about past events like
>> Australia)). Where would you go?
>>
>> And also important: where would the sponsors invest? It was already a
>> hard time for the Sydney conference to cover the costs, how hard would
>> it be if there's another big conference?
>>
>> For me those are reasons why the a global event might die, and that
>> would be a shame. As we heard at (I think) the AGM, past conferences
>> planted seeds in those locations.
>>
>> The rotating between Europe, North America and somewhere else makes a
>> lot of sense to me, but if there will be a North American conference
>> every year, we can just drop the "somewhere else" and go for a Europe,
>> North America, North America rotation.
>>
>> For me the solution would be to make more localised conferences in North
>> America, like a West Coast, East Coast, Central, Canadian one. This
>> won't draw to much developers away from the global one. It would kind of
>> the same as in Europe, where we also have local Chapter conferences.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Volker
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev

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Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Tim Schaub
I think these are good concerns.

In my opinion, the main justification for trying a regular conference
in North America would be to provide more substantial and predictable
revenue for OSGeo.  We haven't proven that sponsorship funds are
impossible to sustain, but we've demonstrated that they are hard to
come by.  We also haven't proven that a regular conference could
provide stable revenue, but the evidence suggests it to me.  I imagine
that the organizational costs of a conference would be reduced if it
were done regularly (by the same people).  I also imagine that
attendance wouldn't fluctuate wildly, and should continue to grow.

We (the board) clearly don't have consensus about the value (or risks)
of a regular conference.  It's good to hear input from others.

Given what was agreed upon in terms of a global rotation for the
conference, we also don't have stable or predictable revenue.  With
diminishing sponsorship revenue, we've seen that we can't make a
commitment to a stable ED position either.

Tim

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM, Dave McIlhagga
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> It depends on what OSGeo is trying to achieve through running conferences. Is it:
>
> 1. Provide an opportunity for a maximum number of developers to connect face to face
> 2. Encourage adoption of OSGeo technologies
> 3. Raise funds for OSGeo
> 4. etc...
>
> Encouraging adoption fo OSGeo was the primary driver for the current 3 region rotation, but I'm not sure if that's still the highest priority of the organization. Uncertainty in this matter led in some part to the difficulties in the selection process this year.
>
> I'd like to suggest that the Board conduct a full review of the conference selection process -- as it currently feels highly disconnected from the priorities of the board. The recent decision of the board to eliminate the Exec Director position was in part rooted in finances -- that's understandable, however at the same time, selecting China was likely not a wise choice if finances were the primary driver. Is it possible that this selection led directly to the termination of the ED position? Was that wise?
>
> I believe the FOSS4G selection process is one of the most important decisions made annually by OSGeo as an organization. What concerns me is that this decision is currently effectively made by this committee without it being strongly connected to the priorities of the organization as a whole.
>
> If nothing else, given the financial link between this selection, and the viability of OSGeo, I believe fixing this process needs to be one of the top priorities by the board.
>
> My 2 cents.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
>
>
> On 2011-09-23, at 3:05 PM, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:
>
>> I totally agree with what Volker says here.
>>
>> My personal preference would be a two year rotation between Europe and North America, with only local conferences in Other.
>>
>> Bart
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Sep 23, 2011, at 7:52 PM, Volker Mische <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> I already wrote it in my blog post about the FOSS4G, but it should also
>>> hit the mailing lists as well.
>>>
>>> I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good idea. I fear
>>> that people will be going there and the global one will die (especially
>>> next year, when it is "in some other country").
>>>
>>> A lot of devs in the FOSS4G world are from North America (I'd even say
>>> the majority, but I'm not sure about it). Those will definitely go to a
>>> North American event.
>>>
>>> I could imagine that many people from Europe can justify one conference
>>> to go somewhere in the world, when there's enough value. Which is for
>>> me, in case for the FOSS4G, meeting almost all core developers of the
>>> various FOSS4G projects.
>>>
>>> If I have the choice to meet all the North American developers and a lot
>>> of other ones as well, and the choice between meeting some American and
>>> European developers perhaps at some other place in the world (where it
>>> might even be harder to get there (think about past events like
>>> Australia)). Where would you go?
>>>
>>> And also important: where would the sponsors invest? It was already a
>>> hard time for the Sydney conference to cover the costs, how hard would
>>> it be if there's another big conference?
>>>
>>> For me those are reasons why the a global event might die, and that
>>> would be a shame. As we heard at (I think) the AGM, past conferences
>>> planted seeds in those locations.
>>>
>>> The rotating between Europe, North America and somewhere else makes a
>>> lot of sense to me, but if there will be a North American conference
>>> every year, we can just drop the "somewhere else" and go for a Europe,
>>> North America, North America rotation.
>>>
>>> For me the solution would be to make more localised conferences in North
>>> America, like a West Coast, East Coast, Central, Canadian one. This
>>> won't draw to much developers away from the global one. It would kind of
>>> the same as in Europe, where we also have local Chapter conferences.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Volker
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>



--
Tim Schaub
OpenGeo http://opengeo.org/
Expert service straight from the developers.
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Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Peter Batty
In reply to this post by Dave McIlhagga
Hi all,

Obviously the question of a North American FOSS4G / OSGeo conference has pros and cons. There are some who are concerned that it would have a big negative impact on the global conference. Based on a pretty detailed look at data from previous conferences, I personally think these concerns are overstated. In this email I just wanted to share that data. I include some of my observations, but please draw your own conclusions (well I'm sure you all will anyway :) !!).

There are already multiple strong local conferences, including FOSS4G Japan and FOSSGIS in Germany. According to the 2012 FOSS4G RFP (at http://svn.osgeo.org/osgeo/foss4g/rfp/2012/osgeo-conference-2012-request-for-proposal.pdf), attendance at FOSSGIS has been as follows:

2011: >400
2010: no data provided
2009: ~500
2008: >400
2007: ~250
2006: nothing - I'm guessing it started in 2007?

Note that in 2009, the global FOSS4G was in Sydney, and had 436 attendees, so FOSSGIS was larger than the global event that year. I haven't heard anyone requesting that OSGeo should somehow try to prevent FOSSGIS from happening as it is damaging the global FOSS4G (and I don't think there's any way OSGeo could or should do that anyway).

Let's look at how many people from Germany have attended FOSS4G, to see if having FOSSGIS there deters Germans from attending. This data comes from Cameron's spreadsheet at http://bit.ly/p5LZuJ (I will add 2011 data when I can - using my own records for this email). For comparison purposes I also include percentages from France, Italy and UK, as countries that you might expect to be somewhat comparable but that don't have a strong local conference established (so far as I know ... is there one in Italy? ... nothing mentioned in the RFP document though).

Percentage of attendees from Germany, France, Italy, UK
2011 (Denver): 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.7
2010 (Barcelona): 7.6, 4.9, 6.1, 3.4,
2009 (Sydney): 3.0, 2.1, 2.8, 1.4 (note strong attendance despite FOSSGIS being larger than Sydney event that year)
2008 (Cape Town): 2.0, 3.4, 3.4, 1.7
2007 (Victoria): 1.5, 2.5, 2.9, 2.1
2006 (Lausanne): 8.8, 7.6, 9.5, 3.5

Looking at these numbers, German attendance at FOSS4G does not seem to have been negatively affected by FOSSGIS compared to other countries that one might expect to be broadly comparable that don't have a large local conference (to the best of my knowledge).

Now let's look at US and Canadian attendance (percentage) at previous FOSS4G events:

2011 (Denver): 68.6, 6.3 (=74.9 total)
2010 (Barcelona): 8.1, 3.4 (11.5)
2009 (Sydney): 6.4, 5.5 (11.9)
2008 (Cape Town): 5.2, 2.8 (9.0)
2007 (Victoria): 36.7, 35.0 (71.7)
2006 (Lausanne): 9.2, 6.5 (15.7)

So for non-North American FOSS4G events, the average US+Canadian attendance has been 12% (or 10.8% based on the most recent 3). Even if North American attendance took a major hit as a result of a North American conference (which the German experience doesn't support), say it drops by 50%, you would only be looking at a 6% drop in total numbers. Maybe some will argue that other people won't come to the global event if not as many North Americans are coming, but I think that's a pretty weak argument. I still think you will have a strong core of key people from the main projects who will go to the global event regardless of other regional events (both from North America and around the world).

Another interesting stat from the 2011 conference is that a huge 67% were attending their first FOSS4G. About 16% had attended 3 or more FOSS4Gs (so around 150 people), and I think it's fair to regard them as a "FOSS4G hard core", most of whom who are likely to attend the global conference wherever it is. That number obviously includes a lot of the key people on projects who help give FOSS4G continuity from one year to the next, and who are also people who help draw in other attendees who would like to meet them, hear them speak, etc. 

Lastly, on the survey from 2011 we asked how likely people were to attend Beijing. 71.8% answered 1 or 2 (where 1 is definitely not) and 14.4% (46 people) answered 4 or 5. Interestingly that 14.4% is very close to the "hard core" number I just mentioned who have been to 3 or more FOSS4Gs. If you extrapolate that to all attendees (which may or may not be valid), that suggests that maybe around 130 people who attended in 2011 are reasonably likely to attend Beijing. The Beijing organizers are budgeting on an attendance of 500. Based on all previous events, we should expect between 60 and 75% of attendees in Beijing to be from Asia, most of whom will be attending their first FOSS4G. So looking at it from multiple angles, both the survey and historical data suggest a similar number for people from outside the host continent.

I looked at which countries those 46 people were from who answered 4 or 5 (likely to attend Beijing), and 7 were from the US and 6 from Canada, so that's 28% of the people who responded that way. That suggests a likely attendance of 36 people from North America in Beijing, even if there is no North American event. My feeling is that most of those 36 would go regardless of whether there is a North American event or not. Even if half of them chose not to go because of a North American event, I don't think the loss of 18 North Americans, out of a total of 500 people, should cause anyone to panic about the nature of the global event. And I think the attrition would probably be a lot less than that.

So anyway, I think I've gone on long enough. The more I look at the data from previous conferences, the more I think that having a North American event would have little to no impact on a global event. But I encourage you to look at the data and decide for yourself.

I also think that having a North American event more often than every 3-4 years would be very beneficial in growing the use of open source geospatial here, and I could go on about that a lot more, but won't in this email :).

Cheers,
    Peter.

Cheers,
    Peter.


On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM, Daniel Ames <[hidden email]> wrote:
I also just sent an email to the INSPIRE Forums administrator asking about the date/place for the INSPIRE conference 2012. I'll let you know what/if I hear back. 

- Dan

--------------------------
Daniel P. Ames, Ph.D. PE
Associate Professor, Geosciences
Idaho State University - Idaho Falls
[hidden email]
geology.isu.edu
www.mapwindow.org



2011/9/27 Karel Charvat <[hidden email]>

I am afraid, that it could be exactly in this time. Usually it is date of INSPIRE conference. Or this week or week after. It seems, that till now is not announced. It is only clear, that it will be in Turkey. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIxqnNnfRTU.

 

If you have till now some chance to move date, I can try to ask EC people about expected date.

Karel

 

 

From: Paul Meems [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:06 PM
To: Karel Charvat
Cc: Daniel Ames; conference


Subject: Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

 

Karel,



We've scheduled the conference in Arnhem from 25 - 28 June 2012.
When and where will the 2012 INSPIRE conference be held? I've looked at their website but they only show the past conferences.
The Central End Eastern European Open Source conference also sounds interesting ;)

--
Paul

Obrázek byl odebrán odesílatelem.Paul Meems 


Release manager, configuration manager
and forum moderator of MapWindow GIS.
www.mapwindow.org

Owner of MapWindow.nl - Support for
Dutch speaking users.
www.mapwindow.nl

 

Obrázek byl odebrán odesílatelem.

 

2011/9/27 Karel Charvat <[hidden email]>

Daniel,

In any case we are interested to join MapWindow conference. Please do you know when it will be. Because in end of June is European INSPIRE conference and it is also important for us.

We are planning to organise this Central End Eastern European Open Source conference in week from 21th May

Karel

 

 

From: Daniel Ames [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:27 AM
To: Karel Charvat; Paul Meems
Cc: conference
Subject: Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

 

Karel and other Euro-folks,

The MapWindow team is having our 3rd International conference in The Netherlands in June 2012. We would like to expand this as a regional FOSS4G. If anyone is interested in discussing, please contact me and Paul Meems (copied here).

Thanks,

- Dan
--------
Daniel P. Ames Ph.D.
Idaho State University Dept. of Geosciences
[hidden email]
--------
Sent from my Droid

On Sep 23, 2011 2:37 PM, "Karel Charvat" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Dave and Bart,
> I personally think, that rotation principle is good and I think, that is
> good to give chance not only for Europe and North America, but also for
> other parts of word. I am writing this as representative of organisation,
> who competed for this year. We join to the competition, when in first round
> was not offer, before we didn't thinking about this. Only when there were
> not other offer, we tried to participate. As I mentioned, I am sure, that
> China will be organised good event.
> I would like also clarify, why we would like organised this Central and
> Eastern European event. For many people from post socialist countries
> (mainly for people working on Universities), where is many OS developers is
> difficult or impossible to travel on FOSS conferences around the World. And
> I think, that direct contact are useful and to organise regional events is
> chance for them to meet part of community. I think, that this is also
> important to support grooving of community in this way. I am sure, that will
> be mistake to organise events, which could compeate for World FOSS4G, but
> regional events will help to establish cooperation, but also promote OS
> solution. I see also his as important aspect to establish ling among
> developers and users.
> I have also one recommendation, for big FOSS4G conference provide selection
> two years in advance, it will give better possibilities and time for
> preparation of such large events, but also will give possibilities for
> better coordination with regional event.
> Karel
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email]
> [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Dave McIlhagga
> Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:44 PM
> To: Bart van den Eijnden
> Cc: conference; OSGeo-Board List
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference
>
> It depends on what OSGeo is trying to achieve through running conferences.
> Is it:
>
> 1. Provide an opportunity for a maximum number of developers to connect face
> to face
> 2. Encourage adoption of OSGeo technologies
> 3. Raise funds for OSGeo
> 4. etc...
>
> Encouraging adoption fo OSGeo was the primary driver for the current 3
> region rotation, but I'm not sure if that's still the highest priority of
> the organization. Uncertainty in this matter led in some part to the
> difficulties in the selection process this year.
>
> I'd like to suggest that the Board conduct a full review of the conference
> selection process -- as it currently feels highly disconnected from the
> priorities of the board. The recent decision of the board to eliminate the
> Exec Director position was in part rooted in finances -- that's
> understandable, however at the same time, selecting China was likely not a
> wise choice if finances were the primary driver. Is it possible that this
> selection led directly to the termination of the ED position? Was that wise?
>
>
> I believe the FOSS4G selection process is one of the most important
> decisions made annually by OSGeo as an organization. What concerns me is
> that this decision is currently effectively made by this committee without
> it being strongly connected to the priorities of the organization as a
> whole.
>
> If nothing else, given the financial link between this selection, and the
> viability of OSGeo, I believe fixing this process needs to be one of the top


> priorities by the board.
>
> My 2 cents.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
>
>
> On 2011-09-23, at 3:05 PM, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:
>
>> I totally agree with what Volker says here.
>>
>> My personal preference would be a two year rotation between Europe and
> North America, with only local conferences in Other.
>>
>> Bart
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Sep 23, 2011, at 7:52 PM, Volker Mische <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> I already wrote it in my blog post about the FOSS4G, but it should also
>>> hit the mailing lists as well.
>>>
>>> I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good idea. I fear
>>> that people will be going there and the global one will die (especially
>>> next year, when it is "in some other country").
>>>
>>> A lot of devs in the FOSS4G world are from North America (I'd even say
>>> the majority, but I'm not sure about it). Those will definitely go to a
>>> North American event.
>>>
>>> I could imagine that many people from Europe can justify one conference
>>> to go somewhere in the world, when there's enough value. Which is for
>>> me, in case for the FOSS4G, meeting almost all core developers of the
>>> various FOSS4G projects.
>>>
>>> If I have the choice to meet all the North American developers and a lot
>>> of other ones as well, and the choice between meeting some American and
>>> European developers perhaps at some other place in the world (where it
>>> might even be harder to get there (think about past events like
>>> Australia)). Where would you go?
>>>
>>> And also important: where would the sponsors invest? It was already a
>>> hard time for the Sydney conference to cover the costs, how hard would
>>> it be if there's another big conference?
>>>
>>> For me those are reasons why the a global event might die, and that
>>> would be a shame. As we heard at (I think) the AGM, past conferences
>>> planted seeds in those locations.
>>>
>>> The rotating between Europe, North America and somewhere else makes a
>>> lot of sense to me, but if there will be a North American conference
>>> every year, we can just drop the "somewhere else" and go for a Europe,
>>> North America, North America rotation.
>>>
>>> For me the solution would be to make more localised conferences in North
>>> America, like a West Coast, East Coast, Central, Canadian one. This
>>> won't draw to much developers away from the global one. It would kind of
>>> the same as in Europe, where we also have local Chapter conferences.
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Volker
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
>
> __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6489 (20110923)
> __________
>
> Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>
> http://www.eset.cz
>
>
>
> __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6489 (20110923)
> __________
>
> Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>
> http://www.eset.cz
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
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Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.

 

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Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.

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__________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6497 (20110927) __________

 

Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.

 

http://www.eset.cz



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Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Markus Neteler
Hi all,

On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM, Peter Batty <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
There are already multiple strong local conferences, including FOSS4G Japan and FOSSGIS in Germany. According to the 2012 FOSS4G RFP (at http://svn.osgeo.org/osgeo/foss4g/rfp/2012/osgeo-conference-2012-request-for-proposal.pdf), attendance at FOSSGIS has been as follows:

2011: >400
2010: no data provided
2009: ~500
2008: >400
2007: ~250
2006: nothing - I'm guessing it started in 2007?

The first FOSS4G was in 2004 in Bangkok.

From

Event Location Number of Attendees
FOSS4G 2011 Denver, USA
FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona, Spain 869
FOSS4G 2009 Sydney, Australia 436
FOSS4G 2008 Cape Town, South Africa 550
FOSS4G 2007 Victoria, Canada 721
FOSS4G 2006 Lausanne, Switzland 560
2005 OSG conference Minneapolis, MN 350
OSGIS 2004 Ottawa, Canada ~200
FOSS4G 2004 - Free/Libre and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics: GIS-GRASS Users Conference Bangkok, Thailand ~150
2003 Mapserver Users Meeting St Paul, MN, United States 125
Open Source Free Software GIS - GRASS users conference 2002 Trento, Italy 140

Please continue to update this table.

Best
Markus

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Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Peter Batty
Thanks Markus - this list was referring to FOSSGIS in Germany rather than FOSS4G.

Thanks also for the wiki link, I need to check back with GITA to get the final final count for Denver, but will update when I get that (it was somewhere a little over 900).

On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM, Markus Neteler <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM, Peter Batty <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
There are already multiple strong local conferences, including FOSS4G Japan and FOSSGIS in Germany. According to the 2012 FOSS4G RFP (at http://svn.osgeo.org/osgeo/foss4g/rfp/2012/osgeo-conference-2012-request-for-proposal.pdf), attendance at FOSSGIS has been as follows:

2011: >400
2010: no data provided
2009: ~500
2008: >400
2007: ~250
2006: nothing - I'm guessing it started in 2007?

The first FOSS4G was in 2004 in Bangkok.

From

Event Location Number of Attendees
FOSS4G 2011 Denver, USA
FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona, Spain 869
FOSS4G 2009 Sydney, Australia 436
FOSS4G 2008 Cape Town, South Africa 550
FOSS4G 2007 Victoria, Canada 721
FOSS4G 2006 Lausanne, Switzland 560
2005 OSG conference Minneapolis, MN 350
OSGIS 2004 Ottawa, Canada ~200
FOSS4G 2004 - Free/Libre and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics: GIS-GRASS Users Conference Bangkok, Thailand ~150
2003 Mapserver Users Meeting St Paul, MN, United States 125
Open Source Free Software GIS - GRASS users conference 2002 Trento, Italy 140

Please continue to update this table.

Best
Markus


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Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Markus Neteler
On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 11:20 PM, Peter Batty <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Thanks Markus - this list was referring to FOSSGIS in Germany rather than FOSS4G.

Ouch :) It's geeting late here, sorry for the noise.

Cheers
Markus
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Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Cameron Shorter
In reply to this post by Peter Batty
Peter,
Thank you for your excellent metrics and analysis. I do look forward to
seeing this data in the google doc spreadsheet so that we can make some
pretty graphs out of it.

I agree with Volker and others that a North American FOSS4G conference
will significantly impact global attendance at a Chinese global FOSS4G.
In effect, I expect the Chinese event would become more like a regional
FOSS4G event, drawing mostly from regional attendance.
Without a global stimulus of attendees, I'm nervous about the potential
success of a Chinese regional event, as I haven't seen many Chinese
participating in OSGeo projects, and I have little understanding about
the size of local Chinese communities interested in attending FOSS4G.
I'd love to see the Chinese FOSS4G community join this email thread and
provide some local insights.

If FOSS4G-USA is to start (which I think should happen), it would be
fairer to the global FOSS4G planners, and long term planning cycles, if
FOSS4G-USA postponed starting till 2013. In 2013 the international
conference is scheduled to be in Europe. Due to the large local FOSS4G
interest in the EU, the global EU FOSS4G will be successful, whether
there is a competing US FOSS4G or not.


On 10/10/2011 8:48 PM, Volker Mische wrote:

> Hi Peter,
>
> thanks for the detailed analysis. Though I still disagree.
>
> The big difference between the FOSSGIS and the FOSS4G is the language.
> The talks and workshops are in German. Hence it could potentially
> prevent people from going to the global FOSS4G, but not really the other
> way round.
>
> A conclusion you could draw solely based on some numbers is, that the
> FOSSGIS is the reason why less Germans where at the FOSS4G 2011 than
> Dutch. This is one conclusion I even don't believe myself.
>
> This whole discussion is a difficult one as I base my reasoning on gut
> feeling and experience, which is hard to measure. But e.g. one thing you
> can't get out of the current numbers, is the answer to the question:
> Would you go to Beijing if there would be a FOSS4G-NorthAmerica?
>
> Peter, you also make the assumption that the North American core people
> would also go to the global event, even if there is a
> FOSS4G-NorthAmerica. Even if it's the case, would the people from
> somewhere else also go to the global event, when they can meet all
> Americans more easily?
>
> I also found it interesting that based on the replies of this
> discussions, North American people tend to not seeing an issue with
> FOSS4G-NorthAmerica, but people outside of the region do.
>
> I still believe that a more regional, smaller scale approach for North
> America would be better (like the FOSS4G-CEE for Europe, as opposed to a
> FOSS4G-Europe).
>
> Cheers,
>    Volker
>
>
> On 10/07/2011 10:53 PM, Peter Batty wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Obviously the question of a North American FOSS4G / OSGeo conference has
>> pros and cons. There are some who are concerned that it would have a big
>> negative impact on the global conference. Based on a pretty detailed
>> look at data from previous conferences, I personally think these
>> concerns are overstated. In this email I just wanted to share that data.
>> I include some of my observations, but please draw your own conclusions
>> (well I'm sure you all will anyway :) !!).
>>
>> There are already multiple strong local conferences, including FOSS4G
>> Japan and FOSSGIS in Germany. According to the 2012 FOSS4G RFP
>> (at http://svn.osgeo.org/osgeo/foss4g/rfp/2012/osgeo-conference-2012-request-for-proposal.pdf),
>> attendance at FOSSGIS has been as follows:
>>
>> 2011:>400
>> 2010: no data provided
>> 2009: ~500
>> 2008:>400
>> 2007: ~250
>> 2006: nothing - I'm guessing it started in 2007?
>>
>> Note that in 2009, the global FOSS4G was in Sydney, and had 436
>> attendees, so FOSSGIS was larger than the global event that year. I
>> haven't heard anyone requesting that OSGeo should somehow try to prevent
>> FOSSGIS from happening as it is damaging the global FOSS4G (and I don't
>> think there's any way OSGeo could or should do that anyway).
>>
>> Let's look at how many people from Germany have attended FOSS4G, to see
>> if having FOSSGIS there deters Germans from attending. This data comes
>> from Cameron's spreadsheet at http://bit.ly/p5LZuJ (I will add 2011 data
>> when I can - using my own records for this email). For comparison
>> purposes I also include percentages from France, Italy and UK, as
>> countries that you might expect to be somewhat comparable but that don't
>> have a strong local conference established (so far as I know ... is
>> there one in Italy? ... nothing mentioned in the RFP document though).
>>
>> Percentage of attendees from Germany, France, Italy, UK
>> 2011 (Denver): 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.7
>> 2010 (Barcelona): 7.6, 4.9, 6.1, 3.4,
>> 2009 (Sydney): 3.0, 2.1, 2.8, 1.4 (note strong attendance despite
>> FOSSGIS being larger than Sydney event that year)
>> 2008 (Cape Town): 2.0, 3.4, 3.4, 1.7
>> 2007 (Victoria): 1.5, 2.5, 2.9, 2.1
>> 2006 (Lausanne): 8.8, 7.6, 9.5, 3.5
>>
>> Looking at these numbers, German attendance at FOSS4G does not seem to
>> have been negatively affected by FOSSGIS compared to other countries
>> that one might expect to be broadly comparable that don't have a large
>> local conference (to the best of my knowledge).
>>
>> Now let's look at US and Canadian attendance (percentage) at previous
>> FOSS4G events:
>>
>> 2011 (Denver): 68.6, 6.3 (=74.9 total)
>> 2010 (Barcelona): 8.1, 3.4 (11.5)
>> 2009 (Sydney): 6.4, 5.5 (11.9)
>> 2008 (Cape Town): 5.2, 2.8 (9.0)
>> 2007 (Victoria): 36.7, 35.0 (71.7)
>> 2006 (Lausanne): 9.2, 6.5 (15.7)
>>
>> So for non-North American FOSS4G events, the average US+Canadian
>> attendance has been 12% (or 10.8% based on the most recent 3). Even if
>> North American attendance took a major hit as a result of a North
>> American conference (which the German experience doesn't support), say
>> it drops by 50%, you would only be looking at a 6% drop in total
>> numbers. Maybe some will argue that other people won't come to the
>> global event if not as many North Americans are coming, but I think
>> that's a pretty weak argument. I still think you will have a strong core
>> of key people from the main projects who will go to the global event
>> regardless of other regional events (both from North America and around
>> the world).
>>
>> Another interesting stat from the 2011 conference is that a huge 67%
>> were attending their first FOSS4G. About 16% had attended 3 or more
>> FOSS4Gs (so around 150 people), and I think it's fair to regard them as
>> a "FOSS4G hard core", most of whom who are likely to attend the global
>> conference wherever it is. That number obviously includes a lot of the
>> key people on projects who help give FOSS4G continuity from one year to
>> the next, and who are also people who help draw in other attendees who
>> would like to meet them, hear them speak, etc.
>>
>> Lastly, on the survey from 2011 we asked how likely people were to
>> attend Beijing. 71.8% answered 1 or 2 (where 1 is definitely not) and
>> 14.4% (46 people) answered 4 or 5. Interestingly that 14.4% is very
>> close to the "hard core" number I just mentioned who have been to 3 or
>> more FOSS4Gs. If you extrapolate that to all attendees (which may or may
>> not be valid), that suggests that maybe around 130 people who attended
>> in 2011 are reasonably likely to attend Beijing. The Beijing organizers
>> are budgeting on an attendance of 500. Based on all previous events, we
>> should expect between 60 and 75% of attendees in Beijing to be from
>> Asia, most of whom will be attending their first FOSS4G. So looking at
>> it from multiple angles, both the survey and historical data suggest a
>> similar number for people from outside the host continent.
>>
>> I looked at which countries those 46 people were from who answered 4 or
>> 5 (likely to attend Beijing), and 7 were from the US and 6 from Canada,
>> so that's 28% of the people who responded that way. That suggests a
>> likely attendance of 36 people from North America in Beijing, even if
>> there is no North American event. My feeling is that most of those 36
>> would go regardless of whether there is a North American event or not.
>> Even if half of them chose not to go because of a North American event,
>> I don't think the loss of 18 North Americans, out of a total of 500
>> people, should cause anyone to panic about the nature of the global
>> event. And I think the attrition would probably be a lot less than that.
>>
>> So anyway, I think I've gone on long enough. The more I look at the data
>> from previous conferences, the more I think that having a North American
>> event would have little to no impact on a global event. But I encourage
>> you to look at the data and decide for yourself.
>>
>> I also think that having a North American event more often than every
>> 3-4 years would be very beneficial in growing the use of open source
>> geospatial here, and I could go on about that a lot more, but won't in
>> this email :).
>>
>> Cheers,
>>      Peter.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>      Peter.
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM, Daniel Ames<[hidden email]
>> <mailto:[hidden email]>>  wrote:
>>
>>      I also just sent an email to the INSPIRE Forums administrator asking
>>      about the date/place for the INSPIRE conference 2012. I'll let you
>>      know what/if I hear back.
>>
>>      - Dan
>>
>>      --------------------------
>>      Daniel P. Ames, Ph.D. PE
>>      Associate Professor, Geosciences
>>      Idaho State University - Idaho Falls
>>      [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
>>      geology.isu.edu<http://geology.isu.edu/>
>>      www.mapwindow.org<http://www.mapwindow.org/>
>>
>>
>>
>>      2011/9/27 Karel Charvat<[hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>>
>>
>>          I am afraid, that it could be exactly in this time. Usually it
>>          is date of INSPIRE conference. Or this week or week after. It
>>          seems, that till now is not announced. It is only clear, that it
>>          will be in Turkey. See
>>          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIxqnNnfRTU.____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          If you have till now some chance to move date, I can try to ask
>>          EC people about expected date.____
>>
>>          Karel____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          *From:*Paul Meems [mailto:[hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>]
>>          *Sent:* Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:06 PM
>>          *To:* Karel Charvat
>>          *Cc:* Daniel Ames; conference
>>
>>
>>          *Subject:* Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          Karel,
>>
>>
>>
>>          We've scheduled the conference in Arnhem from 25 - 28 June 2012.
>>          When and where will the 2012 INSPIRE conference be held? I've
>>          looked at their website but they only show the past conferences.
>>          The Central End Eastern European Open Source conference also
>>          sounds interesting ;)
>>
>>          --
>>          Paul
>>
>>          ____
>>
>>          *Obrázek byl odebrán odesílatelem.**Paul Meems *
>>
>>
>>          Release manager, configuration manager
>>          and forum moderator of MapWindow GIS.
>>          www.mapwindow.org<http://www.mapwindow.org/>
>>
>>          Owner of MapWindow.nl - Support for
>>          Dutch speaking users.
>>          www.mapwindow.nl<http://www.mapwindow.nl/>____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          Obrázek byl odebrán odesílatelem.____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          2011/9/27 Karel Charvat<[hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>>____
>>
>>          Daniel,____
>>
>>          In any case we are interested to join MapWindow conference.
>>          Please do you know when it will be. Because in end of June is
>>          European INSPIRE conference and it is also important for us.____
>>
>>          We are planning to organise this Central End Eastern European
>>          Open Source conference in week from 21th May____
>>
>>          Karel____
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>          *From:*Daniel Ames [mailto:[hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>]
>>          *Sent:* Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:27 AM
>>          *To:* Karel Charvat; Paul Meems
>>          *Cc:* conference
>>          *Subject:* Re: RE: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference____
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>          Karel and other Euro-folks,____
>>
>>          The MapWindow team is having our 3rd International conference in
>>          The Netherlands in June 2012. We would like to expand this as a
>>          regional FOSS4G. If anyone is interested in discussing, please
>>          contact me and Paul Meems (copied here).____
>>
>>          Thanks,____
>>
>>          - Dan
>>          --------
>>          Daniel P. Ames Ph.D.
>>          Idaho State University Dept. of Geosciences
>>          [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
>>          --------
>>          Sent from my Droid____
>>
>>          On Sep 23, 2011 2:37 PM, "Karel Charvat"<[hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>>  wrote:
>>          >  Dave and Bart,
>>          >  I personally think, that rotation principle is good and I
>>          think, that is
>>          >  good to give chance not only for Europe and North America, but
>>          also for
>>          >  other parts of word. I am writing this as representative of
>>          organisation,
>>          >  who competed for this year. We join to the competition, when
>>          in first round
>>          >  was not offer, before we didn't thinking about this. Only when
>>          there were
>>          >  not other offer, we tried to participate. As I mentioned, I am
>>          sure, that
>>          >  China will be organised good event.
>>          >  I would like also clarify, why we would like organised this
>>          Central and
>>          >  Eastern European event. For many people from post socialist
>>          countries
>>          >  (mainly for people working on Universities), where is many OS
>>          developers is
>>          >  difficult or impossible to travel on FOSS conferences around
>>          the World. And
>>          >  I think, that direct contact are useful and to organise
>>          regional events is
>>          >  chance for them to meet part of community. I think, that this
>>          is also
>>          >  important to support grooving of community in this way. I am
>>          sure, that will
>>          >  be mistake to organise events, which could compeate for World
>>          FOSS4G, but
>>          >  regional events will help to establish cooperation, but also
>>          promote OS
>>          >  solution. I see also his as important aspect to establish ling
>>          among
>>          >  developers and users.
>>          >  I have also one recommendation, for big FOSS4G conference
>>          provide selection
>>          >  two years in advance, it will give better possibilities and
>>          time for
>>          >  preparation of such large events, but also will give
>>          possibilities for
>>          >  better coordination with regional event.
>>          >  Karel
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  -----Original Message-----
>>          >  From: [hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>
>>          >  [mailto:[hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>] On Behalf Of
>>          Dave McIlhagga
>>          >  Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 9:44 PM
>>          >  To: Bart van den Eijnden
>>          >  Cc: conference; OSGeo-Board List
>>          >  Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference
>>          >
>>          >  It depends on what OSGeo is trying to achieve through running
>>          conferences.
>>          >  Is it:
>>          >
>>          >  1. Provide an opportunity for a maximum number of developers
>>          to connect face
>>          >  to face
>>          >  2. Encourage adoption of OSGeo technologies
>>          >  3. Raise funds for OSGeo
>>          >  4. etc...
>>          >
>>          >  Encouraging adoption fo OSGeo was the primary driver for the
>>          current 3
>>          >  region rotation, but I'm not sure if that's still the highest
>>          priority of
>>          >  the organization. Uncertainty in this matter led in some part
>>          to the
>>          >  difficulties in the selection process this year.
>>          >
>>          >  I'd like to suggest that the Board conduct a full review of
>>          the conference
>>          >  selection process -- as it currently feels highly disconnected
>>          from the
>>          >  priorities of the board. The recent decision of the board to
>>          eliminate the
>>          >  Exec Director position was in part rooted in finances -- that's
>>          >  understandable, however at the same time, selecting China was
>>          likely not a
>>          >  wise choice if finances were the primary driver. Is it
>>          possible that this
>>          >  selection led directly to the termination of the ED position?
>>          Was that wise?
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  I believe the FOSS4G selection process is one of the most
>>          important
>>          >  decisions made annually by OSGeo as an organization. What
>>          concerns me is
>>          >  that this decision is currently effectively made by this
>>          committee without
>>          >  it being strongly connected to the priorities of the
>>          organization as a
>>          >  whole.
>>          >
>>          >  If nothing else, given the financial link between this
>>          selection, and the
>>          >  viability of OSGeo, I believe fixing this process needs to be
>>          one of the top
>>          >  priorities by the board.
>>          >
>>          >  My 2 cents.
>>          >
>>          >  Dave
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  On 2011-09-23, at 3:05 PM, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:
>>          >
>>          >>  I totally agree with what Volker says here.
>>          >>
>>          >>  My personal preference would be a two year rotation between
>>          Europe and
>>          >  North America, with only local conferences in Other.
>>          >>
>>          >>  Bart
>>          >>
>>          >>  Sent from my iPhone
>>          >>
>>          >>  On Sep 23, 2011, at 7:52 PM, Volker Mische
>>          <[hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>>
>>          >  wrote:
>>          >>
>>          >>>  Hi all,
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  I already wrote it in my blog post about the FOSS4G, but it
>>          should also
>>          >>>  hit the mailing lists as well.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good
>>          idea. I fear
>>          >>>  that people will be going there and the global one will die
>>          (especially
>>          >>>  next year, when it is "in some other country").
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  A lot of devs in the FOSS4G world are from North America
>>          (I'd even say
>>          >>>  the majority, but I'm not sure about it). Those will
>>          definitely go to a
>>          >>>  North American event.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  I could imagine that many people from Europe can justify one
>>          conference
>>          >>>  to go somewhere in the world, when there's enough value.
>>          Which is for
>>          >>>  me, in case for the FOSS4G, meeting almost all core
>>          developers of the
>>          >>>  various FOSS4G projects.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  If I have the choice to meet all the North American
>>          developers and a lot
>>          >>>  of other ones as well, and the choice between meeting some
>>          American and
>>          >>>  European developers perhaps at some other place in the world
>>          (where it
>>          >>>  might even be harder to get there (think about past events like
>>          >>>  Australia)). Where would you go?
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  And also important: where would the sponsors invest? It was
>>          already a
>>          >>>  hard time for the Sydney conference to cover the costs, how
>>          hard would
>>          >>>  it be if there's another big conference?
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  For me those are reasons why the a global event might die,
>>          and that
>>          >>>  would be a shame. As we heard at (I think) the AGM, past
>>          conferences
>>          >>>  planted seeds in those locations.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  The rotating between Europe, North America and somewhere
>>          else makes a
>>          >>>  lot of sense to me, but if there will be a North American
>>          conference
>>          >>>  every year, we can just drop the "somewhere else" and go for
>>          a Europe,
>>          >>>  North America, North America rotation.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  For me the solution would be to make more localised
>>          conferences in North
>>          >>>  America, like a West Coast, East Coast, Central, Canadian
>>          one. This
>>          >>>  won't draw to much developers away from the global one. It
>>          would kind of
>>          >>>  the same as in Europe, where we also have local Chapter
>>          conferences.
>>          >>>
>>          >>>  Cheers,
>>          >>>  Volker
>>          >>>  _______________________________________________
>>          >>>  Conference_dev mailing list
>>          >>>  [hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>
>>          >>>  http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>          >>>
>>          >>  _______________________________________________
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>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze
>>          6489 (20110923)
>>          >  __________
>>          >
>>          >  Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>>          >
>>          >  http://www.eset.cz
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze
>>          6489 (20110923)
>>          >  __________
>>          >
>>          >  Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>>          >
>>          >  http://www.eset.cz
>>          >
>>          >
>>          >  _______________________________________________
>>          >  Conference_dev mailing list
>>          >  [hidden email]
>>          <mailto:[hidden email]>
>>          >  http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev____
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>          __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6496
>>          (20110926) ______________
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>          Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.____
>>
>>           ____
>>
>>          http://www.eset.cz____
>>
>>
>>
>>          __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6496
>>          (20110926) ______________
>>
>>
>>
>>          Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>>
>>          http://www.eset.cz____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6497
>>          (20110927) ______________
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.____
>>
>>          __ __
>>
>>          http://www.eset.cz____
>>
>>
>>
>>          __________ Informace od ESET Smart Security, verze databaze 6497
>>          (20110927) __________
>>
>>
>>          Tuto zpravu proveril ESET Smart Security.
>>
>>          http://www.eset.cz
>>
>>
>>
>>      _______________________________________________
>>      Conference_dev mailing list
>>      [hidden email]<mailto:[hidden email]>
>>      http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>
>>
>>
>>
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--
Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
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