giovedì 4 febbraio 2016

A Geospatial report of FOSDEM16

FOSDEM is a huge free non-commercial conference gathering open source developers from all over the world. It is the most important event of this kind, held every February at ULB, Brussels since 2000. It is always amazing how a conference that is offered for free could reach such a high level of offer in terms of content and services. Remember that it is also possible to sponsor it. FOSDEM 2016 was another successful edition, fully packed with interesting talks.

Several presentations of interest for the "geospatial" world were also given. Most of them were concentrated in "our" geospatial devroom, that was organised this year for the second time by members of various geo communities such as OSGeo, LocationTech and OSM, and coordinated by Johan van der Wauw. The devroom was well attended, and featured a wide overview of recent developments in geospatial applications. Talks have been recorded and will be available soon on FOSDEM website; slides of each presentation are also being added to the talks listed on the Geospatial devroom page.

We presented the results of OSGeo students who took part in Google Summer of Code 2015, featuring for each project one slide with a short description provided by the students themselves. We had asked the students to summarize their work in a template describing the state of the project before and after their contribution, enhancing their addition. Some students also provided a graphical image to better summarize the project.
We had the pleasure of having Stephanie Taylor and Mary Radomile, from Google's GSoC organisation team, among the audience, who kindly made themselves available for answering questions regarding the program. Mentoring organisations' application period for GSoC 2016 starts in a few days - we're going to apply again for OSGeo, keep fingers crossed!

The geospatial devroom confirmed itself as the reference event at FOSDEM for the "geospatial people". For next year, an idea could be to look for sponsorship in order to facilitate keynotes or speakers that request travel grants, like for example this year could have been the case for GSoC students to come and present their work themselves. 

At least a couple of keynote talks deserve mention as well. The first was a really moving tribute in memoriam of Ian Murdock, one of the founders of the Debian project recently passed away.

The other was given by Blake Girardot and summarised the outstanding work carried out by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT).

A report by madi and anne, GSoC 2015 admins @OSGeo