In the past, the Free and Open Source Software Four (4) Geospatial (FOSS4G) Conference has been held each year at a different location around the globe. Last year it was held in Denver, this year it will be held in Beijing. As hosted by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), the event is an opportunity for software developers from around the world to learn about recent community developments, and work on efforts to increase the utility and use of free and open geospatial software.
As a result of the record setting numbers at the event in Denver last year, in 2012, North America will have its own dedicated event. It will be held April 10-12, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC. The recently announced program has three Minnesotans on the venue:
- Paul Wickman, Flat Rock Geographics: Emergency Response Performance Analysis with Open Source Geospatial,
- David Bitner, Metropolitan Airports Commission: Working With Four Dimensional Flight Track Data, and
- Jim Klassen, SharedGeo: Build Your Own Cloud – An Open Source Approach to Imagery Storage.
Comment: Congratulation go out to Paul, David and Jim for their selections! Indeed, they are representative of Minnesota's long history of involvement in open source geospatial software. From the 1997 creation of MapServer - now one of the world's most highly used geospatial programs, to GeoMoose - currently working its way through the OSGeo incubation process toward official blessing. Furthermore, Minnesota geospatial efforts along these lines have often focused on supporting the Emergency Services Sector. For example, Paul Wickman's talk noted above, David Bitner's service on the Sahana Foundation Board of Directors, and Jim Klassen's efforts during the 2008 Republican National Convention that put the first locally developed Common Operating Picture inside a United States Secret Service Multi-Agency Communication Center. And to all that, all you can say is: Ya sure, you betcha! Dem Minnesota boyz know all about dat free mapping stuff for emergency response!