I attended my first FOSS4G 5 years ago, I really had no idea what to expect even though I’d agreed to chair the organising committee! I’d been to lots of Geo conferences before and never experienced the passion, friendship and technical depth that a FOSS4G has. Since Nottingham, I’ve been to 2 more global FOSS4Gs, 2 UK FOSS4Gs and this year’s European FOSS4G and I can’t wait to go to Dar in August.
The IT landscape is being transformed at a staggering pace as we shift to consuming services, nowhere is this more evident than in Geo. Open Source is powering these services – there are probably over a billion people accessing Geo services powered by the technologies that you will find at FOSS4G, there are over a million users of an open source desktop GIS. If you are already using OSGeo projects, FOSS4G presents an opportunity to learn from the developers of the software and other users. If you are new to open source, FOSS4G will welcome you and help you to evaluate whether the software projects and supportive community will be the best solution for your future needs.
In 2016 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said:
“Lack of capacity can cause countries to be slow to adopt methodologies to produce, maintain, and more importantly, benefit from robust geospatial data and analysis systems. Lack of new tools or approaches to geospatial data can inhibit many opportunities for growth and innovation. Given the rapid recent advances in data and geospatial technology, now is a critical time to invest in ensuring that Sub-Saharan Africa is mapped and has the tools to use geospatial data effectively and sustainably. Building better data systems in the long-term can contribute to more informed policy making or improved decision making to reduced inequity while in the short-term provide rapid information to prevent disasters such as large-scale epidemics.” https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/General-Information/Grant-Opportunities/Geospatial-Data-in-Africa
Open Source and Open Data are key to enabling this vision for African Geospatial.
What better time could there be to bring FOSS4G to Africa? This year FOSS4G is in Dar es Salaam (The Bay of Peace), Tanzania, it’s the first time a major geospatial global tech conference has been hosted in East Africa. We will be joined by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, Understanding Risk Tanzania, Sahara Sparks to make this the most exciting FOSS4G program yet!
Thanks to the generous support of our many sponsors we are expecting close to 1,000 people from across Africa and much further afield to join together in Dar to share, learn and make new friends.
I really do believe that this could be the most important FOSS4G ever, if you haven’t booked yet there is still time.
Tutaonane Dar es Salaam