Yearly Archives: 2017


FOSS4G – it’s getting better all the time

FOSS4G just gets better and better, perhaps it’s the delight of being on a geobusman’s holiday rather than being the conference chair? I’d been in conversation with Michael Terner and Guido Stein, the co-chairs of FOSS4G 2017, for over a year in my role as a past chair and member of the OSGeo Conference Committee. I know how much passion and effort they and their team put into bringing FOSS4G to Boston, their vision and […]


Sales & Marketing 101 workshop feedback 2

Marc and I finally delivered the first Sales & Marketing workshop at FOSS4G 2017 in Boston with 14 attendees. All of the hard work and detailed planning seemed to work out, we stuck to time, the material made sense and built to the point where several of the delegates had breakthroughs in terms of their clarity and messaging. The feedback since the workshop has been fantastically positive (note my modesty), I think we can sharpen the […]


#FAKEMAPS standing room only 8

  Sometimes a glitch can work out. I had been worrying how I was going to get through over 60 slides in my FAKEMAPS presentation (plus builds) in 20 minutes, I cut and cut but still thought I might have to do a hard stop somewhere before the spectacular end. Stressful. The FOSS4G team had asked presenters to use their laptops that were hooked up for recording, they suggested PowerPoint format or PDF (no Keynote). […]


#FOSS4G give to the 2018 Travel Grant Programme NOW

I am sitting at FOSS4G with a little smile on my face. We have just handed out the last of ten travel grants to people who would not have been able to have make the trip to Boston without our support. When you meet these people and hear a little more of their stories you know how important it is that we enable more people to experience FOSS4G. This year we crowdfunded over $1,500 to […]


FOSS4G, from Nottingham to Uganda to Boston

I have recently been chatting by mail with Bernard Muhwezi who is the Manager of Geo-Information Services at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Bernard is attending FOSS4G in Boston this year, he told me about what had happened in his country since he returned from FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham, (Bernard authorised me to share this mail) I attended FOSS4G Nottingham, and collected materials and CDs and trained in QGIS, when I came back I trained 54 mapping […]


Pay it forward

FOSS4G starts in Boston in just over 3 weeks time, there will be close on 1000 attendees (could go higher if you are one of the late registrations) learning, sharing, networking, having a bit of geofun, making new friends and building the Open Source Geo community. There will be hundreds of presentations, workshops, keynotes, lightning talks, birds of a feather, meet ups, loads of QGIS and lots of new stuff. So who wouldn’t want to […]


Sales & Marketing 101 at FOSS4G

For almost a year now, Marc Vloemans (Eclipse Foundation) and I have been thinking/talking/planning a workshop on Sales & Marketing for SMEs that we are presenting at FOSS4G in Boston in August. It is coming together well, or at least we think so, and we are excited about it’s first airing. We both have a background in sales and marketing and have spent the last decade or more in geospatial, however the workshop is not […]


Google Maps to settle Afghanistan/Pakistan border dispute – Oh, really?

Last week this article appeared on The Guardian website suggesting that Google Maps were going to help settle the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over their shared border. Pakistan and Afghanistan plan to use Google Maps to help settle a border dispute that led to deadly clashes last week, officials from both sides have said. “Oh really?” I thought. Maybe the key word here is ‘help’ – maps and GPS might be a tool to […]


The next PSMA may reshape Ordnance Survey 3

This advert recruiting for a “Head of Public Sector Mapping & Addressing Agreements Team” reminded me that the current Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA for OS geeks and followers) is coming up for renegotiation with a deadline of end 2017 (presumably the new renegotiated agreement will come into effect on 1st April 2018). This a 2 year contract at a fairly senior level: We are looking for someone with strong commercials skills and ideally experience […]


Esri isn’t evil 9

Yup you read it here, an open source advocate said that the leading GI proprietary vendor is not evil. Let me go one step further and say that I think Esri are pretty damn good. Now that is not to say that there are not aspects of their business model and practices that I wouldn’t criticise but more of that in another post. So what has prompted this outburst from an open source advocate? A […]


Long walk to open data 1

Excuse the corny link to Nelson Mandela’s autobiography but this morning it feels as if we are on a pretty long walk to the nirvana of open data and that we are going to need the patience and determination of Nelson to get there. Last week my friend Giusseppe Sollazzo published a report “Open data in the health sector – Users, stories, products and recommendations“. Giusseppe suggested that I might be somewhat critical of his report @StevenFeldman looking forward […]


FAKE MAPS, very dishonest!!! 1

An open letter to President Trump Dear Mr President I read in this morning’s (failing) New York Times that you were pretty keen on maps in your briefing papers. And while Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps. “The president likes maps,” one official said. Now I recognise that […]