If GIS had a month, November would be it. The #30daymap challenge was widely embraced once again. GIS Day (16th November) and PostGIS Day (17th November) generated a flurry of interest on social media platforms. This year, PostGIS Day coincided with FOSS4G:UK Local 2022, which provided UK-based open source GIS fans and developers with a chance to meet both virtually and in real life.
What’s so great about FOSS4G:UK?
FOSS4G:UK is a free event organised by OSGeo:UK, that enables some of the UK’s leading geospatial experts to share insights and developments across a range of GIS-related topics with a wider audience. This year’s event was hybrid, with over 240 delegates attending venues across the UK and more attending online. Keynote presentations were live-streamed to regional venues and made publicly available on YouTube.
Nick Bearman, Chair of OSGeo:UK comments, “FOSS4G:UK 2022 Local was a great success, with over 40 presentations and reaching 300+ people. This is much greater than our usual in-person conferences so I’m pleased to say we managed to get more people involved in FOSS4G:UK.
We had a great time, and thank you to the OSGeo:UK community for making this a success and being patient when we had technical problems! Many thanks also to the sponsors, venues and the organisers who made this possible.”
What did I miss by not attending?
You haven’t missed out completely, thanks to OSGeo:UK’s decision to stream presentations. Over 30 recordings are now available on the @FOSS4GUK YouTube channel. To help you pick which ones to watch, we’ve compiled our own shortlist.
Of course, if you’d been able to come along, you’d have enjoyed a free lunch, unlimited hot drinks, a rather attractive FOSS4G sticker (we provided them, so there may be some bias) and the chance to have post-event geobeers with presenters and fellow attendees!
Our team’s highlights
Having sent four of us to FOSS4G in Firenze, we wanted to go one better to show our support for OSGeo:UK. As well as financial sponsorship, we encouraged our team to participate both as presenters and attendees.
Ant Scott, one of our Senior GIS Consultants and Secretary for OSGeo:UK, was quick to volunteer to co-host an event at Brunel’s Boardroom in Bristol. He also reprised his Firenze presentation on ‘Analysing Access to UK Public Rights of Way with the QGIS Graphical Modeler’. This draws on our work with the UK’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers. Unfortunately, technical gremlins ensured that Ant’s presentation isn’t available to watch online.
Ant says, “For me, it was perfect to be able to combine meeting up with local GIS colleagues and hearing what they are doing, with excellent keynotes from leading OS Geo figures, (Anita Graser, Regina Obe and Tim Sutton).”
Joining Ant at Bristol was Jo Cook, our Data Discoverability Lead (and previous Chair of OSGeo:UK), and Elena Robu, our new Metadata Consultant. This was Elena’s first chance to meet her new Astun colleagues since joining us a few months ago. She comments: “It was great to spend a day with Jo and Ant, getting to know them better and learning together about open-source initiatives.”
Up in Glasgow, a venue that sold out twice, a newly-relocated Ian Turton opted to win over his new fellow countrymen and women with his presentation on ‘How to get a good response on stackexchange‘, which also debuted at Firenze this year. Ian’s inimitable sense of humour was out in full force as he gave an insight into the secret life of a stackexchange moderator.
In London, Andrew Bailey, iShare Delivery Lead, enjoyed being part of the audience at an event hosted at Clyde & Co, a leading law firm. We can’t help but feel that his surroundings were quite different to those he noted at Bristol.
At the HQ of the British Geological Survey, in Keyworth, Mark Wilcox was impressed by the venue and the hospitality shown by co-hosts Chris Williams and John Stevenson. In Leeds, Toby Jarvis, Sales Account Manager, was at “The Platform”, a set of modern offices to rent next to the main station (so easy connections for everyone).
If you’re interested in finding out more about FOSS4G:UK 2022, this write-up on the OSGeo:UK website will be of interest.
We’ve published our list of ‘must watch’ presentations from FOSS4G:UK 2022.