At FOSS4G last week, my colleagues and I got chatting with the folks from OSGEO. It was difficult not to, given that they played such a huge part in organising the conference. Anyhow, we identified that it would be a good idea to set up a UK Local Chapter, to provide a UK-specific focus and slant on the work that OSGEO are doing. The kind of things we might look at include providing a first port-of-call to newcomers to the world of geomatics in the UK, with a particular focus on the open source tools available; providing a focus for lobbying for public access to Geodata (you know, the stuff we’ve paid for with our Taxes but have to pay again to use).

What we need at the moment is expressions of interest. Enough signatures will convince the board that such a chapter would be worth setting up. We only have a few names at the moment, mainly because we only started canvassing this week, so if you feel you could sign up then pop on over to the wiki and add your name. For more information on local chapters, here’s the place to look.

What we are also trying to do is come up with a manifesto for the group. If you have something to contribute to this, then please feel free! That’s what wikis are for, after all…

If you’re into archaeology, regardless of whether or not you’re in the UK, but you are interested in Open Source applications or Open Standards in archaeology, then we’re also investigating the level of interest in an Archaeology Special Interest Group. Again, at the moment we just need expressions of interest and ideas.