Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

FOSS4G the Zero'th Day

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Greetings from Victoria, on the day before the official commencement of FOSS4G 2007. I’ve actually been in Victoria since Friday, but William Gibson was right) when he said that jetlag is like waiting for your soul to catch up with the rest of your body, as that’s exactly what I’ve felt like.

So- in brief- the flight from the UK was superb- the weather was clear over Iceland and Greenland so I had fantastic views of both. That was stunning, and even if the rest of the trip was rubbish I would still be happy just with that view. Saturday and Sunday in Victoria were cool, I did the touristy things (Museums, Chinatown, the Harbour), which were all great, and can honestly say I’ve not met such friendly and helpful people anywhere, ever. On our host’s recommendation I visited Ogden Point on Sunday- the view was fantastic but I’m sorely disappointed in the lack of otters or seals frolicking in the inner breakwater as promised. You could tell the other delegates who’d caught up on their blogs by their bags though!

Today was workshop day- and both this morning’s and this afternoon’s sessions were really worthwhile. Paul Ramsey did an Intro to Postgis, which was exactly what I needed (though what I learnt means I need to go back and completely redo our databases…), and this afternoon was a run through on how to connect GRASS to a whole bunch of RDMS, which was also really interesting.

The first OSGEO AGM happened today- which was a chance for a run-down on what has been happening with the organisation over the year. Thinking back to Lausanne last year it’s incredible how far things have come since then. Everything seems so much more mature, organised, and stable. I presented a short breakdown of OSGEO-related UK activities, which doesn’t really amount to much at present in comparison to other countries, but ended with a call to arms for people to get involved, and I extend that to any blog readers.

All in all, this looks like shaping up to be a great conference in a great city!

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