3 December, 2018

Open source conference inspires mapping enthusiasts

Open source spatial technology aficionado's have recently enjoyed an energising and enlightening conference in Melbourne at FOSS4G SotM Oceania 2018.

Standing for “Free and Open Source Software For Good, State of the Map”, the conference gathered hundreds of mapping enthusiasts who all came with the goal of learning and sharing information about how they use open source spatial software to make a difference.

The rousing keynote speech by PostGIS co-founder Paul Ramsey made the case for the economics of open source and encouraged users and corporations to donate back to the open source cause.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST WITH PAUL RAMSEY AND NGIS

Whether it is through the donation of development time, money or engaging open source specialists for support, Ramsey made a strong case for the risk mitigation factor of being involved in the software’s production.

Beyond the feel good factor of helping to progress software that is open and free to use for those around the world, he argued that by building your applications on top of open source, you take on a level of risk that needs to be addressed through ongoing investment. Like commercial products, open source requires constant love and care and when there is no one caring for something, it dies.

The conference also featured a huge program of talks where enthusiasts and users of open source spatial software explained how they are using it in their everyday lives. The sessions were educational on the technical side, but also inspirational, showing how you can achieve great things with small budgets.

NGIS were at the conference in the sponsors area to talk about CARTO, the rapid development framework for location intelligence built on open source technology.

NGIS have an interest in advancing FOSS. We develop on open source software and also run training courses on QGIS.

Recently NGIS has also sponsored and facilitated two open source Map-a-thons with SSSI where volunteers worked on maps that aim to improve humanitarian projects, for example; creating maps of refugee camps in Congo to help aid organisers plan more effectively.
 

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