2020 OSGeo AGM – First virtual annual general meeting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we held our annual general meeting (AGM) virtually this year on 10 September 2020. In this news article, we provide a short report on this successful event.

This year’s OSGeo annual general meeting (AGM) was dedicated to the memory of Olivier Courtin (charter member from 2014) who recently passed. Olivier was a member of the MapServer PSC, co-founder of the Oslandia chapter and creator of the TinyOWS project. He was a beloved member of the OSGeo community and will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

The OSGeo annual general meeting (AGM) took place on 10 September 2020 and had over 100 participants worldwide that attended the event. Since then, the recording on YouTube has been viewed over 460 times. The aim of the AGM was to provide an update on the activities of the Board of Directors, upcoming events, projects, committees and many more. You can view the full slide deck here.

To start the AGM off, our President, Angelos Tzotsos provided a quick overview of OSGeo including membership, sponsor and local chapters as this meeting was open to the general community and not only charter members. This was followed by reports from the chair of the board, the treasurer and secretary. Next the chief returning officer (CRO) presented the information from the 2019 election at which 38 nominees were confirmed as charter members. OSGeo currently has 456 active charter members.

OSGeo is also excited to announce that we are a Category A liaison with ISO/TC 211 which will allow our members to access documentation and also participate in the standardising process. Additionally over the last 2 years we have also strengthened our relationship with OGC, and relevant projects are working hard on certification services for OGC compliance. We have also participated in the OGC code sprints and hope to do more joint events in the future.

Unfortunately, the 2020 global conference, called FOSS4G, had to be cancelled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions. The board and all OSGeo members thank the local organising committee for their hard work. But this event led into the discussion of how we will handle conferences and events in a post-COVID society. At the moment, the 2021 FOSS4G in Buenos Aires is still confirmed. There were also a number of successful online events (i.e. conferences, code sprints, etc) that were held in 2020 and we thank all the organisers.

This was followed by the reports from various project, committees and initiatives. All 8 current committees present on their work since the last AGM and plans for the upcoming year. Additionally, the Lexicon committee also presented their work as they were in formation. Next was the OSGeo projects, and a total of 20 projects presented their activities and how they are working under the current circumstances. There are currently 4 active projects in incubation working hard to graduate to full OSGeo projects, and 6 community projects. An advantage of the virtual AGM was that projects had a bit more time, and it was great to hear about all their accomplishments. All participants were amazed by the amount of work that all the projects have done over the last year and we like to thank all the contributors and leadership teams.

OSGeo is proud of the fact that we have over 60 local chapters world-wide on all continents (apart from Antartica). These chapters provide a way for members across the world to connect with like minded individuals in their own country and language. Every year there is a large number of local events, and this would not be possible without the local leadership and enthusiastic community, thank you all! We have 24 local chapters that presented their activities during the AGM.

OSGeo and its members are also involved in various initiatives, such as the Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Google Code-in (GCI) and Google Season of Docs (GSoD). Each of these presented what happened in the 2019/2020 edition of these activities as they are key to attract students to open source development and also technical writers. Lastly, an update was provided on the archival of over 1000 photos from past events that is currently on Flicker and the recent discovery of the MOSS repo that is fundamental in various of our projects.

To end the day, the 2020 Sol Katz Award that is awarded annually to individuals who have demonstrated leadership in the community was awarded to Anita Graser. Anita Graser is a spatial data scientist and an open source GIS advocate. She is doing mobility research. She is encouraging people to get involved through social media, blog posts, presentations, podcasts & courses at university.

Thank you to all that contributed or participated in the 2020 AGM and OSGeo.

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