Blog

Why we’re sponsoring FOSS4G Oceania

We're proud to support the FOSS4G Oceania conference as its first platinum sponsor.

matt-mcgregor-small.jpg

Posted by Matt McGregor
July 5th, 2018

FOSS4G image

In November 2018, FOSS4G / State of the Map is coming to Oceania, and we’re excited to be the first ‘Platinum’ sponsor for the event. For those not familiar with the hierarchy of precious metals, that puts us in the top tier of sponsors.

So why are we so keen to be involved in FOSS4G?

1. It’s a community-run conference

Sometimes, the economics of running a conference can lead to it becoming overly ‘vendor-led.' This is not always a bad thing, especially in this industry, as we’re seeing plenty of companies doing extremely interesting work. But it’s fair to say that a ‘vendor-led’ conference is usually less exciting and vibrant than a community-led conference.

The fact that FOSS4G is a community-led conference is, for us, very much a Good Thing.

2. We use and contribute to lots of key open source projects

Our technology stack is built on open source components, from operating systems and container platforms through our data storage backends and processing to the web application and browser-side components.

We encourage our engineers to take the time to produce test cases, report issues, and submit fixes and improvements to any open source projects we’re using. We’d much rather our work makes it into upstream projects than loiters with us, and wherever possible we strive to make that happen. Where we can, we contribute financially by supporting project developers or contributing to funding initiatives.

In the FOSSG ecosystem we’ve made contributions to GDAL, GeoServer, Mapnik, GeoDjango, PyCSW, and OpenLayers, as well as numerous other projects in the Python community and beyond.

3. We love discussing open data

Koordinates as a company is fundamentally committed to better open data. Our founders were active in the budding open data movement in the mid-2000s, and we’ve been dedicated to designing and building a world class platform for publishing and using open data. 

Our platform is used in New Zealand by a range of government agencies to release their open data, including Land Information New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment, Stats NZ, Manaaki Whenua, and Waikato District Council. We have plenty of experience in what works (and what doesn’t) in the open data space, and we’re keen to discuss these ideas with anyone who’ll listen.

4. We’re also interested in meeting our neighbours

We're a company based in Aotearoa New Zealand, but we're keenly interested in what's going on across the Tasman. Earlier in the year, a few of us made the trip to Adelaide to attend the Locate 2018 conference, and we’re keen to keep meeting more of our neighbours working in the spatial industry. We know from our experience at other FOSS4G conferences around the world that FOSS4G Oceania will be the perfect place to do so.

5. We’re a bunch of nerds

Our fifth and final reason is probably the most honest. The Koordinates team specialise in precisely what FOSS4G represents: solving complex technology problems relating to geospatial data. This is a specialist field, and we want as many of the team as possible to head across and learn more about the latest developments in the ecosystem. 

As an aside, I'd like to end by thanking the (all-volunteer) FOSS4G team for putting in the hard work to get this event up-and-running. We’re extremely grateful to everyone involved, and excited to jump across to Melbourne for the conference in November.

You can come, too. Register here.