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Open source geospatial conference heads to Cape Town

By   |  September 12, 2008

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and the Geographic Information Society of South Africa (GISSA) will host the 2008 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from September 29 to October 3.

The annual conference is expected to attract more than 500 software programmers, government officials, business people and technology experts.

The theme of the conference is “Open Source Geospatial: an option for developing countries”, providing a platform for industry members to explore and debate issues around the application of the technology for developing countries. Ed Parsons,chief of geospatial technology at Google, will be the keynote speaker.

Most attending the conference create and share maps, build online mapping sites, analyse satellite imagery data to calculate flood zones, plan housing and infrastructure developments, support planning for the 2010 World Cup, map archaeological finds and coordinate tsunami relief efforts.

This year’s conference is sponsored by local and international organisations including Autodesk, Google, Geographic Information Management Systems and the South African State Information Technology Agency.

Conference chair, Gavin Fleming, says that the flexibility and relative low cost of open source software is transforming many industries, including computer mapping, otherwise known as Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

“FOSS4G will be an ideal opportunity for the geospatial industry to kickstart planning and implementation of the South African government’s open source policy, approved by Cabinet in February 2007,” says Fleming.

He says that in addition to presentations and hands-on software classes throughout the week, there will be an OpenStreetMap mapping party to map Cape Town’s streets on Sunday the 28th. An education outreach programme has been developed to assist teachers to learn about GIS as it is now part of the high school geography curriculum.

“The conference is open to anyone with an interest in mapping and geospatial technology, and special rates are provided for students at tertiary institutions.”

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2 Responses to “Open source geospatial conference heads to Cape Town”

  1. Open source geospatial conference heads to Cape Town - Tectonic | My Cape Town
    September 12th, 2008 @ 5:49 pm

    […] Go to: Open source geospatial conference heads to Cape Town – Tectonic […]

  2. Tectonic » OSS slashes geospatial costs for SA
    October 2nd, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

    […] Services’ chief directorate for spatial planning and information. Bidla was speaking at the Free Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference in Cape Town earlier this […]

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