[OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

2009-09-14 Thread Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo)
Hi everyone, a recent chat I was asked about our vision for OSGeo over
the next 3 and 5 years.  I'd really like to hear thoughts on the matter
and pool a few of the ideas together for further discussions amongst
committees, projects, chapters and the board.  

It's also a good way for the board nominees in the upcoming election to
get a sense of where other members are thinking these days.

Best wishes,
Tyler

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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

2009-09-14 Thread René A. Enguehard
What I'd like to see within the next 5 years would be more analytical 
tools. Most of the projects in OSGeo are very much enablers: they put 
the facilities in place for people to program their own tools. However, 
as I have noticed over the years, people are reluctant to move to open 
source implementations of geospatial software because they are, in 
effect, losing capabilities. Yes, there is still the potential for the 
same capabilities to be put back in, but the fact remains they just 
aren't there. For example, I have never seen any MCDA, PCA, HotSpot 
Analysis, CART or neural network tools in open source packages. If we 
were to produce a comprehensive suite of tools offering the standard 
analytical tools as well as some more advanced ones, then these 
proprietary offerings wouldn't look as appealing. Moreover, if we had a 
consolidated toolset which could be used on a multitude of project we 
would not have to re-invent the wheel for each separate project. 
Currently, proprietary software generally offers advanced analytic 
capability out-of-the-box and open source software does not. I see this 
as a bit of a stumbling block.


Another thing, and I was chatting about this in the lab today, is that 
for particular needs, open source implementations of geospatial software 
generally don't have much to offer. The generic capabilities are there, 
or at least enabled for others to program, but special-needs cases there 
is not much. The example used today in the lab was CARIS HIPS or SIPS. 
What, if anything, exists in the open source community that could come 
close to the processing capabilities of this?


Still another area with a lack of development is 3D and 4D modeling / 
rendering / analysis, something like ESRI ArcGlobe with the 3D Analyst 
package or Myriax Eonfusion. There has been very little work in these 
domains which are of particular interest to me. Perhaps the amount of 
people working in these areas is much smaller than the amount of people 
using something more like general analytic capabilities, but it is an 
area that needs work nonetheless.


The point, and I'd like to make this clear, is not the I'm bemoaning the 
lack of features and projects in the open source community. I think 
OSGeo and the open source community have done a tremendous job and 
should feel, rightfully, proud at what they have accomplished. However, 
when asked what I'd like to see on the agenda for OSGeo, this is it. I'd 
like to see a hard push towards analytics to make the various projects 
we have to offer more directly useful to the average GIS user. In the 
end, it's really about market penetration. The more useful open source 
software is, the better a deal it looks like to outsiders and the more 
people we'll attract.


Please note: I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself, IANAL, just 
my two cents, your mileage may vary, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam.


Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:

Hi everyone, a recent chat I was asked about our vision for OSGeo over
the next 3 and 5 years.  I'd really like to hear thoughts on the matter
and pool a few of the ideas together for further discussions amongst
committees, projects, chapters and the board.  


It's also a good way for the board nominees in the upcoming election to
get a sense of where other members are thinking these days.

Best wishes,
Tyler

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[OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?

2009-09-14 Thread Michael P. Gerlek
I received a surprising number (+20) of responses to this, many off-list.  My 
unscientific summary is as follows:

* some people responded privately, indicating they do not have insurance and 
would rather I not
  publicize the issue lest their erstwhile employees suddenly take notice :-)

* in the US, sole proprietorship is the way to go for simple one-person, 
garage-based shops

* seems that a significant percentage of employers aren't going to ask and/or 
just don't care,
  and of those that do ask many will waive it if you explain you're too small 
to afford it --
  this is certainly the case for small employers (big employers may just make 
it a hard requirement,
  knowing they will have enough bidders that someone will meet the criteria)

* IEEE and possibly other such orgs offer professional liability insurance at 
reasonable rates,
  (for some definition of reasonable)

* if you're a (US?) govt contractor, seems like you'll almost certainly need to 
have insurance;
  if you're bidding for contracts, things get messy fast

* and if you're doing contract work that seems to require it, just bake it in 
as a line item
  in the contract bid -- see if you can just pass the extra costs along

* for longer contracts, some employers will offer the option of taking you on 
as a temporary
  employee (which means you're covered by the company's policy)

* for some employers, having insurance might give you more credibility as a 
professional
  player -- but it also may be that as open source itself gains more street 
cred, this becomes
  less critical

* and, finally, like all insurance, the odds are overwhelmingly against you 
ever needing to
  have to actually USE it...


Here's a pretty typical response:

 Do I carry insurance?  No.

 Insurance adds significant administrative and financial overhead to a one man 
 shop.  If you
 want the one man shop price, you more often than not need to be willing to go 
 without them
 having insurance.

 If you think about it, this isn't a bad arrangement anyway.  You're not going 
 to give the one
 man shop such an important thing that you're going to have to turn around and 
 sue them are you?
 You're one man contract is for doing dirty things that you don't have time or 
 motivation to do,
 not mission critical business work.  If you *are* having your one man 
 contract do mission
 critical work, you have bigger problems than whether or not they have 
 liability insurance 
 in my opinion.


The happy news is that I was able to (oh so gently...) push back to our 
accounting and HR departments on the insurance requirement, using the above 
typical response and the prevailing evidence I gathered from this thread 
showing that most of you don't have insurance and yet, happily, the sun still 
rises every morning.

Thanks to all who responded!

-mpg







 -Original Message-
 From: Michael P. Gerlek
 Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 10:03 AM
 To: OSGeo Discussions
 Subject: Insurance for contractors?
 
 In the past I've hired some people for contract or consultant work
 (both open source projects and more general stuff) -- generally these
 people have been independent, one-man shops found by word of mouth and
 reputation, as opposed to hiring someone from an agency.
 
 I'm getting pushback now from the administrative side of my company
 saying that any contractor I hire needs to have proof of insurance.  I
 understand the legal reasons for this, but I'm wondering how many of
 you out there actually have business/contractors insurance?  Do
 companies you work for insist on it, or not?  And how many of you are
 formally set up as LLCs or sole proprietorships or such?
 
 [while this is likely a US-centric issue from the hiring side, I'm
 interested in international responses too since I've hired some
 foreigners as well over the years]
 
 -mpg

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[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo Board Elections 2009

2009-09-14 Thread Paul Ramsey
OSGeo Members,

The OSGeo Board Election for 2009 is now underway. The first stage is
the nomination of candidates for the board. Board membership is for a
two year term, and half the Board is refreshed each year. This year
there are five seats up for election.

http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Election_2009#Board_Election

Anyone can submit a Board nomination, however only Charter Members are
eligible to serve on the Board. The complete list of charter members
is available by combining

* (2009 additions) http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/New_Member_Nominations_2009
* (Prior years) http://www.osgeo.org/charter_members

Please submit your nominations, consisting of name and a paragraph
describing why you think this person would make a good Board member,
to c...@osgeo.org. Please ensure that your nominee is actually willing
to serve, prior to nominating them.

The nomination period will close at midnight Monday 21th September
2009, and will be followed by a one-week voting period.

Yours,

Paul Ramsey
OSGeo Chief Returning Officer (2009)
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RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?

2009-09-14 Thread Landon Blake
Thank you for the summary MPG. The logic described in the example
response seems quite sensible.

Landon
Office Phone Number: (209) 946-0268
Cell Phone Number: (209) 992-0658
 
 
-Original Message-
From: discuss-boun...@lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-boun...@lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Michael P. Gerlek
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 4:27 PM
To: 'OSGeo Discussions'
Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?

I received a surprising number (+20) of responses to this, many
off-list.  My unscientific summary is as follows:

* some people responded privately, indicating they do not have insurance
and would rather I not
  publicize the issue lest their erstwhile employees suddenly take
notice :-)

* in the US, sole proprietorship is the way to go for simple one-person,
garage-based shops

* seems that a significant percentage of employers aren't going to ask
and/or just don't care,
  and of those that do ask many will waive it if you explain you're too
small to afford it --
  this is certainly the case for small employers (big employers may just
make it a hard requirement,
  knowing they will have enough bidders that someone will meet the
criteria)

* IEEE and possibly other such orgs offer professional liability
insurance at reasonable rates,
  (for some definition of reasonable)

* if you're a (US?) govt contractor, seems like you'll almost certainly
need to have insurance;
  if you're bidding for contracts, things get messy fast

* and if you're doing contract work that seems to require it, just bake
it in as a line item
  in the contract bid -- see if you can just pass the extra costs along

* for longer contracts, some employers will offer the option of taking
you on as a temporary
  employee (which means you're covered by the company's policy)

* for some employers, having insurance might give you more credibility
as a professional
  player -- but it also may be that as open source itself gains more
street cred, this becomes
  less critical

* and, finally, like all insurance, the odds are overwhelmingly against
you ever needing to
  have to actually USE it...


Here's a pretty typical response:

 Do I carry insurance?  No.

 Insurance adds significant administrative and financial overhead to a
one man shop.  If you
 want the one man shop price, you more often than not need to be
willing to go without them
 having insurance.

 If you think about it, this isn't a bad arrangement anyway.  You're
not going to give the one
 man shop such an important thing that you're going to have to turn
around and sue them are you?
 You're one man contract is for doing dirty things that you don't have
time or motivation to do,
 not mission critical business work.  If you *are* having your one man
contract do mission
 critical work, you have bigger problems than whether or not they have
liability insurance 
 in my opinion.


The happy news is that I was able to (oh so gently...) push back to our
accounting and HR departments on the insurance requirement, using the
above typical response and the prevailing evidence I gathered from
this thread showing that most of you don't have insurance and yet,
happily, the sun still rises every morning.

Thanks to all who responded!

-mpg







 -Original Message-
 From: Michael P. Gerlek
 Sent: Monday, August 31, 2009 10:03 AM
 To: OSGeo Discussions
 Subject: Insurance for contractors?
 
 In the past I've hired some people for contract or consultant work
 (both open source projects and more general stuff) -- generally these
 people have been independent, one-man shops found by word of mouth and
 reputation, as opposed to hiring someone from an agency.
 
 I'm getting pushback now from the administrative side of my company
 saying that any contractor I hire needs to have proof of insurance.  I
 understand the legal reasons for this, but I'm wondering how many of
 you out there actually have business/contractors insurance?  Do
 companies you work for insist on it, or not?  And how many of you are
 formally set up as LLCs or sole proprietorships or such?
 
 [while this is likely a US-centric issue from the hiring side, I'm
 interested in international responses too since I've hired some
 foreigners as well over the years]
 
 -mpg

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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?

2009-09-14 Thread Miles Fidelman

Michael P. Gerlek wrote:

* in the US, sole proprietorship is the way to go for simple one-person, 
garage-based shops

  
Having contracted as both a sole proprietorship and a corporation, I'd 
qualify that one.  Sole proprietorship is easy, but.


- you don't get quite as many tax benefits

- you open yourself up to a lot of personal liability, even with 
insurance - if you have any serious assets (say a house or stock 
portfolio that hasn't completely tanked), putting a corporate shell 
between you and a lawsuit provides some serious protection


- you can simplify some of the paperwork by incorporating as either 
Subchapter S or an LLC


Miles

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RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?

2009-09-14 Thread Craig Miller
Best of both worlds... LLC.  Fall through taxation, but offers protection
too.

Craig



 -Original Message-
 From: discuss-boun...@lists.osgeo.org
[mailto:discuss-boun...@lists.osgeo.org]
 On Behalf Of Miles Fidelman
 Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 5:23 PM
 To: OSGeo Discussions
 Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] RE: Insurance for contractors?
 
 Michael P. Gerlek wrote:
  * in the US, sole proprietorship is the way to go for simple one-person,
 garage-based shops
 
 
 Having contracted as both a sole proprietorship and a corporation, I'd
 qualify that one.  Sole proprietorship is easy, but.
 
 - you don't get quite as many tax benefits
 
 - you open yourself up to a lot of personal liability, even with
 insurance - if you have any serious assets (say a house or stock
 portfolio that hasn't completely tanked), putting a corporate shell
 between you and a lawsuit provides some serious protection
 
 - you can simplify some of the paperwork by incorporating as either
 Subchapter S or an LLC
 
 Miles
 
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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

2009-09-14 Thread Howard Butler


On Sep 14, 2009, at 4:01 PM, Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:


Hi everyone, a recent chat I was asked about our vision for OSGeo over
the next 3 and 5 years.  I'd really like to hear thoughts on the  
matter

and pool a few of the ideas together for further discussions amongst
committees, projects, chapters and the board.

It's also a good way for the board nominees in the upcoming election  
to

get a sense of where other members are thinking these days.



My measurement of success for OSGeo and priorities I hope it shares in  
the next 3-5 years are the following three items:
- Continued expansion of the local chapters.  Local chapters make  
OSGeo real in the sense that mailing lists, websites, and an IRC  
channel can't.
- The conference continues uninterrupted for the next five years, and  
we start to use it our central fundraising piece.
- Cross-project collaboration, like the journal, osgeo4w, metacrs,  
benchmarking, system administration, and geodata continues to be  
fostered by us.  From my biased developer's perspective, these have  
been OSGeo's biggest accomplishments along with the local chapter  
development and consolidation of the conference.


Howard
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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

2009-09-14 Thread Helena Mitasova


On Sep 14, 2009, at 11:40 PM, Howard Butler wrote:



On Sep 14, 2009, at 4:01 PM, Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:

Hi everyone, a recent chat I was asked about our vision for OSGeo  
over
the next 3 and 5 years.  I'd really like to hear thoughts on the  
matter

and pool a few of the ideas together for further discussions amongst
committees, projects, chapters and the board.

It's also a good way for the board nominees in the upcoming  
election to

get a sense of where other members are thinking these days.



My measurement of success for OSGeo and priorities I hope it shares  
in the next 3-5 years are the following three items:
- Continued expansion of the local chapters.  Local chapters make  
OSGeo real in the sense that mailing lists, websites, and an IRC  
channel can't.
- The conference continues uninterrupted for the next five years,  
and we start to use it our central fundraising piece.
- Cross-project collaboration, like the journal, osgeo4w, metacrs,  
benchmarking, system administration, and geodata continues to be  
fostered by us.  From my biased developer's perspective, these have  
been OSGeo's biggest accomplishments along with the local chapter  
development and consolidation of the conference.


+1 on these, including OSGeo Edu efforts as another example of  cross- 
project collaboration


Helena


Howard
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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Next 5 years for OSGeo

2009-09-14 Thread maning sambale
Libraries and tools that can be used across different OSGEO apps.

data format libraries - done!

algorithm/analytic libraries = +1 . GRASS has an extensive collection.
 Would be good for other OSGEO projects to reuse them.

cartographic libraries = +1


On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM, Helena Mitasova
hmit...@unity.ncsu.edu wrote:

 On Sep 14, 2009, at 11:40 PM, Howard Butler wrote:


 On Sep 14, 2009, at 4:01 PM, Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:

 Hi everyone, a recent chat I was asked about our vision for OSGeo over
 the next 3 and 5 years.  I'd really like to hear thoughts on the matter
 and pool a few of the ideas together for further discussions amongst
 committees, projects, chapters and the board.

 It's also a good way for the board nominees in the upcoming election to
 get a sense of where other members are thinking these days.


 My measurement of success for OSGeo and priorities I hope it shares in the
 next 3-5 years are the following three items:
 - Continued expansion of the local chapters.  Local chapters make OSGeo
 real in the sense that mailing lists, websites, and an IRC channel can't.
 - The conference continues uninterrupted for the next five years, and we
 start to use it our central fundraising piece.
 - Cross-project collaboration, like the journal, osgeo4w, metacrs,
 benchmarking, system administration, and geodata continues to be fostered by
 us.  From my biased developer's perspective, these have been OSGeo's biggest
 accomplishments along with the local chapter development and consolidation
 of the conference.

 +1 on these, including OSGeo Edu efforts as another example of
  cross-project collaboration

 Helena

 Howard
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-- 
cheers,
maning
--
Freedom is still the most radical idea of all -N.Branden
wiki: http://esambale.wikispaces.com/
blog: http://epsg4253.wordpress.com/
--
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