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INSPIRE Community Forum

FOSS4G 2019

The FOSS4G 2019 conference happened from August 26 to 30 in Bucharest (Romania), bringing together more that 1000 delegates from all around the world. Hosted by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial applications) is the biggest global event of the open source geospatial community where technological advances, use cases and multiple topics related to the development and use of open source geospatial software and open geospatial data are discussed. After the first two days hosting 42 hands-on workshops, the three main conference days included 3 plenaries, 11 parallel sessions (including an academic session to showcase the use of FOSS4G in research), and other associated events such as Birds of a Feather and business to business meetings.

The event provided excellent opportunity to establish links between the organizations and communities active in the context of free and open source geospatial software and open geospatial data, e.g. the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the developers and project managers of OSGeo software projects, the companies using FOSS4G-based business models, the academic community, and the INSPIRE and SDI community.

Some take-away messages from the conference:

  • The global open source geospatial community is healthy and growing. A lot of the software tools presented, particularly the official OSGeo projects, are a viable and mature alternative to proprietary software.
  • Many presentations highlighted the fact that readily available data and software that is capable of handling them are together the basis for the implementation of a plethora of use cases. It is therefore very important that we build bridges between INSPIRE and the (open source) software community at large.
  • There is serious uptake of the newly developed OGC API family of standards (most notably the OGC API - Features) by many of the open source geospatial projects that were present (including pygeoapi, GeoServer and deegree). It is likely that this emerging standard will be a strong ‘game changer’ for the way in which geospatial data is being shared in an interoperable manner through the web.
  • INSPIRE requirements were mentioned on multiple occasions in FOSS4G-related talks. INSPIRE and data infrastructures in general are seen by the projects as critically important for (i) opening up public data, and (ii) creating conditions for a comprehensive and effective sharing and reuse of data as well as the development of new functionalities.

Most of the talks have been recorded and are publicly available here. In the following a list of talks relevant to INSPIRE and (when available) the links to their video recordings:

  • INSPIRE Reference Validator: status and next steps [video]
  • Improved client support for INSPIRE Data
  • Comparing INSPIRE and OpenStreetMap data: how to make the most out of the two worlds [video]