The 2016 FOSS4G was a very successful and eventful gathering, which completely justified the ‘Building bridges’ theme, chosen for this year.
Even though there was an extensive list of technical talks, as well as talks about Open Data, Remote Sensing for Earth Observation, Land information and Disaster management, numerous social events and hangouts (such as Icebreaker, the Gala Dinner boat cruise and Pub Race) were what strengthened the position of FOSS4G as a platform for collaboration, business and networking.
We were happy to see that this year’s major topic throughout the conference were vector tiles, something that has already been a standard for GIS Cloud mapping experience for the last five years. It seems the community is catching up! Beside the popular Internet of Things theme, talks about 3D tools and web visualizations also caught our eye.
Upon our arrival to Bonn, late on Monday evening, the city immediately agreed with us as it exudes a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere, which also contributed to the general impression of the conference.
The next day we attended a B2B meeting where people held “Pecha Kucha” presentations and audience was invited to vote for the best presentation. That was a great introduction to the conference because we had an opportunity to get to know companies and individuals from the geo industry in just 5 minutes and 20 slides, 15 seconds each. This format proved itself as a brief, informative and fun way to present your projects, ideas, your goal during the stay and to reach out to others.
Dino, CEO and co-founder of the company talked about our take on the industry, as well as our mission and vision for the future. The presentation was very well received and, as we found out later during the conference, it was one of the presentations that shared the runner-up position. The winner was in for a surprise when he found out his “award” was to give an improvised presentation on the spot, with previously prepared slides by the organizers. Nevertheless, he was up to the task!
In the evening we attended a reception at the palace of the Mayor, which was another occasion to hang and network in a casual atmosphere.
When on Wednesday morning 900 people occupied the World Conference Center, our booth was all set up, attracting numerous visitors who wanted to know more about GIS Cloud platform and applications.
Some of them just dropped by to grab a lollipop or to ask us for a t-shirt. Nevertheless, we were so busy talking to people that we barely managed to get away at times to attend some interesting talks. It was great meeting folks of the geo community from all over the world – Malaysia, India and Africa, across Germany, France, Finland and others to US, Canada, South Korea and many more. Everything was well organized up to the last detail and always on time.
We were pleasantly surprised by the Map Your Beer event in the afternoon where we could taste some beers from all over the world at the booth next door. This was a great warm up for the evening Icebreaker event at the BaseCamp Bonn, cool and colorful place with vintage caravans where we could relax after a long day, grab some drinks and something to eat.
This was the day of most interesting talks and definitely one of the most memorable evening events. We also prepared a presentation that raised a lot of interest. It was held by Dino and titled Using SQLite to take maps offline on mobile devices. The room was packed and the presentation was followed by multiple questions, which deserved GIS Cloud t-shirts.
After the day filled with presentations and visits to our booth, we were almost late to board the ship in the evening, but luckily we made it just in time. What began as a lovely cruise down the Rhine over some beers and pleasant conversation, ended as a full-blooded Queens cover group concert during and after a gourmet dinner. We hit the floor as one of the attendees took over the mike, right after Till Adams (the Chair of FOSS4G 2016) gave a talk, jumped off the stage into the crowd and was carried out by his fans.
The Final Day
When we came to our booth the last day, we were a bit surprised to see that a great number of people still came, even though we expected lower attendance. It turned out to be as busy as any other day, at times even more so.
After the lunch, Igor, our business and partner manager, held a Collaborative Mapping presentation. It was very interesting because of its ‘solution for the entire organization’ approach, which offers mapping solutions for every step of your daily workflow.
We completed our stay in Bonn with a Pub Race in the evening at Namenlos, the official FOSS4G pub where we enjoyed some beers (again) with our fellow GIS geeks.
Looking forward to seeing you next year and building even more bridges!