FOSS4G 2006

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The energy and enthusiasm of the Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics (FOSS4G) Conference continues to grow. Over 500 attendees made their way to Lausanne, Switzerland from September 12-15th 2006 to participate in this annual international event.

The conference began with a day and a half of more than 25 hands-on workshops. They covered web mapping, desktop applications, 3D visualization, and much more. As in years past, these workshops were completely sold-out due to their popularity.

Plenary sessions and over 120 presentations made up the remainder of the formal event. During the Sponsor Presentations, several of the FOSS4G sponsors introduced their companies and explained their involvement in Open Source. It was encouraging to see that the sponsors invested in the conference not merely for promotion, but because they are keenly interested in the success of the ideas represented at FOSS4G.

The birds-of-a-feather (BOF) sessions were an informal way for communities to meet, discuss, plan and even do some programming. Topics included: promoting open access to geospatial data, developing international user groups, planning new programming projects, debating details of APIs and more.

The final afternoon consisted of plenary talks and a discussion panel where several community members shared observations of the past and offered future predictions. James Westervelt shared some early history of the GRASS GIS project in a unique way, by presenting recent thoughts from many of the original programmers and users of decades past.