[Marketing] Report on OSGeo attendance at DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES for RESEARCH 2017 conference

Dear all [apologies for cross-posting],

it has taken a while but here's the report on OSGeo attendance at DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES for RESEARCH 2017 conference


Venue: SQUARE meeting centre, Brussels (image: https://oc.diw.de/index.php/s/DgdemubzdrTjRC0)
Date: Nov 30 - Dec 1 2017
No costs for OSGeo (travel expenses were covered by other parties)


The conference was organised by several european organisations, which provide digital infrastructues for european researchers at universities and research institutes.
Currently, across all european nations and fields of science, research data repositories are set up. Usually these activities are only aware of each other within a specific field of science whithin one nation, at best.This results in a lot of reinventing the wheel and extra costs which could be avoided by better sharing of information and resources.
With the new OSGeo European Chapter, OSGeo is able to support and advise such project work both on national and european levels. The pitching of a OSGeo poster at the conference was supposed to gain more visibility and get feedback about cooperation opportunities.
The outcome of this "test balloon" was positive: A continued and strengthened OSGeo presence could really make a positive impact.

Official Conference Scope:

The DI4R 2017 conference is jointly organised by EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, OpenAIRE, PRACE and RDA Europe. The theme of the event is “Connecting the building blocks for Open Science”. DI4R 2017 will showcase the policies, processes, best practices, data and services that, leveraging today’s initiatives - national, regional, European and international -are the building blocks of the European Open Science Cloud and European Data Infrastructure.
The conference will demonstrate how open science, higher education and innovators can benefit from these building blocks, and will contribute to advance integration and cooperation between initiatives.

OSGeo Presence:

A poster describing OSGeo as an umbrella organisation, the project communities and the new European Chapter was shown (composed by Dirk Fringe and Peter Löwe).

Conference Highlights:

- OSGeo was the only software community explicitly present (No R folks, etc.)
- The poster attracted people on both conference days.
- European stance is relevant
- Visitors from European Infrastructure providers (GEANT, EGI, RDA, etc.) were interested in our community approach and also in providing European research infrastructures based on OSGeo projects [e.g.: Provide easy-to-find information for scientists where HPC based on GRASS GIS (just an example) is available and accessible].
- Several scientists which were showcasing their own work became interested in OSGeo and our projects.


- Due to a mishap by Peter/DIW, the "last beta" of the poster draft got printed, not the final version to be released.
This could be fixed (minor typos, etc.) by engaging the visitors in a discussion and "walking" them through the poster
- The conference got much more abstract submissions than anticipated. A very large number of posters had to be accommodated in limited exhibition space. While the OSGeo poster did not receive a top location, it was ok, as there was sufficient ligthing and enough space for visitors, plus a small table for OSGeo take aways (thanks to Astrid Emde for her support !) (image: https://oc.diw.de/index.php/s/0H4ygZQZ9Rv4k9y).

Lessons learned:

- An up to date "general purpose" poster describing OSGeo and its projects would be a very valuable resource, if this could be provided centrally from the Wiki
- QR codes on such a poster would be good to allow visitors to easily take home links to projects and activities they want to learn more about.
- In addition to the already established “selling points” for OSGeo, it would be useful to collect additional good reasons from the perspective of (European) scientific research projects (-> setting up research data repositories and individual scientists (“why to publish research code as part of a OSGeo project”).

Best regards and a happy new 2018,