[pgrouting-dev] My experience at the FOSS4G 2018

Hello all,

I am Rohith Reddy, an MS student at IIIT Hyderabad and a developer at pgRouting. I attended the FOSS4G 2018 at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The main conference was from 29 August - 31 August 2018. There were two main reasons for me to attend the conference. The first reason was to present my research work done at my university which was accepted at the conference. The second reason was to represent pgRouting at the conference. In this email, I would like to share what I did and the experiences I gained at the FOSS4G 2018.

Presented pgRouting at the OSGeo Annual General Meeting

  • The OSGEO Annual General Meeting(AGM) was held on 30th August 2018 from 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM.

  • In the meeting, an overall status of OSGeo was given along with a discussion on the future activities.

  • I talked about the status of the pgRouting project, where I mentioned the upcoming releases, student contributions and the support from the OSGeo community.

  • I had a chance to look at the ongoing developments in various OSGeo projects.

  • The meeting concluded with a report on the GSoC(2017-18) and GCI(2017).
    Presented pgRouting at the General Track of the conference

  • The pgRouting presentation was initially scheduled for 30th August 2018 from 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM.

  • I gave the presentation at the allotted time slot, but due to some confusion, there was a post on twitter saying the presentation was cancelled and was rescheduled to 31st August from 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM.

  • Though I gave the presentation on 30th August, I did not want to miss out on those who turned up for the presentation on 31st August. So, I decided to give the presentation again i.e on 31st August from 12:30 PM - 1:00 PM.

  • When I went to give the presentation the second time, I was happy to see more people in the presentation room this time.

  • After the presentation, I met people who were interested to develop and use pgRouting. I was happy to discuss and clarify questions related to pgRouting that were asked by some of the audience.

  • Looks like the confusion turned out to be positive in this case :).

Presented my research work at the academic track conference

  • The presentation on my research work “Improving path query performance in pgRouting using a map generalization approach” was on 30th August 2018 from 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM.

  • This was the first time I was presenting my work at an international conference. According to me, I presented better than what I expected and prepared.

  • After the presentation, some of the audience were interested in my work and we had discussions. This gave me a sense of satisfaction and motivated me to continue my research work.

  • In addition to this, I also received some suggestions and improvements from the audience which were really helpful. I cannot wait to try out those new ideas.

Attended sessions and keynotes at the conference

  • Throughout the conference, there were several parallel sessions. I attended many sessions which included sessions on GeoNode, QGIS, QField, PostGIS, Livewire, OSM, and Mapbox.

  • I was happy to see open source tools like LiveWire use pgRouting in their development. I attended the presentation of an academic work namely “Hierarchical path planning for walking (almost) anywhere” which also used pgRouting in their work.

  • I attended a session named “Fostering pre-university student participation in OSGEO through the Google Code-in Competition” by Jeff McKenna and Victoria. In this session, I was happy to congratulate the students of GCI and how the work done by GCI students at pgRouting was being used.

  • I had a chance to attend keynotes namely “Mapping to end FGM” and “Zanzibar Mapping Initiative”. I was excited to see the use of GIS and open source to solve real-world problems.

While attending the sessions I gained knowledge about various open source GIS tools and their developments. In addition to this, I witnessed that some open source tools use pgRouting which really motivates the pgRouting team to develop and improve pgRouting. Unfortunately, I cannot attend the FOSS4G community sprint due to my presentation at another conference in Germany on 3 September 2018.

On the whole, attending the FOSS4G 2018 has been a great learning experience and also gave me a chance to meet many people who were passionate about open source GIS software. I am grateful to the FOSS4G organising committee for providing me with the travel grant to attend the conference and present my work. In addition to this, I thank the OSGeo community and pgRouting for helping me to represent pgRouting at the conference. I would also like thank Vicky Vergara and Daniel Kastl for helping me prepare the presentations. A big shout out to the FOSS4G organising committee for their massive efforts in organising such an amazing conference :slight_smile: !!!

Rohith Reddy.