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FOSS4G 2020 is Coming to Canada: Halifax and Calgary put in bids

FOSS4G is the largest annual conference focused on open source geospatial software. In 2020 it will come to Canada. FOSS4G is hosted in various cities across the world and gathers developers, users, decision-makers, and observers from a wide spectrum of fields for six days of workshops, presentations, and discussions. Participants from over 40 countries leave the conference having created geospatial standards, products, and protocols.  It’s kind of a big deal!

FOSS4G is run by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), an organization that prides itself on building the highest-quality open source geospatial software. OSGeo’s goal is to encourage the use and collaborative development of community-led projects, data development, and education; past projects have included content management systems, desktop applications, geospatial libraries, metadata catalogs, web mapping, and more.

FOSS4G 2018 Dar es Salaam image courtesy of OSGeo

Over the past 3 years, FOSS4G has been held in Bonn, Germany, Boston, Massachusetts, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In 2020, two Canadian cities are putting forward their bids to host the conference: Calgary and Halifax.

In Stage One of bidding both cities were required to provide documentation proving their capacity to host the conference. Then they faced a round of questioning: they were asked to state the missions of their respective FOSS4G conferences, describe their commitment to inclusivity and diversity, provide their thoughts on the affordability of the conference registration and wifi fees, give an idea of potential attendance numbers, and their plans for ensuring their conference will be sustainable and environmentally friendly. Other questions examined preparedness, transit options, and other miscellaneous costs.

Niagara also submitted documentation to bid on the conference, boasting proximity to Pearson and Niagara Falls airports, well-facilitated hotels, and infrastructure styled for over 15 million visitors annually. However, only Calgary and Halifax have been selected to move on to Stage Two.

The final bids from Calgary and Halifax will go in this month.  Good luck to both teams competing for this prestigious event. GoGeomatics Canada looks forward to informing the community of the winner!

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