Thursday, May 05, 2011

INTERGEO 2011: Conference opens with new format for the open data community

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) project is the topic of the first-ever INTERGEO BarCamp. INTERGEO 2011 is scheduled to be held in Nuremberg, Germany, during September 27 - 29, 2011. According to a press statement by INTERGEO team, the number of OSM members currently stands at 389,302 and is continuously growing. The importance of the global OSM community is also rising steadily. Hence, it will be the key attraction. However, the conference programme includes many other highlights as well.

The conference trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management will focus on key issues in the areas of land management and property valuation, and the latest developments in satellite navigation, the EU INSPIRE Directive and the ALKIS official property and land register information system.

According to the press statement, free geodata played an invaluable role in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. By providing a clear picture of the devastation, this information supported the work of the emergency services on the ground. "We received a thank-you e-mail from the leader of a U.S. rescue team for the fast and excellent data that was available shortly after the earthquake", said Marco Lechner, Vice President of FOSSGIS e. V.

Quoting a report published in New York Times, the press statement stated that better coordination and communication between voluntary Internet mappers and aid organisations such as the United Nations and the Red Cross is needed in future to harness the full potential of digital maps. Martin Scheu, head of the DVW Working Group "Geoinformation and geodata management", also believes there should be more cooperation: "Open data and official geodata are two avenues that must be more closely interlinked in future. Vast potential could be tapped by linking these topics more closely and effectively."

INTERGEO premiere - BarCamp

It is widely accepted that the classic style of conference is not suited to the open data community. However, the INTERGEO Academy, which was launched in 2010 with great success, offers plenty of scope for discussing OSM in a BarCamp - a type of open-space conference. Participants will set the programme themselves at the start of the event based on the lively online discussions that take place ahead of the meeting at

OSGeo Park presents the latest projects

"Something is stirring in geopolitics. I hope that more and more data will be made available to the public", stated FOSSGIS Vice President Marco Lechner. He not only wants to present OSM to a wide audience at INTERGEO, but also other unusual open source projects. The OSGeo Park offers his association the perfect platform to do just that. The OSGeo Park's joint presentation has been sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) since 2009.

The detailed conference programme of INTERGEO 2011 will be available from mid-May at


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