Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WAURISA 2010 Conference

The Washington URISA conference is just about over, and it's made me realize how long it has been since I've gotten a chance to interact with the local GIS community. Some impressions:
  • The panels were probably the best part. I see now why the Barcamp/Unconference model has become so popular. Unfortunate no one from ESRI/AutoDesk/etc participated in these as far as I can tell - just the local/state government representatives and open source guys.
  • Best talk I heard was from Aaron Racicot on and OSM. Even if you came in knowing the story, the energy of the speaker, quality of maps, and audience participation was excellent.
  • I was happy to see there wasn't too much stigma hopping between rooms to hit particular talks as long as you were quiet and professional about it.
  • It was nice to shake hands with some Well Known Nerds (WKN) of the open source GIS community.
  • Some excellent balance in conversations about the variety of solutions to a given problem. No one was especially partisan about a particular product, software, or method.
  • Vendors were not as aggressive as I had been warned.
  • The turnout of the CUGOS group was good. I didn't seen any equivalent ESRI or AutoDesk user group wandering around in a similar fashion.
  • Smart people giving poor presentations is heartbreaking. I know this might ring hollow coming from someone who didn't give a talk, but some folks should thumb through Presentation Zen again. Walls of text all over the place.