I was lucky to get a talk in at this years FOSS4G academic track, which allowed me to travel to Portland, Oregon. The talk was about a project in which we applyed Köppen-Geiger climate classifications to paleo climate model simulations, using GRASS GIS. The talks were recorded and shared on vimeo, so enjoy! :).
The FOSS4G program itself was huge. Eight (8) parallel tracks plus an extra track for Invited talks and Keynotes. So it was not at all possible to attend all the talks that you had an interest in. You can find the recordings of mostly all talks on vimeo and they are also linked directly from the schedule. This great organization and technical skill which deliverd almost all the recordings in that short time to the crowd is by itself a great acheivment of this years FOSS4G hosts, the OSGeo PDX team.
I was wondering about the organization of the academic track in the program schedule, because there was none, at least to my knowledge. So I could not see which presentations in the programm were from the academic track, I could only guess based on the titles and abstracts of the talks. This was sad, because I would have liked to attend most acedemic talks to maybe network with other academics using and developing FOSS4G.
I also have a subtle feeling, that the academic track has a not so well standing for many of the core FOSS4G participants. I think this is a pity, because those pesky academics ;-) are teaching the FOSS4G tools to their students and use them for - and promote them in - their academic works. This creates new users and maybe even developers for the projects and the community can only win from this. Thus, I would strongly recommend to better promote the academic track on future FOSS4G conferences, to increase visibility and thus also the quality of the academic track. To have the oportunity of publishing the submissions in the Transactions in GIS Journal is a big advantage and makes the submissions for academics to FOSS4G attractive. And those who are bored by academic talks do not have to attend them. There is no downside of having a prominent academic track on FOSS4G conferences, as far as I can see.
On Saturday after the conference I attended the code sprint, and had the opportunity to work a bit on the planned OSGeo Journal' OJS system update and on the update of the Wiki usermap, that we/I try to migrate to a Semantic Mediawiki based implementation (which seems to be a bigger story, on which I might have an additional post in the near future). Anyway, I enjoyed to sat down there, breathe the air of an OSGeo code sprint and gave the OJS update a try, but I did not prepared anything beforehand and I ran into some MySQL level problems durig a test run of the update on my local environment, which I could not solve on the code sprint.
In recap, I had a very good time in Portland and at FOSS4G, during the conference as well as the two days before and after the conference. Before the conference, on my first day in Portland I went to the Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquake match at providence park joining the FOSS4G Timbers field trip. It was a quite entertaining match, with a final score of 3:3 (6 goals!). On this way thanks to the organizers of this field trip again! After the conference I had an awesome roadtrip from Portland, along Eugene, Crater Lake, the Oregon and north California coast, the Redwood trees, Napa Valley to the Bay Area and San Fransisco, from where my flight back home was heading.