Mila Frerichs - Developer, Consultant

Mila Frerichs

Developer, Civic Hacker
Geo- & Data-Geek


Recap FOSS4G 2016, Bonn

I went to FOSS4G the for two days last week and made the trip from Berlin to Bonn. And it was worth it; I’m glad I made the trip.

I connected with old friends, met people I already met online in „real-life“ and met new ones. Special thanks to my old friend Jeff (Johnson) who is well connected and through which I got to know a lot of interesting people.


Venue The venue was exciting. It even fulfilled a dream of mine, and I could check an item off of my bucket list. The Congress Centrum Bonn is in the old German Parliament, and the plenary was accessible, and there were even talks held.



I did not attend many talks but instead hung out with the guys from Terranodo and GeoNode. Only a few of the ones I did attend caught my attention.

Here is the list:

The Evolution of the GeoNode Community (Jeffrey Johnson), Video

Jeff’s talk was not technical at all but had really good points. He talked about the technical and collaborative aspects of growing and managing a diverse community. And he shared his and the Worldbank thoughts on „Best Practices in Open Source development“ and „Principles Guiding Investments in Open Source“.

Visualizing uncertainty in data (Sven Christ), Video

Not the whole talk was interesting. But the overall message and idea caught my attention. Being aware of the uncertainty in data and making it clear to the user that there is uncertainty. Even if you use a data set from a reliable source, you should always check if the data makes sense and how good the quality is. His talk and the next one my Arnulf made me want to work more on data validation tools.

Software comes and goes. Mind the Data! (Arnulf Christl), Video

Arnulf talked about the different mindsets software developers and „data mongers“ have when it comes to data. Most software developers think the data is incorrect and needs to be fixed and the „data mongers“ think that the software is wrongly written. He pledged to mind the other opinion but always keep the data in mind. Data is here to stay; software comes and goes. After his talked Shoaib of Noman Labs asked about data validation and explained that he had build something internal for data validation. I approached him afterward, and we talked about it, and we started a new collaboration project: data-validation-ideas

These three talks resonated with me and made the conference a success.

And we had a lovely Dinner in the Bar of the Mariott on the 13th floor with an amazing view:


See you next year in Boston (I hope) :)