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Sponsoring FOSS4G SotM Oceania

Spatialised has become a bronze sponsor of FOSS4G SotM Oceania for 2019. This small contribution was a big step in terms of spending on any form of marketing/support budget we have – in the past year Spatialised is solvent but not into clear air cashflow-wise yet. The marketing budget is completely exhausted now after spending on FOSS4G 2019 and sponsoring the local iteration.

Because of timing, I can’t go to the Wellington edition of FOSS4G SotM Oceania this year. I had proposed a full day technical workshop on mapping with remotely piloted aircraft (aka drones), a talk, and a community day activity wrapping up loose ends / ethics / other stuff about drones; and had to withdraw them all. In 2019, my contribution is helping with the organising committee and sending money.

In a way, this is my ‘open source license fee’. Spatialised uses an entirely open source software stack – a relationship which can easily become parasitic, since there is no obligation for users of open source software to do … anything! …except make profit from other peoples’ initiative and labour and altruism. Especially if, like Spatialised, the core of the business is not engineering – it is data wrangling, advice, strategy and platform exploitation. So – if I can’t be at the event to give in some other way, then my money can hopefully help sustain this wonderful community of geospatial software engineering over-givers.

I would seriously encourage anyone exploiting open source geospatial tooling to do the same – when it’s hard to get travel permissions, or there are timing roadblocks or ethical concerns about international travel, money talks! It’s the juice which keeps the community alive, and keeps amazing programmes like travel grants happening. This year, because I’m also on the organising committee, I know there are some amazing initiatives happening for the regional open geospatial community – which I am super excited to support with my time and my cold hard cash. I’ll let the conference announce those, so stay tuned on twitter (@FOSS4G_Oceania) if you can’t be there in person!

Corporate brandification – check!

With the sponsorship process came the need for … a logo. Some form of corporate ID. The company style guide for documents already says ‘Futura is a heading font and Calibri is a body font, and all other fonts are excess’.

Autocracy is nice like that.

Some form of visual iconography was missing. And that had to change now that a platform for showing one off existed! Choosing a visual theme for a consulting operation is hard – what do we (I) do? what do we (I) want to do? What do we (I) want to avoid being stuck doing?

It has turned out that Spatialised is evolving into a specialised outfit working on close range remote sensing – lasers and cameras and sometimes sonars (close range being ’nearer than satellites’). It isn’t an engineering shop though. The stock in trade is data; understanding all that goes right and wrong with it; and using it to do functional things.

The idea of topography as a visual iconography was born! After all, this is the end result from much of our work – the ‘topography’ of something… ground, trees, seafloors, ?? And I loved playing with the joyplot (aka ridgeline plot) concept. This rounded out the idea – a joyplot-styled representation of under- and above sea level topography. And here it is:

…combining with, of course, the corporate style header font for a longer logo:

…and for extra open sauce, the entire logo design process happened in Inkscape – an excellent (and open source) vector illustration package, now with a proper MacOS X package!

I have to admit, the very first visual concept was a lot different – trying to get in the mood for coming up with anything this number popped out. Calling to my roots as a slightly less than legally-oriented member of society as a 1990s late teen/twentysomething. We had a lot to push back against, and we did. And still do, although with a little more tact and experience these days… (arguably):

I have no doubt a few bits of swag with this theme will turn up…

The sales pitch

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