BoinxTV Captures the Action at Fossgis 2011

by Cara -

The FOSSGIS Conference is a yearly event organized by the FOSSGIS eV. Originially it was a conference for people who are involved with open source GIS software, the FOSS stands for Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformation systems. During the last few years OpenStreetMap, a project started in 2004 aimed at creating a free world map, has gained a lot of traction in Germany and was looking for a formal organization. Instead of funding it's own organization the German OpenStreetMap community decided to join the FOSSGIS eV. because of the similar goals regarding free and open software and geo data. Last year was the first FOSSGIS Conference that included a dedicated OpenStreetMap portion. Unfortunately quite a few people from the OpenStreetMap community couldn't make it to the conference and asked for recordings of the talks, so this year for the first time, FOSSGIS recorded all of the OpenStreetMap talks and also a few talks from the traditional GIS track. What did they record the talks with, you ask? BoinxTV - of course!

"We were looking for a solution that allowed us to record and mix video and audio live in order to reduce the time needed for editing afterwards, and to be able to publish the videos as soon as possible. BoinxTV had all the features we needed and as a bonus was very easy to explain and be used by volunteers that helped us with the recordings," says Andreas Hubel, FOSSGIS.

The setup consisted of two cameras with Firewire and one screen grabber to capture what was shown on the projector, all connected to a Mac Pro. In another room there was a mobile setup consisting of one camera, a screen grabber and one MacBook Pro. The audio signal came from the local sound system in both cases. There was one person on the Mac doing the video mixing live and if possible one person on one camera, the other one was static. In the evenings, the Macs were kept running to encode the files. Once encoded, the files were quickly reviewed and, in some cases cut down, then uploaded to the webserver. This easy, yet powerful, workflow allowed FOSSGIS to have the recordings online in less than 24 hours after the talks were held.

"The software worked flawlessly and without any crashes," says Andreas. "We've received very positive feedback from the community regarding the quality and the fast releases of the videos. As said before, most of the recordings were done by volunteers who had never done anything like this before and had no experience with the software. We gave them a quick introduction about the most important aspects and they were ready to go."

For more information on the FOSSGIS Conference click here!