crowded airport

Extra security measures at the Liege Airport

A personal experience from my trip to LARS 2016 – Chili, March 28, April 3d

I hoped to take off from the Brussels Airport on Monday March 28, almost one week after the attacks on the Brussels Airport, but it would took another week before the first 3 flights would leave the airport. This is why I had to start travelling more than 6 hours before my first flight was airborne.
Traveling to Liege is an adventure as such. After a train ride of more than 90 minutes, you have to try to find the (free) shuttle to get to the airport. One Shuttle every hour, arriving just at the moment we (me and a couple of other travvelers) gave up waiting and got for a coffee in a nearby café, resulting in missing that one shuttle we needed to get in time on the airport…
After sharing a cab with 4 persons and luggage to recover the lost time, I finally arrived at the airport 2 hours before the flight was scheduled.
The airport was like an enforced compound with military vehicles blocking the road in a way cars can zig-zag to the parking lot. Paratroopers armed with automatic rifles looking to any car approaching. Everybody was gathered in a big tent, queuing for a checkpoint for goods and persons, looking for weapons and explosives. Strange as this results in an even more dangerous situation for the passengers than allowing everybody immediately in the airport…
After the first security check, I came into a very crowded drop off hall. And everybody had to pass the drop-off point, even the fast check-in hand luggage only passengers. The result was long queues in a too small airport,¹
resulting in delays at the departure gates. From the 4 gates the Airport was the proud owner, only 3 of them where operational, resulting in a 4th queue, after the normal security check.

The result was my plane departed one hour late, so I had to run in Madrid to the other terminal to catch my long distance night flight, just before midnight. At the border control, I didn't had a board documents yet, but as my flight was leaving really soon, I was allowed to run to the gate. Just in time to board and relax in the first class Ile that was reserved for the vice president of OSGeo.
Time to relax on this trip which took me after all more than 24 hours to reach my destination.
Invitation as special guest on the LARS conference
After a good night of rest and after enjoying a beautiful view of the Andes,

Picture from the Airplane above the Andes - Chile

Picture from the Airplane above the Andes – Chile

I arrived at 9:00 am local time at the airport of Santiago. The difference with Liege and Belgium couldn't be bigger. At the exit of the Airplane, a Chile SAF Lieutenant was waiting for me to bring me immediately to the welcome committee with colonels, captains and a general. Arriving in my Jeans and FOSS4G.BE T-Shirt, I was a little uncomfortable, but I was instructed to give my passport so my personal assigned Lieutenant would arrange for me the border administration and take care of my luggage.
While I was welcomed with coffee and had the opportunity to talk to the other guests, I waited for my luggage to change my T-Shirt for a suit. I was also promised I could take a shower in a for me reserved room, before going to the official inauguration ceremony.
The late departure of my Belgium flight decided not to attend the ceremony, as my luggage didn't arrive with me in Chile. So the rest of the day was needed to go to the hotel in the city center and go for shopping. An activity which was completely new for me. Lucky for me, my personal Lieutenant accompanied me with this new experience, and asked me what else he could do for me. Returning to the conference was no option any more, as the activities would be finished when arriving at the conference.

Open source is becoming a human right in our modern world.
The blog of Dave Bollier mentioned that the volkswagen scandal shouldn't be possible if the source of the software was open.
Open source code is our best protection against cheating and hacking.


Free and open source software

“Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it means that the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Because we cannot emphasize it enough!

Slot ceremony INSPIRE conference: Doug Nebert Award

Dirk Frigne receives the INSPIRE Conference Excellence Award

During the slot ceremony of the INSPIRE_GWF, I was surprised to hear that I was elected to receive the INSPIRE Conference Excellence Award:

Special awards for recognition of excellence in geo-information
Dirk Frigne (on behalf of open source communities behind Geosparc,
WeTransform, lat/lon teams)
-Technological enablers of data infrastructures
-Sustaining research project results
-Partnership of SMEs in the geospatial domain

This where te words of thanks I spoke:

Honored to receive this award.
In Europe more than 99% of businesses are Sme.
I want to prove how open source and inspire can leverage economical growth in Europe.  So I want to accept this award in the name of OSGeo.
In OSGeo we have a saying: we as a community are not a democracy,  but a do-cracy.
So I took the initiative to work together with we transform and  lat-lon to make inspire fun and simple.
Thank you so much!


Imagine life as a game

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

Bryan Dyson – Former CEO of a big company