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.

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!


Entrepreneurial spirit

Just a small thought snippet about a blog I've read ….

I Founded a couple of companies, I bought a couple of companies, Merged a couple of companies – and I even sold one. Still surviving and happy with the things I’m doing.
The good thing is, I learned a lot from these experiences.

As reaction on the blog of Bruno Segers  he mention's from his experience the 5 basic principles for his new venture:
1. Not working on a payroll
2. Don't take the lead of a multinational organisation
3. Don't take the lead of a stock listed company
4. No company where unions are too strong represented
5. No politics.

Well I think I've done all that and the strange thing is. I don't see myself as a serial entrepreneur. I see myself as somebody who want to change the world (even glad with small mini-mini-mini- things I can contribute) and make other people happy. Doing small things, trying to create some impact.
This makes me happy and gives me a lot of energy.

No multinational organisations, but working with companies in other countries.
No payroll for those who take ownership and responsability
No Public listed stocks, but stakeholders you can talk to and give you the power and energy to go on
No unions, but people you can talk to as your own family, and empower them to believe in the story you have to tell
and of course – be open – be honest and respectful – no politics

The company I started with DFC Software Engineering 21 years ago still exists and is super valuable as a bespoke software specialist.

Also The spin-out I created from DFC (Geosparc) is even more valuable, and is after 6 years already bigger than DFC. Generating global revenue but with a strong focus on the European market.

Maybe we should spin-out a third company out of Geosparc Which will grow in 3 years towards a bigger company than Geosparc… 🙂


How Open Source and INSPIRE can be used as a tactical weapon for economical growth in Europe

What My presentation on INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015

When  25-29 May 2015, in Lisbon Congress Center, Portugal


Torsten Friebe (LatLon)

Giacomo Martirano (Epsilon-Italia)


Europe is well known for its broad network of SME's. In fact, more than 99% of all European businesses are SME's. The recognition that SME's are important for the successful deployment of a platform like INSPIRE is proven by projects such as SMESpire  and programs such as ARE3NA. This paper builds on the observation of Torsten Friebe (member of the technical commitee of the deegree project) and other OSGeo community members saying that still a lot of inefficiencies exist between the different projects from various administrations in different countries. Often the consequence of a “not invented here” syndrome. Currently there is no OSGeo project which provides a full INSPIRE compliant stack consisting out of INSPIRE View (INSPIRE VS TG WMS Profil und INSPIRE), Download (direct access WFS 2.0.0) and Discovery Service (CSW 2.0.2 ISO AP) implementations. On the other hand we challenge the experience of Giacomo Martirano, the project lead of the SMESpire project, an initiative to create a community of SME's building INSPIRE related solutions. During this presentation, Dirk Frigne (founder and spiritual father of the geomajas project  will combine these observations and lessons learned to point out some ideas and possibilities how to launch an ambitious initiative where Europe and here SME's can form a strong player on the global market to offer solutions for business needs world wide and to support tackling the ever increasing environmental challenges. These ideas are based on Dirk’s passion to create a great European software industry and his experience of founding an open source community and contributing to other technology projects with strong impact on the INSPIRE needs. As the hands-on person he is, the idea's presented here will be supported by first hand experience of setting up such an initiative, based on the co-operation of open source communities and a part of the SMESpire network.

Tree hits car @ linux hotel

My Toyota is fantastic

Being on a hacking event in Essen at the Linux hotel (fossgis) to work on OSGeo open source and preparing the next FOSSGIS conference, I put my luggage in my car at 9:01 exactly. I remember the exact time, because somebody called me at that right moment on my cell when he saw me walking with my luggage from within the hotel. I decided to leave my coat also in the car, since it wasn't raining anymore and there was no wind (like the night before).

After breakfast, the meeting started (foto).  Suddenly, people went into the room telling a tree has fallen down and one car was severely damaged. I am very lucky I was not in the car when it happened. It was as if the tree was waiting for the right moment to fall.

tree was not very good attached to the ground




Examining the tree, it seems that he was not very deeply attached into the soil. Only a small root into the ground for the stability. The tree was very old and I suppose rotten. (foto)

Unluckily, the tree had chosen my car as a target, right in the middle.

A branch of the tree pierced the front window, through the drivers seat, just to the bottom of the car.


Parking "nur für gäste" ….

The next tree

After removing the fallen tree, 2 other trees needed to be removed also.

After some hours I'm trying to have myself organized again and to get my mobility back, as I have a busy agenda next week.