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Report of the GRASS GIS Community Meeting in Prague

Community Meeting to celebrate the GRASS GIS 40th birthday!!

The GRASS GIS Community Meeting was held in the Czech Republic from June 2 to 6 at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. The meeting was a milestone event to celebrate the 40th birthday of GRASS GIS and brought together users, supporters, contributors, power users and developers to celebrate, collaborate and chart the future of GRASS GIS.

Thanks to the generous funding from OSGeo, FOSSGIS e.V., OSGeo.JP, and individual financial contributors, we were able to welcome 17 in-person participants from 9 countries on 3 continents and 4 remote participants.

Prague 2023 Community Meeting

The meeting was not only a celebration of 40 years of GRASS GIS, a free geographic information system (GIS) software for managing, analysing and visualising geospatial data, it was also a testament to the collaborative spirit that has driven GRASS GIS for four decades. Participants worked together on various aspects of GRASS GIS, including source code, documentation, translations and the website. Participants contributed new tools, enhancements to existing ones, and a large number of bug fixes. The improvements to documentation, including onboarding materials, and a draft of the 8.3.0 release was another important outcome.

There was a strong focus on improving the sustainability of the GRASS GIS ecosystem. Several participants made progress on the CMake transition needed for improving Windows builds. Various technical discussions were held on improving the GRASS GIS interfaces to QGIS, GDAL, and R. These discussions were attended by special guests from QGIS (Nyall Dawson) and R (Roger Bivand) communities, leading to valuable insights and future collaboration plans on strengthening these GRASS integrations.

Participants submitted detailed reports outlining their contributions, collaborations and ongoing work. The event was meticulously planned, with efforts made in fundraising, budgeting, venue selection, promotion and virtual meeting organisation. Besides aforementioned financial contributions, personnel time and other costs were covered by Department of Geomatics Faculty of Civil Engineering Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), Center for Geospatial Analytics at North Carolina State University (USA), mundialis GmbH & Co. KG, (Germany), CONICET (Argentina), INBO Research Institute for Nature and Forest (Belgium), SunGIS (Latvia), and OpenPlains Inc. (USA). Special thanks goes to Martin Landa, the local host, for planning local events and keeping the participants well fed and productive.

For more details on the meeting, sponsorship, and individual reports, please visit the GRASS Community Sprint Prague 2023 wiki page, and follow us on social media (X, mastodon), join the chat channel in Gitter or the mailing lists to stay updated on future news and events. If you would like to see more developments like this in the future, please consider contributing via Open Collective.

Markus Neteler, Anna Petrasova, Vaclav Petras, Veronica Andreo, August 2023