Arnulf Christl, president of the OSGeo Foundation lead off the FOSS4G event this week in Denver, providing an overview of the leading voice for Geospatial Open Source software. By 2011 there are now 19,471 unique subscribers to OSGeo, more than 400 mailing lists, and more than 15 million lines of code, with 740 contributors, and 269 that have contributed for more than 12 months. Arnulf asserted that people are connected to the software, and stay with the software.
More diversity, with OSGeo Live a packaging of software that was distributed at the event and is available online. The beauty of this package is that you can boot direct from the DVD or a thumb drive and test out the full stack without installing it direct to your machine. Data has been an ongoing interest to populate the FOSSGIS stack, and has really been jump-started with OpenStreetMap involvement.
Local chapters of OSGeo exist in Portugal, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Japan, etc. In addition to the regular conferences around the world, there are events for coders to meet and work on software problems, called codesprints or hacking events. And there is a growing outreach to universities to teach students the stack and see the user base grow.
With 900 people in Denver from 42 countries, there is a growing vested group of users and developers, with talk of a regular North American event every year.