On last Monday, I took a day off to go to Bolsena and take part in the much awaited OSGeo Hacking Event that was organized by Jeroen Ticheler. As I always repeat, I'm not a developer so I had little interest in the hacking part of the event: I went there to meet people and talk with them, wearing the famous orange t-shirt.
Let alone the wonderful venue and the warm, sunny weather we were waiting from so long time... it has been a really interesting day for me. I've had a chance to talk with so many people: Jeroen Ticheler, Arnulf Christl, Simone Giannecchini, Martin Landa, Lorenzo Becchi, Andrea Cappugi, Andrea Aime and many others.
I've done my best explaining to everyone what GFOSS.it is and what we're doing (now and in our future projects). And I've also tried to understand what is going on in other countries (i.e. Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Netherlands) and what do people at OSGeo think about the Italian Local Chapter. GFOSS.it is one of the largest and more active local chapters and our activity is well known and much appreciated, even though we're not only devoted to free open source geospatial software (OpenStreetMap being the other most followed activity). So it's a pity that not everyone from Italy is involved in the "local chapter"/GFOSS.it activity (just think about the OSGeo Charter Members: only 2 / 4 are GFOSS.it members). But we're really doing our best to involve everybody, so it's just a matter of time IMHO.
I enjoyed meeting and talking with so many people from abroad even though in the beginning I was astonished when I realized that no one from GFOSS.it was going to Bolsena. There is clearly a lack of communication between our national community and the OSGeo international community, in both directions. Everyone involved should do her/his best to “build bridges” across national borders and seas!