9 QGIS Developer Meeting in Valmiera 2013 (11th - 14th of April)

Time and location

April 11th-14th 2013, Latvia, Valmiera, Valmiera Business and Innovation Incubator (VBII)

Valmiera is the economy and industry center of north Latvia. Approx 100km (~1,5h-2h drive) distance from Riga. In Valmiera is located Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (http://www.va.lv/en/ ).
OSM map of Valmiera: http://maposmatic.org/jobs/39479
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valmiera
City homepage: http://valmiera.lv/en


Place: Valmiera Business and Innovation Incubator (VBII) (lat=57.5436870753765 lon=25.386705994606)
Homepage: http://www.vbii.lv/en/
Available conference rooms, WI-FI, showers, kitchen, etc.
Facilities have no enhancements for persons with a special needs.
On the map: http://osm.org/go/0wlRt4AYN--
Virtual room tour: http://www.vbii.lv/lapa/virtuala-ture

Sponsors and supporters

Venue provider logo - VBII
Event supporter logo - SunGIS

Venue: Valmiera Business and Innovation Incubator
Local support: SunGIS


Quantum GIS day 2013 - information about presentation session on 12th of April aimed at local GIS users and (potential) Quantum GIS supporters. Most of event will be in Latvian.
Muslim wedding organizer


City is small and at this moment there are only 2 significant hotels, probably will be some other proposals (student dormitories).

Hotel Wolmar

Prices: from 36 eur (breakfast included)
Homepage: http://www.wolmar.lv/public/eng/
Map: http://osm.org/go/0wlTNtsZh--
Other: free wi-fi

Available rooms(at 19.feb): Two single rooms (~27LVL), Two twin rooms (~40LVL)

Hotel Naktsm?jas (Recommended. We have made reservation for Quantum GIS dev meeting.)

Prices: from ~26 eur (breakfast included)
Homepage: http://www.naktsmajas.lv/
Map: http://osm.org/go/0wlRqQ5Ig--
Other: free wi-fi

Reserved rooms for QuantumGIS developers:
3 x Family(max 4 pers. per room), Total Adults:12, room price per night 55.00 LVL (approx 78.00 eur)
1 x Twin, Adults:2, room price per night 28,00 LVL (approx 40.00 eur) - already occupied.

Unreserved free rooms(at 19.feb): 8

Extreme saving

VBII can offer a free room (unused office space) for persons arriving with own sleeping bags. VBII has showers, kitchen still no other services will be available.

Dining (Evenings)


Getting to venue

Coming to Hackfest for most of participants can be divided in to two parts - getting to Riga and getting from Riga to Valmiera.
Valmiera can be reached by train, car, foot, bicycle, boat...

Getting to Latvia

Don't hesitate to contact event organizers to help You with getting to Hackfest place. Currently no grants to cover participant travel and accommodation expenses are planned.

By plane (recommended)

The most easy way to get to Latvia is by plane to Riga international airport (RIX). Riga has direct flights from 82 places. Riga is serviced by low fare companies Ryanair, WIZZAIR, Iberia Express, Norvegian air and other companies, like, airBaltic, Lufthansa, Finnair, Czech Airlines, Aeroflot etc.
Homepage: http://www.riga-airport.com/en/main/flights/airlines

From and to airport one can use a city bus No. 22
It is possible to buy a ticket in the buss, price 0,70Ls (~ 1eur)
Timetable: http://saraksti.rigassatiksme.lv/index.html#bus/22/a-b/0079/en

The central train station and central bus station in Riga are located in a 10 min walking distance. The 22nd bus stop (form and to airport) is located nearby train and bus stations.
A map of the center of Riga with the central train station and Riga international coach terminal: http://osm.org/go/0wJdeY1uJ-

By train (recommended for participants from Russia, Belorussia and Estonia)

Train connection are only with ex soviet union countries. Direct train connections are with Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Minsk, Vitebsk, Vilnius.
Time table and connections: http://www.l-ekspresis.eu/?sid=2

By bus (recommended for participants from Estonia and Lithuania)

To reach Latvia by bus one can use some of listed companies, offering bus line connections to most of European capitals and largest cities:
http://www.nordeka.lv/nordeka/public/31578.html (only Minsk and Prague)

By ferry

Riga is connected to Stockholm by a ferry line operated by Tallink:

By car

You have free hands.
Warning - Riga and Latvia is not connected with any highways. Most of the roads (including major ones) are in the worst condition in the region (if You have no idea what it could mean, we strongly recommend to use public transportation).
Winter tires are mandatory only after the 1st of December till 31st March, still it’s recommended to use winter tires in case of low air temperature and possibility of the snow (eg. for a few day's of October 2012, most of roads, including major ones, where covered by up to 20cm of fresh, wet snow and in some parts also ice). Tires with spikes are allowed starting from 1st of October till 30th of April.

Traveling Riga - Valmiera - Riga

By Bus

Riga international coach terminal is servicing also inland routes. At terminal one must buy a ticket to the buss R?ga-Valmiera to station "Valmiera bus station" (just ask "nearest to Valmiera" and will be fine).
Normal ticket price 3.10 LVL (~4.40 EUR). Tickets should be bought at any of ticket offices (just look for an end of a queue) in advance (at least 15 min before departure). It is possible to buy also the ticket in the buss (cash only!).
Timetable: http://www.1188.lv/satiksme/starppilsetu_autobusi/saraksti?from=R%C4%ABgas++SAO&from-id=7083&to=Valmieras+AO

By Train

All local trains have only third class carriages (unnumbered seats, no extras). Valmiera is located on the rail line Riga - Valka/Valga. It’s also possible to change trains in Valga and come directly from Estonia (Tallin, Tartu). From Riga one must buy ticket to Valmiera.
Normal ticket price 2.80Ls (~3.95eur)

By Car

Valmiera is connected to Riga with road A3 Riga - Valmiera - Valka/Valga - Tartu. From Riga take road A2 (Riga - Pskov) and then turn to A3. Be ware - some road signs are located just next to turn - don't miss Your turn! Satellite navigation devices have most of major roads, still smaller roads and other information might be sparse (at least for TomTom users).

Depending from arrival time and number of participants coming from Riga, we can try to organize some transportation also by car. (Just ask us!)

Getting around in Valmiera

Hotels are located in approx 25-30 min. walking distance from the venue place.
Taxi from ~1.85eur to ~3.50eur in city (from 1.30Ls-2.50Ls)
City Bus ticket ~ 0.63 eur (0.45Ls) (Here will be posted a map with important bus stop names)


  • Checking all QGIS dialogs to be resizable down to at least 560px, to allow use on 600px high netbook screens. Discuss dialog sizing policy.
  • Documentation and website
  • Raster API revision
  • GRASS Direct
  • QGIS Webclient, Relations and Forms


Any local participants coming from Riga are welcome to:
  • identify potentially used bus or train and are you ready to help/guide foreign country participants
  • coming by car identify, if you can pick up someone
  • offer a walk around Riga for sightseeing and beer drinking.

If yes, please let us know ( M?ris Nartišs <maris.gis_at_gmail.com> or P?teris Br?ns <pb_at_sungis.lv> )

*#* Participant Country Arrival Departure Accomodation Notes By car/bus from Riga
1 Werner Macho Austria 10. April 2013, 13:35 14.4 (14h25) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Transfer from airport to Valmiera is still open.
2 Paolo Cavallini Italy 7.4, 16:20 (RIX) 15.4, 15:05 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) I'll manage
3 Otto Dassau Germany 11.4, 15:10 (RIX) 14.4, 16:00 (RIX) Naktsm?jas (confirmed) Documentation and Website A car lift would be appreciated
4 Larissa Junek Germany 11.4, 13:45 (RIX) 14.4, 17.30 (RIX) Naktsm?jas (confirmed) Documentation A car lift would be appreciated
5 Radim Blazek Czechia 11.4, 14:05 (RIX) 14.4, 13:05 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Raster API revision, GRASS Direct By train
6 Marco Hugentobler Switzerland 11.4, 13:15 (RIX) 14.4. 14:25 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) A car lift would be appreciated
7 Jürgen Fischer Germany 11.4, 10:45 (RIX) 14.4. 10:30 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Transfer from/to airport to Valmiera is still open.
8 Victor Olaya France 10.4, 15:35(RIX) TBD (most likely on sunday) Naktsmajas (confirmed) SEXTANTE Maris 10h April
9 Andreas Neumann Switzerland 10.4., 13:15 (RIX) 14.4., 14:25 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) QGIS Webclient, Relations and Forms Transfer from/to airport to Valmiera is still open.
10 Matthias Kuhn Switzerland 10.4., 14.55 (RIX) 14.4., 10.50 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Maris 10th April
11 Denis Rouzaud Switzerland 10.4., 14.55 (RIX) 14.4., 10.50 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Maris 10th April
12 Borys Jurgiel Poland 10.4 14.4 Naktsmajas (confirmed) By car from Riga; return to the wild Polish Podlasie
13 Raymond Nijssen Netherlands 10.4 (Valmiera) 14.4 Naktsm?jas (confirmed) By train? (Spending some days in Latvia in advance...)
14 Alessandro Pasotti Italy 11.4, 13:15 (RIX) 14.4, 14:25 (RIX) Nakstmajas (confirmed) Python Plugins Website A car lift would be appreciated.
15 Janeks Kamerovskis +1 Latvia TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
16 Cédric Möri Switzerland 11.4, 13:15 (RIX) 14.4. any Time (Riga) Naktsmajas (confirmed) A car lift would be appreciated
17 Maris Nartiss Latvia 11.4 14.4 Super lux 5 star hotel "Raitis Berzins apartments" (unconfirmed) Running the event :) I can take from Riga to Valmiera up to 4 persons but only in late evening (~8pm) of 11.4
18 Emilio Loi Italy 10.4 16h20 (RIX) 15.4 15h05 (RIX) Naktsmajas (confirmed) Maris 10th April
19 Peteris Bruns Latvia 10.4 14.4 - Running the event -
20 Raitis Berzins Latvia 10.4 14.4 - Running the event -
N Foo Bar --.-- (13h00) --.-- (15h00) Some hotel Something Can you pick up someone?

Room sharing

To reduce hotel expenses you can share your room with other participants. Please remember that in Family room max allowed person amount is 4.

*#* Proposed by Max persons per room(4) Interested
1 Werner Macho 2+2 Borys Jurgiel, Andreas Neumann x2
2 Alessandro Pasotti 1+1 ?
3 Raymond Nijssen 2 Otto Dassau
4 Jürgen Fischer 1+1 Radim Blazek
5 Matthias Kuhn 1+1 Marco Hugentobler
N Foo Bar - Add your name

Individual Preparation

  • Bring your own computer (and power supply!). Better with a power bar and long cable, and ethernet cable (we'll provide wifi, but better you have a cable, too).
  • Install git and the compiler tools, and come with a working QGIS development environment if possible.


  • Is the QGIS Hackfest just a coding event?
    • It is mainly a coding and documentation event. It is a working session for people who are already participants in the QGIS project and/or are committed to improving the QGIS project.
    • On demand we can do some presentations of current working qgis implementation and new upcoming features to spread the idea of openGIS software
  • Is the QGIS Hackfest for developers only?
    • No: anybody can help, with testing, checking out bugs and fixes, documentation and more.
  • Where can I get help and more information about the hackfest?
    • Contact M?ris Nartišs <maris.gis_at_gmail.com> or P?teris Br?ns <pb_at_sungis.lv>

About Valmiera

City homepage: http://valmiera.lv/en
City tourism homepage: http://visit.valmiera.lv/en
Something about Vidzeme region: http://www.visitlatvia.lv/en/vidzeme-region

Languages and useful phrases

The official language of the event is English. Other languages expected to be spoken by participants are Latvian, Russian, German, Polish, Italian etc.
The official language spoken in Latvia is Latvian. Most of the servicing personnel is able to communicate also in Russian. Communicating in English outside of tourist servicing places might be cumbersome (YMMV).

Useful phrases with pronunciation: http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/latvian.php
About Latvian language and many useful phrases (without audio): http://wikitravel.org/en/Latvian_phrasebook

Other useful phrases:
  • I am communist as I support free software - Es esmu komunists, jo atbalstu br?vo programmat?ru
  • Which way is north? - Uz kuru pusi ir zieme?i?
  • My brother is herding reindeers in far north - Mans br?lis t?lajos zieme?os gana zieme?briežus
  • Narrow gauge railway - šaursliežu dzelzce?š

Other useful information

  • The currency of Latvia is Lats (LVL, Ls) (divides to 100 sant?mi).
  • Exchange rate to Euro is fixed 1 EUR = 0.702804 LVL.
  • Most of major bank cards are accepted everywhere.
  • One must use cash to pay for a ride inside a bus (tickets can be bought from driver).
  • ATMs (cash machine, a hole in the wall) are common in all towns and larger villages.
  • Notice - bank cards without chip (magnetic stripe only) might be refused service at shops!
  • Cheques outside of Banks generally are not accepted.


  • Paolo:
  • Otto: Working on the Documentation platform. Discussions about web portals (new website, documentation, ...). Presentation about the QGIS Project for latvian Users.
  • Werner Macho: Planning the new QGIS website, converting Websites from Joomla to RST.
  • Andreas Neumann: Working on QGIS Webclient and on relations and forms
  • Alessandro Pasotti: Bugfixing Python Plugins Website
  • Victor Olaya: Working on Sextante
  • Larissa Junek: Updating master Documentation and translating 1.8 into German.
  • Denis Rouzaud:
  • Borys Jurgiel: Working on Python Plugin Installer
  • Mathias Kuhn: Performance improvements for the attribute table on vector layers with big data.
  • Radim Blazek: Making raster no data values optional (mapserver performance, with Marco Hugentobler). The Direct GRASS presentation.
  • Raymond Nijssen: Planning the new QGIS website, converting Websites from Joomla to RST.
  • Marco Hugentobler: Presentation about QGIS development for latvian Users.
  • Jürgen Fischer:
  • Cédric Möri:
  • Emilio Loi:
  • Maris Nartiss, Peteris Bruns and Raitis Berzins: Organizing and running the event
  • All: Discussions about GRASS raster analysis implementation, Documentation platform, Sextante design, PSC work...

Images from the hackfest:

VBII_logo_sm.jpg - Venue provider logo - VBII (25 KB) marisn -, 2013-02-19 04:01 AM

Logo_SUNGIS_ar_malam_mazs.jpg - Event supporter logo - SunGIS (22.3 KB) marisn -, 2013-02-19 04:01 AM

Logo_SUNGIS_120.jpg - Event supporter logo - SunGIS (5 KB) marisn -, 2013-02-19 04:08 AM

VBII_logo_sm.jpg - Venue provider logo - VBII (7.51 KB) marisn -, 2013-02-19 04:08 AM