Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics Conference FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona

The host city: Barcelona

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Introducing Barcelona

Barcelona was founded on the Mediterranean coast, between two rivers, over 2,000 years ago. It is located in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, just a short distance from France. Since then, it has been the traditional gateway to Spain. Through it entered Romans, Arabs and Christians, as well as the many diverse cultures, which came to enrich its heritage. The traces of this history and diversity can be followed as you walk through the city; through its Gothic Quarter, built on the Roman ruins; through its art-nouveau Eixample district, presided over by Gaudí’s exuberant architecture, which at the same time reveals an ordered and rational urban layout. This diversity and harmony are also apparent in the character of the people of Barcelona, who are enterprising and hard-working, enjoy life and, in particular, have great civic pride and are lovers of culture.

These characteristics have made Barcelona into a first-class tourist destination and the ideal setting for meetings and congresses. This open, welcoming city, which shed its skin and opened up to the sea in order to host the 1992 Olympic Games, has since then focused its energies on another major global project: the 2004 Forum of Cultures. This event, the renewed expression of Barcelona’s vocation to be an international benchmark for meetings and dialogue, has made it possible to complete the city’s seafront, and improve significantly its range of services in the field of congresses, hotels and catering and culture. The new facilities, built in the Forum area, on the seafront, can host up to 15,000 delegates and are unrivalled in Europe.

In just over two decades, Barcelona has completely transformed its range of facilities and attractions. It has done so by displaying a dynamic character and pioneering spirit, which are perfectly visible in its new urban and architectural layout. The city continues to enjoy spring-like climatic conditions, and offers the visitor its own unique lifestyle, which is particularly evocative and appealing. It perfectly combines the gentleness of the Mediterranean coast with the thrust and capacity for innovation of a young society. It is a unique combination on the European continent; a privileged geographical enclave whose inquiring yet serene population is already enjoying the Mediterranean metropolis of the 21st century.

Why Barcelona?


Barcelona is a compact city, neither too small nor too big, which makes it very welcoming and gives it a cosy atmosphere. As well, it boasts significant cultural, social and commercial diversity.


Barcelona displays the characteristics of Mediterranean cities: it is dynamic and open, inviting for leisure activities, walking through and enjoying. It is the only large city in Europe that boasts 5 kilometres of beaches in the city itself.


Barcelona enjoys a very agreeable and mild climate all yearlong, which makes it possible to orga- nise outdoor events in spring, summer and autumn.


Barcelona has over 2000 years of history and conserves important testimonies of its past.


Barcelona offers a very intense cultural life all yearlong: Opera, Ballet, Concert, Theatres, festi- vals, expositions, museums...

Gourmet city

Barcelona has developed a cuisine style based on creativity and this made in the top “gourmet” city outside France, according to the magazine Gourmet. Furthermore, Mediterranean cuisine, considered by many as the healthiest in the world, is used even in the simplest restaurants.

Avant Guarde

Catalonia has always been played host to famous people in the avant-guard movements in Europe: Picasso, Miró, Dali, Gaudi are just some of the many examples of the constant desire for renovation and creation, a true quality that is also present in today’s Catalan artists like its archi- tects or designers.

Well connected

Barcelona has an excellent network of flights specially to Spanish and European cities. Its international airport, located only 15 minutes from the city is currently undergoing full expansion works.

Well equipped

Barcelona offers a variety of places to organise large and small meetings. It also has a wide range of historical charming venues -ideal for banquets, cocktails, exhibitions and products presentations- in modern and fully-equipped facilities. Its stock of hotels is abundant and modern.


Catalans are hardworking and reliable people. Throughout their history they have shown their capacity to organise successful events with precision, creativity and efficiency. Organizers and suppliers in Barcelona have inherited those qualities. You can trust members of BCB.

A life style

Barcelona has its own way of life that makes it truly unique and special. Come and experiment it!