BigBlueButton

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BigBlueButton is an open source web video conferences and chat system. Participants can join with their web browser. As of April 2020 the OSMF has arranged for a BBB server to be set up in osmvideo.cloud68.co. This server is available for the wider OpenStreetMap community: it is being used for all sorts of OSM events – including virtual meetups, conference breakout chats, board meetings and birthday parties.

Getting started

To be able to host meetings, make an account at osmvideo.cloud68.co. This is automatically approved. Participants in the meeting do not need to make an account. The BigBlueButton project has some tutorial videos.

Some pointers

  • It is recommendable to join meetings with "microphone", not "just listen". Even if you don't intend to talk, the first option makes it much easier to simply start talking if it turns out that participation is needed after all.
  • Shared Notes disappear when the meeting ends. Be sure to copy them somewhere before ending the meeting.
  • It is not needed to let the OSMF know that you are using the server. However, if you are planning to host a larger event, please let us know so we can make sure there is no scheduled maintainance and Cloud68 can keep an extra eye on the server (just in case). Do feel free to contact the Board if you have any questions.

Recording sessions

  • You can record the session in regular rooms.
  • Break-out rooms currently do not seem to offer the option to record the sessions.
  • Please download and remove the recordings quickly. Server space is limited.
  • It takes several hours for recordings to become available.

Low-bandwith use

On most other video platforms, the only option to actively limit bandwith, is by asking everyone to turn of their video. If you have bandwidth issues yourself, of course the first thing to do is to switch off your video (and even audio when not speaking). Upload rate is generally the first issue.

BigBlueButton has a special setting for users to limit the bandwith required on their side. As a user, you can choose to not show the videos of other participants in the meeting. Once you have joined a meeting, hit the three dots in the top right of the screen. Then choose "Settings" and switch away from "Application" to "Data savings". There you can switch off "Enable webcams". This means other participants' webcams will not be downloaded to your devise.

See also