free - Making Meteorological Data Available to Anyone

Via OpenWeatherMap I learned about the, that has the aim to make meteorological data available for everyone.

From the website: "

What is OpenMeteoData?

  • OpenMeteoData is an non-profit organization. We aim to make meteorological data available for everyone. We are now building our own supercomputer to calculate open weather forecasts. We run the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. This is state of the art numerical weather prediction tool, developed by several major universities and US governmental agencies.


  • In most Europeans countries, weather data is not freely available. You have to pay hundreds of thousand euros to get access to raw model outputs.

Who can use the data?

  • Everyone. It's free. That's just like Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap. [...] We plan to release all of the data under Open Database Licence (ODbL). That means the data is free, and it can be used for both personal and commercial projects.

When will it be available?

  • If everything goes right, a first preview is expected for March 2013."

Google Maps for iOS Available

Done. Google Maps for iOS has just been made available. From the official description: "Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone."

MacRumors offers an entry named Roundup of Features in Google Maps for iOS: Better Design than Android Version, iPad Version Coming. Which includes:

  • A horizontal two-finger swipe allows you to access a menu that shows traffic, public transit, satellite view and Google Earth (which sends you to the Google Earth app).
  • Google's point-of-interest database allows you, for example, to read a restaurant review on Zagat, read the menu, book reservations and see interior photos at 100 restaurants.
  • Pogue also notes there's a Compass Mode that allows you, at certain locations, to move your phone around and allow you to see the interior of a business on your screen.

SpatiaLite 4.0 Released

Via Ecostudies I learned that SpatiaLite 4.0.0 has just been released.

Here's the warning and relevant changes related to switching to 4.0: "SpatiaLite Version 4.0.0 introduces several relevant changes; many of these may potentially pose severe cross-version compatibility issues. Accordingly to the above premise, a good comprehension of any related detail will surely allow you to successfully master and resolve any transition issue." A reminder, "SpatiaLite is an open source library intended to extend the SQLite core to support fully fledged Spatial SQL capabilities. SQLite is intrinsically simple and lightweight [...]"

See also this related 2010 discussion (read the comments) on SpatiaLite, the Shapefile of the Future? Of course, we mentioned SpatiaLite several other times.

FOSS4G Geonews: GeoServer CSS vs SLD, Cesium, SplashMaps, Open Bank Project Maps, and more

Here's the recent FOSS4G geonews.

In open source software updates:

In the everything else category:

Natural Earth v2.0.0 Released

Via James I learned that earlier this month was released Natural Earth v2.0.0. A quick reminder: "Natural Earth is a public domain map dataset available at 1:10m, 1:50m, and 1:110 million scales. Featuring tightly integrated vector and raster data, with Natural Earth you can make a variety of visually pleasing, well-crafted maps with cartography or GIS software." We mentioned this dataset in the past quite a few times.

From the 2.0.0 release notes: "The 2.0.0 release focuses on 7 major areas and is available to download today à la carte at NaturalEarthData. ZIP combo downloads of all vectors: SHP (279 mb) or SQLite (222 mb) or QuickStart kit for ArcMap and QGIS (165 mb). [What's new:]

  • Economic geography
  • Remastered geometries
  • Introduc Gray Earth rasters
  • New file name and field name schemas
  • Address user submitted bug reports
  • Moved to GitHub
  • Adopt semantic versioning"

MapServer 6.2 Released

The serial winner of the FOSS4G WMS Shootout just got better, MapServer 6.2 has been released. We of course mentioned the open source web mapping server MapServer innumerable times.

The major features of 6.2:

  • MapServer 6.2 is INSPIRE View Service compliant, i.e. supports the provision of an INSPIRE View Service compliant WMS Server.
  • Mask Layers: Mask layers are used to “mask out” part of a given layer, to only represent data that intersect features from another layer.
  • Precise Symbol Placement: Traditionally, MapServer centers a marker symbol on the point it should be rendered to. ANCHORPOINT is a new SYMBOL level keyword that describes where the given symbol should be anchored.
  • Complex Multi Label/Symbol Symbology: Some cartographic representations require juxtaposing multiple symbols and/or labels in order to obtain a complex final symbol.
  • Vector Fields: MapServer can render vector fields based off data from GDAL supported raster formats containing u and v bands.
  • Label Leader Offsetting: For densely labelled maps, MapServer now supports offseting a label with respect to it’s original anchorpoint if the original location resulted in a collision with an already present label. An optional line can also be rendered to link the rendered text to it’s original feature location.
  • Multiple Font Support: List a set of true type fonts to search for required characters.
  • SVG Symbology: Along with the traditional ELLIPSE, VECTOR, PIXMAP and TRUETYPE symbols, MapServer 6.2 now supports SVG symbols directly.

Leaflet 0.4.5 Released and Plans for 0.5

One of the main open source competitors to OpenLayers, Leaflet 0.4.5 has been released and they share their plans for version 0.5.

From the announcement: "Highlights of things already implemented in the master branch include touch interaction support for IE10 touch devices and Metro apps and a more smooth and responsive panning inertia. Follow the full changelog for more details. We’re also in the process of a major refactoring of vector rendering code to allow much simpler extension of base functionality with custom shapes, additional rendering systems (like WebGL in addition to existing SVG/VML and Canvas renderers), easy switching between renderers, also making the code simpler and easier to understand. The same goes for projection-related code to make using Leaflet with non-standard projections easier, inluding plain projections for game and indoor maps."

GeoNode 1.2 Released

We mentioned GeoNode quite a few times since 2010, and now the project released version 1.2 of the open source GeoNode.

From the announcement: "The new milestone is an iterative advance, with a number of new features and improvements. It is also the last release before 2.0, which is rapidly becoming feature complete and should move in to alpha releases soon. This 1.2 release adds a number of new features such as:

  • comments and ratings on map and layers
  • social features, to ‘like’ on facebook and ‘+1′ on google plus
  • new find/add layers widget for the map composer
  • inline legend for the map composer and layer/map pages
  • better Feature Info tool
  • use of MapQuest Open as the default base layer"

A quick reminder: "GeoNode is a platform for the management and publication of geospatial data. It brings together mature and stable open-source software projects under a consistent and easy-to-use interface allowing users, with little training, to quickly and easily share data and create interactive maps."

OpenLayers 3 – Call for Funding

3D Maps, WebGL, CSS3 ?

Consider funding OpenLayers in order to use these great new possibilities:

More info:

OpenLayers 3 leverages the latest in browser advancements, with a full WebGL map renderer and a DOM/CSS based renderer where WebGL is not available. OpenLayers 3 will build on the vector rendering and editing functionality in the current version, supporting standards and community formats and protocols. The new version of the library will focus on performance, with a lightweight build optimized for mobile browsers, and usability, with an overhauled website and learning resource center. We’re excited to be giving OpenLayers a design and performance facelift while maintaining the breadth of functionality that OpenLayers users depend on.


TileMill 0.10.0 Released - Beautiful Open Source Map Design

Ok, I'm quite late on that one, TileMill 0.10.0 was released on September 19th. A reminder, TileMill is an open source map design studio by MapBox. We mentioned several times TileMill since early 2011. James goes to the point where TileMill 0.10.0 'changes everything' and Brian use it as an example in his interesting article on GIS vs cartography, saying TileMill brings simplicity and attainable elegance.

From the 0.10.0 announcement: "This release redefines the creative possibilities for web cartography with its new support for compositing layers and features, achieving photoshop-like clipping, masking, blurring, or highlighting. This powerful set of compositing operations can be used seamlessly across vector and raster layers all using pure CartoCSS. The compositing now possible in TileMill, in combination with image patterns or raster hillshades, can enable effects of uniqueness and beauty that go beyond what has previously been possible."

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