open source

Open Source Geonews: AntiMap, Fiona 0.5, QGIS 1.7.3, GeoServer 2.1.3, Shapefile-JS in HTML5, and more

Here's the recent open source geospatial news.

Open Source 'Google Vector Layers' Project

Mapperz made me aware of the open source Google Vector Layers project, allowing you to overlay your data over Google Maps.

Here's what it is: "Google Vector Layers allows you to easily add one or more vector layers from a number of different geo web services to a Google Maps API based application. Currently there's support for ArcGIS Server, Arc2Earth, GeoIQ and CartoDB with more planned."

​And how it's done: "Google Vector Layers works by listening to map events (pan and zoom) and then fetching features within the map bounds after each event. This method works great for data sets with lots of features that you want to interact with, but not load all at once."

There's demos if you want to try it live.

Open Source jQuery Plugin for Creating Subway-style Map Visualizations

Via O'Reilly I learned about this open source jQuery Plugin for creating subway-style map visualizations directly in HTML5. Now at version 0.5.0, the subwayMap Plugin already creates nice maps.

The intro of the provided step-by-step guide: "Here is a guide to using the Subway Map Visualization jQuery Plugin. Before you get started, there’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind — beautiful subway maps are never automatic; they are almost always the result of care in design and placement to ensure that the resulting map is functional, legible and beautiful. This plugin is just a tool…you will still need to plan and design your map in order to produce a good result."

Grontmij Joins OpenGeo’s International Partner Program



Grontmij Joins OpenGeo’s International Partner Program


Grontmij to Provide Expert, Local Support of OpenGeo Suite to Scandinavia

Copenhagen, DK & New York, NY, December 19, 2011 — Grontmij, a leading European engineering consultancy and OpenGeo producer of the OpenGeo Suite, have announced a reseller agreement that will bring the OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition to Scandinavia.


OpenGeo is well known for its contributions and leadership in the development and evolution of powerful open source geospatial technologies. The OpenGeo Suite offers a fully integrated open source geospatial platform for serving maps and data through web applications, mobile devices, and desktop clients. The OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition is comprised of tested, integrated and supported geospatial components GeoServer, OpenLayers, GeoWebCache, PostGIS and GeoExt.


Grontmij will assume first line support of the OpenGeo Suite for local clientele in Scandinavia while having privileged access to OpenGeo for second line support. Upon making the announcement, Grontmij Director of GIS and IT, Nils Bo Wille-Jørgensen, said, "We are very pleased to offer our clients even better support and an even closer connection to the people behind these outstanding geospatial components."


Chris Holmes, OpenGeo president, added: "Grontmij is a well respected international organization that has joined a diverse group of businesses who see value in partnering with OpenGeo. Together we’re all able to offer our clients better service and support. What’s especially important is that we’re able to give back to the software projects that comprise the OpenGeo Suite. We’re very happy to be working with Grontmij and to have a local expert on the ground in Scandinavia."


About OpenGeo

OpenGeo is a social enterprise working to build the best web-based geospatial technology. The company brings the best practices of open source software to geospatial organizations around the world by providing enterprises with supported, tested, and integrated open source solutions to build the Geospatial Web. OpenGeo also supports open source communities by employing key developers of PostGIS, GeoServer, and OpenLayers. Since 2002, the company has provided successful consulting services and products to clients like the World Bank, Google, Ordnance Survey Great Britain, Portland TriMet, MassGIS, Landgate, and the Federal Communications Commission. OpenGeo is the geospatial division of OpenPlans, a New York-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that informs and engages communities through journalism and open source software. All of OpenGeo's revenue has been and will continue to be re-invested into innovative and useful software in support of the OpenPlans mission.


Media Contact

David Dubovsky

OpenGeo, a Division of OpenPlans

+1 917-388-9077

[email protected]


About Grontmij

Grontmij is the third largest engineering consultancy in Europe with nearly 10,000 professionals, almost 300 offices across the region, and a further 50 offices on other parts of the globe. The sustainability by design principle is at the heart of their business, and this leading value proposition for our customers is delivered via four business lines: planning/design, transportation/mobility, water/energy, and monitoring/testing.


Media Contact

Nils Bo Wille-Jørgensen

Grontmij, Denmark

+45 4348 6085

FDO Toolbox 1.0 Released

As Jackie says it, after "3 years and 1251 revisions in the making. The 1.0 final version of FDO Toolbox is finally here."

​The FDO Toolbox is described as a "multi-purpose geospatial tool to create, analyze, process and manage spatial data. It is written in C# and uses the Feature Data Objects (FDO) API".

And we can head to the OSGeo website for a reminder of what FDO is: "FDO Data Access Technology is an API for manipulating, defining and analyzing geospatial information regardless of where it is stored. FDO uses a provider-based model for supporting a variety of geospatial data sources, where each provider typically supports a particular data format or data store. FDO (“Feature Data Object”) is free, open source software licensed under the LGPL."

We mentioned FDO quite a few times in the past. I'm no expert, but I believe FDO is mainly used and part of Autodesk's MapGuide Open Source and is sometimes considered as a competitor to GDAL/OGR. What have I missed?

uDig 1.3.0 Released

With uDig 1.2 released over a year ago, let's welcome uDig 1.3.0, an open source desktop GIS based on Java.

From new features from the release notes:

  • Area of Interest support - define your area of interest based on CRS, current screen or a bookmark
  • Filter the Table view using the current area of interest - a great way to focus on what is on screen
  • Updated Info and Profile tool for raster data
  • Teradata support
  • Spatial Toolbox view allowing access to OMS3 processing; with tutorial!
  • New import and export formats: CSV and KML

Total Open Station: Open Source Data Tool for Total Stations

Via the OSGeo-Discuss list, I learned about the open source software named 'Total Open Station' (TOPS), for downloading and processing data from total station devices. TOPS is currently at version 0.3.

Here's why TOPS is different:

  • it is free software released under the GNU GPLv3 license;
  • it works on any operating system, including mobile platforms like OpenMoko;
  • it is designed to support as many devices and formats as possible, all within the same program, opposed to having one program per device.

​Also in the surveying and field measurement and monitoring category, V1 mentions a Datalogger Web Services API.

CartoDB: Open Source Cloud-Based Geospatial Platform

With all the discussions about geospatial in the cloud the past few months, via Mgeospatial, I learned about CartoDB, an open source cloud-based geospatial solution. Amongst the current users, they count the NASA and the UNEP.

Unfortunately, with its website alone, it's real hard at the moment to learn about the current features and capabilities. They do have a developers section. And there's an upcoming CartoDB Drupal module too. The best description I found so far: "CartoDB is an open source geospatial database platform that provides an SQL API layer. It allows developers to make querys to a cloud PostrgreSQL + OpenGIS database optimized to geospatial purposes. As a web service API, it is not required a certain database management system."

Open Source Geonews: StatCan Opening its Data, OSM at 500,000 Users, QGIS News, and much more

Here's the recent open source and open data geonews in batch mode.

Open Alternatives to Google Maps

Lately there was a not much surprising news about Google products and services. Among other things Google has changed the Google Maps API use policy and will charge to those users that exceed some download limits.

It is well known that Google Maps is one of the most (or the most) famous mapping service used around the net and it starts the web GIS revolution some years ago but hopefully it is not the only API we can use. Bing and the discontinued Yahoo Maps, are great competitors but there are great and open alternatives to use.

I wrote this post to summarize the most important JavaScript API alternatives to Google Maps.

[Editor's note: this anonymous submission mainly discusses OpenLayers, Polymaps and Leaflet]

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