Here's the recent open source geospatial news.
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.
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 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."
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.
OpenGeo, a Division of OpenPlans
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.
Nils Bo Wille-Jørgensen
+45 4348 6085
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?
From new features from the release notes:
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:
Also in the surveying and field measurement and monitoring category, V1 mentions a Datalogger Web Services API.
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."
Here's the recent open source and open data geonews in batch mode.
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.
[Editor's note: this anonymous submission mainly discusses OpenLayers, Polymaps and Leaflet]