Tag Archives: free

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

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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:

  • GEOS, the Geometry Engine Open Source, got to version 3.3.6
  • The popular GeoServer got to version 2.2.2
  • Another bug fix release is the OpenGeo Suite version 3.0.1
  • It's not the end, GeoTools 8.4 was released

In the everything else category:

  • Here's an entry on the GeoServer CSS module, that presents itself as an alternative and improvement over the SLD (Style Layer Descriptor) OGC standard: "GeoServer CSS is inspired by the web—and by great tools like Carto, Cascadenik, and MapCSS. Like these tools it provides a concise styling syntax modeled on CSS but differs in that it’s goal is to improve the experience relative to SLD while preserving CSS concepts like cascading. While we ultimately aspire to a common CSS-like styling language for web cartography, we hope that GeoServer CSS is much easier than SLD and will be familiar enough for web designers to use."
  • Arnulf links to the SplashMaps Kickstarter project that uses open data, "real outdoors maps; based on open data, on light, weather friendly fabric" (image below)
  • Geoff shares an entry on the Cesium open source WebGL virtual globe and mapping Javascript library, we mentioned Cesium before
  • You can now connect ArcGIS to the open source TileMill with Arc2Earth Sync
  • I learned a new term today, here's an entry named Improving Population Density Maps Using Dasymetric Mapping
  • Here's a Money Journey map that visualize transactions with the Open Bank Project data
  • Here's an update on the Geometry Clipping Contest, and QGIS beats ArcGIS
  • You heard of it already, but here's again on the topic, Why are we building OpenLayers 3?

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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"


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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.

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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."

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GeoNode 1.2 Released

We mentioned GeoNode quite a few times since, 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."

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OpenLayers 3 – Call for Funding

3D Maps, WebGL, CSS3 ?

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

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.


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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. 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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MapGuide Open Source 2.4 Released

The project that initially emerged from Autodesk and became MapGuide Open Source just released its version 2.4.

I haven't found a summary of the changes so far. There seems to be numerous improvements to MapGuide OS's core, to Fusion Tools and FDO. Here's what looks like their list of major new items:

  • A new service for profiling performance (RFC 110)
  • Web Tier directories now include SVN metadata, allowing for the pulling of viewer updates and fixes instantly with a subversion client (RFC 111)
  • Path scaling support in Symbol Definitions (RFC 113)
  • New Feature Service API for save points RFC 114
  • Improved Coordinate System conversion performance (RFC 116)
  • IPv6 support (RFC 118)
  • Support for enhanced URL information in Layer Definitions (RFC 119)
  • Configurable Coordinate System dictonary paths via serverconfig.ini and webconfig.ini (RFC 122)
  • Feature Join performance optimizations (RFC 123 and  
  • Toggle-able tooltips for AJAX and Fusion viewers (RFC 120)
  • Lots of performance and usability improvements in Fusion (see  this link for an overview)
  • Datum Transformation enhancements (RFC 94)
  • WMS 1.3.0 support (RFC 95)
  • QuickPlot? command for AJAX and Fusion viewers (RFC 96)
  • EPSG/SRID code changes (RFC 98)
  • WFS 1.1.0 support (RFC 106)
  • Watermark support (RFC 108)

My main question when MapGuide Open Source comes to my mind: what's the status of its adoption? I had a lot of hopes for it when Autodesk made MapGuide open source along with providing the financial support for OSGeo's birth, but it seems like MapGuide does not get much love nowadays, at least not as much as competing solutions like GeoServer and MapServer. Any comments?

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OpenGeo Suite 3.0 is Out!

Newest version of the OpenGeo Suite has just been released and it comes with the following goodies.

  • Server-side processing
    • OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) provides a standard for inputs and outputs (requests and responses) for geospatial processing services such as polygon overlays, buffers, or custom processes.
    • Rendering transformations make processing operations easier in browser-based visualizations by enabling just-in-time use of any WPS process as part of any layer’s style.
    • Server-side scripting in Python and JavaScript allows users to easily deploy their own server-side processes using concise and straightforward APIs.
    • PostGIS 2.0 brings vector and raster analysis into the database.
  • GeoServer security now supports user groups as well as a number of new authentication mechanisms including LDAP, digest and X.509 certificate authentication.
  • Virtual services allow GeoServer to support multi-tenancy, enabling a single GeoServer instance to publish multiple service endpoints.
  • A new caching configuration interface in GeoServer includes the ability to define new grid sets, specify which layers to cache, seed or truncate the cache, and more.
  • OGC Web Feature Service 2.0 (WFS) adds some interesting new capabilities, including paging, stored queries, and extended operators.
  • Upgraded components, including the adoption of GeoServer 2.2, PostGIS 2.0, and GeoWebCache 1.3
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