Tag Archives: OSGeo

Open Source Geonews: Learn CartoCSS, States of GeoServer and GeoTools, ArcGIS vs QGIS Clipping, and more

Here's the recent open source geonews.

  • Geoff anticipates the next step in the evolution of open source geospatial software will be corporate engagement
  • MapBox offers you to learn CartoCSS and compositing by customizing Geography Class and the open source TileMill
  • We more about why the need for OpenLayers 3.0 to be developed
  • Many of you will probably be interested by the State of GeoServer and State of GeoTools presentations, related, GeoTools 8.3 has been released
  • Here's some partial results on the ArcGIS vs QGIS etc Clipping Contest Rematch revisited
  • Via this upcoming introductory course for accessing it using open source software, I learned about WELD, USGS's Web-Enabled Landsat Data products
  • You can open MODIS tiles directly in QGIS
  • Here's how to add layers to GeoServer using the REST API
  • If you have anything to do with New Zealand, head to this mapping New Zealand summary, which extensively uses open source
  • This year, the Sol Katz Award has been attributed to Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan
Read More »

Batch Geonews: OpenLayers Cookbook Reviews, Wearable LiDAR, More Apple Maps News, Most Expensive Cities Map, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode, covering a way too long time-span.

On the open source / open data front:

  • GeoWeb Guru reviews the OpenLayers Cookbook by Antonio Santiago Perez: "The book is formatted as a series of 60 'recipes' that demonstrate how to perform various tasks." And here's another review on the same book.
  • Some Province of Quebec open geodata and public WMS layers (in French)
  • There was some OSGeo-Incubators announcements, the ZOO-Project, Opticks, OGC TEAM Engine and the Marble Virtual Globe are all part of the OSGeo incubation now
  • The Cartaro CMS in now available as beta
  • GeoTools 8.2 has been released
  • Here's how to create a nice seafloor map using shaded relief and open source software

On the Esri front:

  • Several sources pointed to the ArcGIS Online Service Credits Estimator

On the Microsoft front:

  • For those interested, Bing Maps SDKs for Windows Store Apps Now Available

Geo-related stories discussed over Slashdot:

  • Nokia Keeps Quietly Mapping The World
  • The Case That Apple Should Buy Nokia
  • 3D input device: Microsoft's Hand-Gesture Sensor Bracelet
  • And Microsoft Patents 1826 Choropleth Map Technique
  • Image classification crowdsourcing: ForestWatchers Lets Anyone Monitor A Patch of Forest
  • LightSquared Wants To Share Weather-Balloon Frequencies for LTE
  • An academic Android trojan that take pictures of your home and more, PlaceRaider Builds a Model of Your World With Smartphone Photos
  • Can Foursquare Data Predict Where You Live?
  • That candy bar that tracks you, Nestle's GPS Tracking Candy Campaign

More on Apple Maps from MacRumors and APB:

  • Apple's 3D Maps and Imagery See Incremental Improvements
  • Apple Turning to Select Retail Store Employees to Help Improve Maps for iOS 6
  • Insiders Detail Steve Jobs' Role in Apple's Mapping Effort
  • APB tells us Why is the Press Still Talking About Apple Maps

In the miscellaneous category:

  • O'Reilly warns us of drones for warfare
  • Yes, Wearable LIDAR Sensors for Mapping (via OR)
  • APB informs us of MyDigitalGlobe cloud service to make DigitalGlobe imagery more discoverable with OGC catalog services (CWS): "A unique feature of the service is that alerts can be set to notify a user when a new image is added to the library of a specific area of interest."
  • For those in hydrography, look at the U.S. National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2

In the maps category:

  • It's worth taking a look at the Information is Beautiful Awards Winners, it's not all maps, but still pretty
  • Via Mapperz, here's the CEC North American Environmental Atlas which is actually pretty interesting
  • A Google Maps of Ancient Rome, via OR
  • Here's a map of the The World’s Most Expensive Cities
Read More »

Open Source Geonews: Esri Diving into Open Source, India Launches Open Data Portal, Open Transit, MySQL vs PostGIS, and more

Still catching up my August holidays, here's the recent geospatial open source and open data geonews.

In general news:

  • O'Reilly publishes an article named With new maps and apps, the case for open transit gets stronger: "There’s no reason why important civic infrastructure should get bound up in a fight between Apple and Google. And in communities with public GTFS, it won’t."
  • Esri published an update on their relation with open source: "Esri has always hosted open code and samples in a variety of ways, but more can be done. Focus and motivation needs to be improved, and Esri is now making it a priority to improve its open source participation. More of Esri’s code should and will be open sourced in the coming days, weeks, months, and years." They are also on Github
  • sxdf
  • India launched the beta of their open data portal
  • MapQuest have a New Geocoding Service and Updated APIs Based on Open Data
  • OpenGeo shares an article named Haitidata: using open source geospatial for disaster response planning
  • FOSS4G software getting adopted, gvSIG 1.11 now official part of the standard software portfolio in the City of Munich and Luxembourg using open source GIS for cadastre
  • DM shares a 2-parts article named Designing an Open Source Geospatial Solution to Manage Airport Noise and Operations
  • For the curious ones, here's the new OSGeo Board and Charter members refreshed

In software news:

  • The OSGeo-Live 6.0 GIS software collection has been released
  • A serious OpenLayers competitor, Leaflet 0.4 has been released, actually, they're at version 0.4.3 now
  • Believe it or not, MySQL inches closer to PostGIS with support of true spatial relationship functions
  • Here's a short entry on Surface Interpolation in GeoServer and there's a new release, v 1.4.3, of GeoServer-Manager
  • Nathan is enthusiastic about Five new awesomely awesome QGIS features, here's more on the Latest Style User Interface Improvements
  • There's a new winGRASS 7 with R-integration
  • Where's MapGuide Open Source? Here's MapGuide state of the union address (or: Results of the user/developer survey)

FOSS4G in Beijing is Cancelled

Catching up geonews, I learned the sad news that earlier this week the FOSS4G conference in Beijing has been canceled. To learn more, see this reply from Jeff McKenna, former member of the OSGeo Board of Directors.

From the announcement: "With great regret, the FOSS4G Beijing Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has made the difficult decision of cancelling the event due to a lack of financial resources and the unexpected withdrawal of the Professional Conference Organizer. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. For those interested in FOSS4G events, the LOC suggests consider:

  • FOSS4G, to be held in Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • The Asian Geospatial Forum, September, Hanoi, Vietnam, which will have an OSGeo session:"

Slashgeo participated to several FOSS4G conferences in the past, including FOSS4G-NA (North America) a few months ago. There are plenty of other regional geospatial open source events to take place before we head to FOSS4G in Nottingham, United Kingdom, September 17-21.

Read More »

FOSS4G - North America: Summary for Day 3 and Other Summaries

This is the third and last of my summary entries on FOSS4G-NA.

First, here are other pertinent summaries I found on the blogosphere;

  • Direction Mag offers several entries related to FOSS4G-NA:
    • One named MapStory Soft Launches: "It's a platform for collecting datasets (StoryLayers), and MapStories (animated maps of these datasets over times)."
    • FOSS4GNA Day One Plenary: Recapping Roots and NGA Rhythms
    • FOSS4GNA Day Two Plenary: URLs and Firehoses
    • FOSS4GNA Panel: Gaps and Voids in Open Source Geo Technology
    • Tweets of note for the 11th and for  the 12th,
  • Martin Davis (Dr JTS) FOSS4G-NA review

Reminder: here's my notes, stripped from content directly related to my employer. These notes intend to provide some level of information on components that I considered interesting or pertinent. Most, if not all, FOSS4G-NA talks are or will be freely available online, many with full video recording. The program schedule is available online.

Day 3


RadiantBlue - OMAR

  • OMAR = Open Mapping ARchive
  • About 20 people supporting and developing their open source software, another proof that this business model can work
  • Web-based polished raster search user interface with a real fast data viewer
  • Apparently easy to import data into OMAR

RadiantBlue - OSSIM

  • Advanced C++ remote sensing and geospatial processing
  • Started in 1998
  • One of the founding projects of OSGeo
  • Used in numerous commercial and government solutions
  • Long history of government projects
  • My main interest was in ossimPlanet, since we have our own in-house scientific virtual globe at MSC
  • Along with the ossimPlanet tool, there's ImageLinker and OMAR that work together
  • There's OSSIM Libraries
  • Image chains for data processing, such as models, filters, combiners, with an excellent UI
  • dynamic plugins
  • ossimPlanet: virtual globe similar to Google Earth and NASA WorldWind (whatever happened to it), but... supports multiple platform, photogrammetric accuracy, native file access, WMS compliant
    • high performance 3D solution
  • Demoed their tools

Skipped some talks that were mostly U.S.-specific

Panel on challenges in implementing FOSS4G software

  • Integration with existing 'legacy' software such as SharePoint or Oracle can be a challenge
  • Legal components of open source are not an issue. It's unlikely that open licenses will do a great deal of damages to projects and organizations
  • Community is essential for the feedback loop in the open source software
  • Security audits are the same for open source than for commercial software
  • Panelists discussed their success stories

Panel on open source geo in federal IT

  • More intimate relation with open source vendors than with proprietary vendors, particularly in regards to feature needs, development, etc
  • Open source isn't entirely free, you need to put efforts
  • OGC standards are much faster implemented in open source geo software than in proprietary ones
  • Funding positions of Geospatial professionals on the long term can be a challenge at the federal level
  • Investing in open source consulting vs employ a senior full time expert... sometimes the first option seems to be much more efficient
  • Collaboration with the community requires energy, but it pays off over time
  • The pertinence of having federal IT coordination in their investment in open geospatial software and access the impact of their investment on each other
  • Challenge with reaching stakeholders of the federal gov which has interest in open source geo
    • At the Government of Canada we have the FCGEO (Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observation) and GeoConnections, etc... there are some coordinating bodies and resources
  • The best with open source geo is rapid updates and delivery mechanisms
  • Expectations that the cloud will impact significantly how geospatial data is managed and stored at the federal level
  • GeoCat Bridge, bridging ArcMap to open source SLD compatible software - just can't ignore past ArcMap investments
Read More »

FOSS4G - North America: Summary for Day 2

That's the second out of three summary entries on FOSS4G-NA.

Reminder, here's my notes, stripped from content directly related to my employer. These notes intend to provide some level of information on components that I considered interesting or pertinent. Most, if not all, FOSS4G-NA talks are or will be freely available online, many with full video recording. The program schedule is available online.

Day 2


Mike Byrne FCC Wednesday plenary

  • We don't make paper maps
  • The importance of URLs
  • Unintended consequences of data use are good
  • Spatial data is not special... it's just columns in a database
    • I think I personally disagree with that statement; spatial data requires a datum and a projection and implies things like spatial topology and so on, so to me, these major distinctions makes it 'special' to some extent
  • Need for low barrier to publish and low barrier to consume

Josh Berkus, PostgreSQL

  • Large data collection with continuous processing and aggregation, firehose engineering
  • Challenges:
    • volume of data, and volume grows over time
    • constant flow of data, 24/7, data collection component, it means no ETL
    • database size, lots of hardware, backups, redundancy, migration, etc... database growth, many components = many failures
    • component failures, all components fail, and data collection must meanwhile continue
  • Data collection must be: continuous, parallel and fault-tolerant
  • Don't use cutting edge technology, don't run components to capacity, do not do hot patching
  • Little to no geospatial content in this talk

Ramsey - What's new in PostGIS 2.0

  • Breaks some backward compatibility
  • PostGIS uses a new serialization
  • New WKT / WKB parser, Extended WKT vs OGC vs ISO
  • New 3D functions
  • 4D indexes, nD actually
  • New 3D types and formats
  • New shapefile loading GUI
  • Raster
    • Raster support is there to enable analysis, not visualization, raster objects are very similar to vector objects in PostGIS
    • Many new raster functions
    • Raster Performance is still not great and sensitive to tile size, and function signatures can get very complex
  • Integrated raster and vector analysis
  • Indexed nearest neighbors, 2 million points, in 9 milliseconds... pretty fast

Tom Payne - OpenWebGlobe WebGL Globe

  • Google Earth plugin competitor
  • 100% JavaScript and WebGL
  • SpiderGL and OpenWebGlobe
  • Streaming lod terrain example on SpiderGL
  • Spherical Mercator (more)
  • Includes buildings, at various levels of quality to accommodate different use cases
  • Data in the S3 cloud managed by TileCloud
  • WebGL Navigation can't exactly mimic Desktop software
  • It may need polishing, but it works well already
  • WebGL is also an interest of the gaming industry so there's big pushing from them too
  • No mobile browser supports WebGL yet

Bitner - Working with four dimensional flight track data

  • Closer to the type of data I have to deal with than the CartoDB and PostGIS presentation
  • XYZM (m = minutes)
  • Smoothing track data
  • Using R and PostgreSQL with the temporal extension on pgxn
  • PostgreSQL 9.2 will have native time range data types
  • R used for removing outlier data and helping the smoothing via statistics
  • During spatial smoothing, must consider the time dimension otherwise it messes with speeds
  • Displaying the 4D data
  • Github OpenNOMS
  • Using GeoExt and OpenLayers to display
  • Rather technical presentation

Osti - Cloud-based open source tech to manage natural resources

  • Opennrm
  • Animated web maps, integrating a lot of sensor data, in the Californian delta for a fish and turbidity analysis
  • Fully custom-made web page
  • The GeoServer talk was probably more interesting

Davis - What's new in the JTS topology suite

  • JTS started in
  • JTS and GEOS used by many may other software
    • GEOS 3.3.3 released at the beginning of the month
  • There's a C# port and a JavaScript port JSTS
  • What's new
    • Unary union
    • Delaunay triangulation, supports linear constraints
    • Voronoi diagram
    • Hausdorff distance: "measures how far two subsets of a metric space are from each other"
    • Densification, bounding envelopes
    • Single-sided spatial buffers
    • Magnify topology
  • JTS comes with a GUI to test functions
  • What's coming
    • Buffer performance improvements again
    • Fast distance computation
    • New algorithms such as concave hull, Bezier smoothing, point clustering, etc
  • Future plans: computation in geodetic coordinate systems, improve performance is a constant quest, split packaging into core and algorithms, refactor geometry API to use interfaces
    • For JTS 2.0 since it will break the API backward compatibility
  • That was an interesting but short 15 minutes talk... why not show more?

Klassen - Build your own cloud, open source approach to imagery storage

  • 50 TB of data, essentially raster
  • Their workflow is 'write once read many'
  • Constraints: little staff time for maintenance, needs to scale, limit access to some datasets
  • Image storage solution is OpenStack object storage aka Swift
    • Swift is optimized for long term storage
    • Why swift: no single point of failure, http/REST API, handles large objects over 5GB, security built-in
  • They looked at alternatives such as raid servers, NoSQL such as BigCouch, distributed file systems and S3... but ended up using swift
  • Proxy nodes: provides "public" URLs
  • There's tradeoffs, including a significant learning curve
  • Image catalog with a PostGIS backend
  • Services viewers with MapServer and MapCache

Ashton - cartography with TileMill, PostGIS and OpenStreetMap

  • Presentation focused on digital map making; such as labels
  • The import is part of the render
  • Using group styles
  • Abbreviations: prefix and suffix aren't that important, handling multiple languages abbreviations is a challenge
  • Tens of types of 'spaces' in Unicode
  • Features of MapBox Street in TileMill

Nathaniel - Watercolor maps using OpenStreetMap

  • These maps were massively advertised in the past weeks
  • maps.stamen... from stamen design
    • citytracking
  • Different watercolor textures for each zoom level
  • Used Mapnik and python processing
  • Blurring things and adding noise, added inner glow
  • They didn't render the whole world
    • They user tweets density to identify which areas to prerender at higher zoom levels
    • They also analyzed where people actually searched for watercolor maps

Matthew Davis - Incorporating open source mapping into mobile apps

  • Excellent presentation
  • Strategy options = native apps, web apps, hybrid apps
  • Native apps: fast, mobile app feel, access to sensors, app store... but not cross-platform
    • iOS: 3 closed source maps APIs, none open source
    • Android: 4 mains options; Google Maps, osmdroid, Nutiteq, mapsforge... various tile sources, licensing, offline caching capabilities and vector support
  • Web apps:
    • Good = cross platform, but... slower, limited access to sensor, levels of browser support, have to make it feel like a mobile app, no app store, etc...
    • HTML5/CSS3: app can run offline, local data storage, sensor support (GPS well supported, but others not (e.g. accelerometer)), varying degrees of implementation by browsers
    • Mobile frameworks
    • Open source mapping libraries: OpenLayers, Leaflet, Polymaps, Tile5, Modest Maps... things to consider: offline caching, touch gesture support, vector overlays, tile sources, size
  • Hybrid apps: good = cross-platform, app store, sensor support, but... not as fast as native app, special attention to mobile app feel... main Hybrid apps solution is PhoneGap
  • Detailed a case study & their experience
Read More »

FOSS4G - North America: Summary for Day 1 and General Notes

I was lucky to participate to the first FOSS4G-NA conference in Washington D.C. last week. Here's one of three entries in which I'll share my general notes, talk notes and links to other reviews of the conference. First, I want to acknowledge and thank the FOSS4G-NA organizers for this incredible conference and the complimentary pass as a media partner. There was also a recent official press release from OpenGeo wrapping up the conference. All entries related to FOSS4G-NA on Slashgeo should be found with a simple search.

Here's my general notes, stripped from content directly related to my employer. These notes intend to provide some level of information on components that I considered interesting or pertinent. Most, if not all, FOSS4G-NA talks are or will be freely available online, many with full video recording. The program schedule is available online.

General notes

  • For Day 1 and 2, there were 3 concurrent tracks. For day 3, there was 2
  • There was 'Ignite Spatial' presentations at the end of Day 2
  • There was 350 attendees to FOSS4G-NA
  • Met and discussed with several colleagues and developers
  • Next FOSS4G-NA will be in Minnesota


Day 1

Paul Ramsey Welcome Talk

  • Discussed the history of open source
  • Geeks and enthusiasm + tools + connectivity
  • Paul reminded us that ArcGIS and Google Earth also use gdal, same for other pieces of open source geospatial software
  • Open standards are embraced more quickly by open source software
  • Exciting open source geospatial: Leaflet as a new OpenLayers competitor
  • Proprietary software locks you in
  • Open source software offers a lot of choice and it might be overwhelming, it appears 'simpler' with a single vendor solution
  • Google is a FOSS4G-NA venue sponsor, and so is ESRI

Keith Barber, NGA

  • NGA = National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (United States)
  • GeoInt must be on-line and on-demand
  • The 'pretty' component counts
  • How does the users consume information and data? That matters a lot
  • Big data, mobile computing, cloud computing, social networking
  • Social networking is harnessing the power of already established associations

Kate Chapman, teaching QGIS and OpenStreetMap in Indonesia

  • Hot: humanitarian OSM team, full details of their project here
  • They did workshops in 9 regions
  • Paper maps with no GIS involved
  • They also used walkingpapers to input new data
  • Using the Bing Maps satellite imagery in OSM, when available
  • LearnOSM launched
  • No street signs in small villages, only specific people know the street names
  • GIS benefits are not obvious to people that don't know GIS
  • Using OSM satellite imagery is much easier than buying a GPS and doing surveying
  • On site Internet access is an issue, part of the solution is using 3G modems
  • The OSM QGIS plugin is too hard to use in practice
  • Goal was poverty mapping

Wickman - Emergency response performance analysis with open source geospatial

  • Fire service departments
  • First responders are the clients, and they're not always tech savvy
  • E911 computer aided dispatch cad systems are almost systematically different one from another
  • Cops vs fire fighters: they do not always get along happily
  • Incident mapping
  • Not all city GIS layers align correctly
  • Using GeoKettle, PostGIS and MapServer and OpenLayers
  • Showed their GeoKettle processing; seems relatively simple to use
  • They'll be replacing MapServer with GeoServer, but didn't told us the reasons

De La Torre - CartoDB 1.0

  • The 'Government Participation in Open Source' talk was cancelled
  • New FOSS4G software, version 1.0 released last week
  • Blazing fast drag and drop online mapping
  • PostGIS 2 inside, with node.js and Mapnik
  • Blazing fast geospatial queries directly on the online map
  • Support importing OSM data
  • Explained distinctions with Google Fusion Tables

MacWright - Beyond the Google Maps Paradigm

  • Mapbox TileMill
  • Everybody gets the same tiles on Google Maps and OpenLayers
  • The design of today's maps is only possible because of the way we interact with it... There's less elements on maps because it's easy to zoom in and display more details
  • OpenLayers weights 900k while Modest Maps API is 40k
  • Google Maps got us halfway, TileMill halved it again
  • He got a point: traditional geo technologies is evolving real fast, and not always pushed forward by geofolks

Herbert - FOSS, data delivery and discovery services - the Antarctic experience

  • British Antarctic survey
  • Gdal, PostGIS, GeoServer, OpenLayers, WMS, WFS
  • From raw data acquisition to processing and distribution
  • GeoRSS, kml, OGC services, jpeg
  • Using geonames
  • Labeling is a challenge, SLD vendor options end up being critical
  • Poor metadata and versioning
  • They chose GeoNetwork Open Source for data discovery, with some cons
  • Polarview.aq, map.arctic.ac and a few more links

Hahn - Rendering the World

  • Big world.... it requires a lot of storage and time to generate the tiles
  • OpenStreetMap is 54 TB of storage
  • Accepted wisdom: only render tiles on demand
  • Render servers are slow, costly and stressful
  • Pre-rendered tiles are fast, cheap and reliable
  • The MBTiles format can store redundancy efficiently
  • Tile storage
    • 17.2 billion tiles
    • Open ocean is 60% of World tiles, and it's a single blue tile
    • Solid land tiles are also redundant
    • 4 layers compositing
    • Human tiles is only about 1% of tiles
    • Instead of 10 TB, with removing the redundant tiles, it's 200 GB
  • And for time
    • TileMill does all the tiles... With TileMill master, children skipping if redundant, pyramid approach... It mostly works at the moment
    • Instead of 200 days, it needs 4 days
  • Still quite a lot of fine tuning to do
  • This makes the whole World tile rendering possible

Panel Discussion on Gaps and Voids in open source geo technology

  • User interfaces and user experience (UI and UX)
  • We need to spend efforts to design interfaces
  • Command line is powerful, but you lose plenty of potential users
  • Goal is to engage non technical users
  • User workflow
  • Beyond the UI, there's the documentation too
  • Who's the target customer of the software
  • Innovation might not come from geoprofessionals if we aren't careful and think out of the box
  • There's still not enough geoprofessionals for the industry needs
  • It's about value and enabling users
  • Investing in FOSS is like investing in fundamental science, it often pays off tremendously on the long term
  • Cost of forking software is high and the value of a community is high
  • Chose the open license that suits the context
  • FOSS4G business models
  • API vs download ? The answer is both
  • Datasets don't tell you what's wrong with them... they should
  • We still can't easily ask what-ifs questions with GIS... such as 'Whats the impact of changing this value or this other value'
  • Need more cross projects collaboration

Schaub - OpenLayers: the rebirth of cool

  • Moving to Github dramatically increased commits and contributors
  • Talk focused on what's new 2.11 and upcoming 2.12
  • Mobile devices support, this is major
  • Html5 and CSS, tile transitions
  • Many new keyboard controls via CSS
  • Offline tile cache
  • Canvas rendering
  • UTFGrid interaction
  • Continuous zooming
  • Ongoing stuff and ideas for the future
  • Improved UI/UX, including CSS styling
  • Improved APIs
  • Animations performance optimizations
  • Tile queues with abortable tile requests
  • Usability improvements, including documentation
  • Custom built library for specific purposes
  • Ongoing discussions about WebGL and Canvas 2D

Wadsworth - Raster Storage and Processing with MongoDB

  • JSON
  • NoSQL, no joins
  • Integrated spatial indexing functionality
  • Fast, "web scale"
  • Mongo huMongous
  • Alternatives, CouchDB/ GeoCouch,
  • Their company were already into Ruby / Jruby
  • Points associated to raster
  • Slap: source, lookup, algorithm, process
  • Parallel with celluloid on github
Read More »

Primera Reunión General OSGeo-es

El capítulo hispanohablante comenzará a tener reuniones generales a las que están invitados a participar todos los miembros.

La idea es que todos puedan opinar y exponer sus ideas para mejorar el capítulo y agrandar la comunidad.

En principio, las reuniones serían mensuales y se llevarían a cabo el último lunes de cada mes.

El objetivo de estas reuniones es lograr mejor integración y más compromiso entre las miembros del capítulo.


La primera reunión sería el lunes 26 de marzo y el horario es de 18.00 a 19.00 UTC/GMT+0

El lugar de encuentro será el canal IRC del capítulo.

Read More »

Batch Geonews: StreetView now in Russia, Should GIS Users Code?, ArcGIS 10.1 Enhancements, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. My challenge in life is to find out what not to do - too much enthusiasm impacts focus. But don't worry, I'm not dropping Slashgeo just yet ;-)

From the open source and open data front:

  • Here's an open source Kinect hack named Depthcam, doing live streaming of 3D points cloud via your webcam
  • Via Simon, I was reminded about Graphserver, an open source multi-modal trip planner (we mentioned Graphserver), on the same topic, here's OSM Explorer, for basic routing and spatial functions using OSM data on Windows (via OGD)
  • MapQuest updated their OpenStreetMap tiles and mentions more OSM switchovers, such as FourSquare and in another entry, they updated MapQuest for Android
  • Here's an entry on light styles for OSM layers in QGIS, making OSM great as a base map
  • Quebec City is the latest city to open its data, with layers in shapefiles and kml, and here's an entry on Honolulu opening its data
  • The OSGeo-Live DVD version 5.5 is now ready

From the Google front:

  • Street View on Google Maps now available for Russia
  • The GEB introduces Diorama, a presentation tool for Google Earth, helping you tell a story in Google Earth
  • The same blog also look a the Power of Ten, the Google Earth version
  • Google explains the enhanced search in Google Earth 6.2
  • Here's an entry on the iNaturalist app and website using georeferenced pictures to document nature
  • The GEB wonders if historical imagery is coming to Street View?
  • And yes, there was fresh imagery released about two weeks ago and another round today

From the Esri front:

  • Here's why ArcGIS 10.1 will be the “Biggest Release Ever”
  • Here's Esri’s Federal GIS Conference Wrap Up
  • Here's the recommended System Requirements For ArcGIS 10/10.1
  • Mandown also shares an entry named Using ArcGIS For Quick Visualisation Of GPX Files

From the Microsoft front:

  • Microsoft announced the Bing Maps and Nokia Release of a Unified Map Design

In the miscellaneous category:

  • DM asks an interesting question, Should All GIS Users Learn to Code?
  • While not all are geo-aware, this is an awesome categorized list of infographic tools and resources, because beauty matters when conveying information (via Thierry)
  • The book "How Maps Change Things: A Conversation About the Maps We Choose and the World We Want" by Ward Kaiser is free in pdf for this month
  • We previously mentioned that the world time zones database was in jeopardy, well, it's not anymore, EFF Wins Protection For Time Zone Database
  • Here's an entry on OGC mobile case studies
  • Here's a Product Review of BusinessWebMap by TexMobile
  • Slashdot mentions the link between GPS navigation and in-car voice commands in Siri To Power Mercedes-Benz Car Systems
  • APB informs us that DigitalGlobe published an image of damage to Homs, Syria

In the maps category:

  • APB shares the map of sleep in the U.S.
  • Slashdot discussed a story named LIDAR Map Shows Height of Earth's Forests
  • Another story from the same source is named Need To Find a Hackerspace In Africa? Check This Map
  • If your into astronomy, check this TMR entry on Moon maps
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GRASS GIS 6.4.2 released

GRASS GIS 6.4.2 released

19 February

We are pleased to announce the release of a new stable version of GRASS GIS. This release fixes bugs discovered in version 6.4.1 of the program and adds a number of new features. This release includes over 760 updates to the source code since 6.4.1. As a stable release series, the 6.4 line will enjoy long-term support and incremental enhancements while preserving backwards-compatibility with the entire GRASS 6 line.

The new wxPython graphical user interface (wxGUI) has been updated with many new features and tools. Python is now a fully supported scripting language, including an updated Python toolkit to simplify the authoring of personal scripts, support for NumPy based array calculations, and a Python application interface for the GRASS C libraries. Additionally, MS-Windows support continues to mature.  GRASS 6.4.2 debuts ten new modules, a new GUI cartographic composer tool, a new GUI object-oriented modeling environment, and improved infrastructure for installing community supplied add-on modules.


The Geographic Resources Analysis Support System, commonly referred to as GRASS, is an Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) and geospatial analysis toolkit. For nearly three decades, GRASS has provided powerful raster, vector, and geospatial processing engines in a single integrated software suite. GRASS includes tools for spatial modeling of raster and vector data, visualization, the management and analysis of geospatial information, and the processing of satellite and aerial imagery. It also provides the capability to produce sophisticated presentation graphics and publication-quality hardcopy maps. GRASS has now been translated into twenty languages and supports an extensive array of data formats. It is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

GRASS differs from many other GIS software packages used in the academic and professional worlds in that it is developed and distributed by users for users, mostly on a volunteer basis. Its code and spatial processing algorithms are open and transparent, and the software is distributed free of charge. The source code is also freely available, allowing for immediate customization, examination of the underlying algorithms, the addition of new features, and faster identification and patching of bugs.

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