Tag Archives: QGIS

Stamen Design Maps for QGIS

We mentioned several times the beautiful maps from Stamen Design, and you can now use them directly in QGIS.

From the entry: "Stamen’s maps are amongst the most creative and beautiful OpenStreetMap visualizations and it would be great to have them as base maps in QGIS. No problem! Nathaniel Kelso has already done all the work for us [...] It adds the possibility to load Stamen’s Watercolor, Toner and Terrain tiles into the QGIS project"

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Batch Geonews: iD OpenStreetMap Editor, GeoIQ Acquired by Esri, Predicting People’s Location, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source and open data front:

  • This entry introduces iD, a new open source friendly editor for OpenStreetMap, which uses only javascript (no plugin required like Potlatch)
  • If you want to try a full-featured OpenStreetMap maps display, try this version by skobbler
  • Here's what's coming to the next QGIS: Better date and time support in QGIS expressions and styles
  • Here's an entry on MapGuide Open Source scalability
  • In Canada, the Province of Quebec now has its open data portal, a lot of it being geospatial [site in French]

On the Esri front:

  • Big news, GeoIQ, which runs GeoCommons, has been acquired by Esri, several bloggers see this move as a reduction of competition, from GeoIQ: "GeoCommons and GeoIQ customers will continue to be supported as we integrate the capabilities of ArcGIS Online and GeoIQ into a next generation platform."
  • The ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 5 is now available

In the drones category:

  • UAS can stay in the air for a long period of time now, Slashdot discussed a story named Laser Powers Lockheed Martin's Stalker Drone For 48 Hours
  • However, another story goes like this; GPS Spoofing Attack Hacks Drones

In the car navigation category:

  • Slashdot discussed a story named Ford Predicts Self-Driving, Traffic-Reducing Cars By
  • And another one named Boston Using IBM Engineers To Solve Traffic Problems

In the everything else category:

  • Certainly using the momentum against Google that is limiting the free use of their Google Maps API, MapQuest shared an entry named Unlimited Free Maps with MapQuest API Community Edition, and whle they do use OpenStreetMap data, MapQuest selected TomTom Maps to power its mobile application
  • Direction Mag offers an Overview of Pitney Bowes Software’s Server and Web Technology for Geospatial Applications
  • Slashdot discussed a story named MIT Develops Holographic, Glasses-Free 3D TV
  • Still want more on Google's Project Glass before it hits the road? Sergey Brin Shows Project Glass Glasses to Journalists (Video)
  • APB shares an entry named Algorithm Uses Your and Friends Locations to Predict Your Future Location (within 20 meters!)
  • James shares an short entry named Autodesk on the Future of Design
  • APB links to the top world cities to live in, based on the Spatially Adjusted Livability Index

In the maps category:

  • Ogle Earth has detailed entries named Apple censors iPad Maps app over South Korea and Constraining online maps: The case of South Korea
  • It's hot over there? Here's a map of continental US climate changes, 1895-2012
  • Two related entries, Renewable Electricity Production Mapped and Mapping Renewable Electricity Generation
  • Here's Misleading Language Maps on the Internet and from the same source, Mapping International Languages
  • Here's a map of Global Earthquakes since 1898
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Batch Geonews: AutoCAD Worm, QGIS Cloud, Map Calls, Shapefile Spatial Index Revealed, and more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

On the open source front:

  • Thanks to reverse engineering, GDAL/OGR can now use the Shapefile native .sbn spatial index, to understand the context: "The Shapefile format had been documented since 1998, but the documentation was limited to the minimum core, that is to say the .shp file that contains the geometries and the .shx that is an index to the geometries. However the format of the .sbn file, that was known to contain spatial index (aimed at speeding up spatial filters), has never been published."
  • Another entry on the visions for OpenLayers 3
  • Here's an entry on QGIS Cloud, a hosting service for QGIS Server and still on the QGIS topic, Styling temporal (time) data in QGIS

On the Esri front:

  • APB shares their thoughts on Just What is ArcGIS Online for Organizations?: "It’s a cloud hosted platform for a GIS intranet for an organization."

On the web mapping front:

  • Microsoft added thousands of international shopping malls to Bing Maps
  • Styles Maps in the Google Maps API just got improved

In the miscellaneous category:

  • APB shares a interesting new App called Mapfia that "lets users make free "map calls" to see each other's real time location"
  • Even geospatial files are prone to virus, AutoCAD Worm Medre.A Stealing Designs, Blueprints
  • On a more positive note for Autodesk, James mentions Project Artoo "that allows AutoCAD Map 3D users to perform geometry cleanup operations on geospatial data"
  • Also from Slashdot, here's what can happen when you map someone else's data, PadMapper Gets C&D From Craigslist Over Apartment Listing Maps
  • Via OGD, with Map Compare, you can now compare side-by-side 35 basemaps from OpenStreetMap versions to Google Maps versions and Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and more

In the maps category:

  • That's an interesting and probably sad map in an entry named The Great Indoors, or Childhood's End?, showing how much less we allow our children to go away from the house over the last decades
  • The annual map of the Tour de France in Google Earth
  • Here's an entry on the On-Going Japan Sea/East Sea Naming Controversy
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Quantum GIS (QGIS) 1.8.0 Released

A lot of geoblogs mentioned the release of Quantum GiS 1.8.0. QGIS is one of the most mature and widely used open source desktop GIS software, with tons of useful community-contributed plugins. Version 1.8.0 is clearly a major update of this already excellent GIS software.

The list of new features is quite long, here's a few of them:

  • QGIS Browser: a stand alone app and a new panel in QGIS. The browser lets you easily navigate your file system and connection based (PostGIS, WFS etc.) datasets, preview them and drag and drop items into the canvas.
  • DB Manager: the DB manager is now officially part of QGIS core. You can drag layers from the QGIS Browser into DB Manager and it will import your layer into your spatial database.
  • New symbol layer types: Line Pattern Fill, Point Pattern Fill.
  • Terrain Analysis Plugin: a new core plugin was added for doing terrain analysis - and it can make really good looking colored relief maps.
  • Ellipse renderer: a new symbol layer type to render ellipse shapes (and also rectangles, triangles, crosses) by specifying width and height.
  • Support for nesting projects within other projects: embed content from other project files.
  • Layer grouping: Option to add layers to selected or active group.
  • Customization: Allows setting up simplified QGIS interface by hiding various components of main window and widgets in dialogs.
  • Action Tool: accessible from the map tools toolbar. It allows you to click on a vector feature and execute an action.
  • Pan To Selected tool: Pans the map to selected feature(s); does not change the zoom level.
  • Updated CRS selector dialog
  • Legend-independent drawing order: The order seen in the legend can be different from the display order.
  • Other features include: MSSQL Spatial Support, Expression based labelling, Heatmap tool, WFS support in QGIS Server, and much more

Head to the release notes (link above) to learn more and see screenshots.

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Open Source Geonews: PostGIS vs DB4GeO for 3D data, Geopaparazzi 3 Released, and some more

Here's the recent open source-related geonews in batch mode.

In software updates:

  • GeoServer 2.1.4 had been released
  • And so was GeoTools 2.7.5 released
  • Geopaparazzi 3 has been released too, more here
  • And as an indirect user of it, I'm happy that GEOS 3.3.4 was released too
  • The OpenGeo Suite 2.5 was released, with updated Linux packages

In other news:

  • Here's an entry named GeoWebCache Tweaks Checklist
  • And we haven't mentioned OpenStreetMap yet, improving the OpenStreetMap Profile Page for more Social Interaction
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Batch Geonews: StreetView in Jerusalem, Broadcom 4752 Location Chip, GIS Certification, Mapping Ice Shelf Disintegration, and much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.

From the open source front:

  • Here's a DM summary entry on FOSS4G-NA that I haven't shared yet, and it's pretty informative
  • There's a new video showing us uDig features
  • Here's examples of using QGIS in local government, related to QGIS, here's an entry on What's New in QGIS Plugins
  • A technical entry on dynamic WMS styling with GeoServer with SLD
  • Here's an interesting web browser memory usage experiment for OpenLayers

From the Google front:

  • Google announce new StreetView imagery for Israel in an entry named Exploring Jerusalem’s Old City streets with Street View
  • There's also an update to the Google Maps API deprecation policy and Terms of Service
  • The GEB reminds us the options we have for Sharing your favorite locations in Google Earth

On the Microsoft front:

  • You can now Find Venue Maps, Businesses and Buildings Faster on Bing Maps
  • Bing Maps is Reducing the Complexity of Rendering Shapes

Discussed over Slashdot:

  • A "Big Brother Chip", the Broadcom 4752, that acts as a ubiquitous location chip using everything available: "global navigation satellites, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hot spots, coupled with input from gyroscopes, accelerometers, step counters, and altimeters"
  • A GPS system that will speed up tsunami warnings
  • The Physical Travelling Salesman Challenge
  • Using satellite imagery to counting Emperor Penguins from space

Directions Mag articles of note:

  • The Top 10 Things You Should Know about GIS Certification, including "In, more than 5,000 people are active GISPs." and "Eight states have recognized and endorsed the GISP"
  • A Q&A entry about Is Intergraph’s New GeoMedia Smart Client for You?

In the everything else category:

  • The ESA mentions Envisat's mapping of ice shelf disintegration in Antarctic and update on the investigation of Envisat woes, being offline since early April
  • @Thierry_G links to interesting impressions on the Where conference titled From Where 2.0 To Just Where; With Meh 2.0 Somewhere In The Middle, asking where is the geospatial excitement today?
  • Via Paul I found this extreme video example of augmented reality
  • APB has an entry on TomTom’s New Global Geocoder Targets Power Users
  • SS shares a perspective named Have the geospatial technology frontiers changed much in three years?
  • SS also shares an interesting summary of a session on capacity building and the expansion of the global geospatial marketplace to a billion plus people

In the maps category:

  • O'Reilly shares two visualizations, one on The history of shipping routes and the other on Mapping the Titanic's passengers
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Batch Geonews: Landsat 5 Suspended, Wikipedia Mobile Switch to OpenStreetMap, Your Facebook Connections Map, Vertical Datums, and much more

It's Easter and I find myself aggregating geonews for you - don't you see how much I love you ;-) Expect less news this week since I'll be participating to the FOSS4G-NA conference. So here's the latest geonews in batch mode.

In the open source and open data front:

  • Slashdot discusses a story named Wikipedia Mobile Apps Switch To OpenStreetMap, away from Google Maps, related, James Fee links to a NY Times article on bypassing Google Maps with OpenStreetMap
  • and via @teller another article is named Microsoft backing OpenStreetMap, creating Google Maps competitor
  • Numerous sources mentioned the beautiful watercolor OpenStreetMap style from Stamen and here's how they were created (via Wes)
  • An entry discusses the differences between the Portable GIS and OSGeo Live tools
  • There was a few entries on QGIS; one on the qNote plugin, detailed instructions for installing QGIS Server on Windows 7 and on Ubuntu, the custom form feature to streamline data entry, and an entry on the enhanced MS SQLServer support
  • With PostGIS 2.0 recently released, here's an entry on validating vector features
  • Here's a discussion on OpenStreetMap should be more like Facebook

In the miscellaneous category:

  • The Landsat 5 mission is officially suspended after 28 years, we mentioned its recent problems
  • Kurt shares four entries on vertical datums
  • APB shares an Esri Developer Summit RoundUp
  • APB also shares an entry named Doctor’s Offices and Access to primary health care - Esri Map Story
  • The GEB mentions GraphEarth, a 25$ tool to generate charts for Google Earth
  • Several blogs participated to the raw data vs API discussion
  • This infographic will inform you on the current state of MapQuest, MapQuest also have a new section to explore U.S. National Parks
  • WebMapSolutions offers two entries whether we should retire the term GIS - my take is that GIS is useful since it refers to something specific and unique
  • Somewhat related, Very Spatial shares entry on the new GIS end-user: "These users know how to navigate and interact with consumer maps and expect all their interactions with spatial technology to be this simple. They don’t, in any way, want to “see” GIS or have to learn a new vocabulary of terms like vectors, georeference, buffer, and shapefile." No pain no gain?
  • APB mentions a U.S. Congressman Introduces “Map It Once, Use it Many Times Act”
  • O'Reilly shares an entry on the do's and don'ts of geo marketing
  • Spatial Sustain has an informative entry named Let the Drone Mapping Race Begin
  • Unsurprisingly, Slashdot discusses a story named Many Police Departments Engage in Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking
  • The recent Direction Mag articles I found interesting:
    • One named HTML5 Canvas: An Open Standard for High Performing GIS Map Visualization in Web Browsers
    • Ten Things to Know about the Geospatial Technology Competency Model
    • And finally The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need to Know About the U.S. GeoTech Center

In the maps category:

  • O'Reilly discusses a Facebook app to map your Facebook network
  • Many sources shared the beautiful WebGL U.S. wind map also discussed over Slashdot
  • TMR shares a nice short video visualizing the world's ocean currents on the globe
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Batch Geonews: GDAL Virtual Formats, Google Map Maker in France, Esri File Geodatabase API 1.2, Bing Maps New Look, and much much more

Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. Again an unusually long edition.

From the open source and open data front:

  • Here's two entries on PostGIS 2.0 new features; Typmod and 3D/4D indexing
  • You might be interested in learning about GDAL virtual formats if you don't use them already, related to GDAL, here's how to correctly compute the average aspect of a DEM using gdaldem
  • There's a Natural Earth Quick Start Kit that includes a QGIS project file, and another entry on adding custom global projections to QGIS
  • There's new 2.5 meters imagery of Australia available for OpenStreetMap
  • O'Reilly shares a story of another company, StreetEasy, switching to OpenStreetMap data
  • In Russia too, with Yandex, they are using crowdsourced maps now
  • If you plan to use MapServer as a WFS 1.1.0 client, read this, since apparently it's support is not optimal just yet

From the Esri front:

  • Via James, the File Geodatabase API 1.2 has been released and MacOS X is now supported
  • About two weeks ago, the ArcGIS 10 Service Pack 4 became available for download

From the Google front:

  • Google just introduced more detailed 3D landmarks on Google Maps, take a quick look at the screenshots included
  • Google Map Maker is now available in France and Monaco
  • You can now get Traffic Conditions in Norway, New Zealand, and Hong Kong
  • Ogle Earth offers a detailed entry on conspiracy, Google Earth and the latest war in Sri Lanka
  • There's a whole new website for Google Maps API Developers
  • The GEB offers an entry on Integrating Street View with the Google Earth Diorama
  • Oh, and there's new imagery

From the Microsoft front:

  • Bing Maps offers a new look for Pushpins, Popups, and Transit
  • And Microsoft announced Bing Maps for Metro Style Apps
  • There's new official Bing Maps forums too

In the miscellaneous category:

  • APB shares an entry named Facebook Outlines Vision for Location APIs
  • O'Reilly shares a story about the impacts of languages on place and location aware tools
  • James informs us that iOS is now telling us when an app is using a geofence
  • Slashdot discussed a story named Stolen iPad's Reported Location Not Enough To Warrant Search, Say Dutch Police
  • Another story on the same site is entitled Pentagon Wants Disposable War Satellites
  • Still from Slashdot, a story named Satellites Expose 8,000 Years of Civilization
  • And a last one from the same source is named DIY Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display
  • Yes, it's been already 10 years of Envisat
  • Here's a Q&A on OGC's CityGML standard
  • Nokia Drive 2.0 offers interesting features such as offline directions, for Lumia Windows Phones

In the maps category:

  • SS shared an entry named New Mapping Tool Shows Potential Radiation Impacts in the United States
  • For the astronomers amongst us, TMR shares a Geologic Map of Io and an Atlas of the Galilean Satellites
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Batch Geonews: 180,000 Free OrbView-3 Scenes, Car AR Driving, PostGISonline, Bing Maps Updates, Autodesk and Pitney Bowes Alliance, Obesity and Car Travel, and much much more

​This batch mode edition is unusually long. It covers the past month and a bit more. Yes, that's way too much and I won't try to repeat the experience ;-) Here's what I considered pertinent enough to share with you. Exceptionally, in some cases I haven't gave attribution to the source of the news, thank you for your comprehension.

On the geospatial open source front:

  • I just recently became aware of PostGISonline, a site for testing and learning spatial SQL
  • You can now create and manipulate SLD (the OGC Styled Layer Descriptor standard) in Python with python-sld
  • Via the AGISRS list, I learned about OpenQuake, for calculating seismic hazard and risk at any scale, which of course ingest geospatial data and outputs maps
  • Here's WherePost.ca, which crowdsources the location of mailboxes and post offices for Canada
  • Here's the Switch2OSM website promoting OpenStreetMap, OpenStreetMap might go indoor too
  • Still on the OSM topic, V1 shares an entry on the use of OpenStreetMap data in agriculture
  • Here's an entry on the future of GeoCouch and CouchDB
  • GeoServer gets database-level security
  • There's now a plugin to run Python scripts in QGIS
  • Here's about improvements to the QGIS rule-based rendering
  • On a similar topic, here's a guide to beautiful reliefs in QGIS
  • Did you know you can add Google Maps, OSM, and Bing Maps directly in QGIS? You can via the OpenLayers plugin - hey, there's even a Profile plugin
  • There's an updated book published by Gary Sherman, now named The Geospatial Desktop , subtitled Open source GIS and mapping
  • GEOS 3.3.2 has been released

On the Esri front:

  • Mandown shares how to convert GPX files to Features using ArcGIS 10
  • From the same source, Learn The Basics Of Working With The ArcGIS Runtime SDK For Android
  • There were updates to ArcGIS for SharePoint, ArcGIS Mobile and to the ArcGIS API for Windows Phone
  • James and SS talks about ArcGIS Online as the Esri Content Management System

On the Microsoft front:

  • Microsoft announced a few new Bing Maps features, such as traffic incidents and find near route
  • They announced the Bing Maps Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Control v1
  • There's new Bing Maps V7 modules too along with a new routing engine
  • James Fee shares an interesting entry named Bing Maps gets Nokia Brand and Possibly the Boot

On the remote sensing front:

  • This is pretty interesting to many: SS shares an entry named USGS Now Offers OrbView-3 High-Resolution Images for Free, 180,000 scenes at 1m spatial resolution available
  • China launched their first high-resolution remote sensing satellite, Ziyuan I-02C
  • Slashdot discussed the newly released version of Blue Marble high definition (and beautiful) satellite image of the Earth from the Suomi NPP satellite
  • Slashdot is running a story named Who's Flying Those Drones? FAA Won't Say and related, O'Reilly mentions OpenPilot, open source UAV with cameras
  • And another named Launch Your Own Nanosatellite Into Space

On the GNSS / GPS front:

  • It's coming, car makers are preparing for augmented reality driving
  • Not exactly GPS but via radio-tagging, see the nice and short video of whale 3D paths in the ocean
  • Slashdot is also discussing a story named New Mexico Is Stretching, GPS Reveals
  • MapQuest launched an html5 app-like site for Android and iPhone for using MapQuest

In the miscellaneous category:

  • The 7 geo predictions for of Cédric are interesting 
  • Microsoft's Flight Simulator, renamed Flight, will be available for free next Spring, with paid extra content
  • We never mentioned it before, but now Indiemapper is free, it "helps you make static, thematic maps from geographic data by bringing the best of traditional cartographic design to internet map-making."
  • SS mentions the new alliance between Autodesk and Pitney Bowes, APB also discuss this new relationship
  • SS also shares an entry named Safe Software’s Expanded Role as a Conduit Between Sensors and Systems
  • The U.S. EPA in their Locations Challenge introduced a crowdsourcing project of georeferenced photos of environmental problems
  • Slashdot ran a discussion on assembling your own 3D printer
  • The OGC shared a summary of the Eye on Earth Summit held in December
  • Another OGC entry was named Status of the OGC's Water Resource Activities
  • DM shares an article named GIS Adoption and Use on College Campuses: An End-of-Year Review and Look Ahead to
  • The GEB mentions a new 3D San Francisco website
  • I found interesting the possibility of a .data TLD
  • A new free iPad app: GeoViewer from LizardTech, supports MrSID format and more
  • It's been a while since we mentioned them, GISCorps were recently in 7 countries, including Libya

In the maps category:

  • APB summarizes this: Comparing Maps of Obesity and Car Travel
  • Here's an entry on cleanly using symbols on maps
  • Here's U.S. routes as a subway map and the U.S. National Wind Energy Map
  • Fox News shared a map with missing or wrongly placed countries
  • TMR shares an obligatory animated map of rising global temperatures since 1880
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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.

  • O'Reilly mentioned AntiMap, an open source toolset for recording and visualising your own location data from a smartphone, such lat long, compass direction, speed, distance, time and POI
  • Here's the shapefile-js project, allowing you to render local shapefiles with HTML5
  • We mentioned Fiona before, Sean reports on where's Fiona, a python OGR API, now at its v0.5 release
  • Quantum GIS 1.7.3 has been released, and they're getting closer to QGIS 1.8.0 and 2.0, apparently QGIS benefits from great momentum
  • GeoServer 2.1.3 has been release, related, here's an entry named Robust Clustering Solution for GeoServer
  • GeoTools 2.7.4 has been released
  • Its been since last Spring that we heard about the open source virtual globe Marble, here's an entry on Marble's satellite view
  • In this OpenGeo interview of Matt Priour, I learned about MapStory, "MapStory is an infrastructure for enabling “MapStorytelling” as a means of communicating important sociocultural dynamics to a global audience."
  • In this entry, you'll learn about using PgRouting on OpenStreetMap data within QGIS
  • Still on the same topic here's the vector transparency plugin for QGIS
  • Here's how to create coloured rasters with GDAL
  • If you're in Europe, the FOSS4G-CEE & Geoinformatics conference will be held in Prague May 21-23
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