Posts Tagged ‘FOSS4G’

Goings on at FOSS4G 2011

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

I’m at FOSS4G in Denver this week (Free and Open Source for Geospatial conference) and have learned a few things (eventually all presentations, audio and visuals of slides, will be available online):

  • There will be a QGIS update, version 1.71, sometime this month; it’s a minor release that will fix a few bugs. Some future version of QGIS will included a Data Browser (think Arc Catalog).
  • For folks who have asked me how they can get more cartographic production power out of QGIS, Inkscape looks like a good option – folks at UC Davis have been experimenting with it with some success.
  • Learned about a documentation system for open source (or any) project called Sphinx; documents are stored as restructured text files with some Python scripts that link them together and provide formatting for output and display.
  • Got a great, clear, concise overview of what’s involved with an open source web mapping stack.
  • There’s a study at Idaho State (affiliated with the group of folks there that created Map Window)that’s attempted to define the core functions of GIS based on a survey of GIS users. You can view their data by contacting the project lead.
  • Educators at a community college in Arizona are experimenting with an open source raster program called Opticks; a viable solution to more expensive packages like ERDAS and IDRISI.
  • There are some new Python libraries you can use to create and mine KML data
  • The FCC used a clever method for collapsing / aggregating US Census geography from the block level to create their Broadband Map.
  • While I’ve heard of and poked around the Open Street Map Project, I never realized that many of the users were contributing to the project by walking, cycling, and driving around with GPS units, which they upload to create and update road networks around the world. They also use some free datasets (like the Census TIGER files and equivalents from other countries) to augment and provide a frame of reference for their systems.
  • Data in the UK is finally opening up some more, and demand for products from the Ordnance Survey have been off the charts.
  • My presentation on using QGIS in an Academic library went pretty well, and I was pleased to discover I’m not the only GIS librarian at the conference! I’ve met folks from Ontario, Alberta, and Kansas.

FOSS4G In Denver This Sept

Monday, June 20th, 2011

I’m all set to go to FOSS4G 2011, the global conference on Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial, organized by OSGeo. The conference takes place in Denver, CO from Mon Sept 12 to Fri the 16th. The first two days (12th-13th) consist of morning and and afternoon workshops while the main conference takes place from the 14th to the 16th and features talks, presentations, tutorials, exhibits, and some fun social events.

The full program is available here, and it looks like it’s chock full of interesting presentations and lots of great learning opportunities via the workshops and tutorials. I’ll be presenting on Weds afternoon, for those interested in my adventures in introducing QGIS on a college campus.

If you’re on the fence about attending, consider this: this is the sixth year for the conference and it’s only the second time that it’s been held in North America (Canada hosted the 2nd conference in 2007) and the first time it’s being hosted in the US. So if you’re in North America and getting funding from your organization for travel is an issue, now’s your best chance to go. This is truly an international conference (was also hosted in Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, and Spain) so it probably won’t be back on these shores for awhile.

Here’s some more motivation – early registration at the discounted rate ends on June 30th!


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