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FOSS4G Notes - Day Two

Posted by jive on September 12, 2006 at 3:29 PM PDT

FOSS4G Day Two

Well this is fun, have to drop out of my gvSig workshop as it conflicts
with the demofest. Although dissappointed that I will not be able to
attend I am pleased to see gvSig doing so well.

Since I am the uDig architect I should probably explain :-) One of the
things I see happening over the next while is, especially in the Java
Geoinfomatics community, is a move to compitition and collaboration.

  • Over the last year uDig and gvSig have traded back
    rendering performance times between them, occasionally diving into each
    others code to see how it was done. Compitition open source style.
  • uDig developed a kick ass "parser" in order to tackle the
    GML3 situtation, looks like we are going to be able to collaborate with
    gvSig on this core engine (and simply get the engine to kick out
    objects in each of our feature models). Collaboration open source style.

But enough of my hopes for the future, lets get back to today ..

Morning Session

Nice expetential graph, now if only we had a consistent name:

cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2">
2003 90 people MapServer User Meeting
2004 200+ people MapServer User Meeting and Open Source GIS Conference
2005 300+ people Open Source Geospatial Conference
2006 500+ people Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics

Fun stuff, and scheduling out of the week.

Lighting Talks

Schuyler - "Neogeographer" vs "GIS" - Fun vs Serious. Very fun as
usual, nice call to action - "Maps are Cool" indeed. A very nice series
of graphs trying to get the geospatial community to relax and embrase
the revolution.

Over the course of the
next several weeks I found people refering to the strengths of
 new wave geography and phrasing questions around how we could
get some of our technology choices to scale by relaxing a little on
such things as accuracy :-)
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Markus - Grass, Interesting historical summary, going to have to look
at JGrass and see if I can grab there access to punt off analysis.
Grass 3D is also looking pretty sweet, glad to see the the OSGEO slides
coming out to play (we need to work on the colors so they show up on
the projection systems).

Stephen - WebGIS. Open Layers, MapGuide, what is going on? Compitition!
Now if we can start getting some collaboration I wil be happy.
 Very interesting to see KML outstrip WFS in terms of data
(makes sense since KML out is not quite including all the data, more of
visualization option like SVG). Nice to see Tiled WMS being a happy
source of collaboration, and
OpenLayers and Ka-Map at least talking.

Chris - Java GIS, over view of java community (community of
communities). Emphasis on open standards for interoptability,
intergration with C libraries (JGrass, GDAL support in geotools
relativly soon etc...). Desktop excitement (compitition!)
uDig, Jump, gvSig all with plug-in play to help fuel user
interface for the new geographers.  Nice to see 52 north
(really cool WPS, SWE stuff) although GeoTracing was also new to me.

Sponsors Presentations

Autodesk - interesting background into MapGuide history, "write code
that you would not mind showing other people", and early experiments
with mono (porting some .net code etc). Mostly they seemed very happy
with there open source efforts, public code repository etc.  I
like the fact that some external code contributions (KML support) in
the first week of their opening the codebase is seen as such a source
of joy and validation for their hard work.

I hope next year they can talk about their accomplishments in the
field, and just
assume the open source involvement. Need to make sure to track down one
of their techs and talk about their feature model.

Camptocamp - trying to figure out what these guys do. Seems to be a
consulting company arranged around the usual suspects (PostGIS,
MapServer etc...). Very nice organization of the event!  Ended
with a live picture of coffee (yeah!) and chocolate!

Tydac - portal into switzerland. Love the fact that their alpine huts
are tracked :-) In canada my familly has a shared cabin at 8000 feet,
accessible only by ski. Very happy to see FME with a reseller in
europe (that is some very fun software).  More bribary with

DM Solutions - Always fun to hear Dave talk, this time mostly thanks to
those who contributed time and effort to bringing several of these
conference together for FOSS4G. Interesting to hear about some of the
commercial contributions, really showing that OSGEO was founded "just
in time".

Progress and Call to Action

Heck so that is what Frank looks like :-)  A couple very dense
slides of goals, I think next time we should try and shoot for
principlesrather then goals.  It is really great to see OSGEO
doing a keynote here,
and I like the fact they are helping where our open source projects are
weak (legal support, internationlaization, etc..). I treasure the
freenode#osgeo channel as one of the only forms of cross project
polination that is always on.

I had worried about
posting these little summaries, but as of yet I do not see Frank's
slides on the FOSS site :-)

The talk seems to go through the various committees -
would be nice to
have a "map" from the foundation goals to the committee responsible for
meeting those goals.

  • Iccubation -  is front and center, currently at a
    prgamatic level this is the "work" of the OSGEO foundation right now.
     The GeoTools experience has been pretty "rough" in spots,
    hopefully these
    early projects can blaze the trail for others.

    Interesting to break out the "Principles of the OSGeo Way",
    for projects they should roughly:
    • manage themselves, consensus from community
    • treat contributors well
    • work with open standards and collaborate with others
    • ensure integrity of their code base
  • Promotion and Visibility: seem to be keepers of the
  • Geodata: software is half the battle, with out data we can
    all only draw the white flag of surender :-)
  • Education: remember grad students make great contributors!
    They last several years and tackle hard problems.
  • Fundraising: this will end up being a fine balance,
    to review the project sponsorship program (would like to know how
    targetted it is).
  • Local Chapters: organization by location - how apt!

Progress report - several months on.

  • eight major projects :-)
  • response to goverment RFI
  • conferences: where 2.0, OSCON, MapAsia, LinuxTag
  • graduation of mapbender
  • launch of osgeo chapters

A nice change of mood as Frank started speaking on his hopes for the
foundation (rather then just speaking for the foundation itself).

Afternoon and Demofest

The afternoon was fairly smooth, spent a lot of time at the OSGeo booth
(of all the conferences where manning the both is easy this would be
the one). It was fun to see the GeoTools crowd form (meet each other)
and try and figure out who was who (hint: simone is the tall guy).
While we did our best to man the OSGeo booth (giving demos and so on)
it quickly became apparent that conversations devolved into looking at
source code being excited about the "new" GridCoverage support.

When it came time for the DemoFest you often could not tell
the difference between those reading emails and those giving demos.
This is the good thing about an open source conference. We tried to set
up some signs and give people sheets of paper to write the name of
their project/demo on.

GeoTools BOF

I will write up the minuets shortly, needless to day they got down
right down to biz, but for now let me leave you with a picture :-)

title="GeoTools Development Team 2006"

We were treated to a Birthday cake, as the longest running contributor
we asked Martin to do the honours:

alt="Martin with Birthday Cake" title="Happy Birthday"