Archive for September, 2007

Google Maps: Satellite Tiles Dead (From Victoria)

Posted in Google Maps, OpenLayers on September 27th, 2007 at 17:52:31

For the record, from the OpenLayers IRC:

The Satellite tiles from Google Maps appear to be dead. This is not a OpenLayers problem — This is also happening on Google Maps homepage.

So don’t blame me! :)

Getting Help With Open Source: Just a few bits

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, Social on September 27th, 2007 at 15:49:16

Three quotes from my presentation earlier today, on Getting Help With Open Source:

  • On talking to Open Source developers and asking for help: “Be Polite, Be Concise, Be Gracious.”
  • On diving into the code: “Code is pickled, executable documentation.”
  • On choosing your requests carefully: “A developer’s time is a limited resource. Don’t waste it!”

Talk went well. Transcript recorded by Arnulf on IRC (original). Many thanks to Arnulf, and all the attendees!

OpenLayers Routing, with a little help from my friends

Posted in Camptocamp, FOSS4G 2007, Locality and Space, OpenLayers, pgRouting on September 27th, 2007 at 12:54:51

So, one of the things I learned on Monday here at FOSS4G was how to set up pgRouting. pgRouting is a Postgres-based routing engine, originally developed by those wonderful Camptocamp folks, and since taken over by Orkney. The workshop showed us how to do routing with OpenLayers and pgRouting over Google Maps with free Canadian data.

With some urging from Erik, I put together a demo of this functionality — but of course, I couldn’t stop at just that, and instead had to go farther and do on-the-fly routing as you drag:

View the Demo on another page

Or, if you’ve got an SVG/VML supporting browser (Almost all of them, these days), check out the live demo of Boston.

FOSS4G 2007: OpenLayers

Posted in Cartoweb, Locality and Space, OpenLayers on September 27th, 2007 at 05:05:40

OpenLayers talk bursting at the seams. Went well, though Tim rushed it at the end so there weren’t as many questions asked as I had hoped there would be. I’m thinking that the ordering process from votes wasn’t really informative enough for making room decisions — some of them seemed to be in the wrong space for the crowd, though of course you can’t tell that ahead of time. Perhaps this just means that people who voted were biased away from things like OpenLayers and FeatureServer relative to the majority of the population… but then again, TileCache went in the Big Hall, and that’s only really usable with OpenLayers as far as I know…

Anyway, we also had the pre-sprint BOF, where we talked through some ideas on what we want to hack. It seems like improved documentation is definitely on the list, as well as context and animated panning/zooming. We’ll see what gets done, but it’s exciting times.

Speaking of exciting times: Camptocamp’s Cartoweb got rave reviews from everyone I talked to. (And, What is it based on on the client side but OpenLayers?) It seems like a really new thing to most people: “Wait, I can do real GIS-y things in a browser? Why did no one tell me this before?”

I don’t know about everyone else, but I was hugely impressed by seeing OpenLayers doing things that looked to me like real work: attribute search, quantile based styling, etc. Things that every GIS application seems to have — and now you can get them for OpenLayers too. Cool stuff.

GeoJSON: Spec updates

Posted in GeoJSON, Locality and Space on September 27th, 2007 at 04:54:55

Grabbed Sean Gillies yesterday and talked to him about GeoJSON. We came to a conclusion that his argument against type, although not ill-reasoned, was simply going to require a couple extra edits to the spec that might possibly limit its use slightly more. So, we decided to skip duck typing, use the type attribute everywhere, etc. I don’t know if Sean was really *convinced*, but he was willing to let me put his name back on the spec :)

Another GeoJSON community member (Martin Daly) pointed out that abusing EPSG (By saying “Use EPSG, but ignore the coordinate order”) is probably the wrong way to go about things. After talking to Raj, I got some feedback, and posted about an alternative (using OGC URNs) to the list.

So, if you have comments on GeoJSON, please share them now.

OGC Post: Followup

Posted in Locality and Space, OGC on September 27th, 2007 at 04:49:08

After thinking about the previous rant I made on the OGC for the past couple days, I’ve realized that the OGC is not actually the problem. Instead, my problem was with the attitude that has built up around the OGC machine — but that’s not really OGC’s fault in any direct way. I’ll post more on this later, but if I don’t post now, I’ll forget, so: Please remind me, after FOSS4G, to talk about what was wrong with my previous post, and what I think now, if I forget.

Also, there were a couple different technical mistakes in my previous email: I called the TC the “Tech Plenary”, which is not what I meant, and there are other things like that. I’ll clear up more afterwards, and I know a couple people I owe emails and other things to. So, at some point in the relatively near future, I’ll sit down and be rational instead of simply being pissy and reactive.

Though I maintain that talking about REST is meta-wankery, for the most part ;)

GRASS + QGIS: creating a non-GIS GIS Tool

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, Locality and Space on September 26th, 2007 at 15:12:11

Saw a neat presentation this morning about taking GRASS + QGIS and building a manager-friendly GUI: takes in data, and exports a PDF from Grass using drop downs in a wxPython GUI.

Quite neat. It’s one of those things that makes me wish that I worked for some company that did GIS. :)

TileCache Talk

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, Locality and Space, TileCache on September 26th, 2007 at 13:09:51

Schuyler gave a great overview of TileCache, how to use it, and what it does earlier today. It was good that I didn’t have to give it. :) Came together really nicely. From the talks, sounds like a few people are interested in it, and more than a few people are already using it.

TileCache is a weird piece of software, because it’s very good at what it does — per user, it seems like I get significantly fewer questions for TileCache than OpenLayers or something else. This is good, but means that my insight into the number of TileCache users is way lower than into OpenLayers.

Still, good to see the high interest in TileCache, and a great presentation by Schuyler which is great for people getting into it.

FeatureServer: Talk Complete

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, FeatureServer, Locality and Space on September 25th, 2007 at 18:26:11

Gave my FeatureServer talk. What I walked through in prep and what I actually talked about were not so much alike. However, the talk was *extremely* well attended. I feel bad for Charlie, who had way way more preparation — and really, a better talk — and about half the room walked out right before it :/

Still, I think the talk went well, and hopefully people got some information about FeatureServer that they didn’t have before.

Lightning Talks: I passed

Posted in FOSS4G 2007 on September 25th, 2007 at 13:18:08

Made it through my lightning talk. My 7 minute talk turned into a 4 minute talk somehow, but I didn’t get any negative feedback, and a couple pieces of positive feedback. So, I think I did okay.

Now watching Damien Conway, “Geek Eye for the Suit Guy”, who’s very amusing. Though since I work for a company that is a heavy open source user and supporter, and absolutely avoids proprietary tech when possible, it’s not the most useful thing for my personal work … but the “Exploit, Pimp, Hustle” 3-minute MBA is useful.