Fed up with PlanetGS

I finally got fed up with Planet GeoSpatial this weekend. Too much Google, too many formatting mess ups, and in general, too much crap. Although I appreciate that those who are working in the GeoSpatial space have a large interest in ESRI, Google Earth and Maps, and the general ‘state of the industry’, my target interests are much smaller. I just want to know about what’s going on in the world which affects Open Source GeoSpatial software: I wanted what is essentially “Planet OSGeo”, rather than “Planet Geo”.

(Note that this is a commentary mostly on my specific interests, rather than on Planet GeoSpatial, which James Fee has done a wonderful job on maintaining for the wider target audience he has.)

To that end, and with Sean Gillies’ excellent recommendation of Venus (omg, a version of Planet that *works*?), I’ve set up Planet OSGeo, a collection of Open Source GIS blogs.

Of note, I’ve not included several topics here, even though they are at least tangentially related to Open Source Geo:

  • GeoRSS. There are a half dozen people who are regularly blogging about GeoRSS — not least, the GeoRSS blog. However, GeoRSS is not in and of itself “software”, which is my target interest, and I think the primary field in which OSGeo has thus far expressed an interest.
  • OpenStreetMap. Although collection of Open Geodata is within the realm of OSGeo, at the moment I’m targeting software, and most of OSM’s blogging is not about software development.

(I’m happy to take feedback on my choices — or suggestions for more blogs!)

Notably lacking in this Planet:

  • Blog for OpenLayers. Thus far, I’ve not set up a seperate infrastructure for OpenLayers blogging, sticking instead to the MetaCarta Labs blog. I think the time has come to grow out of that, and move into some OpenLayers infrastructure for blogging.
  • Blog for GDAL. The library at the base of much of the Geo software on the web doesn’t have an RSS feed — for either announcements or general project discussion. Some of this is probably representative of the stability of the project: certainly after as many years as GDAL has been around, there’s limited content in terms of “Rapid Development” that many other tools like web mapping clients are still undergoing. Still, an announcements log with an RSS feed would be cool.
  • MapServer. MapServer doesn’t seem to have a blog or RSS feed out of its website that provides interesting announcement-style updates, which would be good to see.

I think the things I see as ‘missing’ clearly demonstrate my bias in development and usage of tools — so I’m sure more people can point out what else I’m missing.

Looking forward to any feedback you might have.

11 Responses to “Fed up with PlanetGS”

  1. James Fee Says:

    Seems like a great idea to me. I’ve added a link from Planet Geospatial to Planet OSGeo. Someone else did the same thing a couple weeks ago (but from an ESRI perspective).


  2. XuRxO Says:

    Hi Chris,

    It’s possible to have on the RSS feed the name of the blog at the beginning of every entry?

    btw, a great and very welcomed idea!

  3. Sam Ruby Says:

    Something not adequately documented in Venus, but you would do better to serve the output as utf-8. For Apache, adding one or both of the following to your .htaccess file would do the trick:

    AddDefaultCharset utf-8
    AddCharset utf-8 .html

  4. crschmidt Says:

    Sam —

    Thanks. I had noticed the lack of UTF-8 at one point (when Firefox guessed wrong on the encoding, after guessing right for a while, I guess), just hadn’t investigated yet.

  5. Tim Schaub Says:

    May not have that much of interest, but you can get RSS out of the MapServer site.

    Example of news and events:

    If you want something more custom, start from http://mapserver.gis.umn.edu/search_form.

    Though this is not typically announcements on software updates, perhaps if it was read it would encourage more posting there.

  6. Mateusz Loskot Says:

    There is a lack of GDAL blogging, indeed, though I think there are a few bloggers posting about GDAL from time to time, like Hobu, Sean Gillies (I think I could include myself too) 🙂

  7. belg4mit Says:

    What about slashgeo? Since it’s slashcode you can even filter by topic.

  8. Tom Kralidis Says:

    I post from time to time on MapServer, FOSS4G and OGC stuff, so feel free to add to planet osgeo if it’s useful.

  9. timmie Says:

    Nice idea,
    what about including this one:

  10. rektide Says:

    your planet appears to have gotten eaten.

  11. rektide Says:

    and by eaten i actually meant that its now available at:

    the first sets of google links i hit were pointing to yours.