Archive for the 'FOSS4G 2007' Category

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.

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 FeatureServer, FOSS4G 2007, 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.

FOSS4G 2007: Plenary Session

Posted in FOSS4G 2007 on September 25th, 2007 at 11:31:49

ow at the FOSSS4G Plenary:

Paul Ramsey is talking to us about the conference — how it’s grown over the years. Last year’s conference theme as ‘have fun’, and he thinks that this is a great one this year too. He’s also saying that open source is about community: with that, we should go out and build more community. It’s not about the “license, version control, subroutines or macros: it’s about the community”. He says to make an unexpected connection: more connections makes us all more effective.

Simple walkthrough of all the upcoming conference things, and introducing Autodesk’s Geoff Zeiss as the first keynote speaker.

Geoff is talking about how the world is moving, and how Open Source can help solve the problems. Worldwide challenges affect a ton of things around the world — things like sustainable development, aging workforce, aging infrastructure, etc.

Some of the steps forward that Open Source can provide can be led by the Web 2.0 style participatory information gathering into all kinds of large organizations — utilities, telcos, etc. MapGuide, FDO, Fusion used to do dynamic editing from the field, etc.

Geoff also adds that Autodesk aquired a company (Mentor?) that does map projection software and will be taking the software, open sourcing it, and moving it into OSGeo’s hands.

Battery dying… more later.

Arrived in Victoria

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, Locality and Space on September 23rd, 2007 at 18:41:53

Now in Victoria. Actually, I was in Victoria something like 2 hours ago — I was able to make it from my A14 gate flight to S16C at SeaTac in record time, by my estimation, in only something along the lines of 12 minutes (including riding the silly little train), and was therefore able to get on my puddle jumper flight 3 hours early by flying standby. So, I got to skip the layover, and have been chilling by registration.

If you’re coming by, I’m sitting against the wall for the next hour or so probably, and then heading out to the Sticky Wicket after that.

Conference Time a-comin

Posted in FOSS4G 2007, Locality and Space on September 22nd, 2007 at 23:11:53

FOSS4G Conference is all this week, and I’ll be posting a ton of stuff as it happens in an effort to keep people not at the conference as in the loop as possible.

This means that if you don’t care about Geo, it might be a good time to drop me out of your feedreader temporarily 🙂

Flying all day tomorrow, so expect to hear more from me late tomorrow night.

(Anything fun to do with a 3 hour layover at Seatac?)

FOSS4G2007: Two Presentations

Posted in FeatureServer, FOSS4G 2007 on July 15th, 2007 at 23:53:22

Just got notice that I’ll be giving two presentations at FOSS4G 2007:

FeatureServer: A REST-based Server for Simple Features
With the number of tools for creating vector data online growing rapidly over the past year, users have spent more and more of their time creating annotations of existing maps. Unfortunately, managing this user generated data in a web browser can be difficult: the existing tools for storing geographic data on the server are largely based around the WFS-T specification, which is not the most conducive to the browser environment. FeatureServer provides an alternative mechanism for fetching and storing geographic data, using a REST-based interface that is friendly to browsers and other clients alike.

And with Howard Butler:

The Gift Economy Ain’t Free: Getting Help with Open Source Software
Have you ever been told to RTFM? STFW? Sent an email to a project’s maillist that languished for days without a response? This talk will give you ammo that you can use to bust out of the rut of frustration and non-response.