Planet PostGIS Online

Planet PostGIS, an aggregation of PostGIS-related blog content is now online. As the name suggests, it is built using the same technology as James Fee’s Planet Geospatial but is focused on content related to PostGIS.

If you are working with PostGIS, whether as part of an open-source stack or in conjunction with proprietary tools such as ArcGIS, you may want to check out Planet PostGIS.

Thanks to Regina Obe and everyone involved in setting this up.

QGIS 1.8.0 Released

I caught a tweet by my friend Paolo Corti this morning that QGIS 1.8.0 has been released.

Upon checking out the full list of new features here, a few caught my eye:

– QGIS Browser – a stand alone app and a new panel in QGIS. The
browser lets you easily navigate your file system and connection based
(PostGIS, WFS etc.) datasets, preview them and drag and drop items
into the canvas.

– DB Manager – the DB manager is now officially part of QGIS core. You
can drag layers from the QGIS Browser into DB Manager and it will
import your layer into your spatial database. Drag and drop tables
between spatial databases and they will get imported. You can use the
DB Manager to execute SQL queries against your spatial database and
then view the spatial output for queries by adding the results to QGIS
as a query layer.

– MSSQL Spatial Support – you can now connect to your Microsoft SQL
Server spatial databases using QGIS.

– Support for PostGIS TopoGeometry datatype

– Terrain Analysis Plugin – a new core plugin was added for doing
terrain analysis – and it can make really good looking coloured relief
maps.

– Heatmap tool – a new core plugin has been added for generating
raster heatmaps from point data. You may need to activate this plugin
using the plugin manager.

Continue reading “QGIS 1.8.0 Released”

Breaking Radio Silence

Things have been kind of quiet on the blog lately due to things being busy at work. I call that a good problem to have. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve written a a lot of proposals for a mixture of potential customers. Interestingly, I’m seeing a lot more call for “GIS Analyst” work. One trend I’ve noticed, at least in the Federal sector, is that the time between proposal due dates and award announcements seems to be lengthening. That may be an indication of the ongoing flux in funding and organizations try to figure out how to fund their requirements. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Of course, it’s good that the opportunities are there in the first place.

One the technical side of things, I’ve been involved in a smattering of things that’s made it hard to roll up one good post. I’m pretty heavily involved in the PIM efforts that my colleague, Barry Schimpf, has been blogging about over on the Zekiah blog. Continue reading “Breaking Radio Silence”

MapWindow Open-Source Conference Coming Up

Thanks to Twitter, I see that the 3rd annual MapWindow Open-Source GIS Conference is coming up at the end of June. It is being held in Velp, The Netherlands. I call this conference out because it has a strong, but not exclusive, concentration on open-source GIS tools for the .Net environment, such as DotSpatial, SharpMap, and NTS. Additionally, there will be content on non-.Net tools such as PostGIS, OpenLayers and others. This makes sense as any complete stack usually contains a mix of technologies. PostGIS is almost the de facto standard back-end for open-source geo stacks and QGIS is probably the best open-source editor for it so inclusion of such tools is quite necessary.

MapWindow

For a number of reasons, I can’t attend but I’ll be watching the live stream with interest. It’s location in Europe makes a lot of sense. I’ve always noticed that my early posts on SharpMap get a large portion of traffic from Europe and a majority of the user base of zigGIS was European so I suspect there is a lot of demand there for open-source tools built on .Net. This conference could be a good one-stop shop if you are interested in such tools.

FOSS4G North America

It’s rather fitting that the second plenary talk on Wednesday had to do with “firehose” applications since the FOSS4G North America (FOSS4GNA) conference was something of a firehose in itself. Despite the fact that the event was smaller than the worldwide event in Denver back in October, I came away with the same “full brain” feeling.

It feels like I never leave this place.

Of course, given the recent production release of PostGIS 2.0, that was kind of the big story for this event. I attended a number of PostGIS/PostgreSQL-related sessions and came away with lots of new information. I especially enjoyed Paul Ramsey’s “what’s new” talk on Wednesday. One thing I enjoy about his talks (here and in Denver) is that he’s not afraid to throw sample SQL up on the screen. It’s one thing to hear about a new feature but it’s another thing entirely to see a concrete example. Some may find the idea of raw SQL in a presentation abhorrent but it worked for me. Continue reading “FOSS4G North America”

A Busy Day for Releases

3 April 2012 was a busy day for releases/announcements in the geospatial field:

PostGIS 2.0 – This long-anticipated major version of PostGIS was announced with advanced features such as raster, topology, and 3D/4D indexing. Many have been using 2.0 for a while but the official release gives top-cover to organizations, such as some government agencies, that are not allowed to take systems “production” using software that is technically in beta.

CartoDB v1 – I’ve blogged about CartoDB before and it’s an intriguing platform for hosting geospatial data and applications. It uses PostGIS 2.0 as its storage engine and exposes a lot of PostGIS capability through its API. It’s a pretty elegant way to build interactive mapping applications. It’s support of GeoJSON makes it easy to integrate with a number of mapping libraries

GraffitiMapper – This is a location-based application built by Spatial Networks on their Fulcrum platform. It’s a great example of a specialized crowd-sourcing application. In this case, capturing graffiti using location as a potential indicator of other activity. It also really showcases the flexibility of Fulcrum. The app is currently only available for iOS but rumor has it Android is in the works.

All-in-all, it was pretty exciting day. Congratulations to everyone involved in all of these releases.

Well, my toy box is now overflowing so it’s time to start playing.

FCC Open-Sources MapBox Module for Drupal

See the FCC announcement here.

MapBox has been winning a lot of high-profile converts lately, such as Foursquare. In my opinion, it’s one of the more perfect web mapping solutions, commercial or open-source, to come along in a while. The combination of cartographic engine (Mapnik), tile generation (TileMill) and storage (MBTiles) make MapBox one of the most elegant ways to serve beautiful maps currently available. Continue reading “FCC Open-Sources MapBox Module for Drupal”