ToGeoJson and ToWKT for the Esri FGDB API

In support of some of our ongoing PIM work, we’ve been integrating the Esri File Geodatabase (FGDB) API into some tools. Without going into a level of detail that would hijack this post, one of the many functions performed by some of the tools is to validate physical spatial databases against established data models to analyze compliance and identify differences. These databases may be in Esri or non-Esri formats and we have traditionally handled Esri geodatabases through ArcObjects since it provides a relatively uniform interface across the various flavors of geodatabase.

Of course, ArcObjects requires an ArcGIS license of some sort and we are finding out that this is not always available to users in the field under many situations so the FGDB API gets past that for file geodatabases, at least. Continue reading “ToGeoJson and ToWKT for the Esri FGDB API”

CartoDB/Leaflet Sample Update

A while back, I posted about some experimentation I did with Leaflet and CartoDB in the wake of FOSS4G in Denver. I recently had the chance to go back and update that sample with some spatial queries. At the time of the original post, CartoDB was still in beta and spatial queries didn’t seem to work, despite the fact that the back-end was driven by PostGIS.

Continue reading “CartoDB/Leaflet Sample Update”

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.

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.


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.