Maryland Council on Open Data

Back in May, I had the honor of being appointed to the newly established Maryland Council on Open Data. The Council had its inaugural meeting in Baltimore yesterday and was heavily attended, including attendance by Governor Martin O’Malley. I’ll discuss his remarks to the group later.

As the first meeting of a new group, it went off largely as I expected. The agenda consisted primarily of an overview of the establishing legislation, a review of ethics requirements, demos of the existing open data portals, discussion of the history of open data in Maryland, and remarks from the Governor.

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JS.GEO 2014 Locked in Solid

A while back, I posted about about the 2014 edition of JS.GEO. After that post, things got a little fluid, but I’m happy to finally be able to provide an update.

According to JS.GEO Organizer Chris Helm, the event is “locked in solid.”

The event has a web site, a location, and a date. Tickets and sponsorships are available. Agenda is to be announced and they are actively seeking speakers.

The first event was one of those serendipitous things that turned out to be pretty awesome. It was personally very influential on me and changed the focus of a lot of what I was doing with geospatial and with programming. It’s probably the best single geospatial event I’ve attended in the last five years. The fact that FOSS4G will have already drawn a like-minded crowd to Portland should bode well for JS.GEO. My own attendance is still in question due to a number of factors but I highly recommend adding this to your schedule if you can.

ArcWhat? I Just Want My Map.


What follows is probably my last post related to the Esri User Conference and is highly Esri-centric. Open-source readers may want to jump off here, or exercise a willing suspension of disbelief.

A couple of posts ago, I did something that I generally try to avoid. I took Esri to task for its confusing product names without really offering any thoughts on how to make things better. I don’t really like it when people do that to me so I’ll try to correct that here. It bears noting that I was not the only person feeling this way at the UC. I was happy to see Adena’s post over at Directions touch on this and it also came up in a number of conversations I had while I was in San Diego.

Here are some things that I think may help. They represent most of the stumbling blocks I typically encounter when doing consulting/integration with Esri-centric users, especially new ones.

Spaghetti”. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.

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Slow Food

In 1985, I was a junior in high school and I got my first job at a local chain steakhouse. I ended up staying there for a few years and did everything, including management. This particular location happened to be the busiest store in the chain, which had a couple hundred locations at the time. Basically, we just unlocked the doors and people came in. We often had a line and managers from all over the country came to see how we did business.

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I’ve been a consultant/programmer/integrator/other for over twenty years now. That’s not quite long enough to say I’ve seen it all but long enough to notice a few patterns. Admittedly, I’ve spent the vast majority of that time working in the defense world so the patterns may be heavily skewed to that but I think not.

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The Esri UC So Far #EsriUC

So I’m halfway through the largest geospatial event of the year, attending it for the first time in four years, and I haven’t blogged yet. As always, it’s a busy week. Because this event draws people from all over the country (and world), my dance card fills up pretty quickly. And, by the way, there’s a conference going on.

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Gearing Up for the Esri UC

With a house move behind us and a lot of unpacking and other tasks ahead, I am nonetheless getting ready to head out to the Esri International User Conference next week. This will be my first time attending since 2010 and is the first UC since then that has aligned with my schedule in a way that I can make it. Of course, the price is right this year as well ($0.00).

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