Pre-FOSS4G Roundup

I’m getting ready to head out to Denver for the 2011 installment of FOSS4G. It seems like my biggest problem will be figuring out how to clone myself in order to sit in every session. Open-source geospatial is such a vibrant and active area right now that there’s just so much to see and learn.

A couple of things of note (to me) before I head out the door:

1. An announcement came through last week on the geowanking mailing list of a new tool called MXD2Map, which purports to convert ArcMap MXD documents to MapServer map files with corresponding WMS and WFS services created. I have not had a chance to look at it yet (mainly because I don’t have a current instance of MapServer running) but I’m excited to give it a go when I get a chance. From the MXD2Map site:

What is MXD2map?
MXD2map has the ability to publish ArcGIS MXD-files as OGC webservices via UMN MapServer.

MXD2map combines the following advantages:

Create your maps within your accustomed working environment with ArcGIS Desktop
Convert your project into a UMN MapServer confiuration mapfile
Intranetwide publishing of your own data via OGC webservices (e.g. WMS/WFS)
MXD2map is actively supported by Bundesamt fuer Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie in Hamburg.

2. It seems to me that a greater number of questions on are related to open-source GIS tools these days. Occasionally, questions from the site catch my eye in my Twitter timeline and it seemed like more and more were discussing open-source tools. As I wrote this post this morning, 17 of the first 50 questions were related to various open-source geospatial tools, ranging from desktop to web to database to libraries. This is a purely anecdotal observation on my part but the increase of questions on a forum like this seems to point to potentially greater activity in terms of using these tools to implement solutions.

3. A little Front Range love. I watched the activity at SOTM11 via Twitter off and on this weekend. This leads into FOSS4G and follows less than two weeks after GIS in the Rockies (also in Denver). I think the Front Range just effectively demonstrated that it is the leading region in the country in terms of all things spatial.

That’s it. I’m excited about catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, connecting Twitter avatars to real faces, and soaking up lots of FOSS4G knowledge.