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.
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.
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.
I wanted to take a opportunity to do something I don’t often do, and draw attention to a series of posts that’s going on over on my company’s blog. About a year ago, my company, Zekiah Technologies joined forces with Upper 90 Systems. Upper 90 was probably best known for their work building tools that supported the Spatial Data Standard for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE), which is a data model that is used by the US DOD to standardize the representation of GIS data for the purpose of performing facilities management on military installations.
SDSFIE (PDF) has existed for some time, with several versions of the standard being rolled out to its diverse user community. Through that process, we’ve learned a thing or two about configuration management of widely-implemented geospatial data models. This understanding has been turned into a series of tools designed to help with the issues surround lifecycle management of a data model (as opposed to physical databases themselves).
We are working with a Federal Government customer that had the interesting policy that users can install software as long as it makes no changes to the Windows registry. These users are currently running a mix of Windows 7 and XP. We are working with them to help manage one of their data models. In this case, it’s more about performing configuration management on the model/standard itself rather than physical databases with real data in them. It’s a topic we touched on over at the Zekiah blog here and an approach we have used successfully for years to manage the SDSFIE data standard.