Triggered Notifications Using PostGIS

My project work the last few months has kept me away from a lot of my favorite open-source tools and I was starting to get hives. Specifically, it had been a while since I had worked with PostgreSQL and PostGIS and I was missing the experience, so I dreamed up something to do.

I do a lot of work implementing situational awareness systems for my customers and one common requirement is automated notification of events. I decided that I wanted to roll a completely FOSS approach to sending an SMS notification based upon the results of a spatial query. This post will discuss the basic wiring to make it all work. I’ll probably add more advanced features in subsequent posts but I’ll be sticking to the basics for now.

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Me and zigGIS

If you’ve been to the Obtuse Software site recently, you may or may not have noticed a change to the “Who We Are” page. It now lists only Abe Gillespie and Paolo Corti. Prior to my trip to Colorado to talk about zigGIS at GIS in the Rockies, I informed Abe and Paolo that I would be stepping back from any “official” involvement in Obtuse.

This does not mean that I am stepping back from involvement in zigGIS. I plan to continue to support zigGIS as it returns to open-source but, in truth, I haven’t done much with zigGIS day-to-day in a long time. As part of the return of zigGIS to open-source at version 3.0, Abe has been working on a plan to give the community multiple paths to support the project, including sponsorship and technical support plans. I’m sure he’ll have the details out soon so I’ll leave it at that (since it’s not my story to tell). So, as Obtuse transitions to more of a supporting role for the zigGIS 3.0 open-source project, I felt that this was a good time to step away and become part of the community.

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Gearing up for GIS in the Rockies

I finally got around to finishing my travel plans for GIS in the Rockies (personal obligations prevent me from making it out for Ingite Spatial NoCo). I booked my flight a while ago but I had been procrastinating on the hotel and rental car. This will be my first time in that part of Colorado so I am looking forward to seeing the area and meeting people out there. NoCo is second only to the DC area in clustering of folks in my Twitter crowd.

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A Look at “PostGIS In Action”

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading a copy of the upcoming book by Regina Obe and Leo Hsu titled “PostGIS In Action.” Through my work with zigGIS and some of my consulting work with Zekiah, I have been using PostGIS with good results for some time now. I have found that it matches or exceeds the capabilities of its commercial counterparts and I can be quite productive with it.

Regina has been a frequent contributor to zigGIS discussions over the years and her expertise with PostGIS has definitely helped Abe, Paolo and I as we have worked on it. Also, many tips from the Boston GIS blog/site have been very helpful so I have been looking forward to this book for some time.

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SpatiaLite Provider Code for SharpMap 0.9

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was working on building a SpatiaLite data provider for SharpMap 0.9. That effort was mainly a learning exercise for me as work has already begun on one for SharpMap 2.0. I am making the source code available below. I have unit tested it (thanks mbUnit3 and Gallio) so it should be pretty solid.

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Using PostgreSQL Views in zigGIS 2.0.2

When we mapped out the way ahead for zigGIS, we knew we wanted to lay the groundwork to add support for SQL Server 2008 and possibly other database platforms. The way zigGIS was originally constructed, it used the PostGIS geometry_columns table to discover available spatial tables. This has worked well but we came to realize that there are numerous workflows that can be employed to create spatial tables in PostGIS and many of these don’t necessarily register in the geometry_columns table. For example, you can use a standard CREATE TABLE to create a table that includes a geometry column. In this case, the table will not be registered but will still be a valid spatial table. The same can be said for views.

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