Simple Tile Viewer

We do a lot of tiles for various customers at Zekiah. Tiling is as much art as science and sometimes things go wrong so we have a range of utilities that we use to perform various kids of QA. Because the caches can be large, we usually want to perform a visual QA on the static tiles before pushing them up to wherever they are going to live full-time.

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When Is a GeoPortal Not a GeoPortal?

When it’s really a desktop application.

Over the past few weeks, I have been reading with conflicted agreement the posts of Brian Timoney and Bill Morris about the nature of geo-portals and what they should or should not be and do. I say that I am in conflicted agreement not because I take any issue with anything they have said. Their posts represent what should be considered best practices in terms of building web mapping applications. In Brian’s posts, the counter-examples he highlights represent some of the worst practices to be avoided.

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SharpMap 1.0 RC1 Released

Over on Google+, Diego Guidi let me know that the SharpMap 1.0 Release Candidate has been released. There was a time when I worked with, and wrote about, SharpMap a lot. During that entire time, the stable version of SharpMap sat at some version number that started with “0.9”. The release of a 1.0 candidate is a signal that the project is moving forward.

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The Best Thing I Saw at TUGIS 2013

I spent the day yesterday at Towson University attending the TUGIS 2013 conference. The new one-day format was a firehose that showcased the diversity of geospatial work occurring across the State of Maryland. The keynote by Learon Dalby was well-received and the content of the conference was generally substantive. While the day was a sprint, there was one workshop that really caught my attention more so than I would have thought from its title.

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Off to TUGIS

Tomorrow, I’ll be heading up to the Towson University GIS (TUGIS) conference with 500 or so of my closest Maryland geo-friends. It has been restructured into a one-day event and the program seems to be very content-rich as a result. I am particularly happy to see more open-source content this year. There’s an intro session featuring PostgreSQL, PostGIS, QGIS, and GeoServerpresented by Salisbury State University. Salisbury was once known as a bastion of Manifold so they’ve got a long history of thinking outside the Arc. Additionally, there is a session (by Towson University) discussing the use of GDAL, OGR, and Shapely in the development of a spatial service.

Brian Timoney's favorite state flag

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A #LazyWeb Compendium of Python Resources for Beginners

A friend who is in the midst of a career change and moving into the GIS world asked me for some pointers to resources for getting started with Python. I threw the question out to Twitter (with a similar variation also posted to Google+):

I got a couple of requests to summarize any information I received, which seemed reasonable. I got quite a few responses and here are some links:

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Arc2Earth: Choose Your ‘Cloud’

For various reasons, I can’t attend today’s inaugural FedGeoDay at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC, though I’ll be watching the hashtag with great interest. Jack Flood of Arc2Earth, however, has already posted his slides to SlideShare:

[slideshare id=16811994&w=427&h=356&sc=no]

 

While neither ArcMap nor Arc2Earth are open-source themselves, Jack points out that Arc2Earth acts as a bridge between ArcMap and several geospatial hosting platforms that are built on open-source technology but, also just as important, are successful at making data more openly available. These platforms include CartoDB and MapBox, among many others.

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Yes, You Need to Code

Over the past year, I’ve been involved in searching for GIS analysts a number of times. As a result, I’ve noticed a few patterns:

  1. There are a lot of analysts out there looking for jobs. Every time I run an ad, I get at least 100 resumes from people of various levels of experience and education.
  2. The vast majority of those that I call to pre-screen have not done any meaningful coding of any kind. This includes Python, which has been shipping with ArcGIS for several versions now.
  3. Of those that do have some coding experience, many do not show it on their resumes. I find this particularly interesting as I can’t imagine why a person would choose not to list all relevant skills or experience.

I am very publicly on the record that I think some form of coding skill is essential for any GIS analyst entering the workforce today. My reasoning here is fairly straightforward.

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