FOSS 4G - Day 1

Really it's day 3 of the Free and Open Source Software for Geoinformatics, but today is the first day of presentations. The previous days were workshops and meetings.


This morning, Pat Cappelaere demonstrated GeoBliki, an effort to aggregate and publish the EO-1 (Earth Orbserver) satellite imagery and sensor data using GeoRSS, Wiki pages, a Blog, Chat notifications, and a bunch of other cool tools. What is great is seeing all of this valuable, informative data coming from NASA satellites being easily accessible and disseminating to interested researchers and the public.

The GeoBliki publication system is a great use of a sensor web to publish location information connected to sensor data.

Abstract & Materials: EO1 GeoBliki - OGC Sensor Web Enabled Data Node


The next presentation was by Michael Leahy who is working at the University of Waterloo to develop MapChat. MapChat is an online, realtime chat tool for discussing maps, and geographic materials. Users can share map views, highlight and comment areas, and directly work through discussions and issues by working with the actual map data.

Abstract & Materials: Implementation of Synchronous, Spatially-Referenced Discussions Between Multiple Users with Open-Source Web GIS and Database Tools

Geospatial Server Appliance

Allan Doyle, from MIT and fellow GeoRSS blogger, presented some excellent work on creating a Mac-mini computer preloaded with Geospatial tools and data that can be given to NGO's and groups to quickly get up and running without being Geo-experts. By prepackaging the software, and various sets of scripts, users can just plug in the 'appliance' into power and their network and get instant access to maps, geospatial wikis, and analysis tools.

KyngChaos is a full set of ported Geo-tools that one can use to quickly get up and running with geo on a Mac/Unix machine.

Abstract & Materials: How to fit 5 Kilos of Software into a 1.3 Kilo Box


Right now, I'm learning about how GRASS can be used in Sustainable development and analysis, specifically when applied to LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Helena Mitasova is proposing means to get Open-Source Geospatial tools adopted into the upcoming LEED-ND for modeling and verification of sites meeting certificate requirements.

GRASS tools support Environmental Preservation, Resource Efficiency such as solar radiation modeling and photovoltaic potential of locations. Imagine using something like Univ. of Waterloo's MapChat to gather environmentalists, planners, administrators, and possibly the public to discuss and present various environmental anayses.

Unfortunately, it appears that geospatial tools, especially open-source tools, are not properly introduced and taught to University students who could really use these tools to do effective research and analysis.

Abstract & Materials: GRASS4LEED: Building geospatial support for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design

More updates soon...

About this article

written on
posted in TechnologyMapsGeoRSSConferenceFOSS4G Back to Top

About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.