Empowering people, popularizing open source, and building a business

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Empowering people, popularizing open source, and building a business
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Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
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Portland, Oregon, United States of America

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Vizzuality went from a data communications consulting company to the creator of one of today's most popular online mapping frameworks, CartoDB. Four years ago, we recognized a major problem in open source geospatial tools, they were still prohibitively difficult to use to creating dynamic, interactive, and beautiful online maps. That was when we decided to build CartoDB, a mix of existing open source software such as PostGIS and our own new code. Each account on CartoDB represents a new PostGIS enabled database, a new user of libraries such as Leaflet, and we hope, a long-time supporter of open source. In this talk, I'll present on how we are building a new and quickly growing community around open source geospatial. I'll talk about our plans for the future and how we plan to support open source for many years to come.
Keywords business development management innovation
Texture mapping Computer animation Computer programming Twitter
Building Mathematics Computer animation Open source Bit Computer programming
Group action Lecture/Conference Projective plane Conservation law Self-organization Food energy
Standard deviation Software developer Projective plane Drop (liquid) Cartesian coordinate system Mereology Sign (mathematics) Visualization (computer graphics) Lecture/Conference Different (Kate Ryan album) Universe (mathematics) Cuboid Spacetime
Goodness of fit Texture mapping Computer animation Open source Interface (computing) Projective plane Computer network Conservation law Client (computing) Quicksort Cartesian coordinate system
Mathematics Computer animation Different (Kate Ryan album) Electronic mailing list Web browser Musical ensemble Species Computer-assisted translation Cartesian coordinate system Library (computing)
Web page Computer animation Open source Cartesian coordinate system
Computer animation Meeting/Interview Videoconferencing Fundamental theorem of algebra
Mathematics Texture mapping Service (economics) Computer animation Mapping Open source Virtual machine Video game Cloud computing Quicksort Computing platform Software as a service
Point (geometry) Server (computing) Group action Texture mapping Computer animation Mapping Logic gate Spacetime Power (physics)
Computer animation Office suite
Computer animation Mapping Software developer Core dump Trans-European Networks
Email Computer animation Mapping Tower Tesselation Zoom lens Energy level Bit
Web page Web 2.0 Texture mapping Computer animation Open source Meeting/Interview Interface (computing)
Mapping Open source Interface (computing) Multiplication sign Quicksort Web browser
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Point (geometry) Building Computer animation Open source Series (mathematics) Mereology
Revision control Email Computer animation Different (Kate Ryan album) Library (computing) Twitter
Word Process (computing) Computer animation Multiplication sign Website Quicksort Public key certificate Social class
Point (geometry) Building Computer animation Mapping Sequel Relational database Query language Right angle
Server (computing) Texture mapping Computer animation Validity (statistics) Interface (computing) Video game Row (database)
Computer animation Mapping Interface (computing)
Web page Collaborationism Game controller Multiplication Texture mapping Computer animation Password Quicksort Game theory Library (computing)
Collaborationism Uniform resource locator Texture mapping Computer animation Transformation (genetics) Student's t-test Shape (magazine) Quicksort System call Geometry Library (computing)
Building Functional (mathematics) Open source Sequel Code Real number Multiplication sign Mass Mereology Automatic differentiation Number Internetworking Texture mapping Mapping Expert system Database Cartesian coordinate system Limit (category theory) Computer animation Query language Summierbarkeit Quicksort Writing Geometry Library (computing)
Standard deviation Sequel Interface (computing) Polygon Open set System call
Mobile app Building Computer animation Different (Kate Ryan album) Code Cellular automaton Software developer Client (computing) Computer programming Product (business)
Elektronisches Marketing Mobile app Open source Code Multiplication sign Software developer Planning Online help Open set Landing page Computer programming Field (computer science) Stiff equation Word Computer animation String (computer science) Single-precision floating-point format Self-organization Quicksort Nichtlineares Gleichungssystem Error message Engineering physics Spacetime
tell you what to tell you a little about this so is on the programs such as those of the other yeah giving the talk if any of you have not met idea
for this what have looks like and how did did make it today because apparently had a maybe a
baby and see the baby yet but this is how tweets about the baby from he makes maps when the baby's asleep so you could make it today he's in Madrid but some you scratch from the programs
but then I started looking at the talk title that we gave and other wait a 2nd that title is backwards 1st of all so I'm at but the other way around and then as I that's you guys can't read it so well I guess but I said it's as popularize open source and think open source is really pretty popularity so as like Daddy there so you scratch that and you change the title to the building a business improving open source in empowering people that's what I'm talking about today and ideas now here so slight change to the program feminist of ability business improving open source and you at my talk this morning sorry there's going be a little bit of overlap here and some mystery years ago 8
years ago our company was an article this reality it was started by 2 guys
idea and Sergio in the back of the room here and optimal shout out later in the In the talk
as well we we work this is while you work as a consulting company working on projects for scientists and conservation organizations but energy citizen-science groups projects it well to do data
visualization application development so this is a really cool and the project that we did with NASA to help marker seafloor biodiversity of or this is the
application we did uh as part of the universe universe in this is an application called planters US assisted signs are for people can come drop box around different deviations in in light intensity and that helps find stars out in deep space very cool but our company if you if you look at
old portfolio of projects up a large percentage percentage of them were done using maps was about doing some sort of data communication and we primarily use maps as a tool our clients wanted to use maps and our clients sort coming from science and conservation had a good understanding of open source in the fact they wanted to do open source we wanted you beautiful design and put it online we done not
working open source are or or working where you geospatial data I guess you can were forced to to use a lot applications that had terrible interfaces and were really built to be beautiful still to be simple but an
ensemble adding we they sort like were still stuck in an era where working in the browser was and what you did it work and things of fundamentally change that now we wanna work in the browser not really simple tools so
this is an example application we bill as with reality that it's a tool called you a cat it's funny that some that shares a name with a company years difference but and this is a geospatial biodiversity assessment tool societies can come up with the dataset and get a rapport and that she uses to do IUCN Red List assessments to tell whether or not a species and is in danger or not it's still in use very cool simple act so we're in the
possibilities of the tools in 3 years ago the so all the way if we are building these tools were cobbling together these open source building the simple solutions for our customers what if we step back from it she built a tool that anybody can start doing that with
exactly 3 years ago we launched Scotty this was the original page that you into or something close to the original page you into that and we we large beta 3 years ago the application
looked at something like this I think that it looks a lot more beautiful now a lot more simple now even when but the fundamentals were there and and you can really get we're going at as it is the
1st like the homemade promotional video for and this is shot in our in our house that we rented at fast for GE 2011 that's where we lasted 3 years ago was here here fast for g all and so we may gotta
be and it's a as a software-as-a-service mapping platform you can take a dataset uploaded design map published online access it through the eyes change the data and the and the maps reflect those changes life and I was sort of our goal because of a lot of all of these lot of scientists had this need to put data online that there was going to change and then was to manage it so we we knew in our mind we want to work with dynamic data the billing the
so brought up a lot of questions for us and for people using it as a 1 the most interesting 1 is it is can you induce offers a service with open source so if you if you look at carter DVD were offering a solution that's a cloud-based technology but it's also open source you paid for it an account to use on our host infrastructure or you can check it out of a Ricoh and deployed on your own machines under another interesting question is when we price so we were trying to build these mappings are for you load datasets and you design maps or whatever but without a lot of things that
we couldn't price like we can price not use they're like map use we we need to we need to give them away pretty pretty freely for our users it was really about the data and the solutions that they were building is that she real is that she real an account well I we didn't really know what the price point was is a funny story we we when we 1st when we 1st launched we had our our our solutions that you could purchase we priced them really high and as because we don't know if we can have more than 1 user on a single server we solved all that and I'll tell you of the you how we saw that in a 2nd it makes a lot of sense and
not that particular problem of problems in general a more recently we we've actually made it even more free so your free account to get more spacing can you more interesting things and if we start thinking about it as sort of analogous to the gate of of maps we really want all the individuals in the people campaign pay to make maps to make maps to i democratize map-making online give you the tools in the power to do that and we want we want you to pay if you have a company in your action making money from that your business that you want go around them so 3 years
has passed away learned a lot these things we stumbled down the road on on a couple of these the these challenges and we we now this solution that's kind of running and we're very proud of we really think there were on something the so in 3 years that we've
gone from 80 people to something like 20 AI was used how actually we 2 offices 1 in New York and 1 in Madrid Madrid is always hiring people and I can't I can't tell how many people there are there but there was this funny stories and like the 1st of something like 1st 4 of 8 people were on here so I'm in no of
but also a really funny thing about growing like that is pretty cool in this explains how we solve that's the problem that I mentioned before this is my command history on the core party and not a developer CCI was really active at the beginning and now we have actual professional developers has an I I can't do pull requests but I'm in the middle of protest on pull request that they don't notice so I and and so I We
also gone from tens of users the tens of thousands uses this is a kind of cool map ahead
federal cool mapping here right so the cool map is is that it is so you this is this is the borders of every tile requested on coffee for the last week or so and so it's additive CC more intensity and actually the all zoom levels so this really big 1 is assumed to the border of zoom level 1 and then you can see that In the last week there's been no uh news agency in Norway that published a big story and so and they share always publishing stories you see a lotta request there and is that and you should see from a tower question geography and you assumed in a bit you can see pretty but in
3 years we that she changed her name were no longer while you work out the so I give you this discarded you get an e-mail from me I'm no longer
resorting we have this fancy team page entry
years we've stayed open source and we really
work to improve open source and that that that's actually so there were really proud of but working working actually with technologies like posters and try improve how postive just works and how conserve maps for the web this is something that's coming to quarter be and I will tell you what it is but if you know it is coming of and we work a lot on interfaces
that sit on top of open source like this at the beginning for a long time geospatial tools were a big bucket of lots of buttons and so we want to make it simple both in the tool when you're making a map and when you're done in you sharing about with somebody else so this is a this is a map maker and he use mapping earthquakes in Iceland and this is all done in quantity and sort of interface pieces that you can pull together is another example of the way the interface
looks in party we should give you the tools to design look on a canvas but on a in a browser versus how look on a mobile phone I won't go too much into the actual
design but it's a it's a really big component of what we do according be in the way that we think about the future of geospatial on this future tools in the future this technology and was up on Friday that I I definitely think if you got it from up the cofounder in the back room and hourly designer Sergio for so the people think belong
something bad just today we
announced that we got our our series in funding to really build this technology and build a community around the idea of a few so a super excited about that and we see a lot of ways that we wanna spend not we really think that this community called a score to how we spend on how we wanna build our party and how we wanna build our
open source someone move to the the 2nd part of this which is all about empowering people and how we work to empower people with Carter the an now we do more so like as seen before open source for us when we're this rally trying to build solutions for customers and a lot of pain points a
lot of different libraries that you'd put together yet to evaluate you had to determine which versions of what those what and all that stuff so we had this goal of making an insanely
easy the this is
that was 1 of my favorite tweets I guess I put on here I sometimes will say progeny looks expensive to but we make it really really says it's cheap so because it depends on what you expect of this is an e-mail that I
got and I I can tell you is that in asking if I could but the cartography and instructor non site assassin Massimo how how I was going to go is classes according to be used to too good so you couldn't teacher-students anything so more pain in his process at the same time we've
abandoned kind the old way of GIS I I I I gave of a lecture last week on sort the history of GIS and when things as time is I like there's a company that was pretty synonymous with the word GIS a that 1 of the ways they do it throughout a lot of certifications and we think that a lot of these things can be done by anybody and not everybody needs to know how to do all these things and so we we need to make it flexible emitted easier make it easy to find a solution that you need
for the GIS problem that you have the so 1 thing that we try to do what it is we make a really flexible really easy can get you can make a map the excited about that map the wheels make a really flexible so you
can build exciting things on top of it when things that we did and I I I don't even know where this came from as an idea I don't know if we see we'd seen other people doing I've I've heard other people doing it since it which he made an API freedom rights equal to and so every dataset that you load in decoding you can turn it into an API and point that you can access through an HTTP request you can filter it merger relational database said outpost GIS spatial query at Alta sequel can disease amazing things with any dataset you load and
that was the maps are all dynamic so is that have encoded you can be adding new rows to deleting rows changing rows and the maps in 8 API reflect that life so we scale from thinking that 1 user can be under the more more than 1 user can be on a server to doing a lot of pretty insane what data and validation and all that
and so we will can build more complete tools on in so this this morning and this is the apple Global Forest Watch is a good example of a of a tool that has its own custom interfaces designed and all this other stuff but then really it's grabbing data from party and displayed in interesting ways the
the so we another thing that we can a shifted towards enough in Austria is this is making party about the user more this is the old interface the is
gotta delegates in this interface but it was really about taking data and make a map knows it like you could take it again happen you can better is easier the eyes and similar to what you can do now but it was nothing about you have 4 teams or anything like that so we 1 1
1 of the 1st things that we've and 1 of forcing for 1 reason things that we've done is to try to make this sort of use of maps and your accounts more collaborative so we launched uh multi see accounts so now you get datasets that you have very neurons that sharing control you could share it with you share a collaborator on your account where they can only read it and share with them and they can actually write to it that can you can actually both the editing data and game publishers to the world either public so that everybody in the world can see it or you can share with the passwords yet have to give a unique password for a dataset or you can share them private so only these collaborative can see it but also we made about the individuals so
that you go to my account page for example in you not me you get to see all these public maps and all these public datasets that I've been making so there's that but then you can go through and scroll
through some stupid maps that I make and was
good go to any those maps and you can start exploring them and we wanna make it so the more at
have sort of a more value added here by making it so that I can make my my datasets public as well so I wanna share with you or my collaborator or my uh my fellow students a dataset that I'm exploring edges have to send in this URL and they can use it to map that already want something that we did that I really like here's you can export so this dataset is now not just a dataset coded EVI but it's a CSV it's a shape pilots can now that it's a Geo Jason was an API call so can really do some amazing things here dataset without knowing how to do any these transformations on your own even and we're working on revamping our
common data so we're siRNA look out of the world and say OK we have all these users that want to access and build maps with it always know where to get these datasets saucer innacurate better sources of datasets and quality has some really cool functionalities so a lot of these datasets will be kept up-to-date just by car infrastructure and then you can go in and access them implement your account the and these sorts of value ads in all the stuff that we were be that making Gotti better over the last 3 years
has as you can I think it's proven itself a novel 50 thousand users there are making map of massive open source technology they're all PostgreSQL all users whether they know it or not but that is really crazy I asked us we as trying to dig into the number of sequel requests that people of have made in the last week not to do to get a number like how many people actually writing sequel whether they know that they're writing clump was because you're not that active I can only tell you somewhere this like while the big assessment we define was like 1 . 6 million ideas that way more than 50 thousand people could be writing so there's a coming from sporadic access to so somewhere in there there's a lot of people writing sequel whether they're writing it the 1st time as an application and the application is rerunning about 2 times or the writing as an individual queries to filter the data there's a lot of people that are interacting with the actual database so they are interacting with open source both Ricardian technologies that we built on so we're looking out at the way that people are using parties according use this powerful thing to make a map and the and share your data in all other people are building applications so a lot of people come to go those OK that's great as the the eyes as the method for evaluating up all the build my application car to the and we see that and we think it's awesome but this is where the broken part is and we think it's a huge opportunity try to fix that summit so you may have seen we are I think we blogged about this a couple days ago the quote that everything sums up really nice is we being the future of GO isn't as it is in a single up with hundreds the buttons as well as in the beginning the future of Geos hundreds of after a single button so that's how you make it nobody has to be a GIS expert to be doing the GIS that they need so how do we do that will we can't make progeny b be the ultimate solution for all these things I've she should people call to DB sometimes at all here at a couple times but I was shocked because of show them limit and we work really hard and keeping it simple and there's a lot has too many buttons he will approach the Internet very different you can't put a lot of buttons we can put a lot of solutions into the and were not the experts that know how to build them we not a bill with what we've been building you know the problems that you have in the health industry or the real estate industry at Tauzin share whatever industry working in you know those things the also another writing code is as expensive and sustaining code takes takes customers you can't sustain code unless somebody's actually paying you to do that so say this is a really nice
Appleton party that shows really how powerful combining all this API is
syscall illustrates the author or take a bunch of open data from the UK put in quantity in a producer is now you mouse over 1 polygons doing sequel API requests getting all the data underneath the polygon and populating these these interfaces Saket explore these quality of living standards across the
UK these I think that a lot of different countries and cities would want this app and so now he's looking
for how you can sell it so we wanna make that easy
and so we announced the other day that we were we
were launching according to the developers program and so this is for people that are developing code writing code and you're building solutions for clients and you think that that solution could become a product that you wanna cell again and again and again so we want you to keep
building these amazing solutions that you're talking about this week and uh and working on for the next month and we wanna make it easy for you to self we want put them in front of those 50 thousand users we put them into the hands of our sales you marketing team to help you sell them and so where to invest
directly in design help so we have we have a team of designers so if you have an idea for an app that you've decuplet preliminary designs what you work with you to give you feedback on how that will be how that how that will help geospatial users and how how that will keep it simple and keep that this single button solution sort of idea word in that strictly marketing so we're gonna invest in words every AP that's built for by error Arkadi developers will have its own landing page will invest in SEO and online marketing and will invest directly in sales we ever growing sales seen tell put in front of our existing customers and you Yukos new customers it so a suicide about the future and I want talking more about this developers program we have a booth upstairs but we if you're interested in building apps open-source apps code that you wanna resell to our customers and you have you have the beginning of a fantastic idea we wanna do with you together and we want enable you wanna give you these resources so that you can focus on innovating with your code and we can help you make it profitable so where the the fat and thank you for being time under Christians I sticker stiffness of ricercars because often but questions with will the small destroy string where you can do with that a million I will we're gonna catch expand to to support the developers program primary so we can invest in things like the design the marketing and sales to build out all these different you space of solutions for users to code is like saying is really flexible back and and so we think that there's there's justice really open playing field for all these custom solutions built on top of it and if we can stop enable that that's what over that's ordering offer and thanks a lot I'm just wondering what your plans for those of us 1 the other side of the equation you want to use these EPs in where we go and now what your plans for a kind of reaching out to those institutions organizations who want to access these EPs yes so well the 1st thing that say for use and we should talk observes the booth because if you have a particular need that here interest I we wanna know that because we know we can try to see our marketplace with a solution that we already knows no self you know so this talk about it for concern on the Christians think you were thinking thank you