A FOSS4G-Based Geo Connection System for Education and Research


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A FOSS4G-Based Geo Connection System for Education and Research
Title of Series
Strohschein, David
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FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
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Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
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Portland, Oregon, United States of America

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The presentation will examine the selection, installation, and the current and planned use of a CentOSÐbased system running FOSS4G to support student education, research, and projects with state and local organizations. A system was designed to foster collaborative work between an educational institution and the community. Specifically, it is being used to better understand and enhance distribution systems associated with local agriculture producers and consumers. Part of this work is the development of a web-based system to process and serve geospatial information in an effort to improve communication between food producers and consumers, i.e. restaurants, farmers markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). This presentation will demonstrate how the system was built to:¥ Continue investigation of the general principles and approaches for designing food distribution systems to enhance local food networks¥ Provide access to a web-based system for geospatial computations and data management¥ Serve as a resource for the community to access information in support of the broader goals of the CEDS research center¥ Act as an map server¥ Act as the server supporting deployment of geo-aware mobile phone applications implemented by the department to enhance the learning process on field trips and other field work¥ Collect, process, store, and serve data from environmental sensors to support education in weather, climate, and the environment
system installation
web server
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Hidden surface determination Lecture/Conference Formal grammar Smartphone
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it started and the Wednesday's return and as a slide so it's there maybe talking about a fast for base GeoConnections system that myself and more probes that still University in still Massachusetts are working on this point
so proceeding from a background so we are doing and have done also similarly review the preparatory material below the current work and family what is the future works the systems and also for my own knowledge how many educators are out there involved again because this larger comes from a person doing education trying to take that into the realm of how many people on the building stacks and that sort of thing and experience Django in genetics python things that nature OK there may be some people adjust like foreign language which to me and I agree with while back give you some background were coming
from a standpoint that work with an organization that started working with growers were produced in this case being farmers food artisans that seems to be the new words all branches and basically just through their customers were and all are CSA is the consumer supported agriculture supermarkets farmers markets and also restaurant the back
in about January of 2013 a local organization called them price and assume state they work as a catalyst in liaison organization for getting local businesses up to speed and help integrating into this environment at that time there any conference and workshops there and was on the notion of local food global food basically deals with food the comes from varying degrees of local I can be within 10 miles 100 miles a few states away so they basically talk to people there they had around to her participants in determined there was a large enough interest in local foods to pursue developing was called local food initiative on the north shore north shore with respect to the Boston area is that area that's space the north east corner of Massachusetts between Boston and New Hampshire on the eastern seaboard in so those results as
this workshop they came up with 4 issues in which they were interested and you see here 1 of them is a distribution system which is why we got involved and that was when the the price contacted Lord Krebs at the Center for Economic development sustainability its own state and asked her to become involved because of the geography background and also answering some questions about how they could better address distribution needs for these rather despair at small producers many cases what we found was that these people involved distribution didn't know about other vendors they were actually a few miles down the road the important part about that is that if they knew about who's on they could share information about customers improve their distribution router which conventional lower overhead and improve distribution also increase the customer base the
distribution system involves a number of factors as i showed up slider to go the other producers you from artisan should growers farmers acceptor and there's also the Customers these are the the grocery stores the farmers markets excetera overlaid on this distribution and you also have your distribution system the Rosa travel on and you can actually have bicycles delivering food in small urban areas where it's mostly pedestrian traffic so there are a number of different avenues in which you can deliver food based on this and in working with the enterprise we determined that the mission goal was to develop systems system to promote an understanding and improvement of the distribution system for these participants within the program
so from this 1 chemical familiar with Roger Tomlinson there we have some put in Roger Tomlinson who unfortunate died and I think that in spring of this year is the quote father of modern geoinformation systems and started back in Canada and it's work back in the sixties the early sixties develop a system for them based on some work that's put out in a text the author went through and developed an information systems that's basically leveraging information off of spatial databases and non-spatial information the basic take approach where you develop requirements from your customers in this case the participants for local food so you can see here we developed tables ago on a database this ranged from vendors the customers all the way to more of a geospatial oriented aspect to include routs distribution system that delivery system so on the scandal delivery so we have spatial temporal aspects included in the system also so what this could give us
basically user rather simple diagrams and for those who deal every day and spatial information the rather simple diagrams and saying OK that's pretty straightforward it is what I found in working with other people who are not very well versed in geospatial concept is that the knowledge of understanding the relationship of where they are in particular produces where these growers a food artisans that's very important for them they wanna know who's around is like when you move into a neighborhood you like to know who neighbors are for them it can mean lower overhead more money other customers that they don't know about about so it helps them understand coups around them both in terms of other providers producers in this case and also customers distribution rounds there currently being used and also potential sites for storage to enhance a distribution 1 thing that we can see with this is that the distribution out may already be set theory have that's all we're looking at is potentially the future using something like PG routing and some of the optimization approaches to take their current distribution in improve that and bring to them ideas about our food hubs or distribution centers
based on this we step back at the end of all this work about requirements gathering scope of the problem we came up with recommendations for a system in this case we have a social server has pretty straightforward system pay server lives in a desktop in the mid 2 gigahertz range around 6 around a termite hard drive not a big system most people have many people nowadays have that in their home free of gaining a standard computer so we thought this was a hardship on the enterprise and who we hoped would be housing and also initially in my Uday I thought that we would use something like quantum GIS Napster services below buzz words I heard I thought that we could use for the whole system and I would revisit requirements and go back with an iterative cycle with those people who were interested in I might add that 1 thing I found out all of this and I think John is touched on it was talking about the I'm working with the customer in this case these food artisans is you wanna get their feedback and that was very important for us that we were looking for doing that once we have a system in place so everything was looking good we talking Enterprise Center about developing and all webserver putting it on their property and so things were looking pretty good
so the right side filesizes screen Nice blue skies like clouds everything is looking nice and sunny unfortunately there's a storm brewing to the west of the mountains that I didn't really see and expect to come up so what happens as we proceeded through this project we found out that what was actually going on is they don't have the funding to have a web servers we hope so now the burden of that task fell on us if from 1 to pursue this to try other people involved so we need to Dominican regrouped and as many AC admissions do we figured well right a journal article or a paper and will approach from that way so we did that we have 1 up for submission right now along with that we also want have a practical experience of building a system to support where we want to go with this so we went around we did some talking to the computer science department trying to their input on a system and what they thought would be a valuable type system both in terms of hardware in terms of software for the system also checked around other people within the Geography Department to see their input on what they felt would be attacked softer we could run in some applications for this hard worse on software combination based on that the current
configuration is we have a z on server 64 bit I we up the ramp and we have all neared 1 terabyte raid system it's just a very simple system but 1 have something in there for protection because we were working with people outside the academic community and 1 have something there in case the system failed the we wouldn't lose data potentially could be of commercial importance to those individuals running CentOS 6 5 on the computer and if you recall from a few slides back we talked about putting GGA on and a map server of some sort after reviewing the situation and thinking about it I realized we don't need to do all that at 1st we can build a much simpler stack and I think John show that a simple example The stack the use with layers and a map server we did something similar we approached it using Python engine xj no cetera debates we build up a simple stack and I'll show you the the result of that in just a moment so we have that so currently what we're running
is very simple example of the roll-call GeoWeb stack so if you go to this URL and rejected here's was running habits of comparison crash back home and if you do that and I'm just go through so bear with me for those of you understand about stacks that on a remote system in this case the laptop you'll have a URL be activated that will go out to the server in this case the GCS the GeoConnections system at Salem State upon the engine genetics http server is activated that gets passed on to a web server gateway interface then going into Django and Django works with the PostgreSQL keep was was sequel post jails back in to this extract adjacent information and then put that back to the remote site as a map so
now for those who are more interested in can swim chart how it's actually all taking place basically when you activate the URL sing extension local foods on that local food comes into the law to the remote server and by the extension local foods gets passed to this JavaScript that starts of the Web Map HTML within that Web html there's also another URL called which goes back out into the engine x server and this time the server finds a match in its engine cont configuration file because of that passed up through the stack through the web service gateway all it Django Django finds a match inside it's your less and then what sit down to the view that up I which finds a deaf function for the local producers that local produces a standard Python script if you will or program and in that program there some calls made using a connection to a local post GIS database from that interaction AG adjacent object is formed and passed back up the stack to the weighting of Web each 2 a T a male and the awaiting OpenLayers scripting that's going on at that finally is uploaded into the layer what is the map and we have the vector layers in that controls so the result of that it is this and it should
work on smartphones to it's very simple but we just wanna proof concept to see that we could do it so we have something working and to give ourselves a pat on bacteria we can use basic things so very quickly is showing on the order of 3 thousand 352 agricultural but related businesses in Massachusetts and so we do some processing this later on at school boats 1 make sure it was working the so right now I'm
using Google the Google's server I'm using open of the street maps and also an image resources resource that you can find if you go through that little blue tavern white like cross what I'd like to do is take the GeoServer take some data from Massachusetts which we have a pretty good yes section there it's funded by the states called mass GIS 1 of layers are imaged in using is in 1 over 5 thousand orthorectified photo layer and so will use that and have students bring an end as part of the educational spreads to learn how to use the systems bring that in and have that put up on our local instance of the Jews server running on the server then we can use as a local base map and we won't have to be so concerned about if we have 2 hits on Google if the cloud is down to Google things of that nature we basically then can control or base maps and the information that we will put out there this will also be advantageous to other was izations with whom we work including farmers food artisans and also consumers or CSA is and other buyers if you will that may be working with those it will also serve as a resource for the students and the community at large for doing other web mappings 1 of the other things we've been
working on is basically access to the server unknown I was initially going to school we have the central server concept I think now that sort of morphed into the cloud that everybody so oppose about basically to me it seems as all going backwards at least in the concept of a central server and were accessing that information what I wanna be able to do with the students was build a site so that they could leverage off the computational power at remote site from where they were basically in this case that was building some Secure Shell tunnels and then running let's say PG admin to access the post yesterday based or using some RGO computation using the or studio through its web interface which is very nice and after a little work works very well as because we surprised by how well that works another area were interested in 9
also excited about is the study travel seminar which we used to call field trips now have a nicer sounding for students and many people wanna go field will take no books or have a list of requirements of which they need to keep track of notes about certain areas that they'll see incentives the geography department they're very much in tune and interested in having students understand relationship about culture location excetera this used to be used take notebooks to the field and had to a truck you know books have too costly refer back and forth to that of a large amount of infrastructure so soon without those logistics training now the smartphones almost ubiquitous you'll see systems tied to them where they go so we thought about blending those 2 together in the using cord over and also the founder the which flavor you like to call and using the smartphone now as the access learning to listen to and this 1 talked this morning can Wisconsin University was that there was talk about using smartphone and it was very very very exciting to see other places to use that that metaphor and so we'd like to do this in a
way that you offences idea so odd I think art jails has this and this coupled up with some people what I would like to see happen is for the open source approach to world into later on some aspects of geo-fencing I think is a very interesting field it is right for using in terms of education because now you can do is you can go to the field you can have some sites some locations with a buffer around it or any arbitrary polymer or a pretty new server now you can have the stings good field and they don't have to always worry about loading notebook in keeping track of that refer to a template a pamphlet or some other information they just weeks a cell phone the buds to let them know then you pull out and look at it because something of interest in that area that the act and then we can build the application to do whatever you want take notes take picture what have you 1 of the interesting things I find with Juventus is the release 3 dollars you can find location you can use the GPS satellite information's coming down you can use cell-tower location you can also use Wi-Fi if you within the radius of Wi-Fi area this lends
itself very well so interdisciplinary work with other groups on campus in particular computer science because 1 of the issues about geo-fencing with a finite power source i.e. the better in your cell phone is that is gonna run out you can certainly have a GPS going and giving your location at every moment if you're out walking around you can imagine somebody walking in the city tour or traveling a national park where power supply and access to that is very limited so the big question is how do you optimize battery power so that's area like to explore more and potentially set up some sort of bloggers group from the open source side to look at that and again I think is a very interesting potential for work with the computer science department with their students on how to do that the last application like to
touch on that we're looking to do it to do it as some work extending some were already doing the university has a field neurological site that runs on some hobo linker hobbling software hardware basically use cell towers to upload that information I think every minute or so that data is then bonded to a central site and then CSV files are created from that and stored locally and I think they are they store them for about 1 or 2 months what we're looking at doing is then taking that data bringing it into the post GIS environment and slicing and dicing it however we want a string that data to make it amenable to the students to use for their and have a processing more research efforts also now you can feed that data out that will control the format of it can potentially build applications for which the students can I use here in the classroom or on the smartphone and 1 of the areas that the university or the Java department teachers is a weather and climate for part of a liberal education in general education requirement university something like this might be beneficial to them to make it a little more closed on a real experience for the students so they can see the data they can integrate that into their educational experience and that concludes what i had so I think if times returning
now open to questions and the I the thank
you and we get to and the last the could you tell what geo-fencing 0 sure I'm sorry it's funny from of reference you read something you can always rails geo-fencing my understanding is
basically you are building a an
electronic fence if you will
so so it is really with dogs trained
dogs when they put electric sense the grammar the dog knows that because there's a collar and they give and activation can access to the ground for a user
with geo-fencing similar a smartphone there is a
server or you could put it on the device itself that actually keeps a knowledge of that location and the buffer around that location so geofence is basically a
abstraction of the a point in space or a location or environment should aspect of space and the important part of it is that now as you approach that instead of seeing their touching the feeling it your phone working in conjunction with another application or hardware software combination actual
understand its location relative to that location anywhere at the speed with which you traveling be at a bus walking by whatever horse you can then estimate based on your Mac speed when the next time it
is that you need to refresh your location and so if you're traveling at most 80 miles an hour and its 200 miles away it's going to over an hour before you really need update is where you're at the as long as you traveling towards that point so you can see an algorithm for geo-fencing would back off you cowards they don't check with that phone have that phone updates location from the our at least that's the application geo-fencing so it's basically an electronic way of keeping track of where things are so the answer your question can give thanks here is I'm would you get the data for the their cultural businesses and also and where benches is the advantages and disadvantages to having a static and computer versus the cloud for instance of a the so the 1st question about where we get our data via cultural businesses there's
a because works as the this Executive Director for the Center for Economic Development and Sustainability she has access to certain commercial what you common databases for information about businesses so by going through that the the CSV files you go through them and you need a set you filters go through determine which columns become the attribution tables you can then use that new standard database techniques to access the data to extract information using syntactic queries or statements within those queries to extract the data so that's how we get the data in
terms of the advantages over local versus the cloud I haven't explored cloud that much I I can come from the standpoint that if we have the data we can control it I don't need to worry about licensing with other people about learning if the Nets down if they're being
hacked so in that way I like it because we compress the data we need to respond very quickly you had to go through a 3rd party to put the data obviously there's benefits to that and also the pros and cons to that so untrammeled prose for getting people experience
the the local setting it has set up their own
information locally so again it's an academic institution so if I given experience doing
that and learning how to control of their own learning that's something I'd like to do so that's
1 of the reasons I go for the local storages of the class the it yeah the this and


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