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22:27 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Earning Your Support Instead of Buying it: A How-to Guide to Open Source Assistance

More organisations are moving to use FOSS4G software to cover shrinking budgets. It is very appealing to an organization’s leaders to ditch their current proprietary software solution with the attendant saving on per user licences and ongoing maintenance costs. Obviously, if you switched to FOSS4G to get better features and scalability you should consider buying a support contract from one of the many vendors that offer them, these companies support many of the core developers directly. This way you get all the advantages of open source, prompt support and often the chance to ask for new features. However, if you (or your boss) are looking to save money then you are moving from a cash economy to a gift economy. In a gift culture you need to build up your “capital” before attempting to take too much out. For example, you’ve downloaded the software and installed it, and all looks good. Then disaster hits, you have a demo for the CIO and nothing's working; Time to hit the user list, the developer list, stack exchange. Why can’t you get an answer? Remember just because your issue is urgent to you the developers might be in the middle of a new release or adding a new feature and have more important (or fun) things to do with their time. They will notice they have never seen your name before on the list, or on Stack Exchange that you have a reputation in the single digits – thus you are a newbie. There’s no harm in that but wouldn’t it be better to have got that out of the way before your emergency. You could have built up your reputation by asking some questions earlier especially questions like “what can I do to help?” or “I found an unclear paragraph in the install instructions, how do I fix it for you?” on a mailing list. On StackExchange you can build reputation by asking good questions and by answering other people’s questions. Once you’ve banked some capital there are still good and bad ways of asking a question. Developers are busy people (the GeoTools users list has 20-30 messages a day for example) no one has time to read all of them closely. If you use a poor subject (e.g. "Help!!!!") or don’t provide a clear description of the problem (e.g. “it crashes”) then the odds of being ignored are huge. It can be tempting once you have found a helpful developer to keep emailing them directly, but this is likely to lead a polite(ish) reminder to keep to the list so that everyone can benefit or silence. This talk will show how to be a better open source citizen and get a better answer than RTFM when your project is stuck and the demo is the next day. The author will share his experience with helping users and developers on the GeoTools and GeoServer mailing lists and as a moderator on gis.stackexchange.com.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
19:36 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

On simulation and GIS, coupling and hydrology

This presentation shows how to better integrate simulation codes and Geographical Information Systems, and takes the example of Hydrological modelling integration into QGIS. Scientific modelling and simulations are present in a large number of areas. A significant proportion of simulation codes are applied spatially, at different levels, from a neighborhood scale up to worldwide areas. These simulation codes take spatial information as input data, and output results which are related to space too. But most of the time, they do not directly handle GIS data. Data types and data formats are different, and there is therefore a lot of effort to put into pre-processing and post-processing of the data to get it from GIS to the simulation codes and back. For example, determining the diffusion of a pollutant leak into underground water necessitates to get a DEM, location of the leak, geological data and more from the GIS, and transform it to simulation code input format. Then launch a simulation (on finite volumes e.g.), and convert the output into GIS files so that to be able to visualize spatial repartition of the pollutant according to time. The topic of this presentation is therefore to show how to better interact between simulation and GIS. We present the prevalent types of data for simulation, how they differ from GIS, and how we usually transfer from one type to another. Then we show how we worked towards better integration. Polygonal meshes are the most common way of representing 2D geometries for simulation purposes. Integrating simulation to a GIS requires storing georeferenced meshes in a databases (or using standard GIS file formats), and being able to use simulation values interpolated over the elements as a map layer. We show how to modify simulation codes to read directly a mesh from a GIS and write the results into a GIS. We implemented a new type of layer for QGIS, a mesh layer, which enables to display simulation results with high performances. This takes into account the temporal dimension. We also demonstrate how to integrate a simulation code into QGIS Processing so that it can be managed directly from within the desktop application. We illustrate these concepts with a demonstration of a full integration of a Hydrological simulation tool inside QGIS, with simulation management, custom user interface and strong integration of data between the simulation code and GIS data. In this sense the FREEWAT project started mid-2015, which aims at integrating multiple Hydrological codes into QGIS is also a good example of simulation and GIS integration. We end up with the perspectives for more global integration of simulation tools and GIS, and the work still to be done to bridge the gap between those two worlds.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
21:45 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Building and integrating a Continuous-Integration system within your open source project

So you have an open source project or you want to create a new one. Maybe you have worked on a development project in the past that didn’t have quite the amount of rigor you would have liked. You know you want a build system for your project that is easy to administer, cheap, and powerful, but where do you start? Here is how we implemented our own process using free open source tools. We learned from experience that developers are more focused on solving problems than perceived “housekeeping” tasks. We needed tools that would automate the mundane, repeatable, mechanical, or human-difficult tasks so that developers could focus on what they are good at. We needed a single-sign on through Github to lower any barriers to tool usage that might exist. We needed a dead-simple way to determine if our commits broke functionality anywhere else in code. We needed to track how much of our code was covered by unit tests. Finally, we needed to be able to quickly and easily review each-other’s code and provide feedback. We decided on TravisCI to handle build duties in Maven with a nested project structure and also for its integration with Coveralls. For bug tracking, release scheduling, and task management, we chose WaffleIO for its tight integration with Github issues. One additional feature we desired was static analysis so that simple errors that lie outside of a linter could be caught and reported. This was handled by a combination of Coverity scans and a static analysis tool for Eclipse called Findbugs. Due to our platform support and third-party library (GDAL) requirement, the Github Wiki was the perfect place to keep all setup documents and other helpful articles for end-users and project new-comers. This system for software development worked quite well in most cases. Builds were automated, moderately tested (~40-60% coverage), and complaining to the team loudly via email when things broke. We had a new problem though: build breakages in the master branch and the inability to share code that was not yet fully functional. To alleviate this, we started using the branching and merging functionality that makes Git so valuable. Now, no direct commits occur to the master branch unless in very special circumstances. A developer will see the TravisCI build results before the merge ever occurs, allowing them to adjust code or test cases *before* they cause failures. As a side effect, the merge request workflow allows the team to perform code reviews quickly and easily. Finally, any CI system is not without challenges. Building a continuous integration system has upfront costs that should not be ignored. The payoff from those costs, however, is code/product quality and the avoidance of technical debt. Lastly, some of these CI tools lack support for private repositories.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
26:06 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

OpenSenseMap - a Citizen Science Platform For Publishing and Exploring Sensor Data as Open Data

A plethora of map-based citizen science sensor platforms for different use-cases already exist. They provide cheap, preconfigured, plug and playable hardware and software solutions. Using data from multiple platforms and resources can be a challenging task in respect of discovering, exploring, downloading and converting. In this paper we present a one-stop-shop for sensor data that tries to tackle these problems. Therefore a basic data schema capable of metadata is established that allows publishing generic sensor platforms and sensor data. For exploration the OpenSenseMap, a web platform is implemented based on common web standards. Citizen science is often called “public participation in scientific research” [1] and describes the engagement by non-professional scientists in collecting and analyzing data, decision making, developing technology and publication of these on a voluntary basis. The idea of involving citizen in scientific projects is not new. Two examples are the Christmas Bird Count [2] and the Galaxy Zoo project, which identifies and classifies galaxies on sky images taken at the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. An always discussed concern about citizen science is data quality [3]. Due to limited knowledge of the volunteers and missing or questionable metadata, scientists often characterise data collected by citizens as valueless. In the beginning citizen science was connected with activities where humans were used as sensors [4]. Nevertheless, the scientific community is becoming more and more interested in citizen science today and citizen science projects are part of complex research projects [5]; e.g. ambient environment monitoring. We think two reasons boosted this trend. First, citizens are getting more interested in their environment and its effects on daily life. Also many popular citizen science projects are related to ambient environment monitoring and topics around smart cities; e.g. the AirQualityEgg project and the SmartCitizen project. Second, the vast development of technology makes it easy and affordable to build the necessary tools for a citizen science project. Microcontroller platforms like Arduino or tessel.io and the quality and price of sensors make it nowadays easy to build sensor platforms, which are easy to use and affordable in price. By using open-source hardware and software, it is easier - especially for traditional non-technical research communities- to create custom sensor platforms. Furthermore, the web makes it easier to share and discuss geospatial data at global scale. This work describes the requirements, design and implementation of the OpenSenseMap. OpenSenseMap is following the clientserver model [6] and its complete application stack is implemented in JavaScript. It describes the basic components and the underlying data model. All components are using open-source technology and are published under an open-source license too. The RESTful service is the heart of OpenSenseMap and implements the data publish and data retrieval functions. Developers may use it to build custom applications around OpenSenseMap or integrate OpenSenseMap into existing projects. The NodeJS application runs its own web server and implements the different HTTP request types. The OpenSenseMap concept is being evaluated with an technical and a user survey.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
24:29 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Leaflet vs. OpenLayers: which is best for our indoor maps?

Leaflet and OpenLayers are two well-known javascript libraries for embedding interactive maps in a web page, and each of them comes with pros and cons which are not obvious. Having worked with both libraries for indoor applications, we will in this presentation offer insight on which of them is more suited to a variety of situations and requirements, and which challenges they should overcome in the future.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
25:33 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Intelligent SDIs with MapMint 2.0

This conference aims at presenting the status of the MapMint open source project and its upcoming 2.0 version. The upgrade to newer versions of its core open source components will first be explained. The extensive use of OGC standards through ZOO-Project 1.5, GDAL 1.11 and MapServer 7 is indeed making MapMint an even more stable and efficient foundation to build an open source and standard-compliant spatial data infrastructure. The new metadata related functionalities being developed in interaction with PyCSW and CKAN will also be presented along with the assets of the CSW standard support. The new MapMint responsive user interfaces based on OpenLayers 3 and Bootstrap will also be presented. Both code and documentation improvements will also be detailed. The newly added functionalities in MapMint 2.0 will finally be explained from the developer and user point of views, based on case studies and live examples.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
22:21 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

How to build a succesful co-operation around your FOSS software - case Oskari

Many FOSS projects have started as endeavours to solve a problem at hand. In due course, the developed software has been adopted by some other users, has proven itself useful and then, by magic, has become a popular product with thousands of users worldwide. Fact or fiction? This presentation outlines the success story of Oskari and national co-operation around the software. Oskari http://www.oskari.org is a popular open source platform for browsing, sharing and analyzing of geographic information, utilizing in particular distributed spatial data infrastructures. The Finnish Oskari collaboration network actively works on various projects extending the software and creating new innovative services. The network consists of 27 member organizations, of which 12 are private companies. Success doesn't usually come without organized work. For the process of securing a successful co-operation, a few steps can be laid out. 1) Creating a useful piece of software with appropriate licensing 2) Co-operating with a number of early adopters 3) Starting a collaboration network 4) Adopting a sustainable model for collaboration and developing a product lifecycle management plan 5) Measuring success and providing proof of benefits of both the software and co-operation
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
26:00 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Image Geocoding as a Service

Driven by the ambition of a global geocoding solution, in this paper we present the architecture of an image geocoding service. It takes advantage of the ubiquity of cameras, that are present in almost all smartphones. It is an inexpensive sensor yet powerful, that can be used to provide precise location and orientation. This geocoding service provides an API similar to existing ones for place names and addresses, like Google Geocoding API. Instead of a text based query, images can be submitted to estimate the location and orientation of the user. Developers can use this new API, keeping almost all the existing code already used for other geocoding APIs. Behind the scenes, image features are extracted from the submitted photograph, and compared against a huge database of georeferenced models. These models were constructed using structure from motion (SFM) techniques, and heavily reduced to a representative set of all information using Synthetic Views. Our preliminary results shows that the pose estimation of the majority of the images submitted to our geocoding was successfully computed (more than 60%) with the mean positional error around 2 meters. With this service, an inexpensive outdoor/indoor location service can be provided, for example, for urban environments, where GPS fails.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
22:59 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

ZOO-Project 1.5.0: News about the Open WPS Platform

ZOO-Project is an Open Source Implementation of the OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) available under a MIT/X-11 style license and currently in incubation at OSGeo. ZOO-Project provides a WPS compliant developer-friendly framework to easily create and chain WPS Web services.This talk give a brief overview of the platform and summarize new capabilities and enhancement available in the 1.5.0 release. A brief introduction to WPS and a summary of the Open Source project history with its direct link with FOSS4G will be presented. An overview of the ZOO-Project will then serve to introduce new functionalities and concepts available in the 1.5.0 release and highlight their interests for applications developers and users. Evolutions and enhancements of the ZOO-Project WPS server (ZOO-Kernel) will first be detailed especially regarding compliancy (WPS 1.0.0 and 2.0), performance and scalability. The ZOO-Project optional support for Orfeo Toolbox and SAGA GIS will then be introduced, with details on the numerous new WPS Services (ZOO-Services) they provide. Use and connexion with other reliable open source libraries such as GDAL, GEOS, MapServer, GRASS GIS, CGAL will also be reviewed. Examples of concrete applications will finally be shown in order to illustrate how ZOO-Project components (ZOO-Kernel, ZOO-Services, ZOO-API and ZOO-Client) can be used together as a platform to build standard compliant advanced geospatial applications. Along with the new 1.5 release, this talk will also present how ZOO-Project is being developed, extended and maintained in the context of the EU funded PublicaMundi research project.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
21:51 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

Taking dynamic web mapping to 1:100000 scale

CartoDB is growing to be one of the biggest mapping platform for the masses, being powered by a fully open-source stack, with PostgreSQL, PostGIS, Mapnik and Leaflet at its core. Our aim is to democratize map and geographical data visualization, making it easy for non-GIS people to create simple maps using the CartoDB Editor, but still keeping all the power and flexibility of the underlying components available to advanced users, with a variety of building blocks ranging from the frontend with CartoDB.js and Torque to the backend with the Map, SQL and Import API, parts of what we call the CartoDB Platform. Serving dozens of millions of map tiles daily has its own set of problems, but when they are being created by hundreds of thousands of users (which have their own database and can alter everything from styling, to the data sources and the SQL queries applied) everything turns out to be a big source of challenges, both development and operationally speaking. This talk will go through our general architecture, some of the decisions we’ve had to take, the things we’ve learned and the problems we’ve had to tackle through the way of getting CartoDB to scale at our level of growth, and how we're giving back to the community what we've discovered though the process.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
25:21 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

OGC GeoPackage in practice: Implementing a new OGC specification with open-source tools

GeoPackage is a new encoding standard created by the Open Geospatial Consortium as a modern alternative to formats like SDTS and Shapefile. Using SQLite, the single-file relational database can hold raster imagery, vector features and metadata. GeoPackage is an ideal data container for mobile devices such as smartphones, IoT devices, wearables, and even automobiles. We have created a few open-source tools to manipulate this exciting technology in a way that is useful to the geospatial community. Our goal with the GeoPackage specification implementations is simple: Create GeoPackages quickly and reliably while maintaining standard conformance. The single biggest issue we have faced is the speed in which large amounts of imagery can be disseminated to the end user. Data standards reliability was also a concern because we found many vendors interpreted the specification differently or to suite their own needs. Finally, the main problem GeoPackage was created was to solve was interoperability. We set out to create an implementation that would guide other parties towards making a data product that would function as well on one platform as it would on a completely different platform. Our initial implementation of the GeoPackage specification was created using Python 2.7.x. The software design was intended for command line use only in a script-friendly environment where tiling speed was paramount. The Gdal2tiles.py script was improved upon by harnessing the Python multiprocessing library so that multiple tile jobs could run simultaneously. The other piece of the workflow, creating GeoPackages, would be a separate development effort from scratch called tiles2gpkg parallel.py. In tiles2gpkg parallel.py, we implemented multiprocessing by writing to separate SQLite databases in parallel and then merging the tiled data sets into one compact database. This implementation worked well and increased the performance of producing these data sets; however, the command line design means that all but the most technically adept users would struggle to use the tools. With the initial Python implementation getting early-adopters a preview of GeoPackage in the short term, our team set out to make a production-quality GeoPackage API that could satisfy all user needs. Named Software to Aggregate Geospatial Data or SWAGD, we created a robust library for tiling raster data, packaging raster data stores into GeoPackages, and viewing either the raw tiles OR the finished GeoPackage products within a map viewer. Additionally, a Geopackage verification tool was created to foster community adoption. For more information, see our Github site here: https://github.com/GitHubRGI/swagd. Many open-source tools are being leveraged on the SWAGD project, including many common build and continuous integration tools including Github, TravisCI, WaffleIO, and Coverity. Using proven software development mechanisms like unit testing and code reviews we now have a consistent, reproducible, and inclusive GeoPackage implementation. We have an aggressive list of future capability that we would like to develop including ad-hoc routing on a mobile device, vector tile data sets, and even 3D support.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
23:32 FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) Englisch 2015

An Open Source Web Service For Registering and Managing Environmental Samples

Records of environmental samples, such as minerals, soil, rocks, water, air and plants, are distributed across legacy databases, spreadsheets or other proprietary data systems. Sharing and integration of the sample records across the Web requires globally unique identifiers. These identifiers are essential in order to locate samples unambiguously and to manage their associated metadata and data systematically. The International Geo Sample Number (IGSN) is a persistent, globally unique label for identifying environmental samples. IGSN can be resolved to a digital representation of the sample trough the Handle system. IGSN names are registered by end-users through allocating agents, which are the institutions acting on behalf of the IGSN registration agency. As an IGSN allocating agent, we have implemented a web service based on existing open source tools to streamline the processes of registering IGSNs and for managing and disseminating sample metadata. In this paper we present the design and development of the web service and its database model for capturing various aspects of environmental samples. Previous work by the System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR) was aimed primarily at individual investigators, whereas our work focuses on curating sample descriptions from larger collaborative projects. The paper describes the linkage between the IGSN metadata elements and the sampling concepts specified in existing common data standards, e.g., the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Observations and Measurements standard. This mapping allows the application of the IGSN model across different science domains. In addition, we show how existing controlled vocabularies are incorporated into the service development to support the metadata registration of different types of samples. The proposed sample registration and curating approach has been trialled in the context of the Capricorn Distal Footprints project on a range of different sample types, varying from water to hard rock samples. The observed results demonstrate the effectiveness of the service while maintaining the flexibility to adapt to various media types, which is critical in the context of a multi-disciplinary project.
  • Erscheinungsjahr: 2015
  • Herausgeber: FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
  • Sprache: Englisch
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