2007 FOSS4G Conference
September 29, 2007

This week I took a few days off to partake in the 2007 Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference (FOSS4G2007) conference. Being a very mobile conference, I was quite fortunate to have it here in Victoria -- I simply couldn't pass it up (last year in Switzerland, next year in South Africa). Given that this is a hobby at the moment, I chose to volunteer; in retrospect, I regret this decision as I missed a number of presentations -- on the bright side, I did sit through some presentations which I would not have otherwise attended.

Rather than hypnotizing you with a well-crafted thesis, i'll leave you with various thoughts which were more representative of my experience -- inspired but convoluted.

Proj4js really caught me by surprise -- holy crap this is *fast*, but it should be given that it only has a few EPSG codes supported. In the web mapping sphere, there is some healthy competition; OpenLayers and MapGuide both have respective wrappers for ease of use: CartoWeb4 and Fusion. Both are projects I haven't had a chance to check out, but will. Fun public projects: SF Urban Forest, Victoria Green Map (common ground, now defunct), Digitized Historical Maps.

Quotables:
Jo Walsh - "Once you realize you need an SDI, you don't need one any more".
Tim Bowden - "GIS is dead".
Mark Sondheim - "The OGC still has a little life left in it".

Thursday afternoon I sat down with a couple of Open Street Map proponents; my curiosities here were to figure out if this wealth of free data was useful and how I might become involved (or at the very least, to see if I could learn anything to pass on to the CivicAccess folks). I was startled to learn that these guys don't believe in spatial databases -- we'll see how things go as feature density increases. I'll also have to see how well one can extract OSM data into a local cache for manipulation.

Things to revisit: Geobase
Things to check out/play with: GeoKettle, OpenAerialMap, OSM, pgRouting, R (stats are fun)

Ideas:
- use pgRouting to perform routing for pedestrians and cyclists
- a geocoder in Canada one can actually *use*?

To-do list:
- Hook-up ISF hotspots to HTV
- Research public geodata
- uDig as an Open Street Map editor
- SLD 1.1