FOSSGIS Heidelberg, here I come

Tags: fossgis, geo, nelenschuurmans, django

At Nelen & Schuurmans we’re working with geographical information a lot. Most desktop GIS usage in our office is decidedly non-open-source: arcgis. The big commercial “microsoft of GIS”.

On the (web)server side, everything is decidedly open source. And we use a wide range of open source tools/libraries/data. Some examples:

  • Mapnik.

  • Postgis.

  • Gdal.

  • Openstreetmap.

  • Pyproj.

  • Geodjango.

Regarding most of them: we’re using it, but our knowledge isn’t very deep. At least my knowledge isn’t very deep. I can render icons or a geotiff file on a mapnik map just fine, but that’s hardly advanced rendering and map typography. And my postgis skills are rudimentary (a drawback partially of using object databases for 8 years with hardly any SQL in sight). Openstreetmap: we use it, but that’s it.

Time for improvement! So I’m going to the german-language free and open source GIS conference in Heidelberg, Germany. My German is good, at least when listening or reading. (My writing is terribly rusty, as I haven’t exercised it in years and I’m unsure about the der/des/dem/den stuff).

Three days of talks on a lot of different libraries, use-cases and programs. Just the thing that I need. One of my strengths is absorbing lots of input. So by attending talks and two workshops I should have digested enough input to help me form a clearer picture in my mind about all those technologies. And to know what to research further. And what not to bother with.

One important thing that’ll help me digest the information: I’m making summaries of all the talks I attend. I do that at every conference (and even in the weekly church service I attend…). It helps me focus on the talk. Your mind simply doesn’t wander when it is busy making a summary. You can find the summaries (when I’ve made them) at . If I manage my normal speed and if there’s proper wifi at the conference, the summaries should be available soon after the talks finish.

The two workshops that I’m attending:

  • Introduction on mapserver. We’re using mapnik currently. Checking out the other options is handy. Perhaps it is handier for our use case.

  • Mapproxy. We haven’t done much optimization in our software. At least not regarding rendering and serving maps. We don’t tile our maps, for instance. So some proper input on this is welcome :-) logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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