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LocationTech Code Sprint with Boundless

This past week Boundless hosted a cross-organization LocationTech sprint at our offices in Victoria, BC. There are a number of existing projects we wanted to get pushed through the incubation process, plus we wanted to take the time to on-board a new project.

In person we had Martin Davis (JTS), Rob Emanuele (GeoTrellis, SFCurve), Jim Hughes (GeoMesa, SFCurve), Jody Garnett (uDig) and myself, Tyler Battle (GeoGig). We were also joined remotely by Erik Merkle (GeoGig), Gabriel Roldan (GeoGig) and David Smiley (Spatial4J).

The sprint team made progress on several projects:


SFCurve is a joint project between GeoTrellis and GeoMesa. It aims to abstract space filling curves used for indexing and sharding. It’s a great example of how groups like LocationTech can foster collaboration between projects. The team reworked its SBT build and work was done to integrate it into LocationTech’s artifact publishing system.


GeoMesa is a distributed, spatio-temporal database built on top of the Apache Accumulo column store. The IP review for GeoTools 14.1 cleared, which was a collaboration between GeoMesa and GeoGig to fast-track that (rather large) IP review. They did a lot of work cleaning up their repo and updating some project info. All of their IP issues are submitted and pending approval, and we expect they should be green lit in the near future.



Spatial4J is a general purpose geospatial library, providing various primitives and format support. AS a project, is is nearly clear of the incubation phase and just has a couple of final hurdles. These have been identified and should be complete in the next few weeks.


GeoGig is a versioned repository for geospatial data inspired by Git. This project is run by our fearless leader Gabriel, and welcomed Erik as our newest committer. We purged some of the experimental datastores and stripped out many of our transitive dependencies, reducing our dependency count by a third. All of our IP review tickets have been submitted, save one or two to support current development. Once GeoMesa gets their maven build integrated into the LocationTech infrastructure, we’ll borrow their config. After that, we’re just waiting on the IP team.


uDig is a GIS desktop application framework implemented in Java. Work was done on updating to GeoTools 14.1 which will make the IP review much easier. Coordinating dependency versions between projects drastically speeds up the (rather onerous) IP review process. Currently GeoMesa, GeoGig and uDig are directing efforts in this regard.


JTS is an Java library of 2D spatial predicates and functions that is widely used across many of our projects. The big news from the sprint is our induction of JTS into the LocationTech community. The project tasks to address including a license change from LGPL to BSD/EPL, a repo conversion from SVN to Git, and switching the build from Ant to Maven. The initial code contribution has now been made and a new email list has been setup. The Git repo is up on GitHub and prepared to be moved over to the LocationTech account. The change to Maven provided an opportunity to do some restructuring on the project. How did JTS accomplish so much? Everyone present pitched in to help Marting quadrupling the number of committers! (Rob, Jim and Jody were added to Martin’s formerly solo endeavour.)

Learning the Incubation Process

One reason to have an incubation sprint is to learn what is actually needed. Since LocationTech is a new organization none of the project leads have been through this process before.

We have also identified several areas where the incubation process needs improvement. We’re working with the staff at LocationTech to help smooth over some of these wrinkles. Things should get easier now that several of us are most of the way through the process and can mentor new inductees.

We also did a bit of scheming for some new projects, but I’ll leave that for another day.

Community Building

The opportunity to work on incubation together, and help the JTS project, has been great for building a sense of community.

Despite the sprint being devoted to such tasks as paperwork and IP reviews, we did manage to have some fun. We blamed Martin’s JTS commit for Github’s outage this week, I blame weird line endings.

Achievement unlocked: Pink Unicorn

I leave the photo and suddenly the framing gets better. It must be a coincidence.

Look how much fun they’re having! They love IP reviews! You too could be having as much fun as these two!

Wrap party


Thanks Andrea Ross at LocationTech and Jody Garnett at Boundless who organized this. Special thanks to Sharon Corbett and everyone else on the IP team who’ve been working hard on getting our projects through the incubation process. Thanks to Avazea, Boundless, and CCRi for their participation with a special shout out to Vivid Solutions for supporting the JTS transition. And a final thanks to the LocationTech Steering Committee for the chance to focus and work together.

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