Thanks to everyone for a great FOSS4G-NA 2016 event. The North American edition of FOSS4G had it all – a wonderful opening keynote, a diverse program selection and most importantly a chance to meet the community and customers who make Boundless successful.
Vector Tiles Presentation
Andreas Hocevar (@ahoce)
Since first presenting OpenLayers vector tile support at the global FOSS4G conference in Seoul last fall, it has gone through significant performance improvements, which made the demo part of this presentation really exciting. It was encouraging to get so much positive feedback after the presentation.
We had a great turnout for our talk, and it was a pleasure to present to so many people interested in seeing how easy it is to generate and use Vector Tiles in GeoServer and OpenLayers! I hope you are motivated to experiment and see what you can create. Slides are available at from the conference website (and Boundless Suite includes an example).
Vector Tiles with GeoServer and OpenLayers on foss4gna
Thanks to the GeoServer and OpenLayers communities in helping make this possible. Vector Tiles support is already in OpenLayers, and we are expecting Vector Tiles to move from a GeoServer Community Module to a GeoServer Extension in the Geoserver 2.10 release this fall. If you are interested in seeing this talk amplified into a workshop, please discuss in the OpenLayers and Geoserver communities – both Andreas and David are interested in developing a workshop.
Open Source for the Newb
This was not only my first FOSS4G-NA presentation, this was my first FOSS4G-NA. Having the talk early in the week worked out very nicely as it served as an icebreaker which lead to many great conversation with other attendees. Attendees approaching me about my talk also served as motivation for me to approach other speakers and start conversation, which normally my introverted self does not do! I enjoyed the welcoming community at this conference and hope that this become an annual event on my schedule.
I have spent many years as a user experience professional and it was a pleasure to share my knowledge with this community. My presentation covered designed and interaction principles and, engaging non-programer users and UX professionals. I received great feedback and will be making modifications to the presentation as version 2.0 has been accepted for the global conference this August where I hope to see some familiar faces and also get to meet many more!
I hope you enjoyed the talk, please visit the conference page for slides and feedback.
Open Source for the Newb on FOSS4G-NA website
FOSS4G and OSGeo Community Presentations
Jody Garnett (@jodygarnett)
I had the rather intimidating honor of introducing FOSS4G newcomers to both the conference and more importantly – all we do as a community. The presentation covers Open Data, Open Standards, Open Source … and importantly Open Collaboration. This last “collaboration” idea is particularly hard to convey – although vital to a healthy community.
I invited questions (and interruptions) which balanced the flow of new ideas with interactive discussions. For the rest of the conference, I was greeted by people who appreciated the introduction, or had not considered the idea of open data before. When asked, 80% of the people in the room were at their first FOSS4G event which is amazing.
Welcome to the FOSS4G Community on slideshare
My second presentation was focused Open Source Geospatial Foundation which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. The foundation is using 2016 as an opportunity to reset with updated vision, mission and goals.
This presentation was a stretch, trying to cover both the challenges faced by our community, and the good ideas the board has put forth to address them. While the talk moved quickly, a lot of important material was covered. A special thanks to everyone who participated in the exercise on diversity. OSGeo is very much a community driven organization, if you would like to take part in this year’s planning consider adding activities for the 2016 Strategic Plan (there is a form).
A New vision for OSGeo on slideshare
With the Boundless booth full, I spent a lot of time at the OSGeo Booth with MichaelSmith doing outreach. I had many of questions on the relationship between OSGeo and LocationTech (both organizations collaborate on the FOSS4G-NA event). I particularly enjoyed the chance to talk with organizers of the upcoming FOSS4G 2017 event in Boston which promises to be a wonderful (and a welcoming) event.
Managing versioned data in QGIS with the GeoGig plugin
It was a pleasure to introduce the QGIS Geogig plugin to the workshop attendees, and to see so much interest in versioning spatial data! We received great feedback to incorporate into the workshop and improve it for FOSS4G in Bonn. I hope anyone who is interested in the plugin or GeoGig tries it out for themselves.
A lot of work has gone into GeoGig over the last year and it was nice to get to showcase some of the team’s work. We should be hitting 1.0 in the next few months and hope look forward to pushing forward with new features. The QGIS plugin is still in beta, but we’re looking for more feedback on how to make it as usable as possible. We look forward to showing off an updated version at Bonn!
GeoGig Workshop on boundless website
The workshop is available online (and will be updated shortly). A big thanks to the GeoGig and QGIS communities for helping to make this workshop a success!
State of the QGIS Project
QGIS was everywhere at this year’s FOSS4G-NA conference. As the sole core QGIS developer present, I had the opportunity to provide an update on features added to QGIS 2.14, as well as give insight into the upcoming release schedule of QGIS 3.0.
State of the QGIS Project on FOSS4G-NA website
It was inspiring to see such strong adoption of QGIS as an alternative to proprietary desktop GIS. Almost every presentation I saw listed QGIS in their geospatial toolset, and often utilized as the initial tool for data conversion, viewing and analysis. Quite a few conference attendees I spoke with were looking to roll out QGIS to large groups of users in venues ranging from government and enterprises to higher education and remote learning.
Thanks to the QGIS community for all the hard work that has gone into the 2.14 release and continued effort to make the move to 3.0.
Open Source Street Routing
It was exciting to discuss the work that Professional Services has been doing to integrate Open Source routing software into our client’s software stacks. I had the opportunity to talk to folks wrestling with similar questions about how to make Open Source work for routing and geocoding in a wide variety of business domains.
I also enjoyed meeting some of the core contributors to the routing projects. There is a lot of work going on in the space (mobile, offline, improved performance, improved accuracy) and I came away from the conference really looking forward to what the next few months will bring for the community and our clients.
Open Source Street Routing with PgRouting on FOSS4G-NA website
GeoNode Community Workshop and Presentations
GeoNode had a large presence at FOSS4G-NA with a workshop and three presentations (GeoNode, GeoSHAPE and MapStory). The presenters highlighted the stability and maturity of GeoNode as a core platform and the diversity of projects that built meaningful solution with it as the base.
The GeoNode workshop had a good turnout of developers and users in which we received great feedback from potential new committers.
It was great to witness the knowledge and patience from the other presenters; Jeff Johnson, Syrus Mesdaghi, Tyler Garner and Clarence Davis. The GeoSHAPE presentation (with Syrus Mesdaghi) featured a live demo highlighting geogig powered data editing and conflict resolution.
GeoNode Developers workshop from geonode.org
GeoShape Presentation on slides.com
Introduction to GeoServer
This year saw the return of one of our more popular and venerable workshops: Introduction to GeoServer. GeoServer is one of the software packages where people first start when getting into open source web mapping, so it gets strong interest.
This workshop was no exception. Despite a large room and the prospect of cocktails outside, a group of 50 or so of us stayed all the way to the end, going through the ins and outs of spatial web services, data loading, publishing, and styling.
A treat for those who attended was a soft announcement (plus a hands-on demo) that Boundless is donating its YSLD styling language to the GeoServer community. Initially only available through OpenGeo Suite Enterprise, YSLD is a native drop-in replacement for SLD built on YAML syntax. It is more flexible, easier to read and use, and offers improvements on SLD, while remaining 100% compatible. And I found it gratifying to see it so well received.
Our donation of this extension to GeoServer reaffirms our commitment to the software projects that we help to develop and support.
The workshop is available on our website and will be updated shortly.
Workshop Introducing GeoServer with revised section on YSLD styling
Thinking Open – A Hybrid Approach to GIS
The concept of hybrid GIS architectures comprised of both proprietary and open source software, continues to be one of the most requested topics of conversation from Boundless customers (and potential customers). The value of implementing open source into your organization is becoming more and more obvious, by reducing licence costs, avoiding single vendor lock-in, and promoting interoperability. But you never want to rip-and-replace your existing architecture for a completely open source one right off the bat.
This well-attended session talked to the considerations an organization should undertake when beginning the transition to open source, and tried to dispel common misconceptions about the capabilities of open source. There were plenty of good comments on the session feedback survey, and we will plan on showcasing this talk again in the future.
Thinking Open on FOSS4G-NA website