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Boundless at FOSS4G Bonn 2016

Welcome to the technical (and social) highlight of the open source calendar – the “Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial” (FOSS4G). This annual event travels the world, this year visiting Bonn, Germany for 2016.

Hands-on workshops were scheduled over two days, with Boundless staff participating in many of them. The rest of this blog is devoted to the experiences and reflections that these employees had over the course of the workshops they attended.

GeoGig Workshop

The Workshop Team: Dan Berry (Boundless) and Sara Safavi (Boundless) with assistance provided by Victor Olaya (Boundless), Morgan Thompson (Boundless) and Tyler Battle (Boundless)

This workshop covered a brief overview of the theory behind GeoGig and an introduction to the capabilities offered by this robust platform for managing distributed versioning of geospatial data.  Another key element of focus within this workshop was  how to integrate GeoGig into both new and existing workflows, so that teams of analysts, QA personnel and managers can employ this new technology to improve their data FOSS4G_01creation efficiency and their data quality.  

Attendees were able to learn how to view historical edits to maps/layers and how network synchronization occurs within the spatial database. Additionally, attendees could see how GeoGig supports the branching/merging of geospatial data as edits happen.  This feature is especially useful for instances where your geospatial data is dynamic and or multiple parties are attempting to work against the same data set.  Lastly, many workshop attendees were pleasantly surprised at the functionality and ease of use of the GeoGig plug-in made available via QGIS (particularly those lacking strong Git skills).  


Introduction to GeoTools

The Workshop Team: Jody Garnett (Boundless) and Devon Tucker (Boundless), Ian Turton (Astun Technology)

We enjoyed a great turnout for the “Introduction to GeoTools” workshop – a big thank you to everyone who attended. For those new to the GeoSpatial scene, this workshop focused on providing an introduction to spatial concepts and how to avoid common pitfalls.  This workshop offered a steady series of workbooks introducing:

  • Feature creationFOSS4G_04
  • Geometry, Coordinate Reference Systems and Re-projection
  • Spatial Queries
  • Handling large format rasters
  • Working with Styling Features
  • Raster Operations

The workshop highlighted how Java developers could begin (or expand) their use of GIS via the workbooks outlined above.  Feel free to peruse the workshop materials below.  We encourage people who have issues or further questions to get in touch via the mailing lists, make their own pull requests, or reach out to Boundless.

Workshop materials:


QGIS Processing Workshop

The Workshop Team: Victor Olaya (Boundless), Paolo Cavallini (Faunalia & QGIS), Alex Bruy (Boundless), and Alex Neto (Boundless)

Spatial analysts unite! The QGIS Processing toolbox is GUI framework that can be used to call native and third-party algorithms from QGIS, making your spatial analysis tasks more productive and easy to accomplish. This workshop focused on : 1) the graphical modeling capabilities (how create a single analytical workflow and how to combine multiple subprocesses/analytic functions into a single workflow); 2) the history manager (how to view historic analytic function or reproduce others for future use); and 3) the processing toolbox’s batch processing capabilities which highlights the ability the ability to execute a single algorithm across multiple data sets.
This workshop also highlighted the fact that the processing framework has the ability to integrate with other third-party data/spatial analysis platforms including SAGA, GRASS, OTB (Orfeo Toolbox) and R amongst others. Although this extensibility is a positive, the workshop outlined specific file format issues /conflicts that could arise and how to resolve them.


GeoTools DataStore

The Workshop Team: Jody Garnett (Boundless) and Torben Barsballe (Boundless) Ian Turton (Astun Technology)


Next up we had the GeoTools DataStore tutorial, which catered to experienced developers for a deep dive into: 1)  how GeoTools data access works; 2) how different data types are handled, and 3) how data types generated via GeoTools could be added to programs such as GeoServer and UDig.

A lot of the intermediate and advanced functionality covered in this workshop focused on automatic handling of things such as thread safety and dynamic reprojection.  A key highlight of this workshop was splitting attendees into teams and giving them a few challenges (adding a spatial index for each transaction, supporting WKT Geometry, optimized paged access).


Workshop materials:



Beyond GeoServer Basics

The Workshop Team: Mike Pumphrey (Boundless) and Morgan Thompson (Boundless) with assistance provided by Kevin Smith (Boundless) and Devon Tucker (Boundless)

Mike Pumphrey and Morgan Thompson had a full room for the Beyond GeoServer Basics workshop, and all were eager to learn about some of GeoServer’s more advanced capabilities. For many users, GeoServer is only used to serve rendered map images, but in this workshop, attendees left with greater knowledge about some of the features that GeoServer that are often overlooked. Whether it is working with time enabled data, filtering data based on user input, or how to dynamically transform your data into heatmaps, each of the skills applied in this workshop can be applied to making beautiful and dynamic web applications powered by GeoServer. 




Introduction to OpenLayers

The Workshop Team: Andreas Hocevar (Boundless), Tobias Sauerwein (Camptocamp), Marc Jansen (terrestris GmbH & Co. KG)

This was a great workshop attended by web developers and decision makers looking for a comprehensive mapping solution and those users of OpenLayers 2 who wanted to get familiar with the new OpenLayers 3 API.

The workshop guided attendees through the key enhancements made with OpenLayers inclusive of improved handling of vector data and the integration of JavaScript frameworks used by web developers into the OpenLayers application. Andreas was excited to answer a lot of questions regarding the OpenLayers API and how the latest release fixed some of the commoner flaws/errors that were present in the OpenLayers 2 version. 


Pasted image at 2016_08_30 04_50 PMGeoNode Developers Workshop

Workshop Team: Jeff Johnson (Terranodo LLC), Daniel Berry (Boundless) and Sara Safavi (Boundless), Simone Dalmasso (European Commission, JRC), Patrick Dufour 

Daniel Berry and Sara Safavi joined an all star team lead by Jeff Johnson for the the GeoNode Developers workshop. This was the first time the workshop had used a live disk (put together by Angelos Tzotsos) and it was a great success. The workshop had fourteen attendees and helped answer a lot of questions.


GeoServer Styling

The Workshop Team: Jody Garnett (Boundless), Torben Barsballe (Boundless), and Kevin Smith (Boundless) with assistance provided by Morgan Thompson (Boundless) and Devon Tucker (Boundless)

FOSS4G_00The styling workshop was our first opportunity to try out GeoServer 2.10 in public (using a milestone release). Attendees were provided a tour of the GeoServer styling flexibility with a choice of CSS or YSLD styles.

Workshop materials:

Boundless at FOSS4G

Boundless is a committed member of the FOSS4G community, both sponsoring this years event and with staff represented in a wide range of projects. Thank you to the FOSS4G community and conference attendees who helped to make this event a success. We are looking forward to FOSS4G ‘17!


Jody Garnett

Community Lead

Jody looks after our open source projects as a community lead here at Boundless. As a member of the engineering team he provides technical leadership and develops Boundless’ training program. He is a member of the Project Steering Committee for GeoServer and GeoTools. Jody is a board member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, and on the steering committee for LocationTech.