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LocationTech Tour 2016

If you caught our update on FOSS4G 2016 you know we enjoy taking part in community events and open source advocacy. The LocationTech Tour is the second big open source GIS mapping conference & community event we take part in; this is a travelling event hooking up with smaller crowds in each city.

The key advantage of the tour is bringing opens source mapping to groups that have not yet had a chance to see what is available. It is also great to see what is important to each group and how they are making the most of our open source GIS software.



Philadelphia GIS Mapping Locationtech Tour

Tom Ingold:  The first tour stop was in Philadelphia (held with @GeoPHL meetup) to talk about our WebSDK.

Open Source GIS Mapping Conference LocationTech Tour

Tom Ingold presenting WebSDK (credit @GeoPHL)



Jody Garnett: This was my first time attending FedGeoDay, which has been something of an institution in the North American open source calendar. As a Canadian visiting south of the border it was a chance to see how geospatial is playing a role in the US government. My biggest impression is how much has changed from foss4g 2011 in Denver. Seeing a steady stream of government success stories using open source, an acknowledgement that government needs to participate in (or lead) open source initiatives.

Open Source GIS Mapping Conference

twitter for the event summary

I would like to thank the organizing committee (including our own Anthony Calamito), and LocationTech staff, for organizing the event. However I think they will understand that their efforts were completely eclipsed by the fabulous venue offered by the American Red Cross.

The building was built in the 1920’s to as memorial to women who served in the American Civil war.

  • Understanding Open Source: (slideshare|blog) I continue to explore different approaches to open source advocacy, this time out I used a series of specific examples to explore how governments can develop their own code (which they may or may not be in position to release) with open source software. Judging from the lively questions period the approach paid off.
  • Thinking Open – A Hybrid Approach to GIS: It is always a pleasure to hear Anthony speak, in this case exploring how our layered architecture allows our customers to work with both open source and their existing proprietary investment.Open Source GIS Mapping Conference

Anthony Calamito (flickr)

  • Institutional engagement in an open mapping community: Our hosts provide an inspiring talk on all the work they are doing with open data, open source, and community initiatives. This was one of several positive talks on how our software is used, and one of the reasons I come to these events.Open Source GIS Mapping Conference

Dan Joseph (flickr)

  • And More: Plenty of great talks – with the Environmental Protection Agency doing a live demo of sensor interoperability, the US Census having fun predicting the future, use of Cesium at NASA, NGA working on GeoWave, and Rob Emmanuelle with his excellent introduction / comparison of cloud geoprocessing technologies. Thanks to the LocationTech Staff (Andrea Ross and Thea Aldrich) for pulling together event logistics. The food was excellent and people stayed late into the evening after presentations were done.


Locationtech Tour Victoria

Morgan Thompson: I had the pleasure of organizing this year’s tour stop with the local GeoGeeks meetup and the University of Victoria. This was my second time attending a LocationTech Tour and first time organizing one. We had a full room of GeoGeeks for the night of talks at Swan’s Brewpub. The introductory workshops were well received and there was interest in more advanced GeoServer and QGIS workshops for the next event.

  • LocationTech Tour Presentations: An evening of talks on open source mapping with speakers from our victoria office and Carto. The highlight was Kevin’s talk on fantasy mapping.
  • LocationTech Tour Workshops: Connecting with the local university continues to provide a first-contact experience for many who have not had the opportunity to try open source software before.


For more details (and photos) please see our blog post.

LocationTech Tour Madrid

Luigi Pirelli: Event was really good! This was my second time attending a LocationTech Tour event and enjoyed the organization. Forty people attended physically and other remotely. Most of them were arc desktop users interested in QGIS and WebGis solutions. Few of them were developers mainly belonging to the Geoinquietos Madrid community.


There were different presentations by Geoinquietos, Carto, Boundless, Glob3 and GeoCat:

  • Ramiro Aznar presented Geoinquietos Madridinviting the attendees to a GeoPython meeting the day after.

Open Source GIS Mapping ConferenceRamiro Aznar (credit @delawen)

  • Jorge Sanz shown the CARTO web interface to create geo analysis on a practical case applied to drone positions.
  • Manuel de la Calle opened a discussion on Opens Source business model applied to the services offered by Glob3.

Open Source GIS Mapping ConferenceGlob3 Open Source business model (credit @delawen)

  • Maria Aria for GeoCat gave a technical demonstration how to create an INSPIRE metadata catalog.
  • I was there presenting the Boundless Lesson and Tester QGIS plugins to facilitate QGIS teaching and testing. The Lesson plugin allows execution of self-teaching classes directly in QGIS. In this way, the user is guided to learn the application by interacting directly with it. I explained how to create new classes showing the python code necessary to create them. The GIS Lesson plugin is based on the same foundation as the Tester plugin used to verify our Boundless plugins after each change.

Open Source GIS Mapping ConferenceLugi in action (credit @delawen)

At end of the meeting I asked each one of the attendees to speak on their reason to attend to this event. There were an almost balanced gender distribution, with people coming from both private companies and from institutional research centers.

Thanks to the Geoinquietos Madrid for organizing, and to Carto team in Callao for hosting.

Heading back to the hotel I had one final surprise – I found my room decorated with three maps.

Open Source GIS Mapping Conference Maps are Trendy (credit @Ginetto)

Jody Garnett

Jody Garnett

Training Specialist

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.