FOSS4G was a great time. OSGeo is about the best community out there. And this was my first trip to Switzerland, lovely. Just about how I envisioned it, ultramodern buildings in sheep grazed green pastures, above lakes and below mountains. The boat trip on Lake Geneva with tour and dinner in Château de Chillon was such a highlight. I found my way around Lausanne with only my GPS, yea OpenStreetMap.
I gave two presentations, back to back in the last hour of the last day. It’s About Time for Time surveyed experiments, widely and my own, in integrating time into GIS, and advocates GeoRSS and WMS Time to do the “Simplest Possible Thing That Works”. Google choose to release time navigation to coincide with my talk, thanks guys, so I hope the OSGeo community hooks into the coming upswing in temporal GIS. What’s Next, GeoRSS is one half hype ala Where 2.0, one half critical examination of issues with the GeoRSS format and processes. The presentation materials are posted to the FOSS4G info pages.
GeoRSS 1.0 was released. After a couple minor changes, this means that work on the format itself has frozen. We can now focus on supporting implementations and moving things forward through the OGC Lightweight Standards process and the W3C Incubator Activity. FOSS4G saw a large physical gathering of GeoRSS participants .. Allan Doyle, Raj Singh, Josh Lieberman, Andrew Turner, Patrice Cappelaere, Schuyler Erle, Jo Walsh, and myself. Many people mentioned GeoRSS as an inspirational process for the development of more lightweight, usable standards.
Andrew Turner, Guilhem Vellut, and myself all finally got to meet face to face. We’ve been working together on Mapufacture, Mapstraction, and GeoPress, three projects which are rapidly growing together. GeoPress 2.0 was released, with an announcement by Brady on the OReilly Radar. And I spoke with Allan Doyle about including GeoPress in his proposed Geospatial Appliance for Civil Society, How to fit 5 Kilos of Software into a 1.3 Kilo Box.
The WMS Tile Caching Scheme made big progress. And though I missed the session Tuesday night, it all looks cool and I intend to support the scheme in worldKit. I did make the Web Mapping Client BOF, though it all stayed AJAX rather than embracing Actionscript as ECMAScript brethren. That’s fine, since the intention of WMS-T and WMS-C is to have at least two different implementations, and with all the Ajax clients converging on OpenLayers, I’m happy to keep worldKit going.
In fact, I want to pursue a similar convergence/code sharing in Flash Mapping, from various bits of open source flash out there; attending this presentation which delved into a quality WFS Flash Client. Similarly, a group us of Ruby/Rails developers (basically us Mapufacture people and the guys from NomadLabs) met on Friday, and resolved to push forward Ruby support of Geo at various levels (recipes, adaptors, libraries, apps), something I think could really take off. And I spoke to Frank Warmerdam and Chris Holmes about starting the OSGeo Incubation process for worldKit .. I’m going to apply asap!
There were more interesting looking presentations that I missed than actually attended (frantically finishing my slides). Pat presented GeoBliki (OGC Sensor Web Enabled Data Node), a very cool community oriented (blog/wiki/GeoRSS) project for Sensors, which I’m going to watch closely. Sensors were also on discussion in Sensor Web Enablement: The 52north SWE Suite. Raj opened up the OGC’s Lightweight Standards Initiatives, discussing WFS Basic (outputformat=GeoRSS), WMS-T, WFS-T, and Individual OGC Membership. Steve Ottens spoke on Creating a high performance webmapping site, which further reinforced my belief that OpenStreetMap has about the most difficult problems around in GIS. Implementation of Synchronous, Spatially-Referenced Discussions Between Multiple Users with Open-Source Web GIS and Database Tools was interesting to get the thoughts flowing on how to better encourage collaboration in OpenStreetMap. Finally, the Conservation GeoPortal spawned an interesting debate on how to approach GIS in the developing world, where it matters most.
For more lucid thoughts and imagery on FOSS4G, Nick Black posted frequently, especially on how OSGeo and OpenStreetMap can work together. Jo wrote on her Have a Nice Metadata session, with plenty of choice phrases like “implement first, think later”, “the pursuit of the Simplest, Least Useless Thing”, “favourite OpenStreetmap tags – horse=’yes’”. Tom Kralidis has pretty good coverage of the entire event. Brady posted several FOSS4G entries on Radar. Photos here, here, and here.