Tag Archives: open source

QGIS 2.0 Update // Install on Windows

In response to my previous post on the challenges of installing the new QGIS 2.0 version, I wanted to highlight a new post by the folks over at Digital Geography. Not only did they write a good post on the Ubuntu install of QGIS 2.0 (now updated with an install video), but they have followed up with a summary of the Windows install of QGIS 2.0.

I posted a comment about my concerns regarding the automatic installation of the SAGA and OTG dependencies, and Riccardo answered that the Windows install does include both. I haven’t tested it yet, but automatically including them would be great. Would appreciate if anyone could confirm this in the Windows install, and if the Ubuntu install has been updated.


USGIF Achievement Award

One of the interesting things about the “Imagery to the Crowd” projects has been the positive feedback we have received from a range of different communities. Ultimately we built the process from a belief that free and open geographic data could support the effective provision of humanitarian assistance, and that the power of open source software and organizations were the key to doing this efficiently.

Our goal with Imagery to the Crowd is to provide a catalyst, in the form of commercial high-resolution satellite imagery, to enable the volunteer mapping community to produce data in areas experiencing (or in risk of) a complex emergency. In many ways I thought of this process as trying to link the “cognitive surplus” of the crowd (Shirky, 2011) with the purchasing power of the United States Government, to help humanitarian and development organizations harness the power of geography to do what they already do better.

Somewhat surprisingly, a community outside of the humanitarian sector recognized the potential impact of this process, and the HIU was awarded the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Government Achievement Award 2012 (Press Release, Symposium Daily pdf, Video page). The award was presented at the GeoInt Symposium in Orlando, FL (Oct 7-14 2012). Below is a video of the awards presentation, and includes the Academic and Industry Division winners from this year. The section on the HIU begins around the 7:25 mark.



At the conference I also was on a panel in a “GeoInt Forward” session focused on open source software. This panel was actually the best part of the conference. Typically the first day of the GeoInt Symposium is reserved for the golf event, but this year the organizers included an additional day of panel sessions. In general these sessions were very well attended, and with a full-house of approximately 250 people the session on Open Source Software exceeded my expectations. The session description and other panelists are listed below, and it is clear the defense and intelligence perspective that is GeoInt, but it was an interesting group doing work across a range of different applications. I tried to provide a bit of balance and discussed the philosphical approach to open source, and its potential as an organizing principle for organizations. The Imagery to the Crowd project is built on an a cloud-hosted open source geographic computing infrastructure, so I could speak to the reality of this system. It seems that the coming budget austerity has generated significant interest in open source, and now could be golden opportunity.

From the conference proceedings:
“Open Source Software (OSS) has moved from being a backroom, developers-only domain to a frontline component inside key military capabilities. OSS isn’t doing everything—yet—but it is slowly commoditizing key strategic parts of geospatial infrastructure, from operating systems to databases to applications. In this session, key government program managers will discuss where and how they see OSS moving to solve warfighter needs, as well as assess the gaps in OSS investment and capabilities.”

Moderator – John Scott, Senior Systems Engineer & Open Tech Lead, RadiantBlue
• John Snevely, DCGS Enterprise Steering Group Chair
• Col Stephen Hoogasian, U.S. Air Force, Program Manager, NRO
• Keith Barber, Senior Advisor, Agile Acquisition Strategic Initiative, NGA
• John Marshall, Chief Technology Officer, J2, Joint Staff
• Dan Risacher, Developer Advocate, Office of the Chief Information Officer, DoD
• Josh Campbell, GIS Architect, Office of the Geographer & Global Issues, State Department

Reference Cited:

Shirky, C. (2011). Cognitive surplus : how technology makes consumers into collaborators. New York: Penguin Books.

Modifying the KARS GeoNetwork metadata catalog

We recently had an inquiry at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program (KARS) about modifications we made to our GeoNetwork instance. Specifically, the question was about setting the Intermap window to open in the large format on load, and setting the map extent.

We run the Windows version of GeoNetwork and have used these modifications for Versions 2.2, 2.4.2, and 2.4.3.

First, to call the Intermap function we modified the following files:

1) main.xsl – @ line 18 added ‘openIntermap’ function call to the onLoad event

<body onload="init(), openIntermap()">

2) main-page.xsl – @ line 281, “fillMeWithIntermap”, add ‘width: 700px;’

<tr id="intermaprow"  width="100%" height="0">
  <xsl:comment>COLLAPSABLE MAP</xsl:comment>
      <strong><div id="fillMeWithIntermap" style="display: none; width: 700px;"></strong>
      <!--  This DIV will be filled dynamically with intermap contents -->

Note that this modification did require some additional CSS modifications, specifically the Z-Index of the map elements had to be re-ordered so they would be drawn last.

Second, modifying the properties that Intermap used at load were modified in the file:

3) In row 19 and 20, change the initial width and height of window from w=368 h=276 to w=450 h=300.

 // these are the values of initial width and height. 
var im_bm_wsize0 = 450;
var im_bm_hsize0 = 300;

4) Inserted a line (line 19) to define the map extent (zoom) of the Intermap big map window to North America.

 Line 19: im_bm.setBBox(51.56155, -66.07543, 21.629387, -125.93976)
Line 20 for comments: // view of the United States (minx="-125.93976" miny="21.629387" maxx="-66.07543" maxy="51.56155") 

5) Modified the default scale zoom parameters for the intermap window on load to include 1:24,000.
File: \geonetwork\web\intermap\xsl\index-embedded.xsl

At line 141, an option for the value “24000″ was added

<select name="im_setscale" id="im_setscale" onchange="javascript:im_bm_setScale();">
<option id="im_currentscale" value=""><xsl:value-of select="/root/gui/strings/setScale</option>                    
    <option value="50000000">1:50.000.000</option>
    <option value="10000000">1:10.000.000</option>
    <option value="5000000">1:5.000.000</option>
    <option value="1000000">1:1.000.000</option>
    <option value="500000">1:500.000</option>
    <option value="100000">1:100.000</option>
    <option value="50000">1:50.000</option>
    <option value="24000">1:24.000</option>
    <option value="10000">1:10.000</option>
    <option value="5000">1:5.000</option>
    <option value="1000">1:1.000</option>                    

Additional modifications can be found in the following document KBS_GeoNetwork_Modifications. Any comments or additional suggestions for modifications are welcome.

8th Annual KU GIS Day Symposium

GIS Day 2009 at the University of Kansas was an unquestionable success. Now in its 8th year the GIS Day Symposium continued its trend of bringing a quality mix of speakers to the university and attracting a diverse crowd from academia, government, and business. The speaker selection was balanced and had elements of GIS data structures for moving objects, open source software, biological conservation, transportation infrastructure modeling, and flood inundation modeling. The information fair (which started three years ago) had the largest vendor participation yet and the modified location in the Kansas Union, to the main lobby on the fourth floor for the information fair and Alderson Auditorium for the talks was a nice pairing. I am continually impressed with the quality of work presented in the student competition (full disclosure: I participated this year as well, more on this below).

This was the first year in the last six that I didn’t have a significant hand in the planning of GIS Day. While initially I wondered what would happen to the day, I can safely say this year was one of the best. Eric Weber (a MA student in Geography) stepped up to continue the tradition of Geography graduate student leadership, and Xan Wedel (KU Institute for Policy and Social Research), Rhonda Houser (KU Libraries), Joel Plummer (KU PhD Candidate in Geography), and Xingong Li (KU Professor in Geography) continued with their longstanding efforts as members of the Planning Committee. I can assure you that it is not easy to plan and execute a GIS Day and these folks (along with the other KU geography graduate students who helped out) deserve a lot of thanks for putting in the effort.

Personally, it was extremely gratifying that all of our hard work in previous years carried through in this the first year that didn’t involve either myself or Matt Dunbar (who was integral to GIS Day for the first five years). As a tongue-in-cheek joke, but I hope also sincere gesture, the long-term members of the planning committee listed above surprised me with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for significant contributions to the Geography and GIS communities at KU. While I recognize the intended humor in this, I really do appreciate my colleagues recognition of the many years of effort I put into GIS Day. If this year is any measure, we’ve created a framework for success and built something that can last into the future.

The presentation and videos for the day will be available on the GIS Day website in the coming weeks. My presentation is available at this link. The final report of the project and data files will be posted later.

'Lifetime Achievement Award'