Open Standards, Open Source, Open Data

Citation Index: 
Cameron Shorter
GITA, Brisbane, Australia, August 2007
Microsoft Office
CC-Attribution Share Alike (by-sa)

OSGeo: Exploring the cross-roads of organization, integration, and acceptance of OS Geospatial in the real world

Citation Index: 
Racicot, Aaron
OSCON 2007
Microsoft Office

Wilderness Navigational Planning Using GRASS GIS Analysis and Public Geographic Data

Citation Index: 
Beaudette, Dylan
Where 2.0 Conference, 2006

FOSS4G 2007 Call for Presentations

News Date: 
4 Apr 2007

We are pleased to announce the Call for Presentations for the FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial) 2007 conference, being held September 24-27, in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Held annually, FOSS4G is the premier conference for the open source geospatial community, providing a full-immersion experience in established and leading edge geospatial technologies for developers, users, and people new to open source geospatial.

FOSS4G 2007 presentations are 25 minute talks, with 5 minute question and answer sessions at the end. Presentations cover the use or development of open source geospatial software. Anyone can can submit a presentation proposal and take part in the conference as a presenter.

Some topics of interest for this year are:

  • Case Studies: Relate the experiences of you and your organization using open source geospatial. Where do things work well? Poorly? What problems did you solve, and at what cost? What do you recommend for others? Why?
  • Benchmarks: Comparisons between pieces of geospatial software. How do features compare? Speed? Ease of use? What do you recommend for others?
  • Visualization: Tell about your tips and tricks for effective visualization. How do you present information in a compelling way? 3D?
    Cartographic tricks? Labelling and naming ideas? Graphs and hybrid map/data combinations?

  • Development: What are the new developments in your open source geospatial software product? How does it work, how do people use it, what are the technical issues you are running into?
  • Hacks and Mashing: Have you put together something novel or cool this year? What did you stick together, how did it work, show us your gizmo!
  • Collaboration: What techniques are you using to improve collaboration between organizations and between individuals. Public geodata, collaborative data collection, data sharing, open standards, de facto standards, and more!

If you have an open source geospatial story to tell, we want to hear it!

For more information, see the FOSS4G site:

The deadline for presentation submissions is June 29, 2007. Submit early, submit often!

Open Source Geo Tools

Citation Index: 
Mitchell, Tyler
Where 2.0 Conference, 2005
CC-Attribution Share Alike (by-sa)

Paul Spencer

1 Jun 2006

Paul Spencer (pagameba) is one of the voting members of the OSGeo Foundation. Paul is participating in the governance through the incubation committee. Read more...


Paul Spencer (pagameba) is one of the voting members of the OSGeo Foundation. Paul is participating in the gogernance through the incubation committee. Read on for our Developer Spotlight interview:

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself (what you do, experience, hobbies, family, interesting things about you).

A: I'm now 38. My first career was in the military as an Electronic Warfare officer. I managed to get both an undergraduate degree (computer engineering) and a masters degree (software engineering) while still in the military. I served just over 14 years in a variety of positions in Kingston, Ontario and Ottawa.

I'm married to Gail (coming up on 14 years now). No kids, but we do have a dog, Bailey, who we dote on. Our immediate families are nearby, mostly in Ottawa. Our extended family is in England, Ireland and Australia.

My hobbies are mostly computer related, which is pretty geeky. But I do like to travel when I have the chance, and I'm pretty handy at building stuff around the house so I have a long list of jobs waiting for me whenever I get some down time. Plus there is the dog.

Q: How long have you been working in the geospatial domain and why?

A: About 7 years. I wanted to be in software development after my military service. Dave McIlhagga (president of DM Solutions Group) is my cousin and I had been talking with him ever since he had the idea of forming his own company. Even before I left the military, I started doing some work on the side to help him out. When I did leave the military, I formed my own consulting company and had a couple of contracts to develop in the geospatial domain. I ended up working almost full time for Dave and decided to make the plunge and go full time. I guess I ended up in geospatial by accident.

Q: What are you using geospatial and what software are you using to get the job done (we want to know about both commercial and open source)?

A: I don't really use it that much since my primary job is to develop it. I've tried most of the open source geospatial software out there at one time or another. I don't think I have ever used any commercial software for anything.

Q: What attracted you to the projects you are using/participating in?

A: Primarily my participation is driven by company priorities, which in turn is driven by the needs of our clients. We try to stay involved in a lot of different projects so that we can provide the best solution to our clients.

Q: Are you involved with any of the OSGeo governance or committees?

A: I'm part of the Incubation Committee

Q: What open source projects are you contributing to as a developer?

A: Chameleon, ka-Map, and Map Guide OS are the ones I'm actively involved in. MapLab and ms4w sometimes get my attention, but those are lead by other folks now and so I don't get involved much. I contribute to MapServer, mostly by asking for new features and bug fixes. I've got cvs commit access to OpenEV, but I haven't done much with it lately.

Q: What open source projects do you consider yourself a user and why are you using them (remember to use the full URL)?

A: I don't use a lot of stuff that I don't actually develop, but occasionally I need to look at data in something else to debug problems or convince myself that something I'm doing should work ...

QGIS, mostly for looking at vector files that I'm having problems with but also for postgis data.

uDig, again for looking at vector data, postgis data, and also for WMS/WFS stuff.

GDAL is invaluable for its command line tools, I use these frequently.

Q: Is your company using code from these projects and if so please describe how/why if you can?

A: We tend to use projects as libraries on which we build our own solutions, so we don't use the code from other projects really. We are also guilty of the 'not invented here' syndrome, a habit I am trying to break myself of.

Q: In your open source projects, do you need help and if so what skills or experience are you looking for?

A: We do web-based stuff and are always interested in folks that have experience in this environment. We are primarily using PHP on the server side. Our focus is currently on leveraging AJAX techniques to improve user experience.

Q: What operating systems are you using (Windows, Linux, BSD, Apple, etc.)?

A: Apple's OS X

Q: What programming languages do you use (scripting and compiled)?

A: Right now I'm developing in javascript and PHP. I did quite a bit of work in python when I was actively developing with OpenEV. C, I guess, but my skills there are somewhat rusty. Java, but again, somewhat rusty. In the past, I've developed in Smalltalk and pascal (but that's going back a bit).

Q: What spoken/written languages are you fluent in? A: English.

General Information:
Name: Paul Spencer ID: pagameba
City: Ottawa
State/Province: Ontario
Country: Canada
Company:DM Solutions Group
Open Source Project Participation:

If you want to have a developer, project, school, or company spotlight posted on, please send your affiliation and how you are using to

OSGeo Accepted for Google Summer of Code

News Date: 
15 Mar 2007

OSGeo is pleased to announce that Google has accepted OSGeo as mentoring organization for the Google Summer of Code 2007 program. This program provides funding for students to work on open source projects under the support of experienced mentors. The projects participating through OSGeo are GDAL, GeoServer, GeoTools, GRASS, MapGuide, PostGIS, uDig, OpenJUMP and MapServer.

Students interested in participating can find more information on OSGeo project ideas at:

and more information about the program as a whole at:

MapGuide Open Source helps San Francisco protect the urban forest

News Date: 
8 Mar 2007

The City of San Francisco’s Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Urban Forestry (BUF), the Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), Autodesk, and Online Mapping Solutions have worked together to develop a city-wide, dynamic online map of the city’s growing number of trees. The San Francisco Urban Forest Mapping System was developed using a combination of open source and proprietary mapping technologies, with MapGuide Open Source forming the central element. By integrating their two data sets into one, BUF and FUF now have a vital, technology-based tool for tree maintenance and management, enabling urban forest managers to inventory and map existing, future and past tree locations. The map will also be an online tool, allowing citizens to access tree data, report problems, upload personal tree information, such as photos and stories, and add information about privately owned trees to the city inventory. The new site will be launched as part of the Mayor’s Arbor Day events on March 10, 2007. For more information about the project, visit

QGIS and FDO Enter OSGeo Incubation

News Date: 
6 Mar 2007

The OSGeo Board has approved the application by the QGIS project, and the FDO project to enter the incubation process. Incubation is a stepping stone to becoming a full fledged OSGeo project.

QGIS is a cross platform user friendly desktop GIS. QGIS supports vector, raster, and database formats and lets you browse and create map data.

FDO is a C++ library for accessing feature data from a variety of vector, database, and raster sources. It includes many enterprise-class features such as transactions and complex schema support.

MapGuide Open Source Graduates Incubation

News Date: 
5 Mar 2007

OSGeo and the MapGuide Open Source project are pleased to announce that MapGuide Open Source has graduated from the incubation process and is now a full fledged OSGeo project.

Graduating incubation includes requirements for open community operation, a responsible project governance model, code provenance and license verification and general good project operation. Graduating incubation is the OSGeo seal of approval for a project and gives potential users of the project added confidence in the viability and safety of the project.

With the graduation of MapGuide Open Source the Project Steering Committee chair, Robert Bray, becomes OSGeo Vice-President - MapGuide Open Source.

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