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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Open Source GIS Tidbits - 5/4/11

AuScope, a sort of NSDI for earth science for Australia launched last September. Now ITNews offers an article highlighting its use of standards. The article itself highlights the lack of understanding of the difference between standards, open source software and open source that implements standards. 

It involved various open source standards, including Web Feature Service, GeoServer, FullMoon and HollowWorld.

That sentence boggles my mind. Let's see if I can parse it:

Web Feature Service is an open standard from OGC.

GeoServer is an open source map server that implements many open standards including some of OGC.

Full Moon is, I think, open source clustering software from Sun (I had to look that up and found no reference past about 2007).

HollowWorld is a GML application schema template from CSIRO (and I think an open standard, though I'd not heard of it).

- ITNews

"Paul [Ramsay] outlined five cogent reasons to consider FOSS [during the keynote at ASPRS this week]. At coffee afterward Jack had just one word to say: "disruptive.""
An article from IT World tries to explain how to "Make open source mapping and location tools work for you" but it spends a lot of time on non-open source tools. This statement is on some shaky ground, suggesting to me there's a still a lot of confusion about the tools that are out there and the reality of the difference between proprietary and open source options.
The open source community has also gotten behind mapping, and there are a number of tools that make it easy to collect geographic data from mobile phones and publish it across the Internet, including,, and These services promise to do to maps what WordPress and Blogger did for blogging and Web sites in general. 
These tools make it easier to do things such as collating all pictures taken at a given landmark, showing the progress over time of development of a particular block. You could also easily create a map that pinpoints all of your corporate office locations so that customers can find the closest one by either entering their ZIP code or clicking on a map. Before open source mapping came along, you would have to learn Google's or MapQuest's particular programming interfaces and write code that would only work with that individual mapping provider.
by Adena Schutzberg on 05/04 at 03:39 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

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