[OSGeo-Discuss] ESRI getting more serious about open source?

2012-08-29 Thread Ned Horning
Hi - A colleague on the Society for Sonservation GIS list shared a link 
to this blog Esri and Open Source Software: More Please at 

I'm not sure what to think about it but on the surface it seems like a 
good thing. Is OSGeo involved with this initiative in any way? If not is 
there any interest in having OSGeo play an active role in the opening of 
ESRI code? I'm curious what other folks think of this.

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[OSGeo-Discuss] US government request for information related to open access publications and data

2011-11-09 Thread Ned Horning

Hi -

I thought some folks on this list might be interested in these two 
requests for information that came out recently. The first is an RFI for:

Public Access to Digital Data Resulting From Federally Funded Scientific 


and the other is:
Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting From 
Federally Funded Research


This topic might be better suited for the North America regional chapter 
but since that is still gathering momentum I am posting to the full 
discuss list.

All the best,


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[OSGeo-Discuss] Board nomination for Charlie Schweik

2011-08-03 Thread Ned Horning

I nominate Charlie Schweik for a position on the OSGeo Board. Charlie
Schweik is chair of the OSGEO education committee and an effective
advocate for the use of open source geospatial software in academia. He
is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment shared between the
Department of Natural Resources Conservation and the Center for Public
Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
He is also the Associate Director of the National Center for Digital
Government, and an affiliated researcher with the Science, Technology,
and Society Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

His research focuses on environmental management and policy,
public-sector information technology, and the intersection of those
domains. His recent peer-reviewed publications focus on free and open
source software and the social frameworks and institutions that drive
their development and use.
With his colleague Robert English, he has just completed a 5-year
National Science Foundation funded study on open source collaboration
resulting in a book manuscript entitled “Successful Internet
Collaboration: A Study of Open Source Software Commons” (forthcoming,
June 2012, MIT Press). One chapter in this book analyzes OSGeo as a case
study (thanks to interviews with OSGeo members a few years ago).
Charlie has regularly taught an Introduction to Spatial Technologies
course to undergraduate students using OSGeo-related technologies. He
also just completed teaching a course to high school teachers using QGIS.

It was through Charlie's hard work and persistence that OSGeo first
created a web-based educational content inventory system. He is now
trying to work with other OSGeo affiliated academics (especially Suchith
Anand at the University of Nottingham) to build a network of
OSGeo-affiliated academic institutions and move OSGeo education toward a
new derivative work system. He is particularly interested in focusing
some of this effort on how local governments might move toward or become
interested in open source geospatial technologies and believes it is
critical for OSGeo to promote affiliated projects more in the government

Charlie's formal training and experience as a computer programmer with
academic interests in studying the open source movement and promoting
the use of open source geospatial tools makes him well qualified to be a
board member of OSGEO.

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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] desktop gis comparison at code sprint foss4g

2009-10-07 Thread Ned Horning
There was a report produced by the USGS in 1988 that might be of some 
use: A process for evaluating Geographic Information Systems USGS 
Open-File Report 88-105
A djvu file of the report can be downloaded at 

There are also some comparison tables prepared by Stefan Steiniger in 
2008 available at: http://spatialserver.net/osgis/

All the best,


Jody Garnett wrote:

Okay that is a good call. There was a table comparing different
desktop systems released a while back - perhaps that could be a
starting point?


On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 6:01 PM, andrea antonello
andrea.antone...@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Jody,
you are right, but I would like to involve power users in code sprints
as well. They get usually bored in all the moments they have to wait
for a fix to test.
I think a tester/power user in the sprint would have more fun in doing
something more autonomous.

But, yeah, it seems you are not the only one thinking like that, since
there has been no feedback.


On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 7:50 AM, Jody Garnett jody.garn...@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Andrea:

That may be a good topic for a BOF session; I would recommend the code
sprint stays focused on you know ... coding :-)


On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 6:48 PM, andrea antonello
andrea.antone...@gmail.com wrote:

Hi all, but mainly QGis-sers and gvSig-gers (I am now speaking as uDig-ger).
In Italy in November we have our annual GFOSS conference and this year
we proposed a workshop in which desktop GIS are compared.
So what should happen, is that we create a list of tasks that then are
shown/compared on every GIS during the workshop, in order to highlight
the strenghts of every GIS and hide the weaknesses behind the
availability of other possibilities.
At the Italian conference QGis/grass, gvSig/sextante and
uDig/JGrass/Axios will be put into the game, which is why I mainly
address those groups now, but obviously others are welcome.

I would really love to give this thing a ride before the November
conference, since it is a first try for me. Therefore I was wondering
if some QGis and GvSIG poweruser would be available during the
Saturday codesprint for comparison on some tasks together with the
uDig team.

That said, I would love to hear from anyone what he would like to see
tested in such a comparison, browsing from the easiest line creation
to the most particular and odd reprojection.
For that I just opened a small subsection in the uDig code sprint
Feel free to add whatever comes to your mind.

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[OSGeo-Discuss] Library incompatibilities

2009-04-26 Thread Ned Horning
Hi - 

I have some questions about library version incompatibilities when using Linux
OSGeo desktop applications. I am trying to force myself to use a broader array
of open source geo packages for my daily tasks but the more packages I use the
more headaches I have trying to manage conflicting libraries. For example, GDAL
is used by just about all geo projects (for good reason) but different projects
use different versions of GDAL or the same version compiled differently and
distributed on different repositories. I spend a good bit of time tracking down
these conflicts with help from colleagues and I'm  wondering if other folks
have similar problems and if you are how do you deal with it. I'm still not
all that capable using Linux and I suppose that's one of the problems but it
just seems like it shouldn't be this difficult especially when my other FOSS
applications seem to get along with each other just fine. 

It would be nice to be able to pick and choose appropriate software for a 
task (I always considered that to be a strength of FOSS) but in practice I'm
having a hard time doing that. Here is a list of what I'd like to be loaded
on my Ubuntu system and this will certainly grow as I get more familiar with
other packages: OSSIM, GRASS, QGIS, FWTools, and R. 


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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS radar (palsar)

2008-11-20 Thread Ned Horning

The Alaska Satellite Facility 
has a few tools and they maintain a list or other software. They are trying
to get more community involvement so it would be helpful to them if you could
comment on the tools or even get involved with development/documentation...


maning sambale wrote:

 I'm looking for FOSS tools for radar data (alos palsar).

 I've seen RAT radartools http://srv-43-200.bv.tu-berlin.de/rat/index.php
 But it depends on IDL.  However, RAT is FOSS (mozilla license) so
 anybody can port it.

 Are there any other foss for radar we can use?



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[OSGeo-Discuss] [Fwd: [Ilwis] Call for Entries - 52°North Stud ent Innovation Prize for Geoinformatics]

2008-06-11 Thread Ned Horning

I thought some folks here might be interested in this.

***Sorry for any cross postings ***

The 52°North Open Source Initiative hereby issues a call for entries for 
the 52°North Student Innovation Prize for Geoinformatics.

The aim of this innovation prize is to encourage students to make a 
contribution to the development and practical realization of innovative 
concepts in the field of geoinformatics.

The competition is directed primarily at students of geoinformatics, 
computer science, business informatics and media informatics. 
Applications are requested from small teams of students (2-4 members); 
applications will also be accepted from individuals (who will also be 
referred to as teams for the purposes of the competition).

The innovation prize is being awarded by 52°North GmbH, con terra GmbH, 
ESRI Geoinformatik GmbH, the International Institute for Geo-Information 
Science and Earth Observation (ITC in Enschede) and the Institute for 
Geoinformatics at the University of Münster. All of these institutions 
are working together under the banner of the 52°North Open Source 
Initiative, with the common aim of promoting research and education in 
the field of geoinformatics. A central foundation of 52°North’s 
activities is the constant exchange of research matters and innovative 
developments between academic and business organizations. Located in 
Münster, the 52°North Initiative possesses a level of potential which is 
unique throughout Europe when it comes to the development of innovative 
solutions in the field of geoinformation as a whole as well as in its 
constituent applications.

The innovation prize will enable the winning team to stay with the 
52°North Initiative in Münster for at least a month. During this time, 
the winners of the innovation prize will develop their prize-winning 
ideas together with students and academic personnel from the 
aforementioned institutions. Their work should culminate in the 
implementation of a fully functioning open source software programme as 
a proof-of-concept.

Depending on the size of the student team, prize money of between 1,500 
and a maximum of 4,000 euros will be awarded. The money is intended to 
contribute towards financing the winning team's stay in Münster. Upon 
successful completion of their activities, the team will receive a bonus 
of between 500 and 2,000 euros.

The application can be entered in either German or English, and must 
include the following documents:

·  For the team as a whole: an explanation of the motivation and 
practical relevance behind the idea, a functional and technical draft 
plan for its implementation, and a time schedule stating the desired 
dates for the stay in Münster;

·  For each member of the team: a curriculum vitae in tabular form, 
including previous studies, and a personal declaration.

The closing date for applications is November 30, 2008. The idea which 
is selected as the winner of the innovation prize will be developed and 
implemented in Münster from mid-February 2009.

For further information regarding this competition, please see: 

Please send your application by November 30, 2008 to:
52°North Initiative
Ms. Ann Hitchcock

Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24
48155 Münster

Dipl.-Geogr. Ann Hitchcock
52°North GmbH
Martin-Luther-King-Weg 24
48155 Muenster, Germany

Geschäftsführer: Dr. Albert Remke, Dr. Andreas Wytzisk
Amtsgericht Münster HRB 10849

Tel.: +49 (0)251 74 74- 520
Fax: +49 (0)251 74 74- 530


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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Using OpenOffice to write DocBook files

2008-01-28 Thread Ned Horning

Jody Garnett wrote:
Open Office supports a set of Doc Book styles right now ... not sure I 
understand what you are looking for. 
Thanks for your thoughts. I tried playing around with the default 
DocBook styles but they seemed pretty limited and from what I could tell 
their style names didn't map to the DocBook tag names so I had a tough 
time making sense of it. This could of course be a user limitation - I 
need to give it another look. The other thing is that I haven't been 
able to find OpenOffice DocBook templates that support the newer DocBook 
5.0 standard. I suppose we can write guidelines on how to use the 
existing template but I was hoping there was something better out there.
I have used DocBook before to make online help (according to the 
eclipse writing guidelines). I used a tool called XMLMind which was 
pretty scary but good once you got into it. 
I use XMLMind and like it a lot. The issue for some folks is that it 
isn't open source.

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[OSGeo-Discuss] NASA meeting end of April

2008-01-18 Thread Ned Horning

Greetings -

I'll give the “standard process” for announcing possible OSGeo events 
suggested by Arnulf a try. If there is interest I'll create a Proposed 
Event Wiki page.

NASA is holding their bi-annual Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem Joint Science 
Workshop April 28-May 2 in College Park Maryland: 

This event would be an excellent opportunity to introduce OSGeo to NASA 
and it's funded researchers. It will be well attended and I think this 
NASA community is ripe for learning more about OSGeo. This is 
potentially an important community since NASA is funding researchers 
that develop software but it's often not developed within open source 
communities even though there is an increase in the use of open source 
software. My gut feeling is that the reason for this is that many folks 
are not familiar with what open source is all about and they are not 
aware of the great resources out there.

If folks are interested in pursuing this I will do what I can to 
facilitate OSGeo involvement. I'm not certain if I will be able to 
attend and even if I do it would be good to have someone involved who is 
more adept at advocating for OSGeo than me.

All the best,

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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Podcasts?

2008-01-08 Thread Ned Horning

Michael P. Gerlek wrote:

A colleague asks: are there any good GIS-related podcasts (open source
or not) out there?
Directions Magazine http://www.directionsmag.com/ offers regular 
podcasts. They occasionally have open source related content by Adena 
Schutzberg (Directions staff) and others.


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Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] New web site

2007-11-07 Thread Ned Horning

Thanks Steve.

Steve Lime wrote:

I've only poked around in a few of your tools, but you have some really
presentation ideas at work here. Great work!


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RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Promoting freely available geodata

2007-03-30 Thread Ned Horning

Thanks for the overview of your conversation. I appreciate your effort to
contact these folks. This is something I'm trying to get my head around but
without much success. 

Do you (or anyone else out there) have a sense for the difference between
(scientific) data and maps? If I create a land cover or land cover change
map in digital format is that data or a map? What about a DEM? When you talk
about data is it limited to data directly recorded by an instrument or does
it include something interpreted or modeled using human input? Once a human
gets involved does it become creative? I would argue that most interpreted
data (i.e., just about any geospatial data not directly recorded by a
sensor) are creative works not unlike a copyrighted written description of

I also wonder about facts (and fiction). Can facts have error? How much?
Is it factual if the error is documented in the metadata? 

Of course, I'm out of my area of expertise here so maybe I'm talking
nonsense. Maybe I'm panicking because I'm using the CC license for some map
data sets I've created for other organizations. 


 -Original Message-
 On Behalf Of Chris Holmes
 Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 6:59 PM
 To: OSGeo Discussions
 Cc: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; Legal Talk
 Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Promoting freely available geodata
 Do you have a link to the Database Directive stuff on osm-talk?  I checked
 out the list but there's a lot there and wasn't sure which posts to read.
 I just got off the phone with the lead counsel of Science Commons, which
 is the branch of CC made to deal with data.  It was an interesting
 conversation, though unfortunately not much good news for CC licenses for
 The very quick story is that they don't believe copyright can be applied
 to any geospatial data.  Thus creative commons licenses don't work, since
 they depend on copyright.  So people providing data have two options -
 public domain or make a contract that completely restricts it.
 The longer story is that the Science Commons initiative is about getting
 science data more available, which unlike geospatial data is something
 that traditionally has been available for all, only published papers about
 the data were under copyright.  So they would be very hesitant to create a
 regime for data licensing that would make it easier for people to put more
 restrictions on their data.  They are launching a 'facts are free'
 campaign soon to get across to the world that one can't copyright
 scientific data.
 I can see this strategy working decently for science, but unfortunately it
 doesn't for geospatial.  The legacy we're dealing with is that maps are
 power, and something to be kept private for military advantage or economic
 gain.  We really want a regime that gives a variety of licenses that are
 more restrictive than public domain but less so than completely keeping
 The lawyer at CC definitely 'got' this, but unfortunately it doesn't line
 up with their mission, since most of the topics they're pushing on benefit
 from the fact that you can't copyright facts.
 He did give some insight in to how one would make such a regime of
 licenses if one wanted to.  Copyright law doesn't work, since you can't
 copyright data.  Maps can be copyrighted, but if you can reverse engineer
 and extract the data out of them, then that result can not be copyrighted.
 So what you would have to do is use contract law.  It would be a contract
 similar to a non-disclosure agreement - you can't disclose the information
 contained in this database unless you follow the set terms.  And you could
 do copyleft type things in the terms, but it's definitely trickier, and
 you somehow have to get people to accept that contract.  Which I suppose
 isn't insurmountable, since Google Maps and their data providers manage to
 get you to accept a contract to not reverse engineer and use tiles off
 line and the like.
 He was also worried a bit about license incompatibilities, but personally
 since they're are practically no open data licenses, that's not so much a
 worry for me.
 So unfortunately CC isn't going to be much help to us.  CC themselves
 believe pure data licensed under the CC isn't enforceable in any way,
 since it's not copyrightable and so their license doesn't apply.  And
 Science Commons (who anyone in CC will point you to if you want to do
 data, because CC is for creative works) can't really touch it since it
 sort of works against their mission.
 So if we want to do this right we need to find a lawyer who would
 construct a set of contracts for us and guidelines on how to apply them
 and get others to accept them.  Ideally I think we'd have an 'lgpl' type
 option where only modifications to the database need to also be open, and
 a 'gpl' one where anything derived has to be similarly open (which would
 make it incompatible with things).
 Though I suppose 

[OSGeo-Discuss] Response to digital mapping article?

2007-03-07 Thread Ned Horning
I ran across this article:


and thought that someone from OSGeo might like to put together some sort of
response. The article highlights many of the issues that OSGeo is trying to
address but it doesn't mention OSGeo or offer any solutions. This seems like
a good opportunity to introduce folks to OSGeo. Any takers?

All the best,


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RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Free

2007-03-05 Thread Ned Horning
On Mar 5, 2007, at 13:26, Frank Warmerdam wrote:

 The lack of understanding of what we mean by free just demonstrates the
 need for additional outreach by OSGeo. 

I am still trying to get my head around the free and open source concept.
I've been through the Free Software Foundation site and although I think the
free software movement is great I still don't see why it can't be thought of
as a subset of open source. 

From my perspective, being more of an open source consumer than a producer,
it seems silly to use free and open source. It creates a good deal of
unnecessary confusion to those outside of the free/open source community. It
seems that the free movement focuses on the philosophical differences
which is fine but can't folks with different philosophies co-exist under the
open source umbrella? Aren't all of the licenses that are endorsed by the
FSF also endorsed by the open source community? 

As far as OSGeo outreach goes, should we use free and open source or just
open source and explain what free means within a definition of open
source? So far it seems to be inconstantly used within OSGeo. Would it make
sense to think of the free 4 geo community as the radical arm of OSGeo :)

PS. What is the correct term for software that doesn't cost anything but
is closed (like MultiSpec and 3DEM)? Freeware?

All the best, 


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