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Open Source Geospatial Boot Camp

Schuyler Erle, MetaCarta

Track: Programming
Date: Tuesday, July 24
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Portland 251

Google Maps has blown open the floodgates for ordinary folks to put an enormous variety of maps on the Web. However, even with its powerful Ajax API, one quickly comes to the limit of what one can do with Google Maps (and its ilk). The popular perception is that real geographic analysis and cartography that goes beyond the "Red Dot Fever" of Google Maps demands expertise and a substantial investment in proprietary GIS software. This workshop aims to dispel this myth by offering a quick but rigorous introduction to the Open Source Geospatial stack.

We will start with a quick introduction to the basic concepts of GIS and cartography. The remainder of the workshop will involve real-world examples of geographic analysis and mapmaking using the tools of the Open Source Geospatial stack, including PROJ.4, GDAL/OGR, PostGIS, GRASS, Quantum GIS, MapServer, and OpenLayers. We'll step through the stack from the back end to the front end, and from the desktop to the Web. We will cover accessing and delivering maps and geographic data through these open source tools and industry-standard Open Geospatial Consortium web services. Finally, we will look at free and open sources of geographic data on the Web.

The workshop will focus on using these tools on Linux, and so familiarity with the *NIX command line is strongly recommended, but no other experience is necessary. The intention is to orient workshop attendees to the basic concepts and the available tools, so that they can go home and dive in to building their own projects using open source geospatial tools. We will also review the ongoing work of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation, and how attendees can get involved.