Rails GIS Hacks

Shoaib Burq, Geospatial Developer, Nomad Labs
Kashif Rasul, Consultant, Nomad Labs

Date: Monday 17 September 2007
Time: 13:30 - 17:00
Location: Saal Maritim B

Since the advent of Google Maps and a number of other free web API's for mapping, there has been an exponential increase in the number of mashups and geography related web sites. In this tutorial we will introduce what's happening in the Ruby/Rails Geographic Information space. We will go from defining the key concepts behind the geospatial technology to developing a full-blown mapping application in Rails while staying true to RESTful design. In the process we will make use of a number of cool Rails plug-ins that will let us integrate external geographic data sources as well us share our own data.

The topics covered will be:

  • Storing location data in ActiveRecord (PostGIS/PostgreSQL and MySQL)
  • Accessing location data in controller (RESTfully)
  • Using open geo-standards for sharing data (e.g.GeoRSS, WMS, WFS, WCS, Microformats, KML, GeoJASON)
  • Using geocoders
  • Understanding geographic data formats (Vector and Raster)
  • Using Ruby/Mapscript, Ruby/GDAL, Ruby/GEOS
  • Finding free data
  • Talking to Mapserver (IvyGIS)
  • Using Geonames Ruby API

We will cover a number of plugins:

  • YM4R
  • GeoRuby
  • Spatial Adapter for ActiveRecord
  • GeoKit
  • acts_as_locatable
  • acts_as_geocodable
  • graticule

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