A warped look at spatial...

Look Who’s Watching…

Well, to my amazement I found this little nugget in my logs this afternoon (click to see full size)…


Looks like someone from Redlands is drinking afternoon coffee while watching some vids!

New Video Demo’s…

Making Movies

Well, you can now watch me fumble around installing a new Ubuntu system and getting it all ready for development using much of the Open Source GIS stack, including QGIS, PostGIS, GDAL/OGR and many others…

Of particular interest:

1) Demo of installing new 0.9 branch of QGIS on Ubuntu Linux

2) Demo of using Python bindings for QGIS

I have a habit of installing from source, and most of the demos I am producing are walking through the install process doing just that… beware!

Enjoy, and I would be interested if there are things in the Open Source stack that people are interested in seeing a demo of…

NOTE: you can link to the video page from the right pane of the blog window under GIS How-To’s -> Video



Just returned from a week on the road and one of the highlights was GIS in Action, the Oregon and Southwest Washington URISA annual GIS event. There were over 300 people on site for 2 days of great talks, workshops and panels. I was asked again to host one of the Open Source sessions at the conference and we participated on Wednesday. I presented on the OSGeo, some sample applications of the Open Source GIS technology, and even had a quick online IRC chat with Chris Schmidt of Openlayers in front of the crowd. We also had Dean Anderson from Polk County talking about doing open development when confined to a proprietary environment (often the case in government). He had some great examples of developing Arc based software on SourceForge. Finally we had Deborah Bryant from the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSU OSL) to talk about government uptake of Open Source technology. She provides great insight to the front lines of getting Open Source accepted in main stream government. She runs the GOSCON conference and is a wealth of knowledge on the current state of Open Source in government, big and small.

All of the presentations from our Open Source session are posted in my presentation archive…

Demo’s of New Web Mapping Decision Support Tools…


(UPDATE: Ecotrust has asked me to remove material related to the Calzone and Gulf Tool. Please feel free to contact Ecotrust directly to find out more about those tools)

I have been working on a new decision support tool for Ecotrust over the last few months, so today I decided to make some screen casts (with audio!) of some of our work.

Cal-Zone - Web based DST based on Marxan / Marzone for helping evaluate site selection of marine protected areas. Marxan / Marzone results are generated and stored in PostGIS for display via OpenLayers. New windowing functionality introduced to allow for future enhancements such as multi-run comparisons and use of region of interest tools for site selection.

Gulf Tool - Web based DST based around scenario development for Gulf of Mexico fisheries. Uses a Chameleon based frontend, Mapserver on the backend and all data storage and queries through PostGIS. GMT is used for graphing.

Just a snapshot into some of the DST development we are undertaking and very excited about. Hope you enjoy…

CUGOS - Cascadia Users of Geospatial Open Source


Hope all are well. I just wanted to send out a quick reminder that we will be having our first CUGOS meeting tomorrow (Wednesday - 03/21/07) at the Seattle LizardTech offices. We will kick things off at 5:30pm and wrap-up by 7pm. Some of us will most likely grab a beer near by after as well. Looks to be a great turnout with about 30 new people signed up!

I am really looking forward to meeting everyone and making these meetings a great venue for social interaction and learning for Open Source GIS professionals. See you all tomorrow!

CUGOS - Cascadia Users of Geospatial Open Source


We are off and running! Josh Livni (Umbrella Consulting), Michael Gerlek (LizardTech) and Aaron Racicot [ME!] (Ecotrust) got together and decided it was time to rally the troops. We have scheduled our first official meeting to take place at the LizardTech office in Seattle on the 21st of March. We hope to see many of the GIS professionals in the Puget Sound region for this great time to meet others in the area who share a passion for Open Source GIS.

See you there!

What a Day…

A little “trip report” from Whidbey Island!

Yesterday I ventured off the Island in the afternoon for a whirl wind tour of Seattle events.

1) Met with some folks from LizardTech, a GIS shop in Seattle who has been in the imagery/compression business for a long time and is really trying to re-define their business around what is happening in the GIS industry as a whole.


They are now an Associate Sponsor of the OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial Foundation) and very actively engaging parts of their business in the OS paradigm. Very cool office downtown and some great Northwest contacts.

2) Seattle Green Drinks.

SAMA group of us hit this event at the new Seattle Art Museum waterfront sculpture garden and had a great time. Defiantly worth seeing the 60 foot nurse log… on display as a “living” piece of art. Probably one of the largest and most active Enviro social events I have been to. 300+ people all bumping into each other with free beer and wine… great stuff. With my tour guides from Umbrella Consulting I got a very good introduction to many of the organizations based out of Seattle including OneNW (, Grist (, Cascade Agenda (, and many more. Awesome event and will hopefully be a monthly thing for me.

3) Ignite Seattle.

IgniteWow… you have never seen so many hackers, geeks, and crazy people in one room… it was good to feel welcome! 8pm until almost midnight of straight through 5-minute talks… about 22 of them from every topic including new technology out of the Google and Microsoft labs to building a multi-person pogo stick for Burning Man! Crazy stuff, high energy event which is gaining in popularity (now sponsored by Google and O’Reilly). Again, every couple of months and a great connection to the roots of the OS and hacker community in Seattle. I do hope it does not get taken over by the corporate mongers (I hope you are listening O’Reilly!)

2am arrival back home has not done great things for productivity, but all in all one of the most productive days I have spent in the community.