I'm off to visit the GeoSpider at the GeoWeb this week!
Today I started with an (unrelated) trip to the dentist (ultra-sonic tooth cleaning! ow! but fast!), and then hopped the ferry to Vancouver. Lovely day for traveling, sun glinting off the waves, etc, etc, then the bus ride from the ferry terminal into downtown Vancouver. Because of construction of the new transit line for the upcoming 2010 Olympics, the bus is running up Knight Street instead of Cambie Street, which affords an opportunity to view four decades of variations on the “Vancouver Special”.
The east side of Vancouver was built up in a bit of a hurry in the post-war years and largely filled with fairly small affordable bungalows (not so affordable anymore).
As time went on, these houses seemed a bit small for modern tastes, so a wave of replacements began, and many took the form of the Vancouver Special. The classic "special" has a particular form and floor plan, but in general the special is a two story box that maximizes the amount of floor space that can be extracted from the lot without contravening the building code.
The classic special looks like the picture above, but the special lives on in various versions, including a spiffy new 21st century version, with bay windows and greek temple door treatments, but the same basic two-story, maximum lot fill ethos.
In the evening, I attended the OSGeo British Columbia meeting, ably hosted by Max and Martin at Sierra Systems (and including a stunning view of the harbour from their 25th story board room, I might add). Topics were eclectic: community course development at the Commonwealth of Learning; and a review of web application security concerns, and some geospatial security issues, from Martin Kyle. For the next meeting Martin has promised a working exploit of a buffer overflow weakness in Mapserver versions < 4.10.3. (If you are running Mapserver < 4.10.3 ... upgrade!)