Meeting of the Tribes

Wow, what a great synthesis of larger FOSS4G philosophies and culture! Danny de Vries absolutely nails it, on a whole bunch of topics, including interoperability:

What makes open-source so different from a corporate system like ESRI is its fundamental interest in building software according to universal standards. This in contrast to the strategic interest of any closed, corporate system to somehow make users reliant on their system alone.

Melting Snow

Note: In the spirit of my own criticism, I won’t delete this post, but apparently the problem at Directions is technical (lost comments) not political (deleted comments) so I am completely out-to-lunch and offer apologies to Directions! Fool == Me. Ignore the below.*

The Directions Magazine news item on which the owner of Blue Marble Geographics was caught posing as a Blue Marble customer in the comments section has been purged of its comments. The internet is such a fickle place… down the memory hole we go!

FOSS4G: Was it all a Dream?

Just a week ago, I was addressing the opening plenary session at FOSS4G! It all feels like a blur now, and it is very hard to remember anything distinctly.

Ironically, for all the talking and speaking I did, the things I remember most clearly are the few talks I had time to get into, and listen quietly, on pgRouting, and the new spatial ETL tool from Camptocamp. Perhaps because these are the two talks where I learned something new and interesting. The rest was just reciting things I already knew, which is interesting perhaps (I hope) for those on the receiving end, but less stimulating for me.

Level Two

I walked through the conference centre on the way home from work yesterday… it was shut tight, sadly quiet, and geek-free.

New Tenant

Meanwhile, the second geospatial conference in as many weeks ran today. Make of it what you will. :)

Snow Job in September

In response to Adena Schutzberg’s update on the acquisition and release of the Mentor Software CS-MAP reprojection library as open source, Ted Florence, of Avenza Systems writes:

While we (Avenza) did for a time use Safe’s FME Objects (which uses CS-Maps) in one of our products we have recently pulled it completely in favour of the Blue Marble file format and co-ordinate conversion products (GeoTranslate and GeoCalc). The major reason for this was our dis-satisfaction with the CS-Maps co-ordinate engine which underlies FME.

In investigating and researching our needs, we found that opposite to your comments, most organizations are actually using Blue Marble and not Mentor and that more and more have been leaving Mentor over the last few years. Almost every major oil company and defense contractor I can think of uses Blue Marble.

What he does not write is that Avenza Systems is not his only affiliation. The corporate register of the State of Maine indicates that Florence is also the President and sole Director of Blue Marble Geographics. What an interesting coincidence! Perhaps like Victor Kiam, he liked Blue Marble’s reprojection library so much be bought the company! Regardless, he should declare his interest when making comments like the one he put on Adena’s article.

FOSS4G Tourist Advice - Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf [Map] used to be a little rougher, but it is now solidly on the tourist track. This is not a bad thing, because it caps a nice walk from downtown out along the shore of the Inner Harbour.

Start downtown and walk along the Inner Harbour, keeping the water on your right hand side. If you keep right all the way, you’ll find a nice short-side route with some lovely views of the harbour. Eventually, you’ll come out at the end of the route, which is Fisherman’s Wharf (you’ll have to traverse a bit of parking lot at the end).

Fisherman's Wharf

The Wharf is home to a pretty community of float homes, a few floating take-out restaurants, and a couple of very satisfied harbour seals (well, they live underneath). The fish store sells scraps for seal feeding, which is fun. Twirl your fish scrap above the seal, and he will obligingly do a twirl for you – yes, they are that habituated.

Public Transit @ Fisherman's Wharf

You can take the Harbour Ferry home from the Wharf to the docks below the Empress, which is a pretty ride and a chance to see the city from a different vantage point.