Some good news... and some bad news...

Some more details on the upcoming ArcSDE support for PostgreSQL are living in the Q&A page for the upcoming Developers Summits (as pointed out by James Fee).

First there’s the old news:

ArcGIS Server (ArcSDE technology) will support the PostgreSQL database at the ArcGIS 9.3 release.

Then there’s the good news:

The enterprise geodatabase and all of its standard capabilities will be fully supported. It will be OGC/ISO compliant and the PostGIS geometry type will be supported.

Yay! You can work with PostGIS columns via SDE and then push the data out to other PostGIS enabled tools, like Mapserver or Hibernate or GRASS! And then finally, the bad news:

In addition, ESRI will also provide its own spatial type for storing geometries in PostgreSQL.

Gah! Ouch! It burns! There aren’t “special” types for Informix or DB2, why for PostgreSQL/PostGIS? Unlike Oracle, we are ready and willing to add the features to PostGIS necessary to fully support ArcSDE’s spatial SQL needs. And if you don’t trust Refractions, PostGIS is open source, so you could just do it yourselves! Hop in the pool, guys, supporting open source is not just about software, it is about community participation, everyone rowing in the same direction so nobody has to row too hard by themselves.

FOSS4G 2007 News

Lots of interesting tidbits from the conference organizing front:

  • We have added Leica Geosystems as a sponsor. Like Safe Software, Leica is proprietary software company that makes use of open source in their developments. I’m looking forward to hearing both companies articulate their vision for engaging more with their respective communities.
  • I got to take a tour of the Royal BC Museum galleries where we’ll be having our Wednesday evening reception. The First Peoples Gallery looks great, some amazing totem poles and carvings in the central room, and of course the Natural History Gallery has the really cool animal displays my daughter loves so much (oh, the whispered terror of the Mammoth!)
  • The Call for Workshops has gone really well, with over 30 submissions so far, and a slight extension to allow a few more to trickle in. Reading over the evaluations of the 2006 conference, it is clear that the hands-on workshops are what really set FOSS4G apart from other conferences. Yes, sir, sit down at that computer and try out that software – and take it home with you when you’re done, please.

Google SDI

I don’t know whether to be delighted or frightened, but Google has put in place the final part of the publish-find-bind contract for a Google SDI.

Now people can publish their data in the new universal format, Google’s KML. I can find that data using a Google search. And I can bind to that data using Google’s clients — Google Earth and Google Maps.

I guess this speaks to the importance of a useful working prototype in building out collaborative technology with wide adoption. If Tim Berners-Lee had been content to just write down the specs for HTTP and HTML, we probably wouldn’t have the web (maybe we’d have a huge network built on gopher… now that would be cool). But he didn’t just do that, he built a working system at Cern that did useful stuff with HTTP and HTML, and the people at other sites could take and use too, freely.

Time to retrofit all our software to publish KML!

Intuit: What's Mine is Theirs

Not a geospatial post, but… I fired up my home accounting software today, to get caught up in preparation for tax time, and look what greeted me:

Intuit is going to shut down all the internet services associated with my copy of Quicken for Mac. But good news! I can upgrade to Quicken 2007 for only $50 and keep my services! Yay!

Holy corporate screwings, Batman! Nice way to drive the upgrade process, Intuit, but a little tough on the customer loyalty — I feel like a beast being driven over Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. Gotta make those quarterly numbers.

Time to research alternatives — deeds like this should not go unpunished.

Relevance ala Google

This aught to be fun! I just typed “foss4g” into Google:

http://www.google.com/search?q=foss4g

And as of now (February 5, 2007), FOSS4G2007 is on the first search page, near the bottom, which is good but not terrific. FOSS4G2006 is #1, which is not surprising. In the middle we have some interesting stuff, like highly regarded blogs that have mentioned FOSS4G recently, or not.

It will be fun to watch the 2007 event climb the page as the buzz grows, month by month!