how to explain open source to your grandparents

I imagine I’m not alone in having parents and grandparents who don’t really understand what I do for a living. “I work in computing and do stuff with maps” is the easy approach (in fact it’s easier now that I don’t have to tag on the bit about being an archaeologist but not actually digging, and no it’s not like Time Team or Indiana Jones). Sometimes people ask why we don’t just “do everything with google maps”, which is the cue for a sit down and a longer chat about how (deep breath) you can’t do everything with google.

osgis 2011 round up

Woefully out of date now, here’s a quick run down on theOSGIS 2011 conference, 3rd in that series, held at the University of Nottingham Centre for Geospatial Sciences in Nottingham over the 21st and 22nd of June. The 21st was a day of workshops, under the banner of Interoperability and the OGC. My new colleague, Matt, and I did a workshop on using Ordnance Survey Open Data and Mastermap with Mapserver and PostgreSQL, using the OSGeo Live DVD.

a year of anniversaries and change

So, it’s 5 years since OSGeo was formed- that’s pretty cool! Spurred on by this post, I thought I would say a little bit about my involvement with OSGeo, and also rather clumsily segue this into an announcement about my impending change of job. It’s true- after years of not really thinking of myself as an archaeologist any longer, but rather ‘someone who works in an archaeological unit”, I’ve finally gone and got myself a real job.

in which jo asks her blog if it will forgive such neglect

It seems like all I’ve posted about recently is very quick updates on conferences that I’ve been to, and not a lot about what I actually spend most of my time doing. The principal reason for this is being too busy, but that’s getting a bit lame. Once upon a time I used to post lots of tips and tricks about things I’d figured out- sometimes just as a aide memoire after days of trawling through mailing lists and forums.

osgeo uk round up

A couple of weeks ago was the OSGIS 2010 conference at the Centre for Geospatial Sciences at the University of Nottingham. This was expanded on the previous year’s event- it was spread over 2 days with workshops on the first day and the conference on the second. We also held the 2nd AGM of the UK OSGeo local chapter after the conference (a shameless attempt to get as many people as possible to attend).

chambered cairns islands whiskey and no computers

Just a quick note to say that I’ve been away on holiday for a fortnight, in gorgeous Orkney in the far north of Scotland. A fortnight of absolutely no computers (apart from downloading digital photos), wandering around beautiful islands with sandy beaches (OK, mostly in the driving wind or pouring rain), visiting Chambered Cairns, drinking whiskey and generally chilling out. I have to say that I very much enjoyed disengaging from technology, information streams and general online interaction very much, so obviously needed the break!

catching up

It’s funny how you can have a fairly quiet time of things, then suddenly everything happens in one week… So Monday was the first Open Source GIS conference in the UK, affectionately known to it’s friends as OSGIS 2009. The event was sold out in advance (150 people) , and seemed to be well received, though it was hectic, with two streams and workshops going on through most of the day.

open source openspaces and other things

Time for another round-up… The Ordnance Survey have revised the terms and conditions of using their OpenSpaces mapping API (via Mapperz), which is a step in the right direction, since they now allow adverts on your site. There’s still a daily limit to the number of views/address lookups that you can do too. However, there are a couple of points that need mentioning/clarifying… firstly there’s a strange condition that you can’t use this for “internal business administration”.

os gis 2009 list of papers and workshops now available

I’m excited to announce that the list of papers and workshops for the first UK Open Source GIS conference is now available on the website. With Tyler Mitchell doing the keynote, and a choice of 25 papers and 4 workshops, it’s going to be a really good day. We’re hoping to finish up with the first AGM of the UK local chapter of OSGeo too, so I hope you’ll join us!

uk open source gis conference deadline approaches

The deadline for submitting a paper to the UK Open Source GIS conference approaches on the 15th March so get your abstracts in. We now have a flier for you to print out and show your friends/boss/colleagues/relatives/pets. Tell the world, and even if you don’t fancy presenting, make a date for your diaries of the 22nd June 2009!