This week I have actually been doing some real GIS work for a change, rather than going to meetings, writing bids, writing reports, fixing computer problems and showing other people how to do stuff. I think this is the first time in approx 2 years that I’ve done this, and I was pathetically excited about the prospect at the beginning of the week. It has also been an opportunity for me to really put my money where my mouth is, regarding using open source GIS, since last time I did some real analysis it was with the Redlands offerings.
Aware that there haven’t been Thursday Tip days for a couple of weeks, or indeed anything else in the way of blog posts (follow-up post coming along soon)- here’s a real quicky: If you want to be able to connect to your postgresql data using an external programme (such as Open Office Base, QGIS, gvSIG or Mapserver) AND be able to properly view/select and edit the data, you will need to do the following:
This is an “interesting” one- particularly if you manage a lot of windows pcs in a domain, so you have domain users and local users on your pc… I started getting complaints from people that the spell-checker in word didn’t work. What they meant was that the spelling and grammar options simply weren’t available to them. I checked that the language was set, and found that it wasn’t, and not only that, but it didn’t seem to persist if I did set it, even if I set it as the default.
I was quite excited to find that you can use openstreetmap data in your own GIS environment by loading it into PostgreSQL. To me, this makes it much more useful, as I can now begin to use it as an alternative to costly data from the Ordnance Survey. The procedure took some time (mainly due to trial and error), but the following worked for me in Ubuntu: Install osm2pgsql by downloading it from here using subversion
From the postgis maestro himself comes a handy tip for mass loading shapefiles of identical schemas into postgis: First, get the table schema into the database, by loading a small file, and then deleting the data. We delete the data so we can loop through all the files later without worrying about duplicating the data from the initial file: shp2pgsql -s 3005 -i -D lwssvict.shp lwss | psql mydatabase psql -c “delete from lwss” mydatabase
There’s an article on the All Points Blog that goes into more detail about the potential support for PostgreSQL/PosGIS in ESRI products. The caveats to this are listed below, and I have to ask- what’s the point guys? It will only be in Enterprise ArcSDE- so you’ll need ArcGIS Server Enterprise Basic as a bare minimum, and of the windows products it will only work on Server 2000⁄2003. So- if you have loads of money to spend on your GIS you’ll be able to use PostGIS- but not if you don’t have thousands to spend.
This is an idea that seems to come up every so often- what GIS programmes can you run from a USB stick. Well it appears that the list has just got longer. I’m probably the last person to realise it’s possible to do this, but I was really pleased to see that both GRASS and PostgreSQL can now be run from a USB stick, along with QGIS, XAMPP (inc Mapserver, OpenLayers, Tilecache), and FWTools.
Well, at last it’s OK for me to tell people that Oxford Archaeology now has a WFS server that is accessible from the outside world. The address is: http://mapdata.thehumanjourney.net/cgi-bin/mapservwfs.cgi It’s a standard MapServer setup, and at the moment contains static data about the sites we have worked on over the last thirty years. This is still a work in progress and there are a whole bunch of things I would like to improve (but at least it’s up and out there):