Sunday, 23 March 2008

Convert Web Map Context (WMC) to OWS Context

After manually converting many WMC files to OWS Context I convinced myself that it would be easier to write a stylesheet to do the job for me. As usual, the XSL took longer to write than expected, but it was much more satisfying.

You can try out the stylesheet yourself, it is incorporated into Mapbuilder's codebase at:

To run, from a linux command line:
    xsltproc YourWMC.xml > NewOWSContext.xml
If you find any bugs, please report them in, and let me know you have reported them.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Open X reaching main stream at WALIS conference

Open Source, Open Standards, Open Architecture, Open Data, Open Communities were all hot topics at the West Australian Land and Information Systems (WALIS) Conference held in Perth Australia last week.
Open X Presentations
I was honoured to chair an afternoon of well attended presentations on these topics, and help man an OSGeo stand where Open Source was discussed non-stop with attendees.
Tim Bowden, a colourful Open Source personality introduced with an overview of Open Source, Open Standards and Open Data.
Liz Kolster from the State Services Commission in New Zealand provided a lightning speech explaining how community engagement was achieved in New Zealand Government using techniques seen in Open Source development communities and Web 2.0 web sites.
Mark Leslie, a software architect at LISAsoft gave an excellent high level summary of all the key packages in the Geospatial Open Source Stack. (He will be putting this presentation into the Creative Commons for those who want to use it.)
I presented with Simon Cox from CSIRO on Engaging the OGC in your R&D.
Tim Cargo from the Navel Division at Thales Australia described the benefits of Open Architecture when extending a large legacy Combat System to include new components - use gateways to convert legacy system interfaces to standard interfaces.
Sony Tham from Amristar talked about Workflow in business problems, when to apply Open Standards and when not to, focusing on issues associated with bandwidth.
James Write and Alistair Fox from SKM reviewed browser based mapping clients. The top 5 recommended clients were open source, despite both proprietary and open source being considered.
In another thread, Steve Jacoby from Information Queensland explained how Queensland government is moving to store most of its data under a Creative Commons license.
OSGeo interest
High profile applications within the WALIS framework now use Open Standards and Open Source, and other agencies are investigating get involved. This is evidenced by the strong turn out at Open X thread of presentations and the continuous steam of people hovering around the OSGeo stand.
Four commercial companies sponsored the OSGeo stand at WALIS demonstrating stable commercial support for Open Source. Support was sponsored by: Lisasoft, Gaia Resources, Maunsell and Lat-Lon. Equal numbers of government and research employees also wore OSGeo shirts and explained what OSGeo was all about.
It was excellent to see such interest in Geospatial Standards and Open Source and I expect to see a lot more OSGeo in the near future.