Saturday 19 December 2009

Will there be an OSGeo Desktop shootout at FOSS4G 2010?

Delegates who voted for the FOSS4G 2009 presentations ranked the OSGeo comparison projects very highly, which is something I suggest hopeful FOSS4G 2010 presenters take note of, because competition for speaking slots will be fierce.

At FOSS4G 2009, 183 quality presentations were submitted, and there was only 85 speaking slots. In 2010 it is likely to be much harder, as there is expected to be 2 to 3 times more delegates and many more hopeful presenters.

In 2009 the community ranked potential presentations, and some of the highest ranked presentations targeted the comparison of popular packages. Unfortunately, there were only a few of these types of presentations.

The presentations were:
  • Ranked 2: The WMS Performance Shootout
  • Ranked 8: PostGIS and Oracle Spatial
  • Ranked 9: There is no alternative to Openlayers...? (discussing OpenLayers vs other AJAX clients)
The moral to the story is that delegates want to see how different projects compare, and to date we have had a shortage of such presentations (partly because they are a lot of work to set up).

However, I strongly suggest that projects start teaming together to put together such presentations for 2010.

In particular, I'd love to see comparisons between:
  • Geospatial Desktop applications
  • Geospatial Browser based applications
  • Geospatial Servers (WMS, WFS, Tiled Services at the very least)
The comparisons could cover some or all of:
  • performance
  • robustness
  • features
  • ease of setup or use
The tests should not be restricted to Open Source, but be open to proprietary vendors too. (ESRI and ERDAS were invited to participate in the 2009 WMS shootout, and it seems likely they will participate in 2010).

So who wants to participate?

Thursday 17 December 2009

Planning for next year's GIS Live DVD

We are planning two Arramagong GIS Live DVD releases during 2010 and would like to know what applications and functionality people would like to contribute.

Arramagong is based on XUbuntu and GISVM, and allows you to try a wide variety of open source geospatial software without installing anything. It is currently available as:

The core success of the Arramagong LiveDVD is due to the simple yet powerful build scripts. All that is required for a relevant project to be incorporated into the LiveDVD is to write a bash shell script which installs the application onto an Ubuntu distribution. Hence, our last distribution attracted over 20 developers and from project announcement to a released distribution took under 6 weeks.

The stack of popular GeoSpatial Open Source Applications included on the Arramagong LiveDVD includes:

  • deegree
  • GDAL
  • GeoKettle
  • GeoNetwork
  • GeoServer
  • GpsDrive
  • gvSIG
  • Kosmo
  • Mapfish
  • Mapnik
  • Mapserver
  • MapTiler
  • Marble
  • MB System
  • Open Jump
  • Open Layers
  • pgRouting
  • PostGIS
  • PROJ.4
  • QuantumGIS
  • uDig


  • 24 Jan 2010: Version 3.0 Feature Freeze
  • 07 Mar 2010: Version 3.0 Final Release
  • 05 Jul 2010: Version 4.0 Feature Freeze
  • 16 Aug 2010: Version 4.0 Final Release (ready for FOSS4G 2010)

Ideas for future releases

  • Upgrade to Xubuntu 9.10

Should there be sufficient interest, we would like to address the following:

  • Upgrade packages to latest versions
  • Incorporate new Geospatial packages
  • General cleanup
  • Incorporate help, tutorials, and training material
  • Apply internationalisation


You can find more details about the project on our wiki at:

Then please contact our mailing list at: or contact Cameron Shorter directly at: cameronD O TshorterATlisasoftD O Tcom.

Monday 7 December 2009

FOSS4G Videos and Presentations online

Sydney, Australia. 7 December 2009.

Presentations, videos and posters from the international conference for Free and Open Source Software for GeoSpatial are now online. So if you missed the conference, or couldn't attend all the sessions, you now have a second chance to participate. In particular, I strongly recommend viewing Paul Ramsey's thought provoking and entertaining keynote speech, " Beyond Nerds Bearing Gifts: The Future of the Open Source Economy", .

Almost all presentations, tutorials and workshop material has been collected, and we have videos of 2/3 of all the presentations.

About FOSS4G

FOSS4G is an international Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial conference, which was held in Sydney, Australia, 20-23 October 2009. FOSS4G offered presentations, workshops, demos, an install-fest, and a code sprint. It was presented by the world's best Developers, Policy Makers, Sponsors and Geospatial Professionals and included the latest geospatial applications, standards, government programs, business processes and case studies. Topics included mobile platforms, location based applications, crowd sourcing, cloud computing, development, spatial standards, integration of cross-agency data, Spatial Data Infrastructures, Sensor Webs, Web Processing Services, Integration of Open Source and Proprietary Software and more.

Media Sponsors

(photo: The main presentation hall at FOSS4G, courtesy of Raj Singh)