For nearly all of last week users of GIS software across Europe (and beyond) attendedthe FOSS4G, the international gathering organized by OSGeo, this time held at Politecnico di Milano in Como, Italy.
The OSGeo Foundation was created to give support to the development of collaborative software geographical (or geospatial) open source and to promote their use. OSGeo organizes these gatherings, whose acronym stands for free and open source software for geospatial applications (more details >>).
These days, I have confirmed my personal choice on the use of GIS software open source and I watched with pleasure to two main issues:
- the continuous development of software, well beyond the point that I myself could not imagine;
- land surveying, both of which mapping of environmental monitoring applications.
The evolution of webgis
Although not new, most talks at FOSS4G had some references to webgis technologies. Webgis applications are tools of geospatial service accessible from the web. I found it reconfirmed that webgis does not only comprise portals with functions of GIS software accessible from the web with your favorite browser, but many more different solutions (in both form and content) that can be specifically used for collaborative work or to do mapping.
While only few session contained the buzzword OpenStreetMap in their title, it was present in most of the talks. Some used Google maps or official basemaps, but OpenStreetMap turned out to be a really successful base mapping application – partly also due to the ease with which MapBox can render it with custom styles.
The people of FOSS4G
I renewed my subscription to GFOSS.it, who should be given credit for the success of several FOSS4G. I saw that many have joined the association and it seems like we have exceeded 100 members throughout Italy. I missed a bit to figure out who was with the association or not, but I can assure you that they are people with whom it is pleasant to talk and are always available to explain which solution to choose, but also a reference point to discover the resources already available, to see, try and test. These days, I was also international, despite my bad English, but perhaps when it comes to software or practical applications, we intend quickly. So from Romania and Portugal, I found myself chatting with a couple of people and I was very pleased, but also learned how to make an application for smartphones with data offline and create a virtual machine dedicated to OpenTripPlanner.