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Archive for the ‘Boundless’ Category

Census Mapping Made Easy with OpenLayers 3

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Three months ago, Paul Ramsey created a tutorial that builds an example census mapping application using OpenGeo Suite. Since then, we’ve released OpenGeo Suite 4.0, which includes early access to OpenLayers 3, and we’ve updated the tutorial to use OpenLayers 3 instead of GeoExt.

A Different Approach
GeoExt, a combination of ExtJS and OpenLayers 2, allows one to create web applications without writing any HTML and CSS, which was useful back when all browsers behaved differently. However, with HTML5 and CSS3 available in all modern browsers, a more modular stack adds flexibility.

With GeoExt, the easiest way to read in the list of available census variables (topics) was to pre-process them and load them as JSON. Rather than spending much time on user interface work, we’ve added Bootstrap to leverage the JQuery dependency and save some lines of JavaScript code. With JQuery, a few lines of code are enough to create drop-down options directly from the lines of the original metadata text file:


QGIS US User Group: The beginning of something big

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Last month, Boundless and others hosted the first ever QGIS U.S. User Group meeting with 75 attendees at OpenGovHub in Washington DC.

The event attracted a diverse group of experts and novices from organizations such as NOAA, the World Bank, USAID, the American Red Cross, Deloitte, Lockheed Martin, the CDC and many others. It’s amazing to watch this group’s energy and how the project is rapidly unfolding

Many great presentations and talks shaped the QGIS User Group meeting. Jeff Johnson and Larry Shaffer presented the highlights of the history and evolution of QGIS from a shapefile viewer to full-fledged desktop application. Jeff went into detail about specific applications of QGIS, highlighting examples from NOAA and NASA. Larry then discussed the QGIS ecosystem and open source development community, noting that plug-in development has been a long-time focus within the community and core development is expected to pick up steam in the coming year.


Thoughts from State of the Map US 2014

Monday, May 19th, 2014

The State of the Map US 2014 conference, a two-day conference covering all things OpenStreetMap, was held last month in Washington, D.C. As a recent member of Boundless, it was nice to attend as part of the Boundless contingent.

Aside from the inspiration provided by the gorgeous weather and the cherry blossoms, there was also inspiration in abundance at the conference for cartographers. Every cartographer should become familiar with OpenStreetMap data if they aren’t already. It’s a bit of a bear to work with because it is in a different structure than we are normally used to (nodes and ways mean anything to you?) but you’ll see the benefits if you download a state-wide or city-wide extract from one of several sites (such as geofabrik or Metro Extracts) and start using it in your map-making medium of choice. The dataset provides a comprehensive collection of roads, buildings and building types, points of interest, and so on. And it’s free! There were many talks I didn’t get to see because there were two concurrent tracks, but the ones that I attended focused heavily on tools that for using OpenStreetMap data, including GeoGitTileMillEsriQGIS, and PostGIS. However, there were still some cartographic takeaways. (more…)

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