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April 30, 2007
MapGuide Open Source now a Fully Endorsed Project
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

MapGuide Open Source now a Fully Endorsed Project

by Susan Smith


click to enlarge [


A year after its launch, MapGuide Open Source, developed within the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) now debuts as a fully endorsed project. Originally developed as Autodesk MapGuide software by Autodesk, Inc., and released to the open source community in 2006, MapGuide Open Source is a Web-based platform that enables users to develop and publish online mapping applications and geospatial web services.


GISWeekly spoke with Bob Bray, geospatial architect for Autodesk and OSGeo vice president – MapGuide Open Source, who has been with Autodesk for 10 years, his chief job working on the MapGuide product, although he has also worked in location based services as well. MapGuide Open Source underwent an incubation process, in which the project's community of more than 600 members actively engaged in development and application efforts to validate the software's functionality, viability and support.


Bob Bray:
With respect to OSGeo, the goal of the incubation process is to make sure that the project, when it’s graduated from the incubation, is running as a healthy open source project. That means a number of things: a check through the code to make sure there’s nothing in there – there’s no code borrowed from anywhere, you know where all the code came from, under the project license. Autodesk wrote most of it and donated it. The other thing is the project has to be run and advantaged in an open way. The biggest part of that for us was establishing the project steering committee and that consists of seven people. Three are Autodesk staffers, four are
outsiders. They are responsible for making all the decisions with respect to how the project runs, including which features go and don’t go into the project. There’s a very open development model around that. Any change in the project, be it source code or political in nature, like joining OSGeo, goes through the process we call the RFC process, which is a Request for Comment document where you basically describe the motivation for the change, what the change is, if it’s a software change, and then those RFCs are discussed on the mailing list, and are either rejected or accepted by the steering committee.


We have about 19 RFCs now, mainly additions to the source code and additions to the project source code. It’s not required for anything like bug fixes but is required for any major change, changes to API, file formats, XML schemas or any major feature additions or architectural changes. That’s one of the biggest parts of the process for us. The Autodesk staffers and myself chair the steering committee. I am the software manager of the project and the internal architect responsible for MapGuide technical. There are three people from the outside community: Jason Birch, City of Nanaimo, Andy Morsell, Spatial Integrators, Inc., Paul Spencer, DM Solutions Group, and Haris
Kurtagic – SL-King.


GISWeekly: What decided the Urban Forest Mapping project folks to use this open format for their project?


Bob Bray:
They are going to make the solution they built available to other organizations. They’re going to make the source code and data available to other cities and organizations that are working on similar projects. This is quite encouraging.


GISWeekly: How would someone make a decision as to whether to use MapGuide Enterprise or MapGuide Open Source?


Bob Bray:
Most of the code base in the two products is identical. There’s actually one code base for MapGuide, which is the Open Source code base. The differences are primarily, the enterprise version has the same coordinate package that Map uses, so there’s a little higher degree of consistency with Map using the commercial package. It also comes with our Oracle and SQL Server providers for FDO for open data access. For most organizations, it’s a matter of whether or not they’re willing to accept Open Source into their organization or not and how much Open Source they accept. I’ve seen three trends that are emerging with regard to MapGuide Enterprise and MapGuide Open Source. I’ve seen organizations who have just plain adopted MapGuide Open Source. There are other organizations who are taking a middle of the road approach. They are going to deploy their solutions on MapGuide Enterprise and use MapGuide Open Source to do the development. That’s because we are releasing features and bug fixes at a faster rate on the Open Source version so they can test things out earlier. There are other organizations, who, for whatever reason, IT infrastructure, or politics, are not ready to accept Open Source and will go with Enterprise. The software’s 100% compatible. You can build a solution for Open Source, deploy it on Enterprise,
and you can build a solution for Enterprise and move it to Open Source.


GISWeekly: What interest are you having from countries outside North America?


Bob Bray:
We have a fair bit of interest from Spain some interest in Germany, Asia Pacific and India.


GISWeekly: What is the next step now that you have a fully endorsed product?


Bob Bray:
Evolution wise, our plan is to continue to develop and embrace the open source philosophy so we’ll continue to do most of our development in the Open Source project and in an open way. One of the things that most recently happened, we’re starting to get third party source code contributions so people are actually giving back additions to the product. That’s very encouraging to me because it’s not a simple piece of source code, it’s a fairly complex product and so far it’s been at the periphery. A couple of weeks ago, we got three enhancements to the AJAX viewer from a developer in Brazil. The enhancements allow you to do things like use
the zoom wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out which is something we hadn’t implemented yet. We were planning to. You can click on the status bar where it displays the scale and it will bring up an edit box and you can type in a scale. He also added a Visi indicator to the title bar to show when it was loading applications to the server. These are small enhancements that will be incorporated both in Open Source and the Enterprise version.


The other thing we’re looking to do is promote more activity around developers enhancing and working with the source code base. We’ve been working a lot with DM Solutions and they’ve made a number of enhancements which we’ll eventually bring into the product.


GISWeekly: What did you demonstrate at the Location Intelligence Conference?


Bob Bray:
I presented an interoperability workshop with some other members of the Open Source community showing a lot of the Open Source GIS packages working together. Chris Holmes of the Open Planning Project had a postGIS database, and I showed some edits with a project called Quantum GIS which is another open source viewer/editor, putting that data on the web with MapGuide. Chris showed serving up the same data up through his GeoServer Project which is a Java based WFS. MapGuide and GeoServer interacted by passing information back and forth through WFS. That was a well received workshop.


The other talk I gave was around MapGuide and the Google Earth integration. One of the more recent changes for MapGuide is direct support for KML. Going through Google network links, you can send a request to MapGuide and it will return the data pre-stylized as you set it up in the studio. I showed that now we can support polygon extrusions. The example I gave was a building model in Chicago where the buildings were actually themed by their height in Google Earth. This was with the Open Source version. It will eventually be available in both. Through feedback from the community we’ll put these pieces into the Enterprise version. It’s a great opportunity to get user feedback
before putting functionality into the commercial version.

For more information about MapGuide Open Source, visit the
OSGeo website.


Top News of the Week


Pitney Bowes Inc. announced the successful completion of the tender offer by its direct wholly-owned subsidiary, Magellan Acquisition Corp., at $20.25 net per share in cash for all the outstanding shares of common stock of MapInfo Corporation. The offer expired at 12:00 Midnight, New York City time, on April 18, 2007.


The depositary for the offer has advised Pitney Bowes and Magellan Acquisition Corp., that, as of the expiration of the offering period, approximately 20.1 million shares (which includes approximately 1.0 million shares that were tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures) were validly tendered and not withdrawn in the tender offer. Those shares represent approximately 92.1 percent of MapInfo's outstanding shares (including approximately 4.7 percent of outstanding shares that were tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures). All validly tendered shares have been accepted for payment in accordance with the terms of the tender offer.


Trimble introduced the latest addition to its Mapping and Geographic Information System (GIS) product line-the Juno ST handheld. The Juno ST handheld is a portable, low-cost data collection solution supported by Trimble's range of field and office software. It comes standard with a built-in high-sensitivity Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, Microsoft Windows Mobile version 5.0 software, and has Wi-Fi(R)/Bluetooth for wireless connectivity to office networks, cameras and mobile phones.


Alliances/Acquisitions/Agreements


CAE announced the company has signed an agreement with Parallax Capital Partners, LLC and others to acquire MultiGen Paradigm Inc., for US$16 million (C$18 million) in cash. The acquisition is expected to be concluded in May 2007, subject to US government approvals. MultiGen-Paradigm is a leading supplier of real-time, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software for creating and visualizing simulation solutions.


Announcements


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has issued a Call for Participation (CFP) in the "Architecture Implementation Pilot," which is a coordinated interoperability initiative of GEOSS, FedEO and Tri-Lateral initiatives. Responses are due by 11 May 2007 and the "Pilot Kickoff Meeting" will be held 5-6 June 2007 in ESRIN the European Space Agency's establishment in Italy.


This CFP seeks participants in a coordinated Architecture Implementation Pilot. A Pilot is a collaborative effort that applies open standards for interoperability to achieve user objectives in an environment representative of operational use. Outcomes include best-practices and interoperability arrangements suitable for an operational capability. The Architecture Implementation Pilot CFP documents can be downloaded from
here.


The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC) has issued a Request For Quotations and Call for Participation (RFQ/CFP) to solicit proposals in response to requirements for the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI) Interoperability Pilot.


The CGDI Interoperability Pilot is sponsored by GeoConnections, a Canadian partnership program whose primary objective is to evolve and expand the CGDI. GeoConnections is providing cost-sharing funds to offset expenses associated with the initiative. GeoConnections and the OGC intend to involve as many participants in the initiative as possible and thus are soliciting proposals that will enhance and/or make use of the initiative outcomes. Responses are due by 2 May 2007and the Pilot Kickoff Meeting will be held the week of 25 June 2007. Technology deployments will be complete by October 2007, followed by a 6 month pre-operational phase.


CGDI Interoperability Pilot RFQ/CFP documents can be downloaded from
here.


ArcGIS Image Server, a server-based solution that provides fast access and visualization of large quantities of file-based imagery processed on the fly and on demand, has been added to the suite of software provided to ESRI Developer Network (EDN) subscribers. Both ArcGIS Image Server extensions, Orthorectification and Seamline, are also included.


1Spatial has successfully deployed an online Quality Control service as part of the Open Geospatial Consortium project OWS-4, their fourth web services testbed activity.

The OWS-4 project is based on a hypothetical major disaster scenario; a toxic bomb is discovered as a container is unloaded from a ship in the New York City area. The project incorporates elements of a multi-faceted operation that requires setup of a temporary medical response facility within an existing military installation. The scenario includes the discovery and deployment of remote imaging and point in-situ sensors, the acquisition and processing of data obtained with them, and the integration of these data with other geospatial data assets.


Tele Atlas , a leading global provider of digital map data and dynamic content for navigation and location based solutions, and ESRI, the market leader in geographic information systems (GIS), announced the next generation of ESRI ArcGIS Business Analyst desktop software will include Tele Atlas Address Points to provide enhanced geocoding accuracy for GIS application users.


Training


Blue Marble Geographics is pleased to announce they will be offering Applied Geodesy Training for both their Geographic Calculator and Geographic Transformer products during the week of June 11th in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. These classes will take place in conjunction with the 2007 Gas & Oil Exposition. Call toll free 800-616-2725 or email
Email Contact to reserve your spot now.


People


John Copple, CEO of Sanborn, an industry leader in geospatial solutions, announced that Kent A. Dreier has been named chief financial officer for the company. Mr. Dreier will oversee all financial functions for the company's multiple locations in North America and abroad. As an executive member of the Sanborn team, he will be working closely with Sanborn's senior management team to assist with strategic planning, operating plans, and information technology.


New Products


Trimble announced the release of Trimble(R) Construction Manager version 1.9, a fully integrated solution for managing construction equipment and operations. Trimble Construction Manager version 1.9 introduces charts and a dashboard view that allows users to visualize critical operational information for their construction fleet.


The Trimble Construction Manager's new functionality enables simple identification of underutilized equipment or bottlenecks in construction operations. Some examples include: bar charts displaying equipment utilization (actual hours worked compared to expected hours), work time compared to idle time, and a timeline of equipment activity throughout the day.


Around the Web


Cell phone becomes new town crier by Margaret Reardon, April 20, 2007, CNET News.com


Panel: CIOs Wary of Open-Source Enterprise Apps by Peter Galli, April 24, 2007, Baseline

 

Upcoming Events



Date: April 29 – May 3, 2007
Place Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA
BE Conference offers unrivaled value to individuals and organizations looking for better ways to work and better ways to achieve optimal performance
 
Date: May 1 - 4, 2007
Place: Hyatt Regency Penn's Landing

Philadelphia, PA USA
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this unique conference, the only one dedicated solely to the use of GIS in airports and aviation, the focus will be on how far the airport GIS community has come in the past ten years and where airport GIS may take the aviation world in the next ten years.
   
Date: May 2 - 4, 2007
Place: Jacksonville, FL USA
   
Date: May 2, 2007
Place:  Dover Sheraton Inn

Dover, DE USA
The Delaware Geographic Data Committee hosts an annual statewide GIS conference and is a cooperative effort among state agencies, the University of Delaware, county and municipal governments, and others to build a Delaware GIS Community and improve the coordination of the use of GIS and spatial data in Delaware. 
   
Date: May 7 - 11, 2007
Place: Marriott Waterside Hotel

Tampa , FL USA
The theme of “Identifying Geospatial Solutions,” this Conference will have an outstanding set of technical presentations on all aspects of imaging and geospatial information. We will feature sessions on how to collect geospatial data, how to process and analyze data, and how to derive information from data that is useful in making local, national and global decisions, for resource management, business or other purposes.
   
Date: May 7 - 9, 2007
Place: Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites

100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 USA
Take part in Michigan's premier GIS Conference! Share your expertise, gain visibility, and enhance your professional growth. IMAGIN's Annual Conference provides administrative, professional, and technical information to GIS.
   
Date: May 8 - 10, 2007
Place: Westin Seattle

Seattle, WA USA
MapWorld 07 will make you a rockstar. Plug into the hottest Location Intelligence tools. Learn cutting edge strategies to help you work smarter. And take the lead with a serious competitive edge.
   
Date: May 12 - 14, 2007
Place: AlMurjan Hall, Crown Plaza Hotel

Kuwait
A key feature of the MEOSC – 2007 is the focus that it provides for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. This unique 3-day event will bring together practitioners, scientists and vendors to discuss the current uses and future aspirations of the oil industry, environment and related activities community in the Region.

 
Date: May 14 - 17, 2007 
Place: Calgary Telus Convention Centre

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The GeoTec Event provides a unique gathering place for geospatial technology professionals from all disciplines to interact and learn from each other's experience and knowledge. The program is designed to help you discover cutting-edge geospatial technology solutions from diverse application areas.
   
Date: May 14 - 17, 2007 
Place: ANAHEIM CONVENTION CENTER

ANAHEIM, CA, USA
Ecobuild America and AEC-ST is THE annual gathering place for the building industry professionals and AEC professionals who design, construct, manage facilities, and specify building products, materials and services. This event is strategically located in Southern California, where you'll gain direct networking access to the most powerful and important people who are focused on building sustainable facilities.

 
Date: May 15 - 17, 2007
Place: Expo 2007 Orange County Convention Center

Orlando, FL USA
The GSA International Products and Services Expo is GSA's largest customer outreach event. The primary purpose of the expo is to offer CLP certified training for federal customers. GSA Expo offers over 200 different classes, all with federal experts as instructors: feds training feds.
   
Date: May 15 - 29, 2007
Place: Allen Instruments, 7114 E Earll, Dr, Scottsdale

AZ 85215 USA
Allen Instruments is pleased to offer a series of in-house training seminars. The training seminars are designed to provide geospatial professionals focused training on GIS and GPS topics. Whether you are new to the technology or just want to refresh your skills, our short seminars will introduce you to what’s new and shed new light on familiar topics.
   
Date: May 16, 2007
Place: Sheraton Premier Hotel at Tysons Corner

Vienna, VA USA
Come see how NGA’s products and services are uniting the intelligence, defense, and homeland security communities through an integrated GIS architecture for web-based dissemination, analysis, and visualization
   
Date: May 16 - 17, 2007
Place: Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Conference Center

Camp Hill, PA USA
The 2007 Pennsylvania GIS Conference will bring the Pennsylvania geospatial community together for the fifteenth year to present, discuss, and debate critical topics affecting the development and use of geospatial information technology in the Commonwealth. The conference will be held on May 16 and 17 at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill and will focus on the broad diversity of Pennsylvania geospatial data, applications, and people.
   
Date: May 17, 2007
Place: 1520 Queen Street East

Sault Ste, Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G4 Canada
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, in partnership with ESRI Canada, INVITES YOU to attend the 2nd Annual GIS in Healthcare Day to learn about Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and new applications that are being applied to healthcare and medicine. Participants will experience how GIS is supporting and improving work in health and human services.
   
Date: May 20 - 23, 2007
Place: Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)

New Orleans, USA
The abstract submission deadline has passed. More than 100 abstract submissions were received and the conference committee will review and organize the program, from the submissions, by the end of this year. Expect the conference program and registration information to be available by January 2007. Exhibit information will also soon be available.
   
Date: May 21 - 24, 2007
Place:  Nashville

TN USA
   
Date:  May 28 - 31, 2007
Place: Mobile Mapping Summer SchoolPADUA, Italy
We are glad to announce that the 5th International Symposium on Mobile Mapping Technology will be held in Padua, Italy. The core objective of the conference will be to discuss most recent technologies, exchange experiences and promote future research, development and production in fields related to mobile mapping. We look forward to see you in Padua!




You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.


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