Wednesday, September 20, 2017
This month come on down for some food and a brew at Victory Sandwich in the heart of Decatur! It’s probably less than 100 steps from the Decatur MARTA Station.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
This month come on down for some food and a brew at Victory Sandwich in the heart of Decatur! It’s probably less than 100 steps from the Decatur MARTA Station.
Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017, 7:00 PM
Victory Sandwich Bar
340 Church Street Decatur, GA
3 Members Attending
This month come on down for a sammie and a brew @ Victory Sandwich in the heart of Decatur! It’s probably less than 100 steps from the Decatur MARTA Station.
I’ve been sitting here for 2 hours trying to decide how to tackle this conference wrap-up on FOSS4G 2017. I’ve written and deleted and re-written and deleted it yet again.
Lets try this – I hate conferences. Mostly. I don’t hate the FOSS4G ones. I love them. It may sound like I’m about to take a trip into gushing over a conference and the attendees and the people that put it on. I will just a little.
I seek out different these days for conferences. My first GIS conferences was in 1996. I flew out to Palm Springs for my First ESRI users conference. There were about 3 thousand people there. I talked to a lot of people. Goofed off. Went to technical sessions. Learned quite a bit and came back. I did two more of these in the 2000’s and to be honest I can’t remember much about them and I’ll blame that on a decade’s worth of living vs the conferences being terrible. I’ve almost stopped going to state conferences. After 25 years I’ve almost seen it all on that level. Not that I’m some sort of “geo-genius” – to the contrary I’m not that smart. I just want different out of my conferences.
I started slowly getting involved in FOSS4G (Free and open source Software for Geospatial) back in 2013 and finally had my chance to attend an international conference – the one in Boston last week. So why even go? Randy you said you were tired of conferences. I am. I’m not tired of Community. That’s one of the things I’ve really been lacking. That’s the one thing I found in the QGIS crowd and the PostGIS crowd. Community – Plus I get to meet the people that build the software. Plus I get to carry on conversations with those people and come back and go “Oh boy – I got to meet……”
There were something like 1150+ people at this conference. 44 of the 50 States were represented. 48 countries were represented. They were able to pull in a massive pile of Sponsors. Who you ask…..IBM…..Carto….Mapzen…..Boundless……You know – companies that work with open source software in some capacity. Even ESRI was there. What? Weird right? Trimble was there. Names you recognize from other places.
It’s the cool thing about this group of people – you can sit and talk to everyone. A one sentence Nutshell of what I did?
Confession – I was on the Workshop Committee. I did do a workshop. Which – this sounds more impressive than it is – but I did get to teach at Harvard. Which sounds awesome and Harvard is a pretty cool place to see.
The kicker on this conference (and as I’m reading back this is getting way too long) that in order to pull it off you’ve go tot have a community of people willing to do it. Boston stepped up. They were able to land Richard Stallman to come and talk. Below – Michael Terner and Richard Stallman (I’ll let you pick who is who).
The ESRI Conference had a theme which was something along the lines of “The Science of Where” which I swore they’ve used before. If you tagged this one with a theme it should be “The Warmth of Community”. I’ll be babbling more on this conference over the next week. I’ve cleaned out my suitcase. I’ve been washing clothes – and I’ve been trying to get caught up.
My hats off to you Boston. I hope to come back at some point. Dar Es Salaam you have me wondering if I can make it over.
For those that didn’t know it – FOSS4GNA came to Raleigh NC in 2016. Part of the thought was “Community Building”. So to help that along – I joined forces with some good people and put on a meeting in Knoxville.
It was quite the affair. We had between 36 and 42 people attend. We had 10 presentations. Which – you might be going “That’s not that big”. It wasn’t. This was put on with minimal effort and minimal advertising. It was huge because everyone that came wanted to be there. People wanted to speak. We had people from Alabama, North Carolina, and two people from Florida. We had a majority of attendees from TN.
How much can you do with NAIP and QGIS? A lot. So much so I’m a bit embarrassed by how much I didn’t know.
Ever Processed LIDAR data in SAGA? We did. The state of TN had a LIDAR meeting the day before – Oh how I wished they had seen these talks.
Running a small business is hard. Maybe it shouldn’t be – but for me it is. I enjoy getting out. I enjoy like minded individuals. So that’s why this community is so important to me. I need people to talk to – so I’m making an attempt to push the envelope in that area. I dont’ want to join a board. It’s not an us vs them thing. I could care less if you’re using ESRI Software – but I’d like for you to have a few extra tools in your toolbox though. I’d like for you to join in the discussion and talk to a developer. Talk to other users. Introduce people to other people. Learn something – and it doesn’t have to come at the expense of an online class or a book. It’s just conversation – but it’s oh so important.
To wrap this up: Sponsors for the event.
Another event? There’s another coming to Knoxville in 2018. There is a strong possibility you might see a FOSS4G flag planted in Savannah soon. Keep watch – it’s about to get fun.
You can’t start a revolution sitting back and hoping someone does something. Hope isn’t a strategy.
“Geospatial Data Management and State Clearinghouses”
Speaker: Bruce Chaplin, Vice-President Business Development – Americas, Hexagon Geospatial.Bruce Chaplin is a global executive with 25 years of experience developing creative solutions to geospatial, mapping, and location-based challenges. Bruce has worked for Hexagon for 15 years, in leadership roles in product development, product management, and business development. He is based in Norcross, GA.
Presentation Summary: Are you drowning in data? Do you see a deluge of more data coming? Are you under pressure to publish data to users, inside or outside your organization? Making relevant, high-quality geospatial data available to your community of users promotes data reuse, improves collaboration, and drives operational excellence. But, publishing geospatial data effectively and efficiently can be challenging, due to the sheer volume, diversity, and complexity of geospatial data. This presentation will present best practices for successfully publishing geospatial data, outline some of unique challenges that must be overcome, and showcase a success story from an organization that has setup a state-wide geospatial data clearinghouse.
Register at http://www.gaurisa.org
Got that out of the way – There – let me backtrack a little……
I started in GIS back in 1992. Maybe it was 1993. Several things started happening about the time I sat down in front of the GIS workstation to start a career:
Now – flash forward to 2017 (I’ll use the year for posterity) and I’ve had the following conversation with three people (probably more). I’ll paraphrase:
Probably the longest conversation I had out of the 3 conversations paraphrased:
None of that fixes the current issue where a client has done something to a lot of data. I need to fix it. I’m not sure what I’m going to do to fix it. I have Geometry and Attribute issues. I can almost guarantee whatever I do probably won’t be in python. I’m probably going to spend a few hours talking to the client and asking “Why/What/How did we get to this point?”
Why am I having these conversations with people on programming? I remember back when ESRI started including python (ArcPy) in ArcGIS. I was pumped. I imagined this was going to be a lot like AML and things were going to be productive again. Back in the time of Avenue and AML, writing a small menu or anything to save clicks was like a caveman discovering fire. Python in ArcGIS didn’t lead to me writing a ton of scripts. I actually started leveraging more tools in ArcGIS to fix data (like model builder). Python provided that last little scratch for an itch though and it was useful. Most of my GIS Programming friends moved into different jobs and probably better pay. I remember day dreaming maybe that was my way out “Get better at programming and ascend to a better life in GIS”. Never happened for me – I’m not a programmer. I guess it’s still a thing in the GIS realm – “Programming gets you a better job in GIS”. At some point it’s turned into “Python Programming is GIS”.
If I flash back through my GIS career – oh the languages I have seen and been used by: AML, Avenue, VB, VBA, Perl (why that? long story), VB.Net, Python, and I’m waiting for the next thing. I’ve learned a lot of stuff and the only thing that has stuck longer than the rest is python. Two things have been a constant in this career since day 1: data and people. Both can be problems and both make the GIS tick along. It never changes by much. Some of the same conversations I had 20 years ago I still have on data with people: “What do you need to do and what do we need to collect to make that happen?”
So for those of you starting out in GIS:
Just don’t learn python thinking that is how you learn GIS. It helps – but not much.
GIS is a big world. Programming is one part of the GIS machine.
Read what you want. I copied three posts from a while back. While the world sat worried over an election, I sat with a small cat. Actually I slept with a small cat. My final goodbye after almost 10 straight years. Everything went wrong on Monday. Business has been so right. Life has been good. The one day I knew would show up appeared. I spent Monday night curled up on the couch with her sporadically purring and grunting. I really thought I’d wake up at some point on Tuesday and it would be over. I woke up on Tuesday and things had gotten worse. I ended up at the vet. I ended up sitting there for two hours agonizing over what to do with her limp on my chest. I’ve walked into my office 100 times since Tuesday. I’ve looked for her 99. Maybe next week it will be 98 or 97. I know. Not a human or a person and I shouldn’t be this bothered. I will be. After I told a few people the discussion started that instead of 14 she might have been 16 years old. Which only depressed me more because I’ve only had her for 10. A rescue off the streets. A good friend for a long time. In the last 2 years she’s traveled with me. I smuggled her into a college on GIS day. She has enjoyed life as she knew it on a heating pad with food twice a day. For the record if you read all the posts below – cremated. They all go with me at the end – the dog…the cats. I prefer their company. I’ll never have another four legged friend like this one. Ever.
Goodbye Miso. Catch you on the other side.
From a post on Google+ 3.5 years ago:
There are some things you can’t fix and there are some that don’t need to be fixed. When I moved into the house 12 years ago it was an explosion of fixing. Nails and saws and hammers and screws. I was neither Bob Villa nor Norm from this old house. I wore a trail out to the street carrying things I was throwing away. Every day the pile would grow and mysteriously every night the pile would shrink. That’s when I met Mary.
Mary was this gnome of a lady that lived across the street. As I threw things away she would pick through it at night and carry the best bits back to her house. It didn’t much matter what the garbage was: burned up microwave, cinder blocks, a door, two by fours, and odd pieces of plywood. The odd pieces also morphed into whoever happened to be without a home in her family. A daughter with whatever drug addicted boyfriend she had at the moment. A grandson that believed you needed to have a carry permit to get from the front door to his truck. A daughter that would randomly show up and then disappear.
One day I was outside and she came out on the front porch, “I got’s a kitten – the lady at church gave it to me. I named her Skeeter”. It was an exceedingly small Siamese kitten. She had a collection of cats and dogs that lived in the house. Every animal she owned looked more miserable than her.
A year or so latter a neighbor stomped her way onto my porch. “That bat tried to give all her animals to the Human society to be put down. I grabbed them all”. I went down to the house and there was noah’s ark of goofy animals. Eventually all the animals ended back up with Mary after a lot of apologies on her part and promising it wouldn’t happen again. All but Skeeter. Skeeter wasn’t looking so great. Skeeter stayed with my neighbors for a month or two…eventually she escaped and made her way back to Mary’s house. I’m not sure how many teeth a cat has. She had about half of them left. We had decided that a poor diet had contributed….and some cats just lose their teeth. It happens.
Three years later Mary was gone. She moved in with the grandson. She left everything more or less in the house. Microwave. Cinder Blocks. Plywood. Skeeter.
I was about to walk out the door for a last minute trip to Atlanta. It was a cold wet and rainy October. There sat Skeeter under a neighbors car. Before the wife could say anything I picked her up and went to go get gas…..which ended up being a trip to the vets office. “I don’t know what you guys need to do….she’s small…skinny….and sick looking. If you have to put her down then you have to….but try to fix her”.
Three days later I was back at the vets office just pulling in from Atlanta.
“Well – she’s small, has a cold, and has only four teeth left in her mouth – they’ve all fallen out….but other than that given a bit of warmth and some food – she should be fine. She’s 4.2 lbs”.
“FOUR TEETH!??!! FOUR POUNDS??!!”
“Yes – it happens. Bacteria. Diet. Her palate and gums will toughen and she will be able to eat about anything. Do you know how old she is? We can’t tell – well – because of the four teeth”
Most likely she’s four. Maybe five. Well…..I guess I need to find you a home. By the way Skeeter – you are now a Miso. You’re Siamese….not redneck.
I came walking back in $100 lighter to a scowling wife. “We can’t keep her….we’ve already got enough animals.“I know….but she’s small and doesn’t have any teeth…well at least none worth mentioning. I’ll get her healthy and find her a home”.
…and she stayed. A small blanket and a heating pad became home in the spare bedroom. A small bowl provided mashed up food. I had decided in 2004 that if she were actually 4 this wasn’t a long term arrangement. She’s too small and probably (per the vet) has liver damage. So you might get two or three years out of her.
One day I’m working in the kitchen with a small hole cut in the floor. I turn my back and Miso is sitting on the back porch having jumped through the hole and working her way outside.
One day I’m asleep on the couch and wake up to find a small cat planted on my chest. She jumps down and grabs a toy mouse and sits on it and starts beating it with her back feet. Eventually she sits on it with all the anger 4 lbs can muster and smothers it…had it been alive. Well – that answers the question of what she ate and how she killed it.
One day she vomits blood and I race to the vet clutching a cat so small hardly anyone noticed her when I went running in the door. “Congrats – she has no teeth left – the last one fell out…and she’s probably a lot happier. We’re down to 3.9 lbs by the way” One IV later and I carry her back home.
I turn around 4 years later and it’s just me left in the house. The bedroom is cleaned out and Miso is sitting on her heating pad that has been off for nearly a day. I sit on the couch and she comes and sits on my knee. I stack three plastic crates together and turn on the heating pad and toss a blanket over the pile. It’s almost the height of the bed that was here.
Four years after that I’m told I need to fix my current situation. I work too much. I go out rarely. In between trying to fix me I begin work on the house. This frantic push to fix a lot of the carpentry and cosmetic issues I’ve got hanging around before I sell it. I hate carpentry.
In between all of that – the one thing I fixed quite well comes and sits on the desk just between me and the monitor. It’s spring….a few more weeks and the heating pad gets replaced by a blanket. A few months the blanket gets replaced by a heating pad. A squirrel that probably weighs as much as she does tempts fate 5 times a day as it sits and stares at her just outside the window…she sits and stares back and lets it live. One day the squirrel won’t be lucky. Maybe tomorrow…and Maybe tomorrow I finish fixing the house.
It’s never a long term arrangement with a cat…especially a 4 lb cat…well 3.5lb cat. It’s one thing I don’t need fixed currently.
From 3 Years ago:
Miso – my constant everyday companion is getting old also. She’s not my only pet but at times she feels like the only pet. About three weeks ago I was getting ready to teach a class and she disappeared. I found her sitting under the desk stuck in a corner. She couldn’t figure out why she couldn’t move forward or left or right. So she sat. She Cried. I scooped her up and realized why all the stumbling the last little bit. Blind. Her eyesight had slowly been getting worse and I guess something clicked that day and it went finally. My thoughts of moving the office to the extra bedroom diminished. The office stays as is.
I texted the ex which seems to be happening more than I want these days. With the house sale there was a ton of paperwork. Calls from the ex family with “we never hear anything from her” did prompt more communication than I want.
M: “Miso went blind”
H: “What…oh no…do you need money – take her to the vet”
M: “I’m not – she’s old. This is the way it plays out remember. The first vet visit was somewhat of a prediction. She’s too small. When things start failing it’s a downhill slide. I consider this the first failure. She’s 12 or 13…maybe 14”.
H: “Well – is she OK?”
M: “Yes – she’s warm, happy, well fed, and old. We’re both getting old”.
Being one that always needs a plan, I looked up on the shelf and saw two more pets. Cremated. Which made me wonder what I would do with her since she’s been pretty much glued to me for 8 years. Technically if I was going to bury her I would find the old neighborhood more appropriate. I can’t just leave her somewhere. Which is overwhelmingly silly since dead is dead. She hates the cold. This heating pad should get bronzed since It’s been pretty much on since 2006 from Fall until spring.
From 2 Years ago:
Eight years ago the last thing I wanted was a cat.
We are four or five months into being blind. What started out as one morning’s being stuck in a corner has turned into more work than I wanted. It’s more work…but it’s different work so it’s OK.
For the first week it was a disaster: Walking into things….getting lost four feet away from her bed….not eating. That was slowly replaced with finding her water bowl 6 feet away from her bed. Not getting lost as much. Even to the point last week she stumbled over a toy and started playing with it.
Food in my house is a chore for me and them. There are other cats I don’t talk about. Typically I yell “Food” and everyone scatters. One to the bathroom, the sisters into the bedroom, and miso who would stand and wait….now just aimlessly walks about like a pinball. I let her bounce off of things and right before her bowl appears I say “Miso” and she stops. Most of the time I pick her up and carry her and the bowl to a central spot. As soon as I sit her down she knows the bowl is right in front of her.
Because of all of this – I didn’t turn the heating pad off when it warmed up. Yesterday I caught her “baking”. She was flipping herself over every 30 minutes because she was too warm…but not warm enough to get off the heating pad. For two hours in the morning The sun booms through a window with no blinds. So yesterday a towel and relocation. For two hours the sun heated her from a different angle and it was good.
I stood there for a few minutes. I’ve got to leave for a couple of days next week. I hate leaving because of the food situation. The chance she will get stuck somewhere. I miss saying Miso at night and Miso in the morning. I know this isn’t permanent. Very few things are permanent.
Yesterday I vaccumed. I forgot and left it out. A few minutes and I heard a “boink” and got up and she was head to wheel with the object. Something new she couldn’t get around. I forget and leave things out. One misplaced thing and the room changes and she gets lost.
Eight Years from some point in the future I will look back want this cat. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Interested in using GRASS GIS as a geospatial processing backend? Or for reproducible research with Python? Or as a surprisingly powerful desktop GIS? Then come to the November GRASS GIS Raleigh meetup which will be specifically focused on getting newcomers started with anything ranging from using GRASS GIS to programing and contributing. The meetup is planned for Saturday, November 5. Meet in 4502 Fishbowl at the Hunt library at NC State Centennial Campus at 2 PM. Map here. Join any time during the afternoon; we will be there at least till 6 PM, but there is an option to stay longer.
Contact Vashek if interested in attending, or if you have any questions:
More information: https://grasswiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GRASS_GIS_Raleigh_meetups_2016
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
The Comet Pub & Lanes
2619 N Decatur Rd Decatur, GA 30033
Please note we’re holding this month’s social on Wednesday because Thursday is league night at Comet.
Come out to enjoy the various activities, food and drink at this successor to Suburban Lanes in N. Decatur.
Wednesday, Sep 14, 2016, 7:00 PM
The Comet Pub & Lanes
2619 N Decatur Rd Decatur, GA 30033 Decatur, GA
3 Members Attending
Please note we’re holding this month’s social on Wednesday because Thursday is league night at Comet. Come out to enjoy the various activities, food and drink at this successor to Suburban Lanes in N. Decatur.
It was a crazy week.
I’m right at one year when I moved back to Chattanooga. I’m bad about anniversary dates – as in the small things will stick with me at times bigger than the big dates. Something will be bothering me and if I think long enough – there’s a small bookmark in my life I’m approaching. Anyway – one year ago I moved into this crazy neighborhood much to the dismay of my family. Change is good. Life is Change.
A year ago I decided I was going to make some much needed business changes – and that started and overall it’s been a pretty decent change. The changes made me a bit more hopeful for the future and I don’t feel like I’m in this strictly for the money – BUT – money did move up a few notches on the list thanks to a lot of advice.
Anyway – Monday started out with me learning more on PostGIS/PostgreSQL. A job with a client is going well – we just couldn’t get one thing to work. Figured it out. I took that victory to then decide to go talk at the North East Tennessee GIS Meeting. What was I going to talk about? This move out of ESRI for a utility client into QGIS/PostGIS/Fulcrum. So I started writing…
My presentations tend to take 2 forms: They are terrible or pretty decent. I’ve done terrible ones. I’ve done awesome ones. I’ve learned more from the bad ones than the good ones. I had 20 minutes so I made 10 slides. No graphics. Decided to do more demos than presentations. Which is awesome I think – as long as you have internet……
I dove back into Geohipster on Monday and got one interview done with Regina Obe – the fastest interview I’ve ever done by the way. That was a fun email exchange. Anyway – look for that on geohipster.com on Monday.
Things started getting weird on Wednesday – a new potential client popped up and they are neck deep in ESRI – server, mobile, etc. Which is fine – they need help so we started the discussion. With the changes in business my decision to either help them or not is easier – there are things I like doing and things I don’t. I’m in the middle of researching their problems. I can give them a yes or no and be happy with decision.
NetGIS meets in Kingsport TN – it’s a nice drive 90% of the time. The area is beautiful. I had decided to leave early and goof off. I didn’t leave early. The time for the meeting also bumped back just a hair. I made it though…..45 minutes before the meeting started and in I walked. I also spent the time in the car listening to Pandora. What do I listen to?
On the drive up I received word a GIS Peer had passed away. I knew Leonard Slote well enough to go have a beer with him and talk smack about software. He was out riding his bike and was hit by a careless driver. Probably dead at the scene but he was declared dead after they arrived at the hospital. Life is so short. I went canoeing on Wednesday and with one careless goof I dropped my paddle and just about tipped over in some unfriendly water. I served with Leonard on a GIS Conference Committee. Which also made me think about how many Boards and Committees I’m on now.
None. That’s how many. It’s incredibly nice. How can you be a guy who is contributing and shaping the Geo World if you aren’t on any boards? I think the Geo world is getting along quite well without me being anywhere in the mix. I left all the boards and obligations a while back. I do a few things for fun currently – but they are insignificant in the greater scheme of things. I might start integrating myself back in slowly. Maybe. I haven’t quite decided if it’s worth the effort.
Live Demo’s are awesome as long as you have internet. Which I didn’t have. Well…….Scrub the Fulcrum one because I didn’t plan for anything but a live demo. Which is fine I’ve got another 11 or so slides and I can show a few things on Fulcrum to make it more interesting.
My slide show started out with a brief intro and going “I’m not on any boards” – but then I realized 2 or 3 people at the meeting had been with me on a board and – eh – I probably shouldn’t point out I left the board I was with them on so – no worry I’ve got 10 or so slides. I started second guessing my presentation and went down to 9 slides. For the final slide I actually went so far as to mock up a budget on the Full ESRI deployment vs a Hybrid Open Source/ESRI deployment. The problem with that is when you show someone two numbers (60k vs 5k) that are so wildly different people immediately start questioning WHY….the explanation when you’re in room full of ESRI software users and people who worry with budgets is interesting. I glossed over that one – It’s a good slide – it’s just a hard pill to swallow. I’m going to rework it and present it differently. The numbers stand on their own – it’s just hard for a lot of people to see the numbers. Overall my presentation was sorta Meh. It will get better.
So the big deal – there were 4 presentations at the meeting. 3 of which inadvertently mentioned QGIS. One from a vendor (our data can be pulled into QGIS), one from a student (I did my entire project in QGIS), and mine (I’m rolling out a full QGIS PostGIS Deployment for a water utility). A few years ago that wouldn’t have happened. The other presentation covered LIDAR in the state of Tennessee and I had the chance to reference this discussion in front of a guy who can help in the process. Right now I’m building a brief tutorial of processing LIDAR in GRASS.
A Meeting with no plan on a theme in heavy ESRI territory had 4 mentions on FOSS4G. FOSS4G is making a dent in the world of GIS. You could go so far as to say “I’m in the middle of nowhere TN and we had 4 mentions of Free and Open Source Software for GIS”. On the drive back I received a conference announcement where their entire workshop offerings are ESRI based. If you’re planning a conference – seriously PUT SOME FOSS4G IN IT. It’s 2016. You do your conference and yourselves a dis-service if you don’t. Period. Change is good.
Friday I was just sitting here going “It’s been a weird week and I’m tired” and my email beeped “Can you come talk at our meeting?”. Yes – what do you want me to talk about? “Anything you want”. Heh. Will I have internet access?
Date: July 21, 2016
Link to Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/geospatial/
Torched Hop Brewing
249 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA
By late July, I hope everyone will be adequately adjusted to the heat and allergies, and finally recovered from the Esri UC, if you were lucky enough to attend. To kick off summer, MAGS will return to Midtown on 7/21, to enjoy the setting of the new Torched Hop brewpub on Ponce.
Torched Hop is in the former Old Spaghetti Factory space, a 5-block walk or ride east from the North Avenue MARTA station (and a block west of Krispy Kreme). If you drive, there’s a fair amount of street parking in the vicinity, as well as free parking in the Camden Apartments garage behind Torched Hop.
To get in touch with us please call or email. We look forward to hearing from you.