20 minutes at the East TN TNGIC Meeting

Sep 6, 2018 | Open Source GIS, postgis, QGIS, Tennessee

I went through a year or so of not talking at conferences. For local ones I’d show up and do something. I taught a workshop at FOSS4GNA 2018. I did a workshop at FOSS4G 2017 in Boston (and it sorta sucked).  I need to get out of that mode and talk more – but I’m happier being quiet these days and working with clients.

Anyway – at FOSS4GNA 2018 I discovered something – the OSGEO Suite had disappeared from Boundless’s Website and was replaced with a github repository. It wasn’t long after Don Meltz put up an excellent explanation of the OSGEO Suite. The OSGEO Suite being gone isn’t a problem. It does increase the amount of talking I have to do spend explaining it’s not a problem. I could even compile the suite – but my clients can’t. They are smart people – but the time to compile the boundless suite won’t be happening.

One of the things I keep running into is the idea of an Open Source Server. The OSGEO Suite was well known and I get people asking “Hey – can you set us up a geo server”. They mean the opengeo suite. I then launch into an explanation of what makes up a “geo server” and they go a bit blank and answer me “Yeah – one of those”.

So for the next bit I’m gonna be doing something like this:

I want to explain how this works to people. We’ve gotten a bit deaf by hearing “ArcServer” at every conference in TN as this one monolithic thing you have to install to make a web map…which really don’t need since AGOL appeared but…you want SDE and it’s not called that and you have two people editing but you need SQl Server but you don’t….

Anyway,  QGIS/PostgreSQL/PostGIS I’ve installed multiple times and as of late I’m experimenting with geoserver and what it can/can’t do. I have no grand delusions of creating ‘Randy’s Open Geo Spatial Super Duper Server’.  I want to get to the point where maybe mapserver is an option in this. So much to learn…so little time.

I suck at github – but I’ve been more active as I try to develop a skill set and get over the angst of pushing and pulling things. I’ve built a vagrant box to install PostGIS/PostgreSQL/Geoserver so I can have something to point at plus it gives me a starting point for an upcoming class I’m in the middle of building. The vagrant box isn’t pretty – I expect to change it over the next bit as it’s mostly pieced together from a lot of other people’s work (Coleman McCormick, Dave Smith, etc). It works though and I have everything but pgadmin 4 running in one spot. Which – I don’t think this is anywhere near “install this for a server” because this is mostly just for talking, training, and testing.

So why vagrant? Why not docker? I can gloss over vagrant faster at theses talks than I can docker.  I have 16 minutes to draw diagrams and about 4 minutes to publish one piece of data: QGIS -> PostGIS -> Geoserver -> Leaflet.

Anyway – if you’re up for the possibility of a train wreck of a presentation come by the East Tennessee Meeting in Kingsport next week as I try to explain how this works and hopefully you get excited enough to install some or all of these components and do something cool with your data.

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