Saturday, September 17, 2011

Highlights from FOSS4G

I went to FOSS4G this week, and had a great time. Believe it or not, this was the first time I went to a FOSS4G, and now of course I am hooked.

First let me say that everyone I talked to and every talk I went to really was great. Such a friendly and smart crowd of people. And everyone was working on really interesting problems. I missed several talks because I just got into a conversation with someone and we didn't want to stop!

There were a few things I wanted to call out in particular that I found really compelling. 

CartoSet and CartoDB: Awesome early stage project that draws inspiration from Fusion Tables. Nice functionality, great designers working on it. The folks at Vizzuality are doing great work.

WebGL Earth: A nice 3D globe written entirely in JavaScript. Especially compelling in the developer release of Chrome. From Petr Klokan, of GDAL2Tiles and MapTiler fame.

PostGIS Raster (pg Raster): This year a lot of buzz was around PostGIS Raster, which would as much as possible treat queries on raster data as SQL queries. It is still pretty experimental, but shows a lot of promise, especially attached to the mature PostGIS project. But the other thing that shows is there is a lot of desire for treating rasters as data, not just overlays. Of course, we believe that at Google, which is why we're working on Google Earth Engine. But I'm also glad to see so much desire for it in the FOSS community.

Here's some photos I took at the conference

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