FOSS4G: Keynotes, Travel Grants, Volunteer Discounts (Portland, OR)

In my opinion, the best geospatial conference around!

click here for more info.

Two new keynote speakers added to 2014 lineup

We are delighted to announce Sarah Novotny of NGINX and Al Shaw of ProPublica as keynote speakers for FOSS4G 2014. They join Mike Bostock of the New York Times in this year’s lineup.

Novotny is a technical evangelist and community manager for NGINX, founder of Blue Gecko, and is currently a program chair for O’Reilly Media’s OSCON. Shaw is a news applications developer at ProPublica and the creator of an award winning series of interactive maps documenting FEMA’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

Travel Grant Program

To make sure that as many deserving people as possible can attend FOSS4G, we have created a travel grant program with funds to help cover registration, lodging, and travel costs. If you are excited about open source geospatial work but have economic barriers to attendance, we strongly encourage you to apply. Applications are due May 30th, and awardees will be notified mid-June.

Our travel grants are community funded; your donations help bring more of your colleagues to the conference. Consider an additional donation when you register for the conference or as a stand-alone contribution. If every attendee gave just $20, we could bring an additional 20 people to the conference.

Volunteer Discounts

We will also have a limited number of volunteer positions available; in exchange for a full day of work, volunteers will be eligible for a discounted rate of $125. Students will be given preference for these volunteer positions until July 1st. See more details on the volunteer program and travel grants.

Important Conference Dates

See the full calendar for more details.

  • June 15th: Early bird registration ends
  • Sept 8th-9th: Workshops
  • Sept 10th-12th: Main Conference
  • Sept 13th: Code Sprint

About FOSS4G

The annual FOSS4G conference is the largest global gathering focused on open source geospatial software. FOSS4G brings together developers, users, decision-makers and observers from a broad spectrum of organizations and fields of operation. Through six days of workshops, presentations, discussions, and cooperation, FOSS4G participants create effective and relevant geospatial products, standards, and protocols.

FOSS4G has been held all over the world and draws attendees from over 40 countries. Nottingham, England hosted the conference in 2013. In 2014, Portland, Oregon, USA will host FOSS4G’s tenth year.

How Jane Goodall Institute uses digital mapping to save chimp habitats in Africa, empower children in the US  By May 16, 2014, 4:00 AM PST

Forest monitors use Android tablets to monitor chimp habitats.  Image: JGI
Forest monitors use Android tablets to monitor chimp habitats.
Image: JGI

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Dr. Jane Goodall

In 1960, renowned primatologist Jane Goodall traveled to Gombe National Park in Tanzania with a notebook, a pencil, and a pair of binoculars, looking to study the world of chimpanzees. Her first weeks were frustrating, as the chimps fled from her every time she drew near. But over time, Goodall gained the trust of the chimpanzees and learned enormously from their behavior. And through it all, she recorded her observations on paper.  Click to continue


Mapping out growth in an industry that’s boosting the economy    by Sarah Stack 20 May 2014

OSi has been mapping Ireland in detail since 1824
OSi has been mapping Ireland in detail since 1824

MAPS. They hardly sound like a booming industry that will answer our economic woes, but geospatial information is a multi-million-euro enterprise.

Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) revealed the sector contributes €69m to the Irish economy in gross added value, with the figure jumping to over €120m when multiplier impacts are included.

Aerial imagery, height information, boundary lines, and even historic, tourist and leisure maps all fall under the field that employs 1,677 people – and spends €84.4m on wages. And the industry expanded significantly in recent years with the growth in smartphones, digitalisation and location-based services bringing geospatial information into the consumer mainstream. Route planners, sat navs, Google maps, GPS, real-time information and apps all rely on the basics from Ireland’s national mapping agency.  Click to read more.


Satellite Observations Show El Nino Coming – And It Could Be The Worst In Decades – See more at:  Written by NASA  18 May 2014

Data from ocean-observing satellites and other ocean sensors indicate that El Nino conditions appear to be developing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Conditions in May 2014 bear some similarities to those of May 1997, a year that brought one of the most potent El Nino events of the 20th century.
During an El Nino, easterly trade winds in the Pacific falter and allow giant waves of warm water – known as Kelvin waves – to drift across from the western Pacific toward South America. Surface waters in the central and eastern Pacific become significantly warmer than normal, altering weather patterns and affecting fisheries along the west coasts of the Americas. El Nino also can have a significant influence on weather and climate far from the tropics.
The maps above show the ten-day average of sea surface height centered on May 2, 1997 (left), and May 3, 2014. Shades of red and orange indicate where the water is warmer and above normal sea level. Shades of blue-green show where sea level and temperatures are lower than average. Normal sea-level conditions appear in white. The 1997 map was assembled from data collected by the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite, while the 2014 data comes from the Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 satellite
– click to read more


NOAA Digital Coast Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer – Southeast States Complete and Data Download Now Available

May 19, 2014 — With the addition of South Carolina data to the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer, the Southeast region states join the West Coast, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic states in having access to coastal flooding scenarios and uncertainty maps as well as marsh migration, social vulnerability, and flood frequency visualizations. Explore the  Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer to see how sea level rise might affect your area.

Also new is the ability to easily download the viewer data. Access to the digital elevation models (DEMs) and the inundation, flood frequency, and mapping confidence layers allows users involved in climate adaptation planning to incorporate the data into their own applications and perform their own spatial analyses, such as vulnerability assessments.

Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. This product is part of the Digital Coast initiative, which is led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center.


Researchers: The collapse of Greenland’s ice sheet could be a bigger disaster than we thought Lindsay Abrams

(Credit: Denis Burdin/Shutterstock)
(Credit: Denis Burdin/Shutterstock)

New, from the people who brought us the unstoppable collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet: It turns out that Greenland’s glaciers are more vulnerable to melting than was previously thought. That means current predictions of sea level rise, which are already quite alarming, may be too conservative.

Due to the particular quirks of Greenland’s topography, say a group of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, its glaciers “are likely to retreat faster and farther inland than anticipated – and for much longer.” Climate Central explains:

Unlike the Antarctic glaciers, which end in tongues of ice that float on the Southern Ocean seas, the glaciers of Greenland terminate with the land, butting up against the surrounding water. So instead of warm water melting the glaciers from below, as in Antarctica, the ocean waters melt the vertical fronts of Greenland’s glaciers. Scientists had thought that the melt of the Greenland glaciers would continue for a few decades, until the ice melted back to a point where the ground was higher than sea level and then would haltClick to continue


ASPRS Free On-Line Seminar (May 23, 2014)


Landscape Disturbance Related to Natural Gas Extraction in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Sponsored by ASPRS, CaGIS and GLIS

Date & Time: May 23rd, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

The American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) GIS Division in partnership with the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) and the Geographic and Land Information Society (GLIS) would like to invite our members to attend our third online seminar for the 2014 series.
Landscape Disturbance Related to Natural Gas Extraction in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Abstract: Increased demands for cleaner burning energy, coupled with the relatively recent technological advances in accessing unconventional hydrocarbon-rich geologic formations, have led to an intense effort to find and extract natural gas from various underground sources around the country. One of these sources, the Marcellus Shale, located in the Allegheny Plateau, is currently undergoing extensive drilling and production. The technology used to extract gas in the Marcellus shale is known as hydraulic fracturing and has garnered much attention because of its use of large amounts of fresh water, its use of proprietary fluids for the hydraulic-fracturing process, its potential to release contaminants into the environment, and its potential effect on water resources. Nonetheless, development of natural gas extraction wells in the Marcellus Shale is only part of the overall natural gas story in the area of Pennsylvania. Coalbed methane, which is sometimes extracted using the similar technique, is commonly located in the same general area as the Marcellus Shale and is frequently developed in clusters across the landscape. The combined effects of these two natural gas extraction methods create potentially serious patterns of disturbance on the landscape. This presentation quantifies the landscape changes and consequences of natural gas extraction for the natural gas play in Pennsylvania between 2004 and 2010. Patterns of landscape disturbance related to natural gas extraction activities were collected and digitized using National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery for 2004, 2005/2006, 2008, and 2010. The disturbance patterns were then used to measure changes in land cover and land use using the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) of 2001 as a baseline. A series of landscape metrics are also used to quantify these changes and report on the potential ecosystem effects.

About the Speaker:  Terry Slonecker is a research geographer in the United States Geological Survey’s Eastern Geographic Science Center.  He has over 30 years of experience in remote sensing and geospatial analysis including positions with the U.S. Air Force, private industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  His current research interests include hyperspectral analysis of heavy metals, hazardous substances, hydrocarbons, and related vegetation stress.  He recently taught hyperspectral remote sensing at the Afghanistan Geological Society in Kabul and has been involved in several emergency response efforts including the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. He received his master’s degree in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia. He is currently working on mapping and measuring the landscape effects of natural gas development and on evaluating remote sensing as a tool for hazardous waste site monitoring.  On several occasions, he has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Federal Government on remote sensing related matters.


Date & Time: May 23rd, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST

Remote Access / Registration:

NOTE: Registration is limited to the first 500 people who sign up and log in to the seminar.

If you are unable to attend the live seminar, a recording will be posted at several days after the seminar.

Lead’Air introduces T-MAP UAV Aerial Mapping Camera System

May 14, 2014 — Lead’Air Inc, US manufacturer of the Track’Air line of products, would like to introduce the T-MAP UAV Aerial Mapping Camera System at the UAVSI show in Orlando, FL.

In brief: 
The new T-MAP Aerial Mapping System has been specially developed for UAV and small aircrafts. The system is very compact and light weight and can be installed on the larger type of professional UAV aircraft to carry out full mapping missions. It is based on either the 80 mp Phase One IXA180 camera or the new 50 mp Phase One IXU150 camera. T-MAP is a true turnkey system which includes:

  • Photogrammetrically calibrated camera and lens
  • Fully automated computerized image saving and management system
  • A powerful autonomous flight management system based on the widespread Track’Air FMS
  • A fully stabilized mount system with +/- 20 degrees pitch/roll correction and +/- 25 degrees yaw correction
  • A built-in Applanix IMU system which can be coupled to any of the Applanix IMU sensor range (AP20 to AP50)

click to read more

Esri Young Scholars award winner announced  by  on 13 May, 2014 in GIS & DataLatest News

Curtin University student’s passion to provide improved transport solutions for Perth’s residents has landed her a trip to attend the world’s largest spatial conference, the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California.

Grace Lin won the 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award competition for an impressive entry that maps the accessibility of Perth railway stations for older transit passengers.

The nation-wide competition celebrates excellence in geospatial study and, more specifically, the creative use of GIS to solve commercial and community issues.

Miss Lin beat a quality field of entries to book her place at the Esri User Conference in the United States in July, where she will showcase her project to 15,000 GIS professionals.

Her first-of-its-kind study provides models to help improve train station access for elderly residents and delivers a framework for future infrastructure placement.

The study is particularly pertinent for Perth, where railway transport constitutes a sizeable share of daily travel undertaken by residents of the Western Australian capital.

“Data from 2011 showed nearly one in 10 people living in Perth boarded a train every day,” Ms Lin said.

“When you consider that, over the next 20 years, authorities plan to spend 80 per cent of a $2.9 billion transport infrastructure budget on a light-rail network to extend the existing heavy-rail network, it is critical to ensure train stations are accessible to the population of Perth and will remain so over the long-term.

“This is the first study that’s used GIS technology to provide an insight into issues surrounding accessibility to transport in Perth.”

The study was developed using government information and data gathered directly from transit users.

“By mapping and analysing the location of key infrastructure, such as ramps and lifts, alongside direct road access, park and ride options and the community’s perceptions, we provided a comprehensive picture of each station’s accessibility.”

The judging panel – which included senior industry figures from the Department of Communications, SSSI and Western Power – praised the project for its methodology, innovation, and real-world application.

In particular, Ms Lin gained points for the self-generated data and the lasting difference the study could have to Perth’s transport infrastructure.

While she undertook the project to improve services for Perth’s public transit users, Ms Lin’s motivation for entering the competition was a little more personal – the chance to rub shoulders with Esri founder, and GIS pioneer, Jack Dangermond.

“When I saw that the winner would go to San Diego and have the chance meet Jack, I thought I definitely had to enter,” Ms Lin said.

“I’m looking forward to Jack’s presentation, because I know it will provide the most knowledgeable insight into the latest capabilities of the technology and reveal where it will take us in the future.”

Esri Australia Managing Director Brett Bundock – who also sat on the judging panel – said the quality of the entries for this year’s competition exemplified the growing talent pool of young Australian geospatial experts.

“The demand for geospatial disciplines within Australian universities is growing – and thousands of students now regularly draw on spatial thinking and technologies to solve real-world issues,” Mr Bundock said.

“Grace’s entry demonstrated the real difference GIS technology can deliver when used creatively to solve complex community and business problems.”