Open Source DoD, ESRI on Google, Fire Eagle flies

I watched the BarCamp.mil from afar and from what I’ve heard it sounded like it was a great event. Andrew Turner says that open source got quite a bit of play.

In the open-source world, a government supported promotion of its use would have dramatic effects. Looking at the current state of commercial company support for projects such as Apache, Linux, Gnome, OSGeo and more demonstrate that there is clear benefit to be gained. If the government then pushes open-source there would a huge upsurge in the support of projects and communities.

I don’t think there has to be 100% open source, but utilitzing it where it makes sense benefits the taxpayer.

ESRI today was the guest blogger on the Google Geo Developers blog. Sterling did a pretty good job of outlining the ArcGIS JavaScript Extension for Google Maps and how it can be utilized. I’m still waiting for my 9.3 to show up (long story) to actually start implementing ArcGIS Server 9.3 so I have to live through these posts for now.

Yahoo!’s Fire Eagle has left beta and is available to everyone. I don’t think there has been a killer app yet built using Fire Eagle, but the service has the potential to link LBS applications together. I think Yahoo! some really good spatial services (can’t forget about GeoPlanet) and I’d love to see them become more serious about them than their past would reflect.

New Orleans Recovery and Google Street View

Yesterday the Lt. Governor of Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu, wrote up why Google Street View is so important to New Orleans and its recovery on the Google Blog.

In this time of recovery and rebuilding, it is important that we share real images of life in Louisiana and on the Gulf Coast. As you explore the streets of New Orleans, you will discover a city marked by extremes. You will see some areas spared the worst of Katrina’s fury which have quickly recovered, and you will find other neighborhoods that remain flattened by the floodwaters that broke the levees. You will see that our residents call both FEMA trailers and antebellum mansions home.

I’ve been lucky enough to be involved on a couple projects with the New Orleans Community Data Center (GNOCDC). Their idea is to bring “paper” and PDF maps to the internet so the community (both local and national). Together with Matt Priour (who has done some amazing work with the Google Maps API) we’ve been moving their data from their “classic” pre-Katrina mapping to a more interactive experience. The push is on this month to get more mapping online and the release of the Street View for NOLA should bring more opportunities to both tell the story of the recovery and help those who are living there gain access to city services.

I encourage everyone to download the The New Orleans Index Anniversary Edition: Three Years After Katrina available on the front page of the GNOCDC website. It will help put into perspective the recovery which is still going on 3 years after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. As the Google Street View shows (look at the Lower Ninth Ward for perspective), New Orleans is still fighting hard.

Breaking the Tribe Mentality

Sean Gorman has a very thought provocative piece on his blog this morning. The Professional vs. the Amateur: Thoughts on the ESRI UC should be read by everyone. I’ve notice that our tribe mentality has really caused great divisions in those of us trying to bring spatial information to the Internet. I’ve learned something in the years I’ve been blogging here, I am just an amateur at just about everything I do. Sure I have a GISP, but that doesn’t mean that I’m any better at moving to the GeoWeb than anyone else (heck I’m probably less able to do that than others). Because of this I’ve been more open to Neogeographers (those on the ground, not locked up in a University writing about it) and I’ve learned so much in the last couple years.

Any time there is something disruptive as the GeoWeb/Web 2.0/Where 2.0/GeoCloud you end up with people circling the wagons in a failed attempt to control what is happening. Closed source, open source, free as in beer, GISP, geotagger, whatever are just labels we put on ourselves, products or philosophy to limit our growth and the growth of others. Don’t make me break out the hippy girl picture again and ask why can’t we all get along?

Now you’ve done it, let us all sit in the field and hold hands

Now youve done it, lets sit in the field and hold hands