Heading off to WhereCamp5280

I’m ready for some high altitude camping at WhereCamp5280. Dave Bouwman will be running GeoGeekTV if the broadband gods smile upon us. So if you can’t make it up the hill, keep an eye on his twitter feed (@dbouwman) for when he’s recording. Its looking like a great turnout is expected and some interesting talks are already proposed.

Peter Batty is already setting up the WhereCamp5280 base camp.


photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-warren/223818605/

Mercator Projection Hating Continues

Jeff Thurston asks a simple question:

Why take perfectly projected GIS data and stick it into Bing Maps or Google Maps? Isn’t it time that the 49th parallel was not a straight line?

I hate to break it to Jeff but 90% of the world has no idea that Bing or Google maps have a projection. People expect their web maps to look a certain way (you know where Greenland is bigger than Brazil) and because of that we’ll continue “sticking” our data in Bing or Google Maps. Anyway when projections matter, use something other than Mercator. I talked a little bit about my problems trying to work with the poles before here and here.

Much like the flat earth society, these Mercator haters want to make lives harder for average users to navigate maps. If projecting your data to Mercator is causing it to be incorrect, then you are obviously doing it wrong.

The GeoMonkey has always enjoyed the Mercator projection because he doesn’t like going to the poles

The GeoMonkey has always enjoyed the Mercator projection because he doesnt like going to the poles

Directions Magazine Podcast on Cloud Computing

The weekly Directions Podcast touches on Cloud Computing in Geospatial. Clearly cloud computing is a buzz word, so it is good to see people delving deeper into the subject matter. Both Joe and Adena did a good job of outlining what cloud computing means and pros and cons of moving toward hosted services and the pay as you go model. Adena nicely mentions WeoGeo as the best example of SaaS GIS.

I highly recommend that you listen to this podcast so you can break through some of the buzz words with SaaS and not sound like these guys below.

cartoon credit: geek and poke

SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP is out

The SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP is out on MSDN and Technet as I write this. This is much that is new in this CTP, but I think it is best to focus on what is new in Spatial. Ed Katibah gave us a preview of the new reporting builder back in May.

We provided sneak previews of this functionality at past conferences, including a popular ‘BI Power Hour’ demo. Maps can be very powerful visualizations. They can consume and visualize geospatial and geometry data directly (as shown by Ed Katibah here), ‘regular’ data, and combine multiple datasets using map layers. Maps can integrate ESRI shape files, as well as directly integrate with Bing Maps.

Sounds like a pretty powerful platform for visualizing spatial data. I can’t wait to give it a shot.

Heading to WhereCamp5280 next week

I’ll be running up the hill to Denver next week to join everyone at WhereCamp5280. If you’ve never been to an ‘unconference” before you are in for a treat. What is special about this is that there is no set agenda so everyone can pick what they want to talk about. ESRI, Google, Microsoft, .NET, Python, Ruby, C++ are all welcome. In fact, I’m a firm believe that if we get more people with different backgrounds in one room, some really amazing things will happen. So you don’t have to be Steve Coast to speak and add to the conversation, just yourself.

The attendee list is looking impressive. If you think you’ll be going, please add your name to the bottom and what days you’ll be attending. If you’ve thought about what you’d like to talk about, add that to the potential talks page as well. There will also be a social event in LoDo as well Friday Night. The economy is still at the top of everyone’s mind so a free “unconference” for the Rocky Mountain region is a good thing. Given the attendee list, I’m not sure we’ll see another get together in Denver until FOSS4G 2011 (we got next).