GISCloud Releases HTML5 Client

OK, I know what you are all thinking. Esri told me 5 years ago HTML5 was for small mash-ups and those serious about mapping should use Silverlight or Flex. Well if you haven’t been paying attention in the past year you’d be totally wrong. Not only is HTML5 based maps becoming standard practice, they are performing as well as Flex or Silverlight in most applications (Now for sure one could come up with a demo where Flex can display a gazillion points, but nobody wants a gazillion points on a map at once).

The latest company to release a HTML5 client is GISCloud. While other visualization companies offer JavaScript maps as an option, GISCloud has made them default. By using the HTML5 Canvas element, GISCloud is rendering vector data right inside of the browser, with no plugin (Right I know, IE supports nothing. Upgrade to IE9 or stop using the Internet. Your choice!). Oh and you don’t need to use some sort of weird API to get it to work on iPhones or iPads. It just works, browsing 2 million features on my iPad in Safari without a native app. Crazy!

Plus when you are working with vectors in the Canvas element, you can interact with them, the potential is limitless. I’m glad to see some of the innovative companies step up with amazing HTML5 clients that work as good or better than anything else out there. This is what happens when you have no legacy holding you back. You innovate and lead.

So who will blink first? Flex, Silverlight or HTML5? My money is on Silverlight, but it sure won’t be HTML5.

The Good, The Bad and the Cat

Post GIS 2.0, FOSS4G 2011 Was Off the Hook, Sponsorships Don’t Matter and Go Giants

Monday’s after a good conference are always a load of fun. Hitting all that work you put aside to get involved with the future of GIS. But until I can get up my thoughts on the 2011 Edition of FOSS4G here are some things you probably should know.

PostGIS 2.0 is on the horizon. If you were unable to get to the session, check out the slides.

Paul Ramsey says FOSS4G 2011 was the best and tells you why. Hopefully 2011 is a blueprint for the future of FOSS4G.

Why all the focus on sponsorships as a metric to success? As far as I can tell, FOSS4G 2011 was a huge success and gave back lots of money to OSGeo. Anyone who wants FOSS4G to be more like GeoInt is freaking nuts.

Lastly the World Champs are teasing me with thoughts that they might actually make the playoffs. FOSS4G 2011 was all about the Giants putting the hurt on the Colorado Rockies. Glad I could be there to witness it.

GeoGit — The Correct Approach to Versioning in Location

So I’m stuck at Sky Harbor waiting for my flight (Thanks United for not being on time) and catching up on FOSS4G before I get there. One thing that caught my eye on the twitter feed was GeoGit.

Following on the core Versioning WFS work, in 2011 OpenGeo started experimenting with a new way to handle versioning, drawing on git, a distributed versioning system built for Linux and widely used.

I’ve been working on migrating my blog to being stored in Git (rather than MySQL) and the benefits of such a system are crystal clear. Most of us are used to versioning in legacy applications such as ArcSDE (What is that thing called these days? ArcGIS for Databases?) . You basically need a DBA to manage that junk and the idea that I’m going to pay anyone to be a DBA these days is ludicrous. Read what Chris Holmes writes about their thinking on using Git for a version control system and tell me you don’t want to have access to that. I’m already on board using Git for my version control, extending it further into other workflows is just brilliant.


Off to FOSS4G 2011

Tomorrow I’m heading up the hill to Denver (bringing my jacket it looks like). I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and basking in the huge open source geospatial community. It’s been a long time since FOSS4G was in North American and it could be a long time until that happens again.

We don’t need a bunch of cats in location, we need more dogs. FOSS4G 2011 will make dogs of all of us.