Esri Dev Meetup — Phoenix

Looks like there will be another Esri Dev Meetup in Phoenix next month. This one will be fun as it is in Tempe, rather than Phoenix so there will be ample opportunity to have drinks afterwards. If you are in the Arizona area, you should drop by and say hi to everyone. This one is at Robbie Fox’s so it should taste really good.


Google Charging for Google Maps API Access? So What?

Something happened that is not too surprising:

Introduction of usage limits to the Maps API

To assist in evaluating whether your site is exceeding the usage limits we will shortly be adding the Maps API to the Google APIs Console. Once available you will be able to track your usage in the APIs Console by providing an APIs Console key when you load the Maps API. If you find that your site does exceed the usage limits each day you can opt to pay for your excess usage by enabling billing on your APIs Console project. We will then start billing excess usage to your credit card when we begin enforcing the usage limits in early 2012.

You know what? Good for them. I’d like to think that proving good-looking map tiles with a great API is a good business model. When Google gave away the farm, there was no business model. Everyone just used Google’s tiles and thought nothing of it. The rest of the world who tried to price their tiles so that they could build a business around it were beaten down (Remember something called deCarta?).

Now I suspect we’ll see some great creative choices out there that will give users with many options. I think back to this great blog post by Paul Ramsey many years ago. Now there is hope for everyone in this space to succeed because free beer isn’t sustainable.

Google Foot Smash

Googlezilla’s foot seems to not be coming down just yet.


Atanas’ Lawyer Publishes a Public Appeal

For those who are following (and hopefully have donated) here is an update from Atanas’ lawyer:

As you are well aware, on June 17, 2011 ICE Director John Morton issued a memo to ICE Field Office Directors to provide guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. As has always been true pursuant to prior policy, prosecutorial discretion can be exercised at any point in the removal process, including after entry of an Order of Deportation. The memo lists the factors, both positive and negative, that should be considered when evaluating requests for prosecutorial discretion. An analysis of these factors shows that many positive factors and no negative factors apply to Atanas, Mayia and Enislav.

It will take a couple of minutes to read through the post but it is worth it to better understand immigration in the United States and how nuts it all is.


Freeatanas Best Thing Youll Read All Day

Brian Timoney has a way with words.

Having little faith in the efficacy of appealing to the better nature of politicians, I would nonetheless urge you to, in addition to the methods of support listed above, drop a line to Atanas’ Senate and Congressional representatives asking why taxpayer money is being wasted on imprisoning a non-criminal immigrant entrepreneur and his family members

If everyone who will read this post in the next 24 hours gives $3 to the Atanas Entchev support fund, we’ll have over $5,000 raised for Atanas’ defense. It doesn’t take much.


Latest on Atanas Entchev – Donate to help with his legal expenses

I’ve lifted this directly from his blog:

A Plea For Help
After living legally in the United States for over 20 years, I was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on an immigration charge, and am currently facing deportation. My son Eni, 21, who came to the United States at the age of two, is also detained and wears an orange jumpsuit through no fault of his own. We continue to pursue all possible legal avenues to remain in the US our home.

However, our 18-year immigration ordeal has depleted our resources. My detention is about to cripple my small IT consulting business. We cannot keep up with our growing expenses, and I have no other choice but to turn to the community for help.

I ask friends and sympathizers of our cause to donate to our legal fund. No donation is too small. Please spread the word.

Thank you for your kindness, and God bless you.

Posted for Atanas Entchev, by his daughter, Christina

Atanas Entchev

Atanas Entchev

It is disturbing to hear this happen to Atanas. There is a Paypal donation link on his blog to fund his legal defense and I’d urge everyone reading this to give at least a few dollars. What I do know about Atanas is that he would be the first to give to anyone else’s cause so we should pay him back in kind.


UPDATED! Stand Up for Atanas Entchev

UPDATE: More news on Atanas from Bill Dollins. Randal Hale was able to login to the ENTCHEV blog and post a note. Caitlin Dempsey also has an entry on GIS Lounge. Please don’t forget to send in a support letter making sure you put your signature to it. Hopefully this can all get figured out for Atanas and his family.

Both Atanas and his wife may be in detainment!

John Reiser blogs about a serious matter happening to a close friend of all of us, Atanas Entchev.

Last week, I received an email from Mayia, his wife, asking for letters of support as he is facing deportation.

Says Mayia:

I am writing you on behalf of my husband, Atanas Entchev, and our family. As you may know, Atanas and I emigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria 20 years ago. Today, our immigration case is at a crossroads, and it is pertinent that we obtain letters of recommendation from the community. I am reaching out to you because you have been a colleague, client, or valued business contact of Atanas?. I am hoping you may be able to write a letter of recommendation for him. Time is of the essence, and it it crucial that we gather these letters as soon as possible, by today would be best.

There are instructions on that page letting you know what you need to do to help out Atanas. If you’ve ever had any interaction with Atanas, I’d urge you to give him some help. I’m going to write my support email right now.


WhereCampPHX 2011 — Success!

Last Saturday, we had the first ever WhereCampPHX in Arizona. I was very happy with the attendance and after the first jitters of never being to a unconference before, the crowd totally got into it. In fact, I had many people come up to me after and say they wanted to do another one right away because they had no idea how much fun they can be if you take part. In what was unique for me at a WhereCamp, there seemed to be two tracks that people created. One of “traditional” GIS (scripting geoprocessing, map servers, analysis) and then another one that focused on new technologies. I spent most of my time in the second one where there was discussions on Google Fusion Tables, Google Earth Builder, TileMill, Places APIs, Vectors in the browser (Polymaps, Raphael.js) and back-end databases.

Getting Ready for the Sessions

It was a nice change of pace to have a WhereCamp in my hometown and not having to travel to another state or country. The feedback from those who attended clearly shows that there is a need for these more informal sessions as opposed to the traditional conferences. Having the first one of these here in Arizona gives us a leg up on the next one since most of the crowd now knows what to expect and they can propose their own topics.

We also had a great time at the Turf Pub for the after party (thanks Bentley for the food) watching Arizona State fall behind and then blow out Oregon State. My plans are to have some sort of event (maybe an Ignite style talk program) or another unconference in the spring so we can continue what we’ve started. Everyone who attended seemed to have their minds filled with new ideas after the day so there needs to be some downtime to implement all the new stuff we’ve learned.


Mapnik, the Cartography Engine of GIS, Goes 2.0

Mapnik 2.0 has been released:

The Mapnik team is pleased to announce that Mapnik 2.0 is finally here! We’ve jumped from 0.7 to 2.0, not because we got confused with our numbers, but to reflect that this release represents a big step forward for the project. We believe Mapnik 2.0 will provide a much more flexible and expressive platform for creating beautiful maps.

For details you can read the milestone list or change logs. Unless you are under a rock, Mapnik is everywhere and used by everyone. FOSS4G 2011 was dominated by two projects, Mapnik and PostGIS. Good company if you ask me.