Leaving WeoGeo

Today is my last day at WeoGeo. I am looking forward to taking a much needed vacation in Kona, Hawaii and then sitting down and thinking about what I want to do next.

As always, you can reach me at


GeoPackage Comment Period is Open

The comment period is open for the GeoPackage.

The candidate OGC GeoPackage (GPKG) Standard provides an open, non-proprietary, platform-independent container for distribution and direct use of all kinds of geospatial data. The GeoPackage container and related API will increase the cross-platform interoperability of geospatial applications and web services in the mobile world. Standard APIs for access and management of GeoPackage data will provide consistent query and update results across such applications and services.

What’s not to love? I described the need for the GeoPackage from the perspective of WeoGeo over on the WeoGeo Blog:

I have gotten a lot of feedback on my blog and twitter saying that an OGC format like GeoPackage is stupid, bloated, and destined for failure and that we should all continue what we are doing because the market will decide. To me that is just sticking your head in the sand. The market is searching for something besides SHP and GeoTIFF and is waiting for leadership. There is only one organization that can get this implemented across the world (well Google did a pretty good job with KML before that became an OGC format) and that’s the OGC. They are secretive, obfuscated, backwards and their website is a classic case of poor user interfaces. That said, I’m VERY hopeful for GeoPackage becoming a standard.

The GoePackage is going to happen, that’s not in doubt. But if you don’t take the time to comment on the GPKG (I even like typing that) you lose all right to complain about it later. You’ve been warned. I feel like this guy trying to wash a car today. Don’t let this opportunity out of your grasp.

Car Wash


1 More Week Until FME 2013 Drops

Strange Brew

Ever year like clockwork, Safe Software unveils their next generation FME release. There is of course a boatload of new features in FME 2013 but here are some I’m really looking forward to:

  • GeometryValidator – One validator to rule them All
  • Joiner – supports Google Fusion Tables among other new formats
  • FeatureColorSetter – All the ColorSetters are now in one transformer. Much nicer!
  • JSONFormatter – gotta have that
  • AutoDesk IMX Writer – I can’t tell you how many of my CAD friends have migrated to AIM.
  • CouchDB Reader/Writer – Finally an excuse to use it more.
  • SpatiaLite Reader/Writer- Natch

I’m holding my breath on Macintosh OS X Workbench support and a Minecraft Reader/Writer. Probably gonna have to wait for FME 2014…

But all that will be revealed next week at their “Unveiling FME 2013: A Special Launch Day Event”. I’ll be there and you should too.


I guess 80% of data has a location component

Four months ago I made a big deal about the “80% of data is spatial” myth.

Now it could be that the stat is true. I’m horrible at darts, but sometimes I do get a bullseye so maybe we all nailed it with this one. But until someone can actually back this stat up with real facts, I’m calling bullshit and you should too. Stop throwing it into your PowerPoint slide decks and executive summaries.

Generally it was attributed to a couple people, but nothing substantial. I mean putting it in your PowerPoint slide deck hurts no one, right?

Well linked off the front page of Esri is their Location Analytics page describing whatever that is and right in the middle is:


Well there you go, it must be true because I can’t imagine Esri using that quote without research. I wish they’d put a description at the bottom to see where that came from, I really want to know.

My own feeling is that the quote should go like this:

100% of data has a spatial component you haters

Feel free to reference this page for your presentations.


Obligatory Top 10 WeoGeo Datasets of 2012

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t throw out my own top 10 list?

There was a lot of data posted to WeoGeo Market in 2012. Picking my favorites was not easy and since you are supposed to do a top 10 list this time of year, I figured why not do one with data on WeoGeo. What’s special about all these datasets is that they are free to download and have been liberated from difficult to use websites.

It was a great year for us getting raw geospatial datasets in an easily digestible system. As I said over there, 2013 will even be better with our freely available, curated, authoritative datasets. Giddy up!
OpenStreetMap Planet


The one where mapping web services are free for the taking

The first hangout this year was all about using mapping web services. James Swansburg of Uber Weather came in to talk about how he’s using the Google Maps API, other Google APIs, Fusion Tables, and Azure to create his weather application, Uber Weather. Uber Weather is in the Google Places API Developer Challenge 2012 and is awaiting the final judging results. We talked about how James is using Google services such as mapping, weather, Flight Explorer and other services. We also talked about how WeoGeo made using OSM data easier for him to integrate (that’s how I met him).

As always, you can review the IRC log on the WeoGeo Video page.

We’re moving Hangouts with James Fee to bi-weekly this year so our next hangout will be January 16th with Ian White of Urban Mapping. That should be a great time.


This Week’s Hangout:: Going above and beyond with Uber Weather

Well we’re back at it with the hangouts right away in 2013. This week’s special guest is James Swansburg of Uber Weather to talk about his new weather application. James came to our attention when he used our OSM dataset to get ski resort chair lifts on his weather map. We’ll talk about why he wants to use OSM data, how Uber Weather is doing in the Google Places API Challenge and how James uses spatial data in his applications. OSM data is very powerful and this is just another great example of using it to give your applications a little something extra, easily. As always we go live at 10am PDT on the WeoGeo Video page.

We’ll be talking on the IRC channel again so either show up to the Hangout page on WeoGeo or better yet, point your IRC client to #hwjf on