Moving the Home Office

Moving the home office is always interesting, you find so much that you’ve done over the past years and just stuck in a drawer or a shelf. Companies you worked for, RaspberryPis that never were used. Keys to a safety deposit box you don’t recall its location. But that is what makes moving therapeutic, cleaning out the old, unused parts of your life and focusing on the ones that make you happy. Do I need a puppet of Andrew Turner1 in my desk, nope. But I do need the things that make me happy. So now that I’ve boxed up everything but the work MacBookP Pro, I feel strangely at rest2.

  1. I still love Andrew, just haven’t had the need for his head on a stick. 

  2. At least until I have to unpack and realize that if I had only kept that RaspberryPi, my life would be so much better. 

WordPress to Jekyll again

About 4 years ago I moved my blog from WordPress to Octopress. That process was a total hack and eventually I moved back to WordPress because I had just too many blog posts and Jekyll took 10 minutes to build the site before publishing. Since then I’ve dealt with WordPress and it’s issues but generally it has gotten much better. But I’ve grown tired of hosting my own blog and the security updates so I had two choices. Move to or move to Github Pages. Clearly you can see I took the latter route. The migration is a piece of cake, just used a simple python script and converted all my WordPress XML to markdown. Then just push to Github. The results as you see them?

  • Blog looks bare, I haven’t themed it yet
  • 404 errors galore
  • Feed probably spammed you
  • Killed comments1
  1. Not coming back 

What’s Next? Matrix New World Engineering

So you may have seen last week that I resigned from AECOM.

Well I’ve ended up at Matrix New World Engineering as the National Practice Leader for GIS and Geospatial Services.  I’m going to miss the guys at AECOM and working as Project Manager on the BLM Navigator1 data sharing portal but the opportunity with Matrix is something I could not pass up.  In a twist, I will be working more closely with Esri technology.  That means you’ll see me blogging more about Esri again.  That said the first program I bought at Matrix was Safe FME Desktop so you can see my overall goals aren’t changing.

Tied in with this is ArcGIS for Server on Azure.  I’m jumping in with two feet it appears.  But don’t worry, you won’t be seeing any ArcObjects or Dojo posts from me.  It’s interesting to try to get back on where Esri server software has gone over the past 5 years I’ve ignored it.  Google searches of course make me laugh a bit.

The bottom goals don’t change though.  Sharing data and liberating data from silos.  Making smart choices with open source technology and embracing Python and JavaScript over Java and .NET.  My Esri account is locked out of ArcGIS Online (who even knows how to get that fixed) so step one is cleaning out the garage2 in my mind.

Now I had promised Hangouts with James Fee starting back mid-October.  Well given my job change it was difficult to get that started back up.  It’s being pushed back to November and my first guest will be the always interesting Ian White.  Stay tuned for the schedule.

  1. Replacing the busted old BLM Communicator 

  2. Or is that gutter? 

10 Years Ago on Spatially Adjusted – “Ron Lake – What is KML?”

10 years ago, Google Earth was still somewhat unknown.  It had its big coming out party with a natural disaster1 and people started doing amazing things with it.  If there was one person back in 2005 that knew XML spatial formats, it was Ron Lake.  He wrote a commentary on KML 10 years ago this week.  I for one read his article with 10 years of time to think about they implications of KML and see why from his perspective KML was not able to handle his needs.

Back then we all thought KML was the future and there wasn’t much that couldn’t be done.  I think now we all realize that KML is the new PDF except we knew that 10 years ago.  XML of course is never the answer…

  1. Katrina 

10 Years Ago on Spatially Adjusted – “Being Open Doesn’t Guarantee Success”

I never “celebrated” 10 years of Spatially Adjusted mostly because I forgot about it.  I was cleaning up the site earlier this week and noticed there was some good content back then, it definitely had a different tone but hey, I’m 10 years older now.  I’m going to post a “best of” link every week to a 10-year-old article for the rest of the year.  Some of it will be thought-provoking[footnote]disclaimer: probably not[/footnote] and some of it will be laughable.  At any rate 10 years ago this week there were a couple posts about hurricane tracking that were interesting given that it was about Katrina, but this one caught my eye.

Being Open Doesn’t Guarantee Success

All the openness in the world won’t make any product successful, but listening to your customers will. The feeling that I’ve gotten from ESRI over the past year is that they have finally begun to realize that their road to continued success is supporting users like us. Don’t confuse the hype surrounding Google Maps/Earth with them being open and listening to their customers. There is no company that likes to hide behind their logo more than Google and they will do whatever it takes to not have to be open. There is a reason people are beginning to realize that Google is the next Microsoft (while Microsoft seems to have becomethe next IBM). Believe me, ESRI has a LONG WAY TO GO before they are as open as we’d all like them to be, but they do listen to their customers and that is a start.

Well the whole post is sort of like that, me claiming that Esri has been more open than Google or others.  The context with this is they started allowing their employees to blog and contact people directly, it was a big shift from the traditional call a phone number support.  So we were all so excited to see Esri employees blogging and responding to our articles.  Well eventually it all collapsed into a corporate marketing blog cycle but at that moment it looks like we felt like Esri was changing.