It is the first time I attend a conference in a different language (my mother tongue is Spanish). The conference mixes pure (mostly in German) and applied research (mostly in English).
Many things to share, so, let's start:
- The keynote talk was given by Harvey Miller from the University of Utah. Miller is an expert in transportation. He was focused on the concept of mirror worlds (inspired by this book) to ask what the appropriate mixture among transportation, GIScience and computers should be. According to him, a web of integrated transport services should be user-friendly and act on-demand. The word 'integrated' includes public and private transport, such as in the case you are going home driving your car and want to let people know that to offer them a sit, if they plan to take the same route.
- Then, I met Michael Martin, a Canadian guy who has been working in teaching people in Ethiopia and other countries on how to take advantage of GIS by becoming neo-geographers, needless to say, with free and open source software for geomatics. His project is called Mapping Across Borders, he will present it at the Third Open Source GIS conference in Nottingham. Michael also showed me what will be soon a new QGIS plug-in, an embedded video player to follow QGIS video-tutorials easily (without having to deal with multiple windows for a simple task). Nice!
- Afterwards, I met a relatively new database management system: DB4GeO. It is FOSS (see the project at GitHub), based on db4o, written in Java, supports 3D geometries, is object-oriented (not relational), uses R-tree spatial access and has a REST interface to allow web interaction. More info.
- During the break I met Tobias Kohr (Er ist sehr nett), he was awarded this year's 52° North Innovation Prize due to his work: "Development of a service based Geoportal enabling the Mapping of Whale Watching". He was working in Panama.
- Then, Klaus Drerup presented "Track-based OSM print maps", an approach to better and tile-based printed maps for hikers. Basically based on your GPX track you get a set of tiles (pages) corresponding to segments of the route. The algorithm ensures tiles cover all the track and each pair of tiles have a predefined overlap. Click here to access the service, you need a GPX-track with a single multi-line.
- Next, the project OpenFloorMap was explained. It aims to provide an architecture for extending OpenStreetMap data with floor maps based on the idea that buildings are not just points or polygons, as they are currently represented. One of the main use cases is indoor navigation.
- Finally, Sahib Jan showed an integration of qualitative spatial reasoning into GIS, specifically SparQ reasoner into OpenJump. Even though there is no official release so far, you can download an early version of the plug-in from here.
The Geoinformatik 2011 proceedings are already published as PDF, click here to download them.
I hope you find this post useful, I missed a barbecue to work on it! If not, next time I'll go to the barbecue :)
I have put the link to the track-based OSM print map service.