Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

FOSS4G Day Two

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Good morning/afternoon/evening/night from Victoria. End of Day Two of FOSS4G, and the now infamous Reception and Dinner. But, in order, for me today was mainly a database and web app day. This morning there were some incredibly useful talks comparing MapServer and GeoServer, then MySQL and PostgreSQL for a range of different situations and loads. Time for much reconfiguring of servers when I get back methinks!

Another session that I saw was on Sextante, which is a spatial analysis extension to gvSIG, a really promising Spanish desktop GIS. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s only available in Spanish I would be recommending it wholeheartedly, but for those of us who are somewhat linguistically challenged we’ll have to wait until the English version comes out later in the year. It does look great though- and quite easy to add in things like new algorithms and models without having to totally rewrite the extension.

This afternoon I saw a couple of sessions on web apps- one on 3D GIS for the web- really interesting, but as always it comes down to the availability of browser plugins. If someone could explain to me how it makes commercial sense to create a non-free browser plugin I’d be very grateful.

I’m afraid I got a bit of conference fatigue after that, so the next thing that got my attention was the festivities in the evening. The IMAX presentation of Titanica was frankly bizarre- but that was the film rather than the setting. The meal was set in the Royal BC Museum, amongst the displays, which was very cool and very strange. Most enjoyable. Again it was another opportunity to put faces to names- and to meet some interesting new people.  I seem to have promised to attempt an all-nighter tomorrow, as some kind of way of fending off jetlag on the return journey, so I’d better get some sleep…

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