2014 Geo Open Source Conference Philadelphia

Meet-Up group GeoPhilly and LocationTech are holding a 2014 Geo Open Source Conference in Philadelphia on November 20, 2014. Philadelphia’s LocationTech event will be a conference-style speaker series featuring technical talks on the convergence of open source and geospatial. This will also be a GeoPhilly event hosted by Azavea. A social happy hour will follow.

To register please go to this link https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2014-geo-open-source-conference-presented-by-geophilly-and-locationtech-tickets-12168445147

Where We Came From and Where We are Going.

The NY times recently released an article looking at how Census data gives us insight into migrations patterns in the US. For each state you see the following information: where people from that home state have moved to and where they have moved from (by decade starting with the 1990 census and ending with the 2012 American Community Survey).  Within each of these migration patterns the data highlights what specific parts of the country people are coming from/leaving to.  For example, Florida’s data illustrates that in 1900 65% of Floridians were born in the state compared to just 36% in 2012.  The majority of the new migrants came from NY and other Northeastern states.   The out migration data shows that the majority of Florida residents have moved to other parts of the state, with other states in the South being the second destination.

The NY times did a great job visualizing the data into colored streams that are easy to understand.  The newspaper typically does a great job taking complex data and reformatting it for easy digestion.

Here’s  a link to the article:

The Promise and Pitfalls of Government APIs

How the City of Boston does Open Data.

Civic Innovations

Fresh off a week in San Diego for the annual Accela Engage conference (where Tim O’Reilly gave a keynote presentation) and some stolen hours over the weekend for hacking together an entry in the Boston HubHacks Civic Hackathon, I’ve got government APIs front of mind.

Getting to hear the Godfather of “Government as a Platform” speak in person is always a treat, and Tim was kind enough to share the awesome slide deck he used for his talk. The chance to follow up on an event like Engage with some heads down time to bang out a quick prototype for the City of Boston was a great opportunity to frame some of the ideas discussed at the conference.

For me, this quick succession of events got me thinking about both the promise and the pitfalls of government APIs.

APIs: The Promise

The thing I love the most about…

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Another Introduction to GIS

Nice summary of what GIS is. There are many definitions out there.

Texas A&M Geoservices

There are several definitions used while explaining geographic information systems (GIS).  One of the most popular definitions for GIS is “a computer-based system to aid in the collection, maintenance, storage, analysis, output, and distribution of spatial data and information. (Bolstad)”  GIS helps us gather and use spatial data;  it is concerned with absolute and relative location of features (the where) and it’s concerned with properties and attributes of those features (the what).

GIS quantifies locations by recording their coordinate positions on Earth (latitude/longitude).  GIS tools are essential in business, government, education, and non-profit organizations (Bolstad).  It helps us identify and address environmental problems by providing information on where the problems occur and who are affected by them.  Using GIS we are able to identify the source, location, and extent of environmental impacts.

Advances in three key technologies have helped aid in the development of GIS; imaging, GNSS, and computing.  Cameras…

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