Wednesday, 18 April 2012

FOSS4G-NA 2012 review

Last week I was at FOSS4G-NA in Washington DC.  It was my first time in DC, and my first FOSS4G as a member of the OpenGeo team. Both were very pleasant experiences!

One of the keynotes was by Josh Berkus of PostgresQL talking about "firehose databases".  FOSS4G is always a firehose conference, and this one was no exception.  I missed many more talks than I wanted to take in, for various reasons - the 3 simultaneous tracks, my own commitments to talks and OpenGeo work, and often because it's just such a good chance to talk to great people from all around the FOSS4G world.

Here are some of the my conference highlights:
  • another inspiring keynote from Paul Ramsey, on the origins and future of open source
  • the Ignite Spatial talks, which were fast, fascinating and funny
  • a panel discussion which hit on the need for a replacement for the shapefile (PLEASE!)
  • hearing Josh Berkus talk about the impressive new features coming in PostgresQL 9.2 (JSON, index-only scans, SP_GIST, to name a few)
  • Andrew Turner's fastpacedpresentationonGeoIQ
  • meeting Kevin Web and hearing more about OpenTripPlanner
  • discussing skeletonization, long-distance hiking, and sewage treatment with Stephen Mather 
  • talking to Josh Marcus about GeoTrellis, an engine for scalable geoprocessing
  • talks on using NoSQL DBs such as MongoDB and HBase for storing and querying spatial data
  • a discussion with Javier  de la Torre of CartoDB about the need for a spatially-sensitive sampling technique (a la Oracle's SAMPLE clause) in PostGIS.  We ended up discussing this with Josh Berkus (since he was sitting at the next table!) and apparently there is some work starting on this in PostgreSQL.  Hopefully this will extend to spatial datasets as well.
  • and of course, meeting lots of people using JTS!

Here's a few other reviews from around the web:


Regina Obe said...

and you forgot Josh's review :)

I guess you guys really made an impression on him. I regret missing it.

Dr JTS said...

Good find, Regina!

It was great having him at the conf, and it will good if this leads to more synergy between the PostgreSQL and PostGIS worlds. After all, spatial is a great place to find big gnarly DB use cases...

Regina Obe said...

Yes I agree. BTW next book we are working on is:

"Up and Running with PostgreSQL"

will be published by O'Reilly

Leo and I are finalizing the first draft this week and getting to review phase next week. Much shorter book than PostGIS in Action though. Hope to have a Sequel to PostGIS in Action once the PostGIS 2 series warms up a bit. :)