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Workshops and conferences

FOSS4G 2013 and Metadata

Hardcore Geekery

A while back, my supervisors suggested that I attend the Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) conference; at first I was a bit reluctant, as I felt like I’d be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, given my background of working for proprietary software and general ‘poo-poo’-ing of open source software as ‘inferior’, but I saw it as an opportunity to educate myself and I’m glad that I did.

At first, the general atmosphere of geekery was a intimidating (strange to use ‘geek’ and ‘intimidating’ in the same sentence), but it was so invigorating to see how much everyone cared about what was going on and how they wanted to solve real world problems for the betterment of humanity (and not just their own bank accounts).

I’m currently a little out of the loop when it comes to development (these days doing more geospatial analyses and writing), but I was curious to see what new technologies were being used. The talks on innovations with Leaflet, GeoServer, and OpenLayers were particularly interesting, and everyone was excited about the release of QGIS 2.0. I was personally ready to take feverish notes on what everyone was using and was elated to get a disk of OSGeo Live which had every technology discussed at the conference an then some.

So… many… Open Source… TOYS!

It wasn’t all fun and games, though, as I was standing in for Dr. Ellul for her talk on Geospatial Metadata. She was kind enough to pass on her presentation to me, but different presenters have different styles, so I remade it in my own – maintaining the message but giving it with my voice (the presentation can be found here). I did the best that I could to get people interested in Metadata… at 9am… on the last day of the conference…

After the presentation, I reviewed my twitter feed (@mapperpat) and saw this:

may be my fav talk

No presentation is complete without an image of a cat

I have to say, I’m extremely flattered by the compliment, but more importantly, I’m glad I was able to get the importance of our work out there. For local councils or anyone who may need to be (or is interested in being) INSPIRE compliant, please contact Dr. Claire Ellul for further information about this project or check out her research profile for information on other projects she is involved with.


About Patrick R

Patrick Rickles is a full time Research Associate at University College London for the Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) research group. Patrick handles management and bespoke technology development for the team and various projects so that research aims may be met. He is also a part-time PhD student researching how people learn and how we may better teach Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through interdisciplinary applications to aid in its successful uptake and application to analyses. Patrick is also working on his PhD (part time), researching education techniques for efficiently and effectively teaching Geographic Information Systems in Interdisciplinary Research.


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