Category Archives: Open Source GIS

Top 10 Improvements I’d Like to See in ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop #8: Opening Esri

I read with interest a recent blog posting by Chris Holmes on Opening Esri and can see similar ideas in many current enhancement requests.

On OGC support I would like to see Esri:

And while we are talking web services, the Connection to ArcGIS Online should be on-demand  to stop the Find tool opening so slowly so often.

It would also be great to have some public domain and open source options for personal geodatabases like SQLite/SpatiaLite and PostgreSQL/PostGIS and it was heartening to see the former demonstrated at the Dev Summit.

If you are keen to see any/all of the above implemented, then I encourage you to follow the links to find corresponding ArcGIS Ideas awaiting your vote.

GeoRabble Brisbane #2


GeoRabble Brisbane #2 (GRB#2 a.k.a. Xmas party) kicked off at the Platform Bar by Central Station on Tuesday late afternoon with a quick intro on GeoRabble and an amusing video starring its Brisbane “organising committee” by Rob Clout.

This was followed by Wil Waters, who not only spoke but also did the groundwork on where we should hold GRB#2.  His presentation was on the work he did for Engineers Without Borders in Cambodia and it looked like he worked hard but had lots of fun.

Shaun Kolomeitz spoke next on the importance of Open Standards when working in an mixed environment of Open Source and Proprietary software, and on the innovation that a well balanced team working to a common goal can achieve.

Chris McAlister spoke about the re-vamped Destination Spatial that acts as a beacon for those seeking careers in Spatial.  Her enthusiasm for all things Spatial shone through and hopefully inspired a few more to volunteer some hours to the next generation.

Completing a great set was an inspiring presentation on reporting of koala sightings using KoalaTracker by its founder Alex Harris.  On a shoestring budget it is amazing what has been achieved through crowdsourcing to increase our understanding of Queensland’s faunal emblem to try and secure its future.

With 110 or so people attending GRB#2 we are soon to start planning GRB#3 which we hope to hold in March/April.  If you would like to help organise the event or to speak at it then please let us know ASAP using or contact me direct (, because we plan to hold our first organising meeting (at a pub) in a week or so.

Queensland Surveying & Spatial Conference 2012

I’m long overdue for making my first blog post in a very long while, so I hope no one has been looking for it daily. Since starting to trade as PolyGeo in late July, I have been doing the odd paid job but have mostly been preparing for the Queensland Surveying & Spatial Conference (QSSC) 2012 that took place in Brisbane last week.

My role in the conference was principally to run two workshops on OpenStreetMap and OGC Web Services respectively, but I also co-presented with Steve Jones of the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) on the Online Environmental Mapping Service (OEMS) Redevelopment Project. The latter involved me writing lots of Python/ArcPy code for a “maps on demand” application that requests maps to be created as PDF files via a Geoprocessing Service using a multitude of business rules.

For the OpenStreetMap workshop there was opportunity to investigate the ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap, or to use Potlatch to edit OpenStreetMap in a web browser, by following a short exercise that I put together, but I thought the star of the show was 1Spatial’s Andrew Harvey who has made many contributions to OpenStreetMap around Sydney. I was also very impressed by Nick Lawrence’s use of slides from David Dean after the latter could not attend, the OpenStreetMap Great Britain (OSM-GB) project presentation by Brett Madsen and an overview of the Esri Community Maps Program by Len Olyott.

When it came to OGC Interoperability, we worked to an ambitious idea of seeing how many client and server products we could use to test WMS, WMTS, WCS, WFS, WFS-T, WPS and CSW. It was only WFS-T and WPS that we fell short on, and this was largely due to the time factor. With much support from Denise McKenzie of the OGC ANZ Forum who gave an OGC overview, 1Spatial Australia (Brett Madsen), Esri Australia (Len Olyott & Craig Sandy), and Intergraph Australia (Defkalion Kaligridis & Anton Van Wyk) we were able to provide participants with written exercises to use the client(s) of their choice from Quantum GIS, GeoMedia Professional, Intergraph ERDAS Imagine and ArcGIS for Desktop to consume WMS, WMTS, WCS, WFS and/or CSW from Intergraph Geospatial Portal and APOLLO Server, Safe Software’s FME Server, Esri’s ArcGIS for Server and open source MapServer, GeoServer and GeoNetwork. Matthew Fry of Mipela GeoSolutions also provided us with WMS and WFS services from the X-Info Suite.

All in all it was a great workshop day and conference!