There's going to be a Java Worldwind as well as .NET Worldwinds? Does this multiplication seem like a waste of resources to anyone else? What's wrong with .NET? Does this imply that Mono is still a toy? Why wasn't it written once in C++ or Java? That's a lot of questions, but I'm seriously baffled.
I was just solicited to write some blog-ola about a vaguely geo-related product that I'll never use. Weird. I'd never do that in a million years.
Speaking of commercial products: Fall -- and Saison -- couldn't arrive soon enough beer-wise. New Belgium's summer seasonal beer, Skinny Dip, was as gustatorially disappointing as it was profitable. Carefully and precisely made, it had no aftertaste, no middle taste ... no flavor at all, to be honest. This was a beer for the masses, for people who found Fat Tire to be far too heavy and rich. Even the tasteless bots who drink Smirnov coolers found Skinny Dip to be refreshingly and perfectly unchallenging. I should have seen this coming a couple years ago when I got the awesome (I'm serious!) behind-the-curtains tour of the N.B. cellaring operation, and learned that the favorite in-house brew of the cellaring team was their lightest beer at the time: Loft. Skinny Dip must have started as an after-work bet:
"Dude -- I bet we can make a beer more crisp than Loft."
"Oh yeah? I bet we can make a beer crispier than Bud Lite!"
Trey Beck is organizing a first local Plone meetup:
Friday October 13 at 6:00 pm at the Alliance Building, 1536 Wynkoop St (next door to the Tattered Cover in LODO). We'll have internet access and a projector, I think. Spread the word!
I'm looking forward to hearing what people are up to, and to showing off Pleiades and PrimaGIS.
Last "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" I wrote and tore up several lackluster posts about GeoDRM. None of them had the "Arr" I was searching for. I'd received emails offline from an OGC person who was trying to convince me that it's too early to criticize GeoDRM; that it is just a reference model, reference models can't be implemented, that it has nothing to do with implementations. This is a person I know, respect, and like, and I regret to say that I wasn't convinced. Now is the critical framing stage of the GeoDRM debate. I'm opposed to heavy-handed technological enforcement of copyright, and I'm not going to sit on my hands while the debate is framed in favor of enforcement.
Pleiades reached its first data milestone today. We've loaded up all point features from the Barrington Atlas Map 65: Lycia-Pisidia. Map 65 (dead center of the locator map) was compiled by C. Foss and S. Mitchell, and edited by R. Talbert (see credits). The Pleiades portal provides KML and GeoRSS views of all features and folderish collections of features. The latter are used within the site in conjunction with several OpenLayers-based maps.
Lycia was an early Greek colony in Asia Minor and, later, a Roman province. Pisidia is mountainous country, and its peoples mounted a long insurgency against Greeks and Romans. Archaeologists are active in this region: at Sagalassos and Choma (site currently down) in particular. The Choma network link from Pleiades is well worth a visit. The dig itself is found 1.5 kilometers NE of the 1:500,000 scale Pleiades placemark. Google has recent high-resolution imagery for the region, and you can easily see the site and excavation. The next development milestones for Pleiades focus on creating the scholarly workflow that will improve the locations, historical names, and bibliographic references of these features. Dare we call it "Scholarship 2.0"?
All contemporary features can be viewed using the Imperial Roman period network link.
Initial startup funding for Pleiades is generously provided by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities with a two-year grant (2006-2008) through its Preservation and Access Research and Development program. Hosting for Pleiades during this period is provided by the Stoa Consortium and the Collaboratory for Research in Computing for Humanities at the University of Kentucky.
It's interesting that MapServer doesn't make the cut on the OSGeo web mapping matrix (rev 8323).
Markus Neteler has news about the scripting interface to GRASS. Welcome to the blogosphere, Markus.
Seems like a good fit to me. ESRI doesn't have any investment in the Python language or community. I think the company simply chose the language with the least syntactic distance from Avenue. I've been following news of IronPython since Hugunin switched to it from Jython. This was prior to his hire by Microsoft. I have not yet downloaded it to confirm directly, but I expect that it would be -- via the CLR and COM interop -- a better bridge to all the COM in ArcGIS than is C Python.
What's in the brand spanking new Python 2.5 for geospatial folks? New standard libs:
- ctypes: call functions exposed from DLLs and shared libraries. This gives us an even more direct way to leverage geospatial libraries than SWIG does.
- ElementTree: the natural way to program with XML now ships with Python.
- cProfile: I've been using the slow profile.py quite a bit in developing the Python cartographic library. This more efficient module comes out of Google's Summer of Code.
- 341: Consistent exception handling -- finally.
- 343: Context management not unlike Ruby blocks.
Python 2.5 is also significantly faster than 2.4, string programming in particular.