Geo Microformat

Kurt Schwehr's post about hCard reminded me of something I had been thinking about before Thanksgiving: the geo microformat needs to be towed into the shop for a major makeover. Compared to GeoRSS or GeoJSON it has very little power. I'm interested in applying hAtom to the Pleiades XHTML docs. Add location and I'd have something like an "hGeoRSS", but the geo microformat isn't going to be adequate for expressing the locations of Pleiades roads or regions.

New Geospatial Packages for Zope

As part of my work on migrating Pleiades to Plone 3, I'm distilling Zope packages from the original old-style Plone products. The zgeo.geographer introduces the conventional GIS data model of geometries, features, and collections (ala GeoJSON) to Zope and describes an interface for annotating objects with geographic location metadata. The zgeo.spatialindex provides a container-local R-Tree spatial index for geographically annotated objects, enabling fast spatial bounding box searches.


Re: New Geospatial Packages for Zope

Author: J.F.

Excellent news!

Fake Ed Parsons

Funny. Yesterday I would have bet that a fake Jack Dangermond would have been the first to appear. Ed really set himself up for this by being such a stark raving Apple fanboy.

Agile Schmagile

Just kidding, Dave. I know people feel the same about REST. There's some similarity between the Agile and REST movements: each really got going about 6-7 years ago and have only just now reached the GIS industry mainstream.


Re: Agile Schmagile

Author: Andrew Turner

Well, you could say that REST is finally reaching "mainstream" in general.

Re: Agile Schmagile

Author: Sean

Yes. I was introduced to XP in 2001, but now I'm more "post-XP" or "post-Agile". The processes just don't fit distributed open source development without modification.

Watching the Watchers

"Domestic Spying, Inc." via an All Points Blog post is a interesting look at GEOINT and the corporations who profit from expanding the War on Terror's home front. In comparison, the GIS media coverage of GEOINT was pretty much what you'd expect from a Trekker's account of Star Trek Con. Kirk Kuykendall also has commentary.

Geo Products Example Buildout

I've made a Plone 3 buildout to get people up and running with reliable versions of PleiadesGeocoder, SpatialIndex, and all their dependencies. You can get it from our repository, build it up, and start it like so:

$ svn co pgx
$ cd pgx
$ python
$ ./bin/buildout -v
$ ./bin/instance start

Create a Plone site through the ZMI, install the PleiadesGeocoder and SpatialIndex products through the Plone control panel, and you're all set to geocode and spatially index content. Unfortunately, it's not going to work on Windows. I haven't even started looking into how to build GEOS or the spatialindex lib on win32.


Re: Geo Products Example Buildout

Author: Howard Butler

GEOS should build just fine on Windows if you use the 3.0 branch. spatialindex is buildable on win32 with cygwin, but I couldn't get it to produce a linkable dll. I think mostly just elbow grease or nmake files is needed to make it go :)

Map of the Napa-Bordeaux Greenline

There's an interesting map in "Red, White and 'Green': The Cost of Carbon In the Global Wine Trade," a paper by Tyler "Dr Vino" Colman and Pablo Paster.

The authors find that transportation from vineyard to glass is the major factor in a bottle of wine's carbon footprint, and that east of the of the line the greater efficiency of shipping by boat offsets the distance between Bordeaux and Napa. See Colman's blog post for more. I can already visualize how an online version of their calculator would work.

Geocoding, GeoRSS, and KML for Plone 3

I've made the necessary configuration changes so that PleiadesGeocoder 1.0b2 works with Plone 2.5 or Plone 3.0. To deploy PleiadesGeocoder in a Plone 3 buildout, add geopy and simplejson to the buildout eggs in buildout.cfg:

eggs =

and add the PleiadesGeocoder tarball to the list of product distro URLs:

recipe = plone.recipe.distros
urls =

Then run the buildout script again to update.

Thanks to David Siedband for the initial testing on Plone 3.

Kindle: meh

I'll add to the spasm of shallow posts about Kindle in the geo blogosphere: the Kindle does nothing for me. I like paper books. I like the user interface and I like the freedom. Mark Pilgrim captures Amazon's evolving view on this freedom with a couple of quotes:

When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this.

Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild, 2002

You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.

Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007


Re: Kindle: meh

Author: James Fee

Well put Sean. Why do they keep going back to the same model that hasn't worked for years. I enjoy the feel of paper books and won't be buying any "eBooks" anytime soon.

Re: Kindle: meh

Author: Andrew Larcombe

Maybe Bezos is just one of those guys who surrounds himself by 'yes' men? I've yet to meet *anyone* (outside of the usual Web2.0-Bay Area suspects) who thinks Kindle is anything but a crock of £$%^. And ugly with it.