Wikimaps - Dynamic maps with Wiki technology
Wikimaps shows what has been done up to now (basically collecting links and exchanging ideas) Find more technical details of the Proposal for a Wikimaps Architecture. The WikiProject Geographical coordinates just implemented a method to store geodata within a Wiki page. This is a first step in adding spatial reference to a Wiki page.
Free Software is one of the root movements which help transform information society into knowledge society. The curernt fight is between content and wisdom. You can DRM content but not wisdom. The concept behind Free Software helps to understand why a growing worldwide community of knowledge workers have decided to live these ideas. Take your time finding your place in this colorful community and don't be bothered by all those specialists who do not tire telling you what the one and only single truth is. Be assured, there are always a few others around who think differently.
The Geodata Problem
Geodata comes in different tastes: geo, geographic, geospatial, remote sensing, vector, raster, whatever. All of them have several things in common:
- in most cases geodata is not Free (in any sense)
- geodata can be(come) really very, very large (talking about terabytes)
- large institutions can afford to create and maintain geodata, but often they wont share
- public administrations are reluctant to Free their data for a host of reasons that will keep them busy to sort out for the next years (I gave up waiting...)
- map semantics are just starting to be discovered and studied
- cataloging worldwide geodata, maps an map services has not yet been tackled at all
An empowered knowledge community needs Free access to geodata and maps, anywhere and at any time. Web technology makes maps accessible without having to buy expensive GIS software. The problematic workflow is:
- create geodata
- create maps from that data
- make those maps available to Wiki contributors, authors, editors with easy access
- provide a reliable infrastructure
- overlay and intersect with other geodata
Technology is not the problem there are enough Open Source GIS software projects.
- MapServer map and geometry server
- GeoServer map and transactional geometry server
- deegree building blocks for spatial data infrastructures
- Mapbender map client framework
- PostGIS spatial data engine
- Geonetwork catalog and metadata implementation
- MapTools collection of GIS related Open Source software
- OSSIM Remote Sensing
- GDAL Geospatial Data Library
- OpenSceneGraph 3D Viz
- OGR vector libs
- PROJ4 map projection
- uDig Desktop GIS
- Digital Earth collaborative geotech weblog
- Free Software GIS list of really Free software, data and projects
- Open Source GIS unsorted list of what else there is
The Free and Open Source GIS Community has founded the Open Source Geospatial Foundation in February 2006. The OSGeo Wiki focuses on bringing together Software, Architecture, Spatial Data and people working in this realm. Join in, it is Open and Free.
Watch out for events and dates on the homepage of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.