[OSGeo-Discuss] Introduction - hi; gis based wychwoodwork;pointers on how to enter "GIS" world?

Norman Barker nbarker at rsinc.com
Tue Mar 14 01:14:33 PST 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: M.Blackmore [mailto:mblackmore at oxlug.org]
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 10:32 PM
To: discuss at mail.osgeo.org
Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Introduction - hi; gis based
wychwoodwork;pointers on how to enter "GIS" world?

On Mon, 2006-03-13 at 17:58 +0000, Norman Barker wrote:

> Can I propose a UK meeting group, held in the London / Oxford areas?  I know a lot of people in the UK who are using OSS GIS software, perhaps we could have a wiki page somewhere and add our names to it if we are interested. 
Sounds good to me - anything with easy and cheap access sounds good to

Just to kick off an idea, I wonder if the Planning School at Oxford
Brookes University might be interested in hosting this? (My postgrad
alma mater ca 1999 where I completed an intended career-change Planning
qualification I haven't used professionally for family reasons - I'm
main carer of preschool children after a surprising turn of events when
well into our 40s! - and, alas, becoming clobbered by a degree of health
disability. Both of which limit my available time and can constrain

I've now recalled Rod Bachiller was running a GIS course at Brookes in
the mid 1990s, bi-ennially anyway, so I could check if there is still
any interest in the department and the possibility of a venue or
sponsorship? I'm not the best person to do this, though, as my contacts
are stale after some time with little contact whilst buried in
domesticity (frightening how time flies). Someone else may have better

> Certainly this type of UK forum would enable people to come to a workshop and ask questions face to face, though this mailing list does an excellent job, the social interaction is useful.
> In particular I would encourage you to come to the AGI conference in the UK, where Wyn Cudlip, myself, Gail Millin, Giulio Pagan, Jeremy Morley, Martin Daly (who's names I notice on this list) and others are speaking on Open Source GIS (http://www.agi.org.uk/pooled/articles/BF_EVENTART/view.asp?Q=BF_EVENTART_184699).

Erk, over a hundred knicker registration... As a volunteer I'm not sure
the project would stump up that sort of dosh, and as we are on a limited
family income due to having had to quit paid work some years back, I
can't afford to shell out from my own pocket (not mention travel costs)!
All I can do is run it past the director, I suppose. 
> Sounds like an interesting project, 

Indeed. The more I delve into the whole area (which is becoming my post
kids bedtime activity the last few days!) the more intellectually
interesting it becomes, and the more I see the possibilities of using
"media presentation" etc. to engage "Jo Public" and in particular the
younger generation, as one of the end products of capturing spatial

However, I'm a "map freak" - I love poring over Ordnance Survey (etc.)
maps of places I've been on holiday or cycle rides etc. as they "speak
pictures" to me (interestingly something I seem to have inherited from
my grandfather who did likewise). But I/we have to remember that an
awful lot of people - most people? - can't use or "see" maps this way,
and the power of graphic images that digitising technology enables can
allow things to be "seen" that would not otherwise be appreciated.

But the level of technical expertise that seems required to gain a
minimal comptetence is intimidating, particularly when starting from the
position of a complete novice where the most basic of core concepts are
alien and unknown! 


last year my boss funded lunch, and Edina (Edinburgh Uni) provided a room, lets see if we any one else wants to do this, and we could try and facilitate it for early summer time.  Sorry, didn't realise AGI had an admission charge, I guess an event of that size has large costs associated with holding it.  I would be looking for an interest of around 15 people to make it 'interesting', so that there can be a bit more of an open debate.

I am not going to hijack your thread, so to answer your questions, we do have a big problem with getting data in Europe.  To make the data compelling you will have to buy some (not that expensive you can buy it  by the 1km sq for archived aerial / satellite data), you can get VMAP level 0 data as well if you hunt around, this will give you some initial vectors and contours.

If any one wants to hold this event please mail.

Many thanks,


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