[OSGeo-Discuss] New Mexico local chapter?

Pericles S. Nacionales naci0002 at umn.edu
Sun Feb 4 17:46:16 PST 2007


I, for one, think it would be a great idea!  I know Karl and others at UNM and 
that they've been proponents of open source geospatial software for quite 
sometime. As you work on your local chapter's agenda, you might want to 
browse through the web and wiki pages of the many OSGeo 
projects/initiatives--we currently have the Education ad Curriculum committee 
(http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Education_and_Curriculum_Committee, which 
hopefully will become active again soon), the public geodata project 
(http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Public_Geospatial_Data_Project), and of 
course all the software projects.  The public geodata project is quite active 
on IRC (channel #osgeo) as are the other OSGeo committees, please feel free 
to join in and participate.

I'm sure others will have more to add but let me be the first to say, welcome!

On Sunday 04 February 2007 18:11, Zachary L. Stauber wrote:
> Hi All,
> 	Some of us down here in New Mexico (or up depending on your orientation)
> want to start a local chapter.  I've started a wiki here listing some info
> on us. http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/New_Mexico
> Anyone think it's a great idea?
> A bad idea?
> Too small of an area?
> Too big?
> Just right?
> Before you answer let me go into a little bit of why we need a chapter.  I
> work for a private engineering firm that does photogrammetry that does a
> high volume of orthophotos plus I teach photogrammetry part time at the
> local tech-voc institute where we can't afford the usual software.  I'd
> like to see the software cheaper (specifically, free) and developers pay
> more attention to bug fixes and so on, which open source usually does.  So
> I need a vehicle for starting up photogrammetry in open source, and rather
> that duplicating efforts, we figured we'd join OSGeo.  My co-worker John
> Nipper is a programmer with experience in programming for aerial cameras
> and LiDAR sensors and wants to help.  But we also need to be able to
> solicit help from experts in the field, professors of photogrammetry and
> surveying, mathematics, etc., and open source is the only neutral ground on
> which we can easily work together.
> My colleague and chair of the GIT program at the tech-voc school Amy
> Ballard wants to offer a class just on open source software.  She believes
> it's taking off and will is useful in real jobs around New Mexico, and she
> wants to encourage its further use.
> R. Cliff Wilkie, geodetic surveyor for the City of Albuquerque, wants to
> offer users some shifting and reprojection software for surveyors to
> manipulate their points that operates transparently and has a good manual
> or explanation of the mechanics internally so people know what's happening
> to their data, for people like him to whom 1mm is a significant error.
> Karl Benedict is hosting the server.  He's the senior research analyst and
> IT manager for the University of New Mexico's Earth Data Analysis Center. 
> He's been 100% open source for years now, big user of the usual suspects
> (MapServer, Linux, SOAP, and so on), and is all for encouraging their use
> in the GIS community in New Mexico.
> I think we have a unique setup here, not only having people from all three
> communities (private, government, and academic) but most important working
> in some fields that are somewhat esoteric.  GoogleEarth has millions of
> users, and with it things like MapServer.  Desktop GIS has tens of
> thousands around the world, but photogrammetry and high accuracy geodesy,
> probably only several hundred.  So there are a lot of things being
> developed in the high volume areas of open source that get a lot of
> attention, and the esoteric ones don't so much, which is too bad because
> the commercial software available suffers in quality from the same dynamic.
>  There are only a dozen photogrammetry packages out there compared to
> scores of desktop GIS, and most of them are flirting with a price around
> US$20,000 per component, per license.
> The US National Geodetic Survey provides some tools for datum shifts and
> reprojecdtions like CorpsCon, but they are US-centric, and the development
> is controlled by a body which is not funded as well as it should be
> considering it's the foundation on which all geographic data is collected. 
> Some software is still DOS-only.
> We need to be part of OSGeo so development can make sure the intellectual
> property rests in the public domain and the development is still controlled
> by a long-lived body devoted to the task like OSGeo rather than the US
> federal government or any private business.  They can donate money and
> their peoples' time to us, grants, etc., but development that goes into a
> private box is notoriously cumbersome to update, doesn't have a wide range
> of users to test it, and has a habit of dying off.
> 	-Zack Stauber
> _______________________________________________
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> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
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Perry Nacionales
Dept. of Forest Resources
University of Minnesota
naci0002 at umn.edu

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