[OSGeo-Discuss] A report on my recent trip to Brazil

P Kishor punkish at eidesis.org
Mon May 21 09:03:13 PDT 2007


Please see my response below --

On 5/21/07, Chris Holmes <cholmes at openplans.org> wrote:
> > 4. After 5 days of meetings, I visited Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas
> > Espacias (INPE) <http://www.inpe.br/ingles/index.php/>, the premier
> > Brazilian National Institute for Space Research at the invitation of
> > its Image Processing Division (DPI) in nearyby São José dos Campos.
> > Researchers from DPI are also developing a project called TerraLib
> > <http://www.terralib.org/>, an open source set of GIS classes and
> > functions library written in C++. Of particular interest is a program
> > called TerraView <http://www.dpi.inpe.br/terraview/index.php> based on
> > TerraLib. Also open source (GPL), TerraView can be described as a more
> > scientifically and analytically oriented ArcView. I promptly
> > downloaded TerraView, and within minutes, with a little help from the
> > TerraView Development Manager, I had it running under Parallels/WinXP
> > on my MacBook Pro, and had imported Shapefiles into its own data
> > format. A very quick program, TerraView not only works with PostGres,
> > MySQL, and Oracle, it natively manages geographic data in a relational
> > format using ADO. TerraLib/TerraView are successors to INPE's earlier
> > free, but not open source, project called SPRING
> > <http://www.dpi.inpe.br/spring/english/index.html>. Because of
> > historical reasons, SPRING is not open source, but is available to
> > anyone and can be used on Windows or Linux. TerraLib/TerraView are
> > currently under more active development, and are available as true
> > open source programs. At my suggestion, INPE will be looking into
> > joining OSGeo. The INPE researchers are doing amazing work, and the
> > spirit of free access to data and software seemed to permeate everyone
> > I met. Having active involvement and backing of an institute of INPE's
> > prestige and caliber will be very beneficial to the open geospatial
> > community.
> I heard about this project when Iwas in Brazil, and was really impressed
> by the amount of effort going in to it.  I think at the time the
> government was employing something like over 40 people working on it.
> Not sure if that's still the case, but there's obviously a lot of
> effort.  But it's frustrating because it's all parallel to the rest of
> our efforts.  It'd be great to get them to be a part of OSGeo, but
> _really_ great if we get their work inter-operating with what we are
> doing and hopefully contributing to common software packages, and indeed
> having their stuff implement OGC standards.  If you have contacts I'd be
> more than happy to help talk to them further.

As I mentioned in my email above, INPE will be looking into getting
more actively involved with OSGeo. I am cc-ing this email to my friend
Lúbia Vinhas, the Development Manager of the TerraLib project. Lúbia
was kind enough to invite me to INPE and host me while I was there.
INPE might even be interested in submitting the TerraLib/TerraView
project to be included under the OSGeo Foundation umbrella, but being
a large, governmental institution, I am sure they will have to work
within their own mandated boundaries.

These are absolutely stellar folks, and any support from them will be
only good for us. I hope to continue the conversation with Lúbia, and
hopefully we can see their efforts be a more integral part of the
OSGeo family. I know that they can immediately benefit from help with
translation of documentation and tutorials, so there is much to gain
for both parties.


Puneet Kishor http://punkish.eidesis.org/
Nelson Inst. for Env. Studies, UW-Madison http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/
Open Source Geospatial Foundation http://www.osgeo.org/education/
collaborate, communicate, compete

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