[OSGeo-Discuss] kicked the ESRI habit, now weening from Bentley MicroStation..looking toward FOSS4G

pyroGIS pyrogis at gmail.com
Tue Oct 28 08:41:04 PDT 2008

Fellow listers,

Greetings all..let me start with a quick executive summary-type thingy..I'm
a relatively young GIS professional, my roots are in Forestry, my major
offered a GIS minor - I took it and I've turned that into my focus (if i get
another bachelors, heaven knows it will be in computer science!). After
working in natural resources, wildfire mapping, etc. which were mainly GIS's
deployed within an ESRI framework - currently I'm with a small city (approx.
40,000 people) as a GIS Tech where we're using Bentley MicroStation
Geographics. Along this route I've gotten involved with ArcIMS, KML/Google
Earth+Maps APIs and experimented with various open source Desktop GIS
programs like MapWindowGIS, QGIS and uDig to name a few..this has allowed me
to get my feet wet with a little JavaScript, XML, and general (X)HTML along
the way too. (Oh, and I gotta mention how much I love the FWTools package

I've been researching OS for about one year now and have seen the light.
Also with an anticipated move outside of the United States soon (Brazil,
Italy, Greece or Australia), I think having the skills to deploy/develop OS
GISs will be helpful in finding work. In the meantime, while I work here at
the city I'm going to try to promote moving to an OS suite for our GIS. Like
I mentioned we're using Bentley MicroStation Geographics with a SQL
database. I'm coming from an ESRI background before this and still getting
used to it - but I'd like to get my IT manager to see the benefit of
deploying OS here.

What I was naturally looking towards was using a QGIS frontend with the
GRASS plugin and PostgreSQL with the PostGIS plugin..this seems to be
somewhat of a standard for the Desktop GIS + Database duo from my research
on OS GIS..right? Where I'm wondering about going next is down the whole Web
Mapping road. What are your opinions on GeoServer vs. MapServer vs.
OpenLayers? Those seem to get the most love from the OS community ... should
I skip worldKit? what about deegree?

I think I'll leave my rant at that for now - I am also interested in various
other things like contributing to the OSGeo community..perhaps with
documentation creation/editing, etc. as it's quite obvious I'm not very well
versed in computer science/programming..or getting involved with GIS in the
countries I mentioned previously as I'm considering a move or discussing the
various Masters programs in GIS out there - but those are for another time
;) CHEERS_ joe
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