[VisCom] My Where 2.0 thoughts (for tomorrow's VisCom mtg)

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Wed Jun 21 23:22:05 EDT 2006

dear mpg, thanks for the close observations! 
On Wed, Jun 21, 2006 at 03:21:02PM -0700, Michael P. Gerlek wrote:
> * Along those lines, we need to prepare a Resource Room on the website
> or something like that.  The nascent VisCom library helps a bit; Tyler's
> book and the two Hacks books help; a set of white papers and case
> studies help; but I can't help but think we should be able to provide
> something bundled up nicely.  (Hey Tyler, can you write another book
> maybe?)

:) What became "Mapping Hacks" was originally pitched to ORA as more
of an "Open Source GIS Essentials". At the time the editorial staff
weren't sure about the GIS book market, and wanted to float a more
"power-user-friendly" (euphemism) book in their "Hacks" series.
Schuyler Rich and I dragged our feet for a long time while we figured
out *quite how much we didn't know* and hurriedly tried to learn it. 
Then Tyler arrived in our reality and proceeded to kick our arses and
produce "Web Mapping Illustrated" 3 times as fast and much less
ORA aren't really interested in revising MH, a good amount of which is
totally out of date now. Enough time has passed that "the book we
wanted it to be" starts to seem more interesting again. In the
meantime there have been at least one effort, maybe more to write a
collaborative open source GIS book online;
I think the platform here was wrong. But the core idea is great. But
having hardcopy is crucial, having the right production values,
otherwise it's Just Another Dodgy Wiki. 

I fantasise about an "OSGeo Handbook" which is collectively produced
but with consistent editing, volunteer basis. CC licensed, and put it
through a no-advance, print-on-demand publishing outfit like hacker
friendly press, who did http://www.wndw.net/ , and the royalties go to
support OSGeo. (Actually my fantasies run to two companion volumes,
GeoRSS/WFS, and RSS/RDF/semweb, but you don't want to hear too much more
about my grandiose fantasies ;) )

> * We need a "comparison chart" showing what the differences are between
> the various OSGeo-friendly databases, servers, and clients out there.
> Criteria include language, operating system, OGC compliance, etc, etc.
> Note such a document is not to be used to show that X is better than Y,
> but rather to help the user understand which ones best meet his or her
> needs.

Definitely, such a "so you've got these needs / platform constraints /
preferences and you want to get into open source" decision
tree/matrix on the osgeo website, it would be the singlest useful thing.



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