#geowebchat transcript, 21 October 2014: #OpenSource, #OpenData, and accessibility


@mappingmashups Oct 20, 5:40pm Tomorrow on #geowebchat: Topic is #OpenSource, #OpenData, as well as “free” and accessible tools (often not the same thing). 12pm PT, Oct 21

@mapperz Oct 21, 9:46am @mappingmashups freegisdata.rtwilson.com lists #accessible GIS datasets updated 11th October 2014 #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:00pm Welcome everybody to today’s #geowebchat. We’re talking about #OpenSource, #OpenData, and usability of mapping tools.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:01pm As always, I suggest you try smthng like tweetchat.com/room/geowebchat to follow along with #geowebchat, + include the hashtag in all your tweets

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:03pm We had an interesting internal convo w/ the #maptime organizers this weekend regarding #geowebchat’s topic. Is #OpenSource always best?

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:09pm I’ll start: suggesting very expensive software to someone who’s curious about GIS or maps isn’t very welcoming #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:10pm These days there are tools that are #OpenSource but cost money to use heavily online, like @Mapbox & @cartoDB… #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:11pm Compute time costs money, there’s no real way to avoid that… #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:11pm …@cartoDB & @Mapbox are cheaper than ESRI tools for sure, but still too much for some #maptime users #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 12:12pm @skorasaurus When I tell novice faculty at my uni they can start w free tools that don’t req license, there is visible relief #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:12pm And if it’s “free” yr often paying w/ something else.. RT @alogicalfallacy: Compute time costs money, no real way to avoid that #geowebchat

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:12pm my exp. w/ carto. is atypical; started as broke non-student, if #tilemill & #qgis had been $, it would have been more difficult. #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 12:14pm @skorasaurus …part of the reason this surprises me is that we have campus ESRI license…but signing up is still barrier #geowebchat

@t_stallmann Oct 21, 12:14pm I try to teach that no tool is perfect & there’s a trade-off bxt “easy-then-hard” closed-source and “hard-then-easy” open-source #geowebchat

@rmcooper4 Oct 21, 12:14pm Working in local gov, it’s a challenge to even get folks to imagine something other than ESRI. For now, what works atm is best #geowebchat

@skorasaurus Oct 21, 12:15pm @mappingmashups true; often w/ time b/c docs aren’t great (if they exist); support non-dedicated. #geowebchat.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:16pm As @alogicalfallacy points out, there’s no free lunch. Bygone days of free GoogleMaps were based on selling personal data, ads. #geowebchat

@counti8 Oct 21, 12:16pm my area is not maps, more public engagement tools like Shareabouts. But I think abt tools&nonprofits as @vpsn board member. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:18pm @wonderchook Yes! And I should clarify that desktop GIS like @qgis can be much cheaper than web maps that need servers&hosting #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:18pm The “Free” vs. “open source” debate of the late ’90s may have gotten pedantic but raised important differences that still apply #geowebchat

@jr_m_ Oct 21, 12:20pm In my gov’t GIS job, there’s a few people using QGIS, especially with one-click installs and .gdb support #geowebchat

@counti8 Oct 21, 12:21pm I’m also interested in collabs btwn gov’s and non-profits as #opendata maintainers; extent to which #opensource enables? that. #geowebchat

@SterlingGIS Oct 21, 12:21pm @t_stallmann FOSS geo s-ware seems to be closing usability gap with proprietary. eg, Easy d-load page and installers on Win #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:21pm @drewdaraabrams “free software” vs “open source” was one of our earliest #geowebchat topics mappingmashups.net/2011/09/21/geo…. Good to revisit.

@lifewinning Oct 21, 12:22pm @mappingmashups yeah, cloud infra expands access to tools while making it really hard to make them “free” #geowebchat @wonderchook @qgis

@wonderchook Oct 21, 12:23pm @lifewinning @mappingmashups one of the reason that #inasafe moved from web to being a @qgis plugin was to avoid scaling issues #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:23pm @counti8 Or even collabs w/ for-profits as #opendata maintainers. Many of us have complex relationship w/ #OpenStreetMap forex. #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:23pm @mappingmashups ah. Given that #geowebchat has already discussed Free, libre, gratis, open, “open”… no need to open the vocab debate again

@t_stallmann Oct 21, 12:23pm @SterlingGIS Definitely! Tho I find interface on ArcGIS.com‘s free service easier to grok than CartoDB. Do others? #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:24pm @drewdaraabrams I wouldn’t hesitate to reopen if there’s interest. Totally different audience today. #geowebchat

@mapperz Oct 21, 12:24pm There is more than one #opengis like openjump.org #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:26pm @lifewinning @mappingmashups @wonderchook CartoDB sets a great example, open-sourcing all their back-end services and glue #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:26pm @mapperz Yes, @qgis is not the only #FOSS #GIS, but it seems dominant today. Diversity of tools is also an #opensource advantage #geowebchat

@SterlingGIS Oct 21, 12:26pm Interesting to speculate how much a slick-looking UI contribs to users’ (or mgrs’) perceptions of FOSS quality (or any s-ware) #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:27pm @mappingmashups @mapperz One interesting note is that GIS use actually varies quite a bit geographically. #geowebchat

@rmcooper4 Oct 21, 12:29pm @t_stallmann @SterlingGIS I just finished the @esrimooc and learned that arcgis.com is surprisingly powerful/easy #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:32pm @mappingmashups @counti8 NYC gov’t apparently uses OSM changes as notifications to check their own data (but not direct import) #geowebchat

@michael_d_gould Oct 21, 12:33pm @alogicalfallacy around the world people use cracked arcgis. #geowebchat

@hamhandedly Oct 21, 12:33pm From the #maptime slack the other day, academy often focuses too much on learning software pkgs rather than geog concepts #geowebchat

@lifewinning Oct 21, 12:33pm @drewdaraabrams though I don’t know anyone who’s actually compiled their own instance of cartodb… @mappingmashups @wonderchook #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:33pm I certainly agree with @mappingmashups about having a “complex relationship” with OSM community, license, tooling, etc. #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:35pm @michael_d_gould Re: Cracked Arc, mostly yes. But you’ll find institutions using GRASS or even IDRISI due to lineages, etc. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:37pm @hamhandedly It’s true, but that’s also the academy’s biggest self-critique. They always talk about trying to teach concepts #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:38pm @lifewinning neither have I That said, CartoDB’s docs pass my interocular impact test Looks like more than a one-off code dump #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:38pm This may be true, too. #opensource #geowebchat RT @briantimoney: The future of GIS on the desktop isn’t DesktopGIS ™ #RStudio #IPython

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:39pm RT @andrewxhill: @lifewinning well, not knowing and not being any is quite different. there are quite a few #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:39pm @hamhandedly That’s simply untrue. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:40pm RT @wonderchook: @andrewxhill are there any that are public? Would be great to know about some! :) #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:41pm RT @peterajohnson: @alogicalfallacy we def spend more time on concepts. College diploma programs do a good job w/soft pkgs #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:42pm @mappingmashups @peterajohnson Yes, exactly. The academy teaches (and creates) much more than ‘button pushing.’ #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:43pm @UWaterloo we have begun to discuss greater adoption of open source. Mirroring what we hear from many employers #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:44pm @alogicalfallacy @mappingmashups getting beyond button pushing is the main topic of my 3rd year GIS class! Can be tough. #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:45pm @peterajohnson A serious issue and a topic of some discussion at #critgis this weekend. Many students *want* ‘button-pushing’ #geowebchat

@avatarr8 Oct 21, 12:46pm @alogicalfallacy @mappingmashups @peterajohnson and orientation of academic programs vary wildly #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:47pm used @PublicLab mapknitter for a course this year. We crashed their server – will try hosting ourselves next year. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:47pm The #maptime discussion this weekend made me think: maybe it’s okay if #maptime is _more_ tool-focussed than academia? #geowebchat

@_C_Davis Oct 21, 12:47pm @peterajohnson @alogicalfallacy That gets at looking at GIS instruction as a curriculum rather than a single course #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:48pm @mappingmashups Yes, why not? I’m uncertain what #maptime has specifically, but why just copy academia? Different spaces/voices. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:48pm #maptime should avoid locking people into only one tool (as academia does w/ ESRI) but if ppl want practical skills why not? #geowebchat

@_C_Davis Oct 21, 12:48pm @peterajohnson @alogicalfallacy an intro course might only need to be button pushing as an opening to concepts later #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:50pm @_C_Davis I try to make upper year courses more welcoming so students get the ‘curriculum’, not just buttons of the intro course #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:52pm @mappingmashups what, you don’t cover projections, coordinate systems in #maptime ? #geowebchat if tools will get people hooked…why not?

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:52pm @mappingmashups re: ‘locking in’ also depends on program. We’re teaching qgis, gdal, ipython, etc. right now… w/ @bricker #geowebchat

@avatarr8 Oct 21, 12:52pm Big concern for me is less tools and more quality/usefulness of (open) data. Students/others just mapping whatever they find #geowebchat

@BrookeEHarding Oct 21, 12:53pm @mappingmashups great point! As a recent grad I valued the extra organized time to work on specific skills with diverse tools. #geowebchat

@SeanGorman Oct 21, 12:53pm Would love to see the equivalent of nbviewer for sharing geo work or just more geo in nbviewer. Great learning tool #geowebchat

@alogicalfallacy Oct 21, 12:53pm @avatarr8 We’re in agreement there. Data, data, data – all day, er’ry day. #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:54pm @peterajohnson Yes, we do cover coordinate systems at #maptime sometimes. For the pleasure of it! maptime.io/geodata/ #geowebchat

@drewdaraabrams Oct 21, 12:55pm @andrewxhill Props to @cartoDB! Many open-source companies keep their client-side GUIs private and hide key back-end glue #geowebchat

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 12:57pm @mappingmashups amazing! Good to know. I should pick your brain about #maptime #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:58pm @peterajohnson And that slide deck (like most of our best ones) was made by the inimitable @lyzidiamond #maptime #geowebchat

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:59pm Well, thanks everyone for an amazing #geowebchat! The transcript will be posted here mappingmashups.net/geowebchat/ in a few days.

@mappingmashups Oct 21, 12:59pm Next #geowebchat is November 4th, special time: 2pm PT, 5pm ET. Guest hosted by @alogicalfallacy and @JessiBreen!

@peterajohnson Oct 21, 1:00pm @drewdaraabrams @andrewxhill @cartoDB agreed. Lots to like about cartoDB from an instructional perspective #geowebchat

@ElizaBettinger Oct 21, 1:08pm Can any #geowebchat -ers recommend a resource to help explain pros/cons of using FOSS base map data vs. closed to researchers in humanties?

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