Monday, August 20, 2007

FOSS4G2007 - Victoria, BC

FOSS4G2007 is happening soon in the current location I've planted some roots - Victoria, B.C., Canada.

Who knows whether these roots will be permanent or not. It seems I move every two years, whether in North America or overseas. The world seems so small with Air Travel nowadays.

The opening and closing plenary speakers have all be selected and they have accepted. The keynote speakers :

Geoff Zeiss, Director of Technology, Autodesk
Tyler Mitchell, Executive Director, OSGeo
Peter Rushforth, Technology Advisor, GeoConnections

There is also a series of Lightening Talks, consisting of eight speakers, with five minutes each, that will try to being as concise an overview of open source geospatial software, community building, open geodata projects, and many demonstrations. Demonstrations always seem to grab the attention of the listeners. A picture is worth a 1000 words!

Damian Conway, will be opening the conference, with his observations of open source culture in Geek Eye for the Straight Guy.

The closing plenary will include a panel discussion featuring:

Peter Batty, Independent Consultant
Tim Bowden, Director, Mapforge Geospatial
Mark Sondheim, BC Integrated Land Management Bureau
Frank Warmerdam, President, OSGeo

And of course, I'll be presenting there, about map projections, datum's, and co-ordinate systems and how to make your way around them using Open Source Geospatial Software.

I'll be instructing this lab with Frank Warmerdam (the creator of GDAL, PROJ.4, and many other Open Source libraries).

L-03: Datums, Coordinate Systems, Map Projections & Datum Transformations

Location. Location. Location. With so many maps and datums out there, how does a person know what datum is correct? How come my GPS coordinates don't match up on my map? Why is there a shift of 100 metres? How do I transform between different datums? What is a datum? What is the EPSG? Why have GIS Vendors and Oracle adopted them? Does offshore or onshore make a difference? How come there are so many datums? This presentation looks to provide some answers to some of these questions and to point out that latitude and longitude are not absolute.

Over the decades that surveyors have been trying to map the Earth, history and politics have shaped the way we see the world. Are the borders actually there? What if one nation adopts a standard, but the other does not? Does really matter what the co-ordinate system is? Why when I draw the a UTM Projection, the lines are curved, not in a grid? Is the OGC adopting these standards? So many questions and this presentation aims to answer some of them and provide some light on a complicated and sometimes unclear topic.

Hope to see everyone there. It looks to be a great conference!