Jornadas SIGLibre Girona VII

Estas últimas Jornadas SIGLibre de Girona han girado en torno a servicios cloud y datos abiertos. Desde el apoteósico inicio con las ponencias plenarias, con parte destacada de Sergi Morales (ExportosenTI), el resto de las charlas han ido rodando todas en el mismo tema. Algunas quizás un poco más críticas, como F. Puga desde CartoLab cuando nos pidió que no olvidáramos que no todo el mundo tiene acceso global a internet, y que muchos millones de personas, las cuales no tienen nuestro nivel tecnológico, también tienen necesidades GIS.

Otra gran cuestión que se ha levantado en estas jornadas ha sido, de la mano de Malcolm Bain, cuales son los límites legales de los servicios de almacenamiento de datos en la nube, qué podemos esperar y exigir y hasta qué punto, desde la perspectiva del proveedor de servicios, tenemos que ofrecer un mínimo de nivel de servicio. Resulta sin duda sorprendente aprender que algunos de los contratos que aceptamos en servicios muy conocidos (como correo electrónico web o hosting) son, sencillamente, ilegales.

La batalla del software libre ya está ganada, ahora queda la batalla de la libertad y privacidad de los datos.

También ha resultado una delicia ver el enfrentamiento dialéctico entre varios de los ponentes, como cuando Javier de la Torre (Cartodb) arremetió contra OGC o las IDE. Sin duda un tema que, aunque no coincido completamente con su opinión, es algo a debatir y mejorar. ¿Deberían intentar los IDE hacerse más amigables para acercarse al usuario o es suficiente con ser un repositorio de datos?

El jueves por la tarde, Geocat tuvo sesión doble entre varias charlas muy centradas en los metadatos y su importancia en los IDE. Primero presentamos rápidamente quiénes éramos y qué hacíamos, centrándonos sobre todo en GeoNetwork y Bridge, mencionando también nuestro futuro GeoCat Live. Y justo antes de terminar el día, un taller de 30 minutos para presentar GeoNetwork, justo antes de dar paso a la primera reunión de geoinquietos nacionales.

Es difícil resumir en un sólo artículo toda la tremenda dimensión alcanzada en estas jornadas. Mucho optimismo, muchas ganas de seguir trabajando y, sobre todo, la certeza de que estamos en el camino correcto, apoyando el software y los datos libres, centrándonos en la parte social de nuestro trabajo. El viernes, casi para finalizar, Javier Sánchez orientó la recta final de las jornadas hacia este tema, hablando de las empresas sociales, las cuales no sólo tienen una cuenta de resultados económica sino también social.

En resumen, las Jornadas SIGLibre Girona son sin duda el Evento SIG(en mayúsculas) que cualquier hispano hablante debería tener en cuenta si quiere estar al día de las últimas novedades.

The main theme of this Jornadas SIG Libre de Girona has been cloud services and open data. Since the apotheosic beginning, with an outstanding speech of Sergi Morales (ExportosenTI), the rest of the conference has been running around the same theme. Some of them maybe more critical, like the one of F. Puga from CartoLab when he asked us not to forget undevelopment zones where not everyone has internet access and millions  of people, which doesn’t have our tech level, also have GIS needs.

Anotheer interesting theme of this conference came by the hand of Malcolm Bain, who told  us about the legal limits of data cloud services, and what can we expect and demand and to what extent, from the cloud service provider, we have to offer a minimum service level. It is undoubtely surprising to learn that some of the contracts we accept on very well known services (like web mail or hosting) are, in fact, ilegal.

The battle of free software is ended, now we have to battle on freedom and privacy of data.

It has also been delightful to see the debate between some speakers, like when Javier de la Torre (Cartodbtalked against OGC or the government repositories of data. Undoubtfully a theme which, although I don’t fully agree, needs some discussion and improvement. Should government repositories of data become more useer friendly or should they remain just as repository of data?

On thursday evening, Geocat had a double session between speeches very focused on metadata and the importance of governmment spatial portals. We first focused mostly on GeoNetwork and Bridge, talking also about our future GeoCat Live. and, just before ending  the day, a workshop of 30 minutes to present GeoNetwork, which has followed by the first national meeting of geoinquietos.

It is hard to summarize in only one article all the huge dimension reached on this conference. A lot of optimism, willing to keep working and, most of all, the certainty that we are on the right path, helping free software and free data, focusing on the social part of our work. On Friday, almost to finish, Javier Sánchez oriened the end of the conference to this theme, talking about social companies, who have not only an economic result but also a social one.

In the end the Jornadas SIGLibre Girona are undoubtely the GIS Event (capital letters) to which every spanish speaker should take into account to be in contact with latest GIS news.

Original article here.

What is GeoNetwork?

GeoNetwork is a server side application that allows you to maintain a geographic referenced metadata catalogue. This means: a search portal that allows to view metadata combined with maps.

GeoNetwork logo
The yoga man

Based on Free and Open Source Software, it strictly follows different standards for metadata, from Inspire to OGC. It implements the CSW interface to be able to interact with generic clients looking for data. It also has built-in harvesters to connect to other servers and populate data.

This has allowed GeoNetwork to expand to a lot of organizations. For example: the swiss geoportal or the brasilian one, not forgetting the New zealander. GeoNetwork is the most used open sourced spatial catalog in the world. You can find it in most of the public administrations that use free and open source software.

The catalogue deploys on a java application container (like tomcat or jetty). It works over the Jeeves framework. Jeeves is based on XSLT transformation server library. This allows a powerful development of interfaces, for humans (HTML) or machines (XML). Therefore, it makes metadata from GeoNetwork to be easily accessible by different platforms.

Recently half-refactored to Spring and AngularJS, GeoNetwork has a REST API and an event hook system to make extensions and customizations easier.

From Emergya to GeoCat

These past few weeks have been chaotic and as an exercise to seat and to drop anchor, I would like to make a brief summary of my job change.

Why?

metagato
Metagato: gato que describe a un gato.

My main motivation to stop working on Emergya, despite the huge human and technical quality has been:

  • The current situation in Spain doesn’t allow us to perform interesting projects, forcing companies to focus only on survival, with all the friction and discomfort that this generates.
  • The challenge . And this, I think, is the main motivation. The enormous challenge of context switching to a new company, with a way of working so similar and yet so different. I need to see the world, learn, drink from other sources. Five years in Emergya have been wonderful, but I began to feel that it was becoming too small for me. Big fish on small pond or small fish on the ocean?
  • GeoCat(s) . Can somebody refuse the possibility of becoming a geo-cat? Could there be a step beyond this? Can anyone not want to work with metacats(metadata, impossible to translate)?

Of course, it has not been an easy decision. To me, Emergya is, and always will be, the company that received me openly and helped me take my first steps working, strengthening my belief that open source is the right path. Like it or not, Emergya is part of me and the title of “ex-emergyana” cannot be taken away from me.

Next stop

But it was a step that I had to take. So I jumped into the pool, and after a week of making contact, I have no doubt that it was the right decision. GeoCat has an impressive welcoming team and its development roadmap is really fascinating. So I guess from now on I will talk less about route calculation and more about metadata and interoperability (which doesn’t mean I will abandon routing).

Next stop: GeoNetwork.