Open Source GIS

Report
Open Geo-Spatial Data
&
FOSS GIS:
Is the store really open?
Annual Gathering of Librarians
interested in
Government and Legal Information
May 2011
SFU Vancouver
Daniel Brendle-Moczuk, UVic Libraries
Open Geo-Spatial Data & FOSS-GIS
Outline
-What is “GIS” nowadays?
-What is FOSS GIS?
-Geo-Spatial data defined
-How is “open” data defined?
-“Open” Geo-Spatial data
“GIS” definitions / origins
-GIS: Geographic(al) Information System(s)
-CGIS (1964): Canadian Geographic(al) Information System
-Spatial Information Science (1990-ish)
-Geographic(al) Information Science (1992-ish)
-GeoWeb / GeoSpatial web (1994-ish)
-GIS/2 (1996-ish)
-mash-ups (2005-ish) (map hacks, Google Maps API)
-Neogeography (1920s; working definition 2006)
-Cloud GIS (2010)
FOSS desktop GIS
Geo-Spatial data
Raster:
-matrix of cells/pixels with values
-Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
-photography
-satellite imagery
Vector:
-lines
-points
-polygons (areas)
Vancouver CMA CTs: average private Dwelling Value, 2006 Census
Vancouver CMA CTs: average private Dwelling Value & median Family Income, 2006
Van. CMA CTs: average private Dwelling Value & >30% of income spent on major payments (Mortgage)
“open” Geo-Spatial data
-How is “open” defined?
-Open Knowledge Foundation “Open” Definition
lists 11 points
(and draw from the Open Source Definition 10 points)
-Open Government Data Working Group
lists 8 Principles of Open Government Data
“6. Access Must Be Non-Discriminatory.
Data are available to anyone, with no requirement of
registration.”
“open” Geo-Spatial data
-Data with attributes / features: download
-WMS (data): connect to display the data
-WFS data: connect to display the data and see its attributes
(-WCS data: connect to display raster data)
-Open Source: create/contribute, download/upload
Downloadable geo-spatial data
with Attributes / Features
-open (unrestricted?) access
-register / “sign in”
-download limits
-Raster & Vector data
-full attributes (hopefully)
-clip, edit, conduct computational analysis, etc
-canNOT add/change original data & upload
-“nice” legend
-large files
Bear Scat: What and where do bears poop?
BC Vegetation Resources Inventory Attribute Table
Bear Scat and White Bark Pine
Bear Scat with White Bark Pine Nuts
Hiking uphill with an 8 yr.old: Least Cost Route
Web Map Services (WMS) geo-spatial data:
Connect to display the data
-open (unrestricted?) access
-may have to register / “sign in”
-connection limits?
-Raster & Vector data
-do not have to download huge files
-canNOT add/change original data & upload
-BUT for a layer:
-no attributes
-canNOT: clip, edit, conduct computational analysis, etc
-cannot “save as”
-“terrible” legend
WMS: BC Terrain Resource Information Management (TRIM)
But sometimes even the (downloadable) data is not good enough…
BC Bathymetry (ocean depth)
WMS: Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) Charts
Web Feature Services (WFS) geo-spatial data:
Connect to the data
-open (unrestricted?) access
-may have to register / “sign in”
-connection limits?
-do not have to download huge files
-Vector data only
-canNOT add/change original data & upload
For a layer (file):
-has attributes
-select, “save as”
Once saved:
-edit, conduct computational analysis, etc
Web Feature Services (WFS) geo-spatial data: Connect to the data
Open Source geo-spatial data:
-open (unrestricted?) access
-register / “sign in”
-download limits?
-Vector data (only?)
-add/change/edit the data on the web
OR
-within QGIS
-upload your data back to the world
OpenStreetMap (open source) geo-spatial data via Web
Google Maps of UVic: We need open source geo-spatial data
BC Digital Road Atlas of UVic: We need open source geo-spatial data
OpenStreetMap (open source) geo-spatial data via QGIS
Conclusion / Summary
-How will “open” be defined?
-4 (main) types of geo-spatial data
-Full data: with attributes (and meta-data)
-clip, edit, conduct computational analysis, etc
-WMS: (display the data but no attributes)
-WFS: display the data and have access to its attributes
-select, “save as”
-Once saved:
-edit, conduct computational analysis, etc
-Open Source:
-add/change/edit the data; upload it back to the world
Data Sources
Bird Studies Canada. Bird Studies WFS.
British Columbia. GeoBC Information Services. Base Mapping and Trim WMS.
British Columbia. GeoBC Information Services. Coastal BC Bathymetry.
British Columbia. Ministry of Forests and Range. Vegetation Resources Inventory.
Canada Department of Fisheries & Oceans. GeoPortal WMS.
Natural Resources Canada. Canadian Digital Elevation Data.
062H/14e, 92B/06w
Natural Resources Canada. CanVec & National Topographic Data Base.
062H/14e, 92B/06w
Open Street Map. Open Street Map data.
Statistics Canada. 2006 Census of Population: Cumulative profile: Income ,earnings,
and shelter costs. Vancouver Census Tracts.
Statistics Canada. 2006 Census of Population: Vancouver Census Tract Boundary Files.
Selected Sources
Chen, D. et al. (2010). Assessment of open source GIS software for water resources
management in developing countries. Journal of Hydro-environment Research 4(3), 253-264.
Donnelly, F.P. (2010). Evaluating open source GIS for libraries. Library Hi Tech 28 (1), 131-151.
Haden, D. Short enquiry into the origins and uses of the term “neogeography”.
Open Knowledge Foundation. Open Definition. http://www.opendefinition.org/
Open Government Data. 8 Principles of Open Government Data.
http://www.opengovdata.org/home/8principles
Open Source Initiative. Open Source Definition. http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd
Sherman, G.E. (2008). Desktop GIS: Mapping the planet with open source tools. Raleigh, N.C.:
Pragmatic Bookshelf .
Steiniger, S. & Bocher, E. (2009). An overview on current free and open source desktop GIS
developments. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 23(10), 345-1370.
Steiniger, S. & Hunter, A.J.S. [2010]. Teaching GIScience with free and open source software? – A
first assessment. GIScience 2010: 6th Int’l conference Zurich, Sep.14-17.
Vogel, L. (2011). The secret’s in: Open data is a foreign concept in Canada. Canadian Medical
Association Journal 183 (7), E375-376.

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