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Back from FOSS4G 2016 - part 2

FOSS4G, the main international OSGeo event, takes place once per year and gather all folks involved in opensource geospatial technologies at large.

This year, the conference took place in Bonn, Germany, and gathered around 900/1000 people. This edition was really good, as always for this conference. A lot of social events allowed direct talks to passionate people from all over the world, and the presentations were diverse and of high quality.

Oslandia at FOSS4G

Oslandia is a full player in the OpenSource GIS field, and we participated this year with various interventions.

QGIS 3: plans, wishes and challenges

QGIS is a very powerful GIS environment. More and more features have kept coming in the 2.0 branch, thanks to a growing number of users, developers and funders. But it is occasionally time to look up and envision the future to make sure this growth of energy is used at its full potential, especially to make sure new features are not added to a base that will become hard to maintain or evolve. Discussions and active work have already been done about how to transition away from the obsolescence of Python 2 and Qt 4. Some API breaks will have to occur and this is an opportunity to include major changes, both for users and for developers. This talk will present some of the changes that are planned or wished for the 3.0 version of QGIS and will detail challenges that remain to see them exist, from a technical, organisational or economical point of view.

Slides: qgis_3.pdf.

Using PostGIS in a real advanced way !

A lot of people use PostGIS as a basic GIS toolbox, but very few use it in a real advanced way.

To progress towards full PostGIS power, we can first make use of advanced native PostGIS functions. Using some extensions related to PostGIS, such as SFCGAL (for 3D data management), PostGIS Raster, PgPointCloud or even the latest pgsql-postal (for address normalization)...

Then we can mix PostGIS functions with advanced standardized SQL features provided by PostgreSQL 9.x itself (CTE, Window functions, FDW, join and aggregate pushdowns…).

Even better, use PostgreSQL bindings for data analysis languages such as R or Python to create your own dedicated function set, and integrate them into your SQL queries.

Slides are available on github.

iTowns, a new framework for 3D web visualization

We present iTowns, a web framework developed in Javascript / WebGL for 3D geospatial data visualization, with capabilities for precise measurement directly in the browser. The first use case of iTowns is Street-view data type visualization : immersive images, but also terrestrial LIDAR Point Cloud data. But iTowns now supports much more data types :

  • Oriented images
  • Panoramic images
  • Point Clouds
  • 3D textured models
  • WFS vector data

iTowns OpenSource is the descendant of the initial iTowns software developed at MATIS research laboratory of the French National Mapping Agency. iTowns OpenSource version 1.0 has been released in February 2016.

The framework allows to : - Visualize projected images on a mesh ( cube, 3D model) - Visualize panoramic images - Display depth panoramic images - Display extruded building ( from WFS, other sources ) - Navigate in 3D (click & go) - Display Point Clouds - Visualize textured 3D models ( B3D, 3DS) - Use a simple API

We detail iTowns features with videos. The data showcased was acquired by IGN's Stereopolis car. Aside from presenting the software, its present state and the future 2.0 version, we also explain the project history, which is an interesting case of technology transfer from research to industry.


OpenSource tools for water network management

This presentation details some OpenSource tools dedicated to water network management, be it for water distribution or wastewater networks.

The qWAT project is a specific tool based on QGIS and PostGIS. it aims at managing water distribution networks. The data model is part of the project and covers most use cases for this kind of assets. The qWAT project is strongly linked to QGIS, and tries to contribute to the core of QGIS so as to mutualize developments and features among other QGIS-based applications.

Similarly, the QGEP project is dedicated to wastewater networks. We also present a use case for an implementation of a wastewater information system in France, based on QGIS and PostGIS.

Furthermore, we show how PostGIS-based projects allow to do network and graph analysis, so as to extract meaningful information for decision-taking and planning.

QGIS-Epanet and QGIS-SWMM are two QGIS Processing extensions integrating simulation features on water distribution and wastewater networks. They let the user run simulations to analyze the network, dimensioning, and identify specific issues.

These set of tools show that OpenSource GIS now tend to fulfill use cases for specific fields of application, and water management is among them.


Want to see more videos? The whole conference is available here.