Experiences Teaching Gis With Open Source Software
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Experiences Teaching Gis With Open Source Software

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Experiences Teaching Gis With Open Source Software Experiences Teaching Gis With Open Source Software Presentation Transcript

  • Experiences Teaching GIS with Open Source Software
    Ian Turton,
    John A. Dutton e-Education Institute
    EES Building
    Pennsylvania State University
    University Park
    PA 16802
    USA
    Email:ijt1@psu.edu
  • Summary
    The course
    The software
    The students
    The problems
    The benefits
  • The Course
    GEOG585 - Open Web Mapping
    http://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog585
    Part of the Penn State MGIS Program
    http://gis.e-education.psu.edu/mgis
    Online course designed for experienced practitioners who aspire to leadership in the geographic information systems profession, but who are only able to study part-time and at a distance.
  • What is Open?
    Open Source
    All the software required for the course is FOSS
    Open Standards
    All the methods in the course are based on open standards (OGC)
    Open Courseware
    All the course materials are openly available on the web for review and reuse (CC-BY-NC-SA)
  • Course Outline
    A 10 week tour through open web mapping using open standards and open source software
    Web Map Servers (WMS)
    Pictures of maps sent to client
    Web Feature Servers (WFS)
    Actual data sent to client (includes GML)
    Styled Layer Description (SLD)
    Styling web maps
  • Assessment
    A mid term paper discussing a plan for a full web map project
    A final project which produces a complete web mapping project from data acquisition, setting up a web map server and building a custom thin map client.
    http://webmapping.mgis.psu.edu/geoserver/www
  • Web Map Servers
    MapServer
    Open source C based
    Easy to install on Linux, harder on windows and mac’s
    GeoServer
    Open source Java based
    Easy to install on most OS (harder on Vista due to security)
    Deegree
    Open source Java based
    Easy to install on most OS (harder on Vista due to security)
    ArcGIS Server
    Closed source
    Easyish to install once you’ve paid for it windows, costs more for Linux, no mac support.
  • Web Mapping Clients
    OpenLayers
    Open source
    JavaScript
    WebKit and OpenScales
    Open source
    Flex/Flash
    ArcGIS server client
    Closed source
    .Net/Java
    No Internet 8 support until 9.3 (java -> 9.4)
  • Thick (Desktop) Clients
    UDig
    Open source java
    Drag and drop WMS, WFS support
    QGIS
    Open Source python
    Full OGC support
    ArcMap
    Closed source - windows
    Can do WMS import and simple WFS
    Full WFS – paid add on.
  • The Students
    Knowledgeable Students
    Less Knowledgeable Students
    Clueless Students
    Sharers
    Hoarders
  • The Knowledgeable Students
    These are the students who understand how their machine connects to the Internet.
    They tend to ask questions about their LAMP box in basement that they plan to start their new consulting business on.
    Strong programmers
  • Less Knowledgeable Students
    These are the students that know how to install software, they mostly get on with the projects but can become completely stumped if their machine is not like the example in any way.
    Have never programmed anything harder than ArcObjects.
  • Clueless Students
    These are the students who are completely stumped at all times.
    They have never installed anything on machine since it arrived new.
    Don’t really understand how the internet works.
    Have never programmed anything (including the video recorder)
    Often younger
  • Hoarders/Sharers
    Hoarders
    Ask a lot of questions by email and on forums
    Never report back as to what worked
    Never answer other’s questions
    Sharers
    Will often research the answer to their problem
    Will then share knowledge to help others on the forums
  • The Problems
    Install the program
    Which version?
    Who’s this administrator guy?
    But I’ve got Vista!
    Run the program
    It won’t run! It doesn’t start! It’s broken!
    Where did my data go?
  • More Problems
    Write a program
    What is JavaScript?
    It doesn’t work!
    In Internet Explorer
    Except in Internet Explorer
    I didn’t know ,/; was important!
    Cross Domain Requests
    Debugger?
    Philosophical objection to Firefox
  • The Benefits
    Open software
    No license fees
    Free to redistribute
    Open Standards
    Can interoperate with ESRI software
    Easier to teach techniques not technology
    Open Courseware
    Easy for students to determine if they can cope with course
    Supports teaching at other institutions
    Supports open software developers
  • Why Bother?
    Programming is a key GeoComputation/ Geography skill
    Someone has to encourage students to do this sort of stuff
  • Conclusions
    Open is good!
    Teaching an online course with closed source software is
    Harder
    License management
    Cost to student
    Limited supported platforms
    Easier
    Some else does support