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ILGISA Fall 2009 Open Source GIS


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This presentation was given by Roger Diercks and Josh Kalov at the Fall 2009 Illinois GIS Association Conference. It details their experiences with open source GIS and is intended as a general overview for an audience that may not be all that familiar with open source GIS options.

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ILGISA Fall 2009 Open Source GIS

  1. 1. 1 Open Source GIS from a Local Government Perspective Roger Diercks & Josh Kalov Kankakee County GIS
  2. 2. 2 Just what is this open source stuff all about? •“Open source (OS) software is software where the source code is made available under a license that allows the modification, and re-distribution of the software at will.” – OSGeo Foundation website •You or your organization may be using it without really realizing it •Firefox •Apache HTTP Server •Linux •Python •OS doesn’t mean do what you will with the software – still licensing •OS is often, but not always, free - e.g. paid support for Red Hat Linux
  3. 3. I’ve invested a lot in commercial off the shelf (COTS) 3 software. Why would I even look at open source GIS? •Open source GIS applications can be yet another tool to put in your toolbox. •Some open source applications may add value to or beyond COTS software •In some instances open source applications may perform better than COTS software •Total cost of ownership may be lower than COTS •Support can be readily found for many open source projects •Situation dependent!!!!!
  4. 4. 4 So just what is Kankakee County doing with open source GIS? •Deploying simple public parcel query application using PostGIS + GeoServer + OpenLayers •Using GeoServer for serving orthophotography via WMS services to internal desktop clients •At proof of concept stage with use of QGIS for basic desktop editing and analysis •Frequently use FWTools (GDAL + OGR) for data conversion •Explored use of MapGuide Open Source •Many other open source GIS applications we have not researched
  5. 5. 5 Kankakee County Public Parcel Query Application (under development) •Did not want to develop with ArcIMS given then-uncertain future of product •Did not feel that ArcGIS Server prior to 9.3.1 was suitable solution •Settled on open source solution (for now) •Front end: OpenLayers with jQuery •Back end: PostGIS + GeoServer + GeoWebCache + PHP
  6. 6. 6 Kankakee County Public Parcel Query Application (under development)
  7. 7. 7 Kankakee County Public Parcel Query Application (under development)
  8. 8. 8 Kankakee County Public Parcel Query Application (under development)
  9. 9. 9 PostGIS • Adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL (also open source) object-relational database akin to ArcSDE • Powerful analysis and query functions we are able to easily leverage in web apps using PHP • Easy installation, but loading data can be somewhat involved • Extensions for connecting ArcGIS to PostGIS (e.g. zigGIS), but haven’t tried them. • Could be a viable option for organizations where ArcSDE/ArcGIS Server isn’t an option
  10. 10. 10 GeoServer • Java-based software server that allows users to view and edit geospatial data – open standards set forth by OGC. Makes multiple formats easy, e.g. WMS, WFS, WCS, KML • Installation can be tricky, but data management relatively straightforward via GUI • Extensions for connecting to ArcSDE • Serving ortho GeoTIFFs to internal ArcGIS clients as WMS yields performance on par with imagery loaded into ArcSDE – FAST!!!!!! • Integrated GeoWebCache to be used for serving WMS to County public site • Possible alternative to ArcGIS Server for organizations where not feasible
  11. 11. 11 GeoServer GUI
  12. 12. 12 OpenLayers • JavaScript library for displaying map data in most modern web browsers, with no server-side dependencies. • Easy installation – just point to OpenLayers JavaScript in web page & add layers • Supports wide array of data formats – WMS, WFS, GML, GeoRSS, GeoJSON • Easy integration with other JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, Dojo, Ext JS • Easy integration of GIS data with commercial APIs, e.g WMS services in conjunction with Google Maps • ArcGIS Server 9.3 REST API capabilities • Viable alternative to ArcGIS Server JavaScript API – widely used
  13. 13. 13 OpenLayers Examples • ‘Using OpenLayers with ArcGIS Server REST API’ presentation by James Fee summit • Long Island Index Interactive Maps – OpenLayers front end + ArcGIS Server back end (WMS service)
  14. 14. 14 OpenLayers Examples
  15. 15. 15 Quantum GIS (QGIS) • Desktop GIS that supports numerous vector, raster, and database formats and functionalities • Easy installation • Becoming more capable with every release, both in included functionality and proliferation of plugins • Looking to deploy in a department with interest in basic desktop GIS but no more funds for COTS software • ‘Introducing QGIS’ presentation by Tim Sutton provides a good quick introduction
  16. 16. 16 QGIS Screenshot
  17. 17. 17 FWTools •Set of open source GIS applications bundled by Frank Warmerdam • OpenEV – raster/vector desktop data viewer and analysis tool • MapServer – web mapping package • GDAL/OGR – Library & set of command line utilities for reading and writing a variety of raster (GDAL) and vector (OGR) data formats • OGDI – multi-format raster and vector reading technology for support of military formats • Python •Kankakee County often uses the GDAL/OGR functionality for data conversion •Command line interface allows for a good deal of flexibility
  18. 18. 18 MapGuide Open Source • Web mapping platform alternative to ArcGIS Server • Web applications can be developed using MapGuide Maestro software – Similar to application development within ArcGIS Server Manager • Supports multiple data formats including SHP, ArcSDE, WMS, PostGIS. • AJAX Viewer, JavaScript API • Kendall County uses MapGuide OS for public site
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. 20 Bottom Line • Open source GIS does many things well, and many things not so well – no different than COTS software • Open source can have a learning curve – no different than COTS • Open source GIS has found a role in Kankakee County’s GIS program • Open source supplements, but does not replace, Kankakee County’s use of COTS technologies • Open source opens up opportunities for cash-strapped organizations to develop GIS programs • Having a wide variety of technologies to choose from, be they COTS or open source is a great thing
  21. 21. 21 Questions and Contact Information Roger Diercks Josh Kalov