Friday, March 18, 2011

News from the Montreal OSGeo Code Sprint

This week, Montreal was the host of OSGeo's 2011 Code Sprint where 29 OSGeo project developers and contributors from North America and Europe spent four intensive days working and meeting face to face for the advancement of their respective projects.
This year's sprint included teams working on the following projects: MapServer, GDAL/OGR, PostGIS, libLAS, ZOO Project, TinyOWS and GeoPrisma. In addition to the actual coding and project meetings, those sprints provide a unique way to build and maintain synergies between the projects and their developers.

On the MapServer front, the focus was on the 6.0 release. MapServer 6.0.0-beta2 should be released later this afternoon with the outcome of the sprint work.

Ruby bindings for MapServer and GDAL were brought back into maintenance, and some enhancements were made to the Oracle (OCI) driver in OGR.

The LibLAS group has been planning and setting up the bases of the new libPC (PC for Point Cloud), which will provide a generic interface to point cloud data formats. Think of libPC as the GDAL of point clouds.

The PostGIS team moved closer to the PostGIS 2.0 release with core changes to indexes, better support for raster map algebra, and several tickets closed on shp2pgsql.

The ZOO Project team worked on a new WPS service for athmospheric dispersion to simulate the dispersion of the cloud that spreads from the Japanese nuclear power plants. The team also made some good progress (testing and docs) towards the upcoming ZOO 1.2 release.

A MapServer mapfile parser has been added to TinyOWS to directly read the layer configuration information from a MapServer mapfile. This addition will significantly facilitate the use of TinyOWS as a WFS-T to complement MapServer. 

The GeoPrisma team got together to add support for two new service types (OGC WFS and WPS), as well as fixes to the print widget and some general security issues. They also started to build demos integrating the latest version of most projects present at the sprint including: MapServer, TinyOWS (with mapfile support), GeoPrisma, Zoo-Project and WKTRaster. Stay tuned to see this demo in action (link not available yet).

And of course there was the social side of the program, with a hockey night on Thursday, and hours of talk and lots of new ideas exchanged informally during the social events each night. 

Part of the group also went for a hike to the top of Mont-Royal to enjoy the view from the top of Montreal Island:

Once again, thank you to our sponsors and to our host for making this event possible, and to all the participants who made this a success.

Finally, there are already talks about the 2012 Code Sprint which is likely going to take place in Seattle (see here).

P.S. More pictures from the sprint are available on flickr.

Friday, March 4, 2011

OSGeo Montreal Code Sprint seeking more sponsors due to record participation

Update 1 (2011-03-04): Tydac just signed up for a 750$ sponsorship. Thank you for your support!
Update 2 (2011-03-07): I am glad to announce two more 750$ sponsors: Applied Imagery and Neogeo Technologies! Thanks!

The Montreal Code Sprint of March 15-18, 2011 has reached a record of 29 registered participants from 9 open source projects as of yesterday. This is awesome news for OSGeo and its projects that will get a significant boost of code and contributions during that week!

The downside of this is that our initial budget was for ~20 participants, and with close to 50% more sprinters we need to adjust the budget accordingly and are turning to you to help us find more sponsors to balance the new budget.

CALL FOR NEW SPONSORS - An investment in the technology that you use!

We are looking for another round of sponsors ($750 each) to support food and fun for the sprinters as they work hard and play hard for four productive days. Each $750 sponsorship will be put towards lunch, snacks and dinner costs for the sprinters, and any surplus at the end of the event will be turned over to OSGeo or used for a future code sprint.

If your organization is using one of the software projects listed below, then please consider this call for sponsorship as an investment in the technology that you use and contact me at to confirm your sponsorship. In addition to visibility in our public announcements you will get recognition for your contribution from the developers and from the OSGeo community.

Please also keep in mind that all the participants are volunteering several days of their time in addition to paying for their own travel and hotel expenses.

More information about this event is available here. The Open Source projects currently represented are:

Thank you once again to our current sponsors:
750$ Sponsors
Farallon Geographics
Airborne Interactive
Boreal - Information Strategies (Borealis)
Applied Imagery
Neogeo technologies
Hockey Night Sponsor Host (Room and Internet)
Gateway Geomatics
Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM)

Please do not hesitate to forward this announcement in your respective channels.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grosse semaine pour OSGeo à Montréal du 15 au 18 mars 2011

(English Version)

Du 15 au 18 mars prochain, soit dans à peine deux semaines, Montréal sera l'hôte du Code Sprint OSGeo 2011 qui réunira pour 4 jours de travail intensif certains des principaux acteurs de la communauté OSGeo en provenance d'Amérique du nord et d'Europe. Au moment d'écrire ce billet, 27 "sprinters" sont inscrits, en provenance des projets MapServer, GDAL/OGR, PostGIS, libLAS, ZOO Project, TinyOWS, GeoPrisma, OpenLayers et GeoExt.

Pour l'occasion, OSGeo-Québec tiendra un 5 à 7 le lundi 14 mars 2010, la veille de l'ouverture du Sprint, afin de permettre à la communauté OSGeo locale de se rencontrer et d'échanger avec les participants du sprint en visite à Montréal. Vous êtes donc invités à compter de 17:00 le lundi 14 mars au 2ème étage du McLean's Pub, 1210 rue Peel à Montréal.

Je tiens à remercier au passage les commanditaires qui rendent possible la tenue du code sprint:
(SVP prendre note qu'il y a toujours de la place pour de nouveaux commanditaires. Si vous êtes intéressés vous pouvez obtenir les détails ici et me contacter par courriel à dmorissette à

Et aussi un grand merci à la Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) qui accueille le groupe dans ses locaux. Il ne fait pas de doute que les sprinters vont apprécier la vue du 24ème étage!

Finalement, il reste encore de la place pour quelques "sprinters". Vous n'avez pas à être un développeur, il y a aussi du travail à faire pour des usagers avancés, comme du travail sur la documentation (traduction ou nouvelle documentation), des tests des nouvelles fonctionnalités, etc. La principale exigence est que vous soyez prêts à mettre la main à la pâte et que vous soyez familiers avec le logiciel pour lequel vous désirez travailler. Si vous êtes intéressés alors ne tardez pas trop, voyez la page de wiki pour tous les détails, et assurez-vous d'ajouter votre nom à la liste des participants et de vous abonner à la liste de discussion "tosprint" pour être informés des dernières mises à jour!

OSGeo's Montreal Code Sprint 2011 - Only two weeks away!

(Version française)

Yes, time is flying! It's only two weeks away! All the pieces are coming together smoothly for a very exciting OSGeo Code Sprint in Montreal the week of March 15 to 18, 2011.

As I am writing this, 27 OSGeo project developers and contributors from North America and Europe have signed up to meet and work on MapServer, GDAL/OGR, PostGIS, libLAS, ZOO Project, TinyOWS, GeoPrisma, OpenLayers and GeoExt.

Most of the attendees are from the C Tribe this year, and unfortunately the Java and JavaScript Tribes are essentially missing after making a great presence last year. Come on guys, it's been great to sprint with you last year and we'd like to have you back!

Thank you to our sponsors who are supporting food and fun for the sprinters as they work hard and play hard for four productive days:
(Note: There is always room for more sponsors. If you are interested please see the details here and contact me at dmorissette at

And also big thanks to the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) for hosting us in their wonderful conference room and providing internet access for free. I'm sure the sprinters will appreciate the view of the city from the 24th floor!

Finally, there is still room for a couple more sprinters. We only ask that you be knowledgeable and willing to get your hands dirty working for one of the projects that is represented. If you plan on participating then hurry up, visit the wiki page to get all the information and make sure you add your name to the list of participants in the wiki and join the "tosprint" mailing list to get the latest updates!