Actually, I’m on a train right now, and this post should be published automatically.
I am going to take part in the 2nd QGIS User Conference and QGIS hackfest. The conference should be really interesting. Even though this is only the second event, the conference program is extremely rich. There are presentations demonstraing how QGIS is used in real-world applications in different areas, workshops from QGIS core developers and advanced users, an overview of new features, etc. It is quite difficult to decide where to go and whom to listen to; almost all talks and workshops are intriguing.
Today PacktPublishing released another book about QGIS, which contains quite a lot of my work. The book is available in both printed and electronic forms.
As the title suggests, QGIS 2 Cookbook provides a set of carefully selected and detailed recipes for using QGIS to solve different GIS tasks: from the basic ones (such as loading spatial data from various sources) to the advanced ones (working with vector topology, developing own plugins).
Many thanks to my co-authors: Alex Mandel, Anita Graser and Victor Olaya. It was a real pleasure to work with them, and being a part of a large team of authors was a very useful experience.
Last year, I sent an article about openModeller to the Ukrainian “GIS and Protected Areas” journal. I sent it, and because of work and other stuff, I completely forgot about it. But it was only me who forgot; the article was included in the last year’s issue of the journal.
Have you ever tried to pass the coordinates of any location by phone or explain to someone where to find a specific place on a map in the absence of a map? This is not an easy task: not everyone can easily memorize long coordinates, and it is difficult to recognize them, especially when spelling over the phone. Of course, there are different techniques designed to simplify this. For example, one can say coordinate in full, spell it by individual numbers, or even use the International Phonetic Alphabet (of course, if interlocutors are familiar with it). But anyway, it is slow, inconvenient, and error-prone.
In such cases, the what3words service comes to the rescue. With its help, one can pass the coordinates of any location with 3 meters of accuracy in just three words. All you need to do is install the Android/iOS application or open the website, find the desired point on a map, and copy three words that encode the point’s coordinates. For instance, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Svobody square, 4), where the GIS-Forum 2016 is currently taking place, is at robes.mimics.array.
The service is free and already supports 8 languages. The number of supported languages grows every month.
QGIS users can install the plugin of the same name developed by BoundlessGeo. The plugin allows you to get the coordinates of any point in what3words notation and quickly navigate to a location defined by what3words coordinates.
If you have been using QGIS for ages, you surely know what the fTools plugin is. For a long time, it was practically the only tool for performing vector geoprocessing operations. With the advent of Processing, the need for fTools significantly decreased because most of the fTools algorithms were also available in Processing. And today, the fTools era is over.
All fTools algorithms that were missing from Processing have been implemented. The fTools plugin has been removed. Processing has been “taught” to create menu entries and bind algorithms to them. This means that the “Vector” menu has not disappeared, and you will find all the tools in their usual places. The only difference is that instead of custom fTools dialogs, you will see automatically generated Processing dialogs.
Months of hard work and sleepless nights; tight deadlines; numerous discussions, arguments, and compromises, all these are finally behind us. We have done it! My first book — QGIS By Example — is ready and will soon be available in printed and electronic forms at Packt Publishing.
Today I would like to express my gratitude to Werner Macho and Nyall Dawson for their reviews and invaluable comments. I would also like to thank the publisher in general and its editorial team in particular for their advice and assistance, patience and understanding. My biggest thanks go to my co-author, Daria Svidzinska, for her support and invaluable contribution to the book. I am also immensely grateful to all my friends and family for their support and encouragement.
On Tuesday, we were at the Symfomania concert, I liked it overall. All the girls are good in their own way, but personally I liked the solos performed by Valentina, Ekaterina and Elena the most. And Victoria is an incredibly charismatic creature.
Since winter, I’ve been planning to participate in the next QGIS developer meeting: I gathered the necessary documents, booked tickets, applied for a visa, and so on. But it didn’t work out — the airline canceled the flight a week before departure. Of course, they offered an alternative and, after a quick check to see whether the new flight fits into the planned schedule, I agreed to the replacement. The application for a ticket change was processed for almost a week (!) but without any outcome: the availability of seats on the alternative flight was not confirmed. So what was the point of offering it?
Then even better. Less than a day before departure, and now they offer another option (the second one, yeah), and the departure/arrival dates are different from previous ones and do not match with the visa and other tickets. I tried this and that… but in less than a day before the departure it was impossible to find a more or less acceptable solution (including buying other tickets) which could allow me to come for at least a day or two.
The results of the project selection for GSoC 2015 have been announced. This year, the requirements for the projects were stricter and the number of slots was much smaller. Therefore, the fact that QGIS has been selected is even more gratifying. Marcus Santos will work on multithreading support in Processing, and Victor Olaya and I will be his mentors.
Two weeks ago, I went to Kyiv to apply for a visa again, this time for a Denmark one.
The actual process is practically the same as previously described, even the visa centers are located in the same building: Germany on the first floor and the Scandinavian countries on the second floor. The number of required documents is a bit lower: a written explanation of the purpose of the trip is not required. But the requirements for documents are stricter: the application form has to be filled out exclusively in English or Danish, all Ukrainian-language documents (certificates, etc.) must be accompanied by a translation into English or Danish. But at least a notarized translation is not required, so it is possible to translate them by yourself.
The processing time for an application is 10 days or more (if there is a need for additional information or consultation with the Danish Migration Service). But usually the process is faster, about a week.