The second (and first for me) QGIS User Conference is over. More than 150 participants, 9 workshops in three parallel sessions, 18 presentations from people all over the world: two incredibly busy days flew really fast.
Workshops from QGIS core developers and the most experienced community members were interesting and useful for both beginners and those who have been using QGIS for a long time. Personally, I managed to attend four workshops:
From data model to QGIS project — Matthias Kuhn and Andreas Neumann were showing how to prepare data and setup QGIS to comfortably use datasets containing lots of interdependent tables with and without spatial information.
QGIS Cartography Tips and Tricks — Alexandre Neto demonstrated QGIS capabilities to create beautiful printed maps. The workshop was dedicated not only to the use of Print Composer and Atlas functionality but also highlighted powerful QGIS features for layer styling, labeling, using map themes, and multiple styles for a single layer.
Advanced Processing — actually, I attended this workshop not as an ordinary participant, but as a second mentor. Together with Victor Olaya we showed some “secret” features of Processing that could take analysis productivity to the next level.
Your first steps in Python with QGIS — led by Martin Dobias and targeted at beginners who want to automate their work by developing scripts and plugins. I attended this workshop to see how others talk about PyQGIS and maybe borrow some ideas for my own workshops.
18 presentations on a wide range of topics once again confirmed that QGIS turned from a “pet project” into a full-fledged competitor of such well-known products as ArcMap and MapInfo a long time ago. It was very interesting to listen to reports on the migration of government agencies to QGIS as well as on using QGIS in conservation and educational institutions. Presentations about new QGIS features, plugins, and other related developments, such as QGIS Server clients, were also captivating.
Many thanks to the organizers for their hospitality and impeccable organization of the conference.
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.
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.
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.
On March 18-20, Kharkiv hosted the annual GIS-Forum “Education, Science, and Production”. It was the fourth conference and the second one I participated in (the first time was last year).
This year there were minor organisational issues: the opening on the first day was delayed for about half an hour due to some problems with the equipment and with the joining of remote participants; most of the speakers were hard to hear despite the presence of a microphone and speakers; and there was no Wi-Fi.
The talks were different: both outright trash and very interesting. This year, the works presented at the student competition and the results of the competition itself left a mixed feeling. Firstly, some works were presented for the second time without any improvements or changes. Secondly, the selection of the winner in the category “Best ideas for GIS application”… From my point of view, the selection process and criteria were not transparent, and the results were strange. Though, two strong presentations still won prizes.
This year’s workshops attracted more participants, but they were not active at all, just like last year. However, the discussion organized by Daria and me was quite lively. We didn’t even have enough time to cover all the planned topics.
I want to say thank you to the organizers for their hospitality and interesting program. Hopefully the next anniversary Forum will be even better.
The 12th QGIS developers meeting, which took place in Essen (Germany), has ended.
In my previous posts (day 1, day 2, and day 3), I have already covered the main points, and now I will go into a little more detail about the most interesting results.
Four types of certificates are planned: QGIS User, QGIS Professional, QGIS Trainer, and QGIS Developer. Also, PSC will issue so-called “grandfather” certificates. The TAO online platform will be used for assessments.
New geometry class
A complete update of the QgsGeometry class, which is responsible for the spatial component of objects, is planned:
support for an extended set of geometric primitives
support for Z (altitude) and M (measurement) values
support for curves
new extensible architecture
an extensive set of unit-tests
The first batch of changes has already been implemented, and new functionality is expected to be included in the QGIS 2.7 code base. The work was supported by the Canton of Solothurn.
In fact, there were many more interesting and active discussions, and some topics appeared on the agenda spontaneously (for example, support for SAGA and OTB in Processing on Debian builds). In addition to broad discussions, there were also “narrow” discussions where specialized problems were solved (such as downloading data from the Portuguese iGeo portal), and participants periodically organized into groups to solve problems together and/or find and fix bugs.
Also during the meeting:
we discussed changes to the release schedule: it is proposed to maintain the LTS release with a 1 year lifecycle
support for Python plugins for the QGIS Server was proposed and partially implemented. This way, one can significantly expand the functionality of the server without the need to make changes to its code
we discussed the prospects of fTools (vector data) and GDALTools (raster data) plug-ins and their possible replacement with Processing
PSC completed process of the trademark registration and developed guidelines for its use
we started work on integrating contextual help into the documentation
lots of bugs were fixed
documentation was updated
Many thanks to the organizers and LinuxHotel staff for their hospitality.
The second day of the QGIS hackfest is coming to an end.
The documentation team has continued to update the documentation and website, with over 30 commits today. The developers have not lagged behind - the number of commits is approaching 40. As always, Martin is a delight: thanks to his efforts, the rendering speed of a simple symbol renderer has increased significantly. Depending on the data, the speed increase ranges from 19 to 31%.
The first day of the 12th QGIS Developer Meeting in Essen has passed. Actually, it’s not really correct to consider it a full-featured day of the meeting, because most of the attendees were just arriving today. Moreover, today Linuxhotel was hosting an event and we were not able to fully use its infrastructure.
But all this did not prevent us from getting to know each other, communicating and even (there were such maniacs) doing something. For example, Otto, Richard, and Yves started documentation update. The day ended with a joint dinner at Haus Großjung.