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Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Public Sector GIS done extraordinarily well

Posted by smathermather on September 28, 2014

Today I’ll highlight the work of Photo of Mr. Yu, B.J. Jang, and Stephen Mather at Smart GeoSpatial Expo 2014Mr. Byeong-Hyeok Yu, one of two GIS people at Korea National Park Service (KNPS). The other GIS person is (if memory serves) in the research branch of that institution.

I’ll highlight a few of Mr. Yu’s projects. To start with, we have the classic natural resource management projects — you remember — those analyses that you did in your college GIS programs that were the promise of what was to come, what you were to do in a career of GIS? Ya. He gets to do those for his real job.endangered_species_mapping

In fairness, based on all he does, I suspect he doesn’t sleep many hours each night.

What else though — that is what you’d hope a parks GIS guy would do. Mr. Yu has piloted KNPS’s drone program, flying a variety of sites which require high resolution aerial imagery with 8 rotor UAS’s.

drones

One of the great gaps in understanding natural resource management is getting both synoptic and detailed spatially explicit information. Drones promise to do both in projects from a few acres to adrones1

few square miles. It’s really refreshing to see KNPS leading the way in this category.

naver_trail_view

There are just two more projects I want to touch on. The first, like drones, is address the question of how do we, as managers of parks, steward high resolution info, in this case both for operations and park users. To this end, Mr. Yu has a small army of park rangers wandering around with backpack camera units mapping out trail view (like streetview) imagery for Naver Daum, (one of Korea’s Google equivalents). I like projects like this, as they leverage existing work within the organization (a small army of park rangers hiking the trails of KNPS and interacting with and helping visitors), and external partnership, in this case Naver to achieve an exceedingly useful product that has the following benefits: documentation of the state KNPS trail system (these data become historical some day), addresses recreational needs and questions of the public, and likely aids in operational and planning questions that would be difficult to address otherwise. (As a side note, for application in the US, I’d be interested in the licensing of the resultant data — I’m an advocate of such data being as liberally licensed as possible, something difficult to accomplish with some of our native tech giants).

OK.  One last project. My organization has been working for a few years on really great online mapping products to ensure that we engage people on the platforms that they occupy, i.e. the physical world, and that embodied in their phone. It is a project of which I am most proud. Not surprisingly, I’m going to steal some ideas from KNPS equivalent. Many ideas, actually… . Mr. Yu has initiated something similar (and in usual fashion, of highest quality) in rolling KNPS native trails app (shown here on a Samsung phone :)

trails_app

This app serves two purposes.

The first is that engagement piece I reference above — the app is an exercise in how to use the smart phone as a platform for engaging, educating, and making comfortable park users.

The second purpose is simple. The app becomes a tool for connecting injured hikers with rescue personnel. To this end, it has already been used twice.

trails_app_rescue

So. Is this public sector GIS as you think of it? Bravo Mr. Yu. For the record, Mr. Byeong-Hyeok Yu has been in his position 3 Years.

Posted in FOSS4G Korea | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

OpenDroneMap — The MOVIE

Posted by smathermather on September 22, 2014

Apparently travelling for 20 days straight back and forth through 3 time zones across 13 hours of time difference  makes me calmer, more rational, and a better presenter than normal. All 27 minutes and 35 seconds.

And then don’t forget to check out the rest: http://vimeo.com/foss4g

Posted in 3D, Bundler, Camera Calibration, Conference, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014, Image Processing, OpenDroneMap, Optics, Photogrammetry, PMVS | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OpenDroneMap and the art of sneakernet packet making

Posted by smathermather on September 20, 2014

Current scene in the smathermather household — OpenDroneMap sneakernet packets being produced for training 53 people in OpenDroneMap on Monday.
image

(Yes, I’m using rsync, not tar. Old dog. New tricks.)

edit: let’s throw some code up there, ugly though it may be:


START=$(date +%s) && cd /media/user/USB\ DISK/ && rsync -avz /home/user/Desktop/* . && cd .. && \
END=$(date +%s) && DIFF=$(( $END - $START )) && echo && echo "Processing took $DIFF seconds" & \
START=$(date +%s) && cd /media/user/USB\ DISK1/ && rsync -avz /home/user/Desktop/* . && cd .. && \
END=$(date +%s) && DIFF=$(( $END - $START )) && echo && echo "Processing took $DIFF seconds" && \
cd .. &

 

Posted in 3D, Bundler, Camera Calibration, Conference, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014, Image Processing, OpenDroneMap, Optics, Photogrammetry, PMVS | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

OpenDroneMap — Art and Science

Posted by smathermather on September 16, 2014

I consider myself an artist and scientist. I’ll confess I have let the art go fallow some in recent years, but these are two sides of one coin. If you like either, and especially if you like both, you should check out Tobias Research.

I met Michele at FOSS4G, where from the moment she saw my presentation on OpenDroneMap to using it to create a point cloud was a few short hours. I sat with Michele and her partner in crime, Alex, for a little while walking them through the (until then) undocumented steps of creating a mesh and texturing it inside MeshLab (to be fair to MeshLab, there’s plenty of docs on this, but there were none yet within the OpenDroneMap repo.

So, here’s some quick shots of her Kite Aerial Photography images for studying plant / dune dynamics processed through OpenDroneMap. Stunning kite aerial photography (KAP) work. The groundwork for great and beautiful science:

 

 

Posted in 3D, Bundler, Camera Calibration, Conference, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014, Image Processing, OpenDroneMap, OpenDroneMap, Optics, Photogrammetry, PMVS | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Null Archipelago — Null Islands for All Coordinate Reference Systems — revision

Posted by smathermather on September 10, 2014

Ok, I misunderstood… . The Null Island Archipelago is actually meant to be just datum based, i.e. not the 0,0 of every projection, but the 0,0 of every null lat/lon.

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION where_in_the_null (crs integer) RETURNS
geometry AS $$

WITH null_island AS (
	SELECT ST_MakePoint(0,0) AS geom
	),
null_island_crs AS (
	SELECT ST_SetSRID(geom, crs) AS geom FROM null_island
)
SELECT ST_Transform(geom, 4326) FROM null_island_crs

---

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS null_archipelago;

CREATE TABLE null_archipelago AS
SELECT srid, where_in_the_null(auth_srid) FROM spatial_ref_sys
WHERE proj4text LIKE '%longlat%';

null_archipelago_real

 

 

@mizmay Someone suggested & @schuyler tweeted (who? please remind me!) a few weeks ago that each coordinate reference system (CRS) has it’s own Null Island, and therefore there must be a Null Archipelago. This got me thinking — what does that look like?

Enter PostGIS. We’ll create a function, that given an EPSG code will return the 0,0 location for that reference system in the real world. It turns out, this is quite easy.


CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION where_in_the_null (crs integer) RETURNS
geometry AS $$

WITH null_island AS (
	SELECT ST_MakePoint(0,0) AS geom
	),
null_island_crs AS (
	SELECT ST_SetSRID(geom, crs) AS geom FROM null_island
)
SELECT ST_Transform(geom, 4326) FROM null_island_crs
 
$$ LANGUAGE SQL VOLATILE;


So, now we need some EPSG codes. To that end, we have one in any PostGIS database.


CREATE TABLE null_archipelago AS
SELECT srid, where_in_the_null(auth_srid) FROM spatial_ref_sys
	WHERE auth_srid > 2000 AND auth_srid < 4904;


Map showing the null archipelago overlayed on the Stamen Watercolor Map

Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.

Posted in Conferences, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Null Archipelago — Null Islands for All Coordinate Reference Systems

Posted by smathermather on September 10, 2014

@mizmay Someone suggested & @schuyler tweeted (who? please remind me!) a few weeks ago that each coordinate reference system (CRS) has it’s own Null Island, and therefore there must be a Null Archipelago. This got me thinking — what does that look like?

Enter PostGIS. We’ll create a function, that given an EPSG code will return the 0,0 location for that reference system in the real world. It turns out, this is quite easy.

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION where_in_the_null (crs integer) RETURNS
geometry AS $$

WITH null_island AS (
	SELECT ST_MakePoint(0,0) AS geom
	),
null_island_crs AS (
	SELECT ST_SetSRID(geom, crs) AS geom FROM null_island
)
SELECT ST_Transform(geom, 4326) FROM null_island_crs
 
$$ LANGUAGE SQL VOLATILE;

So, now we need some EPSG codes. To that end, we have one in any PostGIS database.

CREATE TABLE null_archipelago AS
SELECT srid, where_in_the_null(auth_srid) FROM spatial_ref_sys
	WHERE auth_srid > 2000 AND auth_srid < 4904;

Map showing the null archipelago overlayed on the Stamen Watercolor Map

Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.

Posted in Conferences, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014 | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

FOSS as Folk

Posted by smathermather on September 10, 2014

Let us expand a bit on the theme of Free and Open Source Software as _Folk_ software development, i. e. of the people, for the people, and by the people. When I put together my presentation for FOSS4G Korea 2014, I had elements of this theme in it. I expected I would talk about the relationship between governance and open source software in the context of legitimacy — that one informs the legitimacy of the other, as both operate in that shared space we might call commons and derive their legitimacy from that commons.

As I spoke with Sanghee Shin and other OSGeo folks when I arrived, the concepts really crystalized: Free and Open Source Software is folk software, enabled to be built due to the connectivity available by the medium of the internet, by creators with common purpose and common love. And as _folk_ software, not only will development and support of Free and Open Source Geospatial sofware lend legitimacy to the South Korea’s central government’s initiative in software, but that as commons-based peer production, open source software becomes an open expression of Korean culture, Korean ingenuity, and Korea’s contribution to the broader GeoSpatial world.

From the outset, what I was attempting with the speech was to combine Paul Ramsey’s diagram for commons-based peer production (Love of common interest + inexpensive tools for production + internet = commons-based peer production, i.e. Wikipedia, OpenStreetMap, FOSS software, etc.) with Kate Chapman’s call to action: Geo for All, a call for the widening and deepening of the pool of contributors and users of GeoSpatial data and software. The concept of FOSS as Folk happens to do just this thing, and hints at some of the challenges before us in making FOSS accessible.

But, the question of _folk_ explicitly gives us additional conditions and context for creating an inclusive community. This touches back to Kate Chapman’s call for geo4all — understanding FOSS as Folk explicitly calls us to balance simplicity and elaborateness (석가탑 다보탑), and thus helps us be inclusive, but also gives us traditions and context for implementation.

Let us tie this all together in a sentence or two: FOSS is Folk Software, Folk has legitimacy through inclusive process similar to democratic society, and Folk software can draw on other Folk traditions to achieve the balance of simplicity and elaborativeness that results in software and tools that are inclusive and effective. Finally, looking to Governance and Open Source, the work of South Korea in supporting FOSS for geospatial and initiatives like Code for America, FOSS and democratic processes can draw legitimacy from each other by resourcing the same Commons space.

image

Posted in Conferences, FOSS4G, FOSS4G 2014, FOSS4G Korea | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

From Dobongsan to Mount Saint Helens — FOSS4Gs and OpenDroneMap

Posted by smathermather on September 8, 2014

I’ve touched down and started to settle into Tri-Met country not too long after returning from FOSS4G Korea.

Photo of mountain in the Cascades from airplaneThe public transit is great, the city vibrant with the warmth of a small town, and the energy of an enclave in a big city, and it’s also slightly surreal, now that I’m back where I am no longer, as Paul Ramsey put it, functionally illiterate. Functionally illiterate is what I was for a week and a couple of days in Korea, and thinking of it like that, this was the first time since early gradeschool that one could consider me to be that. Fascinating. I recommend being functionally illiterate every now and then. (Quick aside, I started to learn Hangul, the Korean alphabet today, and it is not so bad. It’s very clever and logical, and I’m looking forward to getting deeper into it).

On Friday I unveil the beginnings of OpenDroneMap, an open source project intended address computer vision in the context of geospatial datasets. This is a project at its infancy, so it’s is as much a call to action, a plea for help, and a “Hey, does anyone want to come out and play?” sort of moment. And I do it now, before the project is too far along so that a wide variety of people can, if they are interested, get involved and have a say in structure, direction, and outcomes associated with it.IMG_20140906_231000

So what is it? Well as a starting place, it’s a fork of an existing computer vision framework (https://github.com/qwesda/BundlerTools) that allows one to go from unreferenced arbitrary photos to structured information. It’s intended to make computer vision techniques useful and usable for geospatial professionals.

At a moment when PostGIS is so very mature that it does most everything, the waves of invention and reinvention of geospatial are passing again and again through the C, Java, Python, Javascript, and Go (etc.) communities, it is now that we have new possibilities of rich spatial datasets, from crowd-sourced Google Street View like projects such as Mapillary, to the impending deluge of images from civilian Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones). Sadly, many existing tools in this sphere are hard to use, expensive, and or don’t scale well to large datasets. The aim with ODM is to create a toolkit that is easy to use, Free and Open Source (and thus free to modify and use), and scales well to large use cases and moreover to do so within the context of the broader community through a transparent development process.

ODM then is a toolset to augment and supplement existing, now conventional, geospatial technologies like GPS, and give structure to the vast catalog of unstructured data being collected everyday. (I won’t delve into it here, but the other part of the puzzle is the common archiving of unstructured data, ala OpenStreetMap. More on that later).

Pre and post transformed points compared in single figureIn our previous example, we used the implicit information in photos using Multi-Stereo View analysis to correctly restructure bad GPS information. This is a trivial example but mighty powerful stuff.

Let me frame this with a quick diversion: I was blessed with the opportunity to keynote at FOSS4G Korea. I wrote and practiced a clever speech, I flew there to Seoul, and on my ride into town from the airport had a revelatory conversation with Sanghee Shin, my host, as to the nature and future of FOSS4G in Korea. So, I promptly and humbly re-wrote my speech.

In short, this is what I said in my keynote: the South Korean Government is interested in fostering the best endemic resources of the Korean Peninsula, the minds and talents of it’s people, to do great work in software. We know the South Korea for hardware innovations (Samsung, LG, etc.) and world class internet speeds. They want also to be known for their software innovations. I suggested that endemicity (the characteristic of being endemic), government by the people, and commons-based peer production (like open source), are three arenas heavily overlapping in a common space, and that it is natural for Koreans to embrace Free and Open Source Software as an answer to bringing to bear Korean initiative and creativity in software.

Kombucha stand, Portland, Oregon

Kombucha stand, Portland, Oregon

Or put another way — Open Source software is Folk software. Of, by, and for the people, endemic to the creators and users of that software, and if the Korean Government is interested in endemic Korean software communities, then it is in their interest to sponsor and support Free and Open Source Software development and application.

So, my call to action today is that we as the FOSS4G community embrace and lead the development of tools which structure our unstructured information — that together, we build OpenDroneMap and the host of related tools that will aid us in building common geospatial understanding from unstructured data from the street, from the forest, from the fields, and from the air. Next up — the next generation of GeoSpatial software. I am excited to apply and invent it with you, our next generation of Folk GeoSpatial Software. Please join me.

 

PostScript: Could you hear the crescendo of music in the background? You could? Good. I hope it moved you. If you are at FOSS4G Portland, I hope it moves you to my presentation at 10:30 to 10:55 on Friday in track 5. There will be more crescendoing music. Oh Yes.
PostPostScript: Should OpenDroneMap be part of PostGIS long term? Is that a crazy idea? How about a front end as an extension in QGIS? Come, let’s discuss the madness.PostPostPostScript: I think switching time zones is starting to affect my writing style. Is it better? Worse? Neither better nor worse? Good.PostPostPostPostScript: Goodnight all. 좋은 밤.

Posted in 3D, Analysis, Bundler, Camera Calibration, Conference, Conferences, Image Processing, OpenDroneMap | Leave a Comment »

Bukhansan National Park, Seoul, Pt Two — on to Dobongsan Mountain

Posted by smathermather on September 5, 2014

Fewer words, more pictures this time. On to Dobongsan Mountain. This time, I went through a different entrance just to the north and east of the previous entrance.

DSC05134 DSC05135 DSC05136 DSC05140 DSC05144 DSC05164 DSC05167 DSC05169 DSC05235 DSC05237 DSC05239 DSC05263 DSC05279 DSC05285

Posted in Conferences, FOSS4G Korea, National Park | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Bukhansan National Park, Seoul, Pt Two — off to the base of Dobongsan Mountain

Posted by smathermather on September 4, 2014

In my previous post on Bukhansan National Park, I had the blessings of a guide, ilJumun Jingwansa, who is a KNPS ranger. My second time in the National Park, I took a subway train by myself to explore. This was a quick hike to familiarize myself with getting to the mountain, rather than an in depth exploration.

Photo along Teheran-ro in Gangam District, Seoul

Photo along Teheran-ro in Gangam District, Seoul

Photo from train while crossing the Han River.

Photo from train while crossing the Han River.

I took a train from my hotel in the Gangnam district to the Dobong Station, which is the closest subway station to Bukhansan National Park.

Photo near Dobong Station

Photo near Dobong Station

One thing that I noticed most everywhere in Seoul was the use of the small narrow spaces along rivers, under expressways, and other nooks and crannies that serve as linear parks with multi-purpose trails connecting them. Next time I am there, I hope to rent a bike and do some serious exploration of these,

From Dobong Station, I wandered up a stream along a multi-purpose trail, passed a narrow band of agriculture, to the foot of the mountain.

This adventure ended up being more about the edges of the city, and how they feather into the edges of the National Park and less about the National Park itself. But, it did give me the confidence to navigate to the Bukhansan and to the base of Dobongsan Mountain.

 

Posted in Conferences, FOSS4G Korea, National Park | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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