[Olpc-open] [bytesforall_readers] GIS-based Community Programs.

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 20 07:21:46 EST 2008

On Feb 18, 2008 10:31 PM, Seth Woodworth <seth at isforinsects.com> wrote:
> I have poked into a few projects for GIS on the XO.  There are of course
> Open Street Maps and a great UK project that escapes my mind at the moment.

A practical environmental education project linking students, teachers
and scientists in 109 countries

> Most if not all of the projects for mapping or the tabulation of data onto a
> map system are going to require non free flash, or non free java.  Neither
> of which are great answers.

This turns out not to be the case. There are publicly defined GIS data
formats such as KML (Keyhole Mapping Language, from Keyhole, which
became Google Earth when purchased by Google). There are also several
Free Software GIS packages and display libraries that use neither
flash nor java. We can combine data in usable formats with usable
software to do whatever we need. Undoubtedly a few more converters are
needed, but we can invite in people who are already doing that. Or we
can go to their sites, as I have done at

* gdal map file conversion
* grass Geographic Resources Analysis Support System
* qgis GIS that can use GRASS data

See also Open Geospatial Consortium
The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.(R) (OGC) is a non-profit,
international, voluntary consensus standards organization that is
leading the development of standards for geospatial and location based

It is true that there are hundreds of proprietary or undocumented
mapping formats, and lots of proprietary mapping software, but we
don't have to bother with them. There are also lots of GIS file
converters. Ray Cromwell tells me that Timepedia is putting a lot of
effort into translating publicly available map data files to widely
usable formats and adding necessary metadata.

http://www.timepedia.org  <--not .com

Timepedia started with a simple question:

    "What if we could collect all historical data and help everyone
explore and understand it?"

Chronoscope Beta

A beta version of our zoomable browser widget for graphing, charting,
and visualization is now available.

There are three authoring models supported:

    * As a GWT Widget using Java
    * As a Javascript widget
    * Pure HTML+CSS using microformats

Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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