GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Technology Trends: Openness


This week's trend is openness. This concept refers to what it means to be open and what stands to be gained from adopting an open approach to development and dissemination. Many people feel that one reason that GIS has primarily developed in the USA is that the US government has had a more open approach to data compared with their counterparts in Europe and the UK, in the areas of copyright law and the openness of government produced data in particular.

I'd like you to read this blog post from Google discussing openness and how it affects their business. This post is widely viewed as Google's "open manifesto" and while it is quite long, it covers the major issues very well.

Not surprisingly, this post made a big splash in the open source community and prompted at least some critical responses. Here's a link to one of those responses that I'd like you to check out as well for a bit of contrast.

screenshot of QGIS
Figure 6.02: QGIS is one example of an open-source GIS that is quite mature - do you think major GIS vendors are feeling heat from projects like this that provide competition to their offerings?
Image credit:

One of the best (in my opinion) open-source GIS packages available today is QGIS, which has matured a great deal since its introduction in 2002. Today it's a full-featured GIS which is actively developed by a very large community of contributors. I highly recommend that you check it out, play around with the tools, and see for yourself what it can (and cannot) do well. Since we've already seen a lot of sales pitches from vendors like Esri, I also want you to see the message that the QGIS folks are trying to send about what they see as key advantages of their offerings. Check out the keynote here from FOSS4G 2013 by Tim Sutton, owner of a consulting firm that specializes in implementing QGIS for organizations.

Please watch the following video, FOSS4G13 Keynote: Tim Sutton - QGIS 2.0, (49:15).

Click for Transcript of FOSS4G13 Keynote: Tim Sutton - QGIS 2.0

TIM SUTTON: Thanks very much. So Nathan is much younger and handsomer than I am, but I hope I'll do. So I'm Tim. I'm one of the QGIS guys, geeks. I'm actually a self-confesses geek. I'm right there on the-- where was it? The "thinking about my pocket calculator when I go to sleep" end of the scale, from last night. And as it's been already mentioned, Nathan was going to give this talk. And he's also a solid geek, in his own right and I'm sorry that he couldn't be here, but I hope I do this talk justice for him today.

So I'm here to tell you about QGIS-- QGIS for all-- and hopefully, give you a little bit of behind the scenes about how to project works, and tell you about some of the cool things were doing, and why QGIS is the best thing since sliced cheese. So we're going to look at how QGIS is a great tool for users, a great tool for developers, a great place for documenters to hang out, and a great place for you, sponsors and donors, to send us your millions in small bills.

So first, let's have a look, a little bit, at our users. And you've seen some talks earlier today about Inner Safe. And this is Mahadika. She's one of the Inner Safe users and she's a nice example of somebody who's probably never, in her own right, going to be able to afford to buy an eDollar or iProduct.

But she can use QGIS and she can learn about GIS, and spatial data, and she's got all the tools she needs because projects like QGIS and the other great things that we've seen here at the conference are available to her. And in South Africa, where I live-- the best country on earth-- there are many people that are really below the bread line or they don't have a lot of access to eDollar or iProducts and other ones like them.

And Open Source gives them a leg up in life. If they're interested in computers, they've got everything they need to go, and take advantage of that, and build their skills, and earn themselves an income. And we've been very active in South Africa. We've tried to be active. You've probably seen a very tall guy in the audience. Where is he? There you go. There. And a not so tall guy, Graham, that are hanging around the conference.

And the three of us have been trying to promote Open Source GIS in South Africa. And it's really gratifying to see when we give a course, and a bunch of people come along, and they would never have been able to use GIS before, and, suddenly, there's this great tool that we can give them. And the story is the same all over the show. This is a nice picture. Those are elephants, in case you've come from Europe and don't know what a big, large animal is.

This is a picture from the helicopter of an annual elephant survey in a game reserve. And the girl that works in the game reserve wrote to be. It's a typical kind of email-- help, my QGIS won't do x, y, z. Can you help me? And when they're nice emails, then I reply. And when they're not nice ones, I say go to the mailing list and ask there. But this one was nice because I like elephants. And she was telling me about how they recorded the elephant population from the helicopter.

And then they go back to the office, and they put the elephant sightings into QGIS, and then they can see where the elephants are. And unfortunately, we don't have real time poacher tracking, but that's probably a feature that we should add to QGIS in the near future. And so they're really doing great things for humanity and biodiversity with QGIS. I had to throw in a slide for Australia, just because Nathan is Australian. And he would have, no doubt, had a lot more Australian stories.

But in Australia, QGIS is being used in local government, and people are recording all their city infrastructure on QGIS, and they're using it in a production environment to do great things to run their towns and cities. And in Tanzania, where I've been working, it's the same story again. I go to a place and the people have never had a chance to use a GIS before. Even some of them from university departments that are working in GS spatial things, but they've never had hands on a proper GIS before.

And we're train them in QGIS. And the people are smiling such big smiles and really thrilled to be able to get access to all this spatial day. Marco Hubentobler is another developer from QGIS. He and I went on a trip to Tanzania. And we met a guy and we to his office. And they showed us-- they've got a PostGIS database. And they had all the biodiversity data, all the species observations for Tanzania in the database, but the guy had never seen the species data on a map.

We sat with him, in his office, for an hour. We installed QGIS, connected him to his Perseus database, and within an hour, he was printing out maps of the biodiversity information that they had in their database. It's a really powerful, enabling tool for people.

And in Brazil, [? Luis Mattei-- ?] he's somewhere, maybe, in the audience here-- and his colleagues are working in the Amazon. They're going out to people who are living in the forest, and training them to use QGIS, and helping them to use QGIS to map where deforestation is occurring, and help them to conserve their ecosystem around them. He asked me to mention that this is part of the [INAUDIBLE] Geo Project. I hope I said that right.

And all around the world, you'll find the same stories. These are just ones that I know of and sort of had five minutes to tell you about. But if you ask anybody what they do with QGIS, they've always got an interesting story about how they're using it in new and exciting ways. These are just some of the people that have registered. This map was made in QGIS, by the way. These are just some of the people that have registered on our site as users.

And really, we actually had a few people, in the early version of our web mapping application, that registered as being in outer space, but I've excluded them from the slide. But all the planetary dwellers that are using QGIS are here. And you can really see-- we're getting into every nook and cranny of the planet. And probably the people in the un-mapped bits just haven't done it via our website, where you can come and register yourself.

So it's quite interesting to see how the project has grown, in terms of our user base. And it's a bit of a difficult problem. When you're an Open Source project, you know how many people are using your software. If we were a proprietary company, we'd probably have some nasty, little activation thing to make you go through, and then we'd count you, and we'd probably collect all your demographics, sell them to the NSA while we're doing it, and, really, we'd be knowing exactly what was going on.

But as an Open Source project, it's kind of guesswork. We've got this tool on our website which counts how many people download our software. So would anybody like to hazard a guess? How many copies of QGIS 1.4 were downloaded? It's an Open Source talk, so you can just all submit your patch to my missing bit of knowledge. Sorry?

AUDIENCE: 10,000.

TIM SUTTON: 10,000. Let's see if you're right. 71,000. No prize for you. Sorry. And the story just gets more and more exciting. Every release we have, more and more people are downloading our software. 109,000 people downloaded QGIS 1.5. 188,000 downloaded QGIS 1.6. 250,000 downloaded 1.7. And what about some guesses for 1.8? You're wrong. 475,000 downloaded QGIS 1.8.

I can't commit to you how many of those were Chinese botnets that just came to visit our sat and grab our software, but, as an indication, I think it's a fairly good yardstick for the project because for every botnet that was downloading 10 copies, there were also 10 people who were grabbing copies of QGIS, and sharing it around on a memory stick, and taking it to a training course, and sharing it amongst the people in the course. So it could be well higher than that or it could be around this figure. But it's quite exciting for us.

So we've seen a bit about the users. Let me tell you a bit about the developers. So in the beginning, the earth was dark. There was nobody on the earth doing anything interesting. And then one day, in 2002-- July, 2002-- an Alaskan dude, in this basement, hiding out from the cold, dark, snowy conditions outside, sat down in front of his computer and started to write QGIS. And his name is Gary Sherman.

He's kind of a mythical figure for us because he kind of stays in the wastelands of Alaska. He's never come to-- I think somebody may-- has anybody met him? Anybody met him? No. OK. He's a mythical figure. Oh. You've met him?

AUDIENCE: He gave me this hat.

TIM SUTTON: Oh. We'll be auctioning the hat after the show. And so he started to make something in his basement. And he took an unusual step-- not being an eDollar or i kind of guy. eDollar or i guy. I'm going dyslexic here-- And he Open Sourced what he did. He said, world, here is my QGIS version-- I think it was naught point naught, naught, naught, naught. So naught means zero for the people who don't understand South African. 0.00003 of QGIS.

And he put it out there and he said, anybody want to try it? And I know Marco Hugentobler, who's sitting over there, was one of the first guys to try it out. I also tried it out and probably 10 other people tried it. And it was kind of cool. It was like you opened this thing up, you connect to your PostGIS, and you could change the color of the lines. And could you pan? You could pan, you could zoom, and that's it. That was QGIS 0.00003.

But because it was Open Source, it also gave us a platform to start doing things. Now this is-- you asked for some geek stuff, so this is geek eye candy. This is, basically, the commit message of the first commit that he put into CVS. If you don't know what CVS is, then you're not far enough on the right of the geek scale. This was a message he put into CVS saying, this is the initial revision. Very unglamourous. And it was July, 6, 2002.

I've got a little clip here. I did an interview. You can watch the full thing on YouTube, which I interviewed him over Skype. He was a better interviewee than I was an interviewer. But this little clip just is, in his own words, telling how QGIS began. So I'll just let that roll. Or try and let it roll.


-Real job. And in my own time, I'd done a lot of GUI programming with the cute-- I think as the official name is-- or Qt, as most Americans call it, C++ tool kit. And I had been using that way before, actually, the KDE project even started. I remember the email that announced the ambitions of the KDE project. So I had a background in that. And I was actually using the tool kit in some work I was doing in my day job, rendering line data.

And so I thought, oh, this is kind of nice, you know? And I really would like to see some data from PostGIS. I'd done a lot of work with proprietary spatial databases and there wasn't anything that I could find on Linux that would allow me to visualize my spatial data in PostGIS or PostGIS. So that was sort of the bug that got me going on a weekend to sit down, and fiddle around a bit, and see if I could get some data on a screen. So it didn't start out with any grandiose plan to conquer the world with an Open Source GIS.


So no grandiose plans to conquer with the Open Source GIS, but we're taking on his project and applying grandiose plans to conquer the world with an Open Source GIS for him. So in the beginnings of the project, things were very informal. It was quite fun. You'd sort of come along, and you'd write a few lines of code, and then we'd decide, OK, let's do a release tomorrow.

And we'd do a release tomorrow and then the next version would be out. And we'd have 0.00004 or something. That's naught point naught, naught, naught, naught, four, for the people that do understand South African English. So it was quite cool because it was a small project and things were kind of like very relaxed. So my dog got to be the splash screen of 0.003. Sorry, QGIS 0.2. And the release was called Pumpkin. That was the name of our dog. It's a long story. I won't go into why she's called Pumpkin.

And then other developers had pets. So of course, we had to have other pet splash screen releases. And I won't show you all of them, but, of course, Gary had his dog, too. So we had QGIS 0.5 Bandit. One of our better releases. And then we went through a whole process of saying, OK, now we've got to get professional. No more pets on the splash screens. We've got to do something a bit more smart. So we did planetary moons-- Saturn, Jupiter. What was it? I forget where the moons were.

And we were going great guns with our moons and then some obscure GIS company, which nobody had ever heard of, wrote to us and said, well, you're infringing our trademark because we've already got an Enceladus, or a Tethys, or a something. And I think it was Tethys. And so we said, hm, we're sick of moons. These are not good for our splash screens. And so we changed to obscure places on earth. So I think we had-- well, we tried to find a few, obscure places.

We ended up doing-- what was the first place?

AUDIENCE: Copiapo.

TIM SUTTON: Copia-- I can't even say it. That Copiapo one or whatever. It was actually quite a thoughtful named one because that was the town in Chile where people had been trapped in, I think, a copper mine for 30 days or something like that. And they finally managed to get them out and it was quite a nice, little place to name our release after. But anyway, so we dropped the planets and now we're doing places.

And then we had a Hackfest in Lisbon, so we said, OK, let's called the next one Lisboa, which we thought nobody could sue us for because we called it Lisboa, see? Not Lisbon. So it's different. And so we continued. 11 years later, after Gary hid away in his basement and made the first version of QGIS, we've had 25,204 commits into our code base, which is more than you can shake a stick at.

We've had 172 contributors donating their time and energy to make the code base better. We've another 29 core committers in our code base. We've got 4,300,000 lines of stuff. I say stuff because developmers-- you think they'll just write code and code you back with some stuff, but you also write kind of like splash screens and what's the other? Translation files and all kinds of stuff that lives in our code base. But a fair chunk of those C++ code makes up the core of QGIS, as you know it.

According to this incredibly COCOMO Model, which works out how much developer time has gone into the code base, we've got 1,267 years worth of man effort. So it's basically taking you back to nice Medieval. My history is atrocious. Somewhere. You could have started in Medieval coding, one man, and you'd be at QGIS, where we are today. I don't know what kind of computer you would have been using.

And if you look at the contributions per month, you'll see that there's a nice, upward trend where, in the beginning, there was just a few people developing and now we've got an average sort of 30, 40 people applying changes to the code in any given month. And if you look at the commits per month, you'll also see we've got an upward tend. I'm not a statistician, so I don't know how to make a little line through there to show that the trend is going up.

But the activity in the project is-- I should have asked Barry Robinson to do that for me before I came. The activity in the project is definitely increasing every month, to the point where there are about 300 commits per month or so and sometimes peaking over 500 when we're just gearing up for a release or something like that. So this is so not a complete map, but these are the people that are working in QGIS.

You see there's a definite bias towards Europe. I have no idea why that is. Maybe they all gravitate around Jurgen, who's the brains of the project. I don't know why there are more people in Europe contributing than in other places of the world. But we are split right around the world and we're a virtual community. It's only in the last four years or so that we've actually-- is it four or five years that we've started having get togethers? We get together twice a year.

But we're just a bunch of guys who all kind of dig working on QGIS. And we get together and we hack. This is the last Hackfest. I remember when I knew every line of code in QGIS. I knew where everything was. And at some point in the evolution of the project, I lost track of things. So people say, I'm using class x, y, z in the code base. And I said, do we have a class x, y, z in the code base? Because it's just getting so big.

And now it's getting to the point where the people in the project are getting so many. We had 50 people. This is our Hackfest that we had last week. There are 50 people, more or less, there. And I was going through them with Jurgen and saying, who's that now? Who's that? Because the number of people involved are growing so fast. And the project is just blossoming.

This is in the Hackfest. What we do is-- it's very geek-- we all get together in the same room, we all log into IRC and then we just carry on talking to each other like we were doing back at home. But at least we can see each other's facial expressions when we make smileys at each other and so on. And of course, we eat pizza. We ate around 160 pizzas in this Hackfest, which is a small achievement in itself.

And I can take a quick poll around the QGIS developers-- would anybody like some pizza now? No. So we've kind of got our quotient of pizza for the next month or so. I don't have any statistical evidence to back this, but I think that you get 1,000 lines of code per 160 pizzas. So I once had a meeting with somebody and they said they were in a meeting with an anonymous consultant for an anonymous proprietary vendor.

And they said, you can't trust those commie Open Source projects. They come one day and they disappear the next. They're fly by night things. And I'm here to tell you today that with 35 releases, 10 years of coding, 4 million lines of stuff, we're here to stay. We're not going anywhere. This week, there's been a lot of activity in the project because this is the week that we release the next version of QGIS.

Some of you have already got it because we kind of did a soft release. It was a bit hard to manage because we don't have Apple's kind of infrastructure to press a big red button and then, suddenly, the website changes, all the downloads are ready. We've got put stuff into repositories, and we've got to deal with people who've got them on their own websites, and all kinds of things. So we put the code up. The binary is out there this week, but we haven't really announced it.

And we're announcing it now-- QGIS 2.0, Dufour is out.


TIM SUTTON: Yay. So QGIS 2.0 is named after-- let me see if I get this right-- Dufourspitze.


TIM SUTTON: Yeah. Which is the highest mountain in Switzerland. And it's noteworthy because Switzerland has got a great tradition of cartography. Some of the world's premiere cartography-- sort of the people who develop the field of cartography come from Switzerland. And like we said, we want to name our releases after obscure places. And well, you can't get much more obscure than Dufourspitze. So I think we're safe on the trademark front there.

But it's also a nod to the Swiss QGIS community. There's a bunch of the Swiss guys there. You can raise your hands and wave there. And here. They've been really active. Maybe that cluster of dots that I showed you in Europe-- I should have zoomed in a bit to show you just how much activity happens in Switzerland. They've been a huge boom to the project.

Marco's actually one of the few people in the project that's been longer involved in it than I have. I think he was third or something in the project. And I was fourth or fifth. Something like that. They've been instrumental in really bringing QGIS to the next level each time. So one of the ways that they do that is a lot of what we call a town counsel, a lot of the administrations are actually using in favor of Open Source software. And they fund things the need. So they're producers as well as consumers.

What they do is they'll say, well, we will spend 75,000 euros on an eDollar or iLicense this year. And why don't you take, say, half that money and we'll pay for the features that we're missing in QGIS. And so they fund directly the features they need to do their work. And because it's all Open Source and they're giving it all back to the community, everything comes back to you and you use it on your desktop the next release. And you don't even realize that some nice guy in Switzerland was actually paying for the software that you're using.

And that's the whole point of Open Source, and whole point of the model of QGIS, and other projects like us-- the rising tide is lifting all the boats. We all want to make it better, but we can all benefit from the work other people are doing. So something else that we've been doing is re-branding ourselves because nobody can say Quantum GIS. I don't know. They're paralyzed from the tongue or something.

But we used to have a nice YouTube video, which said, my name is Paulo Cavallini and I say Quantum G-I-S. And then another one would say, Quantum GIS. And then another one would say, I can't say Quantum. And then it would go on. So we decided to keep everything nice and simple for everybody. And plus, we also wanted to have a four letter, acronym name like the other big players. So we're re-branding ourselves to QGIS. There's no dollars in the name, but we're working on that. So from now on, the project is now known as QGIS. Now it's a little bit difficult because, actually, we found that we haven't really lost the pronunciation problem. We had a quick straw poll at lunch and the Italians say--


TIM SUTTON: QGEES. And the Germans say--


TIM SUTTON: QGISS. And the-- who else? The Swiss? The Americans say Q-G-I-S. Something like that. And of course, South Africans, we have the right pronunciation as QGIS. So if you've got any doubt, then pick the one of your region or flavors and stick with that. So it's our best release yet-- QGIS 2.0. QGIS 2.40? No. OK. That's probably the weakest point of the conference. I should get an award for that.

And Gary once said a very nice thing on the IRC channel. He said, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile. I'm not calling you blind pigs, but this is a lovely acorn that we've got. So I just want to show you some eye candy now-- some little the things that people in our community have been doing with QGIS 2 and with the sort of pre-release version.

This is Khmer. I don't even know how to say it, but that's like the Khmer Rouge. And can you see all those squiggly letters and everything?

AUDIENCE: I can see it.

TIM SUTTON: That's because we've got lovely Unicode support. This guy was so thrilled. He said, you know, look at the nice map I can make in Khmer because QGIS supports my language and everything. And look at the beautiful layouts, look at the colors. Isn't it pretty? So nice. It's all done with QGIS 2.0. And these are just more examples of the kind of things that you can do with QGIS 2.0.

This one is showing off that in the main canvas, you can have graticules as well as in the layout, but also in the live canvas. This is-- is this interesting? Shall I just skip this one? This is QGIS running on Android. You see that green man? That's an Android. If you're an Apple user, just ignore this part of the conversation because it's not for you. QGIS running on Android-- and it's basically the whole desktop application ported-- Marco Bernasocchi, can you wave your hand up in the air?

Wave your iPad in the air. Sorry, not iPad-- your Android device in the air. Marco's been working like a demon to make QGIS on Android a reality. And it's still not 100% ready yet, but it's looking really good. This is a snapshot taken from yesterday. He's just got labels working. He had to byte align all the geometries in the labeling code. If that means nothing to you, don't worry. It's OK. It's just a geek thing you have to do when you're doing Android ports. And he's going through a lot of other challenges. He's busy getting Python to run on Android, so you'll be able to, on your Python, plug in plug-ins on your Android device. And this is going to be huge for us because nobody is using desktop computers anymore, everybody is using-- I've got about 100 cellphones pointing at me right now. Everybody's using a tablet and we want to be right there on your tablet.

This is going to be just one offering that we have. Other people-- we saw at the Hackfest, for example, somebody's taken QGIS and stripped away the user interface, made a QML user interface. If that means nothing to you, just glaze over that part as well. For Android-- and they've used to make a gas leak detection system in Holland. And it's a beautiful looking application. You wouldn't even know that it's got QGIS under the hood.

So we're really going to enter into a whole new world once we get onto the mobile platform. This is a nice kind of study that was done, showing the density of location of bike share points in Paris. And this is not a 3,000 year old map. This is a map by Anita Graser made three months ago, using some of the new functionality available in QGIS. They're called blend modes.

So you can basically take any of your layers and blend them with other layers, like you would do in a graphics program, like the GIMP. You see, I didn't say Photoshop-- the GIMP. If you don't know what the GIMP is-- well, you're missing out then. So with the new version of QGIS, you can take a texture, like an old piece of paper or something, and then put it behind your map, and then blend your map into it, and make these beautiful looking, interesting maps.

This is a map that I made. And it's really just trying to show off that in the new QGIS, we've got drop shadows behind the labels, we can do shield labels on roads. The whole labelling system has being completely revamped-- a massive undertaking. And you can really make beautifully designed maps with lovely cartography on them. This is a map that was also put into our gallery. And it's just beautifully done. Just lovely cartography. And it's made in QGIS.

Who would have thought-- 11 years ago, when Gary was sitting in his basement and all he wanted to do was draw a few lines-- well, there's a few lines. But it just looks absolutely lovely. This is just a mess. I won't even-- This is a cartogram, I think, showing movement of-- I forget whether it's trade, or goods, or what have you between different parts of Australia, I think it is. You wanted some curly brackets-- if you look carefully over here, you'll see that we've got some curly brackets.

And that, for you curly bracket lovers, is the expression used to make the color ramps on this map. So just make a note of it quickly, if you want to use it at home. But it's showing off a nice feature of QGIS-- that you can now use color ramps with transparency.

And we've got all these expressions in our expression system that allow you to interpolate a color along a color ramp and then make really interesting, meaningful for maps where you can use alpha transparency and blend things to produce more meaning in your maps. And examples just go on and on. I won't try to describe every one in detail. This one is showing data defined symbology properties, which is another new feature being added to QGIS.

This is an example from Wooster. Andreas Neumann-- he's busy taking a picture of it now, excitedly. And just take a minute. This is not like a pretty picture map, this is an engineering map. And it's actually all the precise engineering of the town-- is it the town of Wooster? The town of Wooster. Every little linkage between-- what are we looking at, Andreas?

ANDREAS: Waste water.

TIM SUTTON: Their waste water system. Every linkage is put correctly, topologically shown, and all symbology is perfect. It's just the most beautiful engineering map that you could have and it's all done in QGIS. So another thing that we want to announce today is our new website. Ta-da. That's not it. Richard Duivenvoorde and the documentation team have been working very, very hard to make a new website, which is more modern.

Somebody said the old one looks a bit eh, so the new one is hopefully looking-- and we were very fortunate as well to get support from Boundless, which used to be OpenGeo. And they've really helped us, giving us designer time and supporting efforts to move our new website. And I'm going to try to show it live. There's a rule in presentations that says you should never try to show something live, but Richard assures me that it's-- OK. I've already hit my first hurdle.

Where's my IRC channel now? Hang on a minute. There we go. So that's our new website. It's simplified, it's much cleaner, it's got pretty pictures on the front page, it tells you, immediately when you arrive there, what it is, and you don't need a degree in linguistics to make out what the purpose of the website is. Everything is beautifully coded so that it will work on your mobile device-- your cell phone or your tablet. And so it all scales down nicely.

We've got links, we've got a great download page. When you go to the download page, it will automatically detect what operating system you are on. If you're a Windows user, it will tell you to bugger off. If you're another operating system user, it will give you a nice download. Don't worry, Windows users, there's something for you, too. Oh. And I should say, we've also got now a 64-bit version of the Windows installer.

So that means that if you've get more than 4 gigs of RAM on your system-- unlike some propriety software, which never ever released their softwares 64-bits-- you can now use all your RAM while you're using QGIS. Yay. Thanks to Jurgen Fischer for spending how many nights recompiling the whole of OSGeo4W on a 64-bit compiler, so that it would work for you.

So you can explore around the website and have a look. It's still, I think, a work-in-progress, but, hopefully, it's a more enjoyable experience for you. One of the things we've been doing is trying to integrate a lot of our web properties, so the documentation-- it looks like my internet just died, but that's OK. I got the main thing across. Our documentation is all integrated into the website. You can search the documentation and the website all in one go. Can somebody give my internet back, please?

I was going to do something now with the internet.

AUDIENCE: Everybody's downloading.

AUDIENCE: Everybody's downloading still.

TIM SUTTON: Everybody's downloading. Well, if you're all downloading, you might [INAUDIBLE] the plans that I had for the rest of the talk, which-- I can see it. I'm trying to find my documentation again. My nickname on IRC is TimLinux. That's me there. But I'm using a Mac, which is a bit strange, so just bear with me while I find my presentation again. There we go. No?


TIM SUTTON: Yeah? Where's my mouse gone? You can all read those tweets while I found my cursor. It really has lost my cursor. I don't know. This is why I use Linux because it doesn't steal your cursor every time you jump off your presentation. Maybe if I press-- oh, there we go. Pressing the Escape key works, just like in Vim. We saw that-- the website demo.

So I've talked with other people that use QGIS and the people that make QGIS, and now we'd like to tell you about the people that can help us make QGIS better. And that's you-- the sponsors and donors. If you don't know that you're a sponsor and donor yet, we're strongly encouraging you to become a sponsor and donor to QGIS. So when we started out QGIS, we were basically just a bunch of guys in our basements doing stuff.

And as the project's grown, it's become more and more demanding on us-- both on our time and on our resources. We used to run the website on my server, and Gary ran some things on his server, and we had a few bits and pieces. Now we use an OSGeo server, but we've got a lot of things that-- the project costs money to run. For example, we're trying to trademark our name, QGIS, so that some guy from some obscure GIS company doesn't come and try and sue us again.

And we're trying to make the project better and better all the time, but it takes resources and it takes funding. And I did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation that if you paid us the rate of a cleaner in England, which is 6.50 pounds an hour-- that's great money, by the way-- it would have cost around 10,000 pounds to pay for the developers time that were at the Hackfest last week. That's just the tip of the iceberg with the amount of time that's been donated to the project by the people that are working on the software.

And we don't really ask anything back, but it would be nice if we didn't have to take money out of our own pocket as well and pay for the important things that we need to keep the project running. So we started a sponsorship program. And we've been very fortunate to have sponsors come forward and help us with the project. All greatest coup was getting our first gold sponsor this year, which is from the Asia Air Survey. Are you here, Matteo? Thank you very much.

And we've also had great sponsorship from the Swiss community and from the German community, who've really helped us keep the project going, keep all the expenses defrayed. And Austria. Let me not forget Austria. So if you want to sponsor QGIS for a mere, paltry 27,000 euros, you can become a platinum sponsor. Anybody got a spare 27,000, you can sign up in the front here with Paulo.

For 9,000 euros, you get a gold badge. Again, see Paulo. And silver sponsors-- 3,000 euros a year. And bronze sponsors-- 700 euros a year. So it doesn't take much to become a bronze sponsor. You could probably skip a couple of Burger King meals and you'd be able to help us a lot. OK. I'll finishing hitting you up for cash now. I would like to point out that we've got two programs-- we've got a sponsorship program and a donations program.

So this sponsorship program gets you a little badge and the donors program is for micro donations. So if you want to just give us 10 euros, or 100 euros, or bigger micro amounts, like 1,000 euros, then you can go along to our PayPal site. Again, if you can't find it, speak to Paulo. Paulo, wave furiously. Paulo's the money guy. Actually, when we started the project, we didn't have a project steering committee. Then we started one and we said, jeez, we better find somebody to deal with the money.

And none of us wanted to touch anything to do with money. We're all hippies, and geeks, and whatever. And we said, we don't care about money. But Paulo came forward and he said he'll do the money. And it's been really great to have somebody look after the money stuff for us. So we always tell people, when they fund us, that we use the funds at the discretion of the QGIS project. That means that we reserve the right to spend as much of the money that you donate on pizza as we think is necessary to keep our fun Hackfest going.

We also have other people that contribute features to QGIS by funding them directly. And it's a great model for you, out there, that need something in QGIS that's missing. And you can approach one of the developers. There's about 15 or 20 of them in the room here today. And you can find them on-- there's a list of them. Do we still have a list of them on our website? If we don't, they'll be back soon. That might have been lost in translation.

AUDIENCE: There is one.

TIM SUTTON: There is? And you can also come onto our mailing list and say, hey, I'm looking for somebody to build me feature x, y, z. And somebody will come and give you a quote. And this is a really great way of supporting QGIS because you get what you want. So it's not going to be spent on pizza, it's going to be spent on code. And the developer will guide you and help you to build a feature that's going to be of use to the whole community.

So we have a kind of a clause there that says if you build a new feature and you want to see it make its way into QGIS, we will only accept features that have got a broad user base. So we're not going to take some obscure tool to count the hairs on your mouse's back or something like that. If it's not going to be useful for a lot of people, we won't accept it.

But in the main part, if you contact a developer, they'll advise you on how to build something that will be acceptable into the community. And then you can see your future in the next release. And it's really great. We had the World Bank and the GFDRR. There has been some talks from them during this week. And we've had Australian AID-- that's just my personal experience. And there are the other people that you see in front of you that have come and said, well, we need things. So from the World Bank and Australian AID, we got all the snapping stuff in the composer, and the scale bar that works in EPSG:4326 and widgets on the composer. And that was all funded by people saying we just want to support specific features in QGIS. And now everybody gets to enjoy it. So I probably didn't exhaustively list everybody who's added features-- now I know I didn't. So there are many other people that have been contributing features to QGIS and we really do thank you for your contributions.

I've mentioned that one already. The other kind of people that we have are the hackers, the geeks. And those of the kind of people that, hopefully, this room is filled with. And those are the best kind of people, in a way, because they come along to the project, like Jurgen Fischer did. And he said, oh, I like working on PostGIS raw SQL query optimization or some kind arcane thing. I don't know what he said when he arrive.

And we said, OK, there you go. And we get them going on that bit of the code. And the next thing you know, they're just improving and making the product better for everybody. And so we encourage you, if you've got some kind of geeky bend to your personality, come along, and hack on our code base, and give us your new features. We'd love to have them. So this is really just to say thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody that works on QGIS.

Thank you to Gary Sherman for hiding away in your basement one dark winter and giving us the spark that became QGIS as we know it today. Thank you to all the QGIS commiters. It's just been phenomenal, these last 11 years, being involved with all of you. And I can really count you as all great friends. And we're a great circle of geeks, all just pulling along for a common cause. Thank you for all the people that document the code and for helping on our mailing lists. You just wouldn't believe the number of people that are actually working to make QGIS a worthwhile program for everybody. Thank you for all the people that report bugs-- that give us nice bug reports not, my window is crashing. And thank you for using the software because if you don't use it, there's no point in us making it. So you all rock. Thank you very much.

HOST: That was just incredible. First of all, I just want to give you this little book.

TIM SUTTON: Thank you very much.

HOST: Which is called The Map Addict. Oh, no, it's not-- it's called The Wild Rover. It's not The Map Addict. It's by Mike Parker. He's a map geek. He's very funny. And he autographed the books for us on Wednesday night. We haven't been handing out a lot of [INAUDIBLE] hero badges. And is there anybody in this room who would stand up and say that this guy is not a [INAUDIBLE] hero? Dare you? No. I didn't think so.

I'm really embarrassed here because, actually, what I needed was about 50 [INAUDIBLE] hero badges in my pocket that I could give to every one of these committers. And I haven't got them at the moment, right?

TIM SUTTON: I'll share mine. We can take a week at a time.

HOST: Please, take it as a trophy. Take it, one, as the symbol of the virtual [INAUDIBLE] because--

TIM SUTTON: Thank you very much.

HOST: I really wish I'd had a load more printed and made now, but, anyway, we think you're amazing. You are rock stars for us. A massive round of applause, please. Come on, stand up. Stand up. Come on. Get up there. Yes. On your feet. Come on. Was that amazing? Yes. You've just shown us, first of all, that this is not a couple of geeks messing around. This is serious. 1,200 man years. Never mind the dollar word, I mean, this is an amazing achievement that we've got.

It's a flagship for our whole community. You showed us the business model, you showed us how people get involved. We're really grateful to you, Tim. And we're also grateful to you for standing up. So thanks very much, indeed.


HOST: Now I know you all want to dash off, download QGIS 2.0, and start doing stuff with it because, actually, that's what I'm going to go and do now. But, actually, this is the gathering of the tribes. This is the moment when we've got the OSGeo AGM starting. We're running a little bit late, which I apologize for, but I don't think anybody wanted Tim to finish early on this. So I'm going to hand over to Jeff.

Whilst I'm hanging over to Jeff and he starts the AGM, there will be one or two people, amazingly, who don't actually plan to stay for the AGM. This is your opportunity to stand up, without being embarrassed-- I'm not going to point at you, I promise-- and you can slope off.

Deliverables for this week's technology trend:

  1. Post a comment in the Lesson 6 Technology Trends Discussion in Canvas that describes how you see openness affecting GIS systems in the near and longer term. How do you think Google's entry into the web mapping has changed the environment in the past few years? Should companies like Esri embrace efforts like QGIS, or attack them directly?
  2. Then, I'd like you to offer additional insight, critique, a counter-example, or something else constructive in response to one of your colleagues' posts.
  3. Brownie points for linking to other technology demos, pictures, blog posts, etc., that you've found to enrich your posts so that we may all benefit.