Archive for March, 2007

GUADEMY

Monday, March 26th, 2007

A quick summary from Guademy this past weekend:

  • It’s been great to know more KDE people in Spain, since we (GNOME Spanish crowd) did just know, very well on the other hand, Antonio Larrosa, who now will not have to stand with 10s of GNOME hackers all the time and shout GNOME!! with them :-) All of them were great guys, and some just came recently into the KDE project thanks to Google’s summer of code. But this does not prevent them from being very passionate guys, like Rafael Fern├índez, with very good ideas.
  • Ismael Olea has cut his hair!!!! It took me a few seconds to recognize him. But as always, it is a pleasure to listen to his crazy ideas, some of which, if I’ve understood them correctly (Ismael is on a higher level than us mere mortals :-) are quite interesting for free software.
  • We need a much better Free desktop platform!! (more on this later…)

A big special thanks go to the organizers, who have done a great job, with details that only people from Galicia can have, like having all day a table with fruits, coffee, juices, organizing a great dinner, with typical Galician food and drinks (queimada, which is now an official part of everything organized in Galicia). I hope they have time enough to rest, because it has been an exhausting work for them.

GUADEC-ES 2007

Thursday, March 15th, 2007

Next GUADEC-ES (Spanish GUADEC) will be held in Granada, the most beautiful city I’ve ever visited, with one of the wonders of the world, the palace of La Alhambra. And not only that, but going around Granada for tapas is one of the best (and cheapest) experience, since you just have to pay for the drinks, the food is for free (a tradition unfortunately lost in other cities of Spain).

And well, yes, there will be GNOME-related talks, if the free tapas didn’t convince you. Are you missing this?

Uses of OpenStreetMap

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

I recently bloged about my discovery of OpenStreetMap, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. It offers lots of possibilities.

First, you can create your own maps, like I did. It might not be a great thing for some people, but for me it’s been a wonderful finding. It is very easy to do this, as explained in this page. You just need to choose an editor (JOSM in my case), and convert the GPS tracks into streets, roads, highways, tracks, etc.

The next thing, once you have the maps you want to use, is what to do with them. An obvious choice is that, thanks to OSM, we have a (still incomplete though) free world map. But not only that, because having free maps, and mixing them with other technologies, we have lots of great uses for this.

For instance, you can create an atlas, and lots of other neat stuff.

But apart from that, and being involved in desktop development, I have started to think about ideas on how to use this technology in the desktop, so here comes my ideas.

  • An obvious choice, a map application, like Google Earth. There are sites that, I think, offer free satellite images that could be used along with the OSM maps, so seems to be a not-so-difficult task. Mixing the maps and the information in them with Wikipedia, for instance, could give us a complete atlas application.
  • Also an obvious choice, and the reason I started looking at OSM, is to be able to use those maps in external GPS units (Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, etc) or other devices (like the PSP). Garmin users are lucky, because this is already possible. For TomTom (the one I own), it doesn’t look hard to do it, once you have a correct map and you calibrate it (that is, you specify which coordinates the map shows), so as soon as I do it on mine, I’ll let people know.
  • When on systems with a GPS unit attached to them, the number of choices grow. There exists a software (GPSD), that already provides the GPS unit interface, so we’d just need to build software around it: navigation systems (gpsdrive), georeferencing weblog posts/documents/photos/etc

I’m sure there are lots of other uses we could make of the OSM technologies in the desktop, so please let me know any idea you might think about.