10 Question GeoGeek Rapidfire – Bill Dollins @billdollins

Once again, time for another GeoGeek rapid fire, this time I have Bill Dollins, popular GeoGeek, GeoTech Community builder, and Geo professional. Bill is well known within the Geo Circles as a Partner, Senior Vice President with Zekiah Technologies, Inc. in Maryland. Dollins is also involved as a member of the Maryland Council on Open Data and is definitely considered as a “go to” guy for all things GeoTech and Geo Geeky in the DC area – Oh, and he also blogs from his GeoMusings blog

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Expert Feature – A Look At How The Community Benefits From Commercial Involvement in OpenGeo

Something important happened a few weeks ago. On September 28, 2011, OpenGeo issued a blog post announcing the availability of indexed nearest neighbor search in PostGIS. Continue reading “Expert Feature – A Look At How The Community Benefits From Commercial Involvement in OpenGeo”

GISuser Expert Feature – Go To FOSS4G!

FOSS4G  is only a few weeks away and I hope you are making plans to attend. Brian Timoney  and others  have been making very effective cases for attending the conference, which is being held in Denver this year. FOSS4G might be the most important geospatial event this year. That statement is the kind of hyperbole that’s easy to overlook but I stand by it.

There is something for everyone at this conference. Managers and consultants can learn more about how open-source tools can work in a business model. Users can get real information to help them move past myths about the usability of open-source geospatial tools. Developers can learn more about the power and diversity of tools available for integrating open-source geospatial tools into systems.

Even if you are a die-hard user of commercial proprietary geospatial tools, there is something at FOSS4G for you. For starters, take a look at the sponsor page and you’ll see the logo of a big commercial vendor or two. The reason for that is simple; they use open-source geospatial tools as well. Open-source drives some key capabilities of commercial GIS tools, such as data translation. The reason for this is also simple: these tools are stable, powerful and they work well. Come to FOSS4G to learn how well these tools work on their own and how they can expand your reach.

A few years ago, I began delving more deeply into open-source geospatial tools and the end result is that it’s made me a better developer and consultant. As a consultant, I now have a wider array of tools that I can recommend to my customers. Depending on project requirements, they can augment commercial tools where there are capability gaps or replace the commercial tools entirely where they don’t meet performance or technical requirements. The freedom of open-source licenses provides unparalleled flexibility in making such detailed technical decisions.

As a developer, access to source code has expanded my understanding of processes and algorithms that had previously been locked away inside DLLs and other binaries. As someone who did not come from a geography background, this has been invaluable and has actually helped me diagnose the behavior of some implementations inside those DLLs. Also, the wide varieties of programming languages used by the FOSS4G community (Python, C++, Java, .Net, Ruby, JavaScript, and any others you can imagine) have kept me nimble.

So I strongly recommend attending FOSS4G. A lot has changed with open-source geospatial tools since the conference was last held in North America in 2007. I only recently booked my travel and there are still plenty of affordable rooms in, and flights to Denver. I hope to see you there. 

 

See http://2011.foss4g.org/

 Bill Dollins has been a Sr. Vice President and Partner at Zekiah Technologies in Maryland since 2001 and has been developing GIS applications since 1993. He is a programmer with diverse experience in geospatial information systems, relational databases, and application development. Follow Bill on Twitter @billdollins

Some Related FOSS4G Announcements and News:

Meet A GIS Professional – GISuser Expert Q&A with Bill Dollins – @BillDollins

For a little fun, we tossed about a dozen, short questions at some Geo technology professionals – below is our Q&A with industry expert Bill Dollins – enjoy!

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GISuser Expert Feature – Let’s Get Small

I am a consultant who works primarily with Federal Government customers. I have implemented numerous enterprise-scale geospatial systems using a variety of tools and platforms. Consistently, one of the things I hear most often is some variation of "If I had that kind of money, I could do all kinds of amazing things."

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GISuser Expert Feature – FortiusOne Moves Closer to Closing the Loop With Acetate

In his first GISuser "Expert" contribution, Bill Dollins gives GISuser readers a quick look at Acetate, a new offering from GeoIQ / FortiusOne and Stamen Design

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Bill Dollins

Bill Dollins has been a Sr. Vice President and Partner at Zekiah Technologies in Maryland since 2001 and has been developing GIS applications since 1993. He is a programmer with diverse experience in geospatial information systems, relational databases, and application development. His experience includes system design, software development, database development, data conversion and project management for commercial, defense and Federal customers. Bill’s primary focus has been the integration of geospatial tools and methodologies into mainstream information architectures. He maintains hands-on involvement with geospatial technologies, developing web, desktop, mobile and cloud solutions for a variety of customers. Bill also maintains the popular blog, "GeoMusings," covering topics related to GIS and software development.

Areas of interest: Software development, system integration, consulting, all manner of geospatial tools.

Contact Bill:

 

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