Developing Geospatial Solutions using Open Source

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This is one of the three books identified by the Education and Curriculum Committee that should be written.

Approach for writing this book

We will start writing this book by listing practical problems and then identifying tools for solving those problems. As the list of problems increases they should be organized into groups etc.

We need to list the tools and link to pages, which describe their general capabilities. has a good list, which contains short descriptions and it has a quite good classification scheme with the only problem that it seems not possible make complex queries. Probably it would be a good idea to share the ontology as much as possible.

We'd like to develop this page somehow coordinated with the Programming Languages Project

GPS related

  • Problem: Share GPS data between applications
    • Subproblem: Parse GPX
    • Explanation: GPX is an XML application for GPS data. Parsing gives us the GPS data.
  • Problem:
    • Subproblem: GeoTag Media
    • Explanation:
  • Problem:
    • Subproblem: Track logs
    • Explanation:

Use case Description Perl Ruby Python
Parse GPX What is GPX? Perl based solution Ruby based solution PyGPX
GeoTag Media RDFWeb (original geoloc_media) Ruby? Python?
Track logs Geo::Track::Log Ruby Python

Editing geospatial data

  • Problem: Editing shapefile
    • Subproblem: Add or delete a feature
    • A solution:
    • Subproblem: Change the location of the vertices
    • A solution:
    • Subproblem: Edit attribute data
    • A solution:
    • Subproblem: Alter the schema (add or delete fields)
    • A solution:


  • Problem: Compute the total area of polygons in a dataset