FOSS4G2006 Mobile GIS BOF Minutes

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This is only the first part of Mobile GIS BOF minutes. The second part was written down by Tim Bowden. He will publish it in a couple of weeks, when he is back home after his journey.

Where, When and Who?

  • Place: FOSS4G 2006 conference, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Starting date: 13-Sep-2006, 18:00
  • Duration: 02h00'
  • Presenters:
    • Mrs. REIMER, Silke
    • Mr. BOWDEN, Tim
    • Mr. LOSKOT, Mateusz

Mobile GIS BOF Attendees

NOTE: Please, add yourself if you're not on the list or fix your name if it's incorrectly spelled below.

Why you are here?

NOTE: Please, add your notes below if anything is missing.


  • It's possible there is an opportunity to found some work on Open Source mobile
  • Contribution of project management, infrastructure, place for meetings, marketing stuff, may be founds.


  • On-line services.
  • Apps for mobile phones.
  • Multimedia features.
  • Tracking platform for mobile devices.
  • Contribute multimedia features, Java development.


  • Collecting data in a field.
  • Consume data in a field
  • Synchronize data on mobile devices against servers.
  • Provide building blocks, not end user application.
  • Contribute use cases, testing and ideas.


  • Collecting data infrastructure features in a field
  • Identify object in a field
  • The idea was/is to develop a client that provides data and identification tool,
  • POI, ROI, Routing tool.
  • The idea is to connect central database with mobile client.
  • Contribute: experience about Java Script (->Web based) on mobile devices, ideas, testing.
  • Looking for: well-designed and developed platform.


  • Data collection in a field and server upload capabilities.
  • Use mobile device as an input device, not only for output/data provider.
  • Good accuracy level.
  • Collect control points to rectify satellite image.
  • Precise navigation and locating capabilities.
  • Mobile device -> iPAQ


  • Interested in mobile solutions.
  • Works for private sector, not Open Source company.
  • LBS for mobile platform.


  • Works with ArcPad based solutions.
  • Inventory of features in field.
  • Contribute: testing


  • Need outdoor mobile platform for environmental assessment, etc.
  • Particularly interested in applying Augmented Reality concepts to GIS data.
  • Provide advanced features of visualization, 3D, etc.
  • Tablet PC platform would be good, plus cameras and multiple sensors (digital compass, gps, accelerometers)
  • Frustrated with current windows options


  • iPod-based solution


  • Interested in development of mobile GIS framework, a set of libraries and components usable in other projects, end-user solutions.
  • Provide foundations for mobile GIS development.
  • GUI independent.


  • Working in an european project (SMITA project) devoted to develop a mobile gis client for tourist, with LBS and based in open source and open standards.
  • Web-based apps for smart phones and pda devices.
  • Contribute: exchange of experiences, testing.


  • Working in an european project (SMITA project) devoted to develop a mobile gis client for tourist, with LBS and based in open source and open standards.
  • Web-based apps for smart phones and pda devices.
  • Contribute: exchange of experiences, testing and disemination.

Project output

We can see three different applications for mobile devices: a) End-user application, a kind of viewer or editor b) Data collecting solution, with GPS, editing and automation features c) The third one, is a kind of LSB solution for mobile phones or other small devices with GPS/GSM capabilities.

a) and b) are main lines of development proposal. c) is very different application to a) and b)

Development platform

a) Langauge: - C/C++ - it seems to be our language of choice - Java - mainly used on mobile phones - Python - who has worked with Python on mobile devices?

b) Operating platform - Windows Mobile >= 5.0 - the main OS on the mobile devices market at the moment; target platform of the first prototype - Linux - most of us would prefer to develop for Linux, but it's not very popular yet, no commercial support for Linux-based mobile devices, etc.

b) Tools: - Visual Studio 2005 - a proprietary toolset, the only option for Windows Mobile development :-( - gcc-based toolset for cross-compilation, but there is no debugger

Type of application

- standalone application (most of participants likes this one) - thin client (a web-based solution) - strong client (standalone application or a combination)


Data sources localization we want to support:

  • local
  • remote

Main data types we want to support:

  • vector
  • raster

Various data sources and formats possible to use:

  • vectors:
    • local files (ie. shapefiles, mapinfo)
    • GML and WFS
    • database (ie. SQLite)
  • rasters:
    • tile server for rasters
    • WMS

Available libraries to access and operate spatial data:

What GIS components we have ready to use?

  • Linux
    • most of currently available portable libraries are runnable on Linux on mobiles


All Mobile GIS BOF participants agree that we need a GPS support.

Windows Mobile

  • GPS API and GPS Intermediate Driver (GPSID) - see short overview
  • gpsd does not officially run on Windows-based systems, what about porting it?
  • There is always an option to develop our own portable library for reading and parsing NMEA sentences

from serial/... port in a separate thread (no TCP/IP server/listener required)


  • gpsd works very well on Linux