FRUGOS-apalooza Wrap Up

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Mar 6, 2008, 10:26:11 AM3/6/08
to Front Range Users of Geospatial Open Source

<The following was cross-posted on the GIS Colorado Mailing List>

With the last laptop unplugged and the bar tab settled up, FRUGOS-
apalooza finished a successful Front Range tour Tuesday night in
Boulder. Sorting through the impressions and conversations from the
various 'gigs', a few themes were consistent:

a) The Front Range has a wide variety of top notch technical talent
doing very creative things, often WAY under the proprietary software/
trade-show-circuit radar. Getting these folks in the same room and
swapping ideas was reason enough to hold "the tour".

b) Web mapping/"Server GIS" is driving new adoption of open source
technologies from stalwarts such as PostGIS and MapServer to the
stunningly flexible OpenLayers browser interface.

c) GISers who are longtime desktop users are interested/curious/
intrigued about web mapping and open source--and willing to show up at
a bar at 6PM to learn more. More than one expressed a painful
experience in their past with ArcIMS that was invariably met with
empathetic nods and soothing words (and some 4-letter words, too).

d) There's nothing "fringe" about open source. Here are the list of
the companies the presenters work for

Spatial Networking
University of North Carolina
Leonard Rice Engineers
Data Transfer Solutions
CH2M Hill (2!)
The Timoney Group
National Snow & Ice Data Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Further, some of the folks above are delivering solutions that include
open source for their clients such as the DoD, multinational energy
companies, and state agencies. Again, just because you're not reading
about it in a glossy magazine, doesn't mean it ain't happening.

There was considerable discussion as to what's next. We hope to offer
"getting started" workshops in the coming months to help new users
over the learning curve hump. In addition, getting experienced users
together for more "deep dive" knowledge sharing is a priority.

For now, though, we encourage you to join the FRUGOS mailing list at

We especially encourage managers to take advantage of the knowledge on
this board when trying to figure out where Open Source could fit in
with their projects. Something along the lines of "If one was tasked
with delivering X, what open source pieces could be fitted together?"
Consider it a type of due dilligence that may offer a different
perspective than that of your friendly sales rep.


Thanks to all who participated. Our industry is changing dramatically
before our eyes, and while that might limit your ability to keep the
same job title for the next 25 years, you can take comfort that much
of the future innovation in the geospatial realm will be happening
right here on the Front Range.


Mar 6, 2008, 11:10:45 AM3/6/08
Brian -

thanks for putting this together. being based in Pueblo (no meetings
there!) and working for a govt office in Lakewood means being short on time
to hit the bars.
but keep me posted and i'll try and get my colleagues involved.

George Heine, PhD
Mathematical Analyst
National IRM Center
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
voice (303) 236-0099
fax (303) 236-1974
cell (303) 905-5382

Randy George

Mar 6, 2008, 11:09:58 AM3/6/08
Just a note to say thanks to Brian for investing a lot of time and effort to
make FRUGOS-apalooza happen.


Chris Helm

Mar 6, 2008, 11:52:58 AM3/6/08
After I completely bombed my presentation the other evening (thanks to a really smart pre-event server IP change) I thought I would share a screen shot of the applications I was hoping to show. Basically it just shows that attractive, custom, and fully functional interfaces are easy to develop on top of OpenLayers.

Christopher W. Helm

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
1617 Cole Boulevard
Golden, Colorado 80401
ph. 303.275.4639
fx: 303.275.46785

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