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Defi GeoHack 2014

In Quebec City (Canada), a unique Geo Challenge-Hackathon event will be held just before one of the major GIS events in North America of 2014. This event, called Défi GéoHack 2014 (French or English language: and, is based on traditional hackathons for developers, integrators, cartographers, students, etc. with a mix of challenges submitted by sponsors focusing on GIS and web standards. This event is supported by the Open Geospatial Consortium or OGC (

This one-day activity organised by passionate volunteers will happen before the opening days of Geoconference 2014 ( in October. The Hackathon will be constrained to use geospatial open data, web standards and GIS / web tools. Real problems will be submitted by sponsors on different themes such as health, public safety, culture, transportation, environment, smart cities/government and others.

For the first edition in 2013 (, real world problems were submitted by a media organisation (CBC/Radio-Canada), the government of Quebec, the City of Montreal and private enterprise (Effigis). More than 40 people participated in the event.

Many OGC standard were used and tested, such as the OGC Web Map Feature (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), Web Processing Service (WPS), Catalog Services Web (CSW), CityGML, and KML standards. Défi GéoHack 2014 is again looking to have new innovative projects based on OGC standards. Why? Because Geospatial technologies must be fully interoperable for organisations to be able to share services with the wider community.

The hackathon will offer awards financed by sponsors. These awards will be given to the best implementations, judged by sponsor representatives and participants. The rules of the challenges will be based on the best practices (e.g., open hack, OGC standard, etc.) and transparency.

This is a tremendous opportunity for organizations that would like to test some ideas and see how they can be implemented by a team of motivated people. It is also a good opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their skills.

Visit this web site for more information: or contact the organizers to become a sponsor or ask questions on this unique event:

HALE 2.9.0 Released – new look, new tools, new INSPIRE Annex II/III support

HALE 2.9.0 released – new look, new tools, INSPIRE codelists + Annex II/III

The HUMBOLDT Alignment Editor (HALE) is a spatial data transformation application licensed unde LGPL. You use HALE to interactively and visually define and execute schema mappings and data harmonisation processes.

We have just completed testing and documentation for the new HALE 2.9.0 release. There is a lot that has changed under the hood for the 2.9 release. Apart from a lot of bug fixes and an upgrade of the underlying platform to Eclipse Luna,we can again provide an installer for Windows and a version of HALE that runs on current Mac OS X operating systems.

The new release comes with a long list of useful new features, as you would expect after the relatively long break since the last release of HALE. Get your download here and read in detail about the new features here. Here are the headline news:

  • INSPIRE Code List Support: Browse and search the code lists from the INSPIRE registry provided by the JRC and directly load them in HALE.
  • Create ATOM feed based INSPIRE download services. Information on feature types and coordinate reference systems will be included automatically.
  • INSPIRE Annex II and III schemas now built in: HALE supports any schema, but usage of the inbuilt schemas is super-simple, so we have extended the set of inbuilt schemas to also include the final versions of all Annex II and III schemas.
  • New mapping documentation format: We added a new mapping documentation format based on HTML and SVG that is interactive and optimal for web display.
  • Extended command line interface: The new command line interface is far more flexible in its configuration and allows data export to be easily configured with support through the HALE user interface.
  • Smart Retype: Do you have source and target schema types that are very similar and differ just in a few properties or only the namespace? The Retype transformation function has configuration options to automatically copy properties/attributes with similar names.
  • Reprojection/CRS Conversion: You can now include a conversion to a given coordinate reference system (CRS) as part of writing the transformed data to GML.
  • Manage Schema changes: Next time a standard is updated, HALE will make the transition simple by identifying and highlighting changes.

As usual, there has been a set of other improvements (about 15). You can go here to learn more about these. We will post separate workflow descriptions for the usage of the CLI and on the INSPRIE Code Lists in the next days. Enjoy your work with HALE 2.9.0!

pycsw 1.10.0 released

The pycsw team announces the release of pycsw 1.10.0.The 1.10.0 release brings significant features, enhancements and fixes to the codebase, including:

  • support OGC OpenSearch Geo and Time Extensions standard
  • support for Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
  • support spatial dateline queries
  • better support for geospatial links via the Python geolinks library
  • fix CSW harvesting to harvest full records
  • various fixes to OGC Filter handling
  • ISO harvesting: capture all keywords / keywords sets
  • ISO harvesting: support gmd:distributorTransferOptions
  • GetRecords: fix maxrecords casting
  • fix limit / offset queries for Django-based backends
  • freetext searching: make non PostgreSQL FTS-based queries more like FTS
  • fix date handling for ISO output
  • add libxml2 version output in admin tools
  • return distributed CSW queries in order
  • support ISO-based CSW metadata harvesting

The full list of enhancements and bug fixes is available at

pycsw is an OGC CSW server implementation written in Python.

pycsw fully implements the OpenGIS Catalogue Service Implementation Specification (Catalogue Service for the Web). Initial development started in 2010 (more formally announced in 2011). The project is certified OGC Compliant, and is an OGC Reference Implementation.

pycsw allows for the publishing and discovery of geospatial metadata. Existing repositories of geospatial metadata can also be exposed via OGC:CSW 2.0.2, providing a standards-based metadata and catalogue component of spatial data infrastructures.

pycsw is Open Source, released under an MIT license, and runs on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X).

Source and binary downloads

The source code is available at:

Testers and developers are welcome.

The pycsw developer team.

Explore the power of ArcGIS Geodatabase

The geodatabase is the common data storage and management framework for ArcGIS. It combines “geo” (spatial data) with “database” (data repository) to create a central data repository for spatial data storage and management. It can be leveraged in desktop, server, or mobile environments and allows users to store GIS data in a central location for easy access and management.

Learning ArcGIS Geodatabases is a comprehensive and practical guide that is ideal for readers who are interested in learning about ArcGIS. The book is packed with real-world examples showcasing the use of ArcGIS Geodatabase to build mapping applications in web, desktop, and mobile. Readers will be comfortable with datasets, annotations, and relationship classes, making it easier to migrate from a legacy database to an ArcGIS geodatabase. This will help create a sturdy design that can sustain large edits and decrease maintenance.

This book is aimed at geospatial developers who want to work with ArcGIS geodatabases as well as manage them efiiciently. Having knowledge of building a geodatabase from scratch isn’t necessary. This book is ideal for those who want to use ArcGIS geodatabase for the first time, or for those who want to migrate from their existing legacy database to a geodatabase.

Batch Geonews: OpenStreetMap Contributions, QGIS Cloud, Google ‘The Cartographer’, O’Reilly Book, and much more

Here’s the latest geonews in batch mode.

On the open source / open data front:

On the Google front:

In the everything-else category:

In the maps category: