Impetus to Blog

Yesterday I posted a blurb that was mostly a list of reasons why I haven’t been blogging.
Today’s blurb is a list of the things that have spurred me on to start again.
What are the new motivating forces that have me wanting to write things down in public?
There are three:

  1. My change in employment
  2. The removal of freely downloadable compiled versions of Boundless software
  3. My Home Server needs some attention

Change in Employment

I touched on this yesterday. I have accepted a position as Senior Planner at the Columbia County Planning Department. This does not mean “Don Meltz Planning and GIS” will cease to exist. It does mean I will wind things down a bit, and will be more selective in the jobs I take on. I won’t be able to work on projects within Columbia County. And those I work on outside Columbia County will have to fit into a weekends-and-evenings schedule. I’ll also continue teaching at Marist College.
What it does mean is – I have a lot of ideas floating around in my head now. The state of the entire county’s GIS is this: The Real Property Department uses AutoCAD Map for all their mapping work, spitting out shapefiles when needed. The Planning Department has one single-use license for  ArcGIS Standard. That’s it. It is the proverbial “Blank Slate”. It is both an exciting and daunting position to be in. I’ll need to develop an action plan in order to get organized and stay focused. Writing things down via blog posts will help.

Compiled versions of Boundless Suite no longer available

As I began thinking about what such an action plan might look like, I wandered over to the Boundless website to see what was new. What I found there was a little disappointing, but not totally unexpected. Apparently, Boundless will no longer be posting compiled versions of Boundless Suite nor the former OpenGeo Suite. And, the Ubuntu repositories for these packages are no longer available. What this means is, I’ll either have to build a Boundless Server from the GitHub repo, or assemble all the pieces that make up the “suite formerly known as OpenGeo” from the various community orgs (i.e Geoserver, Geoserver extensions, PostGIS, QGIS, QGIS Plugins, etc.). Knowing my own capabilities, I believe assembling the various parts will be easier for me to accomplish than building from the GitHub repo. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time, anyway. Writing things down via blog posts will help me keep track of any pitfalls I run into.

Home Server Attention

About once a year I physically and virtually open up my home server to clean out the dust bunnies, and to organize and delete any files that are cluttering up the hard drives. This server is  mostly a place to store nightly backups of our other household computers. But I also use it as a test bed for things that need to connect to or through the internet. Upon last inspection, the now six-year-old fans started to rattle a bit, and I noticed it’s still using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and OpenGeo Suite 4.1.1. Time for an upgrade on both accounts. This provides an ideal opportunity to take apart my server (both physically and digitally), and make an initial attempt at stitching together all those pieces of the suite formerly known as OpenGeo.

Plenty to write about

All of this will give me plenty of material to digest and write about. However, be warned. A lot of my future writing is going to be about basic GIS implementation. This may disappoint some of my more avant-garde twitter followers. The fact that I am not doing everything by tying together a remote PostGIS database and a bunch of R functions using nothing but Python scripts and posting the results to a Bootstrapped Leaflet webpage via GeoJSon is going to annoy you.
So be it.

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