November 27th, 2012
Following the success of the OpenGeo Suite 3.0 release, we’re proud to release 3.0.1. This release is primarily a maintenance and quality assurance release that contains several bug fixes, improved documentation, and component updates like GeoServer 2.2.1. OpenGeo Suite 3.0.1 is available for download free of charge with a 30-day trial of OpenGeo’s commercial support.
We’ve also introduced new offerings—Community One-Time and Enterprise Plus—to meet growing demand from smaller organizations seeking support for open source geospatial software. Community One-Time offers enterprise support to Community Edition users for one incident for up to 15 business days. Enterprise Plus provides a year of enterprise support for smaller production environments with straightforward support requirements, such as those publishing data from basic geospatial formats and serving a limited number of users.
More information is available in the release notes and our pricing page.
November 2nd, 2012
At OpenGeo we’re often asked if we offer training courses for the open source projects we support. While we often host workshops at conferences like FOSS4G, and provide training to our Enterprise clients we haven’t regularly offered public training.
Today we’re happy to announce that we now offer online training courses for the components of the OpenGeo Suite. Our initial line-up features classes on GeoServer, PostGIS and how the OpenGeo Suite excels in Hybrid Architectures. Each course has a different set of prerequisites, but most students would benefit by running through an introductory workshop. Below is our current schedule:
- Advanced GeoServer Training, Tuesday, November 19th, 2012 1:00pm est
Looking to get more out of your GeoServer? Join us for a web-based training that will teach you how to use a number of advanced features in GeoServer, including using the REST API for programmatic control of your configuration, data filtering with CQL, time and elevation in WMS, spatial processing with WPS, on the fly rendering transformations for advanced visualizations and more.
- Hybrid Architectures Tuesday, January 08th, 2013 1:00pm est
In today’s fast moving IT environment, hybrid architectures are critical. The OpenGeo Suite is designed from the ground up to adapt to your infrastructure. Join this web-based training to learn a variety of methods to adapt components of the OpenGeo Suite to improve the capabilities of your existing spatial stack
- Spatial Analysis with PostGIS, Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 1:00pm est
Discover the power of PostGIS, the most widely used spatial database. In this class you will learn techniques to solve complex spatial problems with a single line of SQL. Topics include loading data, basic SQL syntax, indexing, spatial relationships, joins and projections.
Check our website for updates, we will be adding more dates as in the future. We hope that you’ll find these courses valuable and look forward to seeing you there.
October 8th, 2012
Last week we announced the release of OpenGeo Suite 3.0. The release notes cover the nuts and bolts, the components updated, and more. This week we want to explain why we’re excited about 3.0 and why you should be too.
This release is both a culmination of many efforts and a launching pad for things to come. OpenGeo Suite 3.0 brings together significant technical advances in the open source components, including GeoServer 2.2, PostGIS 2.0, and GeoWebCache 1.3. From the beginning, each of these tools was built for the web, resulting in a product that is scalable at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. While spatial data may present some unique challenges, OpenGeo has the experts to ensure it need not be more complicated than other forms of specialized data.
While it’s well established that open source offers superior scalability and reliability, it may occasionally lack certain specialized features or functionality. Yet this story is changing as open source projects increasingly outpace their proprietary competition—largely thanks to adoption and investment by enterprises and government agencies both large and small. Many of the improvements leading to WPS support and server-side scripting result from a prototype built for the USGS National Hydrography, Dataset, which turns a six-hour workflow into an operation that takes a matter of minutes. Similarly, rendering transformations were developed in part for NASA’s GLOBE program for the dynamic presentation of interpolated surfaces derived from environmental measurements collected at schools around the world. Running the Suite in production has been made easier thanks to our clients at NOAA, who funded improvements to GeoServer’s security subsystem as well as multi-tenancy improvements enabling a single GeoServer instance to publish multiple service endpoints using virtual services. And thanks to support from IGN France and Géoportail, the addition of OGC Web Feature Service 2.0 (WFS) brings the Suite closer to INSPIRE compliance.
These clients have learned that, with commercial open source, their investment isn’t squandered on license fees but instead returns responsive support and improved functionality. OpenGeo sees itself as a beekeeper in Pentaho’s beekeeper model: although honey is mostly free for the taking, consumers are generally willing to pay a beekeeper to cultivate, package, and distribute honey rather than dealing directly with bees themselves. The OpenGeo Suite makes it easier for those enterprises that lack the internal resources to support or develop open source software on their own to procure our support and expertise.
Download OpenGeo Suite 3.0 to see all of this for yourself. We’re is interested in what you have to say, and learning more about how you’re using open source geospatial software; any feedback you provide will help us continue to make and support great software. Contact us to let us know what you think, or to find out how OpenGeo can help you achieve your goals.
October 3rd, 2012
The release of OpenGeo Suite 3.0 adds many new features and improvements that will greatly expand the capabilities of our flagship product and ease replacement of legacy software with a modern web-based solution. Below are some highlights of what you’ll find in OpenGeo Suite 3.0:
- Server-side processing
- OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) provides a standard for inputs and outputs (requests and responses) for geospatial processing services such as polygon overlays, buffers, or custom processes.
- Rendering transformations make processing operations easier in browser-based visualizations by enabling just-in-time use of any WPS process as part of any layer’s style.
- PostGIS 2.0 brings vector and raster analysis into the database.
- GeoServer security now supports user groups as well as a number of new authentication mechanisms including LDAP, digest and X.509 certificate authentication.
- Virtual services allow GeoServer to support multi-tenancy, enabling a single GeoServer instance to publish multiple service endpoints.
- A new caching configuration interface in GeoServer includes the ability to define new grid sets, specify which layers to cache, seed or truncate the cache, and more.
- OGC Web Feature Service 2.0 (WFS) adds some interesting new capabilities, including paging, stored queries, and extended operators.
- Upgraded components, including the adoption of GeoServer 2.2, PostGIS 2.0, and GeoWebCache 1.3
Download the 3.0 release to see for yourself. We strongly advise reading the upgrade instructions and backing up all data beforehand as this release requires a backwards-incompatible upgrade. Packages are available for most common operating systems:
Questions? Help us continue to make and support great software by providing feedback on our GetSatisfaction forum.
Next week we’ll review how the OpenGeo Suite is a step forward for commercial open source geospatial software. In the meantime, if want to know more about the features listed above, read on! Read the rest of this entry »
September 11th, 2012
This month, coincident with the release of the OpenGeo Suite 3.0, OpenGeo staff will be writing about the value of commercial open source, what it means to be open, and how OpenGeo is directing its efforts to increase the functionality and utility of open source geospatial software. We begin with this post, and a white paper exploring The Value of the OpenGeo Suite.
I was recently in a meeting with a customer where, despite a great pilot deployment of the OpenGeo Suite, little progress was being made to use the Suite to replace an untenable dependence on closed source software. This enterprise (along with many others) was literally in a hole and couldn’t get out. Today, many organizations are finding that they need to deploy more, and better geospatial web services, but are faced with shrinking budgets. Additionally, they are often hampered with closed source software, raising the spectre of rising license costs as data and service volumes grow.
We want to help these organizations and set the record straight about the comparative value of the various web mapping offerings available:
- Closed source
- Open source (unsupported)
- Commercial open source (supported)
The OpenGeo Suite provides enterprises with an immediate opportunity to stop digging and climb out of this hole. The upcoming 3.0 release adds significant functional power to OpenGeo’s considerable advantages in reliability, scalability, costs and control. Historically geospatial web services have been dominated by a single closed source provider, but in recent years open source alternatives have been cutting into this lead. The OpenGeo Suite 3.0, offers advantages beyond unsupported open source, and can provide enterprises with superior value in delivering geospatial web services, while simultaneously increasing the reach and functionality of enterprise systems and controlling costs.
Learn more about how commercial open source can increase web making capabilities while minimizing costs: The Value of the OpenGeo Suite.
September 4th, 2012
It’s only been a week since I’ve joined OpenGeo but in that time I’ve had a number of of ideas that could turn into interesting developments, below you will find a quick previewof some of them.
I have to admit when I first arrived I was pretty nervous, I just wasn’t sure how I could contribute to OpenGeo, and more specifically to the OpenGeo Suite. After 8 years developing the SEXTANTE library for spatial data analysis, and with a strongly focused background in geoprocessing, I wasn’t sure I’d fit in. OpenGeo is full of first-class developers who are heavily involved in the GeoServer, GeoWebCache, PostGIS and OpenLayers communities. Projects that I’m familiar with but have never worked on, being a desktop guy
But geoprocessing does have its place at OpenGeo, and it’s gaining importance. Look no further than the recently completed work completed by Martin Davis, which opens up many new possibilities for processing through the web. One of many reasons I’ve joined the team is because OpenGeo has dedicated themselves to to expand geoprocessing, after all integrating SEXTANTE with web applications to bring true analytical capabilities to the web has always been a dream of mine. Although knowing little about web technologies had made it difficult to accomplish that task by myself. I concentrated on developing SEXTANTE hoping that others could later use it in a web context. As SEXTANTE gained popularity, a few projects began showing interest and some attempts were made to integrate SEXTANTE with map servers and similar applications, but eventually most of these development efforts were abandoned.
With foresight I see the primary problem was our approach. SEXTANTE was conceived as a library for desktop applications, and when put in a different context it had some scalability issues. It also had failed to reach the same audience that it does on the desktop. Needs in a web context are different than on the desktop, and that becomes especially important when we talk about spatial data analysis.
Now that I am working with people who have all the expertise that I lack, I see nothing but possibilities. The gap between the spatial data analysis people and those developing web mapping technologies has never been smaller, and I am happy to be on a team that has brought these groups together. Just like web mapping made digital cartography accesible to everyone (unlike desktop GIS, who were restricted to a more specialized audience), a similar change can happen in terms of spatial data analysis, reaching non-experts with robust, useful, well-designed and easy-to-use tools. I hope to contribute to it as much as I can to make it happen. Stay tuned!
August 22nd, 2012
NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, a federally funded education initiative, collects meteorological data from schools around the world to create a database of environmental measurements. The data is displayed using contour surfaces on the GLOBE website. Using the OpenGeo Suite, we’ve been working with GLOBE to help improve the functionality and usability of the GLOBE website by rebuilding the map to allow fast, dynamic presentation of surfaces for observations on any chosen day.
The surfaces are generated using Barnes Surface Interpolation, a technique that computes a surface estimated from scattered data observations. We implemented a version of this algorithm in Java and optimized it to provide the performance needed for dynamic web mapping applications.
The Barnes Surface Interpolation algorithm is accessed via a powerful new GeoServer feature called Rendering Transformations. Rendering Transformations allow performing custom geoprocessing within the map rendering pipeline in a highly flexible way. Transformations can change data representation from vector to raster or vice-versa, depending on the kind of visual effect required.
In this case, the output of the Barnes Surface transformation is a raster representing the interpolated surface. The raster can be styled using GeoServer’s SLD styling language and the styled surface can be combined with other GeoServer layers to do things like display the observation data points or computed contour lines. The final map image can then be displayed over any base map, resulting in a fast, informative display of the contoured surface. The speed of display allows dynamic zooming and panning, as well as quick changes to map options including measurement type, date range, or even the surface interpolation parameters.
Having this capability available directly in the server provides access to many of the powerful features of GeoServer, such as tiling and time-based animations. Other kinds of interpolated surfaces (such as Inverse-Distance Weighting or Kriging) can be added easily. In fact, we’re currently developing more Rendering Transformations for spatial visualization techniques, including heatmaps and point clustering. If you have any ideas for spatial data visualization, leave a comment!
August 7th, 2012
At OpenGeo, we get lots of questions regarding licensing. The truth is that open source licenses are varied, broad, sometimes confusing, and are definitely not all created equal. We’ve written about licensing before on this blog, but there is of course more to say.
One question we get often from both prospective and current clients is:
Can a company that does not want to open their source code use the OpenGeo Suite?
The OpenGeo Suite is licensed GPL v2. This license applies to all flavors of the OpenGeo Suite (Community, Enterprise, Cloud, etc.). The components of the OpenGeo Suite use the following licenses:
With all of this in mind, it is possible to create closed-source applications that depend on the OpenGeo Suite without having to distribute the code. However, if you are making code-level changes to the OpenGeo Suite or its components, you are obligated to redistribute those changes if you redistribute the software. So, the obligation to open source applies to modifications of the source code, not to any applications that leverage the software. You are free to provide whatever licensing on your code that you deem is appropriate.
Many people ask about dual-licensing the OpenGeo Suite (much like how Sencha does with Ext JS). However, as we’re a true open source company, we don’t own all of the intellectual property for our source code and are just as obligated by the license to distribute modifications as anyone else is. So, dual-licensing just isn’t an option.
While we promote open source application development (and do so in house), we respect that everyone’s needs are different and strive to be as accommodating as possible to any organization that wishes to use the OpenGeo Suite.
Hopefully this will clear up some confusion surrounding licensing, but as always, if you have questions, please feel free to comment on this post, send us a message on Twitter, or even a private message through our contact form. Happy coding!
March 14th, 2012
We are excited to release a new version of the OpenGeo Suite! In order to capture the many improvements and bug fixes happening in the open source community, we are moving toward a more rapid release cycle. For example, GeoServer now has JDBC datastore session startup/teardown SQL comments, as well as support for paletted PNG images with alpha transparency.
In GeoExplorer (which really is pretty amazing, if you haven’t seen it recently) there is now smoother tile display, including fade-in. Also, the map legend has now been integrated directly into the layer tree. Finally, we have changed the default base layer to be MapQest OSM, moving away from Google (though Google base layers are still available).
All of these new features are available in the Community Edition, Enterprise Edition (which includes a free 30 day trial of our support), and all Cloud Editions! Try any version you’d like and contact us to purchase the support you need to put your project into production!
February 7th, 2012
Programming languages haven’t changed much over the years: the latest languages to take over large swathes of the industry (Java and C#) are unashamed about being cleaned-up versions of C++, which itself was a melding of C with object concepts. What has changed immensely recently is the state of the art in how large programs are built and tested, the “build chain”.
We don’t talk about this much because it isn’t very client-facing, but thanks to the efforts of Justin Deoliveira and Tim Schaub, OpenGeo has a quite robust build environment. Early on in the development on the OpenGeo Suite we found that the number of steps necessary to move from a particular version of the code to an installable and testable artifact was very high—so high that cycles of test/fix/re-test were just too long.
So we automated this chain, and not just the build. Our software is now automatically built out from source code all the way to installers (for Mac OS X and Windows) and packages (for Ubuntu Linux and CentOS Linux) and machine images (for Amazon AWS) every hour. The industry term for what we’re doing is called “continuous integration“.
Our system has grown so large that we are now devoting a full-time engineer (welcome, Michael Weisman) just to maintaining and improving it. In time, we plan to add even more components and functions into the mix, such as continuous builds of GDAL and continuous unit testing of all components against multiple databases. The benefits in flexibility, quality, and development speed is well worth the investment.
So if you’re looking for us, you’ll find us building on the chain.