GeoAwesome: Ignite Spatial Boston 2012

One word: GeoAwesome.  That is how I would describe tonight’s (11/14/2012, GIS Day!) Ignite Spatial Boston 4, which was organized by Avid Geo, hosted by the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University and sponsored by AppGeo, Axis Maps, NBT Solutions, Azavea, and CDM Smith.  The twelve, five minute talks covered a variety of geo-topics from analysis to workflow, apps and technology.  It was a really well-rounded night of topics.  I thought all the speakers did an excellent job.  Here is a real quick rundown of the talks:

Crowdsourcing Boston’s Neighborhood Boundaries – Andy Woodruff, Axis Maps.  Great idea, great application, great participation, and great execution.  I can’t wait to see what they do next.  Check out Bostonography for more.

Save your Mouse: Automate your Spatial Workflow with PostGIS – Jesse Bishop, Research Associate, Woods Hole Research Center. You know you’re onto something when you are saving yourself literally millions of mouse clicks. Great project and great technique. Really opens up your schedule!

Visualizing the Urban Metabolism of Neighborhoods – Dr. David Quinn, urbmet.  This was one of several talks that discussed a geospatial analysis that was data intensive, innovative, and had great visualization component.  Dr. Quinn did a great job of breaking it all down in five minutes.

Trafficked by Sea – Stacy Bogan, Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University.  Presented a unique approach to modeling ocean traffic networks.  During her talk she proved that projections do matter!

Geeky Boating Elk, Ryan Westphal, Lead Developer, jQuery Geo Project.  Great presentation, taking a totally wild and creative subject, and using it to demonstrate the power or jQuery Geo.

GeoHOLLIS: Mapping the ILibrary Catalog – Bonnie Burns, Harvard Map Collection.  I used to work in a map library so I can really appreciate this project.  So far they have geo-cataloged 12.5% of their 12 million records, allowing patrons to search their catalog geographically.

Fontly: Mapping the World of Vintage Typography – Brendan Ciecko, Founder, Fontly.  I was really impressed with this talk.  Check out Fontly and contribute to the project.

Estimating Sandy – Ben Spaulding and Boyd Zapatka, AIR Worldwide.  My co-worker and I gave this talk about the work we have been doing the past couple weeks.  It’s amazing how much geoscience you can jam into five minutes.

Python as an ETL – Mark Zito, GIS Specialist, CDM Smith.  Mark demonstrated a few workflows using Python as a geospatial extract,transform and load tool.  I need to ask him about getting one of his code samples.

Partly Cloudy: Real World Tales of Geo Migration to AWS – Michael Terner, EVP, AppGeo.  Michael shared AppGeo’s experiences about moving to the cloud.  Really focused on the benefits, which I thought were right on the money (he talked about cost savings, if you didn’t get my pun).

Making Sense of 500 Million Location Requests Per Day – Richard Sutton, Geospatial Lead, Skyhook.  I think everyone who was in the room (100+ people) wanted his data and databases after he finished his talk.  I can’t describe how incredible the data and analysis he described are.  The potential for this data is unbelievable.

Cartographic Ingredients from the Eye Candy Kitchen – Jeff Blossom, Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University.  We often forget the basics that make a map a pleasure to gaze upon.  Jeff did a great job of breaking down the basic ingredients all cartographers need to remember when creating a map.

A big thanks to Guido Stein and the Avid Geo crew for bringing us this event.  There is a strong geo-community in Boston and events like this really bring it to the forefront!