Thursday, June 12, 2008

4th gvSIG Conference: Moving forward together

The gvSIG project is part of the Valencian Regional Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport’s Project to migrate to Open Source Systems.

gvSIG is an R&D&I project co-financed by the European Union which aims to become the international benchmark for GIS projects.

From 1st to 5th December 2008, Valencia will play host to the 4th International gvSIG Conference, organised by the Regional Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (CIT), the Open Geospatial Consortium Meeting and the Eclipse Day event. The objective of holding these events at the same time is to consolidate them as the benchmark forum for open source GIS projects, to create a framework for defining open source and interoperable GIS standards and to create a conference where experiences can be shared among FLOSS communities. The event also hopes to promote the international aspect of the gvSIG project by inviting companies and institutions from Latin America and the rest of the world to participate.

The 4th gvSIG Conference aims to make the most of the growth of this technology and bring together experts, scientists, institutions, companies and students from Europe and Latin America thanks to the support of the authorities, universities and participating companies, without whose help this project and the organization of these symposia would not be possible

The organizers of the symposia aim to bring together different people from the GIS world so that they can share their views and ideas, thereby participating in the development of open source gvSIG. The conference has been conceived as an opportunity to spread and share experiences within the open source GIS ecosystem.

As a result of the experience gleaned from the three previous gvSIG Conference, and taking into account the interest taken in these, the organizers have decided to join forces to improve and consolidate future conferences.

The organizers of the gvSIG Conference would like to see the industry’s most important Spanish and foreign companies and institutions become involved. "We are convinced that, with enough involvement from the sector, the three events will grow to become reference points both for Europe and the rest of the world” says Gabriel CarriĆ³n, director of gvSIG.

As well as the traditional applications of gvSIG, this year visitors to the conference will find out about studies relating to techniques for processing high-resolution images. The topics under discussion include Geodesy and Navigation, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Services, Mapping and GIS and High Resolution Sensors and their applications.

This project aims to be one of integration, unifying for example, the CAD world and the GIS world, the vectorial GIS world and the raster GIS world, incorporating work done in situ with Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), and two dimensions with 3D and 4D. In short, the aim is to create a tool that will be useful to the wide range of geographical information users all over the world.

OGC meeting

The 4th gvSIG Conference is the setting for one of the many planning meetings organized by the Open Geospatial Consortium’s Technical Committee. Their aim is to facilitate the exchange of ideas in an open source technology environment.

OGC, the organization which uses a consensus process to draws up geospatial regulations, brings a good number of their 300-plus members together in a series of four-monthly meetings held by their Technical Committee (OGC-TC) to make decisions on the technical direction of geotechnology. These meetings are outlined and promoted at Each technical meeting is organized by one or more OGC members who act as host(s).

The Spatial Data Infrastructure initiative has promoted the use of OGC regulations since it began. The initiative is led by the National Geographic Institute, and the Regional Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport (CIT), Jaume I University (UJI), and various other bodies are also involved in it. gvSIG has also been designed to be compatible with OGC regulations. More importantly, these two Spanish initiatives have come up with suggestions and ideas to pass on to OGC.

OGC technical meeting participants are a "who's who” of some of the most influential experts in the field of geotechnology. They include the publishers of some of the main regulations, such as GML, WMS and WPS, public sector members from several countries, members of the European Commission, and important representatives of multinationals such as Oracle, Google and Intergraph, and of multiple open source software initiatives such as GeoNetwork, Deegree, Geotools, etc.

Inviting OGC specialists to share a space with the gvSIG community will give the two groups a unique opportunity to be able to exchange ideas, demonstrate the best of what they have to offer and encourage integration.

Eclipse Day

In addition to these two events, the CIT will also host the international Eclipse Day event on 2nd December for the first time. The CIT is a member of the Eclipse Foundation and heads the MOSKitt (Modeling Software Kitt) project (http// in the development of an open source CASE tool based on Eclipse.

EclipseDay is an Eclipse Foundation initiative. The idea behind it is to spread the Eclipse ecosystem across Europe. It aims to consolidate the Eclipse community and introduce new people to it, especially from the host country.

The aim of EclipseDay in Valencia is to bring the Spanish community of Eclipse users and developers together for a series of talks and technical tutorials, along the lines of similar events that have been held in other parts of the world. Participants are expected from a wide range of academic, institutional and business backgrounds.

The proposed theme of the conference is “Modeling Technologies and CASE tools”. This topic is very closely linked to MOSKitt, the other large open source software project headed by CIT along with gvSIG..

MOSKitt has been developed using Eclipse and, in line with its philosophy, the project’s architecture is based on plug-ins which will allow it to be extended and adapted easily in the future. This has given the project added value as it produces a Modeling Platform made up of a group of Eclipse plug-ins which will allow other CASE tools to be developed, taking MOSKitt as a reference framework.
In the building of this platform only plug-ins with licenses which allow open source use (mainly EPL) have been used. MOSKitt includes the reuse of certain Eclipse projects (primarily the Eclipse Modeling Framework project); the adaptation of some of its plug-ins and the creation of satellite projects to extend existing ones. The creation of future initiatives to expand MOSKitt’s current uses is also anticipated.

MOSKitt is a much younger project than gvSIG - it has only been in operation for a year - and will thus be presented at the 4th gvSIG Conference as part of Spain's first EclipseDay.

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