the blllog.

Freifunk in Augsburg-Hochzoll

2016-11-29 10:09

Vor ca. einem halben Jahr gab es den ersten Kontakt zwischen dem Helferkreis Asyl-Helferkreis Aufwind Augsburg SüdOst und mir bei einem Info-Abend zur geplanten Unterkunft in Augsburg-Hochzoll. Wenig später wurde es dann konkreter und wir fanden eine mögliche Lösung um die Geflüchteten mit Internet zu versorgen.

Die Idee war die Internetverbindung per Freifunk vom Hotelturm zu St. Matthäus zur Unterkunft hin zu übertragen. Glücklicherweise hat es wie geplant funktioniert, das erste Youtube-Video wurde dort auch schon angeschaut.

Insgesamt wurden 3 NanoStations verbaut (inkl. jeweils einem Überspannungsschutz), die per Kugelgelenk angebracht wurden. Zwei davon in St. Matthaus, eine Richtung Hotelturm, eine Richtung Unterkunft und eine in der Unterkunft in Richtung St. Matthäus. Zusätzlich ein Router (TP-Link WR1043ND) im Haus und insgesamt viele viele Kabel. Zusammen sieht das dann so aus…

Tisch voller Hardware

…und hat einen Wert von ca. 400 €.

Finanziert wurde das Ganze durch 32 großzügigen Spendern die innerhalb nur 20 Tage 510 Euro gespendet haben. An dieser Stelle nochmal einen herzlichen Dank an alle die beigetragen haben! Das überschüssige Geld (103.16 €) wird dem gleichen Zweck, Freifunk für Asylunterkünfte, zugutekommen.

Konfiguriert haben wir die Hardware an einem Abend vor der Installation (3 Stunden). Die Installation selbst war nach 4 Stunden fertig, da wir zwei Teams bilden konnten. Vielen Dank auch an die Leute vom Freifunk Augsburg, ohne Euch wäre das nicht möglich gewesen. Hier noch ein paar Bilder damit man einen Eindruck bekommt wie aus einem Haufen Hardware und Kabeln eine funktionierende Internetverbindung wird.

Wie man sieht war auch im Kirchturm von St. Matthäus einiges an Arbeit nötig. Mein Dank gilt deshalb auch der Gemeinde und dem Pfarrer von St. Matthäus, die diese Installation ermöglicht haben und die darüber hinausgehende problemlose Zusammenarbeit.

Laptop und NanoStation im Kirchturm

Blick auf Hotelturm von NanoStation aus

Kabel und PoE-Adapter ordentlich verlegt

Außenansicht St. Matthäus

NanoStation der Unterkunft im Sonnenuntergang

Categories: de, Freifunk

Goodbye Couchbase

2016-07-04 08:57

I'm no longer with Couchbase. That's a pretty significant change for me. I've been with Couchbase (Couchio, CouchOne) for over 6 years, it was on May 12th 2010 when I got my Couchio email address. I was even still studying back then. It was a great time, I learnt a lot and it was a pleasure to work with so many skilled people.

Though there are exciting times ahead. I'm working with Damien Katz on a fancy new project which includes the technologies I really like to work with. It's build with Rust and the storage back-end is RocksDB. More on that as we go.

Surely some may wonder what will happen to GeoCouch. I don't know about the future of it when it comes to Couchbase, that's beyond my control. Though I do control GeoCouch in regards to Apache CouchDB. I surely want to get it working with the upcoming Apache CouchDB 2.0 release. GeoCouch might look pretty different from what it is now. I'd like to base the back-end on RocksDB. That's the reason why I'm implementing an R-tree on top of RocksDB. This also means that GeoCouch again is a free-time project of me, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Categories: en, Couchbase, GeoCouch

Berlinale 2015

2015-02-18 00:38

The great Berlinale Internaltional Film Festival 2015 is over. Time for a short wrap up of the films I've watched. I'll include the one sentence review that I always tweeted right after each film.

This overview is sorted by ranking, so you can easily spot the must watch films.

Must watch films

The films that were outstanding got a rating of 5/5. Those are the ones that I feel everyone should watch and will probably enjoy.

Feature films


Berlinale program page

Unforeseeable, amusing trip that paints a diverse picture of today's Iran

The Golden Bear is really well deserved. Given that Jafar Panihi is not allowed to work as a film maker, makes this movie even more astonishing.


Berlinale program page

Classic tragic suspenseful love story

Although the film is originally from 1925, it shows that stories about love are timeless. The top rating is mostly due to the atmosphere the live music created. I'm not sure if it is that impressive when watched with audio through speakers.

Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin)

Berlinale program page

Touching film about family and finding the gender identity

This drama doesn't need much words, it evolves a lot through the pictures. It's one of the films that moves slowly without being lengthy.

Mariposa (Butterfly)

Berlinale program page

Uncommon, clever and complex film about love and relationships

It took me a while to really understand what's going on, but it's exactly that cluelessness that makes that film that great.


Tell Spring Not to Come This Year

Berlinale program page

Extremely disturbing/moving documentary about Afghan troops after ISAF

There's not much news how things are in Afghanistan with the ISAF troops leaving, it got quite silent. It's thanks to one of the film makers that served himself in Afghanistan for the British troops that made it possible to have such an great insight view on how the war against the Taliban is still ongoing. The Panorama Audience Award is well deserved.

Danielův Svět (Daniel’s World)

Berlinale program page

Stunning must-watch documentary about coming-out as pedophile

This documentary touches a topic I've never thought of before. How can you live with being a pedophile? I really admire the protagonist. He speaks openly about his life, desires and problems. How shows well, that pedophiles shouldn't be lumped together with child abusers. The vast majority of child abusers are not even pedophiles, children are often just an easier target for them.

Great films

These are the films that I really liked (a rating of 4/5). Though I guess some of them depend really a lot on my personal taste.

Feature films

Nadie quiere la noche (Nobody Wants the Night)

Berlinale program page

Tragic critism of humanity about love and friendship

It was the first film I watched at the Berlinale, I didn't know what to expect and how many great movies I was going to see. Looking back I think it's only a 3/5.

Nasty Baby

Berlinale program page

Starts slow, get's disturbing film about different moral concepts and anger management

It sometimes has a great use of pop music.

Hedi Schneider steckt fest (Hedi Schneider is Stuck)

Berlinale program page

Anxiety states and the effect on the family

I mostly decided to watch this one as one of my favourite films Farland starring the same main actress Laura Tonke. I wasn't disappointed. It was also interesting to hear that a lot of scenes that were in the original script got left out during the cutting process. And this is really what the film feels like, it's reduced to the story it wants to tell.

El Club (The Club)

Berlinale program page

Weird moral concepts under the cover of the Catholic Church

This is really a dark and sometimes bizarre movie. The Silver Bear is well deserved.


Berlinale program page

Gripping film about Martin Luther King Jr's fight for the voting rights of the black

I had the luck to be at the gala event of the film. It luckily doesn't feel as lengthy as the running time suggests.

Knight of Cups

Berlinale program page

In search of life fulfilment

I'm sure many people dislike the movie. If you don't know the feeling of emptiness inside, although you have everything. And don't know how it feel to search for something without neither finding, nor what you're exactly looking for, then don't watch it.

Virgin Mountain

Berlinale program page

A film full of emotions about unconditional love

I needed to watch this movie as I generally enjoy films from Iceland and additionally the director Dagur Kári also directed on of my favourite films Nói albínói. This one didn't touch me as much as Nói albínói back in the days, but it's still a pleasant film to watch.

De ce eu (Why me?)

Berlinale program page

Solid film portraying a young prosecutor fighting the system in Romania

It wasn't that easy to follow the film, given that it was a complex matter and with sub-titles. I rated the film higher after I got to know that it is heavily based on a real person (even the affair is part of that).

Stories of Our Lives

Berlinale program page

Pleasant collection of episodes about homosexuality in Kenya

It's a collection of short films, all in the same style. Some are funny, some are tragic.

Ten no chasuke (Chasuke’s Journey)

Berlinale program page

Funny japanese style film about prevision

The idea of having someone writing our lives is a good one and leads to very funny situations. It reminded me a bit of Bruce Almighty and The Truman Show.

Madare ghalb atomi (Atom Heart Mother)

Berlinale program page

Getting pulled into something without much choice

I changed that tweet three times. First the rating (up to 4/5), then the contents. Thanks to someone nice sitting next to me in the next film, I was able to hear what others thought about it as it wasn't really clear to me. During the next film I then suddenly felt like understanding what it was about and how great it was.

In case you also don't feel like getting the point, feel free to get in touch with me and we can discuss it.


Berlinale program page

"Anger without opponent" [quotation of the director]

It's not a film about a shiny world where everything is fine. It shows well that things go wrong and there needs something to be done in our society. It manages to be drastic without getting unrealistic.


Flotel Europa

Berlinale program page

Interesting retrospective of yugoslavian refugees from the view of a child

It was interesting to see a film whose footage was shot many years ago an is solely based on VHS tapes.

Me’kivun ha’yaar (Out of the Forest)

Berlinale program page

Documentary showing personal perspectives on the WWII mass murder in Ponary

If war crimes happen, people often pretend they didn't knew it, don't remember or are just not talking about it. This documentary shows that it can also be a relief for some to be able to finally speak about what happened.

Average films

These are films that I enjoyed but are not really special (rating of 3/5).

Feature films

Mr. Holmes

Berlinale program page

Solid film about hindsight making a change even at old age

I consider this a harmless main stream movie that is good to watch.

Seeds of time

Berlinale program page

Interesting documentary about Cary Fowler's mission to preserve the bio diversity

The topic it covers is really interesting. I didn't rate it higher as the documentary itself isn't done that well. Sometimes I felt like I've heard that information before. It could have been condensed. It was also not really pushing forward a story as other documentaries did. I wonder if a 40 minutes version of it could say the same.

Petting Zoo

Berlinale program page

Beautiful pictures about an end of high school girl dealing with pregnancy

It's a very atmospheric film. I enjoyed watching it. Though it's sadly nothing special.

Elser (13 Minutes)

Berlinale program page

Being fed up with the system and the urge to take action on your own

It's a solid main stream movie based in Nazi Germany. It's interesting, well told and played. It reminded me of a TV production you'd watch with your family on a Friday evening on public TV.

Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories)

Berlinale program page

Living as young gay in today's Vietnam

I really liked the pictures, but the story is a bit shallow.

Superwelt (Superworld)

Berlinale program page

Mysterious film about self-doubts and self-discovery

It almost got a rating of 4/5, but somehow the overall movie didn't cut it for me.


Freie Zeiten (After Work)

Berlinale program page

Entertaining documentary with interesting views on recreational activites

It was OK to watch with some funny situations, though overall just too average

Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect

Berlinale program page

A workaholic trying to get out of it

Well made documentary, but sadly too much of a portrait of Sergio Herman. I found documentaries about people that change or try to change the world more interesting.

Cobain: Montage of Heck

Berlinale program page

Solid, but average documentary about Kurt Cobain

I don't know what I expected, but somehow I expected more of the documentary. It was interesting and well made, but just wasn't as good as other documentaries I've seen.

Other films

The following are films with no rating or a rating of 2/5 or less. All of them were feature films.


Berlinale program page

Coping with sorrow

I might have been too tired when I watched that, but somehow I couldn't connect to it, hence it only got a 2/5.

Journal d'une femme de chambre (Diary of a Chambermaid)

Berlinale program page

Waiting for the grand finale to no avail

I was always waiting for the twist or the scene that adds another perspective, but it just didn't happen, hence it's only a rating of 1/5.

Pod electricheskimi oblakami (Under Electric Clouds)

Berlinale program page

Desolate future

The film is divided into seven episodes spanning over two hours. After each episode some people left the cinema. I also felt like one episode would've been enough. Rating: 1/5.


Berlinale program page

Historic narration of the situation in Walachia in the 19th century

As my interest is not in historic movies about Walachia it's a 1/5.

Berlinale Shorts I

No notable short film

The shorts were really disappointing. I would've expected more of a short movie selection at the Berlinale. The Filmtage Augsburg do a better job on the selection.


Berlinale program page


I don't really understand what the intention of this film was. It even wasn't much clearer after the Q&A session. It's supposed to be about the tension of the relationships of the main character between his girlfriend and his mother. I also didn't understand the end. As it had nice pictures and someone might get the point I decided to not giving a rating.

Black President

Berlinale program page


I accidentally bought a ticket for this one. I thought it would be short films, but it was a movie in the Forum Expanded section. It seemed like a well made documentary, but I felt knowing too little about art and the culture in South Africa. Hence I refrained from rating it.

Categories: en, film, festival

FOSS4G 2014

2014-09-16 07:01

The FOSS4G 2014 conference was a blast as every year. I really enjoyed meeting old friends as well as people that I’ve know through the web only.

The talks

As I was in the program committee myself, I won’t say much about the selection of the talks (please see the “Things to improve” section, though), but I’ve heard only few complaints so far. This might be due to publishing the review process that we used. But if you have any complaints or ideas to improve it in coming years, please get in touch with me.

I haven’t spend all my time it talks but saw quite a few. As always you might end up in some decent talk where you expect it the least. Notable ones that I’ve attended:

  • “Gimme some YeSQL! – and a GIS” by Vincent Picavet: It was a good overview what is hot and new in PostgreSQLl. It’s good to see the Josh Berkus is getting closer to his envisioned CouchgreSQL.
  • “Spatial in Lucene and Solr” by David Smiley: For me it’s always interesting to hear from other spatial indexing solutions.
  • “Accurate polygon search in Lucene Spatial (with performance benefits to boot!)” by Jeffrey Gerard: That one was of interest for me as the problems that need to be solved are similar to the ones I have with GeoCouch.
  • “An Open Source Approach to Communicating Weather Risks” by Jonathan Wolfe: A talk about the NWS Enhanced Data Display, which is a huge web portal. There are a lot possible through that web interface, which contains a lot of information. Although they use a lot of open source I’d really love to see the portal itself to be open sourced.
  • “OnEarth: NASA’s Boundless Solution to Rapidly Serving Geographic Imagery” by Joe Roberts: They showed WorldView which is another example of a huge web portal, but this time the source code is available as open source on Github: https://github.com/nasa-gibs/worldview
  • “Introduction to the geospatial goodies in Elasticsearch” by Simon Hope and Jerome Anthony: It was a good introductory talk with a great live example at the end.

I certainly had fun with my own talk “GeoCouch: A distributed multidimensional index”, I had a good feeling afterwards. I hope the people in the audience enjoyed it as well. I’m still working on getting the Terminal output into a PDF.

During my talk I also announced that MapQuery is officially retired. Steven Ottens and I don’t really use it anymore, there weren’t much users. The JavaScript world has moved on with OpenLayers 3 as well as new kinds of web frameworks.

The venue

The catering was great. I heard a few people that weren’t happy about last year’s catering in Nottingham, I have to say that I was.

What I really enjoyed this year was that after the first day there was even food after the last session. On the second day there was the gala event (with food) and on the last day everyone was heading off anyway.

This year the venue was great as all sessions were close to each other. It was easily possible to switch rooms (unlike it was in some of the previous FOSS4Gs).

Everything was well organized, there were plenty of volunteers, you saw them at every corner. Also the guidance to the gala event was great. I think everyone who wanted to make it was easily able get onto the right lightrail.

The social events

There was an JS.Geo after-party I liked meeting some people that I haven’t seen in a while that weren’t even attending the FOSS4G. We then moved on to the FOSS4G Welcome Reception hosted by Ecotrust and Point 97.

On the first day there was the LocationTech Meetup which had plenty of free drinks and a lot of the people from the conference that just went over to that bar.

Second day was the gala event at the World Forestry Center. I think it was the best one from any of the FOSS4Gs that I’ve been to (since 2009). What I really enjoyed was that it wasn’t the normal “Gala Dinner Setup” with huge round tables you kind of feel locked onto. Instead there was a wide open space and you grabbed the food at some counter (kind like a food cart). You were able to walk around and chat with people, but if you’d like to be seated you could also sit down (at one of those round tables).

The last event was at the Refuge (hosted by MapBox. It was excited to have trains run by so closely. After the event some of us headed over to Boke Bowl which was really served great food.

The field trip

I booked a field trip on Saturday to Mount St. Helens. It was really great. Our guide Jill was just as enthusiastic as Darrell Fuhriman described her. It was a fun group, a lot to learn, beautiful views and certainly worth a visit. I was impressed by scale of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. It looks way smaller on the pictures that I’ve seen in the past.


I really liked that you didn’t get huge conference bags with all sorts of things you never need and throw away anyway. Instead you were just pointed to a table with those things where you could take them. You would then proceed to pick a t-shirt of your size (if you wanted to).

I also really like the program brochure, I don’t think I’ve seen one done that well before. It’s small and handy and was insanely well designed. Having the talks split into tracks which fit one page and having the time axis horizontally is a great idea. Also having the abstracts right behind every day, rather than having the full schedule first and the abstracts next is good to keep things easy to browse. You don’t really care about yesterdays abstracts, do you? But even if you do, you can easily find them as the individual days had colored markers on the side of the page, very much like telephone books have. So it was again easy to browse. Perhaps the local team could upload it for reference for future conferences.

Thing to improve

There wasn’t much that could be done better. Though there’s one thing that I’ve discussed with another member of the program committee (that I was also part of). The conference is about Free and Open Source Software. For me this means that you are not only using, but also contributing something back. For me the conference talks should create value for the community.

Of course there should also be talks about “How we migrated our department from proprietary software to open source”, I don’t have a problem with that. Though things should be clearer. What I generally don’t want to see is talks about how people use open source software, build upon it, even improve it, but then not contributing it back. Such a talk has no real value for the attendees. It’s too much “Look what we’ve done but you can’t use it”. I’m well aware that there are cases where open sourcing things is not possible due to the contracts. It strikes me that we might have rejected a talk that would have been in the open source spirit.

One solution I came up together with Jacob Greer is that for future FOSS4Gs you need to include a link in your abstract submission to the source code. This could either be to the project itself, or to upstream projects that you’ve contributed to (and not only used).


It was an awesome, well organized event. I’d like to thank the local organizing committee very much for all the huge amount of work they’ve put into this. You’ve set the bar really high.

Categories: en, Couchbase, GeoCouch, MapQuery, conference, geo

LXJS 2013

2013-10-06 18:50

The LXJS conference was a blast like last year. Well organized, great speakers, nice parties and an overwhelming overall atmosphere. It's definitely a conference that is in my regular schedule.

The talks

It was a pleasure to see such a variety of different talk styles. Whenever you get invited/accepted to give a talk at the LXJS, be sure your presentation style is outstanding. My two favourite ones were Michal Budzynski – Firefox OS army! and Jonathan Lipps – mobile automation made awesome. Playing games on stage or singing songs is something you won't see at many other conferences.

Another presentation I really enjoyed was one about designing for accessibility. Laura Kalbag did really get the message across and showed great examples.

Interesting was also the talk Digital Feudalism & How to Avoid It. It was about user experience and touched a lot of topics, from business models over privacy to the problems of open source. I really like the whole presentation, from the contents to the presentation style. But sadly only up to shortly before the end of the talk. Aral Balkan closed with his new startup that creates a new phone with overall great experience. As far as I know there's no information available on what Codename Prometheus will be based on. If it's based on Firefox OS I can see the point, if it's something custom I see doomed to fail.

A really enjoyable talk came from Vyacheslav Egorov. It was about microbenchmarking pitfalls and had great depth, while being super entertaining.

The people

I've met a lot new ones and plenty of people I already know. It was a good mixture with many great conversations. There's not really a point mentioning all of them, you know who you are.

On the boat trip I learned that Mountain View (that link is funnier than I've thought, given that's a blog about a JavaScript conference) not one of the most boring places but actually has something to over if you life there (recommend for young singles).

The conference itself

The conference was very well organized. Thanks David Dias and all the others that organized that event (here should be a link, but I couldn't found one to the organizers). Having a cinema as a venue is always nice. Comfortable seats and a big canvas for presentation.

Live streaming of the talks and having them available immediately afterwards on YouTube is really really nice. So even if you can't attend you still get all the great talks if you want to.

The only critique I have is the lunch. Those baguettes were OK and I didn't leave hungry, but the food last time was just so much better.


The LXJS 2013 was a great and I'm looking forward to see everyone again at this well organized conference next year!

Categories: en, JavaScript, conference

LXJS 2012

2012-10-01 22:27

The LXJS conference was really a blast. Well organized, great speakers, nice parties and an overwhelming overall atmosphere. My talk about bidirectional transformations also went well.

My talk

With my talk "Bidirectional transformations with lenses", it's been the first time I've talked about something not directly geo-related at a conference, though I couldn't leave out some references to the geo world. The whole topic would deserves a blog post on its own, hence I'll just leave a reference to the slides of my talk, the recording from LXJS and the Github repository of jslens.

The others talks

Most talks were of high quality and it was a great to learn about new things. Highlights for me were the talks about Fireworks (where there doesn't seem to be a recording of), the one about Helicopters, the one about how to manage open source projects properly and Jan's talk about Javascript's world domination that made me think.

All presentations were recorded, so you can watch them now to find out what you've missed out.

Format of the conference

It was the first single-track conference I've been to and I really liked it. Everyone got to see the same presentations and you don't feel like you've missed something. As a speaker you have the advantage of not having some well known person at the same time which draws away the attendees from your talk. Everything is focused around a single stage where everyone is excited about what is next.

The talks where always grouped into certain categories, that made a lot of sense. Though it was a bit strange to hear about new JavaScript based languages in two different slots.

The events around the conference

The conference had a pre, middle and after party. It was really good to get in touch with people there. I also liked the idea to not making a difference between the speakers and the attendees with a speakers dinner or something similar. For the after-after party a huge group of people just kept on having fun. The people didn't split as much as I would've expected it. This speaks for the great atmosphere and the nice group of attendees.


I really had a great time and it was fun to meet so many old friends from the CouchOne days, but also to meet a lot of interesting new people. I'm really looking forward to the 2013 edition of the LXJS.

Categories: en, JavaScript, conference

OSGeo Code Sprint Bolsena 2012

2012-06-16 22:27

The OSGeo Code Sprint in Bolsena/Italy was great. Many interesting people sitting the whole day in front of their laptops surrounded by a beautiful scenery. This year I spent most of my time on GeoCouch, CouchDB, Couchbase, deegree, Imposm and GeoNetwork.

Already on the first hacking day we had a result, a Couchbase backend for the deegree blob storage. This means that you can now store your rich features (e.g. from INSPIRE) in Couchbase and serve them up as a WFS with deegree. In case you wonder what rich features are, it's the new, shiny and more descriptive name for complex features.

In the following days I worked together with Oliver Tonnhofer on a CouchDB/GeoCouch backend for Imposm. You are now able to store your OpenStreetMap data in CouchDB and make queries on it through GeoCouch. I've created a small demo that displays the some data import from Andorra with directly with MapQuery, without the need of any additional server/service. The CouchDB backend should be easily adaptable to Couchbase, if you want to help, let me know.

I've then spent some time on the GeoNetwork project and helped translating the language file to German. I cleaned it up a bit and fixed major wrong translations. It's not perfect yet, as I've only spent little time on it, but at least it should be way more understandable (and sadly less funny) than the original version which was generated by Google Translate.

When it was time for presentations, I give a quick overview over the Couch* ecosystem. From CouchDB to GeoCouch, BigCouch, PouchDB, TouchDB (TouchDB-iOS, TouchDB-Android), Couchbase Syncpoint and Couchbase. You can find the slides as PDF here.

On the last day I've spent my time on polishing GeoCouch a bit and getting it ready for the Couchhack in Vienna. I've backported all changes from Couchbase to the CouchDB 1.2.x branch and also ported the geometry search into an experimental branch. You can now search your GeoCouch with any Geometry GEOS supports.

The event was fun as always and I also get to know some new people (hello B3Partners guys). Thanks Jeroen from GeoCat for organizing it, and thanks all other hackers that made it such a awesome event. Hope to see you all next year!

Categories: en, GeoCouch, CouchDB, Couchbase, conference, geo

WhereCamp EU 2012 Amsterdam Part 2

2012-05-06 22:27

I surely enjoyed the WhereCamp EU in Amsterdam, but I didn't realise that I gained so much from it, until I told friends about it. Hence it's time for another blog post about one-dimensional mapping, psychogeograhpy and geo yoga.

The sessions

The topics of the sessions at there WhereCamp EU where widespread. I normally enjoy technical developer focused talks the most, but this time it was different. It was such a great mixture from developers to mapping people that lead to broad variety of talks. Here are my favourite ones.

One-dimensional maps

It started with a historic abstract about one-dimensional maps, which was already interesting by itself. I really got the point, why such maps make sense. Sorry for the lack of more information about it, I should probably ask Laurence Penney for a blog post on this topic.

The final goal of his endeavors is having a nice app for mobile devices, that shows your way to a certain location as a simple list you can scroll through. No panning or zooming would be needed, it's just a simple list that includes everything important you might see, together with simple explanations where to go. It's not about being super precise, but about being simple. An explanation like "cross the park" is easier than a detailed explanation of all the crossings you might hit while walking through the park.


The talk about Psychogeography from Tim Waters was an eye-opener for me. If never really thought about the impact of geography on the psych. You should really talk with Tim about it, or visit a talk from him if you get the chance. His slides are available on slideshare.

I've recently read a blog post from Chris McDowall about An exercise in getting lost which fits nicely into the topic of psychogeorgaphy.

Canvas for map visualisations/analysis

I've already known the nice demo created by Steven Ottens with Leaflet and the Canvas element. His talk gave lots of background information how he did it and what can be done with the Canvas element. For example displaying a heightmap from a line you draw on the map, all client-sided.


Another nice presentation came from Geodan about saving the uranguton by satellite. The project is called Earthwatchers. There you can take the responsibility of a part of the rain forest on Borneo and monitor it for deforestation.

There are plans to have an HTML5 based interface (instead of the current Silverlight one. Given that it is a Geodan project, I hope they'll use MapQuery for it.

Geo yoga

At the end of the WhereCamp, there were some lightning talks, one of the most fun ones was by Tim Waters called geo yoga. You can find pictures at the official geo yoga website. It is all about pantomiming places (e.g. countries.)

My session

My session was about MapQuery, I've already blogged about it last week, hence here's the link.

I planned for another one for Sunday, which was a Q&A about all sorts of Couch things. It would have taken place on the couch in front of one of the rooms. I'm not sure if people didn't get where it was supposed to take place, or were just not interested in the (Geo)Couch topic.


The whole WhereCamp EU was well organized and the crowd was very diverse, all you need for a great unconference. Hope to see you all next year wherever the camp might be.

Categories: en, geoyoga, psychogeography, conference, geo

WhereCampEU 2012 Amsterdam

2012-04-28 22:27

It's still early on the first day of the WhereCampEU 2012, but as my first session (MapQuery and other web mapping clients) took already place, it's time to put up the slides.

It was interesting to see, that most people in the audience have already used OpenLayers, but very few of them Leaflet or other mapping libraries. What made me especially happy was, that after my session many people want to have a closer look at MapQuery.

So here they are the slides from my quick introduction into MapQuery.

Categories: en, OpenLayers, MapQuery, conference, geo

The future of GeoCouch and CouchDB

2012-01-06 22:27

The CouchDB world is currently full of “The future of CouchDB” blog posts. It started with the blog post from Damien Katz the creator of CouchDB. Of course people were also concerned about the future of GeoCouch. No worries, it will be good.

The future of Apache CouchDB

The reactions were quite different. People who are not deeply involved with the CouchDB community think that this means the end of Apache CouchDB. My reaction was positive, I tweeted:

“It’s good to see the Damien is so open to [the] world”

The reason was, that for me it was pretty clear that it would happen, and I was just happy that Damien officially made the cut.

The reactions from CouchDB community members where pretty much what Till Klampäckel describes in his blog post. You could see it comming after Couchbase announced that they are not the CouchDB company and that their product won’t be Apache CouchDB compatible.

I agree with Till here, the way Damien wrote his blog post, isn’t the best imaginable. For outsiders, it really seems to be the end of Apache CouchDB, but it is not. For me it just shows, why foundations like the Apache Foundation are such a great idea. Even if the original creator leaves the project, it still lives on.

Apache CouchDB has a lot of contributers and the mailing lists and IRC channel is busy as always. That CouchDB has a future is also shown by the blog post from Cloudant. They will keep supporting Apache CouchDB.

The future of GeoCouch

After this quick recap what happened so far, it’s time to talk about the future of GeoCouch. As you may know, I work for Couchbase on the integration of spatial functionality into their product.

Currently the overlap between Apache CouchDB and the version Couchbase uses internally is still quite huge, but it will diverge more and more in the future. Thus it will get harder and harder to maintain a single version that supports Apache CouchDB and Couchbase.

The good news is, that GeoCouch is pretty much a data structure only. It's an R-tree that stores JSON documents. This can easily be used by CouchDB and Couchbase. Perhaps small wrappers will be needed, but those should be minimal.

The easiest way to understand how the future looks like is in a small illustration:

Illustration of GeoCouch and its relation to CouchDB and Couchbase

GeoCouch's core is the R-tree, it's the same code for CouchDB and Couchbase. On top of it there will be code that is specific to either CouchDB or Couchbase.

This means that the majority of the devlopment I do for Couchbase will also improve the GeoCouch you can use for CouchDB.


The future of all three, Apache CouchDB, Couchbase and GeoCouch looks bright.

Categories: en, CouchDB, GeoCouch, Erlang, geo

By Volker Mische

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