Sensor Web, Geoprocessing, Security & GeoRM, Geostatistics, Semantics, 3D, Ilwis, Earth Observation

Postively, Ultimately Frisbee!

April 26th, 2012 @ 11:17 by Ann Hitchcock
Posted in 52°North

Once again 52Ners braved the elements and gathered for a few rounds of ultimate frisbee. Daniel Nüst instructed the players in the rules of the game, demonstrated helpful throwing techniques and clued us in to which award is most desirable – game/tournament winner, fair play award or party award! 😉 We look forward to exploring more of that horizon!


Daniel demonstrates proper throwing techniques.


attentive listeners

attentive listeners…







App Camp – the ESA App Developer Lab

April 24th, 2012 @ 11:39 by Ann Hitchcock
Posted in 52°North, Communities

The  ESA is looking for innovative European developers with experience in app development for their App Camp – the ESA App Developer Lab.  Twenty developers will be chosen to meet with like-minded people, create mobile applications using satellite data and gain insight into ESA’s work at its ESRIN location in Frascati (near Rome/Italy) from June 18 to 22, 2012.

Registration is open from April 6 – May 6, 2012 at

It is done! (Yeah right)

April 23rd, 2012 @ 08:42 by Martin Schouwenburg
Posted in ILWIS

Well, the 3.8 is finally finished. Really? Yeah, think so. The perfect software doesn’t exist. There is always room for improvement, there are always new ideas. But at a certain moment you have to draw a line. The question then becomes “is it good enough?”. In January I decided that, apart from some known missing things, I would wrap things up in April. The beginning of April I looked things over and, apart from the WMS client, all things were done and seemed to be in working order (WMS client was done in time). Sure some issues are still there, some inconsistencies in the UI, but as far as I could see nothing serious. Perfect software takes forever so I decided to release.

So, are we done? Of course not. Undoubtedly there will be a 3.8.1 (no, I don’t say when) and a 3.8.2 is also likely. Maintenance is always needed. There are a few things I have on the menu (in random order)

  • Polygon editor. Missing from 3.8 . I now have the technology to make a “real” polygon editor and not that half assed thing that was there in 3.3 and later. But this costs some time.
  • Sample set editor. Maybe. I am waiting a bit until people start complaining :). I didn’t find the time to finish it ( a very buggy version exists) and until now nobody seems to be missing it. Since I am reconsidering Ilwis’ whole classification stuff  anyway (it has to be improved) I might need a full redesign. This may be related too.
  • The Orfeo toolbox. I am considering  integrating the Orfea toolbox ( in Ilwis as a plug-in. This would extend the functionlity of Ilwis with a lot of cool stuff.
  • Improving the speed of tables. Tables are internally based on a silly concept (not my design 🙂 ) that costs a lot of performance. I already made a prototype for a new design (it is used at a few isolated places in Ilwis 3.8) that loads data files 15-20x as fast (really) and gives access to data about 10x as fast. I need this for big data sets. I need it fast.
  • And of course QA. That is always there. There are always new bugs to solve.

So enough to do.

And then there is of course Ilwis NG. The next version of Ilwis. This will probably occupy more and more of my time in the rest of the year. A proposal for a general architecture has been created

These are the picture programmers like to stare at, forgetting all the work that is involved. Most people couldn’t care less about all the squares and arrows, but I thought it might be useful to show that Ilwis NG is no pipe dream. For me the goal is to create an Ilwis version that can function as a kind of connection point between hetrogeneous data sources and diverse processing services while facilitating a good UI – Ilwis as a kind of integrator that delivers a consistent and good UI, be it desktop or browser (something that is sorely lacking in many open source software projects). I also want to create a source base that is much more open for outside developers and much more modular.

In a pilot, I already created a base version of Loader and part of de core data structures for Ilwis NG. This doesn’t do much (apart from loading data) but it is a proof of concept that the ideas that are represented in the diagram are workable. It would be nice to have more developers on board as this would speed up the work and improve the design process.

New First Aid Helpers at 52°North

April 20th, 2012 @ 11:34 by Ann Hitchcock
Posted in 52°North

Members of the 52N staff recently completed a two day first aid training course. Benjamin, Conny, Eike and Henning are now certified first aid heplers! Let’s hope we don’t need them in such a function!

52North WPS 3.0 released

April 13th, 2012 @ 13:20 by Bastian Schäffer,
Posted in Communities, Geoprocessing

The 52North WPS development team is proud to announce a new major release of the 52North WPS:

52°North WPS 3.0,

as well as the corresponding releases

52°North WPS Process Development Kit 3.0
WPS Client API 3.0

The basic changes and extensions from the last version are:

– R support
R is a language and environment for statistical computing is a language and environment for statistical computing. Over the past 10 years, the developers of spatial statistical methodology in R have agreed on a common set of classes and methods for spatial data in R, and thus made the set of 70+ add-on packages for spatial statistical analysis in R a coherent undertaking. The WPS framework allows to upload and expose R scripts dynamically as WPS processes.

– stability and performance improved on a large scale
– 85 Unit tests added covering all parsers, generatros and WPS requests modes
– more parsers, databindings and generators
– redesigned config
– “offical” mime types and schemas used
– several bugfixes
– extended Tutorials

A full list of changes can be found here [1]

See the tutorials section for setting up the 52°North WPS, creating a new Process, executing and exporting the process [2].

The source code is taged as “WPS-3.0” and can be found in our svn repository [3]
The binary distribution can be found here [4].

Test instances can be invoked here [5].

A tutorial for the WPS Process Development Kit can be found here [6].

A tutorial for the WPS Client API can be found here [7].

52N WPS development Team


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