Geospatial Engineering @ 4th Annual Open Source GIS Conference, University of Nottingham, September 5th 2012

The 4th Annual Open Source GIS Conference, held at the University of Nottingham on September 5th this year was attended by four members of the Geospatial Engineering team at Newcastle; David Alderson, Tomas Holderness, Alistair Ford and Craig Robson. The conference offered an opportunity for those working in academia, government and the private sector to listen to some of the latest technological and research developments focussed around open source GIS.

During the conference, David Alderson, Research Associate in GeoInformatics delivered a presentation focussed around the network modelling framework being developed at Newcastle University, entitled “An open source relational database schema and system for the analysis of large scale spatially-interdependent infrastructure networks”. The framework links the network analysis Python package, networkx, with a PostGIS database, allowing a user to take raw point and line data, and convert them in to topological and spatial networks. Additionally the framework, and database schema, enable the interdependencies between different networks to be represented and stored. The modelling of interdependencies between different infrastructure networks e.g. between gas and electricity, or water and electricity, will help to understand how infrastructure networks are dependent on resources supplied from a different network. This work has been a collaborative undertaking between researchers, and PhD students within the Geospatial Engineering team at Newcastle.

The slides delivered at the presentation are here.

The conference also offered an opportunity for the team to attend a workshop on the open source software “GeoNetwork”, with a view to potentially utilising this as an alternate front-end to the Geomatics Data Server (GDS) developed at Newcastle University. The GDS was developed to act as a metadata server, and data repository for data held by colleagues working within the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The system allows users to add and search metadata records, stored within a PostGIS database. Currently the system is used by researchers, 3rd year undergraduate project and PhD students, to help assist them in finding data for their research. The GeoNetwork workshop gave the GDS developers some basic knowledge of the capabilities of the software, and some more detailed tutorials and materials to help further explore whether the software will be suitable for the GDS.

The paper is available here.

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