FME Users Convene on Vancouver, BC for the International #FMEUC

On June 10-12 in Vancouver, B.C., Safe Software held their International User Conference (the previous event took place 5 years ago). Sadly I had to miss the first day of the conference which featured special keynote presentations from Esri and OpenGeo… no worries though as I quickly got into the feel of the event on Day 2 which kicked off  with award presentations to FME answer board phenoms, rock stars and ninjas! These folks have made stellar contributions to the FME user community! The crowd enjoyed these special recognition given to these power users and it was evident that these guys really enjoy working with the Safe staff and their solutions. The awards were then followed by the keynote presenters of the day, Robert Bray of Autodesk and and Brad Skelton, Hexagon Geospatial.

The presentations were interesting and varied, the users were passionate and eager! Most of all, I found it very interesting how Safe had customers/partners from Esri, Google, Autodesk, and Hexagon to share their stories and how crucial the FME software is in their business – definitely impressive!

Don Murray (R) and Dale Lutz (L) on stage

Don Murray (R) and Dale Lutz (L) on stage

Continue reading the article HERE

Monitoring Fukushima fallout with crowd-sourced citizen science seawater sampling

This update on a topic very near and dear to many of us who live on the Pacific coastline via the David Suzuki foundation… More than three years have passed since the devastating Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan. On our Pacific coast, an innovative crowd-sourced citizen science seawater sampling project is starting to yield information.

monitoring fukushima fallout [Read more…]

Salish sea Oil Spill Map to Show Where the Oil will Travel in a PacNW Spill

An interesting new story map from the PacNW from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Strait Alliance reveals sensitive areas and reveals where the oil would travel should a major spill take place in the area now know as the Salish Sea. How is it done? In an  innovative project, the groups  are dropping over 1000 small drift cards (4” x 6” pieces of bright yellow plywood, each with a unique serial number) at locations of higher risk of incident along the oil tanker route that runs from Burrard Inlet, through the Gulf and San Juan Islands and out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Salish sea oil spill map project

Find out more about the science behind the project. and see the Salish sea Oil Spill Map HERE

Mashing-up Opendata for a B.C Liquor Outlet Map with CartoDB

All the twitter chatter today from #FOSS4G and the hype surrounding CartoDB got me wanting to mashup some data with the awesome open Geo tools out there so I decided to go look for some data and see what I could come up with. It took me a few minutes by I managed to locate some opendata from the DataBC providing me with locations of beer, wine, and liquor outlets, both public and private within the Province. Using my free CartoDB account I could quickly drop in my data, geocode it (almost) and publish a nice map for simple visualization and sharing.. took me about 5 minutes in total and I haven’t used CartoDB in months! Pretty darned sweet… I guess I better go fix the stragglers in my dataset! Jump directly to the BC liquor store locator map here or see the live map below… [Read more…]

Province of B.C, Canada forges ahead with OpenData initiatives

This week a special Open Data Summit took place in Vancouver, B.C where about 120 government folk and stakeholders took part in the discussion around the topic of OpenGov and Open Data. In a report from the event, it was good to see that the topic of standards was quite important and discussed from the get go, also citing the success of the Google open transit feed data spec in helping to open and share data with the public – a nice summary of the event can be found on this blog. To follow up, a number of local communities are hosting open data events and hackathons this week-end – these as part of the International Open data Day Of note, the city of Victoria have just released new OpenData Catalog and the Province of BC has redesigned their OpenData resource at

See Also: So You Want to Hack – OpenHackDay #odhd Recap and Tips for developers and new hacks

BCIT GIS Student project and practicum sponsors needed #Geo #EDU

An update from my friend Karl at the BCIT GIS faculty at BCIT in Burnaby, BC, Canada. Karl provides an update and information on this year’s practicum for the GIS program students. About the program – Every year, the BCIT Geographic Information Systems (GIS) students undertake a project or a practicum with a municipal government agency, or other agency, to fulfill their diploma.


[Read more…]

HootSuite Grabs Seesmic as The Owls Add The San Fran StartUp to the Nest

I follow a number of HootSuite “owls” on Twitter and I’m pretty sure I stumbled onto details of this minutes after the news broke last night as details are now emerging about Vancouver StartUp, HootSuite acquiring competitor Seesmic. HootSuite is the grand-daddy here with Seesmic having a much smaller user base, however, the pickup is still quite relevant to the social media user community, particularly is this will likely shrink the number of available options for users in selecting a social dashboard solution. I’m a long time user of both services, having been a user of Seesmic likely since it rolled out in Beta and have been a fan of founder Loic Le Muir since watching him in the popular LeWeb event each year since it rolled out.

Seesmic has terrific mobile mobile apps, I’m a huge fan of the Android and iOS builds and they were an early leader in that space in my mind. Much leaner than HootSuite in functionality, the app “just plain works” and is a perfect tool for any user, particularly the novice. The PC dashboard is feature rich although one now requires Pro functionality to make is useful at all, thus eliminating it as an option for anyone not willing to pay a monthly fee – that was a mistake in my mind. HootSuite, however, is robust, is growing fast, and has become THE social media dashboard of choice for the enterprise user – if you or your company need a solution to help manage your social marketing efforts HootSuite is hands-down the tool for you! HootSuite will continue to support Seesmic users, however they will be transitioned over time according to the company.

From HootSuite…

It is a logical step in the lifecycle of both companies, who have shared many similarities since they were founded four years ago. Seesmic is a cross-platform application that was founded in 2008 by super entrepreneur and blogger Loïc Le Meur. HootSuite’s acquisition of a major player is yet another milestone in the company’s recent hyper-growth. HootSuite focuses on the needs of power users, so Seesmic’s business and enterprise customers will further reinforce HootSuite’s position in the upper left quadrant of the Twitter Partner graph:

Twitter partner quadrant
Twitter’s recent changes to its API and the launch of the Twitter partner program means a more concerted effort in tools and services for business users- the upper left (Diagram source: Twitter)

See details on the HootSuite blog