Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Mar 11, 2009 6:59am

maps from scratch

Yesterday, Shawn and I led a three hour E-Tech workshop called Maps From Scratch. Our goal was to step attendees through the creation of beautiful online cartography, from vector data to rendered images. We introduced a variety of tools and concepts, like shapefiles, spatial databases, Mapnik, and TileCache. One of the things that made this tutorial especially interesting for us was our use of Amazon's EC2 service, the "Elastic Compute Cloud" that provides billed-by-the-hour virtual servers with speedy internet connections and a wide variety of operating system and configuration options. Each participant received a login to a freshly-made EC2 instance (a single server) with code and lesson data already in-place. We walked through the five stages of the tutorial with the group coding along and making their own maps, starting from incomplete initial files and progressing through added layers of complexity.

Probably the biggest hassle with open source geospatial software is getting the full stack installed and set up, so we've gone ahead and made the AMI (Amazon Machine Image, a template for a virtual server) available publicly for anyone to use, along with notes on the process we used to create it. The AMI number is ami-df22c5b6, and you can find additional information on the (presently) bare bones website, mapsfromscratch.com.

Comments (1)

  1. We've done a similar thing for data analysis AMIs -- http://machetEC2.org/ You can also just pull down any generic debian (or apt-compatible) instance and scaffold a data analysis instance using the scripts from http://github.com/infochimps/machetEC2 If anyone's interested in building their own templates, fork the github code and let us know.

    Posted by Philip (flip) Kromer on Wednesday, March 25 2009 10:37pm UTC

Sorry, no new comments on old posts.

October 2018
Su M Tu W Th F Sa

Recent Entries

  1. planscore: a project to score gerrymandered district plans
  2. blog all dog-eared pages: human transit
  3. the levity of serverlessness
  4. three open data projects: openstreetmap, openaddresses, and who’s on first
  5. building up redistricting data for North Carolina
  6. district plans by the hundredweight
  7. baby steps towards measuring the efficiency gap
  8. things I’ve recently learned about legislative redistricting
  9. oh no
  10. landsat satellite imagery is easy to use
  11. openstreetmap: robots, crisis, and craft mappers
  12. quoted in the news
  13. dockering address data
  14. blog all dog-eared pages: the best and the brightest
  15. five-minute geocoder for openaddresses
  16. notes on debian packaging for ubuntu
  17. guyana trip report
  18. openaddresses population comparison
  19. blog all oft-played tracks VII
  20. week 1,984: back to the map