Reflections on 25th Anniversaries in 2016… What was it about 1991?

Posted on January 3, 2017 in Thinking

The end of the year is often about both reflection and prognostication, and as we head into 2017 I’m a little stuck on the reflection side. In 2016 AppGeo celebrated its 25th anniversary, and as the sole member of the team who’s been at the company for all 25 years, I’m proud of the business accomplishments and also astonished by how much our geospatial industry has changed and evolved in a quarter century.

And, in the same way that someone will mention a new song (or movie, or book) that you’ve never heard of, and then once you hear about it you realize that it’s been all around you, my ears have been particularly attuned to other 25th anniversaries this past year. And indeed, AppGeo was not the only geo organization that was celebrating this milestone. And in talking to a couple of people involved in other 25th anniversaries, I don’t think it was accidental that AppGeo and others got started in 1991.

My first encounter with “another twenty-fiver” was when I attended the 25th Anniversary Utah Geographic Information Council (UGIC) annual conference in Bryce Canyon, UT in May. While there, I also realized that the state geospatial office – which has a classic “early days of geo” name of the Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC) – was also celebrating the 25th anniversary of their State Geographic Information Database (SGID).

My second encounter with an organization that started in 1991 was the year-long celebration of the National States Geographic Information Council’s (NSGIC) 25th birthday. Since 1991, NSGIC has provided a forum and amplifier for statewide geospatial program offices to meet, compare notes and to advocate for geo initiatives, while also collectively tackling the common challenges that span states.

During my trip to Bryce Canyon, Bert Granberg and I were musing on these anniversaries. Bert is the current Director of the AGRC and someone who has been active in NSGIC for over a decade and is – as of October – the current President of NSGIC. And over beverages we concluded that it was not entirely random that AppGeo, the SGID and NSGIC share a birth-year. Indeed, there was a confluence of at least three important and self reinforcing factors that came together that year.

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Picked up pieces from the Global 2016 FOSS4G Conference in Bonn, Germany

Posted on September 9, 2016 in Thinking


Note: Here in Boston, we are privileged to have some of the greatest sports writing in the country on the pages of the Boston Globe. Once again, this blog is modeled after and is in homage to Dan Shaughnessy’s (@Dan_Shaughnessy) “Picked Up Pieces While…” columns…

  • After 30 years in the geospatial business and after numerous international visits to North American places (yeah, Canada and Mexico) this was officially my first business trip to Europe. This trip was catalyzed due to my role in leading the local organizing committee (LOC) that will lead the that will be held next August in Boston. Quite literally, I and the co-chair of the conference (Guido Stein, @GuidoS), went to observe and learn from the proceedings and to bring the “Torch” back to Boston.

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Why We Built MapGeo

Posted on September 8, 2015 in Thinking

When you were a student it’s likely your parents and instructors reminded or scolded you to “Pay attention!” They believed that keeping an eye on what’s going on around you is valuable both for learning content and for getting ahead in life. At AppGeo we work hard to pay attention to our clients needs, to technology changes and new software and application licensing and delivery options. These were all part of bringing MapGeo (AppGeo’s hosted local government mapping solution), and now MapGeo 2.0, to market. Other related posts include what’s new in MapGeo 2.0, and a description of the uses and benefits of MapGeo.

Our Clients are the Driving Force behind MapGeo

AppGeo has served local and regional governments for more than 20 years. Our consulting and programming staff listened to customer requests and probed their needs, resulting in dozens of well received custom GIS websites. All that experience revealed some common needs. So, we started a list. Our local government customers needed:

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MapGeo Online Property Mapping wins Best Web Map Application Recognition at 2014 FOSS4G

Posted on September 17, 2014 in News

Map Gallery judges at the 2014 annual international FOSS4G (Free and Open Source Software for GIS) conference chose MapGeo as a “Best Web Map Application” from among the almost 100 entries.  MapGeo was developed by AppGeo for local governments to empower them to provide access to authoritative geographic and detailed property information through a modern, useful and high performance mapping interface. 

The scalable MapGeo platform leverages the Leaflet open source javascript library; PostGIS for data storage and geospatial queries; GeoServer for web map services and cartographic styling; GeoWebCache as well as Arc2Earth for tile cache creation; Amazon Web Services as Cloud-based Infrastructure with Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) for servers and Simple Storage Service (S3) for tile cache storage.  AppGeo continually adds to and improves MapGeo, which is provided on a subscription basis to local governments across the nation.

More than 75 municipalities and counties currently enjoy the high performance and utility of MapGeo for sharing their property data with government staff, businesses, and residents.

Pictured below is Beverly, MA .

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Picked Up Pieces That Have Settled Out Since the FOSS4G North America Conference

Posted on August 26, 2013 in Thinking

By Michael Terner (@mt_AppGeo), Executive Vice President

Here in Boston, we are privileged to have some of the greatest sports writing in the country on the pages of the Boston Globe. This blog is written in the style of, and in homage to both Dan Shaughnessy’s (@Dan_Shaughnessy) “Picked Up Pieces While…” columns, and Bob Ryan’s (@GlobeBobRyan) “Cleaning Out the Desk Drawer of my Mind…” columns. Here is a recent example from Shaughnessy.

  • The second-annual Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) North American conference, aka FOSS4GNA, was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late May. After many bitten fingernails from the host committee, the conference drew almost 400 people as the notoriously late-registering “open source crew” came through over the final three weeks leading up to the event. This very respectable attendance came in spite of two significant hurdles. First, unlike the initial FOSS4GNA conference last year in Washington, D.C., there was almost zero attendance from Federal employees due to the sequester and associated travel restrictions.  Second, and unlike last year (when the international conference scheduled for Beijing was cancelled) there will be an international FOSS4G conference in Nottingham, England in September, and undoubtedly some had to choose between the two events. The success of the Minneapolis show fully validates the health of this community and the ability of this continent to support its own FOSS4G gathering.  
  • Next year, North America is slated to host the 2014 international FOSS4G event, which should have no problem exceeding the 2013 North America- only attendance figure. After heady competition with Washington, D.C., OSGeo recently announced that Portland, Oregon won the bid to host the international FOSS4G conference. This leaves open two questions:
    • Will this year’s international conference in England outdraw the Minneapolis show, and if so, by how much?
    • Where will FOSS4GNA 2015 be held, and how many people will come?

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