Leaving GeoIQ/Esri. Retrospective and future plans.

I’ve been with GeoIQ (the folks behind GeoCommons) since the Summer of 2010, and I’ve loved it. Earlier this year GeoIQ joined with Esri and we were hugely excited to change things from the inside and coming up with plans for the new Esri DC Dev team.. However, that’s all behind me now, alas, as it was time to move on. I have left GeoIQ/Esri to be a freelancer and to join the Topomancy coop. This post will take a quick look back at time well spent, and will touch upon what I will be doing in the future.

The main release we worked towards initially was coined as “GeoCommons 2.0″ – it was released around 10 months after I joined, and included a whole load of stuff. I blogged about it here: Some Stuff I’ve Been Working on in GeoCommons 2.0. Other blog posts also showed how to use the GeoIQ API with OpenLayers, Polymaps, and Leaflet, and about using GEOS with Ruby.

Here then, in no particular order is a quick list of stuff.

  • OCEANIDS – A  multitenant GeoIQ instance. “GRID-Arendal’s Ocean Commons for Environmental and Natural resources Information and Data Sharing system .. an interdisciplinary and multi-thematic geospatial and metadata portal of public marine scientific data and information. “
  • Created AMQP. RabbitMQ and Resque solutions for background worker and task management
  • Added WMS and Tile support for adding new datasources.
  • Added spatial query to the feature API – (e.g., getting features within a polygon)
  • Created a whole load of analyses methods, including some of the usual suspects like intersection, buffer, clip, simplify.
  • Developed a Ruby API Wrapper library for the GeoIQ API
  • Worked on the GeoCommons open source geocoder.
  • Worked on filter user interface for map and data views
  • Added OAuth authentication to the system and API Keys for developers

More important than the work were the people I worked with – hugely talented enthusiastic and smart developers, designers and all round human beings – You can get rid of the code if you like, but I’ll miss working with these folks the most!

“List of Interesting Things to Do”

Generally the world of geo and OSM in particular has grown up in the last 3 years – there are now hundreds more possibilities for paid work, and more opportunities abound. My “List of Interesting Projects” stored in my brain was getting longer as time went on. So, I wanted to ride this wave, work on some exciting stuff, and have a break from working full time.

As a freelancer I’m working on some open source geo stuff and hope to spend more time volunteering for HOT and with OSM in general.   I’ll also be tackling that long list of interesting projects to do! One of those projects is actually a time travel conference, so watch this space next year.

I’ll also be part of a cooperative company called Topomancy LLC, with Shekhar Krisnan and Schuyler Erle – and together we will continue (previously was called Entropy Free) our work with the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress, and a number of other orgs on open source geo.

Really enjoyed my time with GeoIQ/Esri DC Dev and have learnt loads.  I wish them well for the future and will keep an eye on their progress within Esri – I know they will be doing awesome stuff!

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