Archive for August, 2011

PostGIS in Action is a great book

PostGIS in Action is one of the best tech books I have ever read.  In addition to being a thorough guide inside and out to PostGIS it is also full of tips and tricks for the Postgres database itself.

My only reservation with the book is that now might not be the best time to pick up a copy.  With the big additions PostGIS 2.0 will bring soon I would be hesitant to pick up a copy until it has been updated for the new version.

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uDig is pretty cool

If QGIS isn’t your cup of tea uDig is another free, open source GIS tool.  It is java based, and as such runs on basically any platform out there.  There’s a windows installer, or for other platforms you can download a zip file containing the program and all the tools it needs to run.  Just unzip the folder and run!  Once it is up and running you can feed it pretty much any data set out there since like QGIS, uDig takes advantage of GDAL and GDAL opens basically everything out there.

Check out uDig’s homepage for some cool testimonials from big projects that have made use of the software to complete some HUGE projects.

Arch splits up Libreoffice

Before to get Libreoffice installed on Arch all you needed to do was `sudo pacman -S libreoffice`, but now you need to install the pieces individually.  This is handy if, for example, you don’t need their database or Powerpoint like tools. It was a bit of an inconvenience for me because after the change I didn’t realize base, calc, and writer weren’t part of the common install and I had only installed common and English language pack portions of the program.  When I tried to open the spreadsheet that in place of a checkbook register it only recognized it as a Libreoffice chart.  That file doesn’t have any charts in it.  Oops.

Arch moved QGIS out of their packages repository

Arch moved QGIS out of their package repository a few weeks ago.  Luckily, it has been picked up by AUR where it is still very simple to install.  You can either follow Arch’s amazingly awesome wiki on how to install packages from AUR, or you can install Yaourt and let it do the heavy lifting for you.

Once installed QGIS gives you almost everything ESRI’s ArcView gave you. If you’re not using the advanced editing features or ArcEditor or Info, or you’re not dealing with data in an ArcServer or SDE database QGIS should be able to do everything you need it to do. It will run on Windows, Linux, and OS X.