15 March 2016

Google Summer of Code 2016

Google Summer of Code 2016 students application period is now open!

Also this year, as an hosted project of OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial Foundation), istSOS [1] welcome students who may want to contribute to the project by implementing new ideas[2].

Are there any students wanting to spend their summer break writing code and learning about open source development while earning 5500 US Dollars
Accepted students will work with a mentor and become a part of the open source community. Many become lifetime open source developers! 

The 2016 student application window is March 14th to 25th.

Here [3] is a link you can find the information need to know about the GSoC. Our suggestions to students are summarized as follows: 
  • check the eligibility requirements first
  • get inspiration and info from the OSGeo Ideas wiki page [3] 
  • if you are new, introduce yourself to the developer team you wish to join (geoservice ]at[ supsi.ch)
Let us remind that you don't need to already be an expert to take part to GSoC - if you are unsure, just ask what are the required skills for a given idea!

istSOS wants you!!

09 March 2016

istSOS 2.3.1-RC1 released

The istSOS team is proud to announce the release of istSOS 2.3.1-RC1, available for download. 

This release contains a long requested feature and some minor bug fixes to the istSOS code base, such as:

  • Implementation of the OGC SOS 2.0 core profile
  • Virtual procedures bug fixes
  • code refactoring

Download istSOS 2.3.1-RC1, try it out, and provide feedback on the istSOS mailing list. As with any new version, be sure to backup your services directory and the postgresql database before upgrading.

We are testing it right now on our production server so the final stable 2.3.1 release will be available soon on our repository on SourceForge http://sourceforge.net/projects/istsos/files/ of course if you cannot wait there is the 2.3.1-RC1 ready to download.

Download istSOS

Thanks again for using istSOS!

Quick list of istSOS features:

 - OGC SOS 1.0 
 - OGC SOS 2.0 (GetCapabilities, DescribeSensor, GetObservation)
 - RESTful API
 - Handling of irregular time series
 - On-the-fly aggregation of observed measures with no-data management.
 - Support for different output formats like application/json, text/csv, and text/xml:subtype=sensorML.
 - Possibility of inserting many observations with a single insertObservation requests.
 - Supporting of an override parameter that allows to overwrite already registered observations with new ones.
 - Capability to filter observations based on partial observed property names (LIKE filtering support).
 - Native support for data quality index associated with each observation.
 - Setting of maximum period for data retrievement requests to avoid server overloads.
 - Availability of a virtual procedure mechanism, that expose new sensors and observed properties as on-the-fly elaboration of regular observation.
 - On the fly data aggregation.
 - Real time data validation and quality index 

                            01 December 2015

                            istSOS 2.3.0-RC1 released

                            The istSOS developer Team is proud to announce the release of istSOS 2.3.0-RC1

                            With version 2.3.0 istSOS along with several bugfixes and improvements is introducing three interesting features: authentication, data viewer and notification.

                            First of all we have implemented an integrated authentication & authorization system and adapted the Web interface. Depending on the role assigned to the logged user the interface automatically adapts to show permitted tasks and hide non-permitted actions.
                            The second feature is a renewed DataViewer interface that now includes a new map panel showing sensors positions.
                            The third feature is the consolidated istSOS Notification Service which thanks to several bug fixes has reached its maturity.

                            For those using istSOS 2.2.1, the upgrade to 2.3.0 should be painless and would need only an upgrade of the source code and a copy of the 'service' folder.

                            Authentication & authorization system

                            Up to now a standard installation of istSOS comes without any kind of protection and administrator needed to use external authentication tools. Now, with version 2.3.0 istSOS came with embedded five security modes and four accessing roles.

                            Security modes:

                            • Fully open: the simplest and that’s the way istSOS is installed by default. No protection is applied, everything is open.
                            • Closed: this mode blocks all unauthenticated requests to istSOS lib, WAlib and the HTML files.
                            • Closed, with welcome page open: blocks all unauthenticated requests to istSOS lib and WAlib. The HTML part remains open showing the welcome page with few informations.
                            • Hybrid: The Hybrid mode blocks all unauthenticated interaction with the HTML and the WaLib (REST API), but opens completely the access to the istSOS lib api (Sensor Observation Service).
                            • Hybrid with InsertObservation and RegisterSensor close: this mode inhibit the ability for unauthenticated users to register new sensors and send observation. All the other Sensor Observation Sensor requests remains publicly open

                            Accessing roles:

                            • admin: users with admin role have access to all the istSOS features
                            • networkmanager: The network manager has the permissions to modify everything in the domain of one or more predefined istSOS service instance. He can’t create new instances and change default istSOS configurations
                            • datamanager: can modify measures, update rating discharge parameters and change procedures metadata
                            • visitor: can view measures 
                            For more details see the documentation at: http://istsos.org/en/trunk/doc/security.html

                            Data Viewer with map panel

                            A new panel showing sensor position is added in the Data Viewer page. According to user preferences panels can be re-sized.

                            We are testing it right now on our production server so the final stable 2.3.0 release will be available soon on our repository on SourceForge http://sourceforge.net/projects/istsos/files/ .

                            21 October 2015

                            FOSS4G applied in Tourism

                            This summer (2015) the Geomatic Division at IST-SUPSI has finished the implementation of various web services in support of a new integrated ecosystem sponsored by the local touristic agency (Ticino Tourism Agency). The project #hiketicino aims to "create a network of remote and on-site services able to enhance the hiking experience for tourists and residents, thus increasing usage of the hiking trails" (Ticino New Digital Experience).

                            In particular we were involved in the implementation of three components: a Processing Services, a Javascript Map Widget API and a WMS Server with OpenStreetMap data.

                            Processing Services

                            Developed using Python, GRASS and PostGIS, in order to offer an easy to use remote geospatial service for the project partners, we have implemented three services offering specific processing capabilities:

                            Identification of point of interest along an itinerary

                            Given three parameters (path identifier, distance/buffer, datetime), the service returns an array identifying the points of interest included in the buffer. Mainly used by the administration interface to filter nearby point of interests.

                            Itinerary elevation profile calculation

                            Given the path identifier and optionally an extra parameter (info), the service returns the elevation profile represented as an array with each element represented by coordinates, distance in meters from start point and elevation in meters. This is used by the mobile application and the JavaScript Api to print an elevation profile chart. The response time for this service in average is of 136 ms with a size of 10.1 KB.

                            Itinerary elevation profile data exposed in an interactive chart 
                            using the Javascript Map Widget API

                            Static map image generation

                            Given seven parameters (path identifiers, point of interest types, height/width in inches, dpi, epsg and output format), the service takes care of calculating the best way to fit the itinerary chosen. Relying on a Web Map Service as backend returns a static image that is used to generate PDF files, not interactive map views on big screens "Totem" and itinerary details on the mobile application.

                            Example of static map image generation used with a "Totem" display

                            Javascript Map Widget API

                            The JavaScript Map Widget Api is a performant and easy to use API. Based mainly on OpenLayers 3 (http://openlayers.org) and d3js (http://d3js.org), it makes strong use of the Google's Closure Compiler (https://developers.google.com/closure/compiler) making the code  lightweight and optimized. 

                            Except for the background maps, everything else is loaded once during initialization. That means that all the polygons and point are loaded once. All the code with vector data can be compressed into 693.5 KB (629 KB the MWA core, optional 2KB for charting, optional extra data 60 KB for pois, CSS 2.5 KB). In terms of performance, the response time for the core part is 272 ms and 51 ms for the optional extra data related to pois.

                            Using vectors to represent overlay information opens the doors for more interaction with the on-map information (changing styles on the fly, quicker data access, smooth animations, etc). The map goes faster, because network resources are used to load just optimized raster tiles that can be cached on the client side for reuse.

                            The usage is simple. Inserting a HTML div element and a configurable script tag, the project partners with the task of implementing the web site, were able to embed easily a dynamic map, optionally with an interactive chart representing the terrain profile of an itinerary.

                            The Map Widget APi offer to the user the freedom to control the map (paning, zooming, ect), to switch base layers and points of interest and locate himself.

                            Here are some notable features..

                            Embedded menu

                            A configurable menu is added automatically into the map frame. Available functionality are zoom to max extent, zoom in & out, geolocation, layers and points of interest switch.

                            Interacting with the manu

                            Animated marker clustering

                            In some cases point of interest are located at the same coordinate or are close to each others, in this case a nice animation has been developed from scratch using the d3js library. The cluster icon showing the count of inner features, once clicked explodes showing single icon representing every point of interest located at this position.

                            Marker cluster with OpenLayers 3

                            Interactive terrain profile chart

                            Configurable terrain profile chart. Passing over the chart the hiker marker appear showing the exact location in the map.

                            Interactive terrain profile chart with d3js

                            WMS Server with OpenStreetMap 

                            In order to offer an interactive map experience a Web Mapping Service has been deployed using GeoServer (http://geoserver.org). OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/about) has been the choice for the default base map. Taking inspiration from the default OSM style it has been modified with a touch of personalization: changing fonts to integrate with main site style and adding shadows and contour lines using the Digital Terrain Model from the Helidem project (http://helidem.eu). To boost response speed all the tiles are served using caching techniques.

                            OSM data restyled

                            Please jump to http://hike.ticino.ch and look for the map!!

                            14 November 2014

                            Flooding emergency management with SITGAP2

                            In the last months the geomatic division of the IST-SUPSI has developed, in collaboration with the civil protection of the Locarno and Vallemmagia region, a renewed application for flooding management named SITGAP 2.

                            Born from the ashes of an old project, this application takes advantage of the latest geospatial technologies using an innovative approach while is providing to the civil protection and their partner a essential information for the optimal planning and management of the emergency.

                            SITGAP 2, accessible only using a secured user and password, provides base maps, real-time lake levels and its evolution forecasted by hydrological models run by the IST-SUPSI, details of exposed elements (including population, private properties, oil cisterns etc.), evacuation tools, and many other essential features specifically designed and implemented.

                            Even if still in test phase, the application is already proving its utility and stability in supporting the current alarm (level 5 of 5) operations.

                            For those interested, more insight will be provided in Fribourg (Switzerland) the next SGM 2014 (Swiss Geoscience Meeting) the November 22nd at 11:20.

                            SITGAP 2 appeared in the national media:
                            1. RSI 2014-11-10 19:45: http://goo.gl/ng4aZK 
                            2. RSI 2014-11-13 06:17: http://goo.gl/vbpeuv 
                            3. Ticinonline 2014-11-14 15:42: http://goo.gl/RuOjYm
                            4. T+ 2014-11-14 18:57: http://goo.gl/KKpsZz
                            Credits go to:

                            30 October 2014


                            An early warning system for lake flooding in support of civil protection

                            Object of the Study:

                            Several studies on predict an increase in high-intensity precipitations in Europe, which is likely increase the frequency and magnitude of flood events.

                            Early warning systems (EWS) are used for predicting, communicating, and responding to floods. An existing EWS was renewed to meet new requirements. The new system design was based on the Service Oriented Architecture pattern. Open source software was used throughout the system. Open source approach was found desirable for several reasons: cost reduction, independence from proprietary policies, the right to access and modify the source code, and because of the good support provided by the open source software community.

                            The SITGAP RESTful web API are developed in Python language and rely on Tornado Web Server [1] which is capable to handle a large number of clients at the same time. The requests and responses use the JSON open standard format. The data store is the PostgreSQL with the PostGIS extension.

                            The interface was developed using Sencha Ext JS [2] and orchestrates the services to provide the desired business logic of the application. It integrates hydro- meteorological data concerning the areas surrounding the Verbano basin, it runs a conceptual hydrological model that combines the collected data and high- resolution meteorological forecasting to forecast lake level, and dispatches alerts to local stakeholder. 

                            Hydro-meteorological data are collected and managed in real-time thanks to the usage of the SOS standard by means of two istSOS [3] platform which serve more than 240 sensors and 30 million of observations coming from the monitoring networks of Canton Ticino, MetwoSwiss, Swiss Federal Environmental Office, Piemonte Region Environmental Agency and Lombardy Region Great Lake Consortium. 

                            The hydrological model is a SCS-CN-based conceptual model that applies the Nash method. It is activated in case of meteorological alert only. Every model run, after a first phase of calibration based on measured observations collected from the istSOS services, it provides 72 hours lake level forecasts by using COSMO-7 meteorological model [4] rainfall outputs by MeteoSwiss and elaborated thanks to a local WPS service.

                            12 March 2014

                            Apply for istSOS ideas within the Google Summer of Code program

                            Google Summer of Code students application period is now open

                            Also this year, as an hosted project of OSGeo (Open Source Geospatial Foundation), istSOS welcome students who may want to contribute to the project by implementing new ideas (see istSOS ideas page).
                            Selected students can receive 5'000 USD from Google to work on the Open Source project !!!

                            Application rules and references (from OSgeo GSoC Admins)

                            Google Summer of Code [0] students application period is now open.
                            The application period closes on March 21st.

                            Here [1] is a link to all common questions on GSoC, that cover the basics about the program and also specific questions on how to apply and what are the requirements for students and mentors.

                            OSGeo homepage on Melange shows the application template [2] that students shall use and will contain the direct link for application submission.

                            Our suggestions to students are summarized as follows: 
                            • check the eligibility requirements first (see the link to common questions) 
                            • get inspiration and info from the OSGeo Ideas wiki page [3] 
                            • if you are new, introduce yourself to the developer team you wish to join 
                            • register on Melange and submit the application, even as draft, not later than next week. You are able to edit it or withdraw it anytime during the application period.Interested students and mentors are welcome to ask for clarification on the soc list soc@lists.osgeo.org or, if privacy is needed, to the admins directly.. 
                            Let us remind that you don't need to already be an expert to take part to GSoC - if you are unsure, just ask what are the required skills for a given idea!

                            [0] GSoC homepage https://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/homepage/google/gsoc2014
                            [1] GSoC FAQ https://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/document/show/gsoc_program/google/gsoc2014/help_page
                            [2] OSGeo application template for students https://www.google-melange.com/gsoc/org2/google/gsoc2014/osgeo
                            [3] OSGeo Ideas http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Google_Summer_of_Code_2014_Ideas