Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Segunda evolución

Como consecuencia de las modificaciones introducidas en la gestión del proyecto gisEIEL a raíz del acuerdo de colaboración con las Diputaciones de Córdoba y Ourense, la Universidad de A Coruña y el Consell Insular de Mallorca, y dado que este espacio tenía un carácter semi-oficial y que no estaba claro si servía exclusivamente para publicar comentarios y noticias referidos a gisEIEL, hemos decidido crear un blog oficial de la plataforma eielac (que incluye al portal webEIEL, a la BDT-EIEL, el nodo ideAC y gisEIEL), que servirá a partir de ahora como punto oficial de publicación de novedades, y transformar definitivamente "Going Free" en un espacio para la reflexión personal de sus autores acerca de temas relacionados con la información geográfica, los SIG, las IDE, el software y el conocimiento libres, etc

Por tanto, en los próximos días iréis viendo cómo se transforma este blog. Hemos empezado por su sub-título y seguiremos con los contenidos de la barra lateral, liberándolo de su vinculación inicial con el proyecto gisEIEL.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pherecyde's cloth (II): The eCloth

When I wrote the previous entry on Pherecyde's cloth, I was thinking of a series of articles driving from the myth to a prospective trip on what can be the future of map making or, more precisely, of geographic information computing.

This series of articles would have explained the different stages of mapmaking evolution along time. But both the time passed since my first post, and the evidence that there are several very good web resources on that issue (e.g. BBC's "Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession"  and "The Beauty of Maps" series), have made me change my mind in the sense of deciding to close my own series of posts with just this second entry.

So, the important thing about mapmaking history with regards to what I wanted to transmit is that, from the 1970`s, the arising of CAD, automated mapping and GIS technologies have put in our hands the posibility to build up electronic, virtual representations of the territory. These representations, on despite their resolution, are generally stored as 1:1 models of our sorrounding space. And they have been highly improved from the 1990's on by means of the advancements in computer sciences and technologies (regarding both hardware and software) and the launching of digital globes, geographic mash-ups and SDI.

Due to this technological shift, we now are able of building quite complex, high resolution, almost full scaled representations of the world. So, we are closer and closer to being able to weave an ecloth, similar to that of Pherecyde but (in our case) made of bytes of information, that will perfectly reproduce our world in a 1:1 scale, as a virtual cloth lying on it. When this finally happens, we will have made that the myth comes true.

But this is not the end of the story (and not even of map making history). Let's watch a video:

Interesting, isn't it? When I saw it for the first time, about one year ago, I got highly impressed by the implications of Kurzweil's words and predictions regarding digital geographic information computing. And, when I begun relting them to Pherecyde's myth, provoqued my will of writing about this subject. Why?

Ok. Let's suppose that Kurzweil's predictions come true. If so, by the end of XXIst Century we will be inmersed in an universe that will mix real, phisical elements with virtual ones. An universe that will be, in Kurzweil's words, "As real as real life". An universe in which phisical elements (materials) of any kind will be used as information storing and processing units.

Let's go now one step beyond. Materials are information carriers. Ok. So, why not carrying all the data needed to describe/model themselves? This would not be that difficult as, accordingly again to Kurzweil's words: "The energy in a stone weighting one kilogram, equals the computing capacity needed to manage all of the information that humankind has managed this far". At this point, the above mentioned ecloth and the universe would be melted into just one single reality: the cloth will be the universe and the universe will be its own cloth. No more need to represent and model space, as space will be modelling and representing itself.

Hence, in that new mixed universe, we (our descendents, actually) will have the oportunity of both phisically and virtually move around and experiment the space that surrounds us at the time that we are experiencing its virtual representation.

And, would it be too risky to suppose that universe would, by then, become self-conscious? Think on the implications.

"Amazing!", is the least that I can say.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Agreement to cooperate in the management of gisEIEL project

After a process that started up during past November, Province Councils of A Coruña, Córdoba and Ourense, Island Council of Mallorca and University of A Coruña have agreed in signing a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the management, monitoring and coordinate development of gisEIEL [1] project.

As explained within the text of the MoU [2], the signing bodies agree in using BDT-EIEL geo-database and gisEIEL software to build and manage the so called EIEL (Spanish acronym for Enquiry on Local Infrastructures and Services) and, in order to rationalize the use of the available resources, have considered that inter-administrative cooperation "is, in general, wishable in order to rationalize the use of resources and guarantee the sustainibility of Public Administration actions. They also consider that, in the particular case of gisEIEL project, this cooperation will take to the optimization of the resources that are advocated to the development, management and maintaining of the project, to its persistence in time, its continuous improvement, its better fitting the interests and needs of its users and, summarizing, to its more rational management."

To reach those goals, the signing bodies set the deal of coordinating efforts and developments, as well as to annually agree about the schedule of actions to undertake, accordingly to the following

  1. The signing bodies adopt BDT-EIEL data model, from A Coruña Province Council,  as basic model to manage geo-referenced EIEL and as the foundational set of data to support a package of GIS solutions for Local Administrations.
  2. They also adopt gisEIEL software as GIS tool to manage the contents of BDT-EIEL. Meanwhile gvSIG 2.0 is not available, the newest released version of gisEIEL will be used. As soon as an stable version of gvSIG 2.0 is available, the set of moules of gisEIEL 3.0 and later versions will be adopted, as well as any other gvSIG compatible software that may be gvSIG or gisEIEL compatible.
  3. The signing bodies may also adopt the rest of the aplications within eielAC platform to publish and share the data contained in BDT-EIEL.
  4. The developments, modifications and improvements to be undertaken from the signing of this MoU on, will be shared between the signing bodies and will be compatible with gvSIG, from its version 2.0 on, given that it constitutes the most adequate technological platform to day. The MoU Monitoring and Technical Committees may, at any moment, decide to maintain also compatibility with any other interesting software.
  5. Given that the present MoU relates to a project that was started by A Coruña Province Council and University, and in order to reach the goal that all of the rest of the signing parties (including both their developres and users) may quickly and fully get confident with the shared tools, the former institutions guarantee their cooperation regarding learning and technical advisory as weel as providing the most adequate documentation thus building up a frame of knowledge and technology sharing.

[1] http://giseiel.forge.osor.eu
[2] Complete text of the MoU (in Spanish only):

Monday, March 21, 2011

Acuerdo de cooperación para la gestión de gisEIEL

Tras un proceso iniciado el pasado mes de noviembre, las Diputaciones de A Coruña, Ourense y Córdoba, el Consell Insular de Mallorca y la Universidad de A Coruña han adoptado el acuerdo de formalizar un convenio de cooperación para la gestión, seguimiento y desarrollo coordinado de la aplicación gisEIEL [1].

Tal como se explica en el propio texto del convenio [2], las entidades firmantes del mismo coinciden en utilizar la base de datos BDT-EIEL y el software gisEIEL para la confección y gestión de la Encuesta sobre Infraestructuras y Equipamientos Locales (EIEL) y, a fin de racionalizar la utilización de los recursos disponibles, han considerado que la cooperación interadministrativa "es, con carácter general, deseable en orden a racionalizar el uso de recursos y a garantizar la sostenibilidad de las actuaciones de la administración pública. Consideran así mismo que en el caso particular del proyecto gisEIEL esta cooperación llevará a la rentabilización de los recursos destinados al desarrollo, gestión y mantenimiento del proyecto, a su persistencia en el tiempo, a su continua mejora, a su mejor adecuación a los intereses y necesidades de sus usuarios y, en suma, a su más racional gestión."

Para ello, se comprometen a coordinar sus esfuerzos y desarrollos, y a acordar anualmente las líneas de actuación a desarrollar, de acuerdo con los siguientes

  1. Las entidades firmantes adoptan el modelo de datos de la BDT-EIEL de la Diputación de A Coruña como modelo básico para la gestión de la EIEL georreferenciada y como base para la construcción de un paquete de soluciones SIG dirigidas a la administración local.
  2. Igualmente adoptan el software gisEIEL como herramienta SIG de partida para la gestión de los datos contenidos en la BDT-EIEL. En tanto no esté disponible la versión 2.0 de gvSIG, se adoptará la última versión liberada de gisEIEL. En cuanto se publique la primera versión estable de gvSIG 2.0, se adoptarán como base el conjunto de módulos de gisEIEL 3.0 y versiones posteriores, pudiendo complementarlas en cualquier momento con otro software compatible con los anteriores.
  3. Las citadas entidades firmantes podrán, así mismo, adoptar las restantes aplicaciones de la plataforma eielAC como software de publicación y compartición de los datos almacenados en la BDT-EIEL.
  4. Los desarrollos, modificaciones y actualizaciones a realizar a partir de la firma del presente convenio, serán compartidos entre los firmantes y serán, en todo momento, compatibles con gvSIG, a partir de su versión 2.0, por constituir la plataforma tecnológica más adecuada en el momento presente. Igualmente, se mantendrá la compatibilidad con cualquier otro software de base o complementario que decidan los órganos técnicos de seguimiento del convenio.
  5. En la medida en que este Convenio se constituye sobre un proyecto ya iniciado por la Diputación de A Coruña y la Universidad de A Coruña y con el fin de que el resto de las entidades firmantes (refiriéndose tanto a desarrolladores como usuarios finales de la aplicación) se puedan incorporar rápida y plenamente al estado actual del mismo, las dos entidades citadas garantizan su colaboración en materia de formación, asistencias técnicas y redacción de la documentación adecuada que conforme un marco de transferencia de conocimiento y tecnología adecuado.

[1] http://giseiel.forge.osor.eu
[2] Texto completo del convenio: