Sunday, November 28, 2010

OSGeo Live DVD - A must have

Open Source Geospatial FoundationImage via Wikipedia
It is known that FOSS4G conferences are held every year to discuss the latest developments in Open Source Geospatial Software. This year the conference was held in Barcelona, Spain in September (6th to 9th). In the year 2011 the conference is scheduled in Denver, Colarado, USA. Lot of workshops, tutorial sessions and presentations are a part of the yearly conference. In order to provide hands on experience during the sessions a linux-based (Xubuntu) live DVD is released which contains all the leading free GIS software. Luckily this DVD is also provided for free download in the OSGeo site as well as the official site meant for these live distributions. Currently the DVD released during FOSS4G, 2010 is available.

The Xubuntu based live DVD which uses Xfce desktop environment is a good choice made, since it will be light on system resources but yet offer best performance. Being a live DVD one need not install it in hard drive though I would personally suggest installation, as it is a wonderful resource. It is neatly composed as a distribution, I should say a GIS distro as the composer has taken care to introduce all the leading packages in well-defined categories. A separate panel entry "Geospatial" is provided which is the home to all the packages. Main categories are:

  1. Browser Clients
  2. Crisis Management
  3. Databases
  4. Desktop GIS
  5. Navigation and maps
  6. Spatial Tools
  7. Web Services
These category of applications have a whole lot of applications inside. For example under Desktop GIS there are:

To install so many applications in a fresh Linux installation obviously takes lot of time. Some may not be essential too, but for a learner it would be of great help. The DVD is available in a 8 GB version which includes windows and mac installers as well as 4 GB version which does not contain windows and mac installers. These ISO images can even be copied into a bootable USB Stick.
This definitely is a good effort form OSGeo community and a must have for GIS Professionals and students/ GIS enthusiasts.
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