Announcing Geo June

We invite you to join us for Geo June, a month-long series of events and collaborative projects. We will be coding, documenting and demonstrating solutions for data collection and mapping. By the end of the month, we aim to provide a stable foundation for storing and using "real" geospatial data in Drupal.

There is a lot to do, but we're closer to our goals than you might think. Development efforts toward modules affecting all aspects of the geospatial equation-- from geocoding to geospatial data storage to mapping-- have never enjoyed a higher level of momentum. Let's capitalize on this and bring it all home. Geo June endeavors to do just this, with a virtual sprint to maximize the contributions of everyone who participates.

Participate!

You can join in the fun by helping us work the issue queue for Geo and related modules, or by participating in other ways:

  • Come to our Geo June Kickoff Barbecue, June 1: A decidedly offline event in Minneapolis sponsored by Advantage Labs. If you're in town, come to 2104 Stevens Ave South, Minneapolis, MN, 55404 to partake in grilled goodies and talk Geo June.
  • Join the daily IRC Meetups, June 1-30 : Meet in #drupal-geo from 10AM-11AM (North America Central Time) to ask questions, get updates on progress, request assignments, collaborate and strategize.
  • Blog in June about Drupal geo projects and Drupal as a GeoCMS. We could use the attention and would love to know what you're up to. If you have a feed that's pertinent to Geo June, please Contact us so we can get it aggregated.
  • Participate in the community. As always, the Mapping group on groups.drupal.org is your home for all things geospatial.
  • Participate in the TC Drupal Documentation Sprint. June 20 As part of this local community event, we'll be organizing a documentation sprint for Geospatial modules. We'll also be available via IRC for those of you playing along at home.
  • Organize other events locally or online, dealing with any type of Mapping or Geospatial activities in Drupal. Be sure to post it in the mapping group so everyone can get involved.
  • Contribute financially We can use a lot of help to make sure this sprint is productive and sustainable. Read on for details, or visit our secure payment form to help out.
  • Join us at the release party! June 30 (details TBD), celebrate the results of all Geo June related work.

Geo and Geocode

Advantage Labs will be devoting time during Geo June to working on the completion of two modules, Geo and Geocode, which manage geospatial data storage natively in Drupal-- in other words everything up to but not including mapping. Geo provides storage not only for points (like Location), but also lines and polygons which opens up a new world of possibilities for geo data. Geocode can derive geographic information from information you already have in Drupal like addresses, city names, track files, and even photos with EXIF data.

These tools make Drupal a viable platform for geospatial applications. Geo's solution set goes beyond the consumption of freely-available data. By allowing any Drupal user to collect, analyze, and redistribute of location-relevant information, you're contributing to the availability of data for mash-ups and other uses.

We'll use the Geo Roadmap as a starting place, and use the wiki and the needs of contributors to inform feature priorities.

A demonstration of Geo and Geocode's current capabilities is available in the video of the presentation: Drupal as a GeoCMS, from DrupalconDC.

Related modules

While Geo manages the storage, searching, and output of geo data, that's only part of the equation. In order to become a true GeoCMS, Drupal needs a strong and well-supported suite of modules that provide CCK input and output formatters, maps, views displays, and other real-world uses.

When we haven't had the resources to complete the Geo API, developers of mapping modules that depend on Geo couldn't guarantee the availability of a production-ready solution. And without adequate documentation or support, API implementations can be challenging, to say the least.

The primary aim of the Geo June sprint is to rectify this situation by providing a production-ready API that everyone can count on. This means that developers of mapping solutions can complete their projects as well. We'll also be around to make sure they get the support they need, and to make sure our tools are flexible enough to deliver what's needed.

We encourage maintainers of these modules to hold events of their own, and to contact us online or in IRC.

Use Case Scenario Wiki

Advantage Labs' work during Geo June will be based on the priorities set by the community. Do you have a unique use case or a dream application? Share it online!

To ensure that the work going into geospatial modules is relevant to real-world solutions, we are hoping that people will to share their wishlists and use cases. How do you want/need to use geodata on your Drupal site? What kind of collection, storage and mapping requirements do you have? What outside services do you want make your data available to? What types of data do you want to incorporate into your site? We have created a use case wiki on the Location and Mapping GDO group page. Please visit and add your geo and mapping ideas. We hope this will become a central place for these to be referenced by all who are working on geo modules and documentation.

Financial Contributions

We're hoping to dedicate as much time as we possibly can towards the completion of stable versions of geospatial tools for Drupal. We have a few sponsors helping us out already, but need some more help to fully realize our goals.

Historically, we've been reluctant to accept smaller contributions. If we couldn't do anything with $50 worth of time, we didn't want to take your money. However, with a consolidated sprint in Geo June, every contribution large or small can help maximize participation and progress.

If you have a project with the requirements and budget for a specific use case (more than $1000), and would like to ensure that your needs are met, please contact us directly, and we'll discuss featuring your project while making sure your requirements are met.

To pitch in, see our Secure online payment form.

Get excited. Get involved.