I made a goal a couple of month’s ago to become more involved in some of the work to promote the open source geospatial community. I wanted to broaden my GIS horizons beyond OpenJUMP, and hoped to serve as a representative of OpenJUMP in the larger open source GIS community. I joined OSGeo as one step towards reaching this goal and have since become involved in 3 OSGeo projects. I’m  working on a chapter of the Free GIS Book entitled “Mapping Math”, I’m  writing a couple of articles on spatial relationships for the new OSGeo Newsletter, and I’m  trying to help Frank Wammerdam with the Google Summer of Code effort at OSGeo.
I must admit my knowledge of the Summer of Code process isn’t great, and I may have been more trouble than help for Frank on this project up to this point. However, my first two tasks at OSGeo seem to be going a little better.
I’ve just completed the section on measuring distances in the “Mapping Math” chapter of the Free GIS Book. You can read that material here: http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Math_For_Measurements:_Measuring_Distances#Measuring_Distances
This seems like a good place to stop and work on some of the “extra” sections that have come up. This includes short sections on “Modeling With Maps”, “Measuring Curved Lines”, and “Error In Measurments”. I’ve also added a main section to the chapter entitled “Mapping Math Basics” where I hope to cover some basic math principles like how to work with fractions and ratios. These sections will help students without an extensive math background understand the other sections of the chapter. I’ll be working on these “Mapping Math Basics” as I write other material that depends on an understanding of the math principles they address.
I’d also like to start thinking about how I can lay out a hard copy portion of the chapter that is suitable for printing, using Scribus and Inkscape. As you can see, I’ve got a lot of work to do on the Free GIS Book. :]
The rough draft of my first article for the OSGeo Newsletter is complete, and I have received some comments from a couple of other OSGeo members that agreed to review it for me. I will work this week on making the revisions they suggested and on polishing up some of the diagrams.
My efforts at the OSGeo are small, and I don’t accomplish a lot in one week. But I am chipping away at things slowly, and some effort has to be better than none. :] I hope others will eventually benefit from the time I’m able to squeeze in for this.
The Sunburned Surveyor