Showing posts from October, 2008

township mapping

At the same time I was taking a great nature hike just before the start of FOSS4G, there was a mapping party in Houte Bay .  The party clearly came out a success, and thanks to Mikel for passing on the contact info of the gracious hosts at Tobi, I was invited out to the area today to continue the work that was started the other week. This morning, Sebastian, Grant, Belinda, and I started out in Imizamu Yethu (sometimes called IY, or more recently Mandela Park), the local township.  With the excellent guidance of Afrika Mone, we got the main road and a few side streets, stopping by a few local spots, including a tavern , preschool , museum, community center , and a surprisingly nicely set up computer lab .  With a little luck and communication, I'm optimistic some of the kids taking courses there will continue our efforts and get the rest of the township mapped.  As usual, the few folks I chatted with in the township were friendly, and did not seem to mind some tourists wanderin

local hooks

The last couple of days have yet again highlighted for me the importance of trying to take advantage of locals and local knowledge.  A few days ago I met Chris -- a local geology/botany expert, and friend of a friend that I haven't seen in years -- for a hike up Lions Head.  It was a perfect evening, and the 360 views of Table Mountain, the Apostles, the Atlantic, the city and suburbs was almost overwhelming.  The perfect sunset didn't hurt either.  Chris mentioned the local mountaineering club was hosting a slideshow/video, so last night we checked it out.  A couple guys who were part of a group that did a mission to climb the three towers in Southern Patagonia recounted a humerous, personable, and mindblowing story of their trip, bringing back for me good memories of (much easier) trips I've done in the past, and getting me quite excited to get back in shape and outdoors more in the future.  After chatting with a few of the local mountaineer members, we hooked up with Mar


The presentations for FOSS4G are over, and just a few workshops and the code sprint are left in the official conference.  This year I ran a workshop on GeoDjango with Chris Schmidt, and gave a presentation on the work I did recently with  The workshop had a few technical glitches (no power, internet, or projector for the first bit), and as Chris mentioned, we probably should have practiced together in a fully offline mode beforehand.  On that note, thanks a lot to Chris for agreeing to help out as a replacement at the last minute -- it would have been quite a struggle without him there.  Still, we got through most of the material, and participants ended up with working admin editing for points and polygons, and some public facing pages that showed a good hint of GeoDjango's possibilities.  I learned quite a lot from this workshop, and am looking forward to repeating it in the future.  After fixing up a few  bugs in docs and vmware image, I'll post the tutorial an


Yesterday Karen and Hanlie and I went on a nice walk down near Cape Point, with a group of local botany experts who meet once a month to wander around, rip out some invasive plants, and talk endlessly about the indigenous and endemic species.  It was a beautiful area, with views of the Atlantic and the bay, and I learned a lot about fynbos and local history.  I also saw a lot of tortoises, and these really fast caterpillers.  One of the guys brought along his grandkids, Gabriel and Ruben.  These kids were amazing at finding animals or animal parts (numerous porcupine quills, tortoise shell segments, owl eggs, etc), and it was a lot of fun to jump around on some large rocks again with people who truly enjoy that activity.  After the hike, I went got dropped off at the University of Cape Town campus, and headed to the Geomatics lab to help set up some of the workshops with the conference organizers.  A couple machines had mysterious issues installing vmware, but overall it went nicely.