Sep 14

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest


It's great to see so many Open Source GIS web platforms being presented at FOSS4G. In addition to GeoBliki, I saw a demo of Geotracing, a platform for GPS traces on a map in realtime. Just van den Broecke, the creator, is an avid inline speed skater and he initially built a system to help he and other skaters find, rate, and share skating routes in his native Holland (GeoSkating) using Google Maps. As he started to realize all of the other possibilities he genericized the platform to become GeoTracing. A hosted version, complete with user tracks, can be found at TraceLand. From Just's description of GeoTracing:

GeoTracing ( is an extensible client/server framework for
GPS-based mobile tracklogging/media/feature entry and real-time tracing. LBS
functionality is planned. GeoTracing is geared at providing a foundation framework
for "Locative Media" applications, sports, games and dedicated applications like
animal field observation. Geotagged media has a prominent role in the framework.
Client/server interaction uses XML and Web 2.0 technologies like AJAX. The browser
currently uses Google Maps (with some WMS hacks). GeoTracing is in the process of
going Open Source (at

GeoTracing applications allow users to track and share their movement through the
landscape. While moving a user can enter impressions/annotations in the form of media
and features like Points of Interest. All data is archived/managed in a CMS.
Currently a mobile (smart)phone with Bluetooth GPS is used for entry. Through a
web-browser tracks/annotations can be viewed in real-time on a Google Map. GeoTracing
attempts to provide a foundation framework for specific applications. Several
applications have been realized or are under development. Examples are GeoSkating
(, Sense of the City (, geodrawing
( See for more
applications. GeoTracing builds on other Open Source frameworks like KeyWorx
( developed by Waag Society) and Pushlets ( developed
by the author). The server uses Java (J2EE), the mobile client (MobiTracer) is
implemented in Java (J2ME). The browser uses AJAX and Google Maps. All client/server
communication uses XML (Pushlets and KeyWorx extension protocols). Compliance with
OGC-protocols and the use of OSS Geo-software like MapBuilder is under study.

As he put it in his presentation yesterday, he is moving the GIS app beyond the traditional WHEN, WHERE to geo-story-telling and adds WHO+WHY. It easily allows for the type of storytelling usually seen on sites like 43places and Platial to a realtime mapping site, not on platforms.

Another project that he is working on is This project, still in closed beta, allows a user to define a geographic area and topics of interest. Then, if a piece of media is uploaded to bliin that meets your criteria you are alerted and connected to the content owner. You can see a demo of the UI on the site. The source code is also available.

tags: open source  | comments: 0   | Sphere It

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