2013 Conference & Fall Spatial Ignite


2013 AvidGeo Conference
2013 Ignite Data Boston
Thursday | Nov 7th 2013 | Boston/Cambridge

In coordination with the LocationTech Tour, AvidGeo is thrilled to be putting on a conference and Ignite Spatial event on November 7th. It’s going to be jam packed with geospatial technology, learning and socialization.

AvidGeo Conference 2013

8am – 4pm
Weld Hill Research Building at the Arnold Arboretum
1300 Centre Street, Boston, MA 02131

The AvidGeo Conference is a great chance to hear about geospatial technology and get some hands on workshop time with current tools. The morning of the conference will consist of multiple 30 minute presentation/panels in front of all the attendees and the afternoon will consist of two 90 minute workshop sessions that will expose attendees to a hands-on look at the technology.  The conference will have up to 100 attendees, and accommodation at the Weld Hill Research Building has been made possible by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

Conference Schedule

08:00 am Registration
08:45 am Welcome
09:00 am Plenary talks
11:30 am Lunch
12:30 am 90 minute workshop
2:00 pm Break
2:30 pm 90 minute workshop

Conference Presentations Details

2013 Ignite Data Boston

6:30pm – 9:15pm
Boston’s Big Data Hacker Space
275 3rd St., Cambridge, MA, 02142

“Enlighten us, but make it fast”

Featured in various cities all over the country, Ignite presentations give experts, professionals, and just plain geeks the chance to share their passions with an audience.  What’s the twist?  The presentations only contain 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, leaving presenters with a strict five-minute presentation.

Ignite Data Boston will give attendees the opportunity to see some of the diverse and interesting data projects going on in the Boston area.  The concise presentations are sure to be engaging and will leave attendees begging for more.

Ignite Schedule

06:30pm Doors Open
07:00pm Ignite Presentations Round 1
07:45pm Break
08:00pm Ignite Presentations Round 2
08:30pm Social Time

Ignite Presentations Details

Call for presentation

Call for presentation is open, if you would like to present at the conference or Ignite event please post your presentation submission here.


Contact Information

Join the email mailing list.
If you would like more information or have questions, please email the organizing comittee at info@avidgeo.com

Plenary Presentations

The Arboretum Explorer
To support the scientific value of its plants, the Arnold Arboretum has historically collected and maintained vast information resources that document the natural history of the collection. GIS enables the Arboretum to integrate collections documentation with geographically-referenced information for wide-reaching purposes, from collections care and curation to scientific study and public enjoyment.

Launched in May 2013, the Arboretum Explorer is an interactive mobile web application created to highlight the Arnold Arboretum’s 15,000 plants in the landscape. The Arboretum Explorer not only provides efficient and enhanced access to the living collections, but connects users to a number of external resources on plant taxonomy, scholarship, and conservation.

Donna Tremonte
Applications Programmer
Arnold Arboretum
Donna Tremonte is a web developer and application programmer for Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Her focus is web design and development, user experience, and web standards. An active member of the tech and open source communities, Donna is often organizing or attending programming and design meetups.

Pushing Geospatial Cloud to the Edge: Building a transparent spatial database layer using Cloudant and open source
This talk will discuss the benefits and challenges of integrating open geospatial libraries into Cloudant’s database service, and how the global scope and big scale of that work will be contributed back to the open-source community. Norman’s experience making it all work together across a distributed system holds lessons for those designing geospatial indexes and multi-node queries, as mobile apps continue to push geospatial technology closer to the network edge. Norman will describe Cloudant’s plans to release the company’s Erlang NIF bindings for GEOS and libspatialindex as open source libraries, and Cloudant’s plans to contribute document-level and sub-document-level security to the Apache CouchDB community.

Norman Barker
Director, Geo
Norman is the Director of Geo at database-as-a-service company Cloudant. He has been developing geospatial programs for more than 10 years and leads the development of distributed geospatial indexes for Cloudant. His primary interest is in how to use unstructured geospatial data.

GeoPackage, GeoJSON, and POI, oh my!
This presentation will dig into some of the new spatial data formats piquing interest in the community, position them in context with some more venerable ones, and discuss the implications for the future of geodata on the web and mobile devices.

Raj Singh
Director, Interoperability Programs
Open Geospatial Consortium

Dr. Raj Singh serves as a Director of Interoperability Programs for OGC. He manages multi-vendor software prototyping projects developing collaborative, interoperable spatial information ecosystems. He works intensively with the AEC industry, designing, building, and maintaining the built environment and the related property transactions and sales. He also shepherds OGC’s mass market efforts to better align geospatial standards with the general IT industry. Currently, Raj is passionate about creating a global catalog of points of interest data, indexing and linking web data about every public and commercial place in the world in the OpenPOIs Registry.

Geospatial + MapReduce
Geospatial analysis at large scales can quickly overwhelm even the most powerful of workstations. This talk will walk through a case study in using Amazon’s EC2 and Elastic Map Reduce to perform change-detection analysis on vast tracts of forest in the Pacific Northwest. The project discussed is an open source implementation of BU professor Robert Kennedy’s LandTrendr system

Max Uhlenhuth
Lead Engineer
Max Uhlenhuth is helping to build the next generation of forestry tools at SilviaTerra, a Boston-based quantitative forestry company. As the firm’s lead developer, he built the Plot Hound mobile app and website as well as the cloud computing infrastructure behind SilviaTerra’s satellite-based forest inventory service. Max hails from Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of Yale University.


Leaflet and You: A Love Story
Learn how to use the Leaflet JavaScript library to make maps in the browser including: integrating with ESRI services, styling markers, popups, and shapes to make custom maps, making plugins, using geojson/topojson, and more. Experience with JavaScript will be a prerequisite.

Calvin Metcalf
Code For Boston
By day I make maps for the Commonwealth with MassDOT while by night I make maps for the people of the Commonwealth with Code for Boston. I strongly believe that the future of GIS lies in open data and the kind of maps that can’t be exported as a PDF.

Web Mapping Update: Building Great Mapping Sites Easily with JavaScript
Many web sites today could be greatly enhanced with a mapping component. We will discuss the techniques to easily incorporate ArcGIS Online’s geospatial services into applications using basic scripting techniques.

Sam Berg
Solution Engineer
Sam Berg is an engineer at Esri specializing in developing prototypes for a wide variety of mapping solutions throughout the Northeast. He has a background in Natural Resource Management and GIS and spent six years working with product development teams in Redlands, CA before moving back east to join the regional office in Middleton, MA.

Ignite Presentations

Lucene/Solr spatial
The spatial capabilities in Lucene/Solr version 4 is significantly more advanced than previous versions. It can now index non-point shapes (e.g. polygons) and query by such shapes, and search by different predicates like Intersects, Contains, and Within. Coupled with the fast and highly-scalable Lucene/Solr platform for faceted search, apps can really scale this platform better than relational database technologies (e.g. Postgis).

David Smiley
Software Systems Engineer, Lead
David Smiley is a lead software engineer at MITRE specializing in search, web development, and geospatial. He has been involved with the Lucene / Solr projects for some time and was recently made a committer for his contributions and involvement. He is largely responsible for Lucene 4’s new spatial module. His most visible role in the community is as the principal author of “Apache Solr 3 Enterprise Search Server” published by PACKT in 2011, an update to the first edition published in 2009. Within MITRE, he occasionally develops and teaches short training classes on Solr.

coUrbanize is a startup that provides an online community management platform for urban developers to share project information with residents. We make complex impacts of real estate development easy to understand using web-map visualizations of shadow studies and traffic changes using open-source tools.

David Quinn
Dr. David Quinn is a co-Founder of coUrbanize, a Cambridge, MA based startup. He has a background in urban analysis and a fondness for open-source geospatial tools.

Learn MySQL for Free!
This lightning talk describes a free program to teach you how to use MySQL, a popular database software. The course only requires that you have a computer you can install a database on, and access to the book we use. If you just want to learn how to query a database, this course gives you that too – just stop after week 8.

Sheeri Cabral
Database Administrator
Sheeri K. Cabral has a master’s degree in computer science specializing in databases from Brandeis University and a background in systems administration. Unstoppable as a volunteer and activist since age 14, Cabral founded and organizes the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, MySQL User Group and is the creator and co-host of OurSQL: The MySQL Database Community Podcast, available on iTunes. She was the first MySQL Oracle ACE Director, and is the founder (and current treasurer) of Technocation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization providing resources and educational grants for IT professionals. She wrote the MySQL Administrator’s Bible and has been a technical editor for high-profile O’Reilly books such as High Performance MySQL 2nd Edition and CJ Date’s SQL and Relational Theory.

Geospatial Best of Breed
Choice is good. Now suddenly there is increasing choice in the geospatial marketplace. With choice comes the opportunity to mix-and-match and choose what you believe is the best of breed. Just as you might choose an Australian Shepherd (over a Labrador Retriever) to herd your goats and sheep, you now have the opportunity to choose GIS product X (over product Y) to optimize your geo web publishing; while making a different choice for managing your geospatial data. This talk will provide a perspective on the importance of best of breed thinking in geospatial (while showing some pictures of dogs).

Richard K. Grady
Founding partner and executive vice president at AppGeo. AppGeo is a 22 year old geospatial consultancy located in Boston, MA with a regional office in East Hartford, CT.

Do the Simpsons characters like each other?
The title of my presentation relates to a burning question I woke up with one day. In order to answer it, I needed to analyze the words the characters spoke, but transcripts were not available of the show. I first hand labelled some lines, and then analyzed the audio of the episodes to correlate the lines with speakers and label all the lines. I then used sentiment analysis to figure out how the characters felt about each other. Read more at http://vikparuchuri.com/blog/how-do-simpsons-characters-feel-about-each-other/ .

Vik Paruchuri
Accidental machine learning person. Winner of Kaggle competitions on automated essay scoring and bond pricing. Currently work at edX and on a startup, Equirio.

Boston Meetup Ecosystem
Boston has a great Meetup ecosystem! This talk will cover some of its breadth and history, as well as propose the Top 10 Meetups that could perhaps enhance the ecosystem even more!

John Verostek
John is a business strategy market research consultant working with startups as well as corporations primarily on the commercialization of technology, competitive analysis, and market forecasting. He is the organizer of the Boston Predictive Analytics Meetup group. He will speak on Boston’s Meetup Community and will highlight the diverse yet inter-connected nature of the thousands of folks who participate in Meetup events. His talk will review the current ecosystem and discuss with attendees ways to further improve Meetup groups.