MapShake v 1.0 preview is available here (:don’t forget to put your loudspeakers at maximum and do not hesitate to ‘shake your body’ while watching.. ..and yes ..shake your  maps too ! :)

…Feb 2010 update covering friends maps and WMS overaly over the Google maps

WMSBinder as Open Source

Check page where you will find code repository (SVN) to access the  WMS binder sources. We have two designs – old one on and new one still under progress.  What is hot in new verison is ability to display thumbnails of layers you have attached into the main map window and ability to rearange them and change transparency. Export to MapShake is now working automaticaly from Export tab (using OLON)  (you just need to have valid account on MapShake).  Enjoy ! P.S> I am interchanging WMSBinder with the term MapBinder…not sure which one is better.

OLON Store In MapShake

This is very experimental. You can now experimentaly upload your OLON content under your account in MapShake. Try this:

1. Go to site (sorry in CZ and just local projection JTSK) , just zoom to some place and click on thumbnails of WMS )

2. you may draw some vectors as well, go to OLON tab and export it, copy OLON content into clipborad (so far manual step).

3. Make sure you have active account in MapShake (, again sorry it is in Czech , however it should be intuitive, if not let me know ..)

4. go to page and post your OLON content from step 2 (from clipborad) into MapShake

5. your map will be stored in MapShake on success…

there are some known issues regarding zooming in MapShake reconstructed OLON map.


OLON in OpenLayers 2.7


Playing with OL context and OLON (OpenLayers Object Notation) that is based on JSON I have found that the sample provided on the OLON sandbox in OL repository doesn’t work well with vectors, in fact it ignores vectors at all.  Reading through the code it was quite easy to discover the problem – vector.js (layer) didn’t serialize  “features”, moreover during deserialization, features were nulled. To make OLON properly work in OL 2.7   for vectors, add following to the vector.js (lib\OpenLayers\Layer\Vector.js)

[line 197]
serializable: { 
"args": ["name"], 
"props": ["features"] 
[line 238]
if (!this.features) 
this.features = []; 

If you have pure 2.7 OL version installed, following link can help you to make difs against what is needed for OLON to work at 2.7: …or you may download complete 2.7 version of OpenLayers with OLON extension from the MapBinder sample at since OL there  is not compressed.

MapBinder – shake your maps

mapbinderI have put together preview for visually shaking maps where you don’t get just map layer names, but also preview of layers ! Somehow I couldn’t find any page on internet that would allow you to display layers from GetCapabilities WMS as image thumbnails. I’ve kept this idea for a long time and actually it started with yahoo pipes year ago – why not to visually display GetCapabilities as RSS feed with image thumbnails referenced as media type in the feed ? after little experimenting I realized that the value is in combination of position and WMS information, so the use case is “I am here on this place and hey WMS servers, give me all you know about this place…”

That lead me to the prototype of the site codenamed ‘MapBinder’ that allows you to visually combine WMS layers. Before you jump there, let me put here some credits to projects and people who enabled that – first it isOpenLayers 2.7 plus some sandboxed content that implemented GetCapabilities..I don’t remember exact location, then it is blog on that implemented extension to read ( is proprietary web based geoengine for maps like google but is using different projection). The last piece I found on some reference on where someone pointed on conversion.js JavaScript by Tomas Ebenlendr. I forgot to mention that MapBinder is now synced with since it would be hard to overlay with JTSK-based projection, I have decided that reprojection will be done by user’s brain – having side by side maps – everyone can benefit from the content even they do not overlay.

Map Binder can be found on page . Feel free to save it and examine it. I believe that from this point desktop and web readers of WMS layers will display thumbnails for better user experience :).


This is the last day of the conference FOSS4G2006 – Free And Open Source Software for Geoinformatics. There were lot of interesting topics and wonderful event at all. I was here mainly to spread the idea of geospatial appliances with MapSnack. I brough cca 28 DVD with MapSnack – UVAC edition and most of them were taken by audience after my speach on Thursday. I am glad that this idea of appliances is shared by two other contributors presenting there GDIdevL-running on GEMU and EOGEO running on miniMac. I also attended workshop for MapGuide Open Source but currently I am dissapointed by not supporting Debian and rasters on Linux…well they are going to improve soon. Among very interesting topics of the conference was ‘Sensor Enabled Web’ and ‘ICE’. Social event was ..wau.. superb – the dinner in the castle, cruise, free beer and wine on boat… Event organization – excelent… I also won a book “Mapping Hacks”. In general I am very happy I could join the conference, I got wide overview of what is going on in FOOS4G, approach of OSGeo people to geoinformatics (I attended F2F OSGeo open meeting on Monday 11th too) conference home page

Geospatial Appliance MapSnack at FOSS4G


Virtualization is an emerging technology on x86 platform simplifying deployment and configuration of complex information technologies. In free and open source software for geoinformatics area, however, this trend is not yet fully reflected or leveraged.  Contribution  introduces results and experiences with FOSS geospatial virtual appliance called ‘MapSnack’. MapSnack is a fully pre-installed and pre-configured geospatial virtual appliance that runs on any standard x86 machine in a self-contained, isolated  environment.

  A vision of MapSnack is to accompany raw geospatial data which comes in different formats with functionality to explore, query, share and manage content. That is merge data with functionality logic to simplify their absorption by consumer. MapSnack  eliminates the installation, configuration and maintenance effort  associated with deploying complex stacks of software for web mapping.

  There are basically two approaches how to achieve that. First is traditional and nowadays very popular  LiveCD  appliance, second is a virtual appliance


1. Geospatial LiveCD Appliance:

This approach takes Knoppix LiveCD concept  for fast deployment on user’s machine. LiveCD on one hand simplifies deployment and readiness to use geospatial appliance but on other hand remastering and maintenance of such system is difficult since intrinsic system is read only. LiveCD advantage is however in that it can run on any virtual or real machine which supports x86 ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) thus decision to let geospatial appliance run on real or virtualized (partitioned) hardware is left up to user. Another advantage of LiveCD system is embedded compressed file system which is automatically extracted during the boot up.


2. Geospatial Virtual Appliance –   Mapsnack

Recently much attention of IT have been drawn towards virtualization on x86 platform. Although there are many different levels of virtualization (hardware, operating system, application) virtualization in this contribution is treated as  ability to run multiple operating system on one CPU or one single computer. Important differentiation from the term emulation is that virtualization partition real hardware into multiple running context while emulation does it all in (higher) software layer. Virtualization is used in different areas such as server consolidation, running  legacy applications within legacy OS’es,  running untrusted applications in secure isolated sandboxes,  application mobility, clean/single service design and many others. MapSnack as geospatial virtual appliance is minimum sized Linux virtual machine with web user interfaces for deploying instant geospatial infrastructure and applications. Thus provides to the consumer advantage of quick deployment with  nearly zero-based installation and minimum skills to get it running.

MapSnack consist  of latest UMN MapServer and  P.Mapper with sample dataset. Underlying operating system is Debian Sarge 3.1r2 with latest updates. VMware Player has been chosen as virtualization platform to run MapSnack. Since it is not optimal to stick to one virtualization platform, future version will be virtualization platform independable, thus running a microinstall in the first run of appliance. Virtualized environment has an advantage that anybody can extend or modify it. User gets all necessary preinstalled and preconfigured software without even need to change his current production environment. This opens doors for Windows users who would like to combine comfort of Windows based GUI with performance and effectivity of single service virtual appliance based on Linux..

This approach of geospatial virtual appliance  answers also areas of MapSnack usability :

 1.  Portable map browsing – nowadays map browsers rely on internet connections. In case connection or server is broken and maps are urgently needed MapSnack can be quickly deployed as off-line /backup (or stand alone) map server.

2.  Encapsulating geospatial data with functionality – geospatial data providers  might want to add value to customers by providing not only processed data coming from various electromagnetic sensors  but also by providing software appliance for viewing and manipulating geospatial content.


3. Education of OGC standards (WxS) on stable and ‘always available’ source of geospatial content.


MapSnack can be downloaded from :









MapSnack launched

I am excited to announce born of MapSnack. I and my colleague Jachym have created experimental Live Linux CD with GIS capability called ‘MapSnack’..your fast food for GIS. Interesting fact is that it can be run directly on HW or as virtual machine from VMware. The reason to do it was to give data consumers not only processed data but also basic functionality to view, analyse and publish them. Moreover installation time is either zero (in case of live runing) or just copy ISO file to your computer to run it from VMware. But may be it is crazy … you go for a shoping and buy an ice cream and you get fridge for free…:))
download iso [669 MB] – you can burn ISO on CD and run as Live Linux
download VMX config [1 KB] to run ISO file as virtual machine
If you don’t have VMware Workstation, go to VMware player to download free virtual machine player either for Windows or for Linux so you can enjoy running LiveCD on top of your host OS.
Details to run MapSnack in VMware Player: Download both files (ISO + VMX) into the same folder – named for example MapSnack. When you double click on VMX file you will get VMware player running and asking you to create new identifier…just confirm. Then MapSnack enters full screen mode…to get out back to your host OS pres Ctrl+alt.

Remastering Knoppix

I bought my first OS system today in bookshop, it cost me 3 EUR. Interesting live distribution called ABCLinux based on Knoppix. I was particulary curious how this would run in VMWare as well directly on my HW. Booting to HW was OK, booting in VMWare as well (using kernel 2.6.x). Now how to make your own live distribution with bunch of favorite packages (instead of using those predefined). There ara many articles refering to remastering Knoppix, I have used : linuxdevcenter and tina-knoppix. Now I run my master Knoppix from HDD (using Grub loader from Debian) inside VMWare being ready for remastering.