GeoNode Roadmapping Summit, May 2011

Last week's GeoNode Roadmapping Summit was a big success! The summit was designed to get all the major GeoNode partners together to coordinate around a shared development roadmap and commit resources to following through on it. Held at the World Bank offices in Washington DC, the summit included folks from AIFDR, GEM, GFDRR, Harvard CGA, SERVIR, and SOPAC, among others.

On Thursday morning of May 19th, the first day of the summit, each participating organization presented its vision for its use of GeoNode. Many of these presentations are now available online:

Following this, like-minded people came together in breakout groups to synchronize ideas about GeoNode features. Along with prior community contributions of feature ideas, these groups produced a comprehensive list of possible GeoNode improvements.

By the afternoon, the ideas were flowing. David Winslow, Chair of the GeoNode Project Steering Committee, gave a talk about upcoming updates to the GeoNode development process. These included the GeoNode Improvement Process—a system for proposing new GeoNode features—and patch review guidelines. The PSC hopes that these policies will make it easier to work together as more developers get involved.

We ended Thursday at St. Arnold's for their happy hour.

On Friday, May 20th, we used a dot-voting technique to sort through the roadmap items. Each item was printed and taped to the wall. Participants discussed the features together or in small groups, then added green stickers to the paper to see which features were needed across the many organizations. Developers added red stickers to provide a sense of implementation difficulty.

This made it easy to see where we had common needs and how to approach them. We made several community decisions:

  • Participating organizations will be pooling resources to collaboratively fund and develop features of common interest.

  • The highest immediate priority is to make GeoNode "Rock Solid!"—which amounts to good software quality, test coverage, stability, documentation, etc. The community will be working on this as it brings its upcoming 1.1-beta release to 1.1 final.

  • After the 1.1 release, we expect to have community policies in place that guarantee good test coverage, documentation, etc.

  • Beyond that, the highest priority features, based on community vote and slated for the 1.x track, are:

    • public REST API for data, maps, security, etc.

    • importing remote WMS layers and service, as a first step on the long road towards federation.

  • Another commonly desired feature is an ArcGIS plugin that will allow users to export layers to GeoNode. Plans for implementing this plugin are underway.

  • We sketched out a process for adding new items to the roadmap and voting on them based on wiki pages. We'll be writing it up shortly.

  • We also made plans for a quarterly conference call to discuss progress and decided to do these Roadmapping Summits semi-annually, at which point we will officially update the GeoNode roadmap and (probably) recast votes, hopefully with new partners.

In summary, it was a highly productive two days of meetings and the first GeoNode Roadmapping Summit appears to have been a good start towards a bright future for GeoNode.

Posted at - May 25, 2011, 4:09 p.m.

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