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FOSS4G - OSGeo Live in teaching Geospatial Information Services

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Jeremy Morley

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of FOSS4G - OSGeo Live in teaching Geospatial Information Services

OSGeo Live in teaching Geospatial Information Services
Jeremy Morley

Geospatial Science Theme Leader, Nottingham Geospatial Institute

Lecturer,
Geography / Engineering
Geospatial Information Services
University of Nottingham
MSc Geographical Information Science
Horizon Doctoral Training Centre
4 year PhD programme
Pervasive & ubiquitous technology
Strong locational elements
Focus on new media / web / mobile
~15-18 students / year
Multidisciplinary student intake, from CompSci to Design & Business Studies

120 credit training programme
GIServices is a core module
Very mixed student group!

Qualified computer scientists to students almost new to computing
Pattern of Classes
Lecture week
Practical week
Introduction
Spatial d/bs
Open Geospatial Web Services
Tiled mapping
Student-led work
API programming
Revision
Intro to OSGeo Live & Xubuntu; QGIS
Loading PostGIS
Geoserver - layers; service interfaces
Geoserver SLDs; OpenLayers
Google Maps
Lectures
Practicals
System - 2012
OSGeo Live 5.0
Initially, Oracle VirtualBox
Virtual Box Setup
Networked Win7 lab with SAN storage space
But full VM size too big to use from SAN
Hence kept original VM image on local C: drives ("multi-attached" virtual disk)
Save snapshots to SAN
Could take snapshots away for home working
But, saving live diffs temperamental
Also, each source VM image has a unique ID so students could not move between PCs in lab
Hence switch half-way to USB live system
Live USB System
Issues with funding USB purchase, and working out how to efficiently burn 20 bootable drives
Mostly a positive experience
However persistence file limited to 4GB
Virtual file system limited in size
Hence we could not use full 8GB capacity
Unexpected disk-space issues as practicals were tested on VirtualBox without this limit
Outcomes
Overall, pretty positive
17/20 students submitted successful coursework in 2012
One dropped out for non-tech reasons
OSGeo Live environment as a sandboxed "server in a box"
A -lot- of technology to get through!
Quite a bit of time wasted & student confusion raised by VM configuration
& lessons learnt
Xubuntu / linux
GIS data models
RDBMS theory
SQL
Spatial databases
XML
OWS interfaces
(GML)
SLDs
HTML / CSS
Javascript
THANK YOU!
jeremy.morley@nottingham.ac.uk
@jeremy_morley
http://jeremymorley.wordpress.com

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/geography/
http://www.horizon.ac.uk
Fractcal image:
http://www.nedprod.com/Niall_stuff/vdiary/archives/august07.html
2013
OSGeo Live 6.0 on USB
Mostly replaced the USB sticks with new
Weird difference - same model but variation in capacity between sticks
Hence write by partition, not by drive image
Clonezilla used to do clone writing
New partitioning to use rest of 8GB stick as FAT32

Partition scheme created using parted script to better guarantee partitions sizes & positions.
Clonezilla partition images set up with data for practicals pre-loaded, and proxy settings for UoN network
Outcomes
Generally successful
A lot of class time saved vs VM for "real" work
Further problems with the USB drives - this year a significant failure rate (4 dead, 2-3 needed partition recovered)
However, all students submitted, only 1 late
All passed except for the late penalty!
2014...
OSGeo Live USB again?
Live 7.0 update?..
A different live system?
Portable Virtual Box system?
AWS instance each?
Thin client of some sort?
Non-zero to accommodate drive
size variation
Full transcript