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FOSS4G - OSGeo Live in teaching Geospatial Information Services
Transcript of FOSS4G - OSGeo Live in teaching Geospatial Information Services
Geospatial Science Theme Leader, Nottingham Geospatial Institute
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
Open Geospatial Web Services
Intro to OSGeo Live & Xubuntu; QGIS
Geoserver - layers; service interfaces
Geoserver SLDs; OpenLayers
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
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
HTML / CSS
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
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!
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