Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2019

Improving project documentation with a codesprint

Background  At the end of November I was asked by Francois Prunayre at Titellus to help organise and manage a 3-day code-sprint with the aim of improving GeoNetwork documentation. Documentation can be problematic for projects, even open source, where the majority of the work is done by volunteers. Updating documentation is rarely a priority for developers, who are time-poor and have actual project issues to deal with, and efforts to widen the base of contributors so that others can help, also take time.

Back to the code-sprint This code-sprint was timed very well though, as it comes on the back of work being done to update GeoNetwork documentation as part of OSGeo's participation in Google's Season of Docs. This pairs a paid technical writer with an open source project for either three or six months, with the aim of seeing a rapid improvement in that project's documentation. I'm an admin and mentor for OSGeo on Season of Docs, so was well-placed to provide input to t…

Can you achieve "metadata nirvana"?

I joined Astun two and a half years ago and being a bit of a data geek (having led MapAction's Data Circle for a number of years pre-children), one of the things that attracted me to the position was Astun's track record in metadata and their solutions with the Environment Agency / Defra and the Scottish Government. What with the Geospatial Commission's excellent progress with Data Discoverability since their inception, this has become much more prominent of late.  We figured a webinar would be the best forum to showcase our learnings presented by our resident metadata expert, Jo Cook.

"Attaining Metadata Nirvana with GeoNetwork and GEMINI 2.3" was our first ever webinar and we were chuffed that over fifty people from nearly forty organisations attended and remained engaged throughout. (It's amazing what the organiser control panel in GoToWebinar shows you!) The agenda covered:

What UK GEMINI 2.3 standards are.How they've changed from version 2.2.What GeoN…

Reflections on FOSS4G UK Edinburgh 2019

Six members of the Astun team recently headed en mass to the Free and Open Source Software for Geo (FOSS4G) UK conference in Edinburgh - and we came back with a 7th!

FOSS4G is a great forum to find out all the latest on what is going on in the OSGeo community and to spread the word via talks and workshops about some of the exciting work we’ve been involved in. Check out the post to find out about our own personal reflections of the event … and find out who our latest recruit is in the final post!

Dan The FOSS4G UK conference just seems to get better and better each year, and this year was no exception. As the baton gets passed annually to a new organising team, the advice and guidance on running a great event goes with it. This year’s team led by co-chairs Tom Armitage and Ross McDonald did an amazing job. The venue was breathtaking, the agenda was packed with outstanding talks and workshops and the atmosphere both during the day and in the evening social just had a great buzz to it. …

FOSS4G UK Edinburgh 2019

This year, Astun staff are giving 4 presentations and 1 workshop at FOSS4G UK Edinburgh to share with the community what we are passionate about as individuals, and as an organisation. At Astun we believe that we are the 'Experts in Place', but to live up to this claim we must do everything but stay 'in place' by constantly evolving what works, and revolutionising what doesn't. With that in mind, here's a preview of the presentations we're giving next month:
Matt Walker; OpenLayers Workshop The OpenLayers (OL) Workshop will guide attendees through the official Workshop material, providing a comprehensive overview of OL as a web mapping solution. The workshop format follows a series of modules covering everything from the basics of creating an OL map, through to specific functionality such as handling vector data, and building content for consumption on mobile devices.

We will work through as many of these modules as we have time for! The workshop material is…

G-Cloud 11 Update

Astun Technology have been a Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Approved Supplier for a number of years now, with our solutions and services available via their Digital Marketplace.

Our customers have acquired our solutions via both the G-Cloud and Local Authority Software Applications (LASA) frameworks.

G-Cloud 10 was replaced by G-Cloud 11 on 2 July 2019 and I am delighted to say that all of our solutions and services are now available for purchase under this new framework. This framework makes buying cloud solutions and services faster and cheaper than entering into individual procurement contracts, so switching to Cloud based GIS has just got easier.

Our solutions are available under the Cloud Software and Cloud Support lots as follows:

Cloud Software
iShare In the CloudQGIS in the CloudAstun Data ServicesGet INSPIREdGet INSPIREd and Enterprise Metadata for iShareGet INSPIREd Enterprise
Cloud Support Geospatial Cloud Consultancy ServicesGeospatial Open Source Support PackagesGeospatial O…

Wychavon District, Malvern Hills District, and Worcester City councils sponsor improvements to the Gemini metadata plugin for Geonetwork

Astun have been working with Wychavon District, Malvern Hills District and Worcester City councils on some improvements to the Gemini 2.2 Metadata Plugin for Geonetwork.

The councils approached us at one of our User Group events in 2018 for some assistance with their joint data and metadata publishing workflow. In this workflow, data is published as WMS and WFS using Geoserver. Metadata in the WMS and WFS responses are harvested by Geonetwork to create metadata records, which are then published to The goal was to create fully valid Gemini 2.2 metadata directly from Geoserver, without the need for editing the records in Geonetwork. We worked with the councils to establish that the Geoserver INSPIRE plugin and built-in metadata tools met most of that requirement, but that some elements were either incorrectly added or missing entirely when the metadata was harvested into Geonetwork.

Astun have enhanced the Gemini 2.2 metadata plugin for Geonetwork to improve it's WMS an…