Sunday, November 25, 2012

LocationTech uDig Talk November 27th

The Eclipse Foundation is in the process of setting up the LocationTech industry working group.

The uDig project has (in a small way) taken part in the initial organisation of LocationTech, and has gone so far as to change license and submit an application to join!

The industry working group is expected to officially launch "real soon now," and is already hosting a series of talks and demos from a range interesting projects:

And coming up:

Join the uDig Tech Talk Nov 27th

That's right - uDig google hangout is this week. Follow LocationTech on Twitter for the google hangout URL. We look forward to seeing you!

LocationTech Proposal

If you are interested in tracking the uDig Project's progress towards joining LocationTech here is our community request for change page that shows what is involved, and what tasks we have remaining.

The official proposal is on the LocationTech website. (We are pleased to be the first project listed!)

We would also like to thank our mentor Benjamin Cabé who is introducing us to the eclipse process.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

GIS clipping benchmark: uDig results

We recently partecipated at the GIS Clipping benchmark using also uDig's Spatial Toolbox.
We had some quite good results. If you are interested, have a look here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The new uDig video tutorial series

Today we activated a youtube channel for uDig:

Here we want to collect different video material about uDig.

Some members of the community have agreed on creating each week a new tutorial about any feature not yet described.

Need some examples?

Ever needed to change language of the gui?
Or maybe you are new to GIS and are wondering about how to load common gis data formats?
What about query data in uDig?

More advanced users might need to rasterize a shapefile or vectorize a raster?
Scientific users might want to get started with the Spatial toolbox to do some analyses, maybe start with the extraction of a watershed from a DEM?

Anyone can contribute to the channel and anyone can ask for a tutorial about a certain feature.
On this page information about ongoing tutorial production is kept.
If you need a tutorial about any uDig feature, check if it is not already listed there, and if it is not, join the mailinglist and ask kindly. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

uDig Change to EPL and BSD License

Quick update on the results of the uDig License Change.

First up thanks to the community for filling in the survey, asking questions, and reviewing options on the email list.

The Project Steering Committee has accepted an RFC making uDig available under a dual BSD and EPL license. This is an excellent compromise between using BSD to share code with projects such as GeoTools, while retaining the protection afforded by the Eclipse Public License as we work with downstream Eclipse RCP projects.

There will be a bit of work ahead as we make the transition, thank you for your continued support.

How to convert from Confluence to Sphinx

A collaboration between Frank and Jody has packaged up the uDig User Guide and Developers Guide into the ever fashionable "Sphinx" documentation system.

Sphinx is used by GeoMooseGeoServer, GeoTools, MapServer, OSGeoLive and well everyone! Sphinx uses Rich Structured Text (RST) to captures documentation as text files. This allows us to manage the documentation along side our source code when making a release.

Kudos to Frank for the excellent research in setting this up so we can use git to publish straight to github.

The same toolchain is used to publish the user guide into the online help included with the application.

With those improvements working out - the wiki has slowly started to fade in anticipation to shutting down. And developed an unexpected Moved to Github link at the top of each page.

Hooking Sphinx up to the Java Maven / Ant Build Chain

Justin DeOlivera gets the credit for this approach, used by the GeoServer and GeoTools projects.
  1. Add a pom.xml build plugin compile target for the maven-antrun-plugin
  2. Set up a build.xml to run sphinx, taking care to check that it is available
The above build.xml is especially recommended, as out of the box Sphinx produces a make.bat and Makefile (which does little good in a Java tool chain).

Conversion from Confluence (Textile) to Rich Structured Text (RST)

Thanks to Paul for the initial conversion scripts, I was able to use them as a starting point when from the Confluence wiki textile format to the Rich Structured Text format used by sphinx.

I ended up going with Pandoc and which converts one file at a time, with a java BulkExport script that calls Pandoc multiple times, and then cleans up the mess produced by confluence, copies the images over, fixes some header levels and generally gives it a good go.

Usage: java html.BulkConvert [index.html] [rst directory]
  index.html Where you have unzipped the confluence html export
  rst directory location where you would like the html files saved
If not provided the appication will prompt you for the above information

If any other project is considering making the change the source code is here.

Conversion of Open Office (ODT) to Rich Structured Text (RST)

There are also scripts covering conversion of Open Office documentation to RST. The odt2sphinx script does a fairly good job, but cannot handle image references. Breaking the link in Open Office and then converting produces some very amusing image names, resulting in java ImageRename script:
 Usage: java html.ImageRename [file.rst] []
  file.rst Used to locate your odt2sphinx files used to rename files in your images folder
If not provided the appication will prompt you for the above information

Checking Eclipse Help TOC.XML files

The final bit of quality assurance is enforcing a "no page left behind" policy. Set up as a normal JUnit Test case, we rely to throw an error message if the toc.xml file missed a page, or contains a link to a page that no longer exists.
<topic href="EN/uDig Overview.html" label="uDig Overview">

As an added bonus it will send the XML fragment (such as the above) required to fix the problem to standard out (for a quick cut and paste fix).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

uDig License Change

As one of the steps of getting ready to join the Eclipse Foundation "LocationTech" Industry working group the uDig project need to change license.

BSD (example EDL)

The uDig project uses a public "Request for Change" procedure for decisions like joining LocationTech and changing license.  While the final decision rests with the project steering committee we *very* interested in hearing from you.

You can quickly fill in the above micropoll survey, comment on this bloc or contact the udig-devel email list, or privately contact Jody Garnett or other member of the project steering committee

Friday, September 7, 2012

uDig Welcomes back Axios Spatial Editing Tools

The much loved Axios Spatial Editing Tools are back! These tools are included in latest uDig 1.3.2 release and do not require a separate download.

Thanks to the supportive community I was able to apply for Google Summer of Code 2012 and succeeded in porting the Spatial Tools available to the latest uDig. This success is due to the large commitment of Anne Ghisla (OSGeo SoC Administrator), Mauricio Pazos and Andrea Antonello (my two mentors) and Jody Garnett (teacher of a wonderful kick-off course). Thank you!

The project outcome is available to all of you in the uDig 1.3.2 release.

The Spatial Editing Tools provide facilities to perform key geometry editing tasks:
  • Split
  • Merge
  • Create Arc
  • Create Parallel
  • Trim
These tools behave as they did in uDig 1.2 but ...


In addition to the Merge Tool, there is now a new Merge Operation!

A new work flow has been created: now it is possible to select features using Box Selection Tool (or Table view), right-click on them and fire a "Operations --> Merge Selected" action.
This allows feature selection to be controlled directly in the Map window, relying on the selection refinement capabilities of the Box Selection Tool (Ctrl+Click to remove, Shift+Click to add).

In shorts, Merge Tool usage should be now much more 'user-friendly'!

A sequence through the new Merge Tool "Operation" work flow.

Spatial Tools

To follow a set of sequences showing the spatial tools in action.
Using the Arc Tool.
Using the Parallel Tool.
Using the Trim Tool.
Using the Split Tool.

More information will be soon available in the User Documentation (stay tuned!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

uDig 1.3.2 Released

The uDig Community is pleased to announce the release of the uDig 1.3.2.

This point release packs significant new functionality. Thanks to our Google Summer of Code students for taking part in this years program. Macro Foi completed his work porting the advanced edit tools into this release.

There are a large number of people to thank for the nuts and bolts of this release. Cliff Broadbent and Sam Guymer transitioning the project to the tycho build system. Andrea Antonello setup the dropins folder for easy plugin installation. Jody Garnett and Frank Gasdorf ported the documentation and walkthroughs into Restructured Text resulting in a nice clean look.

This release is made in conjunction with GeoTools 8.1.

Release Details

Download the package appropriate to your platform, install (or unzip) and run:

About uDig 1.3.2

The 1.3.2 release showcases active assistance when writing CQL expressions and filters. This technology will be used to making editing styles a more rewarding and dynamic experience.

The 1.3 series features some great usability improvements with a new tool palette and easy to access tool options. For developers the uDig platform provides access to the latest open source libraries from an Eclipse RCP environment.

Here are some new features you can look forward to:

  • Import SLD 1.1 Styles
  • Edit Tools included - no longer require a separate download
  • Area - define your area of interest based on CRS, current screen or a bookmark. You can use the area of interest to filter a Map Layer or just the Table view. This is a great way to focus on just the content you are interested in.
  • Query Layers using a dynamic filter editor, there is also a checkbox to filter using the area of interest. Can be used to answer simple feature containment questions.
  • Powerful data processing with the Transform operation. Use a dynamic expression editor to generate new datasets.
  • Provide an expression to label features, allowing the Information view to list features by name.
  • Updated Info and Profile tools for raster data
  • Teradata support
  • Spatial Toolbox view allowing access to OMS3 processing; with tutorial!
  • New import and export formats: CSV and KML.
  • For details on these and other features check out the What is new!


  • Active assistance when editing CQL Filters and Expressions
  • Tool Palette with easy to use Tool Options for quick access to preferences (blog)
  • Cheatsheets offering guided assistance for new users (blog)
  • Control Tool interaction with your layers with the ability to mark background layers


For developers:
  • Latest GeoTools 8.1 release
  • Latest JTS 1.12
  • Latest ImageIO-EXT 1.1.4

Saturday, May 12, 2012

uDig web map tiles enhancements

What do you really know about Web Map Tiles support in uDig? 

Did you know it started as a summer of code project?

Did you know it now also supports TMS?

Did you know it now supports local folders of TMS?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

uDig in GSoc 2012

Same as in the past years uDig it partecipating in the Google Summer of Code 2012.

This year two students proposed projects to our community:

Carol Hansen, which will enable uDig users to plot shortest-path route of OSM data, using a Neo4j-Spatial API. She will be mentored by a last year's students of our community, Davide Savazzi, and supported both by Neo4j's and our community.

The second project is by Marco Foi, an Italian Geologist, which will bring back what the latest releases of uDig are heavily missing: the Axios toolset. As his project states, he will be porting the Axios Spatial Tools into uDig core 1.3. Marco will be mentored by our vector tools expert Mauricio Pazos.

We all do welcome Carol and Marco into our community and hope they will enjoy the projects they are starting to work on.

Big kudos go to the Osgeo coordinators and the Summer of Code project for their support and patience during the less technical parts of the project kick-off.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

uDig feature movies

Have you ever had to check something like 2000 features? A quick check, nothing difficult. But 2000 or more features. You start panning around, after a while you do not know what you passed already, your eyes get glossy, you loose control, bad things happen, and some of you ask themself why they can't just be writing code instead. The only solution I could think of, was some kind of movie that would crawl through the features and zoom to each one, something you could stop and resume. Well, the next uDig will finally have that tool:
I guess this doesn't need much explanation. If you have doubts, just ask. One nice thing for the future might be to also add amap image export facility, which would make it possible to print an image of each feature?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

This week in uDig - January Week 1

I may as well take a turn writing one of these posts - Happy New Year from the uDig Team!

This week has a bit of catch up; as several github "pull requests" have been submitted over the break.

We have issued a small uDig 1.3.1 patch release just prior to the holidays. The release notes are up; but it amounts to a couple fixes reported on the user list (zoom out and copying features into the feature table).

Thanks to those who took part in testing over December!

The bulk of my week was devoted to the construction of a SDK bundle. Panagiotis from udig-devel supplied a patch changing the manner in which "source features" are generated to  follow the Eclipse 3.2 standard.

Each feature is responsible for packaging a number of plugins for deployment; the generated source feature is now a single jar (with internal folder structure matching the listed plugins. 

The SDK is now available from the uDig download page. Maurcio and Panagiotis report success (although I am not sure if they have updated the SDK instructions).

Native Code Fragments
Frank Gasdorf has been a whirlwind of productive (and indeed hard to keep up with). Frank has been exploring the the use of fragments to package the native code we use in the uDig project. We have several categories of native code; extensions for Java (such as Java Advanced Imaging, ImageIO and ImageIO-Ext); GDAL (for ImageIO-EXT to use); and that native Eclipse code (such as Standard Widget Toolkit).

The native Eclipse code is packaged into platform specific 'fragments' which are wired up when the application launches - accounting for both the java class path and the corresponding native library path.

uDig has been dependent on a combination of a custom JRE (where we place the Java extensions into the ext/lib folder; and their native code into the bin folder) and the "" or "udig.bat" script (so we can set the GDAL environmental variables correctly).

When Frank has successfully packaged the native code as fragments we will switch over to using JAI, ImageIO and ImageIO-EXT as jars and no longer be dependent on their presence as java extensions. We trust this will result in a smaller download; and better integration options with projects such as the OSGeo Live DVD.

Eclipse Modelling Framework Code Generation
One of the most impressive changes this week was the work Paul Pfeiffer put into the core Map, Layer and Viewport classes. These classes make use of the Eclipse Modelling Framework; allowing developers to update the model and generate out the changes to the code.

Paul has update the java interfaces ( a couple new zoom methods) and hit the magic code generation button. The net result of this is a simplification to to some of our classes (EMF now provides base classes with many of the boilerplate methods) and an update to use Java Collections with generics.

A new feature of EMF is the inclusion of a UML editor to visually review your model. Here is an example of the rendering system displayed with this tool.
Render Manager
I have copied several of these diagrams into the developers guide. Paul's work will continue next week as we are going to clean up some of the method names in ILayer.