Smathermather's Weblog

Remote Sensing, GIS, Ecology, and Oddball Techniques

Thanksgiving

Posted by smathermather on September 23, 2014

It is probably apropos that the week after I left Korea was a holiday everyone in Seoul described as “Korean Thanksgiving” or “Asian Thanksgiving”. This brief post is a celebration of some of the elements of thanksgiving that occur to me as I return from Ohio GIS conference, after recent trips to FOSS4G and FOSS4G Korea. No matter what I do, this will be too short a list… .

So let’s start off with this latest conference, as this is the genesis for this post. And let’s start with Fred Judson. Fred Judson is the Certificate of Authorization Manager for Ohio and Indiana UAS Center and Test Complex. This means that amongst his many roles, he helps Ohio state entities navigate the Certificate of Authorization process that allows them to fly small unmanned aerial vehicles / systems.

It is from conversations with Fred that I can attribute the initial inspiration for OpenDroneMap (Fred blessed the original napkin sketches of my “Here’s what I think we can build with existing open source tools for point cloud generation”) to the genesis of our Park District’s UAS program, a program which will really deepen our ability and inventory, assess, and manage our cultural and natural resources. He’s also a nice guy. Most recently, Fred also invited me to speak on his ‘3D Technology in Your Pocket “A Panel on Image Derived Point Clouds”’ panel today at Ohio GIS, which was an excellent mix of academia, private sector, and public sector practitioners of image derived point clouds.

More thanksgivings: before I go any further, I need to do a shout out to my patient family — my lovely wife April and two nuggins, who have been so patient with my travels of late.little girl hiking on trail I’m headed home now and will be home for a few weeks. They have been kind enough to show their support with hugs, and food, and laundry, as well as amazing conversation.

For my Korea travels, I’ve shown some of my thanksgiving, but let’s name names Jihye Hwang, BJ Jang, Seoin Kim, Heegu Park, and Sanghee Shin (and countless others) for their hospitality and conversation, love for FOSS geospatial technology, and warmth.

For FOSS4G in Portland, special thanks to Darrell Fuhriman and all the FOSS4G 2014 organizers (especially Kristen Kristin Bott), to Paul Ramsey for continuing to encourage and challenge me, to Martin Davis for spending so much of his precious time talking geospatial and life / work balance, to Daniel and Angel and family for hosting me for a night, and for Mele Sax-Barnett for letting me play Vanna for a morning and feeding me Ethiopian at lunch.

Finally, thanks to my GIS crew at the park district. You are my professional and personal inspiration, and tie me, more than any other factor, to that space and that place and that mission. I compare you every day to others at these wonderful global and local conferences, and I can only conclude that I could not be luckier.

I’m sad to say, I’m too tired to remember many more at the moment, many more who should be here, and should be named. Next time I do a tour like this, maybe I can set aside a half hour an evening to name and detail the thanksgivings that should be named.

Cheers all. Home again for a few weeks.

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