Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mapping sprint at Drupal Developer Days Barcelona 2012

epiqo
DrupalCommunityMapping

This friday, we are running a sprint at Drupal Developer Days Barcelona 2012 with already 14 attendees signed up. Europe's biggest developer oriented conference with more than 300 people attending is a great chance to connect with coders and get things done.

When and where

The sprint will happen on Friday, 15th of June 10:00-18:00 CEST (GMT+2) at the conference venue: Citilab grounds in Cornella de Llobregat, Barcelona. Remote collaboration is very welcome and happens on our IRC Channel: #drupal-geo. Please see our Google Doc for the sprint signup.

Sprint topics

Both module developers and site builders / users of the mapping modules have signed up. We will work on a mix of topics, so people may contribute where they are good at:

  • Mapping documentation: Improve and re-work existing documentation pages. Issues will be prepared with the Mapping, Documentation tags.
  • Novice patches: New contributors to mapping will get the chance to realize their first contributions by tackling low-hanging fruits and easy patches. Issues will be prepared with the Mapping, Novice tags
  • Views GeoJSON is a great new way to make maps in Drupal really Ajax-driven. We will be working on getting it closer to a stable release and document use cases.
  • Leaflet is another new addition to mapping with Drupal which has a lot of sympathy for being newer and faster than OpenLayers. Peter Vanhee wants to work on getting Views integration done.
  • Geocluster is my own initiative for having a server-side geo clustering solution with Drupal 7. See more information below and in this issue.

    Some background and why to sprint for mapping

    I have been following mapping and Drupal with interest for quite some time. In 2010, epiqo hired me for working on our research project AustroFeedr.  We explored possibilites of aggregating, processing and visualizing Open Data with Drupal 7. The demonstration site clearly shows our focus on maps for displaying the flood prevention data in Austria. AustroFeedr therefore leverages state-of-the-art Drupal 7 mapping modules like Geofield and OpenLayers. For my master thesis, I am working on a more technical detail of mapping with Drupal: Geocluster will allow to improve usability and performance of maps with lots of points by clustering them server-side. I have already built a quick prototype to discuss how to best integrate the clustering logic with views. I'm looking forward gathering feedback at the sprint and in the related issue.

Wrap up

Recently, we started holding Drupal Mapping Office Hours once a month - so far in May and June - which are announced in the Location and Mapping Group. It was great to see on what different people are working on at the moment. Feel free to review the office hours logs to see what has been discussed so far. Also note, that by zzolo's announcement, we are officially looking for new maintainer for the OpenLayers module. Also make sure to check out the Mapping with Drupal session by batigolix after the sprint on Sunday at the Drupal Developer Days. What are your thoughts on mapping and Drupal? See you at the sprint and ping me in #drupal-geo (nick: dasjo). Sprint image from ECSL 2011 by Josef Dabernig.  Drupal OpenLayers monster by Saman Bemel Benrud.

On Friday, June 15 I will organize a sprint to Improve Mapping in Drupal 7 and on June 16, Boris Doesborg does a session on Mapping with Drupal.

Sprint: Improve Mapping in Drupal 7

See the Sprint Google Doc for signup and information. I have proposed several topics:

  • Server-side geo clustering in drupal 7
  • Documenting best practices for well established modules: GeofieldOpenLayers, ...
  • Views GeoJSON, see http://drupal.org/node/1471026
  • OpenLayers is not the best fit for all, what about Leaflet and Mapping? Depending on what other sprint attendees want to work on, I would like to focus on the high-level view of mapping in Drupal. Some thoughts:

    Documentation

    There exist a number of recent presentations regarding mapping including zzolo'sbrandonian'sphayes' and levelos'. By discussing those and the information provided in the Mapping with Drupal book we could create some diagrams that explain how the multitude of modules available correlate and work together. The OpenLayers Locator feature module is already a great starting point for diving into Drupal mapping that adds to the documentation effort with diagrams that I explained beforehand.

    Server-side geo clustering in Drupal 7

    Regarding my plans for Server-side geo clustering in Drupal 7, I would like to get started by discussing valid integration points of the server-side clustering approach with geofield and optionally views_geojson. As great views experts will be around, attending the Views in Core Sprint, I'm looking forward getting some insights to the best way to achieve such transparent integration of the server-side clustering feature. I have already talked to dawehner (dereine) and fago and the ideas so far are

  • clustering logic should be pluggable and easy to turn on/off
  • clustering logic should integrate well/transparently with geofield and views_geojson
  • write light-weight integrations that rely on a clustering library
  • geofield integration example: views_plugin_style_geofield_cluster extends geofield_map_plugin_style_map
  • views_geosjon integration example: views_plugin_style_geojson_cluster extends views_plugin_style_geojson
  • don't require external dependencies, by default it should work with the default database
  • optionally a database clustering strategy can be integrated
  • figure out client-side integration & interactions (javascript, openlayers, leaflet)

    Session: Mapping with Drupal

    Boris Doesborg on his session Mapping with Drupal:

    In this session I will introduce you to the most important concepts and modules of mapping in Drupal 7.

    Getting involved

    Let's use this thread to find out who will be attending the sprint, of course physical attendance is preferred, but most of the highly involved mapping guys unfortunately can't make it to Barcelone, as they have told me during the recent Drupal Mapping Office hours. That being said, we will be open to remote collaboration in #drupal-geo. Please, let me hear your thoughts, very much looking forward to collaborating :)