Topic: Python, OGR, and GDAL for Geospatial Programming Instruction in MS Geomatics Engineering in the University of the Philippines.
Presenter: Mark Edwin Tupas
Increasing awareness and utilization of geospatial data and technologies in the Philippines have driven up enrollment in graduate courses for MS Geomatics Engineering, a graduate course offered by the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Department of Geodetic Engineering. While introductory subjects for the degree program are mainly being taught using proprietary software, a gradual shift to FOSS4G applications has been observed in others. One of these is the core subject, GmE 205: Object Oriented Programming for Geospatial Applications, whose main objective is to teach geospatial programming to MS level students who may or may not have programming background.
The course is subdivided into four main parts, namely 1) Introduction to Object Oriented Programming, 2) Raster Processing, 3) Vector Processing, and 4) Miscellaneous Topics. For the last two years, the Python programming language, OGR and GDAL libraries have been used for instruction in GmE 205. These are used to tackle the first three topics in order, while miscellaneous topics includes short lectures on QGIS python plugin development, Openlayers, etc. OGR/GDAL allows the subject to focus more on the geospatial processing over geospatial classes and objects theory. In lieu of this, the students have become better equipped to handle contemporary geospatial problems. This has resulted in more useful class projects, that are directly utilized for research and even operational purposes. In all, the utilization of FOSS4G for instruction has resulted in increased appreciation for subjects not just on the theoretical sense but more on the practical applications.
Keywords: Python, OGR, GDAL, Geospatial Programming