Thursday, February 28, 2013

BMSITGLUG - An impromptu session on OSM

It was pravi who made me stay in bangalore which actually was a stopover en route to Hyderabad from FOSS Meet @ NITC . And since we caught up with Raghavendra who luckily teaches at BMSIT and leads the GLUG - GNU/Linux user group over there on the earlier night I planned a openstreetmap session .

Raghavendra was kind enough to accommodate me in the afternoon time of schedule with a very good number of students who actually came from  diverse backgrounds with respect to technology  .

After my introduction to some core members , we walked over to the seminar hall which was awesome and it was my big mistake not to carry a HDMI -> VGA converter . My classic excuse would be " HDMI is the latest tech , arent you catching up with it ? " or another one would be " Even RaspberryPie would be coming with a HDMI but not a VGA" !

So I had to use another volunteers laptop for projector and the network was an issue , so while the volunteers and their teacher fixed the issues I wanted everyone to introduce themselves , year and branch  their love of technology . I did learn of some cool technologies and that made me happy as a speaker . I felt that speaking to a crowd who are more educated or who know more than you / know something else better than you gives a satisfaction .Some were also interested on "web" !

As the inroducutions were going on , we were joined by a senior from final semester CS who said "yes" and was quite vocal while taking a random survey on what "free software" , made her introduce free software to the crowd .  I had to later explain what
"free beer" is , with the redhat & CentOS example .

Another big blooper of mine was the absence of slides . I forgot to make them assuming that I could use my old slides while showing some URL's then and there . In this case we had a partial internet which was powere by raghavendra first and later by another students 2G/3G connections .

For the question of why not google maps , I had to tell about FUP - Fair Usage Policy and later explain how freedom on data can make you show cool stuff like show emphasis on transport routes ,Cycle routes etc .

I also explained each and every tool of OSM but unfortunately I didnt make a slide for each tool and written a line on it , I just dumped all the tools in 2 slides and was done with it .

Editing : I told about upcoming editor iD , but showed JOSM . I made few students draw lines , boxes and tag them appropriately . Also since we were running out of time I called all of them forward and then showed the mapnik instance running on my laptop and how panning heavily requested the tile numbers .

On a question on tile numbers I showed what X and Y means . Later on a question on database postgres . I panned heavily and showed via iotop the vanishing process of postgres "select" query . I had to pan very heavily which made me smile inside that my laptops fast enough :D

Later on an insistence to see the DB . We made some sample queries and I showed them how to simply query for amenities etc . Later I showed them a visualisation made ot of cuisine . There was alsoa  question on android app for OSM . I was like " Yeah its obvious , there are many" , little did I realise that this is a new project for them . Also I was hesitant enough to show bangalore :D

Overall we had to leave and the left over CS guys were whom I had a small chat on CS in BMSIT and how things could improve and asked them to encourage open access of internet by creating a network and it could be jointly paid by everyone . I also showed them the root shell on my N900 .

It was a pleasant experience to give a session at BMSIT GLUG , would love to visit again !