OpenBand Labs has a new look

OpenBand has today unveiled its new OpenBand Labs website to help improve the information around the work we've been doing over recent years as well as hopefully invite some discussion.

OpenBand Labs

We hope to make some improvements to the new site over the coming days as we continue to add some more information and blog about some of our experiences here at DrupalCon. We'll also be adding the slides and some writeups about the XMPP talk Darren gave yesterday and the distributed enterprise talk Ben gave today.

We had a great presentation yesterday with Darren Ferguson talking about the XMPP Framework, and today with Ben Lavender talking getting a chance to demonstrate our collaboration platform.

In DC for DrupalCon

I'm in Washington, DC this week with many of the rest of the OpenBand / M.C. Dean team. We're all here to visit DrupalCon DC and meet our friends and associates in the Drupal community as well as present some of the things we've been working on.

A couple of the sessions that we proposed have been accepted, so we're going to be presenting:

  • Powering collaboration in a distributed enterprise on Thursday at 1:45-2:45 in the OpenCalais Room, Showcase + Strategy
    Online collaboration, social networking and enterprise content management are having transformational effects on organizations, large and small, government and commercial. With robust content management functionality and integration with communication applications, Drupal is uniquely positioned to power collaboration and knowledge management in a distributed enterprise. This session will address developing with Drupal to support several multi-national distributed enterprises.

    We'll be using this session to talk about our problem space and some of the solutions we have created to help our customers. 

  • Drupal with XMPP Integration on Wednesday at 6:00-6:30 in the Acquia Room, Code + Development 1
    Over the past few years, we have come to rely heavily on web-based tools, such as blogs, forums, wiki, and other to collaborate, manage schedules, and share information. At the same time, chat (or Instant Messaging) has become one of the predominant forms of communication. One issue remains, however: the web based tools and chat don’t really “talk” to each other.

If you're interested in the work we've been doing to help distributed enterprises communicate better, feel free to come up and say hi. We look forward to meeting you at DrupalCon!

Geospatial sessions at DrupalCon DC 2009

Following on from my post yesterday about our company's sponsorship and presentations, I thought it was worth a post to highlight the sessions other people in the Drupal community have proposed that relate to the building of a geospatial web with the help of Drupal - the main reason I got involved in Drupal in the first place.

Jeff Miccolis (Development Seed) and Andrew Turner (High Earth Orbit) will present a session on Drupal and the Geospatial Web:

"This presentation will include an overview of the emerging Geospatial web, and the technologies, standards and communities that are driving it. We'll look at how Google Maps fall short and how to go beyond its basic approach to mapping on the web. We'll cover where Drupal fits in, ways to incorporate other mapping tools and data into your projects. Specifically, what modules extend Drupal, enable it to leverage existing tools and how to use these to do new and interesting things."

Jeff has been doing all sorts of interesting work recently with Drupal and RDF for storing geodata, and Andrew is the heavily involved in GeoCommons and Mapufacture, empowering users to share their geographic information.

Eric Gundersen (Development Seed) will be presenting a session titled Communicating Data Online: When Data Visualization and Workflow Matter:

"You have access to tons of information, Eric Gundersen of the online strategy shop Development Seed will talk about how interactive maps, data visualizations, and other online tools can quickly show you the bigger picture around large scale international issues. Eric will demo the new Pandemic Preparedness Mapping site built for InterAction to prevent the spread of a catastrophic disease like bird flu."

Eric, and Development Seed in general, have done a lot over recent years to build cool sites that are often centred around geospatial information. The Pandemic Preparedness Mapping site uses maps care of the Nice Map module and also a modified version of the KML module that allows people to access all the data in the site through Google Earth and many other systems that can read KML.

Rebecca White and other members of the Chicago Technology Cooperative will be presenting Drupal as a GeoCMS:

"This session will move from GIS concepts to Drupal GIS practice. We will talk about the principles of storing, organizing, and searching geodata, the practical usage of geodata in Drupal applications, and how geographic functionalities are implemented by existing Drupal modules."

Brandon Bergren, primary maintainer of the location module, GMap module and geo module will also be one of the presenters.

Frank Febbraro will be talking about Using Intelligent Web Services for Semantic Drupal Sites:

"Leveraging semantic web services such as Thompson Reuter's Calais within Drupal enables you to do amazing things that will be part of the semantic revolution. This session will cover some incredibly powerful things you can do to augment content and create powerful features once you have the semantic context and metadata of the information driving a site."

Another example of the intersection between the semantic web, Drupal and geospatial information, this talk will demo the Calais Geo service for geo-tagging and mashing up content.

Bevan Rudge will be using some of Drupal's geographic modules to build Google Maps Mashups In and a number of other presentations such as Karen Stevenson's CCK Mashup -- Oh The Things You Can Do! also relate to mapping.

There will no doubt be some BOF (birds of a feather) sessions around the growing area of geographic information in Drupal as well, but it already sounds like a great mix of presentations. If you're going, remember to vote for the sessions to make sure they all get the chance to present!

OpenBand sponsoring DrupalCon DC 2009

OpenBand, an M.C. Dean CompanyMy employer, OpenBand, is going to be a Gold sponsor of DrupalCon DC in March 2009 and a number of our team members will be attending the conference.

We have a few presentations to give, and will be keen to see many of the other sessions that are going to be given.

In the Powering collaboration in a distributed enterprise session we'll be giving an overview of the work that we do, the collaboration platform we've been building (largely on Drupal) for our customers over the past three years or so, and some of the modules that we've contributed back to the Drupal community during that time.

Miglius Alaburda will be presenting a session titled Introducing a new File Framework about a new and powerful way of handling files in Drupal.

Alex Karshakevich will be giving a talk about Data Visualization in a Social Networking Context, taking advantage of some of the social networking capabilities of Drupal.

Darren Ferguson will be talking about Drupal with XMPP Integration and all the functionality that he has built up around the XMPP framework, allowing users of a Drupal site to use instant messaging capabilities.

It's also great to see some of our associates presenting about work which we've sponsored, like Audrey Foo's talk about how to Search private content between multiple drupal sites with Distributed search (and the related Add powerful features and improve performance of your drupal site with Apachesolr Search), Justin Miller's talk titled Beyond The Web: Drupal Meets The Desktop (And Mobile), as well as others in areas we're involved in like OpenID and RDF.

With all the sessions that have been proposed by attendees, this is shaping up to be a great conference!

Updated: Added Darren's XMPP talk

DrupalCon attendee map

View Larger Map | download KML file

The map above shows the approximate locations of over 400 of the DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 attendees, based on the city or country they entered when registering for this year's DrupalCon. People travelled from every continent except Antarctica (maybe next year?) to visit the conference though most attendees travelled from Europe or the US.

If you're reading in an RSS reader, or if you prefer using Google Earth rather than Google Maps, you may want to load up the KML file, otherwise you'll need to move the map around a little to make Google Maps load all the locations for you.

(Sorry for all the pushpins. I was hoping to move beyond pushpins but the GeoCommons server didn't seem to like my file, probably due to the lack of attribute data in it.)

DrupalCon Barcelona 2007 this week

DrupalCon Barcelona 2007Tomorrow I'll be traveling down to Barcelona with my colleagues for this year's DrupalCon.

Much like last year's OSCMS Summit (which basically turned into a DrupalCon) and DrupalCon Brussels it will be a great chance to meet up with other Drupal developers and users, see what others are using the platform for, join in discussions about its future and hopefully promote some of the pieces that we've been developing at work or have sponsored.

I'll hopefully be doing a lightning talk on the use of Drupal as a GeoCMS - if there are enough people interested - perhaps demonstrating some Google Earth integration through the KML module, GeoRSS integration, or even WFS integration (if I can get it working before then).

If you're going to DrupalCon and are interested in the geo aspect of Drupal (or geo in general), let me know or catch me there - I'll be the one with the 'geodaniel' name badge.

In Brussels this week

After visiting friends in London over the weekend and getting back to Stuttgart on Monday night, I am once again travelling, but this time to Brussels with work. I'll be here for GovCamp, DrupalCon and BarCamp. I was also hoping to catch up with the OpenStreetMap crowd, some of whom are up here this week for EuroOSCON, but spent much of the day on the train and so missed the meet-up today.

It should be a really interesting week, from watching presentations, learning about parts of Drupal I've not yet delved into deeply, and also getting to meet others in the Drupal community.

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