This month is jam packed with a lot of PostGIS news.
PostGIS 1.3.6 has been released. It is mostly a bug fix relase and is the first PostGIS that can be compiled under PostgreSQL 8.4 beta. Details can be found at PostGIS 1.3.6 release notes. We don't have Windows binaries ready yet, but expect to see that in the next week or so.
Leo and I have been writing a PostGIS in Action book for the past couple of months, and now that it is finally listed on the Manning website, we can talk about it. We are working on our chapter 4 right now. If you are interested in learning PostGIS, check it out. The first chapter is free and with the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP), you can purchase the book now and have great influence on the direction of the book.
The book starts off hopefully with a gentle introduction to OpenGIS Consortium (OGC) spatial databases and concepts in general and PostgreSQL/PostGIS in particular. As we move further into the book, we cover more advanced ground. We plan to cover some of the new PostgreSQL 8.4 features in conjunction with PostGIS, writing stored functions to solve spatial problems and some of the other new exciting stuff and ancillary tools for PostGIS such as PgRouting, Tiger Geocoder, and WKT Raster.
Given all that ground, I suspect our estimate of 325 pages, may be a little low when all is said and done. It is funny that when we started out, we thought to ourselves -- "How can anyone fill up 325 pages." Turns out very easily especially once you start throwing in diagrams and pictures to demonstrate a point. Diagrams are kind of important to have when describing GIS and geometry concepts. So far its been fun and has forced us to sit down and walk thru all the things we took for granted and thought we understood but didn't. You realize just how little you understand when you try to explain something to someone else who really doesn't understand. So perhaps the process of explaining is the greatest of all learning experiences.
This year we are speaking at PgCon 2009 on PostGIS. Yes Josh Berkus asked politely and we thought, "Why the heck not!" We are looking forward to seeing all the faces we've only read about.
We are diligently preparing our presentations hoping not to make total fools of ourselves.
On a side note -- Paul Ramsey will be giving a workshop on spatial databases at Where 2.0. As you can see he has already started to make a fool of himself by demonstrating evil application architectures that would make any self-respecting database programmer's jaws drop.
When will PostGIS 1.4.0 come out? I have no clue. We are still nursing this one. I guess because everyone on the PostGIS team has been so busy with other side activities or making fools of themselves. I'm hoping for late May or early June.