A few other things as well

There are many levels and perspectives on managing projects. We have been poking our heads in at the GIS data management level so far. We have introduced some software that can be used to model the flow in GIS data processing (i.e. FME), and we are starting to look at scripting as a method to automate similar processes through languages such as Python.

This course has also started at the very beginning of managing equipment and resources – you have created your own personal Linux server. Wea re moving toward the concept and practice of project management and hope to have some form of that embedded into your GeoSpatial practices by the end of the course.

Reviewing where we have come so far – in terms of project management

Starting with the operating system – Debian

Debian – from the English language meaning Deb and Ian (the fellow who wrote Debian was named Ian (Murdock) and his girlfriend (later wife) at the time is named Deb (Debra Lynn)). Debian is a fantastic operating system that stemmed from some very careful planning and is an example of true Open Source thinking (review some of the links on the Debian or Wikipedia sites).

One of the aspects of Debian that we are particularly interested (as well as several other Linux operating systems – such as Ubuntu) is its software package management system.


Let’s add the set of scripts called Dan’s scripts to work with software you will be using this week on our VMs.

Try :
aptitude search dans
(NOTE: you may still need to install aptitude (apt install aptitude)
find the package you want and install it – so easy and well organised – we love Debian

Download this Debian install file and install it on your VM. This is different than the way we have used apt so far. try:

dpkg -i “theinstallfile.deb”

Let that run for awhile – as we may have some dependency issues. Afterward we will fix the issues using apt with:

apt install -f (any idea why the -f is switch used?)

Managing Code – GitLab

The code that is managed to create the package we installed for dans-scripts is kept on Github. In the school we are using our own installation of GitLab. This is another data management methods that many people use Git to manage entire projects, but we are interested in using it for the more common practice of managing programming code.


Try to download the source code for dans-scripts

apt install git
mkdir testgit
cd testgit
git clone https://github.com/gina-alaska/dans-gdal-scripts.git

Quick look at Project Management

Project Management is a monstrous field with all sorts of definitions and experts. We are only going to have a quick look at software for managing projects. We will revisit this more throughout the course.


The package you installed “by hand” (without using a package in a repository for Debian) is called projectlibre. Scott will give you a brief demo.

A taste for tomorrow – GDAL


GDAL (GDAL/OGR) is the open source version of FME. It is a great piece of software. It is used by a whole bunch of Open Source and proprietary software (including QGIS, SAGA, ArcGIS and FME).

Check out the pages at: gdal.org

Get your self to a folder that you have some spatial data in it.
– Open up a terminal and type nemo
– Navigate using nemo to a folder with spatial data in it
– right click and open in terminal

Check out some GDAL commands:
gdalinfo –formats
ogrinfor –formats

ogrinfo “spatialfile in your folder”

ogr2ogr -f GPKG parks.gpkg blah.sqlite