2019 FOSS4G Bucharest Talks speaker: Arne Schumacher


The shift of trade powers – Understanding China’s growing importance in global economic activity with FOSS technologies

It is widely known that China will soon be the leading player in world economy overtaking the traditional hubs of North America, Europe and South-East Asia. Its economic activities increasingly influence countries beyond its own borders and dominate global economic growth. The analysis of the shifting axis uses global trade data that countries report through the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS-Codes). The shift of power towards China is evident when the spatial mean of some 220 globally traded commodities is calculated for which data is available. Other geo-(statistical) indicators further quantify and visualise China’s growing economic power while other economic centres cannot keep up with this pace or even decline in importance.

I’ve got geodata – How do I get out there (on the web)?

GIS systems and ICT technologies are often at odds with each other for historical reasons. GIS software has developed in niches, predominantly through monolithic and proprietary systems. The growing need to expose geodata on the web, e.g. sparked through open data policies, leaves developers with a range of options. Clients may request server-side solutions such as OGC services such as Web Map Service, Web Feature Service and the likes. These solutions require a map server. Another option for instance is a direct database query that requests relational data through PHP. Since almost all big database management systems are spatially enabled today (Oracle Spatial, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, MySQL) there is per se no need to implement a map server at all. A third option is to use web clients’ native data formats such as JSON/GEOJSON. This may either be requested by a REST API, a JSON-capable DB (e.g. MongoDB) or through flat files. Which of these options serves my purposes best? This very much depends on the advantages of each of these choices and what your infrastructure is trying to achieve.