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FOSS4G Nashville 2022

12.16.2022

I attended and gave a talk at FOSS4G Nashville 2022. This was a short, 1.5 day hybrid conference with about 30 in-person attendees and an unknown number of folks watching and giving presentations online. Howard Butler gave a keynote talk entitled “Serve data, not services,” and my talk was titled “STAC software, now and looking forward.” My slides are here: 2022-12-01-FOSS4G-Nashville-STACSoftwareEcosystem.

Howard Butler (@hobu) torturing some Newtonian physics to make a point about serving data, not services.

Here’s some key takeaways from the conference:

  • Howard talked about how data has gravity. Once a certain amount of data lives in a certain (cloud) location, it gets harder and harder to move it, and it attracts more and more computing nearby. This means that data storage decisions are crucial, especially when picking the format and layout of those data. Cloud-optimized formats can provide huge amounts of value just by existing, since they’re well organized and addressable by intellegant toooling.
  • Howard also described STAC as “The Map to the Data,” which I liked and will be stealing.
  • Pyscript.net is an in-browser Python implementation that could start eating into Jupyter’s mind share.
  • I chatted with David Bitner, the main person behind GitHub – stac-utils/pgstac: Schema, functions and a python library for storing and accessing STAC collections and items in PostgreSQL , and got some good knowledge/ideas for working w/ it (it backs the Microsoft Planetary Computer ). We talked about a Rust server based on pgstac, so I cooked up a quick one during the talks as a proof of concept: GitHub – gadomski/stac-server-rs: STAC server, built in Rust, backed by pgstac.
  • Authentication for STAC Assets is a major pain point for a lot of users, and the Right Way of Doing It™ varies depending on cloud provider and system.

Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash

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