Make Smarter - Apache Lucene and Solr, iPhone Development, GIS Intro

First up in this month’s Make Smarter is a Location-aware search with Apache Lucene and Solr, courtesy of IBM. Lucene is high performance text search engine, Solr is a search platform using Lucene, and they are both open source projects from Apache. Lucene recently added some basic geospatial functionality. By basic we’re talking point features only (XY) and bounding box and distance searches round out the functionality, but the big thing here is speed and search engine integration. It’s a really information article and shows a glimpse at where spatial tech is going.

Via Ars, Stanford has updated their iPhone development course to cover the latest 3.1 SDK. If you’re looking to develop iPhone apps, this course has received very good reviews and last year’s course was downloaded over 4 million times. The only downer is you’ll need iTunes to get the content at Stanford at iTunes U. Mayhaps I can find a torrent…

I’m a big fan and user of Inkscape, and Máirín Duffy is posting the course contents of an 8 session Inkscape course she’s teaching at a Boston middle school. The 1st and 2nd class notes are out there now, with more to come. It’s a very good introduction Inkscape so far, and since I tend to jump into software in the middle it’s helping me learn a lot of stuff I skipped by. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with Inkscape, check out some of the tutorials at Screencasters.HeathenX.Org.

GIS Lounge highlighted A Gentle Introduction to GIS (PDF), a free 114 page ebook aimed at educators and people new to the field and utilizing QGIS. It’s not only a great introduction to the field and key concepts like rasters, vectors, and topology, by using QGIS it lets newcomers do the things they’re learning about at now cost. It’s a great resource and a high quality book. You can find videos, worksheets, and sample data to complement the book at the QGIS site.

If you’re a Flex developer, InfoQ has a good article on the state of the Flex development ecosystem. It’s more or less a long list of Flex resources, from IDE’s to application frameworks.

Finally, via Between the Poles, all the FOSS4G presentations and videos are now online. Links for presentations and videos can be found in the workshop and session abstracts.