Make Smarter - Guide to Nonprofit GIS, Security Tips, SOA Best Practices

First up in this month’s make smarter comes via SlashGeo and is maptogether’s Illustrated Guide to Nonprofit GIS and Online Mapping. This well written and illustrated document covers the basics of GIS, some examples of nonprofits doing work with GIS, and a review of some free tools nonprofits can use. It’s a great resource for nonprofits and a good introduction to GIS in general.

Next up is the CWE/SANS 2010 Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors, an annual list of how we programmers bork up security. Not much changed from last year’s list, which means at least we’re borking things consistently. It’s worth a read if you write software for a living. SQL injection and XSS are right at the top as usual. If you want to know how security mistakes can ruin your day, take a look at this SQL injection story.

NSGIC has good post called Data Sharing Issues: What Works and What Doesn’t by Linda Wayne, which mirrors a lot of what was in NCGISS’s Recommendations for Geospatial Data Sharing (PDF). Excellent, common sense recommendations, the #1 provision in each being AVOID FORMAL AGREEMENTS. I might have that framed and hung in my office so that I can, if the need arises, take it off the wall and bludgeon people with it.

InfoQ links to and gives a good summary of an paper called Emerging Industry SOA Best Practices. A couple of good points are:

Determine if SOA is the right approach.While SOA can provide the benefits of reuse, agility, and loose coupling, these benefits are not always the software architect’s first priorities.

Start small, learn, and evolve. [I’ve seen this mistake a lot. If you have somebody spending 6 months formulating a SOA strategy document, consider your goose cooked. To mangle a programming quote, premature EA is the root of all evil. For pete sakes just do something.]

Not smart enough yet? Here are a few tidbits I didn’t get to fully check out that might tickle your fancy: