Google Summer of Code 2008

Every year Google pays students to do work for several open source software organizations. They call it the Summer of Code, although for people like me it will be the Winter of Code; see my previous post (English translation).

Map of my neighbourhood with some stuff that I added.I will work for OpenStreetMap which is an effort to create a detailed map of the world with no nasty copyright restrictions. Like Wikipedia, they allow everyone to contribute to this map. I for example added a few things in my neighbourhood.

Groups of volunteers all over the world are traveling around with their GPS devices to map the world and sometimes an organization like AND donates their maps.

The objective of my project is to create altitude profiles for (bike) routes. For this I will use a global elevation map created by the NASA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM).

Since the world is pretty big I expect to learn a lot about scaling a database application. Perhaps, if time allows and if I get an invitation, I could even outsource the scaling work to the Google App Engine.

I will store the SRTM data in PostGIS (spatial database extension for PostgreSQL). That will be my first time away from MySQL.

Another new thing that I want to try is the Git version control system: you can watch Linus Torvalds talk about it:

Of course, in the end it is all about one thing: the free T-Shirt! I will write more about my project later.

T-Shirt

One Comment

  1. Posted April 30, 2008 at 02:19 | Permalink

    Sounds like a cool project. I also recently started using PostgreSQL for my internship (previously only MySQL/SQLite). I’ve seen that talk on Git at Google, but I haven’t used Git myself yet. Everywhere I go everyone is ‘still’ using Subversion. Have fun and let us know about your progress.