Camptocamp – News

11th OSGeo Bolsena Code Sprint

19 June 2018

As you may have heard, from June 4 to 8, the 11th OSGeo Bolsena Code Sprint took place near Lago Bolsena, Italy. Around twenty people from all over Europe gathered in this beautiful place to work and share, mainly about GeoNetwork although as every year guest projects were more than welcome.

This year’s code sprint was focused on working towards migrating Geonetwork to ElasticSearch. This undertaking has been under development for quite some time although at a limited pace by lack of funding and because of the complexity of the task. Being gathered in our beloved convento was a great opportunity to dust off the work already done and start hacking through the plethoric task list. Among the notable advances are:

  • General improvement of the record indexing process, including support for multilingual fields,
  • Application of user privileges when accessing the records,
  • Rework of the User Interface code to make it ElasticSearch compatible,
  • … and much more!

Migrating to ElasticSearch will open up many exciting perspectives to Geonetwork, including:

  • Load balancing between several instances or shards,
  • Lightning-fast responses even with complex queries (spatial filters, relationships between records, suggestions, etc.),
  • New possibilities for filtering results, displaying aggregations and generally offer a better searching experience.

Of course, the week was also spent on many other topics. A huge joint effort was made from the committers and PSC of Geonetwork to reduce the number of open Pull Requests and Issues, most of which were re-evaluated, closed or merged when possible. PR count is now down to almost twenty and issues count was almost cut by half. This was tedious but absolutely necessary work to ensure a good health of the project. A big thank you to everyone involved!

In parallel to the ElasticSearch migration, a proof-of-concept was developed by Camptocamp for a standalone web application which offers a streamlined search interface into the Geonetwork metadata records. Dubbed – for now – Geonetwork Explorer, this solution leverages the power of ElasticSearch API to demonstrate how searching for records might become a smooth and enjoyable process, combining spatial and text search with seamless data visualization. Stay tuned for a live demo!

Another event worth pointing out: a recurrent participant of this code sprint, Völker Mische (@vmx) gave a captivating talk on IPFS and its potential for future implications. Definitely interesting, and food for thought when it comes to managing metadata.

Furthermore, this code sprint was once again the place of in-depth discussions about coding standards, common practices and releases for Geonetwork. It was decided to strive for a generally more robust branch management on Github, and eventually a fixed biyearly release cycle. A clear step forward in the right direction, and a promise for better stability and quality for months to come. Along these good news were made official two new arrivals in the community: Jo Cook (@archaeogeek) from Astun Technology, as member of the PSC, and Olivier Guyot (@jahow) from Camptocamp, as committer.

Many thanks to our friends at OSGeo and Geocat BV for this once again fruitful and engaging event! We at Camptocamp are glad to be a part of this vibrant community!

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