OS Geo Projects

Zain Memon (Trulia), Javier de la Torre (Vizzuality), Sam Lanier (FireWhat Inc.), Ryan Avila (FireWhat, Inc.), Nicholas Clayton-Syrrist (FireWhat Inc.), Jonathan LeBlanc (PayPal / Braintree)

This session encompasses speakers and content from the following sessions:

Tiling GeoData with TileStache

Zain Memon, Trulia
TileStache is an open source Python app that serves map tiles. It can create image, vector, or data tiles from sources like a Mapnik config, a PostGIS database, a shapefile, or another Python application. In this talk, I’ll cover some of the ways I’ve used TileStache to trivialize the task of accessing geodata.

Announcing PostGIS 2.0

Javier de la Torre, Vizzuality
PostGIS finally has become 2.0! Lot of new functionalities are now available, specially raster, topology,nearest neighbors, and many more. Join this session to learn about what is new and how you can use it.

Incident Action Plan Project (IAP Project)

Sam Lanier, Ryan Avila, Nick Clayton Syrrist, FireWhat Inc.
In 2009, Wildfires accounted for nearly 3.7 Billion in Federal Disaster Funds. The Incident Action Plan Project moves to automate how Emergency Personnel respond to such catastropic incidents. The project aims to eliminate the antiquated practices and utilize existing data sources to streamline Crisis Mapping for Emergency Responders by use of readily available technology.


Jonathan LeBlanc, X.commerce
ql.io is a declarative, evented, data-retrieval and
aggregation gateway for HTTP APIs. Through ql.io, application developers
can increase engineering clock speed and improve the end user experience.
ql.io can reduce the number of lines of code required to call multiple
HTTP APIs while simultaneously bringing down network latency and bandwidth
usage in certain use cases.

ql.io consists of a domain-specific language inspired by SQL and JSON, and a node.js-based runtime to process scripts written in that language. ql.io
is an open source project available on Github and demos, examples, and docs are available on the main site.

Zain Memon


I’m one of the people on the geo team at Trulia, who has released data-viz hits such as crime maps, weeplaces, and tendermaps. I use Python and GeoDjango to create pretty, useful maps.

Photo of Javier de la Torre

Javier de la Torre


Javier is CEO and co-founder of Vizzuality where he helps run project strategy and works closely with the team to coordinate CartoDB development.

Javier is a recognized expert on biodiversity informatics, open data and open source software. He has been featured in publications including NPR, CNET, The Guardian and El Pais and is frequently invited to speak on topics about data analysis, visualization, biodiversity, mapping and citizen science.

With the belief that better access to data and tools will change the way we understand and preserve environment, Javier has had a long-term interest in understanding and helping to communicate the distribution and of species on Earth. He thinks data visualization provides a great opportunity to bridge the gap between science, policy-making and citizen awareness, where it is most needed.

Photo of Sam Lanier

Sam Lanier

FireWhat Inc.

Sam Lanier is a career Fire Captain with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE). Sam has spent the better part of 17 years working to better the life of responders. From the age of 15, Sam has dedicated his life to helping others.

While on a two year special assignment to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sam was part of a Firefighter Grant program to provide the basic essential needs to America’s Responders. During this assignment, Sam was fortunate to see the age old problems exist in every community in the Western United States. There is an old saying in the fire service “200 Years of Tradition, Unimpeded by progress!”

This saying does not boed well with Sam. While working for CALFIRE, Sam has been responsible for the deployment and coordination of thousands of Emergency Resources. The experience he remembers the most was taking a phone call from the Oval Office to mobilize 1,000 fire engines to Southern California during the Fire Siege of 2007.

Sam is the Co-Founder and Chief Specialist Officer for FireWhat Inc. FireWhat is a new company, founded in January 2011 by two firefighters and an MIT grad. Their mission is to bridge the gap between the fire service and technology. Firefighters currently receive little to no information prior to arriving at a wildland fire so it’s important “to bring technology into a technology-deprived industry.”

During the Summer of 2011, Sam lead a collaborative effort between local company Pusher Inc and FireWhat Inc to develop the FireWhat Wildland App on the Apple iOS platform.

The Application uses NASA Satellite imagery, Weather Underground and NOAA Weather Services, National Fire Data, and Geo locator services to relay emergency information to the Nations Firefighters.

Sam and his team are committed to developing resources to bring responders home safe!

Ryan Avila

FireWhat, Inc.

I am a professional and volunteer firefighter in California and have been in the fire service for 6 years. During the winter I work as a professional ski patroller and I am a member of the National Ski Patrol. I am a teacher’s aid at our local college, where I help with the Associates of Fire Technology degree classes and I am also an instructional aid for our fire academy.

Nicholas Clayton-Syrrist

FireWhat Inc.

Hello! My name is Nick Clayton-Syrrist. I am a former professional firefighter now working for a small startup in northern California bringing solutions through technology to the firefighting industry. We believe the use of twenty-first century technology allows firefighters to do their jobs safer and more effectively.

Photo of Jonathan LeBlanc

Jonathan LeBlanc

PayPal / Braintree

Jonathan LeBlanc is an Emmy award-winning software engineer, author of the O’Reilly book Programming Social Applications, and the head of global developer advocacy for Braintree and PayPal. Specializing in identity, auth and security, hardware to web interconnectivity, and data mining techniques, as well as open source initiatives around social engagement, Jonathan works on the development of emerging initiatives toward building a more user-centric web.

  • Esri
  • AT&T Interactive
  • Google
  • Nokia, Location & Commerce
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Control Group
  • Localeze
  • MyCityWay
  • Socrata
  • Urban Airship
  • MapQuest

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