Friday, 20 September 2013

FOSS4G SciTools Outing

The SciTools gang are in Nottingham for http://2013.foss4g.org/ and having lots of fun.  I have found the conference really interesting so far.  Well done to the Met Office for sponsoring the conference and being so supportive of the event.

Ed presented Iris and Cartopy this morning which was very well received.

We ran a workshop on using SciTools with the OSGeo tools on Tuesday, the material is available on https://github.com/SciTools/osgeolive.  I thought this went really well.

Ian deserves a special mention for all his hard work on the conference organising committee: they have all done such a good job to put on an excellent conference for us.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Roadmap

We have finally published a roadmap to set out the work we are going to focus on in the next six months. You can find the list of themes on our website.

We are currently working on the Interpolation and Regridding theme after asking our community what they needed.

If you want to catch-up or add to the topic then surf over to the discussion in our Google groups.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cartopy gains a gallery

You may have noticed that the latest cartopy documentation now includes a gallery with some (currently limited) code examples.  Over the next few releases we intend to extend the number and breadth of these examples, and are considering adding tutorials in the form of iPython notebooks (similar to those found over at nbviewer.ipython.org).

The latest example we've added is a toy demonstration of using the power of Shapely from within cartopy to produce the following plot:

You can find the full gallery over at http://scitools.org.uk/cartopy/docs/latest/gallery.html.


If you've produced a self contained plot, or even a whole tutorial, which you think would go well in the cartopy gallery, we'd love to hear from you.  Just submit a pull request (or even a plain old issue) over at the cartopy github repository.

Friday, 25 January 2013

AMS 2013

As mentioned by Andrew, I spent a few days in early January in Texas for the 93rd American Meteorological Society annual meeting, with the majority of my time spent in the Python symposium. Interestingly, out of the nearly forty symposia/conferences taking place, this was the only one which was focussed on a single core technology. I'm not sure if that says more about the evangelical nature of the Python community, or the genuine benefits brought by Python adoption ... perhaps we're just lucky to have someone like Johnny Wei-Bing Lin putting in the hard work to get it organised. Thanks Johnny!

As you'd expect, there were plenty of interesting talks on a wide range of subjects, but a couple of themes stood out for me.

Firstly, with Iris we are trying to free scientists in the AOS (Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) from low-level issues (such as dealing with the intricacies of file formats), and let them work at a higher logical level. And it was good to see that same desire reflected in topics ranging from representing radar data to standardised calculations for potential temperature, etc. Not only is there an appetite for such things, there are other people who are trying to achieve the same goals, and it was great to be able to meet them.

Secondly, there there are plenty of up-and-coming technologies for improving Python's performance, whether that be handling large datasets, speeding up numeric computation, or wrestling with parallelism. Some projects have been around for a while (e.g. numexpr), others have a "Work in progress" sign on the door (e.g. numba), and still others have "Coming soon" (e.g. ODIN). But it's clear from the competition and flux that the domain as a whole is still in its early days. Perhaps the key pieces of the next generation/level of high-performance tools already exist but have yet to establish dominance, or maybe they've yet to be created. Either way, it's an exciting time to be involved.

And speaking of involvement, scalable performance is obviously not a need that's specific to AOS, so it's especially important to reach out to the broader scientific Python community. I'd like to echo a sentiment expressed in the symposium that we should be encouraging AOS attendance at the various SciPy events. Having been to EuroSciPy 2012, I can attest for the rich seam of technology, ideas, and inspiration that is out there just waiting to be mined.

If you weren't able to attend AMS2013 then keep an eye out for the recorded presentations. The AMS2013 website currently has them slated for release by "late February".