Charlie Hebdo est mort

Today, January 7th, France is shocked about a terroristic attack in Paris against Charlie Hebdo.
He died because he protected one of the most important assets we have:
Our freedom of speech.

I suggest to change the open source licenses in such a way, that the software under those licenses may never be used to support terroristic activities. (@: EUPL, GPL, AGPL, Apache, BSD, MIT, Mozilla, …)

A happy 2015

As every new year, we start with good intentions. As in every year, these good intentions are not always realized.
My good intention is to write something I want to share on this Blog, at least once a month. So for this month I realized already my quorum.

This said, there are some other things I want to realize this year.
I want to work further at a networked organization, that is able to bring solutions to the market, based on open source technology, being supported by open source communities and working together as a virtual organisation under one umbrella.
I want to try and test if this model is an interesting business model for a region as Europe is, with all the different cultures, languages and entrepreneurs.

Of course I want to start this within the OSGeo community using GIS as a common technology.

Please feel free to comment on this post if you want to join this experiment.

Happy new year!

Issuedoc – the fastest way to track and manage issues

Do you need a simple solution to generate, aggregate, and manage issues in an easy way? Don't look further, because Issuedoc(tm) is probably the solution for your problem.


demo (in dutch)


Today, citizens are able to contact their administration in several ways ranging from visiting the physical administrative centre, over using fax (oh yes!), e-mail, phone and more and more also through a web portal.
All these channels have to be integrated into in efficient management system.
Last but not least, citizens want to be notified when their reported issues are solved or addressed.

While working on the next generation technology platform to handle geo-related problems using thin client technology, the founders of Geosparc decided to use their technology to build solutions for wide spread unsolved problems, and offer them at very competitive rates.
One of the ideas was to build an integrated solution combining the Geomajas web GIS technology, with a mobile client and an issue handling system – Issuedoc(tm). With this solution they offer many possibilities to improve operational processes and new ways to report and manage problems.
With the Issuedoc(tm)  mobile client (web based), people are able to create a geo-located issue, document it with some descriptions and add pictures. It offers a user-friendly, yet powerful alternative for the different channels existing today.
After issues are reported though the mobile front-end, they are stored into a back-end management system, where each issue receives a unique identifier, making it easy for further handling and follow-up.
The back-end system allows for the dispatching and tracking resolution of issues according to a process workflow.
Friday November 21, 2014 Issuedoc(tm) and Sleevemonkey(tm) will be demonstrated in Ghent, to discuss the solution with some pilot candidates to test it.

Why I am Who I am

I have a passion.
I want to write software.

I share this passion with many other developers.
Actually, I developed software. For years. I wrote assembler programs for Z80 when the 'PC' was not yet invented. I developed computer games on HP41c to play at university with friends, and exchanged my software with other fellow students.
I was involved in community based activities – sharing and exchanging information with peers for programming in Machine code on the HP41c.

After finishing my university degree as an electrical engineer, with expertise on software development I started my professional career … as a software developer …
And I loved it.

I have a passion.
I want to write software.
A curious thing about writing software is that in many cases it is for global use.
So I went to my boss and told him we could/should develop software for the global market.

But the answer was short.

No way.

The risk was to high. As an European company, you should develop a solution for your local country. I speak 1990.
We were an Autodesk Authorized Developer at that time. The word alone …. 'Authorized'
We created some real great stuff. We talked to the core developers of Autodesk, until this was not possible/plausible any more due to Autodesk policy. We had to talk to more 'commercial' people. To Business people. They were interested in our business ideas, we wanted to share technical solutions. It was not fun.

So we created a community together with other 'Authorized Autodesk Developers' and we shared ideas and information.
ADGE: Autodesk developers group Europe. We came together trough-out Europe. And every 6 weeks there was a physical meeting in Basel (Switzerland).
It was a fun time.

At that time, I founded DFC Software Engineering.
Together with other SME's we managed to work together and compete against bigger companies in our local market.

One of the major problems of a software SME is the entrance to the market. As an 'Authorized Autodesk Developer', you are dependent on Autodesk. And they always needed more and more money, from their clients and from their developers. This was a hard time.

I have a passion.

I want to write software.
And I want to be independent.
But this was a very expensive choice.

I wrote software.
Software for Geo-Location Services.

Access to the data was also very expensive. We couldn't afford that as a small SME.
So we developed software for our clients who had access to their own data, or who could afford GeoData from market providers.

But the licenses for the basic technology became more and more expensive. And our added value was on op of this expensive licenses. So we started to create solutions based on open source technology.

We where users of the technology. At this time, we were not involved into the communities of the software we've used. But we were able to create great solutions and could compete on the market against much more bigger players.
DFC Software Engineering became a company of >10 persons (2004).

I had some idea's about my passion and how to develop it.
I wanted to write open source software.
For users to be able to create their own sort of 'google maps' front-end and back-end.


But I didn't write the code myself. I decided to hire others to do the writing.
I became the 'spiritual' father. It was an expensive hobby. But very passionate.

I discussed business models with many peers at that time.
Dries Buytaert (Drupal/Acquia) and Bruno Lowagie (Itext), but also Steven Noels, Karel Maesen, Raf Buyle, Jan De Moerloose, Rudy Frigne, Caroline Dewaele, Yanick Ingelbrechts and a couple of others.




I found an old photo of 2007 @DFC

on Flickr

Today we write software.

We can show references around the globe. A lot of them are behind a closed door, because the strength of the technology is not for processes into the open.

But more and more projects become public available:

ESA Landsat Portal (If you want to order a satellite image from the Landsat device)

Environmental check (press on '>omgevingscheck' to start the application)

Digital Building Permit (press on '>DOSSIER INDIENEN' to start the application)

Company information (Geo-relations between companies industry parcels, financial information, …)

to name only a couple of the applications realized by Geosparc.

More examples of other companies and people of the community can be found in the Geomajas Gallery

car free day Ghent

14 september 14 – Sunday afternoon in Ghent

Car free day in Ghent

Today is a car free day in Ghent. A day full of activities and again people in the centre of the city. Yesterday there was an event ODEGAND. A music festival with music from all over the world, and performances on different parallel places. Today the event goes on, but kids are playing the music. Ghent is a vibrant city! I am proud to be born and live in Ghent.

No better time to drink a cold glass of wine in the september sun ….

Cold glass of wine in Ghent














People enjoying a sunny sunday afternoon in Ghent – Graslei

Ghent Graslei

First schoolday – always a little bit exciting

First of september. For more then 1.1 Bilion childeren it is the first day of a new year at school – only in Belgium. As responsible citizens, we want to give a bright future to all these childeren.

Bright as the summer sun during holidays… lol.

Today, the sun is shining after a very wet summer. This summer belongs to the top 5 of wettest summers since 1833, the start of the measurements.  The record was the summer of 1992.

Since 2000, 10 summers out of 15 belong to the top 20 of wettest summers since 1833. Impact of the global warming of the planet?

This remembers me the message of Patrick Hogan – NASA on the first Foss4G conference in Bremen

We still can do something to control the climate change, but we should act now.

I will not fly to the conference in Portland next week. ( My part in saving some CO2. But this will not be enough. We should do more. And we should beleive that we can make the difference!

If we want to preserve a bit what exists on this planet.

Hello world!

Today we (Matthias and I) installed a new ubuntu 14.04 server with MySQL, Apache, Seafile, postfix and wordpress and I was ready to migrate my old html website to my new environment.

Old homepage picture

Hopefully this time I will be able to post now and then some interesting blogs.
(at least I tweet now and then a comment on what is happening in my environment, and now I have a place to put some more background information to it….)

Have a great reading.

Sunday 31 August 2014