Monthly Archives: December 2009

Getting Started with GeoDjango …

The only reason for my dabblings with Django has been that I wanted to see Geodjango in action. Most of my dabbling has been with Django under Ubuntu using Ayman Hourieh’s “Website Development with Django…” and “Python Web Development with Django” – both of which I’ve found rather useless books – and more successfully using the Apress titles “The Definitive Guide to Django” and ” Practical Django Projects“. In my opinion, the former two titles take a very convoluted approach to explaining the MVC architecture, which is done in a more friendly approach by the Apress authors. I am not a web developer. I am interested in GIS.

More recently, I installed Django on Windows to get things down (I simply spend more time with Windows, like it or not). A good step-by-step guide was this one by John P. Mulligan. What follows is a list of steps taken by me, with a few additional download links. It’s somewhat redundant in light of the previous good work by Mulligan. It’s more of personal recap for myself to keep track of steps taken.

1) I downloaded and installed PostgreSQL8.4 from EnterpriseDB.

2) Then I installed win-psycopg.

3) Then I installed Tortoise SVN.

4) Then I SVN to check out the latest Django revision.

5) Finally, I added Apache2 and mod_python.

The only problem I encountered was with getting Django to work with Vista, quoting:

If you get Type ' help' for usage. when trying to run startproject mysite, the cause of the problem is that only the first argument (startproject) gets transferred to This seems to be a Vista feature, and furthermore, Vista itself has no tools to fix the situation.

However, there was help here, and it seemed to help.

But when I started looking at the Geodjango installation guide under Windows, I realized that I should’ve installed Postgres8.3 instead of 8.4 because of compatibility with PostGIS. Undoing this caused me all kinds of troubles with Stackbuilder, once I wanted to add PostGIS. There is some help here. I finally installed version 8.3 in a different directory and ignored the last error with creating a template PostGIS database… This is where I left off and hopefully it will work now.

Oh, and I just found another, similar step-by-step here.


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ESRI EDN License

Nearly 2 months since my last post. That’s what field work and travel can do to you. But I’m getting back to GIS.

I have taken the plunge and coughed up the $$$ for an annual ESRI EDN License. Hopefully I will get my money’s worth in terms of training and experience.

I am not quite sure how I will get ArcGIS Server to run without a server running Windows Server or Red Hat Enterprise. But some people have gotten ArcGIS Server to run on Ubuntu Server which I installed recently to try out Mapserver. Also, I’ve learned that CentOS is basically a free version of Red Hat Linux, and you can get the equivalent of Red Hat Enterprise 5.4 here.

So wish me luck with my upcoming END adventures. 🙂

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