Archive for the 'SL In General' Category

Jun 26 2014

SGeoS OpenSim 0.8 on Mono 3.6.1 in CentOS 6.5 for SGeoS (Standard Geospatial Server) – Module 9 of 9

Published by under SL In General

As written yesterday, I’m working my way back through build notes.  This draft shows how I reached a couple of dead ends, backed up and took a small turn.  Here’s the end point where new Open Simulator 0.8, not quite two weeks old, is on a git clone of yesterday’s Mono.
The preceding steps have been written as they were developed–and will be posted subsequently.

Install OpenSim to Demonstrate Mono Apps

Build steps for configuration Module-stage-9


This installs the immersive 3D virtual world Open Simulator, developed as a C# application, to demonstrate the use of mono on the SGeoS testbed.  It also provides an update to the latest possible mono version, an ASP.NET module for Apache, and the curious little web server XSP as a more direct way of deploying .NET applications.

1)   Start from completed system Module-stage-8

2)  Verify prerequisites and build libGDI+  These are adapted from a build description page

 yum -y  update
 yum -y install libpng-devel libjpeg-devel giflib-devel libtiff-devel libexif-devel libX11-devel \
     fontconfig-devel gettext httpd-devel

Confirm that the system standard pkg-config is used from /usr/bin/pkg-config or if any updates have been made, copy them elsewhere and link to /usr/bin/pkg-config; the make can take 12 minutes to build on a single thread, and using the -j4 thread saves nine minutes on an Atom host.

 which pkg-config
 cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf libgdiplus-2.10.9.tar.bz2
 cd libgdiplus-2.10.9
 ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
 export echo=echo
 make -j 4
 make install

3)  Build mod_mono   This is an Apache connector for .NET requests.   It does not appear to be tuned for use with Apache 2.4, but can get along fine with CentOS 6.5 default Apache 2.2.16

Build instructions adapted from
and requires axps which appears from httpd-devel group.

 cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf mod_mono-2.10.tar.bz2
 cd mod_mono-2.10
 ./configure prefix=/usr/local
 make install

To use the module, edit the relevant httpd.conf (likely either /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf or /usr/local/httpd/conf/httpd.conf)   to add this line to load mod_mono module and associate all the typical Microsoft web serving stuff, like index.aspx, Default.aspx, default.aspx, and associate ASP.NET file extensions with the ASP.NET MIME type.

 Include /etc/httpd/conf/mod_mono.conf

If, instead of all that, one simply want the mod_mono module alone to be loaded, then use this
LoadModule mono_module /usr/lib64/httpd/modules/

4)  Clone Mono from git   There appeared to be issues with the very recent release tarballs, and for deployment of department apps, Mono could be an important part of the system.  These steps have been blended from several build descriptions
while it’s compiling, mono looks like a mess of warnings for 20 minutes.

Cloning a git repository is at the edge; if it does not work one day, try pulling again in a day or two when the developers have patched it up.

While building works in the end, it does evoke a certain Microsoft-like cloud of doubt while watching mono build.  When it runs well, mono can be a very cool capability in the eyes of those invested in .NET apps and a lever for mitigating anti-Linux attitude among Windows developers.

 cd /opt/installs
 git clone
 cd mono
 ./ --prefix=/usr/local



The next step is the  intriguing “Use mono to make mono” step.  Monolite is the spartan build that only has enough to run the old gmcs.exe compiler, from which the real mono can be bootstrapped.

 make get-monolite-latest
 make EXTERNAL_MCS=${PWD}/mcs/class/lib/monolite/gmcs.exe -j 4
 make check -j 4

Mono should pass all checks

 make install
 mono -V



For future updates of Mono, pull from git if desired

 cd /opt/installs/mono
 git pull
 ./ --prefix-/usr/local
 make install

5)  Install Mono devleopment packages  these appear to be required by nant to build OpenSim.
These notes were made with reference to
It’s important that these Windows things know their way around so set the environmental variable such that PKG_CONFIG_PATH gets to the directory that’s got your latest mono.pc in it

 yum install gtk2-devel libglade2-devel
 export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig:\

Go for gtk-sharp, a dependency of mono-develop

 cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf gtk-sharp-2.12.8.tar.bz2
 cd gtk-sharp-2.12.8
 ./configure --prefix=/usr/local

Patch three sources in glib/glue/*.c  that try to include below <glib.h/> to only include <glib.h>
This was necessary on 2014.06.25 and may not remain so.

change them to look like the following, then make; expect to see warnings and some sorts of errors.


 make install

Now go for gnome-sharp, another dependency of mono-develop

 yum install pango-devel atk-devel libgnome-devel libgnomecanvas-devel libgnomeui-devel
 cd /opt/installs
 git clone git://
 cd gnome-sharp
 ./bootstrap-2.24 --prefix=/usr/local
 make install

Now go for mono-addins, yet another dependency of mono-develop

cd /opt/installs
 git clone git://
 cd mono-addins
 ./ --prefix=/usr/local
 make install

Finally go for mono-develop itself

cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf monodevelop-3.1.1.tar.bz2
 cd monodevelop-3.1.1
 ./configure --prefix=/usr/local
 make -j 4
 <!-- fail 2014.06.25>
cd /opt/installs
 git clone git://
 cd monodevelop
 ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --select

<< maybe just choose main >>

 <!-- fail 2014.06.25>

Don’t be too disheartened if the full monodevelop binary doesn’t build, as having the dependencies is a big part of the purpose here.

6)  Install Nant from binary  a popular MS adaptation of Apache Ant build tool.  Used for building Open Simulator or other complex .NET assemblies from source, if one wants to try that later.

cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf nant-0.92-bin.tar.gz

that extracts a working binary version of NAnt.exe, so make a script to invoke it

touch /usr/local/bin/nant

then edit that file to include the invocation against mono

mono /opt/installs/nant-0.92/bin/NAnt.exe

finally set the launch script to be executable and perhaps owned by installer group.
The test is ironic, yet informative.

chmod 754 /usr/local/bin/nant
 chown root:installer /usr/local/bin/nant



7)  Install MySQL from repository  Just the basics; MySQL might even already be installed.  This is a preferred means of asset storage for Open Simulator, although not configured there by default.

yum install mysql


8)  Install Open Simulator binary  A build from source might be attempted, as CentOS doesn’t seem to have been the most popular choice among Opensim adherents.  Requires Mono >= 2.4.3 and NAnt >= 0.85 which both should be satisfied at this point.  A better choice: the compiled binary will very likely just run with Mono (!)

For a source build attempt, satisfy nant with a symlink at a deprecated location.

ln -s /usr/local/lib/mono/4.5/mcs.exe /usr/local/lib/mono/2.0/gmcs.exe

Then just get the OpenSim 0.8 binary; you’ve already got a very current Mono available

cd /opt/installs
 tar xvf opensim-0.8.tar.gz
 cd opensim-0.8
 cd bin

Back up default OpenSim.ini  to  OpenSim_orig.ini — and other files as appropriate from bin/config-include plus configurations described at
To launch a configured OpenSim, it’s like this:

mono OpenSim.exe

Edit  /etc/sysconfig/iptables to have a line like this to allow OpenSim access on :9000

-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 9000 -j ACCEPT

Then restart iptables

service iptables restart

Testing was conducted with the Singularity viewer for 64-bit Windows, with connections to the simulator running on SGeoS


In-world saved image of initial simulator region, demonstrating terrain edits, vegetation, object construction, and time-of-day adjustments.  Viewer and interactive editing from Windows 7 workstation, using Singularity Viewer (64-bit) 1.8.5 (5617) to  Open Simulator 0.8 server as compiled C# project running on SGeoS under Mono 3.6.1.


That’s it for this module’s draft.  The server, it’s working.  If one were to only care about getting OpenSim 0.8 running on Mono 3.6.1, then perhaps this is everything.  For the SGeoS, these build notes are only the ninth of nine modules.

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Jun 25 2014

Open Simulator joins the SGeoS build — a strategy for blogging the builds

This is the first of what should be  a set of posts that detail a server build process for the San Francisco Enterprise Geographic Information Systems Program (SFGIS) Standard Geospatial Server (SGeoS).  In fact, the build work has been ongoing for several weeks and is concluding here, with OpenSim.

The motivation for including OpenSim in the platform was a desire to provide support for legacy .NET applications that may exist in various departments. In the interest of creating a Microsoft-neutral build that is framed with Open Source components, it was natural to bundle the Mono framework into the SGeoS design.  And while individual department applications are their own business and not part of the standard build, OpenSim serves as an excellent demonstration of the utility of the Mono framework as included on the server.  That , together with my perspective that immersive 3D clearly should be associated with geospatial servers, is why OpenSim is included in the Standard Geospatial Server.

OpenSim is not trivial by any means, and yet it is not such a resource hog that it would be infeasible to bundle it.  What’s more, it is an opportunity to distribute immersive 3D technology packaged with other geospatial capabilities.

Since the build descriptions are being transcribed from a build document that is approaching 80 pages on Google Docs, it seems prudent to break it up into individual modules.   And since WordPress here is configured to show older posts below newer ones—I’ll start down at the end modules and post new build descriptions for earlier modules in later days.

The original notion for SGeoS was to have modular build chapters that could provide a unit of capability.  That way, only selected modules need be configured.  After discussions with VMware engineers, I became intrigued by the notion of making a single server image that could run everything, all at once, and then disable unneeded featured in an actual deployment.  So the build document was initially structured with module-like chapters, but in fact the server builds them all—so it’s worth viewing the build document in sequence.

The modules will probably end up  numbering about 10, including packaging for production and possibly default-disabling of most items.   If one watches too closely, it might seem like I’m making a countdown to completion.  But this will end with a stub for deployment packaging, work back through an OpenSim build, and end up with imaging an install of CentOS 6.5 onto a new VM guest system.

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Jun 12 2014

Real-life geospatial in virtual machines – an adapted focus

Published by under SL In General

In the past 31 months of silence, there’s been both great focus on one topic and a transition to something new.

For 27 of those months, creative energy was given over largely to modeling of surface water flow on a seamless topographic-bathymetric surface for Marin County, California.  Creek mapping has been either pure-2D work, or 2.5-D work with storm water pipe diversions beneath the bare earth surface.  The model is produced to standards of the US Geological Survey’s National Hydrography Dataset and associated Watershed Boundary Dataset.  Collaborative discussion about workflow and product review may be forming at over the next few months.

In the past three months, a new full-time day job has provided huge boosts of energy to some more urban applications.  A discussion site may be visible at .
The big new thing here is documented build instructions for an Open Source-maximized, Licensing cost-minimized modular standard design for geospatial servers.

The prime use case for the design is a local government agency that may have several department-level sites running Esri ArcGIS for Server, each configured in its own way and with different server operating systems and products from multiple database vendors.  There may be an existing applications over an Open Source GIS stack, or there may be interest in implementing such a stack for testing.  There may be a desire to connect SQL-skilled staff with geospatial data and analysis capabilities.  As new 3D geospatial data and field devices arrive, there might even be teams that want a virtual world simulator—maybe even OpenSim.

For that environment or one similar to it, the San Francisco Enterprise Geographic Information System Program (SFGIS) has devised a unified geospatial server platform to maximize performance while minimizing marginal licensing costs: the Standard Geospatial Server (SGeoS).

The SGeoS design packs many enterprise geospatial capabilities into a single configurable server module, including

  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Server Standard
  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 Web Adaptor
  • Esri ArcGIS 10.2.2 Enterprise Geodatabase
  • PostgreSQL 9.2.8 Enterprise Database
  • PostGIS 2.1.3 with SFCGAL database geoprocessing
  • Apache httpd 2.4.9
  • OpenSSL 1.0.1h
  • Apache Tomcat 8.0.8 Java 1.8 Servlet container
  • Django 1.6.5 / GeoDjango
  • OpenLayers 2.13.1 / Ext JS 4.2.1
  • Mono 3.2.8  for .NET 4.5 compatability
  • CentOS 6.5 (unbranded RHEL 6.5) operating system

Testbed deployment of one SGeoS device requires a single-core VM guest with 4GB memory and 40GB of storage.  Production deployment is anticipated to involve multiple SGeoS machines for each site; unused capabilities will be disabled.  This means that a web-tier module will have geoserver and database functions disabled, a geoserver-tier module can have httpd and database disabled, and a database-tier module can have httpd and geoservers disabled.

In testbed form, capabilities are configured to run all at once without conflicts, absent significant user load.

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Nov 22 2011

Visiting an old haunt – Darb in Gualala

Published by under SL In General

Long has it been, but there’s still a bit of energy in the little guy Darb.
For visitors to the old Berkurodam site in Second Life’s Gualala region, a text link to the celebratory YouTube video now glows.

New Video billboard in Gualala

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Nov 15 2011

3D Geospatial For Real—not a simulation and Kitely, on-demand Opensim

Thanks to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station, their time-lapse photography at very high ISO that helps to share some of what their eyes may well see, and of course Michael Koenig for his care and smoothing of the HD video, with some loungy score, too.
Take five (minutes) and watch it on HD in a darkened room. You might find yourself pausing, reviewing, and spending 20 minutes enjoying.

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

I was fascinated by an orange wiggle, that turned out to be the astoundingly well-lit India-Pakistan border, around 1000 km long.

Meanwhile, I’m forming some plans for next semester’s course, and have realized that it may well be possible to offer students training in multi-user virtual environments without hacking one of the lab workstations to image it as an Opensim server. Thanks to the incessant business analytics of Maria Korolov over the past few years, it was possible for me to quickly get caught up in the new and improved options for cloud hosting of Opensim regions.

Right away it became clear that the business model of Kitely was quite compatible with my modest but area-expansive needs for real-life terrain simulations.  I’ve found it quite easy to get set up with a single region, and that’s a really big start.  I was able to use the latest beta Second Life 3.2 viewer to connect to the latest Opensim 0.7.2 stable release, tweak terrain and set up a few flexi-prims to test the weather.  Nice work technically, and a very nice pricing scheme for my sort of use.  I’m also very sympathetic to Ilan Tochner’s philosophy of “just keep building new regions”—it’s a consistent theme with cloud solutions, and refreshing to see it in connection with Opensim.

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Aug 12 2011

New Flow Lines, and Marin Community Map progress

Published by under SL In General

I’m ashamed to see that posts have been blank since May. I have been busy on another site related to Cr-48 Chromebook usage—but that’s not about this stuff.

In the past months, I’ve been grinding on the Marin Community Map, in particular working out the details of how park lands interact with the tidal reaches. This as graded into a representation of tidal lands, a pulling back of water polygons to lower-low water, and the start of harmonization with the San Francisco Estuary Institute’s Bay Area Aquatic Resource Inventory (BAARI).

I’ve spent hours dealing with topographic (elevation)-based definitions of shorelines such as were used in our model of San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (SF BCDC) jurisdiction. But as it turned out, all of our interesting marshes and tidal lands are tilted down toward the bay—go figure! So using guidelines for delineation that were very aptly documented by SFEI for BAARI, I started returning to the National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) 1-meter, 4-band imagery of tidal lands for photointerpretation. In many cases, the wetlands were more appropriately mapped using the NAIP imagery than they were using terrain-derived contours. Features like tidal channels creep up to higher elevations while maintaining their widths, while contours tend to pinch out at some point and start going back down the other side of the tidal channel.

One of the by-products of all this attention is that I’ve split out the tidal lands around Marin in that span between lower-low water—which will be cartographically filled in with a blue polygon and bathymetry contours—and high water, where the public easement for beaches stops. For consistency, I’ve detailed out every little patch of space between these tidal ranges, all around the county, and only left out places that were plainly in private ownership, like a back yard with a dock. In keeping with BAARI criteria, I’ve used NAIP color infrared imagery to detail out polygon areas for vascular life forms (marshes) and the tidal channels and outboard mud flats around them.

Particularly good views of lower-low water were captured in NAIP 2005 imagery. Fair views of medium tide were found in NAIP 2009 imagery. A nice mix of low tide and improved quality near-infrared band data are in the NAIP 2010 images. In the end, I’m using NAIP 2005 to trace the outer limits of mud flats at lower-low water, and using NAIP 2010 to detail out the extent of marshes, because excellent red contrast makes it easy in that year’s data.

Also, we’ve had significant progress / closure on the ArcHydro generation of flow lines countywide for Marin and associated watersheds. As of now, we have got flow models for drainage networks below 1-hectare catchment in all of Lagunitas creek, and below 1-acre catchments elsewhere. These flow lines have been attributed with catchment area every 10 meters along their length, which has allowed us to provisionally classify them for perennial, intermittent, ephemeral, tidal, or impoounded flow. Also, we have attributed USGS NHD FCode feature codes for every segment as either a flow-specific creek, various storm drain pipes and ditches, or artificial paths through standing water. All of this stuff is being run on our 45cm topographic-bathymetric surface model, so all of the ArcHydro flow lines are running seamlessly through the tidal reaches and out into deep water. It’s been particularly interesting to see where soft sediments meet granite and other outcrops offshore, as flow lines go from largely parallel sheets to dendritic patterns even when they are underwater, using this technique.

The modeled flow lines can be found at this link.

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May 12 2011

My Goodness — it’s full of *stars*… WebGL fun and games

Published by under SL In General

I’ve been catching up on this week’s Google I/O 2011 via some videos.  Much of my interest has been on how Chrome is presented, and the video does not disappoint.



The most fascinating insight, in terms of 3D GIS, and shared (not yet multi-user) virtual environments, appears to be Web GL.   For the benchmark of performance that leads to hours of time wasting entertainment, would you care to see Angry Birds?  I’ve only tested this with Chrome 12 on the Cr-48 and Chromium 13 on Ubuntu, but here’s the site

And what’s (much) more, a vision of seamless integration of 2D animation, video, and interactive immersive 3D environments at 25+ FPS — the project at

If you’re like me, and can’t view it in full WebGL glory because you’re on a Cr-48 or some other earlier browser, here’s the trailer to help give you motivation to try out something new in the browser world.



And what really caught my ear, and hasn’t been a top note in yesterday’s blogs was this announcement: the Chrome Book subscription pricing of $20/user/month for education institutions is also for government institutions.  If this should include the same centralized web-based management of user cadre—it would seem a very attractive price point.  Right now, a typical well-endowed elementary school might have a cart with 28 MacBooks that gets wheeled around between classrooms.    If 30 Chrome Books weigh in at $600/month, they’ll get replaced under the upgrade program before the cost approaches that of the initial MacBook acquisition, won’t they?    Government offices might stand to get 60%–80% of their users off of Windows desktops and onto something less costly.

The initial pricing of the retail Chrome Books at $500 seems a bit steep, although the Samsung unit will probably have an Atom processor with four threads and some better GPU capability.  It’s the subscription pricing that really seems to be the main kick—because it sounds far more attractive than the retail option.

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May 10 2011

Domain Hack Acquired –

Published by under SL In General

Somehow, it just came in a flash – why not explore a 3D GIS domain hack?  So I did, thanks to the good folks in Iceland.
Most earlier domains still bring one to this blog, but the coolest IMHO is this:


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Apr 29 2011

ArcGIS Explorer – consuming Large-Scale Topographic Base

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To help an interested community group,  I’ve today checked out how the draft Marin Community Map service can be draped over terrain with the free ArcGIS Explorer program (for Windows users, at least).

Dillon Beach oblique view

ArcGIS Online and Marin Community Map draped on world topography


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Apr 28 2011

Visit to ScienceSim – with new graphics card

Published by under SL In General

Testing out the new workstation and its NVidia Quadro 4000 (2GB / 256 CUDA cores), it was a treat to visit ScienceSim again!

ScienceSim - Dakota South region, 2011 04 28

Visit to ScienceSim in Dakota South region

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