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Re: An Elephant is Faithful 100%

From: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
To: elein <elein(at)varlena(dot)com>
Cc: Josh Berkus <josh(at)agliodbs(dot)com>, pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: An Elephant is Faithful 100%
Date: 2005-11-18 22:36:29
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-advocacy
elein wrote:

>I can make myself available to collaborate on database
>design, tuning, etc.  
Command Prompt can donate some hardware resources and database design 

>On Fri, Nov 18, 2005 at 01:15:07PM -0800, Josh Berkus wrote:
>>I recently received the following appeal from the African Elephant Database.   
>>They need help migrating to PostGIS and building out their application.  
>>I, personally, cannot imagine a more compelling project which deserves the 
>>PostgreSQL community's collective help.   The elephant is our mascot!   Plus 
>>the AED folks introduced the idea of making this a general OSS project for 
>>species conservation databases.
>>Who's available?
>>I'm writing with to explore the possiblity of a collaboration between
>>Postgresql, PostGIS and the African Elephant Database (AED) of the IUCN/SSC
>>African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG). Please allow me to begin by
>>giving you a little background on all those acronyms, in reverse order.
>>The AfESG is a group of elephant experts from across the African continent
>>who, aside from their daily jobs, disinterestedly lend their skills to
>>provide technical advice on elephant conservation and management. The
>>mission of the AfESG is to promote the long-term conservation of African
>>elephants throughout their range, and the group focuses its efforts on
>>capacity building, alleviation of human-elephant conflict, compilation and
>>dissemination of technical information, and the development of elephant
>>conservation strategies. Led by a volunteer chair, the AfESG has a small
>>secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya. Please see for
>>The AfESG is one of the most active of over 120 Specialist Groups of the
>>IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). The largest conservation grouping in
>>the world, the SSC is a worldwide network of over 7,000 volunteer experts
>>working to conserve the diversity of species found on Earth. The SSC is
>>responsible for the production of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
>>See and 
>>The SSC is the largest of the six commissions of IUCN - The World
>>Conservation Union. IUCN is the world's largest and most important
>>conservation network. The Union brings together 82 States, 111 government
>>agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some
>>10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide
>>partnership. IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies
>>throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and
>>to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically
>>sustainable. The World Conservation Union was founded in October 1948
>>following an international conference in Fontainebleau, France. IUCN HQ is
>>in Gland, Switzerland. See
>>The African Elephant Database
>>The AED is a geographical information (GIS) system used to maintain an
>>accurate and up-to-date record on the distribution and abundance of African
>>Elephants. The AED is regularly updated, with data on elephant range and
>>numbers constantly being solicited from wildlife authorities and experts
>>across the continent, and a major report is produced every three years and
>>made available in the AfESG website (see
>>The AED currently runs in ESRI ArcGIS 9.1., in a personal geodatabase (MS
>>Access) format. We obtained ArcInfo through one of ESRI's conservation
>>program grants - but soon we were being asked to pay for maintenance charges
>>in excess of USD3,000 per annum. Despite these costs, we are considerably
>>constrained by the limitations of the set-up - including the MS Access 2Gb
>>size limit. If we were to upgrade our configuration to a full geodatabase
>>would involve acquiring ESRI's Spatial Database Engine (SDE) plus a
>>commercial RDBMS such as Oracle, DB2 or MS SQL server, at a one-off cost of
>>several thousand dollars and annual maintenance fees to match. 
>>Such costs are well beyond our reach, we are hoping to build a more
>>sustainable solution using open source software. Although opensource GIS has
>>not evolved as much or as quickly as opensource relational databases, we do
>>have some hopes that a suitable system could be developed to maintain the
>>AED. The AED is the most comprehensive species database in existence, and we
>>believe there would be value in developing a turnkey solution that can be
>>used to maintain monitoring information on other species for which there are
>>relatively good data.
>>We've got the elephant and the database in common. If you think a
>>collaboration could be productive and mutually beneficial, please let me
>>know so that we can begin to explore the options. 
>>I look forward to hearing from you.
>>Julian Blanc
>>Manager, African Elephant Database
>>IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group
>>Email: julian(dot)blanc(at)iucn(dot)org
>>Josh Berkus
>>Aglio Database Solutions
>>San Francisco
>>---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
>>TIP 2: Don't 'kill -9' the postmaster
>---------------------------(end of broadcast)---------------------------
>TIP 6: explain analyze is your friend

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