Today is the start of the TUgis conference, an annual GIS conference held at Towson University that brings together government and business folks, along with students, to talk about the latest in GIS technology and practical implementations of it. Dave and Eric are there today demoing TileMill, our open source map design studio, and showing how it can be used to make maps like those on and the Chicago Tribune’s Census data map.

Tomorrow Tom will give a 90 minute workshop on TileMill, showing how it can be used to create maps from scratch using your own data and designs. He’ll start his presentation with a discussion of the current ecosystem of open source mapping tools, including Mapnik, an open source mapping toolkit, and Carto, a new stylesheet language, both of which TileMill is built upon. He’ll then dive into a demo of TileMill, going from installing it, to using it to design a custom map with specific datasets displayed on it, to exporting it for use on a website or on an iPad. You can see this in action in here this video. Tom will also discuss the role of cloud hosting services with respect to data management, speed, and provisioning, and talk specifically about how this can with with TileMill-created maps and other map tiles.

We’re looking forward to getting feedback and input from folks on our mapping tools and hearing what other people are using and building. If you’re at TUgis, stop by our table in the exhibit hall and check out Tom’s workshop tomorrow at 10:45 am.