So lets talk about me a bit more..
Life, working as a contractor for public service, is good. I tend to think i have the best of worlds. Since I work as a web-developer doing some web based mapping, I get to work with both proprietary and open-source software.
ESRI is a good piece of software, the new version allowing you to do a whole lot of stuff. But you should be ready to dish out some major dough. It includes applications for desktop and web based mapping. ArcMap for map-generating and ArcCatalog for viewing datasets. While I do use these apps for general purpose viewing, I mainly deal with ArcIMS, the main app for web-based mapping. Pretty good.
ArcIMS's open-source equivalent is MapServer. I've just started playing with it and im hoping i've a good experience with it. Working on this other project which is a collaboration of various museums across the world called BioGeomancer. We (as the group from across the globe) are working on a brand new verison, and will be interesting coz this will be my first world-wide collaborative project.
So back to MapServer, I think it is pretty cool. A lot of examples and sites that use PHP with MapServer, but not many (read none) that I know of using Java/JSP, which is what I would like to do. So lets hope for the best.
As mentioned before (or in the list), A group of NSW governments have collaborated together and have released BioNet. Though I haven't contributed my help with any major coding, i've been doing a lot of backoffice stuff, which is a major part of this project; hey, it shows data from 5 different agencies, that mean 5 different types of database schemas, lots of records. It has been soft-launched and it's Project Manager, Gary Hyde, is one heck of a guy. He has been very instrumental in talking to all the agencies involved, and bringing the project to what it is now. Now the main guy who actually did the coding was Ian Scrivener from z02. He is one heck of a Systems Architecture.
More in Part II