We just received exciting news from Google that 3 Google Summer of Code student projects were accepted this year for working on Mapnik.
We received more than triple the amount of applications than we had slots for, so the students accepted are an amazing bunch.
Here is a run down of the projects:
Colin Rundel plans to implement better support for CSS inside Mapnik core. This is a particularly exciting project because it will undoubtably inspire new stylesheet and rendering design ideas. Colin is off to a fast start working on a Carto parser in C++ using the extremely fast boost spirit library. Rob Coup will be the lead mentor on this project with active involvement from the authors of Cascadenik and Carto as well as the Mapnik lead developers Artem and Dane.
Hermann Kraus returns this year (last year he created the amazing Mapnik MetaWriters) to work on improving Mapnik's support for advanced label placement and formatting. Dane will be mentoring this project and involving well know Mapnik cartographers for advice and inspiration (you know who you are! :) ).
Roel Vanhout (famous for starting work on PHP bindings for Mapnik) is going to focus on improving the Mapnik build system for Windows. Roel brings a great depth of knowledge in C++ and software development so this project will offer Roel the time and focus to touch the entirety of the Mapnik codebase. Milestones include patching Mapnik2 to build with Visual Studio, making sure that building the PHP and NodeJS bindings work well against mapnik core, developing some sample GUI applications using Mapnik rendering targeting the windows platform, and setting up a buildbot that will host automatic builds for not only windows but also Linux and Mac OSX. This project will be amazing way to bring Mapnik rendering to much wider audience.