This post was written by Natalie O’Dell, a GIS Analyst at makepath who attended PyCon US 2022 in Salt Lake City, UT.
I arrived in Salt Lake City late Thursday night for PyCon 2022. I was excited to learn more about the Python ecosystem at talks and events and to spend the weekend connecting with other Pythonistas.
Here are a few highlights from my experience and reasons why PyCon 2022 was a memorable event.
Anaconda CEO, Peter Wang, Announced PyScript
Anaconda CEO, Peter Wang, announced PyScript in his keynote. If you missed it, PyScript is a new technology that allows users to run Python and other languages in a browser. You can also catch the keynote here.
PyScript is a very exciting new development because it bridges the gap between avid Python users and frontend web development. This broadens the capabilities of existing Python users and makes Python a valuable and new addition to frontend development projects.
To learn more about PyScript, check out Anaconda’s Senior Data Scientist, Sophia Yang’s overview here.
Source: PyScript: Python in the Browser by Sophia Yang, https://anaconda.cloud/pyscript-python-in-the-browser
Talks are a major event at PyCon, with close to a hundred different organized talks going on throughout the weekend. Each talk highlights an Open Source Python-related topic.
Here are some talks that you may find interesting, that I attended:
Programming Your Way Up a Skyscraper – Python in the Built World went in depth discussing the uses for Python in architecture and the built environment. This talk was eye-opening to me because it highlights Python’s applications in architecture.
Securing the Open Source Software Supply Chain included a few exciting updates and new security features coming to Python Package Index (PyPI), such as compulsory two-factor authentication for critical projects.
I find myself working with PyPI to install different Python packages, so improved security in this project specifically will bring some newfound comfort. Lately, Open Source maintainers have had a rejuvenated interest in ensuring what they work on is secure.
PyCon Talk Highlight: Geospatial Data at Scale
I attended a talk by makepath Principal and Co-Founder, Brendan Collins – Who Said Wrangling Geospatial Data at Scale was Easy?
Brendan discussed some key ways to manage data and Open Source tools and libraries that I use regularly in my work. He paid special attention to Open Source libraries Xarray-Spatial, Census-Parquet, and Datashader.
Xarray-Spatial and Census-Parquet are libraries that facilitate large-scale analysis of geospatial data. Datashader is a tool primarily used to visualize large datasets, and works well for visualizing geospatial data at scale.
As a GIS Analyst at makepath, I use Python to work with geospatial data on a daily basis. Spatial data comes with very unique processing challenges, so handling large scale datasets can pose challenges with certain libraries.
While the conference did not have a specific geospatial focus, it was exciting to see attendees enthusiastic to learn more about harnessing geospatial data and the Open Source GIS ecosystem.
makepath Founder Brendan Collins speaks at PyCon 2022.
The Expo Hall
The Expo Hall served as the location of the Opening Reception, an area for PyCon Sponsors to set up booths, a place for creators to share their current projects with Poster Presentations, and even a Job Fair.
My favorite part of the Expo Hall was the row of Open Source-focused booths where I got to chat with representatives from PyLadies, the Open Source Initiative, and companies who focus on Open Source technology, like makepath. Open Source technology is something that I am personally passionate about so it was exciting to connect with like-minded individuals and organizations.
Some Expo Hall swag!
Open Spaces were small hour-long events in the conference center that were a more casual space for attendees to discuss a specific topic, and a great way to interact with other PyCon attendees.
I had the chance to check out an Open Space on Synthetic Data where attendees got to discuss how they utilize Synthetic Data in their own projects. Although I was familiar with Synthetic Data before attending this Open Space, it was very interesting to hear how other attendees utilize Synthetic Data and to learn more about issues and solutions they encountered.
PyCon was a Huge Success
PyCon 2022 was an overall success, filled with new introductions, lots of engaging conversations, new skills, and lots of stickers.
There was no shortage of stickers at PyCon!
I hope that I’ll be able to attend PyCon again in the future and maybe give a talk of my own!
- Machine Learning for Change Detection: Part 1
- GPU-Enhanced Geospatial Analysis
- Open Source Machine Learning Tools (Updated for 2023)
- Getting Started with Open Source (Updated for 2023)
- The History of Open Source GIS: An Interactive Infographic (Updated for 2023)
- Superpowered GIS: ESRI’s ArcGIS + Open Source Spatial Analysis Tools.
- Seniors at Risk: Using Spatial Analysis to Identify Pharmacy Deserts
- Open Source Spatial Analysis Tools for Python: A Quick Guide (Updated for 2022)