Friday, 28 December 2012

"The shots heard around the world"

Recent mass shootings in the US and elsewhere affect me in a particular way: My parents grew up in Nazi then Soviet occupied Pest, on the east shore of the Danube overlooked by the Buda Castle (dark green below), from which guns fired down streets perpendicular to the river (grey at right below), so residents literally ran the gauntlet across those streets, and friends of my parents lost a babe in arms from a stray bullet; my parents thus emigrated just before my birth to give me a better life, but that included six months in Algiers during a revolution where I too witnessed two fatalities early 1961.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Maps are forever...

... or they are Man's best friend. I'm a big fan of the British Library, not only because it's next to Kings Cross station I alight when coming to London often (or rarely hop onto the Eurostar at nearby St Pancras to Bruxelles or Paris) - has an amazing array of old maps, which they just finished georeferencing through a significant effort in crowd-sourcing (the 21st. c. variant of volunteering).

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Step through Hurricane Sandy the last six days

NOAA NRT AIRS fly satellites that record cloud cover and other atmospheric sensors described when I tracked Kuwaiti sandstorms. Stepping back six days offers a fascinating glimpse in the progress of the hurricane. Hurry as this posting will quickly become stale-dated as the storm moves off the US East Coast. Here is a presentation built in ArcGIS Online for your viewing pleasure.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Story Maps are your friend

Simple story maps help scientists make important work a lot more relevant to their audience, by putting their story at the front. The maps and data are there in their completeness, but out of the way as supporting materials. This adds a twist to a growing list of  on-line map stories and community maps, and I was motivated by past work with reporters to better cover news.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Blog readership Sept 2009 - 2012

Three years into moving to my blog page, here are a few stats on pageviews. Thanks to everyone especially @google, @slashgeo and @cageyjames for helping spread the word.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Releasing data really works, Part II

[Oct 2012 update: Here is an example on how much further map stories can be taken]

Here is another simple example of posting data as maps on-line, in order to help linguists this time elucidate spatio-temporal relationships on not-insignificant amounts of data.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Releasing public data really works!

[03 Nov 13 update: "relooped the loop" by testing the corrected Ordnance Survey data
Feb 2013 update: Ordnance Survey cartography stylesheets made available for QGIS]

UK Ordnance Survey released Open Data to the public two and a half years ago. English Parish boundaries have been more or less constant since the Domesday survey in 1087. That allowed me to post University of Cambridge Don HC Darby and Yale University student Julie Bowring socio-economic data, by simply adding attribute data to the Ordnance Survey shape files. That onerous, if one-time, task was entirely manual: when 1SpatialCloud launched Online Validation  it seemed only natural to try it out; they actually wrote some simple rules and we thus co-branded as quality assured by 1SpatialCloud Online Validation Service wherever I posted the data. Here are the resulting error shape files:

Monday, 27 August 2012

Mapping Tropical Storm / Hurricane Isaac

A map slide show last year tracked dust and wind storms in Kuwait. I simply refocused it on the Gulf of Mexico to track the tropical storm Isaac, predicted to gain hurricane strength by land fall in Louisiana. It shows NOAA's cloud cover, wind direction and alert areas detailed here. [Please be patient as this map may take a while to load.]

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The politics of London2012 Olympic medal counts

[Update: I noted on many of my Google Fusion Table posts that, while the data are still on Google Drive for you to view, GFT no longer offers a polygon or heatmap option, only geocoding by country centroid in its new version. Not sure why, but on this, thisthis and another example posted as Iframes not Scripts preserved the old GFT maps.]

I was curious about the London2012 Olympic medal count - why rank them by gold medals as BBC did, rather than by total medals as perhaps statistically more significant? It kept TeamGB in #3,  ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal rank of 4 (rather than ahead of the Russians I'm told). In any case the top two - US and China - stood unchallenged, and every country performed well in what some called the best games ever... even if I hear that at every four years!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

More simple maps in current affairs

[Update: I noted on many of my Google Fusion Table posts that, while the data are still on Google Drive for you to view, GFT no longer offers a polygon or heatmap option, only geocoding by country centroid in its new version. Not sure why, but on this, thisthis and another example posted as Iframes not Scripts preserved the old GFT maps.] posted an interesting item on UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. I suggested that their otherwise lovely static maps could be augmented via dynamic ones. They're not computer mappers, so I pointed them to Google Fusion Tables as the simplest way to post simple aggregate maps by country. Here is what their maps on World Heritage Site count looks like (note this is still 'beta', as for example Côte d'Ivoire and DR Congo do have sites, and I had to match country names to Google):

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Even more Maps R Us

[06 August update: upgraded phone contracts to smartphones and used Garmin's Navigon to great effect, especially finding hotels and hotspots in those twisty medieval cities...]

So how does all this web mapping stack up @ home? Meaning: would my wife & daughter actually use it? We have for home use two roaming laptops, one netbook in the kitchen and one tablet for travel, and a deskside in the office to access printer & storage, but no phone with internet contract.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

More creative Maps

I ran across these interesting web-mapping innovations - three on data consumption (multi-modal maps on steroids) and two on data creation (down to earth to outer space).

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cloud Futures #3: Bridging the Gap

Bridging the gap between desktop and on-line GIS follows the first and second instalment, online vector GIS and spatial data validation. GisCloud introduced a free Esri extension to load features and attributes to its file system. This follows other services such as Arc2Earth and  Arc2Googleexcept in the vector domain. Having both Esri @ home and a private cloud I put this new extension through its paces.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Petroleum GIS then and now

Exprodat published a free eBook: Why use GIS in petroleum?, an excellent state-of-play as well as good industry marketing to augment their impressive blog. Does their Figure 1 not have a certain air of déjà vu, however, compared to Figure 1 of my article in CADalyst written 25 years ago?

Saturday, 31 March 2012

iPad maps

Here is a small selection of mapping tools available on the iPad. Some are from the Appstore, others simply from the web. These are screen shots that I took for those (thanks my readers for how-to tips).

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Roundup of web projects

Is it spring in the air or LinkedIn's new (to me) facility to post projects? Here is a round-up of various projects in the past five years as recently posted on my LinkedIn page:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

East Anglia Fenlands wrap-up

It may be time to run an overview, two years on this personal project on East Anglia, the last step of which was reviewed by

Saturday, 11 February 2012

More maps R us

Continuing the ongoing (re)discovery of cool maps for the rest of us, here are two I found on Facebook from my friends Christophe Staff in Belgium and Aidos Malybayev in Kazakhstan.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Multi-modal maps R us, part II

Last week I reported Google Maps' released of multimodal transportation mapping in the greater London UK area (GLA). I mused that this rendition was more visually appealing that Transport for London's website. The 'granddaddy' for train and tube in London extended beyond GLA to be used from larger surrounding centres - I myself used it regularly from Cambridge an hour train to the north.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Multi-modal maps R us

Google multi-modal maps are so significant to greater London Area commuters that I cannot pass it up. Ed Parsons posted it on his blog and I immediately tried it: it's just the ticket (pun intended) living near Cambridge about an hour north of London and travelling around London only by public transit.

Friday, 13 January 2012

“Au revoir” RMOTC dataset, part VII

“Lucky 7”, this is my closing post on the RMOTC series on subsurface 3D data, to explore reservoir depletion, pipeline routing and gridding/contouring. This also ends for now my tenure in Kuwait, where I prepared this dataset for a training tool. Follow me on LinkedIn to see where I'll go next...

Friday, 6 January 2012

Gridding and contouring (RMOTC dataset, part VI)

Free geosciences 3D data show GIS helping model reservoir depletion, and displaying it on the desktop and on-line. Then came pipeline routing and now to close the loop is gridding and contouring. Again, this is no replacement for geosciences packages, but rather a tool for triage:
  • first stack as many data as needed (like basin hydrodynamics or land permitting) for play-fairway analyses
  • then focus on targets with geoscience apps on specifics (like seismic and petrophysics) for prospects