Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Welcome to new friends

A fond farewell to two old friends explained my transition to open source platforms. As announced in LinkedIn You can get Andrew out of the geo... (... but you can't get the geo out of Andrew) "Terry Jackson pulled me back in to the publishing business as a data wrangler". What does that mean?

Terry came from a web publishing  background in Wales over  a decade ago, when web publishing wasn't 'cool' yet. Now in Cambridge he's setting up a Sustainable Cottenham (SusCott) Google page - it's the second village north of the city, which we both call home now - as a showcase for publishing digital info in aid of local economical sustainability.

Serendipity had it that almost a decade ago, I aided a combined University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire Archive project, "Fens Historic Environment Project: Understanding the Fens’ past for a sustainable future". FHEP funding was cut by then austerity government, but I proceeded with providing a geo-history background using free open source software and recently released government data. It was the easiest way to engage both stakeholders above into mapping this manifesto - thanks Profs. Sue Oosthuizen and late Frances Willmoth, & PJ Smith for early help with HC Derby data:
The area of Eastern England commonly known as “The Fens” has a very distinctive regional identity, arising from the relationship between its inhabitants and their unique landscape. Historically, it consisted primarily of seasonally inundated wetlands, which supported an economy and society based upon pastoral agriculture combined with fishing, fowling and the use of other wetland resources. Today, however, after more than four hundred years of drainage and “improvement”, the greater part of it is a dry plain and used for growing crops.
 [...]
(b) ‘GIS’ databaseThe creation of a ‘GIS’ database at an early stage of the project will allow any information with a geographical element to be brought together and used for the exploration of spatial, historical and environmental relationships. Older and newly-identified sources will both play a role here, as they will in other innovative developments: for instance, historical findings and archival records may be used to complement the archaeological data of the Fenland Survey. The opportunity for co-ordination and collaboration with other Fens-related GIS ventures of a more limited or specialist kind will be welcomed.
So this dataset slots in beautifully with SusCott's own manifesto. This was a perfect opportunity then to repost as on Google Drive my public (CC BY-SA 3.0) maps & documents, and  on Google Cloud the resulting map for public display on any device - thanks Tom Chadwin for help with web posting:

click above to enlarge, and here to access

Note that I promised geopackaging  in my last  blogpost, and so I did in posting said data  here.
Stay tuned for future developments on this fabulous dataset  - how often can  you map a region's economic geography on a dozen features over almost 1000 years time span?
In memoriam, Frances Willmoth, 1957-2017 

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