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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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September
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Very sobering
Donald Clark gives a thought provoking post about a recent talk by psychologist Philip Zimbardo on what makes ordinary people evil. Note that this video contains graphic images through examples from Abu Graib prison, however it does end on an uplifting note.

posted on: Sun, 28 Sep 2008 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Forgotten Heroes
My local school had a vote last academic year to name each of the buildings on their campus. This was based around "inspiring" people (or even "heroes") and the following won the vote: 1....

posted on: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Top 5 Entries
Curiosity got the better of me and I dug out the log files for the web server and, using Web Log Explorer, ran a quick analysis of the blog page requests since I started blogging back in September 2005....

posted on: Sat, 20 Sep 2008 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Enormous Google Earth images
If you haven't come across Super Googer before then it is well worth a look. This is a simple hosted PHP script that uses Google's tile encoding system for Google Earth imagery to download as many tiles as you want....

posted on: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Using QGIS
I was at a meeting today where I need to show some GeoTIFFs and Shapefiles. I had my laptop on me so went to run up ArcGIS and then remembered that I didn't have my dongle with me. So then loaded ERDAS Imagine and got a license server error (out of date license). I was just about to give up and then remembered that I had a portable version of QGIS as part of PortableGIS. It is more than usable for this type of activity and certainly alot quicker than ArcGIS. Its really very tempting not to bother with ArcGIS when out and about any more. Its slow, bloated and uses draconian licensing.

posted on: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

The iPod, another great British invention (that we didn't make any money out of)
This really seems a recurring theme for us Brits; hover craft, jet airliners.....

posted on: Tue, 09 Sep 2008 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Google Power Tips!
This article is worth a look at power tips for using Chrome. Note the startup options, about: keywords, portable USB version and anonymizer. Very useful.

posted on: Tue, 09 Sep 2008 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Location is important
Came across this nice editorial from Nature earlier this year bemoaning the fact that many scientists don't bother to record location when depositing their data or reporting in research publications. "Spatially enabled" is fainlly hitting the mainstream.

posted on: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

How to do well in a PhD viva
After a brief chat this week with a student about an upcoming viva I thought I would list some of the useful pieces of advice from my own viva (thanks to Ian Evans for a pleasant experience!) and some recent students: be honest its a 2-way conversation. Talk about your work its better without your supervisor. It also means that if theyve made a bad project decision you can happily blame them! its quite nice at the beginning of discussing each chapter to actually point out any mistakes you've spotted make sure you references are totally spot on Im sure there are others so feel free to add to them.

posted on: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Sony London Underground
These images did the rounds a few weeks back, but I really like them. As part of Sony's advertising campaign for the Walkman they have produce various underground maps in the style of a set of headphones. In Sony fashion, they are understated but really rather pleasing on the eye. Worth a look.

posted on: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Maps that Matter
Martin Dodge and Chris Perkins had a really good PPT running in the foyer of the RGS-IBG last week (related to the "Maps as Method" session) called "Maps that Matter."...

posted on: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Google Chrome
If you've been living on another planet for the last 24 hours then you might just have missed Google's typically understated announcement that they are releasing a new web browser called Chrome, designed to meet the deficiences in Firefox, IE and Opera....

posted on: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Google Maps and Academic Mashups
During the "Maps as Method" sessions at the RGS-IBG last week, there were a surprising number of people talking about using Google Maps and Google Earth in mashups....

posted on: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry