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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Open Source GIS Blog
For those that haven't seen it, it's worth subscribing to the Open Source GIS blog - some recent posts include creating QGIS plugins and installing QGIS on a Nexus 7. Useful and nicely illustrated.

posted on: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS develop QGIS Stylesheets
Nice post over at the OS about their development of QGIS stylesheets for use with OS Opendata - and all made available on Github. Take a look and use

posted on: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Father of GIS: Roger Tomlinson 1933-2014
Noted on GoGeo and a nice NPR tribute

posted on: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps Best Map 2013
It is with great pleasure I can announce that the paper "Relief-Rock-Soil relationship in the transition of Atlantic Plateau to Peripheral Depression, Sao Paulo, Brazil" by Fernando Nadal Junqueira Villela, Jurandyr Luciano Sanches Ross and Sidneide Manfredini has been given the Journal of Maps "Best Map" award for 2013....

posted on: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Packt boot deals
Try them out.... (I reviewed the Python one earlier this year

posted on: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Why are maps still so powerful?
Nicely blogged by the OS - and listen directly at the BBC here

posted on: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Postcode Viewer
Nice link over at the OS blog on a postcode viewer developed in Processing. Worth a glance!

posted on: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps Most Read
Just wanted to flag the Journal of Maps Most Read Articles - its a good way to see what has been trending and maybe take a peak at some of the articles. Our top article (at over 2000 downloads) is The Spanish population during the twentieth century and beyond which was our "Best Map" of 2012. This is currently a "free view" as it was released under our "Editor's Choice".

posted on: Thu, 10 Oct 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

REDUX: Bibliographic webmap: the Physical Landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland
This one passed me by in the depths of my inbox.....for the first 50 people interested, my paper Bibliographic webmap: the Physical Landscape of Britain and Northern Ireland has 50 FREE E-PRINTS. Please click on the link and download your copy.

posted on: Wed, 02 Oct 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Live London Buses
The Live London Bus Tracker is just too cool to pass up - pick your route and be mesmerised by the buses passes to-and-fro. Want to get on an old Routemaster? Look up route 15 (amongst others) - OK, they're not all Routemasters but its fantastic to be able to see where the buses actually are!! There are train and tube trackers around, but this for me is a winner!

posted on: Wed, 02 Oct 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Training Manual
Get your hands on the latest QGIS Training Manual from the helpful peopl at Linfiniti. Also available in print and don't forget the training data to go with it.

posted on: Tue, 06 Aug 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Styling OS data
Nice entry on styling OS maps - OS are keen to make the "style" recognisable, based upon their data and to make it familiar to viewers. They are widely available, easy to implement and have been converted to other formats (e.g. QGIS). So use them!

posted on: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Terrain 5
As mentioned in an earlier post, the OS has now released, what was somewhat sketchy, Terrain 5. The website and technical specs are both quite scant of detail but looks to be photogrammetrically derived and on a rolling 3-5 year programme of maintained updates however "only required when real-world change has occurred; for example, a new motorway cutting."...

posted on: Tue, 09 Jul 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

BOOK REVIEW: Programming with ArcGIS 10.1
It's been on my "to-do" list for a while, but I finally got around to taking a more detailed look at Programming with ArcGIS 10....

posted on: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Terrain 50
OS announced this weekend the availability of OS Terrain 50 (T50), a maintained 50m DEM of the UK. This is great news as 50m provides an incredibly useful spatial resolution for a variety of tasks....

posted on: Wed, 03 Apr 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

New dawn for "geoservices"
For want of a better name (new cartography, neogeography, geoservices or maybe geomatics!!), Science has a nice article on the emergent importance of geo in the global economy and the subsequent requirement for suitably qualified employees, noting a ~35% predicted growth in workers in the US by 2020. That's pretty big! Worth also reading the linked Oxera report for Google on Geoservices. Bright future ahead people!

posted on: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Primer
OpenShift have a good post of using QGIS for loading spatial data and then does some spatial processing using Python and GDAL for import. Its a good primer and forms part of a series on open source spatial - part 1 looked at spatial data

posted on: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Proprietary data silos
.....and the moral of the story is..... .....don't lock your data away in proprietary silos. The quotation at the end is fabulous: " A person seeking public records should expect to pay the price for copying the records, but not the price for a public entity’s mistake in purchasing inefficient software."

posted on: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Past and Present
Nice pair of contrasting videos about OS - the first a modern promo video from the OS itself which is very glossy but actually tells you very little about the organisation and the second from Pathe news in the 1950s which is cringingly dated, such as "It used to take two men a whole year to do the map making mathematics that these adding machines and electronic computers can do in an afternoon with a girl to help!" However it does show you the full map making process in 3 minutes - quite a feat! Swansea Trip: 1:40 shows the use f plane tabling!

posted on: Fri, 01 Mar 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Software agnosticism
Nice post from James Fee on software agnosticism..... and yes, we all too regularly build an ArcGIS script to find it no longer works in a new version or hasn't been updated by a third party. And yes, the answer is don't use them!!! However as I am also doing (some work with Niels Anders), move to Python and do you geospatial processing there, then call from within ArcGIS. You even have Portable Python so no excuse for being tied to a workstation.

posted on: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Weogeo: Top 10 free datasets
Nice New Year's list over at Weogeo on the top ten free datasets......

posted on: Fri, 04 Jan 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

London buses and mapping
I have been exploring the use of London buses a little more recently and so naturally started looking at routes and timetables to see how accessible different parts of London are; for instance, did you know that the number 188 runs from St Pancras to the O2 Arena?...

posted on: Sun, 09 Dec 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Fundamental benchmarks
Nice article at the OS on fundamental benchmarks.....

posted on: Tue, 04 Dec 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Chartered Geographer
In the last post I mentioned the Chartered Geographer (CGeog) accreditation run by the Royal Geographical Society....

posted on: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

GIS as a profession...in the UK
Following on from my previous post on David DiBiase's paper of GIS as a profession, it's worth pondering the UK situation briefly (and no reflection on the original US centric paper....

posted on: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

GIS as a profession?
A thought provoking article from David DiBiase at Esri Inc on Strengthening the GIS Profession. It outlines some of the history of the profession, the growing importance to the economy, primary traits of a "profession" and whether GIS meets them. A useful read for all aspiring and current GIS professionals.

posted on: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Plugins
I was presenting at the Society of Cartographers last month (on LAAP for those interested). Mike Shand gave an "Introduction to QGIS" (some helpful links on that page) which reminded me that I had wanted to do this blog post....

posted on: Tue, 09 Oct 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Open Source GIS Conferences
Well it's conference season and Claudio, the researcher on the NERC funded project I am working on, has been presenting some of the outcomes of the work....

posted on: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Google Maps counter-attacks?
PR offensive seems to be on at Google with an interesting article over at the BBC and The Atlantic - obviously designed to pre-empt the release of the next version of iOS and replacement of Google Maps on i-devices. Worth flicking through.... (and take a look at this older video)

posted on: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Point Cloud Roundup
Point clouds are becoming big news - as LiDAR systems move out of the niche and in to the mainstream, software processing shifts from high cost bespoke to lower cost and open source....

posted on: Tue, 10 Jul 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Google Maps History and Applications
Nice catch from Very Spatial on the recent Google Maps press announcement. Well worth watching at least the first half which gives a great summary of the history of Google Earth (from SGI and Keyhole) and some of the applications of maps. The StreetView Trekker at around 35:00 is really rather cool - have a StreetView device on your back and weighting only ~40lbs. I guess they don't sell them!!

posted on: Mon, 11 Jun 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

More..... Essays on Geography and GIS v4
ESRI continue their cycle of releasing Essays on Geography and GIS (v4), as I noted before. Again an accumulation of articles from ArcNews which are worth a look at.

posted on: Thu, 24 May 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

FOSS - 2012, alt update
A nice list of FOSS software, with a particular focus upon geoscience and academia. Everyone will find something new and useful both in the main list and also the comments (good pickup from GoGeo). Some of the new picks for me included Shotwell (wish there was still a Windows port) and SQL Manager (a Firefox extension). The latter is particularly useful where you want to store structured data in a database that you can use SQL queries on. And the following two catches are quite interesting: tutorial on creating maps in R and Natural Earth data.

posted on: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Open UK rail timetables
This is what open data is really all about... although overnight success might make the server a bit... laggy!

posted on: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Links roundup
A few links to follow up: 1. Pointclouds.org.uk: I don't normally plug other institutions, but this site outlines a link-up between Faro and UCL and, basically, scanning a few locations to try to get on the BIM bandwagon....

posted on: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

GEO-12 roundup
I attend the GEO12 trade show yesterday..... it's hardly the most salubrious location (Holiday Inn in Elstree) but the space is reasonable and, well, its free and yes, you do get a free lunch!...

posted on: Thu, 22 Mar 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Tax move?
Nice graphic over at The Guardian displaying historic tax rates across the world.... so, where do you want to move??

posted on: Tue, 20 Mar 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Geotagging - always a good idea?
Nice pick-up from The Guardian..... geotagging photos and uploading is a popular pastime for some, however it can have unintended consequences as the US Army points out. Warren cited a real-world example from 2007. When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some Soldiers took pictures on the flightline, he said. From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches. Ouch! There must have been a big sigh when that happened. Might as well have stood there waving a flag saying shoot me.

posted on: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Google adds postcode extents
Nice pick-up by The Guardian..... Google Maps now defines postcode extent when you query the postcode itself: for example. I'm assuming this is CodePoint, as per my previous blog.

posted on: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

New release: GDAL/OGR
A new year and a new release of GDAL/OGR (1.9). It's been a while since I last covered this, but there continue to be significant improvements with the big news being the support for ESRI File Geodatabases and Google Fusion tables (see James Fee's blog). However CounchDB, Idrisi, GRASS, ARCGEN are all worthy additions. Keep it in the toolbox.... because most of us do, and that includes ESRI.

posted on: Wed, 11 Jan 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry