Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Mike Smith

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ArcGIS for Android
Well anfter the initial fuss that ESRI had actually released the ArcGIS for Android (AA) app, I realised that it wasn't compiled for ARMv6 deviecs, which includes my cheap and cheerful San Fran....

posted on: Sun, 01 Jan 2012 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Beidou is here
Well just about.... Beidou is the Chinese GPS equivalent and is now "operational". Well its got 10 operational satellites and these will provide coverage for China and near-surrounds. Expect global coverage by 2020. Whilst perhaps uptake won't be quick, it is designed to be inter-operable and expect to see handsets starting to take advantage of US, Russian, European and Chinese satellites for positioning. An exciting marketplace at the moment....

posted on: Tue, 27 Dec 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Map Makers Crib Sheet
Good set of info in the carto crib sheet from Alex Tait. Useful stuff.

posted on: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

More open data....
This is nothing but great news..... more open data! There is some genuinely useful stuff here: Met Office Public Weather Service, train/bus real time running and Land Registry. All valuable/useful stuff in and of itself that should already be public. In addition to last weeks criminal court sentencing records, there will also be personal health records. These will (anonymously) tell a very detailed story about the UK and provide invaluable data for further analysis by academics and companies.

posted on: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Open Source GIS Intro
Nice article over at Directions on Open Source GIS.... a reasonable primer on the topic.

posted on: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Ball camera
How cool is this ball camera?? Love the application.... our Leica laser scanner grabs similar imagery and splices them together but this is so elegant and you get a whole sphere of imagery. The alternative would be to fish-eye images but not as easy to do. Great!

posted on: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

BOOK NOW LIVE "Geomorphological Mapping: Methods and Applications"
Our book "Geomorphological Mapping: Methods and Applications" is now live on Science Direct for download. The first print copies should be arriving in the country next week. Enjoy!

posted on: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

STOP PRESS: ArcGIS Virtualised
Tech support at Kingston seem to have successfully virtualised ArcGIS 10 SP1. This has been a (very) troublesome app for sometime and particularly all the old ugly UNIX code that sits behind toolbox. Just loading Toolbox would cause the app to stall for 1 hour whilst it streamed the underlying code across the network. This has been reduced to about 1 minute which is then cached. Hopefully this will be rolled out on a trial basis side-by-side the installed app for student testing.

posted on: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Ordnance Survey moves to BIS
OS moves from CLG to BIS as part of PDC.... lots of TLAs

posted on: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Online geostatistical books
Nice catch on open access books on geostatistics

posted on: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

IMD Update
Following on from my earlier post Alasdair Rae at Sheffield Uni has now updated to include earlier years. From the horses mouth (so to speak): "Just click on an area for a pop up with chart showing IMD ranks from previous years. I've included the chart (a bit of code which has been difficult to figure out!), the numbers and the rank change between 2004 and 2010. Hopefully this is of interest." Get it here. Very useful stuff.

posted on: Fri, 27 May 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

GLONASS Smartphone
I original thought this an April Fool when I saw it reported over at Very Spatial in that the original report snuck in on April Fools' Day, however the original product release was December last year..... so, what the heck. Anyway, the general topic of GNSS supporting mutiple networks is clearly on its way, but perhaps sooner than some thought.

posted on: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Indices of Multiple Deprivation
The 2011 Indices of Multiple Deprivation have recently been published. The Guardian Datablog has a good summary of the data; brief LA level summary data is available for download, but you'll have to hunt around the DCLG website (which is linked) for the actual data itself and also request the super output areas from the ONS to make any sense of it (or go to UKBORDERS for the 2001 borders). However the hard work has already been done in that Alasdair Rae up at Sheffield has already put the whole of the UK data in to Fusion Tables and linked it to Google Maps here. Very good stuff.... the next stage is to add in previous years!

posted on: Mon, 04 Apr 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Offline maps on your droid....
As good as Google Maps is on Android (and it is good!), you have to have a data connection. Whilst it can cache some data (and it looks like there are some workarounds to increasing this) it don't store the entire UK!...

posted on: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Mapping Center: map projection distortion
Really good blog entry on map projection distortion from Aileen Buckley over at the Mapping Center. Even if you understand the principle by which a projection is created, this really helps illustrate the net effect of it. And download the template as its a good way to experiment with different projections.

posted on: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

History of Web Mapping
Very interesting blog entry from Steven Feldman on the history of web mapping. The mind map and slides are well worth looking at by all as it is one of the few detailed and succinct summaries around and is based upon his extensive experience and interviews with many in the industry. Spend the time as its well worth it!

posted on: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Spatial pattern analysis in ArcGIS
New free training seminar from ESRI.

posted on: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

GPS: The First Global Navigation Satellite System
Useful free e-book from Trimble on GPS. Download and read!

posted on: Mon, 14 Mar 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

ESRIs Essays on Geography and GIS
ESRI have just published volume 3 of "Essays on Geography and GIS". EGG (nice!) is an irregularly produced volume series (almost annual) that accumulates together a selection of papers from ArcNews. Its a nice dip in to topical items in the ESRI world. I couldn't find a single landing page for EGG, although volume 1 has one. Just use this search.

posted on: Thu, 03 Feb 2011 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

ArcGIS for Android?
Well it looks like ArcGIS is coming to the Android platform. The more general smartphone area shows that iOS and Windows will also be supported. Indeed to iOS version is out, Windows due imminently and Android to follow shortly thereafter. The mobile blog keeps things up to date. Not surprising the choice of platforms; difficult for any large-scale developer as the mobile space is so varied at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how it develops. Smartphones are the modus operandi for alot of work the; integrated GPS and fast processors make it a no-brainer and if they aren't careful, Google will very rapidly fill this spot.

posted on: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

FGDB Support coming to software near you.....
James Fee notes that ESRIs file geodatabase is finally to be (sort of) opened up with a beta of the API coming out in January (C++ based). The binaries (but probably not the source code) are being released and as the blog notes: "This API is targeted for advanced developers who require access to the File Geodatabase without an ArcObjects license for purposes of interoperability." So you won't need to buy ArcGIS by the sounds of things to read FGDBs, but it will be a Windows only solution (until its reversed engineered anyway).

posted on: Wed, 15 Dec 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

UK Public Data Corporation
Interesting article over at The Guardian on the creation of a public data corporation next year potentially to include the OS, Met Office and Land Registry. This has the potential to reorganise Trading Funds as we know them at the moment and possibly sell of parts of the businesses to the private sector. If nothing else, this government is moving at a fast pace...

posted on: Fri, 19 Nov 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

The Geospatial Revolution
For those who missed it first time around on the blogs, Penn State University Public Broadcasting are putting together a 4 episode series on The Geospatial Revolution. This is a (relatively!) high budget project that is executed to a very high standard. The first episode covers why geospatial is important, what it's used for and where we are going. Almost a who's who of interviews. Episode 2 is now out covering the use of geospatial in different "market" areas. Not to be missed.

posted on: Tue, 02 Nov 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Licensing Updates
Ed Parsons has a couple of useful recent blog posts on data licensing. Specifically the clarification of derived data for OS licenses and open government licensing (which might include OS OpenData but I'm not entirely clear)....

posted on: Fri, 08 Oct 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

TLS to 3D shapefiles
We have taken delivery of a new GeoWall system at Kingston which Ken has been painstakingly putting together....

posted on: Mon, 20 Sep 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Creating earlier versions of geodatabases
I'm amazed it's taken this long, but ESRI has now produced geoprocessing tools for creating earlier versions of geodatabases. I did a roundup blog on this 2 and a half years ago.....

posted on: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

WMS Benchmarking 2010
OSGeo have announced the WMS benchmarking for 2010 which has seen a long list of products taking part. Last year it was MapServer and GeoServer, with ESRI having to pull out due to time commitments. This year its MapServer, GeoServer, CadCorp GeognoSIS, Constellation SDI, ERDAS Apollo, Mapnik, Oracle MapViewer and QGIS mapserver. Great to see such an extensive line-up.

posted on: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Using Postcodes
I've been playing around with postcodes a little more recently, particularly since the OS released CodePoint under the open licensing model....

posted on: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Note the recent announcement that the full v1.0 release of PySAL (Python Spatial Analysis Library) has been finalised. Slashgeo has a good introductory paragraph, but note that this work has come out of two Python based geoprocessing projects that wanted to write a core Python library to avoid duplication of effort. It is not a front-end, but provides core spatial functions.

posted on: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

UI Design and 3D Interfaces
Remember Minority Report? That cool UI that Tom Cruise uses to interface with the computer and sort and analyse data?? Well the UI design was real at the time and early prototypes in use. John Underkoffler provides a fascinating looking at current 3D user interfaces and, as he says, its where the input and output are the same location, all built within a 3D spatial paradigm for manipulation. And the obvious early uses (as he demonstrates) are spatial which raises lots of interesting questions about future interfacing with GIS.

posted on: Wed, 02 Jun 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Preservation of (spatial) data clearinghouse
A very interesting press release last week from the Library of Congress about an NDIIP funded project on digital preservation....

posted on: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Where's my stuff??
We're moving to a world of TOIDs.... well not, the OS implementation of TOIDs, but the idea that "objects" in the world can be, and are, interesting....

posted on: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Schooloscope.. what, where and its up to you about the why
The Guardian reports on the recently launched Schooloscope site, a 4ip funded project to make better (and fairer) sense of school performance data....

posted on: Thu, 13 May 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Python Modules
I blogged last year on the increasing use of Python as the preferred language for geospatial automation driven, in no small part, but ESRIs uptake. Anyway, a useful post on essential Python modules for the geospatial programmer.

posted on: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Spatial Stats in ArcGIS
The Geoprocessing blog over at ESRI highlights an interesting (well, in an academic sense!) book on spatial statistics which they have contributed a chapter to on ArcGIS. The chapter has been made available for download so is well worth checking out.

posted on: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Effect on EDINA of OS data release
It is clearly going to take some time for the dust to settle, but GoGeo have a nice summary of the datasets "in" and "out" of each prospective license....

posted on: Thu, 08 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Digimap for Schools
I was reminded to day of the EDINA run Digimap for Schools service which offers access to twelve different datasets (including Mastermap) for Primary and Secondary schools at an incredibly reasonable cost (60-120). For those schools needing geospatial data for teaching its a very good place to start.

posted on: Wed, 07 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

More OS Licensing
Ed Parsons covers the licensing for the free OS data, which as he notes is Creative Commons style and means no problems for derived data. Good news indeed.

posted on: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Data
Yes, OS data is here. Download to your heart's content and, more importantly, it is going to be fascinating to see the new uses that this data is going to be put to. With unhindered access the potential for some really good mashups and web services is great. The Guardian nicely summarise the datasets. For DEM users note that the vector version of Panorama is included which, in my mind, is *better* than the higher resolution Profile (although Profile Plus is a different beast). And MySociety have already produced some derivative products (e.g. WGS84 version of CodePoint).

posted on: Thu, 01 Apr 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS data release in April
It's old news, but yes some OS data will be released in April. This is good news as it can only drive the innovation of "geo" applications and, perhaps more importantly, drive the linked use of base mapping with other government datasets released over at Of course, the nagging problem remains postcodes...

posted on: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry