Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

Email me

Mike Smith

RSS FeedRSS Feed




27 28 29 30      


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

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 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. 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

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