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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Mike Smith


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Commercial UAV Operators Double
An interesting summary piece over at Amateur Photographer.... and particularly noting that "The number of CAA-approved commercial operators now stands as 862, compared to 549 in April and a reported 359 in October 2014."...

posted on: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

The ArcGIS Book
Esri have just published a free online and PDF book called The ArcGIS Book. In Esri style, it is beautifully produced and presented with an eye for layout, typography and map design....

posted on: Wed, 26 Aug 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Lies, damned lies....
and marketing!! I was asked to fill in a customer satisfaction survey today using a fairly normal 1-10 symmetrical likert scale. Except that below the scale values 1-6 were noted as "negative", 7-8 as "neutral" and 9-10 as "positive". This psychological bias means that if you are satisfied you should be scoring 9-10.... this will naturally inflate any averaged values which can then be validly used in any marketing. Clearly even big companies like Aviva aren't too worried about pushing the boundaries of acceptable.

posted on: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Nikon Custom Banks
My Nikon D700 has what are called "Custom Banks" - on face value these look like ways of saving your settings (for example if you have a preferred setup for a type of shooting) which you can then use later....

posted on: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Firefox Resume Download
Firefox has a very effective resume download facility which is useful with big downloads (particularly as Im on 2Mb broadband) - however it consistently failed me when downloading the Windows 10 install ISO last week....

posted on: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Dronecode
With the press reporting on UAV near misses in the UK there is increasing pressure on how to effectively deal with drones encroaching on airspace and a rational approach to safety....

posted on: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

CLustre: source code released
With the paper CLustre: semi-automated lineament clustering for palaeo-glacial reconstruction now accepted for publication, we have released the sourcecode for CLustre at Github....

posted on: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

CLustre: semi-automated lineament clustering for palaeo-glacial reconstruction
Smith, M.J., Anders, N. and Keesstra, S.D. (in press) Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Datasets containing large numbers (>10,000) of glacial lineaments are increasingly being mapped from remotely sensed data in order to develop a palaeo-glacial reconstruction or ”inversion”....

posted on: Wed, 12 Aug 2015 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

QGIS 2.10 Released
QGIS 2.10 has just been released and the pace of development and features continues

posted on: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Mencoder Timelapse
Ages ago I blogged about creating timelapse videos from my GoPro using Mencoder. This takes the output JPEGs from the camera (at 10s intervals) and the uses Mencoder to stack them in to an MJPEG using this command: mencoder "mf://*....

posted on: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... withholding your number when dialling from a mobile
Just dial 141 before making the call!

posted on: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Drone Rangers
Great short "Future Works" film from The Economist on the Drone Rangers..... very nicely researched and presented looking at monitoring poaching in South Africa, to disaster response in the USA and then construction site monitoring. Lots of nice examples (thanks to Paolo for passing on).

posted on: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Pixel Shift Marvel
The newly released Pentax K3 II is a top end APS-C DSLR in a similar vein to the Canon 70D and Nikon D7200, with a BIG however....

posted on: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Maps.me Update
Well the devs must have been reading my earlier post on the (very good!) Maps.me because they've fixed my two biggest gripes!...

posted on: Tue, 07 Jul 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Firefox US dictionary
Installed teh UK dictionary, but by default the US one is selected? In the portable version, simply delete the files from: FirefoxPortable\App\Firefox\dictionaries

posted on: Sun, 21 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Digitising in QGIS
I've been spending a fair bit of time digitising in QGIS 2.8.1 lately so thought I'd list some of my top tips for those doing the same (and dont forget the QGIS Manual)!...

posted on: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps 2014 Impact Factor
It's that time of year again, yes Impact Factors are out and whether we like it or not authors and journals, alongside all those who rank them, will be sifting through the data to see who's up and who's down!...

posted on: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Environment Agency LiDAR to become open data
Great news over at the Environment Agency blog noting that their extensive LiDAR back catalog will (from September 2015) become open data available from Datashare. This is a a valuable data source and one of the most extensive LiDAR datasets available for the UK.

posted on: Fri, 19 Jun 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

OPEN ACCESS EPRINT: Optimising UAV image quality using consumer cameras
O'Connor, J. and Smith, M.J. (2015) Geomatics World Surveys using UAVs and photogrammetry are becoming ubiquitous. It is in the community’s best interests to remember the fundamentals of image capture. James O'Connor and Mike J Smith of the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, Kingston University review the main considerations for image capture when undertaking an aerial survey using consumer grade cameras and make recommendations for acquiring the best imagery.

posted on: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

Adding subtitles....
Harking back to my earlier posts on transcoding DVDs for viewing on a Pico Projector, I have recently been trying to make sure (for one film) that subtitles transferred across....

posted on: Tue, 16 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Overcoming jet lag....
After my trip to Argentina over Easter I'd thought I'd briefly blog about jet lag, the bane of all travellers....

posted on: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Peer Review (event summary)
I was recently on a panel discussion organised by Sense About Science on peer review specifically targeted at PhD and early career researchers....

posted on: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

GeoBig
Its a bit twee in its connotations, but "big data" keeps popping up all over the place. My brother sent me the link to this story: "5 Ways Big Geospatial Data Is Driving Analytics In the Real World". There is nothing overly new or exciting in the actual research itself, however what is interesting is how "geo" is now overtly mainstream. A lot of the benefits and issues associated with geodata are now more widely understood and appreciated meaning that more people want to use it. Definitely boom times...

posted on: Fri, 05 Jun 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Be bold, Be Blad
DPReview report on the latest aerial camera range from Hasselblad, the A5D. These are medium format cameras that compete directly with the Phase Range range I reported on earlier (the 80MP iXU180). Three models at 40, 50 and 60 MP, with up to 14 stops dynamic range with a 53x40 or 44x33mm sensor (technical specs here). Weighting in at 1.3kg (body only) its slightly heavier as well. Clearly the medium format aerial imaging space is heating up a lot - sales are likely much higher than bespoke large format cameras and used across a range of platforms including UAVs. Expect this to get better and cheaper with the competitive drive. Exciting times!

posted on: Fri, 05 Jun 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

USB Travel Tech
Having travel friendly devices and keeping them charged is a perennial problem. So, here below, some of my current favourite kit for on the go: 1....

posted on: Mon, 01 Jun 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Get yourself Explorer Sheet 162 for Greenwich & Gravesend
Get yourself a copy of Explorer 162 Greenwich & Gravesend..... well come July anyways. Yes the OS have announced the winners for the next Photofit round so sneak a peek at some great photos over at Flickr including my winner.

posted on: Sat, 30 May 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Liam Neeson Kill Map
Clearly Liam is one badass guy!!!! Love the kill map just for the way it presents information that you find yourself asking for during a movie. In my case (re)watching "Taken" and thinking, whats the body count in this?? Star Wars 1 surprised me though.... I wonder who holds the cinematic record?! Anyway, its nicely designed and more as an infographic, but still feel it could be improved. <a target="_blank" <="" span=""> <a target="_blank" <="" span=""> <div class="visually_embed_overlay" data-id="

posted on: Sat, 16 May 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Dreams of sushi
Always... look ahead and above yourself. Always try... to improve on yourself. Always strive to elevate your craft. That's what he taught me Read more...

posted on: Sun, 10 May 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

The Ultimate keyring
Call me sad, but I've been on a minor mission searching for the "ultimate" keyring. The humble keyring has served its purpose but - sorry - it's not longer fit for use....

posted on: Sun, 10 May 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

International Map Year 2015
Well the International Map Year has passed me by up until this point... that said it formally kicks off at the ICA in Rio de Janeiro in August 2015 and runs through until December 2016. As the website says: "International Map Year (IMY) is a worldwide celebration of maps and their unique role in our world. It's organized by the International Cartographic Assocation (ICA) and supported by the United Nations (UN)." So things are just starting to get going - there's a helpful news item in the ICA newsletter. Interestingly no UK organising committee...yet!

posted on: Wed, 06 May 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

It's arrived....
24 MP of pure CFA free joy...... How good do I need to be for santa?!

posted on: Thu, 30 Apr 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

QQIS Help Forums
At some point using QGIS you'll have a question about how something works or wondering how to solve a spatial problem....

posted on: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

USGS Earth Explorer Bulk Downloader
When wanting to download data from the USGS I've found that EarthExplorer is one of the easiest to use products and rapidly pulls together datasets that you might be interested in....

posted on: Wed, 29 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

QGIS: great features 2
I've been working with some colleagues in Argentina for which open source data is sparse. To this end, I wanted to collate some SRTM data (from EarthExplorer) and OSM data....

posted on: Mon, 27 Apr 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

VOTE NOW !! OS Photofit
The Ordnance Survey is currently mid-way through their competition to source (cheaply?!) new photographs for the covers of the iconic series of maps - the competition is called Photofit with the first two rounds now having closed (the next covers the iconic 1:50k Landranger series)....

posted on: Wed, 22 Apr 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Landsat 9 takes shape.....
A helpful press released over at NASA concerning Landsat 9.... things seem a-go with initial funding to kick things off, with gradual evolutionary development to the platform.

posted on: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Phase One iXU 180
DPReview reports on the latest Phase One Industrial medium format aerial camera, the iXU180. This is a 10,328 x 7760 sensor at an optical size of 53....

posted on: Wed, 01 Apr 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

!! 1000th Blog Post !!
This post marks the 1000th entry for the Spaced-OoooO-Out blog. My first post was on 12 September 2005 outlining a talk I gave at the Society of Cartographers annual meeting in Cambridge on the Journal of Maps....

posted on: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Credit card for travel?
I'm off to the 6th Argentine Congress on Quaternary Geomorphology (or the rather handy Google Translate version!) shortly so have been prepping various academic and travel things ready for the trip. One thing I stumbled across which might be useful to other (UK) travelers is paying abroad - credit cards are obviously dead handy in this regard but usually charge a foreign transaction fee. Not so the Halifax Clarity Credit Card which is free on foreign transaction and, indeed, free on cash withdrawals. If you pay off your card monthly then this is a great deal.

posted on: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Primer
Although a little dated (it was produced using v2.0 and we are currently on v.2.81) Lex berman's QGIS Workshop is a very easy to access and use intro and primer to QGIS, with a smattering of useful links. Worth looking through for hints and tips.

posted on: Thu, 26 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry