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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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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

International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences
I wanted to highlight the 2015 International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences which is run by and IEDA and Elsevier....

posted on: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

OS Open Data
OS recently provided a recent update on their OpenData products as a reminder of what is available and some of the new products. Indeed, take a look at their main OpenData page, the products page and the download page. There are some really good products here including Meridian (medium scale vector), Terrain 50 (medium scale DEM), CodePoint (postcodes), BoundaryLine (administrative boundaries) and a range of raster products. Very good for a range of mapping projects and all using the very flexible Open Government License. Enjoy!

posted on: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Burning a DVD....
Part of a note to self.... I wanted to burn a DVD of an mp4 i had downloaded and started looking around for an easy and quick way to do this....

posted on: Mon, 23 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

World's most detailed wide field space photo.....
.... has now been created! This was a great project over at the BBCs StarGazing Live 2015 getting the public to submit photos of Orion to create it....

posted on: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

QGIS: great features 1
Thought I'd kick off an occasional series of blog posts highlighting nice features in QGIS..... this is my go-to app for working with spatial data as it's fast and reliable....

posted on: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Eclipse Maps
Feels appropriate, given the eclipse across northern Europe (very nearly now!) to post about the topic..... and point people to the very good Eclipse Maps (Esri employee by day, eclipse fanatic by night). Below is an example from a couple of years ago - really nicely produced and very clear. Worldwide eclipses 2001-2020 are shown here.... the gallery has a good range of maps both historical and predicted.

posted on: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Monochrome Cameras
It's a strange situation now - in the past monochrome (or B&W or panchromatic) photos were the standard images to be produced....

posted on: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Treasure the voice
A really powerful talk from Julian Treasure at Ted. He starts with the seven deadly sins of speaking - why aren't people listening to you - before moving on to the four powerful cornerstones of speaking....

posted on: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Remote sensing in the buget
Yup, its true. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the budget was the announcement that Pitcairn would be the focus of the world's largest marine reserve at 834,000 sq km, more than twice as big as the UK, with a view to preventing illegal fishing....

posted on: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Andrew Stanton: Clues to a Great Story
I came across Andrew Stanton's (of Pixar fame) TED talk ages ago but have only just got around to watching it. Any great presenter needs to take on board the elements of story telling and here Andrew provides a masterclass in both presentation structure, design, delivery and making us care..... can't overstate enough how important these elements are. A MUST WATCH! (and the hook is brilliant!)

posted on: Wed, 18 Mar 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

OPEN ACCESS EPRINT: Use of legacy data in geomorphological research
Smith, M.J., Keesstra, S. and Rose, J. (2015) GeoResJ This paper considers legacy data and data rescue within the context of geomorphology....

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

Health and Safety Horrors
I was recently doing a health and safety talk to our second year students prior to a geomorphology field trip - nothing overly risky as it was essentially walking footpaths on parts of the UK coastline, but all this trips need to undergo a risk assessment and trip briefing. It's important to cover what can be quite dry material in terms of trip regulations so I was looking for some inspiration to drive home the point the seemingly mundane situations can lead to... dangerous activities!! Compliance training specialists Highfield have put together a great "House of Horrors" - my particular favourite was the window cleaner!

posted on: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Getting things done.... update
Way back in 2008 I blogged about Getting Things Done.... David Allen's productivity system for busy people....

posted on: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

How to win friends and use GIS
For those newbies to QGIS, a good primer....

posted on: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry