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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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The Success of Failure
I've blogged before about the success of failure and how critical it is to improving in whatever domain you are working in....

posted on: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

word word count
Yup, that's right... how do you do a word count in Word? Well, the simple answer is Alt-T, W and particularly for the ribbon-challenged like me who prefer the keyboard....

posted on: Wed, 17 Aug 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Reading landscape :: art-geography cross-fertilization
I've been working with artist Flora Parrott over the last year on a project call "Reading Landscape" that we are presenting at the Royal Geographical Annual Conference next month....

posted on: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 | path: /publications/reports | permanent link to this entry

Google Earth Updates
A little late in getting this out, but Google announced late-June updates to imagery in Google Earth....

posted on: Fri, 12 Aug 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

OPEN ACCESS EPRINT: Exploring Explanations of Subglacial Bedform Sizes Using Statistical Models
John K.Hillier, Ioannis A Kougioumtzoglou, Chris R.Stokes, Michael J. Smith, Chris D. Clark, Matteo Spagnolo (in press)...

posted on: Thu, 28 Jul 2016 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

Lucy Powell: Labour's Vision for Education
An interesting article in Governing Matters (a monthly for UK school governors) this month where they interviewed Lucy Powell, Labour's shadow education secretary (see her profile at theyworkforyou), to outline current party thinking (and her personal take)....

posted on: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

How big is your image? O, 53 billion pixels!
DPReview have a review of Bentley's rather impressive 53 billion pixel of one of their cars on the Golden Gate Bridge. It might not be obvious at first glance but it is there!! Made up of over 700 photos taken at varying focal lengths (between 300 and 1500mm... bet that puppy cost a few pennies!) using a motorised panoramic tripod head it is one monster of an image that require a fare bit of TLC is post production - most notably the bridge can move ~8m in either direction in high winds! Head on over to Bentley to take a peek.

posted on: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Mapping Boris
Indy100 have a great static (below) and interactive map of the countries Boris Johnson has insulted - without a doubt this can only be added to. Just look at the vast opportunity in South America for starters!

posted on: Fri, 15 Jul 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

D3 Map Projections
A great post showing the range of map projections available in D3.js - a nice view for a "nearly at the weekend" day!

posted on: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

DJI-Blad
DPReview report on a new DJI/Hasselblad tie up that sees Hasselblad bundle their A5D (see my earlier post) medium format camera with DJI's industrial Matrice 600 drone....

posted on: Wed, 13 Jul 2016 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Environment Agency Aerial Photography
Following their release of LiDAR DEMs and point clouds last year, the Environment Agency have now released their aerial imagery for the UK. This is high resolution vertical imagery for England with RGB and NIR with resolutions from 50cm to 10cm. Head on over to their map portal for download.

posted on: Thu, 07 Jul 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

"The Geek Behind Google's Map Quest"
The Geek Behind Google's Map Quest - and yes, it all started at Kingston!

posted on: Thu, 07 Jul 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Blog Redux
And a nice follow-up to last week showing the recreation of a favourite map using modern data by Charley Glynn. Charley has selected a 1967 quarter inch map of Scotland which is fairly small scale and quite good as a road map. The colour ramp for elevation is beautiful with the font and label placement elegant. Read the workflow - always interesting to see how people work!

posted on: Wed, 06 Jul 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Blog Links
A couple of nice blog posts from the OS... the first looks at the Top 10 mapping moments in OS history....

posted on: Wed, 29 Jun 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Olympus NIR Sensor
An interesting article over at Amateur Photographer which picks up an Olympus press release about the development of an RGB/NIR sensor for use in consumer grade cameras....

posted on: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps 2015 Impact Factor
It's Impact Factor time!! All the movers and shakers will be looking through the citation reports from Thomson Reuters to see how the different publications are performing and find out who's up and who's down!...

posted on: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

R Project for Maps
A nice primer on R Project for Maps which provides a good introduction on the use of R for a range of GI applications, be they webmapping or raster analyses. The list of libraries and discussion of Microsoft R Open is particularly good. Worth a delve into.

posted on: Sat, 11 Jun 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

3 ‘Knowns’ in Learning Science
A great opinion post over at EdSurge on complete wins in learning science titled 3 ‘Knowns’ in Learning Science....

posted on: Fri, 10 Jun 2016 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

"A Digital Humanities Primer for English Students"
Thinkwhere provide a nice summary of A Digital Humanities Primer for English Students, a guide written by an MA student Jenna Herdman....

posted on: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Open Access to Publicly Funded Research
Well, just when you thought the Finch Report had had the last word in open access publication and access to government funded research....

posted on: Fri, 03 Jun 2016 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

EA Point Cloud Data
Following the release of the LiDAR DEMs of the UK by the Environment Agency, the EA have now announced the release of the raw point cloud data. Great news!

posted on: Wed, 01 Jun 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

The falcon has landed
What a cool video clip!

posted on: Sat, 28 May 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Kickstarter Plug: Spooly
Wanted to give a plug to Spooly who are running a Kickstarter campaign at the moment. I've not link to them, but the product looks great - I'm always on the lookup for innovative products that solve problems or make life easier. And this is a little gem - its a USB charge cable but incredibly small and rolls up into a perfectly neat package. What can you say other than a fantastic piece of design, doesn't cost much and worthy of the plug.

posted on: Sat, 14 May 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Occupations associated with what.....
..what indeed?? Read here to find out, but, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words (data caveats excepting in the linked post).

posted on: Thu, 12 May 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Column Numbers in Excel?
I've been doing some more programming in R recently and working on a large XLSX spreadsheet (using the excellent readxl package) where I needed to cross-reference columns. Excel painfully uses letters for column titles and I needed the column number; useful to know then that you can change this option in Excel: Pre-ribbon Go to Tools, Options, General, check 'R1C1 reference style' Ribbon Go Options, Formulas, check 'R1C1 reference style'

posted on: Thu, 12 May 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

New Mayan City Discovered
What a great story - a 15 year old with a passion for Mayan civilisation discovers a lost city on the Yucatan peninsula using satellite imagery, hitherto unknown to archaeologists!...

posted on: Wed, 11 May 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Boaty Floats... err, sinks
Well, as I noted last week Boaty McBoatface lost out to David Attenborough.... so Boaty was sunk. But NERC have now floated his boat... or rather they have sunk it! Yes Boaty will be the name of an ROV. Perhaps the most famous ROV in the world!

posted on: Tue, 10 May 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Pie on Boaty McBoatface
The whole process for naming NERCs new polar research vessel twists and turns through the media. The fact that naming a polar vessel actually made the news is pretty good in and of itself - how much the general public is aware of polar science is somewhat of an unknown, but it was great to see some coverage of the vessel itself....

posted on: Fri, 06 May 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

QGIS at the Financial Times
A really interesting interview with Steve Bernard, Interactive Design Editor at the Financial Times. There are some great examples of work he has produced for the FT which principally involves QGIS and Adobe Illustrator. He is hugely enthusing of QGIS, so much so that he has a YouTube Channel dedicated to demonstrating the methods/effects he uses. Check it out as at over 30 videos now its a veritable resource.

posted on: Fri, 06 May 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Open Source Software for the Geosciences
Great list of OSS of relevance to the geosciences over at the GRSS. Someting for everyone to pick over - I particularly both Whitebox GAT and the R package for atmospheric correction of satellite imagery. Excellent stuff.

posted on: Wed, 04 May 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

RGS: Accreditation of university geography programmes
The RGS have announced accreditation of university geography programmes. This is all part of their strategy for professionalising geography and follows on from the Chartered Geographer status intended for individuals, to accreditation intended for programmes....

posted on: Tue, 03 May 2016 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Food in Vienna
I was away at the European Geosciences Union last week presenting in a number of sessions. EGU has long been in Vienna which is a wonderfully cosmopolitan city with by far one of the best transit systems I have used....

posted on: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

Esri: 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Maps
Some really helpful cartography tips from staff writer Lisa Berry on 6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Maps. I particularly like point 2, Find Signal within the Noise, which is pertinent to any kind of exposition. What is your main point and highlight it.... demonstrate you signal.

posted on: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Some government sense...
Following on from my earlier post from Sense About Science, the government have now suspended implementation of the anti-lobbying clause for further consultation. Whilst not removed (yet), this is good news and allows researchers to set out a sensible case.

posted on: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Shadbolt's Aerial Images of London
Historic England have just released Shadbolt's iconic photos of England which went under the hammer last year and were rescued by HE (and, yes, for those confused Historic England was part of English Heritage which split in two in 2015). These photos form the earliest aerial images of London and largely cover the suburban fringe that were undergoing rapid expansion - all in amazing detail. Sadly Shadbolt was killed in - perhaps unsurprisingly - a ballooning accident. A great collection that forms a unique part of early aerial photography. Copyright Historic England

posted on: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Beagle 2 and Super Resolution
The Beagle 2 was perhaps the most infamous of British attempts in space. The sheer audacity of a tiny mission, built on a shoestring to achieve a dramatic landing on Mars....

posted on: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Century!
A small milestone with a paper from my PhD (Smith, M.J. and Clark, C.D. (2005) "Methods for the visualisation of digital elevation models for landform mapping." Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 30, 7, 885-900) hitting its century of citations - yes 100! Bringing flashbacks just looking at it again!!!

posted on: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

TIROS Flashback
EPoD provided a great flashback last week to the first ever image acquired from TIROS 1 and, no joke, 1 April 1960. That is a LONG time ago and it was remarkable because it was the first time there was routine observation of the Earth's weather. A remarkable achievement. It only lasted 77 days but this was a research mission testing feasibility and system designs. The TIROS programme was hugely successful and paved the way for Earth observation as we know it today. And if you want an extended flashback.... read the National Geographic article from that year.

posted on: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

ASTER Data Available at No Charge
Great news from USGS over at LPDAAC announcing that ASTER data is now FREE OF CHARGE. A great data resource and invaluable to researchers around the globe....

posted on: Fri, 08 Apr 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Maps.Me Adds OpenStreetMap
Great news from Maps.Me developers. The slightly more minor news is that theyve gone much more granular for map data downloads - so now you don't have to downloads 800Mb of data for the UK, but pick your regions. Much better. The big news though is the ability to feedback map updates to the OpenStreetMap community directly through the app. Now that really is a brilliant way to improve PoI information. You can both add new points and edit point information. Not only is Maps.me a great offline map app but you can now give back to the community.

posted on: Wed, 06 Apr 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry