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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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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

Dice Player
I often download and later watch talks from TED, as well as a range of podcasts. Good presenters often talk quite slowly in order to improve clarity, particularly for live performances....

posted on: Sun, 15 Mar 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Android App: Maps.Me
I've been a long-time user of Mapdroyd, part of my mapping requirement to have offline maps for travel....

posted on: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Bukard 1992: Determination of the mean scarp thickness d0 to compute flow avalanches (TRANSLATION)
[NOTE: way back during the mists of my MSc whilst research the runout of high frequency avalanches in British Columbia, Canada, I asked a fellow student (Matthias Jacob) to translate a paper written in German from the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research....

posted on: Tue, 10 Mar 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Primer: Analysing Point Data
A good QGIS primer on analysing point data....

posted on: Mon, 09 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Space Gaffiti
Very cool magazine short at the BBC about creating an animation from space using graffiti on the ground - this was created with four "frames" that were painted over four days and imaged daily from space (no mention of the satellite). The four frames were then turn in to an animation using the animated GIF as a file format. Cool concept.

posted on: Mon, 09 Mar 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

10 **FREE** copies JoM 2010 Best Map: The Forgotten Capital: A Historical Atlas of Sandwich, Ontario
At the Journal of Maps we are having a small clearout and are giving away 10 FREE high quality prints of the Journal of Maps 2010 Best Map award winner: Lafreniere, D. and Rivet, D. (2010) The Forgotten Capital: A Historical Atlas of Sandwich, Ontario Printed at the following specifications: Flat Size: 297 ◊ 420mm (A3) Colours: 4 colour process Paper: 170gsm matt (350 gsm matt cover) Print Method: HP Indigo digital print Supply: 13 page atlas, wiro bind on the left hand edge If you would like a copy please leave your contact details in the comments below - winners will be drawn after Friday 27th March 2015.

posted on: Sun, 08 Mar 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

QGIS 2.8 Wien
QGIS 2.8 Wien has just been released which sees a plethora of useful features added. The latest version introduces a long term release (LTR) which will provide a 1-year support cycle with backported bug fixes. This is particularly useful for businesses. And, along with the latest version we now have a UK QGIS Shop for the purchase of all those less than useful items of clutter you might want to show off with!! P.S. And as a reminder, remember that QGIS is completely USB portable friendly. Just copy the entire QGIS directory over to your USB stick and then double-click on bin\qgis.bat file.

posted on: Thu, 05 Mar 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Ardusat for Schools
A good article over at edSurge on how Ardusat have raised money in a funding round to support the use of micro-satellites by schools for learning. Real science for real kids - inspiring.

posted on: Wed, 25 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects Gigapan
With the scanning of Paolozz's studio outlined earlier, I promised to show the external camera processing we completed. So, with no further delay, below is the pano from the top of Paolozzi's cabin bed. All seven ScanStations are visible here. in close association with hijack and Dacapo

posted on: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Free remote sensed imagery resources
Nice pick up by Go-Geo from the Exelis blog (the makers of ENVI) on a range of resources for access to free remotely sensed imagery. Its actually in the PDF linked off the blog page. Very handy resource.

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

Amazon Prime Drone
Clearly Amazon are very keen on the whole drone/UAv delivery thing.....the BBC reports on a recent FAA draft ruling that require operators to have "line of sight" with their kit. This pretty much puts paid to delivery for the time being. However expected this (air!)space to become crowded as a number of delivery operators will push for the this. I guess to start with we might see extended trials in some regions.... one to watch as it will clearly affect the wider UAV debate. And take a look at the Small UAV Coalition.... the only thing "small" is the UAV. Some big backers (see the members)behind this advocacy group...smiley happy website though!!

posted on: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: post-processing (Guest Post: Adam Goddard)
With the scan complete for the Paolozzi Studio of Objects project, our starting point was the 41.7GB of compressed data from the P20 in the form of ....

posted on: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

"Why Your Students Forgot Everything On Your PowerPoint Slides"
It's nice to see this cropping up in other education circles....

posted on: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: The BIG One
(please view the accompanying gallery to this post) I've already talked about the initial objectives of the Studio of Objects project - and I say objectives, but if we could boil it down it would simply be to "recreate Paolozzi's studio."...

posted on: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

FSP Viewer
In an earlier post I talked about the spherical panoramas we have created for the Studio of Objects project. These are humungous 295MP images which, even when compressed, are pretty big files. Obviously with a (spherical) panorama rather than just looking from left to right it would be good to be able to fully rotate (as if you were standing in the middle) around them, in the same way you can in a point cloud. Well there are a few viewers for spherical panos, my favourite being FSP Viewer which is fast and easy to use. (and once I've set up the online image viewing I'll post a pano there) in close association with hijack and Dacapo

posted on: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

The Doves Type
Adam Goddard sent me this link to a recreation of The Doves Type.... this story is told in the fabulous little layman's book entitled Just My Type that I recommend to my cartography students. There's no point in me recounting the story, just read about the font's recreation and buy a digital copy of it. It's a beautiful font and will set apart any publication you use it in.

posted on: Thu, 05 Feb 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

A Motherís Illness, a Daughterís Duty
A tender, haunting and very personal project photographing death - it's hard to not feel a sense of attachment and loss at the very personal photographic story telling of the end of a persons life.... it comes to all yet we feel so unprepared for it...

posted on: Mon, 02 Feb 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: point clouds from photogrammetry (Guest Post: James O'Connor)
(Ed: this is a guest post by James O'Connor) Whilst the main aim of the technical side of the Studio of Objects project was the use of laser scanning to reconstruct and archive the 3D geometry of Paolozzi's studio, as conserved at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, we were interested in, at least partially, trialling the use of photogrammetry to achieve the same goal and in particular Structure from motion....

posted on: Mon, 02 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Testing Times
(please view the accompanying gallery to this post) The initial objectives of the Studio of Objects project led us to define a technical requirements and with this a plan to rent the Leica P20 rather than use our own Leica ScanStation 2, purely from a perspective of speed and size....

posted on: Sun, 01 Feb 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Study of Objects: External Camera Image Processing
This post is slightly out-of-sequence with the earlier ones (I had meant to cover our first trial in West London scanning Paolozzi's Krazy Kat archive) but it does follow neatly from the last post on the technical setup for our external camera....

posted on: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Google Earth Pro available at no cost
As reported at Mapperz and Google Earth Blog, Google Earth Pro now appears to be made available at no cost (just signup for an extended license key)....

posted on: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: External Camera Panoramic Spheres
Following on from the last blog post (Paolozzi's Studio of Objects) I wanted to touch upon the external camera setup that we used to integrate photographic imagery with the laser scans from the Leica P20....

posted on: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Technical Setup
In this post I briefly want to outline the technical requirements for the Paolozzi Studio of Objects project....

posted on: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

As easy as 1-2-3
My PhD student James O'Connor (and by the way, check out his cool 3D model generated from video) reminded me of my (unknown until this point!) mantra/advice for a PhD: 1. Complete ONE PhD thesis 2. Write TWO publishable papers 3. Any talk/presentation will (nearly) always have THREE main points Can't go wrong!

posted on: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps Best Map 2014
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the award of the 2014 "Best Map" to Jerzy Zasadni (AGH University of Science and Technology) and Piotr Klapyta (Jagiellonian University) for their map reviewing the Tatra Mountains during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)....

posted on: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects: Scanning a studio.....
Following on from my (very much earlier!!) blog on "Studio of Objects" I'm involved in, I wanted to flesh out the project itself a little further and also talk about some of our initial experiences....

posted on: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

FREE EPRINT: Summary of activities 2014
For the first 50 people, get your free eprint of Summary of activities 2014 Smith, M.J.

posted on: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Best Map Giveaway: 20 free copies
At the Journal of Maps we are having a small clearout and are giving away 20 FREE high quality prints of the Journal of Maps 2013 Best Map award winner: Relief-Rock-Soil relationship in the transition of Atlantic Plateau to Peripheral Depression, Sao Paulo, Brazil Fernando Nadal Junqueira Villela, Jurandyr Luciano Sanches Ross and Sidneide Manfredini These are printed to the following specifications: Flat Size: 297 ◊ 420mm (A3)...

posted on: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Kingston MobileLite MLW221 Storage Reader
Just purchased the Kingston MobileLite MLW221.... this is potentially very useful as it helps (partially) solve the problem of reading storage medium from mobile devices when a computer isn't available....

posted on: Sat, 10 Jan 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

SpaceX Controlled Landing
Nice piece at the BBC reporting on SpaceX's attempt at a controlled landing on their off-shore platform of the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket. Looks like partial success which is a big leap forward for the potential reuse of rocket components. UPDATE: and the video

posted on: Sat, 10 Jan 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

More Transcoding
Following on from my previous update, I had a serious problem with the audio syncing just on some DVDs. Not sure why and I tried various solutions to re-sync the audio, none of which worked. That sent me back to looking at alternatives to DVD Shrink to extract the VOB files from the disc - and the solution lay in the granddaddy, and original, DVD Decryptor (Wikipedia). This worked perfectly (although remember to switch to Mode->IFO) although all the VOBs are separate files. My preference is to merge them (using VOBMerge) before transcoding in TEncoder). So far its worked seamlessly.

posted on: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Shooting some film.....
Now this article really brings new meaning to the phrase!!! I REALLY gotta get myself one of these - imagining doing a portrait session in a studio!!!! Or going out shooting some street photography - me thinks you might get in to a little bother. So cool though!

posted on: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Preset White Balance
Another photography note to self.... many cameras allow you to directly measure the white balance in a scene and set it prior to shooting. This can be very useful particularly if you are shooting JPEGs. Nikon's use what they call Preset White Balance. If you set white balance to "PRE" (rather than auto or any other setting), who have 6 (on my D700) memory banks which can store a white balance setting. Long press the WB button to put the camera in to measurement mode and fire the shutter. The measurement is then stored in the memory bank and all subsequent photos then use that white balance setting. Very handy!

posted on: Wed, 17 Dec 2014 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Transcoding Update
Following on from yesterday's post I hit a few problems with some encoding - whilst MPEGStreamClip worked fine (albeit slowly) with conversion from a DVD, it didnt work properly with a file copied off my Humax....

posted on: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry