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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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BLOG REC: Getting started writing QGIS 2.x plugins
Thanks to the people at GoGeo for the link to Getting started writing QGIS 2.x plugins.... useful! (and BLOG REC is of course short for blog recommendation!)

posted on: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS Carto Home!
The OS unleashed their cartography "home" this week titled Cartographic Design and Development - its well worth dropping in to and it shows some excellent resources, examples and advice on sourcing, resourcing and designing maps. I particularly liked the Cartographic Design Principles and the examples they show. Well worth a look for anyone who needs to design and make maps.

posted on: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Data maintenance and recovery
Several things landed across my desk this week which reminded me of the the thorny problem of file formats, data media, archival and redundancy....

posted on: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

QGIS Primer
A primer for QGIS - good starting point (picked up by GoGeo)

posted on: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Sentinel 1 First Images
The first images from Sentinel 1 are now in - see the general Sentinel page over at ESA or look at a nice IOTD over at NASA

posted on: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Mount Everest Foundation
Late last year I became a trustee at the Mount Everest Foundation, an charity (and company) dedicated to "provide grants and recognition to assist particularly deserving expeditions for the exploration of, and scientific work in, the mountain regions of the world."...

posted on: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

Happy Birthday Landsat 7
15 years and counting with plenty of good data behind it - nice primer over at the USGS (and just think what you can legally do at 16!)

posted on: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Light Signatures
Know your cities!!! This is ONE GREAT QUIZ.... I got 11/16 which t'aint too bad!

posted on: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Tournament Earth 2014 Winner!
Here it is!!

posted on: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

More Proba V
Strange how the timing of things happening, but the table of contents for the International Journal of Remote Sensing's Special Issue: SPOT-VEGETATION - Fifteen years of success: What's next? dropped in to my inbox.... does what it says on the tin!

posted on: Tue, 08 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Open Source GIS Blog
For those that haven't seen it, it's worth subscribing to the Open Source GIS blog - some recent posts include creating QGIS plugins and installing QGIS on a Nexus 7. Useful and nicely illustrated.

posted on: Mon, 07 Apr 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Proba V Data Products
This one had slipped past my radar (O dear....). Those with slightly longer memories will remember the introduction of VEGETATION on board SPOT 4 and 5, with PROBA designed to provide a continuation of this data. PROBA was a technology micro-satellite demonstrator (with the CHRIS hyperspectral imager), so fast forward a decade and PROBA-V is not only operational but its data (300m 4-band multispectral, although 100m at nadir) is freely available. Nice PDF factsheet and direct to ESA for image downloads. (thanks to Paolo for the tip!)

posted on: Fri, 04 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Disruptive Satellite Imaging Startups
Nice article on the disruptive nature of new satellite imaging startups being venture capital funded (good catch Paolo!)

posted on: Fri, 04 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Heavenly Sentinels
A nice summary article by Jonathan Amos over at the BBC on the EUs Sentinel series of satellites. Provides a good upbeat message for this ambitious EO programme, the impact of the Landsat programme (and how the removal of the $600 fee increased usage) and the future potential for the Sentinels, their use and space activities for the EU.

posted on: Wed, 02 Apr 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Kiev in the news
The video is just great!

posted on: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Louisville Timelapse
Stunning timelapse from Eric Stemen shooting in Louisville. Great explanatory article over at DPS. Sit back and enjoy! Louisville In Motion. A timelapse tour of Louisville Kentucky. from Eric Stemen on Vimeo.

posted on: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Tournament Earth: the Semi-Finals
Go there - VOTE!

posted on: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

The best part of life is...
....failing. Failing is absolutely vital to success and this is a nice piece picked up by Garr Reynold's in a recent blog (yes he of Presentation Zen fame....

posted on: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Student debt.... pay more to get....less
Interesting article at The Guardian and salutary tale on bad government and how this impacts of student careers, lives and the success of HE more widely

posted on: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

OS develop QGIS Stylesheets
Nice post over at the OS about their development of QGIS stylesheets for use with OS Opendata - and all made available on Github. Take a look and use

posted on: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Testing techniques to quantify drumlin height and volume: synthetic DEMs as a diagnostic tool
Hillier, J.K. and Smith, M.J. (2014) Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Glacial bedform height (H) and volume (V) likely preserve important information about the behaviour of former ice sheets....

posted on: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

PDF XChange Viewer
Just saw this come up - PDF-XChange Viewer - which is small, lightweight, fast and portable. Having played with it, it is now quite a bit faster than my old favourite (Foxit) so has replaced it. Sure its funding model is based around getting you to purchase the "pro" version which has a variety of features. But if all you want is fast and, well, fast, getting you viewing quicker and easier, then look no further

posted on: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Tournament Earth is back!!
Tournament Earth is back! GET YOUR VOTES IN!

posted on: Wed, 05 Mar 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

FREE EPRINT: Journal of Maps Editorial: Summary of 2013
For the next 50 clicks, get access to the Journal of Maps Editorial: Summary of 2013

posted on: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Pisa Scanning
Nice pick-up at GoGeo on interior scanning of the leaning tower of Pisa - difficult job and great tech!

posted on: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Father of GIS: Roger Tomlinson 1933-2014
Noted on GoGeo and a nice NPR tribute

posted on: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Toilet Humour 2
And a second and final..... great to see that there is both a sense of humour in companies and a great way to communicate a message. It grabs your attention (because its long), makes you laugh and makes you remember.

posted on: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Toilet Humour 1
Can't resist a little toilet humour every so often.... yes this is a real sign....

posted on: Thu, 06 Feb 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Embedded PDF Viewer
Test post for an embedded PDF viewer using viewer.js.... very impressed and it supports ODF as well as PDF.

posted on: Sun, 19 Jan 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps Best Map 2013
It is with great pleasure I can announce that the paper "Relief-Rock-Soil relationship in the transition of Atlantic Plateau to Peripheral Depression, Sao Paulo, Brazil" by Fernando Nadal Junqueira Villela, Jurandyr Luciano Sanches Ross and Sidneide Manfredini has been given the Journal of Maps "Best Map" award for 2013....

posted on: Fri, 10 Jan 2014 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Programming for geographers....
Nice thoughtful piece from Alex Singleton.... Very ,much in the vein of neogeography and touching upon the practical elements espoused in Mapping Hacks. More than ever, making use (aka hacking) of tools and methods to understand, develop and present thoughts, ideas and innovations is vital for those wanting to bring new energy, drive and value to the workplace. Get ahead, make yourself valuable.....

posted on: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Smartphone vs DSLR
Very interesting and fairly detailed comparison over at Digital Photography Review. It's not intended to be purely scientific but takes a broad sweep look and compares a range of historic (expensive!) DSLRs, a film camera and an iPhone 5S and Nokia Lumia 1020. The results are quite remarkable - worth the read

posted on: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

AF Assist on the D700
Note to self - AF-assist only works when in single servo mode and with single point focus on the centre spot. It don't work otherwise and you can't focus in a dark location!!!!

posted on: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Relive those compouter games!!
For those raised in the 70s and 80s there is a nostalgia for some cracking and quaint old games - forget Elite (although it is cool!). Pacman and Frogger are the name of the game!!!! BBC News carried a nice article on the Internet Archive's emulation of some classic consoles and the games they run all within a web browser. Easy way to fritter away a few hours :)

posted on: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Packt boot deals
Try them out.... (I reviewed the Python one earlier this year

posted on: Fri, 27 Dec 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Earthrise
See Earthrise as Apollo 8 saw it in 1968 - for the first time. Fabulous Earth Observatory and great NASA video.

posted on: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Digital Globe Best Image
Cast your votes! Some corkers here.....

posted on: Mon, 09 Dec 2013 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Why are maps still so powerful?
Nicely blogged by the OS - and listen directly at the BBC here

posted on: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Night skies....
Night skies by Mark Gee.... stunning. Make it wide screen, pump up the volume, get lost in the universe....

posted on: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Big data.... (some) big problems
Nioce post from Donald Clark on when big data goes wrong. A timely reminder about how messages become distorted, pushed to serve the purposes of their authors...... and up front is a classic map issue which all GIS students should be more than familiar with!

posted on: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry