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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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May
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Journal of Maps Best Maps
The Map Room highlighted the Journal of Maps Best Maps today in this blog post. Our Best Maps are freely available, but since being published in partnership with Taylor and Francis we have become subscription based which means everything up to 2012 is open access....

posted on: Wed, 03 Feb 2016 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

Structure from Motion 101
I gave a short talk on numerical approaches to capturing "landscape" in a general sense and more specifically on my collaborative work on Studio of Objects with hijack and Chris Horrocks (at Kingston). Working with Flora Parrott, this was to give her students on the Foundation Fine Art Degree a taster of both laser scanning and Structure from Motion techniques. Slides below for those interested. My PhD student James O'Connor did the most dangerous of things - a live demo!!! He's now written this up as a 101 for getting started in Structure from Motion processing - and, of course, as a tribute to Oscar in Sesame street (not Elmo!). A great primer.

posted on: Sat, 30 Jan 2016 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Repost: QGIS Features I long for while using ArcGIS
A really good post about known and not so known QGIS features that will make ArcGIS users weep....

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

Mapumental
Came across the Mapumental service recently. Mapumental comes out of mySociety and the basic rationale is to take public transport timetables, link them to underlyingOS postcode data and then display isochrons using Leaflet with underlying OpenStreetMap data....

posted on: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Distraction free writing
I wrote several years ago about distraction free writing and the portable Windows application Focus Writer, although over the last few years its Scrivener that has taken quite a few headlines....

posted on: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Satellite Image Acquisitions, 2015
A great piece of work by one of my former dissertation students (Graham) over at Geocento plotting the location of all commercial satellite image acquisitions from it's archive. This includes images from ErosB, FORMOSAT-2, GeoEye-1, KOMPSAT-2, KOMPSAT-3, KOMPSAT-5, Pleiades-1A, Pleiades-1B, RADARSAT-2, RapidEye-1, RapidEye-2, RapidEye-3, RapidEye-4, RapidEye-5, SPOT-6, SPOT-7, TanDEM-X, TerraSAR-X, UK-DMC2, Worldview-1, Worldview-2, WorldView-3 Whats interesting is that this will in-part reflect how the satellites are being tasked and so potentially imply some of the applications. Makes for fascinating viewing.

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

Timelapse: 3. Video Production
This is the final blog in the series on producing an inset map for a timelapse video (see also Geocoding and Map Production)....

posted on: Tue, 29 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Universal Naked Driver
The first stage in replacing your stock Android phone, with a new ROM (for example CyanogenMod) is to replace the recovery partition on your device - for example here are the full instructions for my aging Moto e....

posted on: Mon, 28 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse: 2. Map Production
This is the second in the series on creating map overlays for timelapse videos from a series of photos....

posted on: Thu, 24 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

FAT32 Redux
My earlier blog on exFAT reminded me that, as a general principle, Android devices can't access that filesystem (although there are some devices that have OEM support for it and some third party add-ons)....

posted on: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

SpaceX Successful Landing
I blogged earlier this year about SpaceX's nearly successful (or failed, depending upon your point of view!) attempted at a vertical landing of the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket. This time they were successful and, to boot, launched 11 satellites in to space as well. Makes for a great party piece!!

posted on: Tue, 22 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse: 1. Geocoding
Following on from last week's blog, the first stage in putting together the timelapse video with inset map is to geocode the photos....

posted on: Mon, 21 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse: Creating an Inset Map
Last month I blogged about an update to my workflow for creating a timelapse and particularly adding overlays (both graphics and text from EXIF data) and solving problems with dates being out-of-sync by timeshifting them....

posted on: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

[The Urban Age Project]
Wanted to point people in the direction of a friend of mine back from the dim distant days of my PhD in Sheffield - Paulo was on a funded PhD from Brazil and I distinctly remember working long hours in the remote sensing lab, with "After 8" breaks in the afternoon. Anyway, enough nostalgia!! Paulo works as an engineering geologist in the government, but has reduced the number of hours to allow him to work more as a musician. The soundcloud embedded player below links to his latest EP, URBANA IDADE. If you like Satana, then this is very much in that style. I particularly like tracks 1 and 4, with some cracking guitar riffs. Great for an evening of mellow chill.

posted on: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Getting FATter
Three years ago I blogged about using FAT32 beyond the 32Gb limit to format large external drives. The rationale for this was to have an disk file system that worked across operating systems and didn't run in to the complete drag that is NTFS file permissions....

posted on: Tue, 15 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

DOS For loop for iterating
I'm currently working on a pet project doing some timelapse (if you hadn't guessed!) involved geocoding the photos (and a much longer blog on this process at a later date once it's complete)....

posted on: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

EA LIDAR DEM Coverage
A little while back I blogged about the release of the EA LiDAR DEMs for the UK - well a nice pickup from GoGeo for a coverage map of the data.

posted on: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Pippity Pip
I was using the CLustre code recently for analysing some lineaments and it reminded me to update to the latest version of WinPython (which I covered at the AGI)....

posted on: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Space Placements in INdustry (SPIN)
I missed this last year, but it's well worth flagging to all undergraduates as a fantastic way to get industry experience - Space Placements in INdustry (SPIN)....

posted on: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

DOS file listing
Need to get a plain and simple file listing from the command line in DOS to pipe in to a programme?? As ever a good starting point is to get help for the command. So: dir /? If you peruse through this you'll eventually work out that this is the command you want: dir /a-d /b > ..\list.txt The ">" symbol sends the output and stores it in a file. Make sure to specify "..\" before the filename so the file is saved in the directory above the existing one otherwise that file will be listed as well. And if you want to sort on (for example) filename then you add the "\on" switch: dir /a-d /b /on > ..\..\list.txt This will now save me looking that command up everytime!

posted on: Wed, 09 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Visualisation Update
Following on from my neogeography/big data blog Edoardo L'Astorina at Blu Frame (web designers) contact me to note a review he's recently completed on 20 online visualisation tools. And it's a useful review and worth a look to see where things are at.

posted on: Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Repost: Cartographer's Toolkit
A really nice blog translating and re-posting visual thresholds when viewing graphical features (for cartography). Useful.

posted on: Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Journal of Maps Best Map 2015 (FREE to view)
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the award of the 2015 "Best Map" to Vít Pászto, Alžbeta Brychtová, Pavel Tucek, Lukáš Marek and Jaroslav Burian (Palacký University) for their map using fuzzy logic to delimit rural and urban areas in the Czech Republic....

posted on: Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Editorial: summary of activities 2015
Smith, M.J. (2016) Journal of Maps What is a map? A seemingly innocuous question that is deftly handled by the International Cartographic Association (ICA, 2015) as "a symbolised representation of geographical reality, representing selected features or characteristics, resulting from the creative effort of its author's execution of choices, and is designed for use when spatial relationships are of primary relevance.”"

posted on: Mon, 07 Dec 2015 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse: timeshift your timestamp!!
AS I noted in my previous blog entry, if you forget to set your time/date on your camera and its wrong, you need to reset it in order to get XnView to pull our this metadata and overprint it on your JPGs....

posted on: Sat, 05 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Timelapse Update
A little while back I blogged about producing a timelapse. That sorted out all of the main issues I had with setting a camera up and leaving it to record a timelapse of a scene....

posted on: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

VirtualBox Update
Just a reminder that VirtualBox remains a great option for virtualisation and running a range of operating systems....

posted on: Fri, 27 Nov 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Open Source Roundup
Following on from my talk at AGI yesterday, a few open source posts came up at the helpful GISGeography. These include: Free GIS Software: Map the World With Open Source GIS Mapping Software 10 Open Source Remote Sensing Software Packages Mapping Out the GIS Software Landscape 27 Differences Between ArcGIS and QGIS – The Most Epic GIS Software Battle in GIS History All make for helpful reading!

posted on: Wed, 25 Nov 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

AGI Open Source Presentation
Great to be back at the AGI Annual Conference today and speaking about open source and giving a live demo....

posted on: Tue, 24 Nov 2015 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

Turning Point Clickers Orphaned by Windows 10 @turningtech
I was just doing some testing of a remote polling session for a class this week so took my Turning Point RF Receiver and plugged it in to a Windows 10 desktop - yes its marketed as driver free (and hassle free) installation....

posted on: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

GeoCom15
Just a reminder that the AGI's GeoCom15 is coming up 23-25 November 2015 at the rather swish Chesford Grange Hotel just outside Kenilworth. Remember that its both the conference and exhibition, the latter of which is free to wander around, so no excuse not to register and come along to see myself and Prof Nigel Walford from the Centre for GIS speak.

posted on: Sun, 15 Nov 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Digital preservation
What do you do when an artifact you have is in danger of loss or destruction?? Preserve it of course!...

posted on: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

SkyTech Event (and Commercial UAV Show Report)
I attended the Commcerical UAV Show last month at the Excel Centre, sharing a slice of the vast area with the Robotics Show....

posted on: Fri, 13 Nov 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

**EGU 2016** Unmanned Aerial Systems: Platforms, Sensors and Applications in the Geosciences (SS12.18)
EGU 2016 General Assembly Session (search for SS12.18) Conveners: Mike J Smith (Kingston), Mike James (Lancaster), Damiŕ Vericat (Lleida), Saskia Keesstra (Wageningen)...

posted on: Mon, 02 Nov 2015 | path: /meetings | permanent link to this entry

Cardiff, England
....can always count on a good geography blunder from local government!!

posted on: Thu, 29 Oct 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Maps.Me ReUpdate
This news article reminded me that I should provide a brief update on Maps.Me (which Ive blogged about before) which is receiving a good roadmap of development....

posted on: Thu, 29 Oct 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

QGIS 2.12....
..... has just landed. See the changelog for the new features which continue to be extensive and useful, for example rule based labelling and rule based styling of attribute tables.

posted on: Wed, 28 Oct 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Tips for Social Media
A helpful article on blogging/use of social media for academics which pretty much hits the spot. You can't ignore it, but it can suck the blood out of you if you are not careful!

posted on: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Free GIS Data
Great long list of free GIS data resources from Robin Waters. Something for everyone!

posted on: Wed, 21 Oct 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Redux: think you know your countries?
As a follow on to last weeks Think you know your countries? blog, have a visit to TheTrueSize.com where you can select countries and move them around a mercator map at will to compare them to any other country. How big is Germany, really, compared to Angola??

posted on: Sun, 04 Oct 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry