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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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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

Battery Discharge Fix
Well after the debacle that Google's upgrade of the Nexus 7 (2012) - just imagine wading through treacle and you'll get the idea as to the usability of Lollipop (e....

posted on: Sat, 03 Oct 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Think you know your countries??
Then try your luck with the Mercator Jigsaw - took me about 5 minutes with some distinctly tough ones in there. And - goddamn - that Mercator projection can be problematical ;)

posted on: Fri, 02 Oct 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

FREE EPRINT: Manual mapping of drumlins in synthetic landscapes to assess operator effectiveness
For the first 50 people, get your free eprint of Manual mapping of drumlins in synthetic landscapes to assess operator effectiveness Hillier, J., Smith, M.J. et al

posted on: Thu, 24 Sep 2015 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Studio of Objects Wrap Up
Well with the Paolozzi project (Studio of Objects) finally finished, the start of the summer saw the final wrap up "event"....

posted on: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

OS Photofit Cover Landed!
Yes its landed!! My winning photo has now been published by OS and is available from Amazon, displayed in all its glory. Evidence of my copy and the photo credit!!

posted on: Sat, 19 Sep 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Long exposure image banding
I quite often experiment with neutral density (ND) filters for long exposure photography as part of images I produce and, over the last couple of years, have had two particular problems (neither of which I have examples of any more so I've pulled in some links from Google Images): 1....

posted on: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

DJI announce micro four thirds camera
DJI have announced a micro four thirds camera for their drones which seems to be specifically targeted at the film industry but has important implications for photogrammetry....

posted on: Fri, 11 Sep 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Mapping the Syrian Conflict
An interesting short piece over at the BBC about mapping the Syrian conflict - what is interesting is the BBCs lack of understanding about how data, (online) mapping and journalism are merging together to create a new generation of (often (remote) citizen) data journalists....

posted on: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

MCQ Best Practice
Following up on the last blog post, Donald also has a great post on the 10 stupidest mistakes in multiple choice question design....

posted on: Wed, 09 Sep 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

Textual Double Header
Donald Clark did a good textual double header last week..... the first piece was on why text actually makes for good learning....

posted on: Fri, 04 Sep 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

EA DEMs Data Precision
UPDATE: An illuminating and quite hilarious read over here. The release of the LiDAR sourced EA DEMs is garnering some nice attention around the world although Martin spotted that the elevation values are recorded to a precision of attometers. Yes that's 15 to 17 digits after the decimal point!! As Martin points out, this is a huge waste of bandwidth and, I imagine, a default export setting. As I noted yesterday, the interface is functional, if a little clunky, and could do with some improvement.

posted on: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Tracking down references
A nice brief piece over at the Times Higher Ed on tracking down references with a link through to How To Do a Literature Review. This is good sound advice on how to search and then using referencing software and of course not forgetting to read!

posted on: Thu, 03 Sep 2015 | path: /teaching | permanent link to this entry

EA DEMs of UK
As I noted earlier, the EA has now made its 50cm DEM data of the UK available at Data.gov.uk. You can find both the DSM and DTM 50cm products.... From either page you'll eventually get to this download page which is a touch slow but works well enough where you can download fairly small OS tiles (shame they cant be bigger). Ill be playing with these over the next few weeks to see what they are like.

posted on: Wed, 02 Sep 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Commercial UAV Operators Double
An interesting summary piece over at Amateur Photographer.... and particularly noting that "The number of CAA-approved commercial operators now stands as 862, compared to 549 in April and a reported 359 in October 2014."...

posted on: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

The ArcGIS Book
Esri have just published a free online and PDF book called The ArcGIS Book. In Esri style, it is beautifully produced and presented with an eye for layout, typography and map design....

posted on: Wed, 26 Aug 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Lies, damned lies....
and marketing!! I was asked to fill in a customer satisfaction survey today using a fairly normal 1-10 symmetrical likert scale. Except that below the scale values 1-6 were noted as "negative", 7-8 as "neutral" and 9-10 as "positive". This psychological bias means that if you are satisfied you should be scoring 9-10.... this will naturally inflate any averaged values which can then be validly used in any marketing. Clearly even big companies like Aviva aren't too worried about pushing the boundaries of acceptable.

posted on: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... Nikon Custom Banks
My Nikon D700 has what are called "Custom Banks" - on face value these look like ways of saving your settings (for example if you have a preferred setup for a type of shooting) which you can then use later....

posted on: Mon, 24 Aug 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Firefox Resume Download
Firefox has a very effective resume download facility which is useful with big downloads (particularly as Im on 2Mb broadband) - however it consistently failed me when downloading the Windows 10 install ISO last week....

posted on: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Dronecode
With the press reporting on UAV near misses in the UK there is increasing pressure on how to effectively deal with drones encroaching on airspace and a rational approach to safety....

posted on: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

CLustre: source code released
With the paper CLustre: semi-automated lineament clustering for palaeo-glacial reconstruction now accepted for publication, we have released the sourcecode for CLustre at Github....

posted on: Thu, 13 Aug 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

CLustre: semi-automated lineament clustering for palaeo-glacial reconstruction
Smith, M.J., Anders, N. and Keesstra, S.D. (in press) Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Datasets containing large numbers (>10,000) of glacial lineaments are increasingly being mapped from remotely sensed data in order to develop a palaeo-glacial reconstruction or ”inversion”....

posted on: Wed, 12 Aug 2015 | path: /publications/journals | permanent link to this entry

QGIS 2.10 Released
QGIS 2.10 has just been released and the pace of development and features continues

posted on: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Mencoder Timelapse
Ages ago I blogged about creating timelapse videos from my GoPro using Mencoder. This takes the output JPEGs from the camera (at 10s intervals) and the uses Mencoder to stack them in to an MJPEG using this command: mencoder "mf://*....

posted on: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Note to self... withholding your number when dialling from a mobile
Just dial 141 before making the call!

posted on: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Drone Rangers
Great short "Future Works" film from The Economist on the Drone Rangers..... very nicely researched and presented looking at monitoring poaching in South Africa, to disaster response in the USA and then construction site monitoring. Lots of nice examples (thanks to Paolo for passing on).

posted on: Tue, 21 Jul 2015 | path: /remote_sensing/UAV | permanent link to this entry

Pixel Shift Marvel
The newly released Pentax K3 II is a top end APS-C DSLR in a similar vein to the Canon 70D and Nikon D7200, with a BIG however....

posted on: Mon, 20 Jul 2015 | path: /photography | permanent link to this entry

Maps.me Update
Well the devs must have been reading my earlier post on the (very good!) Maps.me because they've fixed my two biggest gripes!...

posted on: Tue, 07 Jul 2015 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

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