Internationalization (i18n) and Translations for Mapwarper. (English, Dutch, Japanese)


Many thanks to Ellen Gehring of Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken for the Dutch translations. Ellen with the ELO wanted their own warper and because of this, support for locales, internationalisation and translations was added to the codebase.  Huge thanks to Kamata Ryo for the work on the Locale Changer, and the Japanese translations.

If you would like to see your own language, let me know.  We’ve used both LocaleApp and normal Github pull requests.


This year, with Leeds City Council I developed which is a course finder for about 300 courses by the City and run by a number of providers and dozens of venues. It offers a range of first step courses for adults, such as basic IT skills, ESOL, caring and crafts. Within the first 24 hours of launch it received over 3000 visits, in the first month, it had over 25,000 visits, with the average user spending three minutes on the site.  The code’s up on my LearningInLeeds GitHub repository.

Screenshot-2017-11-22 Find courses near you in Leeds - Adult Learning in Leeds

The project evolved from a LCC Innovation Lab – similar to the Leodis project I also worked on. The key idea is that it was designed to be a pilot or prototype project, small in scope and quick to develop, it would aim to be an aspirational example of how the City can work with the Council and open data to make good IT products. The adult education department were fully engaged with the development and design of the project, giving feedback, priorities. This engagement was really welcome and I think the experts say its crucial to any successful agile project. The department didn’t have any online course finder before so this was bringing something new, and needed to them.

Screenshot-2017-11-22 Accredited Courses at Swarthmore College - Adult Learning in Leeds

It was featured in the Government Technology News site, the Yorkshire Evening Post, on Made in Leeds TV, and was shown on the big screen in Millennium Square.



  • Automatic imports of courses from Data Mill North (open data site)
  • Full text search with support for sounds like and spelling mistakes
  • Geographical, near searches
  • Bus and walking directions to the start of the course from any point
  • Add to calendar links for course start
  • Showing courses by topics or categories
  • Responsive and mobile friendly.
  • Simple CMS admin UI for staff to update text pages, change records etc
  • Caching of external API requests, front page and CMS pages
  • Recent searches kept


  • Ruby on Rails
  • Devise and Active Admin for admin UI
  • Postgresql, PostGIS and pg_search for db, geo, full text stuff
  • Bootstrap for front end user interface layout, CSS etc
  • Transport API, Bing Transit, Mapzen for journey planning and geocoding etc


The project could be altered for other organisations, and it could be altered to include the whole range of courses on offer for adults across the city region. I think usage metrics would need to be done to see what users actually do on the site, and whether the journey planning is useful. Adding extra information about course duration,  how many times a week / month etc would be good. Making it more mobile friendly could be looked at, including making a mobile only app.

4wcop Session Videos and RTE 1 Inside Culture special show

Videos for Friday and Saturday Main Auditorium Sessions.

It’s two months since the Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography held in Huddersfield in 2017. The Friday and Saturday sessions in the main auditorium were streamed live and now we are happy to have the recorded videos on VideoHud.



Of special interest is the recording of the controversial Fenella Brandenberg & David Bollinger on Friday morning which many have expressed their wishes to see, and which a few people had trouble hearing on the day.

Note that you can change the camera in the video viewer from slides and main camera (with extra video of the camera of the screen and the computer too) which might be useful for some presentations.

RTE Inside Culture


The Irish national radio station’s RTE 1  Inside Culture show featured the World Congress, interviewing a number of participants and covering a wide range of things, amongst a rather good show about Psychogeography in general.  If you were at the Congress you might have met and chatted with Regan, or at least noticed a fella walking around with a large microphone – this is his work!

Sonia Overall, Morag Rose, Gareth Rees, Kevin Boniface and Barbara Lounder were featured,  as well as the voices of Graeme Murrell and Dave Smith that I could hear.

The 4wcop specific content starts at 19 minutes, but give it all a listen!

Inside Culture 

You can find the button to Listen at the end of the Inside Culture page. I think you have a month from Nov 20 2017 to listen to it.  Or you can listen to the show here:



Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography 2017 : a brain dump

For the fifth year running I’ve been co-organizing the series of World Congresses of Psychogeography. You can read up about last years congress here. From 8-10 September in Huddersfield, the Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography took place. The three days had around 200 people attend, with over forty events from the loony, the jolly, the thoughtful, to the sublime. I led three things, two participations, The Centre and Algorithm Walks and I represented the newly formed West Yorkshire Traipsers in hosting Derive Day. Here is my brain dump of the event as a whole and the things I went to.

The following week I also attended the RC21 Conference presenting with artist Gareth Jones on “Entangled Narratives, Concernful Dealings: Bringing Leeds Terminalia to Osaka through Creative Walking”. This academic conference had an all day stream on psychogeography chaired by Morag Rose, and attended by a few people who also came to the Congress.

Upcoming updates….
We live streamed the Friday and Saturday indoor sessions so I will try to update this post if we get these edited and up. There was a journalist from the Irish national broadcaster RTE there for 3 days and so I imagine there might be a radio show about the events in the future too.


You can view the programme and biographies  ( link) and  view the lineup PDF here ( link) – or on the site itself now or if the website has been updated, in the past section of the site. (incidentally, the whole website is open source and available on github).

Overall, as an organiser, it was great, I think we planned it well, compared to last year. Last year we basically put something on without knowing how many people would be interested in it, we just thought a handful of mates would attend, but we were swamped. This year we were more prepared. I think we had a good programme and people seemed to enjoy themselves. I also didn’t kill myself unlike last year. This year also saw planned evening social events in various venues.

The weather sucked, it was showers and sunshine and showed that the gore-tex on my shoes had a hole in them! But wasn’t too bad, I guess, people seemed dry on the whole, we were lucky. On the way back from one of my walks we were gifted with the most vibrant rainbow

Refreshments – It was a shoe string event – with no external funding, and all the events were free. The Students Union was open on Friday absorbed the load, we had plenty of light refreshments on Saturday (with a box full of left over shortbread biscuits) and were able to source some snacks for Sunday.

Venue – The Congress was in Heritage Quay  on Friday and Saturday and across town in the Support 2 Recovery Create Space . Heritage Quay had a good sized (100 capacity) auditorium and a break out workshop room but wasn’t suitable for exhibitions, and S2R was more informal with a large space for presentations and a couple of more casual rooms – S2R had more of a gallery angle and was suitable for exhibitions (we had 3 of them). Heritage Quay and the professional and diligent support from Dave Smith from there was indispensable – the congress wouldn’t be able to go ahead without that.

Personally, I think I did one or two many events myself – I should limit myself to just the one thing. I spent some time and thought and energy preparing for each event I ran and as a consequence and in addition to invigilating and general running around was a bit too much.

People – Some people did seem to attend to just the one event, whether it was a walk or a talk. I think that some of these didn’t register – we had about a dozen email addresses afterwards wanting to be put on the loop. Anyhow – registration, as we emphasised was mainly just to give us a good idea of numbers to expect, and wasn’t anything more than that. Several events were limited in size and capacity and had separate ticketing requirements. I imagine for the future – if there are more complicated ticketing arrangements a better process might be needed.

This year, we noticed that there were more psychogeographers staying around for more events. Last year several of the individual events were listed in the Kirklees Heritage Open Days brochure, and I think it got many local people directly attending, most of whom were puzzled by what Psychogeography actually is. This year the event as a whole was listed in the brochure, rather than individual ones.  We did have some more press coverage though. The superstore carpark walks got some attention from the Huddersfield Examiner

Accessibility – A few of the walks were explicitly suitable for people with mobility problems, but we didn’t really emphasise this. I think next year we should adopt the scheme as used by Otley Walking Festival: 1) wheelchair suitable 2) suitable for some mobility (walking stick) or by default 3) good / normal level of mobility required.

The programme overall was varied and wide ranging. I’m proud we were able to pull it all off! I can’t remember how many submissions we were not able to accept – they were less than a dozen I think. There was some comments which seemed to imply that people hadn’t heard about the call for proposals.

I’ll avoid explaining what the event was for the majority of the items, and request that the interested user read the programme to find out what occurred I’m missing out things I didn’t go on, or didn’t hear much about.

Friday Events

Fenella Brandenberg and David Bollinger – The Fundamentals of the Psychogeographical Method


The world famous Bollinger & Brandenburg end psychogeography! (Heritage Quay)

To open the congress, we were treated with a very special talk. David and Fenella appeared from a cupboard where they had been waiting for 30 minutes before I introduced them. There were some audio problems and some people complained about not being able to hear it properly from the back. But they steamed ahead. There were several laughs and I think when people got the format they enjoyed it. The format was in the way of a read sequence of email exchanges between these two academics. David did say that one of his chapters of a forthcoming book was available to be viewed, and here it is: ‘Either put on these glasses or start eating that trash can! Psychogeographically walking with John Nada, Beryl Curt and David Bollinger’

Brendan Bootland, Suzanne Elliot and Nick Hartley – Psychologists Working Towards Social Justice: How Can We Walk The Talk?


Brendan telling his experiences (@TykePsychoGeog)

This was a good presentation. The walk focused on a walk from Leicester to London. Brendan gave an interesting perspective of his past life in the streets and what it was like. I wanted to ask him whether he looks at the same places in the same way, or in a new way now. Nick gave an impassioned talk about the need for social justice and put it in the frame of current affairs and politics. His passion was echoed in Morags talk later that day (which I missed). I heard that a few people had several discussions with these folks afterwards. Many also rated this talk as a highlight of the Congress.

Graeme Murrell – Short Personal Heritage Walks


Graeme waiting for his group of walkers

Graeme led a number of these walks, even stepping in at the last moment to cover for someone who couldn’t do their talk. The format was a short, 15 minute walk, good for folks with mobility problems, and was a left / right algorithm walk where at each turn, the walkers would take turns saying or doing something. It was a good social and fun walk. Graeme said that the idea was based on a business mans lunch trip, I think – 15 minutes to do a quick derive. Graeme has run Monocular Times for years and has been doing a range of psychogeography in the dark ages when no one really knew about it.

Ursula Troche – Walking Over Edges: A Personal Embodied Practice Experience


Ursula in Huddersfield. (from her blog)

I loved this session. She was self aware of her, let me say, non-linear thought patterns, and was able to play with this with a parallel to space and place. She gave a couple of poems which I think worked well, and think that it made an interesting view into psychogeography. I think she described some things about psychgeography, patterns and prescribed ways of using a place very well. Ursula has written up about the Congress on her blog here and here

Phil Smith – New Spectacle, New Drift, New Psyche

An interesting talk. I caught some of what he was saying but missed every 1 in 5 sentences. Dense stuff. He’s a psychogeographer’s psychogeographer. He ended his talk with an announcement that he would not be doing any more talks about his walk, but instead be doing more actual psychogeography.
Phil’s excellent talk can be read here

Roy Bayfield – Psychogeography Of The Fourth World


Roy and the Fourth World (@PhotoDerive)

Roy is a great speaker and this was a fun talk. His talk sparked off many coincidences with places and situations in my life, which no other talk did, because of this I bought his book which he was selling at the back! Roy is walking around Brighton finding the places where be got and read Jack Kirby’s groundbreaking Fourth World comic series (which is out of print and my library aint got none). I first heard Roy speak at a talk at Leeds Psychogeography Group a few years ago. His psychogeography is intensely a personal kind, I think but applicable to anyone. In his book, Desire Paths after each chapter he gives a series of “try it yourself”actions.


Saturday Events

West Yorkshire Traipsers – Introduction to Derive Day

9 Sept. was Dérive Day, organised by Babak and Eduardo from Dérive App, a mobile phone app. Starting a number of times during the day, participants are presented the exact same task cards simultaneously wherever you are in the world. “Share your experiences on social media as a testimony to your own unique dérive, photos, thoughts and locations around the world. Dérive App is a mobile app for Iphone and Android.”
Traipsers are the new flaneurs – everyone who turned up became an owner and director of the West Yorks Traipsers. They could leave the organisation if they wanted to start up their own chapter.
A few people had some struggles both installing the app, then finding the group, joining it and starting the hosted derive. Some formed into huddles rather than go out individually.  It feels more of a collaborative locative game than a pure card based derive. I really like the nature of the hosted derive and knowing that others are attempting the same task somewhere else, and I like the embedded chat.  Personally, it’s not quite my cup of tea, at least for doing it alone. I’m not sure how many other international users were using it at the same time – but it certainly gave a global feel to it. There were some great comments about it.

Tim Waters (me) – The Centre


Me dowsing over a historical map (@heritagequay)

The idea here was to have three activities, based loosley on temperament. Extraverts would go out to the town and speak with people to ask them where the centre was, intuitives would go and feel where the genii loci were which felt like where the centre really was, and some others indoors would look at historical maps, consult computers and dowse with rods and pendulums to determine the centre of Huddersfield. The talker group asked people and found the market cross area as being the most common centre, with the square outside of the railway also occurring (but less common). Intuitives found the area outside and even inside the library. They found it felt most comfortable. The map dowsers (I took part in this) also found the market cross. However, the outdoor groups who went to the actual market cross area found it oppressive, and repelled people. No genii loci found, possibly due to the weather. Next time – I think I need to give people more time to allow folks to swap roles, and at least people to go out and use the dowsing outdoors as well and less of the theory I think.
Interestingly we had some dowsers come along and we dowsed indoors – I think we really did independently spot responses at a couple of spots in one room. Possibly locations of power lines or water / sewage?

Sonia Overall – Mishtory Tour


Finding secrets about ghost submariners on Sonia’s walk

This was a good walk and well attended. I felt there may have been possibly too many (although it was within the specified ticket limit). Format allowed 4 participants to take on roles and so in a way allowed most of the rest of us to take a less of a role, and be carried along on the story. I found myself thinking how certain characters are louder in a discussion and can come to dominate an activity. However, I think we all occasionally piped up and joined in. It was enjoyable and Sonia did guide the narrative and structure in a good way, encouraging a sense of story with plot, beginning and end. It was a kind of lived fiction, hard to tell what it was about, but it involved trapped russian submariners, the number 7, the elements of fire, earth, wind and water!

Elia Rita – I’m the City of Other Who Are The City – a participatory urban pilgrimage
pics and video.


Elia and participants (from @Heritage_Quay )

This was the best thing ever. I’m happy that I was able to have this as part of the programme, and that some faith in Huddersfield and its people paid off. In
a way I’d like future congresses to have more interactions within the public space. Not that the congress was insular and inwards looking – we often looked out and went out, but that the people and place of Huddersfield can also be interacted with. But I also don’t want to run a performance art festival, so perhaps just having a couple extra things like this would be good.


I was a bit nervous about what the people of town might react and told her that you Yorkshire folks can be direct but not aggressive, almost childlike in the way they can ask questions. Elia replied by saying that she would explain the work before, and she did.
During the piece us walkers who were not protestrating were able to talk with people who approached them. Mostly it was curiosity. Some people were watching for several minutes, groups formed, I talked with a Catholic and a Muslim family, both who seemed appreciative of it, and could identify with the religious aspect of the piece..
One man with family expressed heartfelt thanks to her. I took loads of pics and a few videos:


Kevin Boniface, Steven Beever, & Marc Layton-Bennett – Most Difficult Thing Ever


Kevin and band (@halifaxslasher)

Kevin is a poet (a beat poet?) and this was a musical performance with drums, keyboard and computer. There were a couple of issues with the audio and it was borderline problematic initially, but we worked it out in the end I think. Dave and the staff in Heritage Quay did a good job getting the right balance. People were laughing out loud (Kevins poetry is very funny) and really seemed to enjoy it. A great end to the day.

We then all went to the pub and had some pizza.

Sunday Events

Sunday was in another venue – S2R or Support to Recovery – a general wellbeing / positive mental health local charity, which does a range of activities increasingly outdoors, walks, workshops etc.

This space had, well, space for the exhibitions. One by Lloyd Spenser and one by Victor Beuhring

Lloyd Spenser Nightwalking

Lloyd did a talk and exhibited his photography. He talked about how regular visits to a local hospice and the emergence after to another world of night, fog and lights. Lloyd also showed some of his earlier night street photography on the streets of Leeds. There were some really beautiful prints, and I bought a couple of prints from him. Here he is on Flickr:

Victor Beuhring – 25 pockets of […]

Victor exhibited his framed works showing things given to him in places by people. He has devised a wonderful way both of making new friends in an area, and discovering more about the area. We were happy that Victor was able to give a short impromptu talk about his talk to the assembled Congresseers. Victor also attended the RC21 talk the following week.


Gareth Rees – Superstore Carparks


Gareth showing us around Sainsburys (from @anzrboo)

Gareth is a very personable and enthusiastic, intelligent chap, you could tell he put a good amount of work into this. Top marks for this walk, and for Huddersfield for having two very different carparks! It was a hugely enjoyable
walk. Gareth also won the prize for having the best t-shirt competition of the Congress.
This walk (he did one each on a more rainy but busier Saturday and on the Sunday which I attended) walked through supermarket car parks, looking at graffiti, artefacts, the structure, the ghost signs, white paint signs etc. Tesco’s car park was post apocalyptic and cave like with actual stalagmites and stalactites, and Sainsbury’s had a Dickensian village aesthetic. I’m encouraged to explore my towns superstore carparks now, if only to get a dose of this madness.
Superstore carparks are a way to read about society, it’s aspiration, it’s histories etc.


Sara Rees – Fragments for A City in Ruins

Sara is a film-maker and showed a delicate and thoughtful film, exploring what a place is, with regards to showing ruins in Athens. I think all the text were taken from well known text like Benjamin and Italo Calvino. I think it would require further viewing in a way, alone, perhaps. Sara showed the film twice on Sat and Sun and unfortunately, on the Sunday both the room was cold and there was some technical difficulties getting the sound speaker and projector working.
I’ll try to find a link to find a way for you to find out more about this, but it’s showing across the country now.

Aimee Blease-Bourne The red city inside out: A psychogeography of gendered space through the lens of the female body, specifically focusing on menstruation

I didn’t take part in this (I was running my own walk at the time) but was able to chat with Aimee before. Aimee created a number of handmade booklets with information about the walk, what to look for etc, and was able to make a collage / poster about what the walkers encountered when they got back. Her walk was very well attended, which I’m glad to see, although it’s not my cup of tea, generally.
Aimee has written a blog post and posted a video about her walk / work.

Tim Waters (me) – Algorithm Walks

There were only 6 of us, so it was a smaller turnout than last year! Last year this walk suffered as there were over 30 on it, so I planned so that it could work with many people, but, hah! I didn’t plan on how it would work with only a few people. It was good though. I’m not sure it answered my theses, but the
walk was great and fun and I think people were engaged. Sonia came on it so
was in a way a co-leader. Rain and a bad knee and me being tired stopped
this a bit earlier. We were blessed by the most vibrant rainbow. Someone on my walk said “Huddersfield will never be the same again!” – referring to how his view of the town will not be the same, rather than some material difference, but I took it for praise.

Jason Kelly & Graeme Murrell Odersfelt Unorchestra


A short introduction before the experience

What a perfect end to the congress! We could almost have this at the beginning and end to warm up. I thought it was fun, relevant, immersive and almost ritualistic about it. There’s a film here:


Bridget Sheriden – Drift In-between

Bridget did a talk earlier in the day, and we then waited until it was dark (after a pie and a beer in the Sportsman pub) to go on a walk. The talk was good – I liked it – it was certainly different, almost high brow art about it. Bridget’s films were projections where she would walk and film herself projecting something onto wherever she is walking, if that makes sense. So she walks with a portable projector, the projector is playing some film or other, and she in turn records this via a camera held above the projector. We got to do it too. One thing that cropped up in my mind as I was watching bridget’s films was that of nostalgia. She explained in the pub that one of the films had almost subliminal sound of children playing. But the idea was that there was something in between the two layers, and I think there is.


The walk – I loved this. I had to leave early to get the train back, and I imagine in a way that the route could have been chosen to ensure some darker bits to make the projection stronger, but perhaps this might have not been the point. It was hard this occurring both on the last day of the congress and late at night on a wet Sunday – I think all the organisers were all worried about not many people turning up, so it was great that we were able to get everyone out and attending to this. (starting from the pub was a good idea!)



Well that’s the dump finished. It’s basically just those things I went on, remembered. Thanks to those who took most of the pictures, I tried to give attribution / sources where appropriate, but let me know if you’d like better links. Also let me know of others blogs and reports and any relevant links I can add. Some people have asked whether there will be a fifth congress next year. All we can say is that we were so busy having fun that we forgot to do any closing plenary session, so the Congress is just on a long tea break….


Otley Psychogeographic Sound Walk. Notes from a talk.

Otley Walking Festival – Psychogeographic Sound Walk. Notes from a talk.

For the second year in a run I took part in leading a psychogeography walk for the Otley Walking Festival. The festival runs for a week and has dozens of varied walks from 20 mile hikes up fell and dale, walks looking for cup and ring marks anf from local history walks to walks around allotments, and people’s gardens. I did the “Psychogeographic Sound Walk”. Here is my notes for the introduction for the walk – I expected around half a dozen folks – but we had up to 20 people with a wide range of attendees.

Otley Psychogeographical Sound Walk

Hello and welcome to the first day of the Otley Walking Festival and welcome to the Otley Psychogeographical Sound Walk. If you are curious and have no idea what that means, I’ll tell you about it before we head off! Basically we are going to be walking reasonably quietly around the town actively listening with our ears at the sounds that we can hear in the environment around us. Wherever we go we will give our ears priority rather than our eyes.

So welcome to Otley! I think this would be a new way for you to experience and get to know the town. We will walk around the town, and have a half way stop in Wharfemeadows Park for an ice cream or a cuppa tea. Then walk a different route back and finish somewhere in the center.

So the format of the walk is that I will lead the walk and you will walk alongside or behind me. At certain lengths, like for example, walking through the busy market we will walk in single file, but at other times, it can form whatever form you want. Make sure you keep up. I don’t walk fast, but sometimes people can dawdle.

We have a back marker? The role of the back marker is to ensure that people don’t fall behind them, and that you know where you are walking. Give phone number to back marker. The back marker will wear a flourescent jacket like myself and it makes it much easy for me to glance back and see them and know that the group is within me and them. It helps for you too as walkers only need to think about if they are in the middle of me and the back marker.

Basically when you are walking you don’t need to worry about where you are going, so you are free to just listen. As we walk, I want you to try not to talk, but only talk about the sounds. We will stop occasionally and talk about what we have just heard and what we can hear. Remember that when you talk, others on the walk will hear you and that may affect the walk they are on. We can talk more about this now and during the break and afterwards. I’ll tell you more about this rule later anyhow.

Now, at times I will stop and then I encourage you to all crowd around me, this is so that we dont get in any others way, and also to ensure that you are all hearing the same things. After a 2 or 3 minutes in silence we can talk about the sounds we hear.

So no chatting and the only thing we can talk about are what we listen to (or cannot hear). When we are stopped we can talk more freely about the sounds. If you encounter a friend, just say “Im on a quiet walk, I cant talk now”, and another thing to fight against is the nervous silences when we feel tempted to break the silence. A walking group that doesnt make much sound is a bit of a silly thing both for other people to see and for us doing it. In a way by participating in the walk you are doing psychogeography as you would never have used this space in this way before. When we stop at the cafe we can natter and talk about anything then! I’ll also pass around the raffle tickets as this is a free event and the festival relies on raffles and your donations to survive. there are also some great prizes to win!

Some other rules – as we walk around we will need to cross roads. I will stop before crossing and you will catch up and we will form a group and cross as that group. Please use your own judgement when crossing roads, dont cross them blindly, and watch out for traffic. So if new people turn up you know, please tell them these rules!

There are a few steps here and there and some paths if wet might be slippery. There is a short park field will will walk across but you can walk around that bit if you cant make that.

So Psychogeography.

This is basically psychology (the mind) and geography (places and spaces). So we are doing something that relates to our mind and perceptions and the specific space (otley) and general spaces (how we walk about and experience places in general). For example, you know that walking in a town is different than walking in the country!

Psychogeograpyy as a term is vague though and has a few other definitions. The term was mainly coined by a group of leftist students, sorry I mean Intellectual Artists, in Paris in the 50s and 60s called the Situationists. They saw Psychogeography as a tool to expose the captialist machinery of the city – but they didn’t really give any ideas as to what it should be replaced with nor any tools on how to do the replacing (apart from marxism and revolution). One of the things they did was observe people as they walked around, and they saw a map of a girls students movements around Paris in a year. It was a simple triangle of routes- From home to university, and once a week to her piano teacher. They were appalled that someone so young should live such a constrained way in such a great and varied city. Of course you can interpret the girls life in many other ways, many of them positive and not one of alienation.

Psychogeography can be considered a practice of using space and being in a place in a different way so that you are not doing things the way that it’s set up for. By doing it you can in a sense break out of the rules of the game. Psychogeography can tell you about a specific place, about how we use and experience spaces in general and about ourselves and how we feel in different places and our own behaviours.

Sound Walks

A Sound walk is where you walk around listening to sounds in your environment. soundwalking is “… any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment. It is exposing our ears to every sound around us no matter where we are.” Wherever we go we will give our ears priority Sound artists can think about a sound walk as a type of composition. Our speed of walking, the sounds and route we take could be considered a musical score in a way.

There are many sounds around us, and many things that you cannot hear! Some ambient sounds are inaudible or filtered out by our brain. Like the wind, or a road traffic hum. Some sounds are characteristic, landmarks or soundmarks of a place. Some sounds are clear signals – a dog barking, an alarm clock etc. The sound carries the meanining. Some sounds are out of sight and unknown. Some sounds you can see. Nature has a whole catalogue of sounds.

Now if you are thinking “thats easy, hearing stuff is easy” then you can consider how sounds change when you are 1) walking through a place 2) bouncing and reflecting off different materials 3) combined and overlaid with other sounds 4) the volume of a sound and the pitch of a sound. Truely actively listening can be tiring. But I want this walk to be interesting, so dont worry too much. Just give your ears priority! I’m not an expert and expect some of you to hear and notice things I cannot.

You can help concentrate on the sounds by not looking around so much – so if the way is clear, looking down instead of around might help, but thats optional.

Lets do a bit of a practice. Here we are outside courthouse. What can you hear?
I’ll give you the first one free, you can hear me talk! Easy. Now. Lets just close our eyes for a few seconds. I’ll tell you when we can open then. And try to list all the different sounds you can hear. Okay go.

Lead your ears away from your own sounds and listen to the sounds nearby.
What do you hear? Other people Nature sounds Mechanical sounds. How many continuous sounds?
Can you detect: Interesting rhythms, Regular beats, The highest, The lowest pitch?

Okay lets begin the walk.

—– end talk —-


The walk itself was good, and varied I think. Walkers noted how doing it sharpened every other sense too – even seeing. It was like meditation – mindfullness. That the surface where they walked on, stones, cobbles, grass, tarmac all become more noticeable. Drones from air conditioning units became more apparent – as well as how the sound of wind in trees in a way masked out lots of sound. One walker wondered if you could identify different trees based on the sound of wind in them. Bird song also becaome apparent. In parts, traffic sound become almost intolerable.

The route, roughly shown here in the map, took us from the centre through the busy Saturday market, and through the busy shopping streets, through the bus station, and to Sinclairs / Silvine Works factory. At each of these locations we stopped for a few minutes in silence and had a listen and then had a chat about what we heard and could hear at that spot. Then we wandered towards the river, through a park and into Tittiebottle Park and over the bridge, along the river where we passed another large group of walkers who were preparing for their walk to Farnley Hall. past the Bowls club which were playing a game, clack, and then the spectaclular weir. Then to the park proper and the ice cream stop for the break. After that we walked back to town, through a pub, into a church and through the centre again.

For next time I think I would end at the Park by the river. A few people ended at this spot, and on the second half, I was getting tired (we were also walking up hill). So the route for next time will be different.


New shortcuts and add layer features in has been updated with several months of the latest code. Some of these features are directed towards the rectify map interface with the addition of keyboard shortcuts and the new search and add custom layer tool. If you want to support donate to!

Search for existing map and mosaics and add to the map

Search for warped maps and mosaics (previously called layers) to add to the reference map.

Add Z/X/Y tiles to reference layer

Instead of searching for maps, paste in a map template string into the box. In the animation below, we get a template from another warper and add that in. You can use any tiles so long as they are in the ZXY ordered scheme e.g.{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Keyboard shorcuts: Change Mode  & Place Point

Use 1, 2 and 3 on your keyboard to change mode from place point, add point and move map modes.

Press “q” to place a point at the mouse cursor – regardless of the map mode. This enables you to quickly move around and add points

Quick Place and Quick Save

In this animation, the user has the move map control mode activated, and they move the mouse of the maps, and click “q” to quickly place point at mouse location. They then hit “e” or “return” to save that point – that saves you clicking the  “add control point” button!

Auto Place Point – MAGIC!

Here the “a” key is pressed to (similar to the q key) drop a point where the mouse is, but crucially, another point on the other map is added. This works if the point you add is on either map. The other map is zoomed to that new point. You’d need at least 2 points to give this a go.

(It uses a helmert transform to work out, based on the existing points, where to add the other point – so it’s a simple 2D transform and won’t be accurate for very warped maps)


Tubesign: goes viral (again), memes and fake news

Tubesign – was a fun service information sign maker that that I made in 2013 and in 2015 TfL demanded me delete it. It has reappeared in the news, with a sign created by a Windsor doctor (around my age) being read out on the news, a few TV programmes and in parliament, and lots of media discussion about it – with the bias towards the popular “fake news” narrative.

CC-BY-SA @tube_sign and John Moore

The code was open source and on github and some others (@tube_sign on twitter) picked up a copy and hosted their own at The main difference with my original site is that do not host any images and the image does not contain the London Underground roundel.  Needless to say,, their twitter @tube_sign and the image that was shared has nothing to do with me, but as Geppetto is rewarded by seeing his wooden creation become an entity on its own right so am I happy to see it’s new independent life.

Here’s a few links and copies of the main stories below. I found it amusing to note that there were about half a dozen genuine London underground signs made by employees but this one was the one that really went viral. I think that says much about working in the tube than anything.   There was discussion about whether it mattered it was “fake” if the message was agreeable. Part of the reason why it went viral is that it was slightly edgy – one is impressed that a lowly employee got around their manager to write such a thing – the actual signs are more dry and less edgy. Many responses to the initial sharing quickly said it was “fake” and that it was made by an online sign maker, but it didn’t stop it going viral. Or at least the story about it was the thing that went viral. The whole thing gave me a much needed chuckle a few days after watching such a horrific event hit London. I fully expect that people will forget about it for a year and it will go viral again.

Read the articles for yourself. The doctor thought everyone knew it was not real:

“In fact, he believed the tube sign generator he used was so widely known that no one would believe it was real.

Parliament –

BBC Question Time –

Guardian: Fake Tube Sign Read Out on BBC and in Commons after Westminster Attack

YouGov poll

Guardian creator interview “Creator of that viral tube sign: ‘I didn’t think people would think it was real’

New Statesman – The man who created the fake Tube sign explains why he did it

The Verge: Is sharing fake news okay if it feels right?

Nieman Lab: Is it still fake news if it makes you feel good? (Yes, yes it is): Updates from the fake news world


What’s coming to – new stuff! is getting an upgrade of code early this first week in April.

New things:

  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • New JSON-API and docs
  • Map caching for faster maps
  • Bigger map windows
  • Upgraded Ruby and Rails versions
  • Changed “my maps” to “favourites”
  • Changed “layers” to “mosaics”
  • Social logins – OpenStreetMap, Github and Facebook
  • Year / date search
  • Translation support
  • Added Mapbox Satellite layer
  • Search for an existing map or mosaic to help rectification
  • Ability to add an “Z/X/Y” Tile layer to help rectification
  • Upload CSV of Control Points for a map
  • Download CSV of control points for any map
  • Many bugs fixed and much other things I forgot to list above!


You might particularly enjoy the keyboard shortcuts:


The “a” shortcut does some auto-magic where if you have 3 or more points, it will automatically place the other point at the place where it thinks works best.


Quick place “q” and save point “e” then Auto place “a” twice and save point “e”.                      Click the image for bigger

To try out these latest features yourself visit

Let me know what you think!

If you wish to support the hosting and development of this project, you can donate to Tim via PayPal here:




Mapwarper Tutorial & Spatial Humanities Workshop by Lincoln Mullen

Lincoln Mullen has written a great series of workshops on the Spatial / Digital Humanities over five days. Day 3 is focused around Georectification with and is a very good tutorial.
The full workshop contents are here, and I recommend you to check them out:
Day 1: Introduction and Setup | Map Literacy | Narrative Maps
Day 2: Data Maps | QGIS
Day 3: Georectification | Working with Spatial Data
Day 4: Deep Maps | From Manuscripts to Maps
Day 5: Programmatic Maps

Lincoln is an assistant professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, working on the history of American religions as a digital historian.

The link to the Georectificaiton Workshop is here:

The screenshot of the tutorial is below the fold. Continue reading


Doing Digital History 2016 – Map Warper Tutorial

Doing Digital History 2016 is a two week Summer institute sponsored by National Endowment for the Humanities and was held at George Mason university in DC/Arlington earlier in the year. It was attended by “mid-career” historians and the focus was on digital humanities and history – making visualizations, mapping, sound and vision, and more.


I was happy to see that the participants had a workshop Georectifying maps with Map Warper.

Here’s the screenshot of the tutorial: