style editor for mapnik

This is a great application from Martijn (his blog) – it’s a style editor for Mapnik – one of the renderers used to render Openstreetmap data.
style editor for mapnik

It goes a long way to helping differentiate the map from the data, as I discussed in this post “a manifesto?“. OpenStreetMap’s power is the data. It also shows the flexibility of mapnik, and the Freedom in being able to have the map you want.

Have a go by selecting some of the predefined styles.


bbc radio shell script

You may find this useful. Shell script for listening to bbc radio feeds via mplayer, nice and short. “bbc 1” plays bbc 1.
list of feed urls:
if [ $# -eq 0 ]
echo "usage bbc 1"
for ((i=0; i<${#bbc[@]}; i++))
echo $i . ${bbc[$i]}
exit 1
mplayer -quiet -playlist ${bbc[${1}]}


It’s Not Grim Up North

Crossing the Pennines into Manchester brought the train from sunshine into drizzle, a drizzle continued all day, typical of the grim North (and especially the city of Manchester). But forgetting the rain, the North is the opposite of grim, as yesterday there was a furnace of activity, discussions and networking at BarCamp that made the North a shiny positive place to work.

Taking the title from the KLF track “It’s Grim Up North” (worth watching to the end -The North Will Rise Again”) my talk was a rapid discussion in the hottest room at the tiredest part of the day. You can get the slides here at slideshare, or view it below. Basically the slot was about vague vernacular geographies (the way normal people talk about areas), and working towards new tools to help capture, analyse and use. Good feedback was had, and the project shall be developed upon anew.

Here’s a map we made showing where some of the participants thought Wilderness was in the UK.

Full marks to Paul, the sponsors and organisers. It went really smoothly. (I won a book). There was much talk about similar events, alternatives, formats etc. I think that they get better and better as time goes on. Sheffield is the next (woefully, hugely unpublicised) barcamp up north, back across to the drier side of the Pennines.