Mapwarper featured in A Digital Humanities Primer for English Students

Jenna Herdman has written an excellent free e-book about Digital Humanities for English Students which has an entire chapter titled: Digital Mapping Tool Tutorial which features the Mapwarper. It’s been published using gitbook and is available in pdf, html, epub formats.

The tutorial covers adding a map to mapwarper.net to chart the movements of David in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.

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The map is then loaded into Palladio which is a new tool for me. it “is a web-based platform for the visualization of complex, multi-dimensional data”.

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Do check out this great resource. The book has seven chapters in total and all of them are interesting and worthwhile to read! https://www.gitbook.com/book/jennaherdman/a-digital-humanities-primer-for-english-students/details

Screenshot after this read more tag:


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Some stuff I’ve been working on with new GeoCommons 2.0

Last weekend, if you were at WhereCampEU in Berlin (blog post to follow) , you may have caught my sneak peak into the new GeoCommons 2.0, which has been revealed just the other day. Here are some of the highlights of the new GeoCommons

  • The flash map has been overhauled and re-written, mainly by Andrei – and it can handle hundreds of thousands numbers of points quite happily
  • Analytics library is completed, but not currently accessible to normal users of GeoCommons – hopefully it will be soon, if people want it.
  • Behind the scenes, the system uses a number of distributed workers and tasks to offload processing intensive or long processing tasks
  • Datasets and Maps get given nice overview images, and the attributes of datasets have histograms generated for them
  • Data can be edited in the system, and filtered, and saved either to replace itself or as a new dataset
  • Animation of temporal data is much nicer now
  • Polymaps for HTML5 non-flash map support
  • Filters can be applied to the map, so that attributes can be filtered out.
  • Thematic maps can be made with categories now
  • Acetate is used as standard
  • Custom markers can be added to a map, and even animated ones work too!
The GeoIQ developer blog has a developer orientated review of wha’ts new and there is a good overview of GeoCommons on the main GeoIQ blog too.
Keep your eyes peeled on the GeoIQ Developer Blog over the next few days as the team adds some more posts about some of the technology behind it.

WhooMS – a tiny public geotiff WMS server

WhooMS is a tiny public WMS server for those people who have a GeoTIFF and need someplace to serve it as WMS. I wrote it a while ago, but now its running for all to use.

It’s written in Ruby, using the Sinatra Web Framework, which basically means it can all fit neatly on one file.  It uses Ruby Mapscript to read the uploaded GeoTiff and serve it out to the world.

Nice and simple and basic. Got a GeoTiff handy? (EPSG:4326) give it a go. whooms.mapwarper.net

The code for it can be found on github: http://github.com/timwaters/whooms

Main caveat: when the disc space gets full, the older files will be deleted to fill up space.

just some words

Before a few posts about Psychogeography in Leeds here are some nice words:

geo-tagging
guided walks
volunteered geographic information
ephemeral cities
social history
short cuts
psychology
imaginary urbanism
altered maps/radical cartography
travel writing
psychogeography
marxism
place based photo blogging
urban exploration
site specific sculpture
land/earth art
neogeography
old maps
architecture
situationism
hauntings
green space
performance art

mainly ripped off from neogeography.net

AGI North’s Where2Now Conference

Yesterday we had a great one day packed geo-conference in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Cheers to all the sponsors, the AGI, Rollo for organising it and GeoPlan for hosting it. Folks from Yahoo, Google and Microsoft were present.

Presented about Open Historical Maps – with the example of the collaborative georectification and digitization application being built for the New York Public Library. You can see the slides here: http://www.slideshare.net/chippy/open-historical-map-at-agi-norths-where20now-conference

Some things of note:

  • Theres nothing geoSpecial about geoSpatial.
  • GI is just bits on computers.
  • Google does testing of their cartography and maps live on users and have metrics to see how these groups interact with them.
  • Any successful geo presentation must either have a Vermeer’s Geographer painting or Snows infected pump.
  • Microsoft Bing maps are looking bling with the OS stuff.
  • Ordnance Survey looking to release toolkits in a box using OpenLayers, Geoserver etc. No vendor locks ins there!

All the presentations were filmed,
and should be able to be viewed here: http://www.geocommunitylive.com/
also  keep an eye on http://www.slideshare.net/tag/geocom for some more slides as and when.

Cool new Static Maps API for OpenStreetMap – GSOC Project

Pawel Niechoda, the student I was mentoring as part of the Google Summer of Code OpenStreetMap projects, has passed with flying colours by developing a very cool way to put OSM maps on your website, quickly and easily and with no javascript!

The Static Maps API helps with embedding map images into any website, and it has a wide range of markers and configuration options.

Simple one-line example: http://dev.openstreetmap.org/~pafciu17/?module=map&bbox=69.2,-47.2,71,-50&width=400&height=250

For example: a map with transparent polygons:

and ones with markers

I think the scale bar rocks too.

You can get the code here:
http://gsoc-os-static-maps-api.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/

OpenStreetMap had 6 projects this year with GSOC:

  • Preprocessor to add altitude info to OSM data
  • Android navigation application using OSM data
  • Profile based traffic routing
  • OSM direction too for visually impaired
  • Automatic street sign detection and reading
  • Static Maps API

http://socghop.appspot.com/org/list_proposals/google/gsoc2009/openstreetmap

I really enjoyed being a mentor, and was very fortunate to have a very capable student to work with! Cheers Pawel!

Private Maps Now Available in the Warper

Added the ability to make your uploaded maps private in the Map Warper – only you will be able to see and edit these maps, they won’t show up on the lists.
You can also delete maps too.
Access to both these features are via the map’s edit tab.

maynooth map warper

Other bit of news is that I’ve disabled anonymous uploads, so sign up if you haven’t already.

december updates & talk-gb-thenorth

Busy couple of weeks, two BarCamps in Sheffield and Liverpool, AGI North in Leeds, and announcing today, the creation of Talk-gb-thenorth OpenStreetMap mailing list for the North of England.

With a lot more active users, interested people and mappers up north here, we’ve started a mailing list. A place to discuss local relevant issues, announce and plan events. We hope to start a few social / say trips out events around the region in the new year. All welcome to sign up!

Location and mapping technologies were in evidence at both BarCamps, with myself doing the OSM session at Sheffield, written about earlier. And John doing one in his home town of Liverpool. John brought a big A1 printout of Liverpool, with stickers so people could stick on the map the location of points of interests. A good idea. Oh, I came second place in a pitching competition for a pet (non-geo) project of mine, thanks Katie and sponsors for the prizes. For those who went to Sheffield, there’s a “viral” competition open, I made a slightly embarrassing entry, click & share the link, help me win and it may even make you laugh! 🙂

Geocaching, Iphone & location, GPS Art, Mobile & geo games, slippy maps were amongst the sessions held, there was quite a noticeable geo theme to the events. TheGeoWeb would be proud!

Recently in Leeds, I went to  poorly attended but very very good (and free) presentations of the AGI North SIG. Three presentations were from Neil Bendel representing the AGI Health SIG, Nick Armitage with the NHS Info Centre, and Andre Britten from Dotted Eyes (the winner of the new NHS Digital Mapping Agreement).

Interestingly, Dotted Eyes won the DMA from Ordnance Survey… they also offer NAVTEQ products and some additional products such as maintaining list of obsolete postcodes. They don’t have any data that shows footpaths, however, but only have cyclepaths – not really great for a Heath service that wants people to go out and be healthy. Also, there’s no direct way for ambulances out in the field to submit corrections to road networks (and they really need up-to-date maps), but they can send their DMA agent an email, and then the company would tell Navteq, and then they would have to request an update of the correct data. That’s really really un-easy.

Another interesting project from the NHS folks was about “Fruit & Veg Deserts” (not desserts!) project. The idea here is that you can map where shops have fresh fruit and veg available (oases), and see where there is a dearth of fresh food (deserts). Makes it easier to approach the smaller shops and say “look, here’s a gap in the market”.