Thursday 25 September 2014

FOSS4G 2014

This year was the third time I have attended FOSS4G, the international conference for open source GIS and mapping software. The first one I attended, in Denver in 2011, was  my chance to find out what was going on in open source geospatial development. Despite many years of working in the GIS field, almost everything I saw and heard about in Denver was new to me, an indication of how it's possible to work in a specialised area and yet miss so much of what is happening around you.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

The Street View time machine

I remember being very impressed when Google launched their Street View application in Spain as an addition feature to Google Maps. I even forgave them for not including my street at first, it seemed like a great idea. Although after the initial interest faded I can't say that I have been back using it very much. However, the other day I thought it might be a useful tool to check some data that I'd collected in Madrid where I wasn't absolutely sure about the location. When it came to looking at the area around Madrid's Puerta del Sol I soon realized that I had a problem.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Crowdmap - managing the map

In my previous post I described how to do the basic configuration of a crowdmap. The next step is to manage the way in which data will be presented on the map. Information on a crowdmap can come from a variety of sources. It is possible for visitors to the map to submit reports either directly through the map page or via other means such as Twitter or SMS. In addition, those who are managing the map can submit their own reports as administrators and can add news feeds that contain useful information. 

Thursday 24 May 2012

Crowdmap - getting started

This is my first post in my series on how to use the Crowdmap site to host your own Ushahidi map. Here I deal with the most basic account creation and configuration details. Future posts will describe an example implementation of a crowdmap.

Saturday 5 May 2012


One of the most interesting mapping tools that I have seen in the last couple of years is that developed by the non-profit company Ushahidi. The name means "testimony" in Swahili, and the origin of Ushahidi comes from the website they developed to help monitor reports of violence in the aftermath of the Kenyan elections in 2008. The core idea was that anyone could submit a report to the site via internet or a mobile phone and this would then be mapped, together with some assessment of its reliability.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

VI Jornadas de SIG Libre

Last week I was in Girona attending the sixth edition of the Jornadas de SIG Libre. This is an annual event run by SIGTE, an organisation belonging to the University of Girona that is dedicated to geospatial research, training and knowledge transfer. I first came across SIGTE last year when I attended a summer school they run on open GIS software.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Apple's maps

The discovery last week that Apple seems to have used some tiles from Open Street Map (OSM) in its new iOS version of the iPhoto application has provoked speculation about yet another company making the switch to OSM. However, it seems that the data used is from some time ago, and even contained errors which have since been corrected in OSM. One great advantage of community sourced mapping is that errors get detected and corrected. The data has also been used with no attribution of its source, a condition of using OSM data.

Friday 2 March 2012

Have Google Maps taken the wrong road?

It started with one or two isolated reports of companies abandoning the use of Google Maps for their websites and switching to Open Street Map (OSM) as their map server. One of the main reasons behind such a move has been Google's decision to change their charging policy for use of their maps. This seems to have forced some smaller companies into a position where they effectively had little choice but to look for a cheaper option.

Friday 23 September 2011

State of the map 2011

This blog has been shamefully neglected for the whole summer, although I have been busy with some very interesting GIS related activities. I've just got back this week from a trip to Denver, where I have been attending two conferences; State of the Map 2011 (SOTM) and FOSS4G. I'll dedicate a post to each event, so let's start with SOTM, which is the annual meeting for people from around the world who contribute to, or who are interested in, Open Street Map (OSM).

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Votos y cifras

Electioneering has started in Spain for municipal and regional elections which are to be held on May 22nd. To coincide with the campaign, Esri's Spanish office has put together an interesting map called Votos y Cifras (votes and figures) which combines different sources of data to map voting patterns by region against socio-economic data for each area.

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