Spatialist Blog

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My podcast recommendations

During commuting or sports I often listen to podcasts. As I’m always glad about new podcast recommendations from friends and colleagues I decided to make a list of some podcast I particularly enjoy these days. Maybe something for your summer? This American Life NPR’s This...

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Tool partisanship sucks

Esri might not quite work like Apple. Ok, likely not at all. But I’m pretty sure the demo computers at the Esri User Conference are vetted thoroughly before the event. Yet, Seth Stark has posted the following on Twitter: So, some Esri employee was demoing...

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Logo look-alikes

Few days ago, Spencer Chen posted this picture on Twitter: and commented: Nothing is original, esp. in #design. (btw, these are NOT the logos of Medium, AirBNB, Flipboard, and Beats) That’s right. Spencer’s photograph contains the names of the institutions those logos belong(ed) to: a publishing company,...

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Finds IV

→ Reconsider Schumpeter, disruption, break things, unicorns eating the world. This article by David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails and founder of Basecamp, on starting up is the opposite: “Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to...

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Journalism and data literacy

This post by Carla Pedrete is titled Common mistakes journalists make when using statistics, but I’d wager most statements wouldn’t be less true if extended to the general population (emphases mine): Political parties and corporations use statistics to defend or justify particular interests. Hence, it...

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Flag geekery

Alas, New Zealand’s proposition for a new flag design has been voted against a few weeks ago: But flags are always an interesting topic of discussion, from a design, cultural, historic, or simply aesthetic point of view. Via my friend Frank Ostermann I’ve learnt about...

LGM in Ticino, by myself 2

Visualising the last glacial maximum correctly

A few days ago, Swiss Geoportal (/the Swiss federal geodata infrastructure) tweeted a link to a visualisation of the largest ice extent over Switzerland – i.e. the last glacial maximum, LGM for short: They used a rather famous map of the LGM and draped it...

Example visualisation of a historic vote using the tile map 1

Switzerland tile map

(Blogpost auf Deutsch unter www.geo.ebp.ch) I believe in abstraction for conveying information, or ‘rough’ context for information, efficiently. Since a while, hex and square tile maps are all the rage in the US. Check out this post by the npr visuals team on the technique,...

Spatial autocorrelation (source: xkcd) 1

Finds III: Hadley Wickham, lying maps, and full stack geographers

→ Hadley Wickham, the Man Who Revolutionized R I don’t know, if Hadley Wickham is the most prolific R developer (could well be), but he is behind some very influential packages, e.g. ggplot2, plyr, reshape, lubridate, dplyr. Priceonomics featured an article about the statistician who is, “in his own...

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Ignite Zurich talk on Informational Magnetism

On July 3rd, I was invited to give a talk at Ignite Zurich. If you don’t know the format: it boils down to 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds giving you a total of 5 minutes stage time – pretty intense! I chose to make...

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Finds II

→ Google Sheep View If you are like me you love a good parody and hence this new Google product.   → What to do if your p-value is just over the arbitrary threshold for ‘significance’ of p=0.05? Matthew Hankins carried out an analysis of...

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Visualizing group sizes and inter-group flows

A few weeks ago, I came across the following graphics on Twitter: They depict voter share per party (including absentees, in grey) (top) and voter flows between different parties in the 2015 cantonal elections in Zurich. The graphics are produced by sotomo, a research company at the nexus...