Spatialists Blog

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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...

Similar flags, http://flagstories.co 0

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...

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Finds I

→ The real reason American passenger trains are so bad “It’s not just that these services aren’t the best in the world and don’t deploy the most cutting-edge technology available. They are often truly abysmal, with travel times worse than what was possible 100 years...

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Slide design and public speaking

I have a Slideshare account that I use to publish slides of presentations I’ve held (if it’s okay to publish them, which is the case only very occasionally). Sometimes Slideshare sends me e-mail news that I more often trash than skim. But yesterday a post with the...

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Sunset on Mars

A  sunset on Mars: This picture been taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover on the mission’s 956th Martian day (April 15, 2015). The colour has been “calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts” according to NASA. The colours are thus similar to what a human would perceive, although we might see...