Author: Ralph Straumann

Motivating volunteers 1

Motivating volunteers

Crowdsourcing projects like OpenStreetMap, Google Map Maker or Building Maker without compensation for contributors rely on volunteers’ efforts. There are various studies which try to shed light on the motivational factors of such volunteers. One way to motivate people to contribute their time and effort can...

Google in Libya 1

Google in Libya

Maps are about territory. And in history, cartography has often been (ab)used to political ends. Due to its big popularity and global visibility Google’s geo-products have attracted their share of border and naming debates and disputes over time and the change of a border’s status...

Distortions of the Tube map visualised 0

Distortions of the Tube map visualised

Generalisation… The London Tube map is known for its iconic design. However, as most later public transport maps adhering to some or all of Harry Beck’s original design principles, the Tube Map features marked spatial distortions. They are introduced through the adopted simplification or schematisation...

World’s wiring scheme in an interactive map 0

World’s wiring scheme in an interactive map

A while ago I reported on a collection of historic maps of undersea cables. In today’s post I’d like to highlight an interactive and up-to-date version of such a map: For every undersea cable, Greg’s Cable Map by Greg Mahlknecht shows characteristics such as a list...

Esri buys Procedural 0

Esri buys Procedural

Hot from the press: Esri announces the acquisition of Procedural. The Switzerland-based company specialises in procedurally (i.e., rule-based) constructed 3D city models and is known, for example, for its reconstruction of ancient Rome. Procedural’s approach, embodied in its software CityEngine, allows for very fast modelling...

Comparison of Python IDEs 1

Comparison of Python IDEs

Infoworld has a run-down of nine IDEs for Python development. Unfortunately, to access the full text one has to register (for free), but if you are looking for ways to streamline your Python coding, it’s worth the hassle.

The World Map of Useless Stereotypes 0

The World Map of Useless Stereotypes

The New York Times’ Abstract Sunday of this week features the World Map of Useless Stereotypes by Christoph Niemann of I LEGO N.Y. fame. Obviously, the geography has been messed with a little. And New York and its five boroughs (minus Staten Island) are prominently displayed...

A new take on London’s underground 1

A new take on London’s underground

A while ago I blogged about The Real Underground, a website which allows visitors to morph the current London Underground Map into the famous 1931/1933 design by Harry Beck and into a geographically accurate depiction of the Underground network. Now, The Economist presents a reworked...

Urban Earth: Photo-mapping urban spaces 2

Urban Earth: Photo-mapping urban spaces

The Urban Earth project by The Geography Collective aims at representing humanity’s habitat by walking across some of earth’s biggest urban areas. The motivation is critical of media and their portrayal of our living environments: The media distorts the way we see our world(s) with...

New visual styles in Google products 0

New visual styles in Google products

Yay, my hope’s coming true, apparently the new visual style of Google+ is contagious within the Google realm. Both GMail and Google Calendar will feature de-cluttered GUIs. In Gmail they are already accessible as themes (called Preview and Preview (dense)), GCal will follow soon. (via...

Using customised basemaps in Processing 2

Using customised basemaps in Processing

Till Nagel has a tutorial on using custom maps as backgrounds in Processing sketches. The solution uses TileMill, a map design environment which allows you to export a customised static map as an image for use in Processing. For advanced users, Till Nagel also describes the procedure...

Google+ manifests new approach to Google interface design 0

Google+ manifests new approach to Google interface design

The net is abuzz with the news about Google+, Google’s newest attempt to counter Facebook’s dominance in the realm of social networks. Besides India and Brasil, where Google’s Orkut seems popular, the search engine giant has so far failed to successfully enter the social network...