Category: note

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Rant: Metric vs. imperial

One would assume the case of metric vs. imperial units to be settled once you lose a $ 327.6 million space mission to faulty calculations involving imperial units. Yet, I know staunch defenders of the imperial units system. This rant is for them (transcript follows):...

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How to get ideas

I sometimes wonder where do ideas come from. And more to the point: How to produce better ideas? Or good ideas faster or more often? I’ve come across a short video by Kirby Ferguson, maker of Everything is a Remix, in which he talks exactly...

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Swiss GIS news, Twitter edition

Since last week there is a new addition in the small Switzerland-focused and GIS-related part of Twitter. This is as good an opportunity as any to list the few entryways into that small Twitter niche. Here are the (subjectively) most relevant accounts and hashtags I...

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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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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...

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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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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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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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“You’ll never trust a map again”

is what BuzzFeed (really, BuzzFeed!?) named this instructionable video on map projections:   The point is not to distrust the map, obviously, but to have the necessary background knowledge in place to properly judge what you see. Actually a good thing to do with respect...