London Tube Maps

Much has been talked and theorised about, and much has been done to, the London Tube Map, the epitome of the intersection of information design and abstract network cartography. From fourthway comes now a handy tool to draw some interesting comparisons: The Real Underground allows you to morph the current London Underground Map into the 1933 Harry … Continue reading London Tube Maps

Swiss maps on your website

Yesterday in the late afternoon the Swiss Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo) declared (German) the exposure of maps via web service and opening up of their API (press release also only in German) through Swisstopo web access (brief description in English) with the following two options: WMTS option (Web Map Tile Service): This service lets you display current geodata (aerial … Continue reading Swiss maps on your website

New method locates you within a few hundred metres

A new method developed by Wang et al. claims to be able to geolocate IP addresses much (they claim 50 times) more accurately than has been previously feasible. The new method uses a three-tier approach: 1) sending a data packet and measuring how long it takes to bounce back, indicating an imprecise distance; 2) doing the same with all institutions with known geolocation (for example, universities or businesses) within 200 km distance of the first guess and comparison of bounce-back-times to refine the estimated location; 3) doing a similar refinement to 2) at a finer resolution.

Continue reading “New method locates you within a few hundred metres”

GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free

A rant just arrived in my inbox, by Mikel Maron via the Geowanking mailing list. While I think Mikel has some valid points, I am still (naïvely?) optimistic that the bleak picture he paints will not materialise in really bad outcomes. Hopefully.

But who knows. In two events (about one and about three years ago) I asked two GeoGooglers (Ed Parsons being one of them) about the relationship, and its anticipated development, between Google and OpenStreetMap (OSM). Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), the answers were very vague and suggested that OSM is “not perceived as a competition” by Google and also that cooperation is “not impossible”. Continue reading “GoopenStreetMaple: Information wants to be free”


As a sort of April fool’s joke (I guess) and a pun on the Open<XY>Map naming scheme somebody (Grant Slater of Firefishy?) set up an OpenWhateverMap: It doesn’t quite deliver on the promise though, IMO, since it shows ‘only’ differently rendered OpenStreetMap tiles. It fails to acknowledge the full picture of developments in the … Continue reading OpenWhateverMap

Potato earth

Above picture shows a potato-shaped earth. It’s called a geoid and shows the actual (but highly exaggerated) form of our planet. The surface of potato earth represents the form of an ideal surface which water would adopt if it covered the whole earth and if there would be no currents induced by tides or wind. … Continue reading Potato earth

Geoprofiling using cellphone data (and some volunteered information)

By filing a legal suit against Deutsche Telekom German politician Malte Spitz (Green party) was able to obtain data recorded under the German preventive data retention act. He chose to publish the data which was collected in the timespan from August 2009 to February 2010 and encompassed exactly 35.831 individual records (Spitz’s phone checked for … Continue reading Geoprofiling using cellphone data (and some volunteered information)

Books on OpenStreetMap

While being familiar with the context of, and – from a GIS perspective – research into, OpenStreetMap (OSM) and other crowdsourcing efforts in the geospatial field, I was not aware that there are books dedicated to OSM. Over at Po Ve Sham Muki Haklay hosts a comprehensive review (by Thomas Koukoletsos and himself) of two … Continue reading Books on OpenStreetMap

TargetMap let’s you put your data on – well – a map

Today I first heard about TargetMap. TargetMap is a mapping portal in public beta. Everybody can create customised maps with their own data (so-called ReportMaps). The interface for creating a ReportMap and the display of a ReportMap is implemented in Flash – and thus requires a bypass of your Flash blocking software (and cannot be consumed using iDevices).

Using the TargetMap wizard you can choose the world, a region or specific countries to be mapped. TargetMap then offers various options to bring data onto your map. You can:

  • upload an Excel file containing the data
  • type values directly into a TargetMap table
  • paint a map (assign different colours to different regions by clicking on them)
  • load your own ReportMaps or others’ public ReportMaps and use them as a template or background for your own
  • use something called a Sales Territory Manager (this option comes only with a private subscription and thus I haven’t tested it)

The service is essentially free if used for public maps. If you don’t want your data to be on display publicly, you can opt to create maps for your own exclusive use – this, however, requires you to pay a fee to TargetMap (somewhat hefty 195$ for an annual subscription). Continue reading “TargetMap let’s you put your data on – well – a map”