For a private project of mine as well as in the context of a data analysis foray on behalf of GeoBeer, I wanted to use the content that has been published on the GIS-centric message board Geowebforum. In order to achieve this, I had to do some webscraping. To that end, I used Python and … Continue reading Scraping data from a GIS web forum using Python
Today, Swiss daily TagesAnzeiger featured a great piece about climate change and shrinking Swiss glaciers. The article features: an animated GIF showing the overall area of glaciers that was lost to melting as compared to the area of the canton of Zurich. This is useful to give the audience a (more) relatable comparison. a small … Continue reading Reworked: “Gletscherschwund” by TagesAnzeiger
John Nelson‘s blog post on Lego-ified maps inspired me to play around with some satellite imagery myself. John’s description of the process is very clear and easy to follow. The only thing I’d add is a recommendation to use a graphics software that has a function to “Pixelate” or “Downsample” images. I used Paint.net on … Continue reading Lego maps
I’ve updated the GeoHipster Map, i.e. the map of the followers of @GeoHipster that I initially published in 2014. Of course, this map is not to be confused with the authoritative Map of GeoHipster Sightings over at the headquarter. Mine is like the theoretical spatial distribution in equilibrium state, the Sighting Map is conceptually closer … Continue reading Updated global GeoHipster map
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 over an elevation service as a showcase for the newly-developed … Continue reading Visualising the last glacial maximum correctly
(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, with some US examples: An even greater example (imo) comes … Continue reading Switzerland tile map
Have you heard of the Geohipster blog? It’s the self-described place for people who ‘grow their own organic vertices, use gluten-free topology or only geocode by hand, in small batches’. And I give at a big recommendation, put it into your feed reader. And relax, you don’t need to be a fixie aficionado/-a in order to appreciate the Geohipster movement. Atanas … Continue reading To all you Geohipsters out there
Recently, I’ve been experimenting with some Twitter-oriented hacks together with my friend Tom. A very preliminary result of these activities is what I call the #SwissGIS map. Some, just a little, history: Over the last few years, I have been collecting Switzerland-based Twitter users that talk about topics around GIS, cartography, webmapping and geomatics on a list called SwissGIS. Find … Continue reading Geocoding Twitter users – The #SwissGIS map
This article is a re-post of an article that first appeared on www.geo.ebp.ch. Last week I gave a talk at the 8th instalment of the GeoBeer series on EBP’s Zurich-Stadelhofen premises and sponsored by EBP and Crosswind. It was titled State of the Union: Data as Enabling Tech‽ You can check out the whole slidedeck on my private … Continue reading The Data Worker’s Manifesto
Together with my collaborators in the “Information Geographies” project at the Oxford Internet Institute, I have published a blogpost that analyses Google Autocomplete. This is seemingly a popular pastime these days, but unlike the maps I have seen so far, we don’t just map the most prominent term for each country but actually visualise multiple categories, often in one map.
Why does it matter?
Autocomplete is Google’s ‘type-ahead’ suggestion algorithm: As soon as you enter a word or two into the Google Search field, the algorithm will try to guess the completion of your query and offers you a list of likely queries. This functionality is baked into Google’s interface and cannot be turned off by the user.
It’s unclear if and how much such algorithms affect our perception of the subjects that we are querying for. But we can certainly say that they reduce serendipity and can help reinforcing filter bubbles.
Data acquisition and cartographic technique
The data that went into these maps Continue reading “What Google Autocomplete tells us about countries”
My friends and colleagues at the Oxford Internet Institute, Mark Graham and Stefano de Sabbata, are compiling a collection of maps and visualizations at geography.oii.ox.ac.uk that give insight into the contemporary geographies of knowledge:
- Which places are connected with the online world? Which places are participants in the so-called participatory Web?
- Which places are represented in online gazetteers, in online photo repositories, in social networks?
- What places are reported on in traditional newspapers, in online events databases?
- And, most importantly and in completion to all above questions: Which places aren’t?
Some months ago I mapped Switzerland’s administrative regions using a hexagonal cartogram. That idea was inspired by pioneering work of the Leicestershire County Council. After consulting with experts in the field – Leicestershire’s Alex Lea, Danny Dorling of Worldmapper (currently at the University of Oxford) and Adrian Herzog of MAPresso fame – I came up with my own workflow for the creation of such a cartogram, documented here and here. (Though beware: Mike Bostock liked the results but found it relatively laborious when he made one).
Ever since I published that cartogram, I have the feeling to see hexagonal maps everywhere. Most recently, my friends and colleagues at Oxford Internet Institute, Stefano de Sabbata and Mark Graham, have published the following cartogram along with their now famous map “Ages of Internet Empires”:
Another nice example, though not a cartogram, is this visualization of New York transit times (let’s not talk of the rainbow colour scale for a moment): Continue reading “Hexagons, quasi-maps and cartograms”