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 Flag Stories, a website dedicated to the design elements (patterns, … Continue reading Flag geekery

To all you Geohipsters out there

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

Geocoding Twitter users – The #SwissGIS map

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

The road from Longa Tonga to Willa Minga Honga: Shetland and Orkney placenames

Shetland: Near Scalloway (CC-BY-SA rodtuk)
Shetland: Near Scalloway (CC-BY-SA rodtuk)

I can attest: Shetland (and presumably also Orkney) is a great place to visit. Not just for its landscapes, Shetland ponies and puffins, but also for its people, their language and – turns out – placenames!

On Shetland, you can travel from Rumblings to Quilse of Hageneap, from Poverty not to riches but at least to Longa Tonga, from Willa Minga Honga via Pund of Grutin and Cuppa Water to Drooping Point. Turns out, Mid Dublin is on Shetland as well as something called Fografiddle! If you are a cunning geographer, you should at least once travel to Cunning Geo!

Shetland placenames (Source: Big Think)
Shetland placenames (Source: Big Think)

Orkney features similarly curious placenames: Continue reading “The road from Longa Tonga to Willa Minga Honga: Shetland and Orkney placenames”

Zurich Sky

… is the title of my most recent project. It’s a bit artsy, but I think some of the concepts behind it may also have practical applications in this world of ever more abundant webcam footage (maybe need to think a bit more on this point later).

In Zurich Sky, I destilled yearly aggregates of the sky over Zurich Switzerland. I did this by first scraping tons of images from the website of the Swiss domain registrar SWITCH. They have two webcams, one in Zurich one in the Alps, whose images are publicly accessible in their archive (thanks!).

Zurich Sky: Web-scraped sky colour over Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich Sky: Web-scraped sky colour over Zurich, Switzerland

The SWITCH archive features one image every hour. Luckily for my project, the URLs of the individual pictures adhere to a nice structured format which makes automatic downloading of several thousand images rather easy. An example is here:

(as can be seen from this webpage) Continue reading “Zurich Sky”