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): In metric, one milliliter of water occupies one cubic centimeter, … Continue reading Rant: Metric vs. imperial
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
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 to everything you read, see, hear. What we need is … Continue reading “You’ll never trust a map again”
Wired has a slideshow of NASA’s best images of Earth that I’d recommend you to check out if you enjoy images from space! Below is a picture of the spectacular Bowknot Bend of the Green River in Utah (USA), as taken by an unnamed astronaut on board the ISS using a Nikon digital camera and 1000mm lens. … Continue reading Best images of Earth in 2014
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
Sysadmin Appreciation Day was exactly two months ago, but this gem shared by Bill Morris is too good to pass up on: (source) Then there’s of course also this classic by Randall Munroe: (source) Continue reading Be nice to your sysadmin
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!
Orkney features similarly curious placenames: Continue reading “The road from Longa Tonga to Willa Minga Honga: Shetland and Orkney placenames”
… 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!).
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:
Neat idea by artist Siyu Cao: a typeface from topographic map excerpts. Hills, ridges and mountains signify letters’ bodies, lakes and low areas the empty spaces around and within letters. The typeface gains clarity when extruded to 3D: Made me wonder how a relief-shaded 2D version or a smoothly interpolated 3D version with imprinted contour … Continue reading Topography in typography
A while ago I proposed etymologic cartography as a field of study. Somewhat related, I found this map that doesn’t show the etymology of placenames but literal translations of country names into English from Chinese: Note: I have no way of checking the correctness of the place names in this map (and some do sound … Continue reading Chinese names of European countries
I propose Etymologic cartography as a field of study: Somebody had the simple but appealing idea to simply translate the toponyms on a map to English. In this case the subject in question is the USA: Some of the names are rather interesting (and were unknown to me), e.g. Asleep for Iowa, Flattened Water for … Continue reading Etymologic cartography