Digital Geography

Geocoding with Microsoft’s Azure Maps

API’s are getting more and more important as some (maybe the majority?) of GIS users don’t want to handle large datasets, don’t want to care about addresses and geo-coordinates, don’t want to create an own routing algorithm… As most of you might use Google, OSM or HERE for geocoding purposes I would like to introduce Azure Maps for this as well.

Short Note: CodingBat or Python, stupid!

Currently I am trying to improve my coding skills in Python. Of course you can read some books, attend some Udemy course but in the end it boils down to practical training. Codeacademy is most likely the first place to go to for practical learning. Now there is a new, quite un-fancy boy in town: CodingBat

Colaborative Working in PostGIS

The last days I needed to work with other geoenthusiasts on a PostGIS database. Unfortunately, as you upload a layer from QGIS you will be the owner of the new created table and no one is able to alter it by default. Here I show you, how to change this using some “trigger functions” and some shared roles.

Short Note: export layers to PostGIS with Processing

When using QGIS along with PostGIS you might want to publish data directly from inside QGIS into your PostGIS database. This is not only convenient as you don’t need to change the software of use but also easier as it only takes a drag and drop in QGIS instead of any commandline/fancytool. Yet it comes with a disadvantage: the number of inserts from QGIS into the db is limited to 200 per transaction. So it will take some time to insert a bigger dataset with 150.000 points or so. So how to overcome this?

Vessel tracking the python way

Let’s assume you like cruise ships, tanker, ferries or you’re so fortunate and own a fleet of vessels cruising over the oceans. But where the heck are the ones you’re interested in. First you can visit MarineTraffic and search for the Vessels you’re interested in. But what if you want to keep track of those vessels or if you want to put them on your “own” map. Now Python comes in handy and I’ll show you how to gather coordinates and put them on a map using the ArcGIS API for Python.

Query OpenStreetMap in ArcGIS: OSMQuery

QUickOSM is my weapon of choice when it comes to downloading data from OSM in QGIS. The tool offers an easy way to access tag/key combinations with a designated spatial query. As I was asked how many bus stops Berlin has, I was interested in a similar approach for ArcGIS. So I created my own little tool: OSMQuery.

Copernicus, Sentinel and your favourite GIS

The Copernicus Program provides an interesting alternative data source for your work with Landsat data… Sentinel images: Copernicus will deliver an unprecedented volume of free data, provide new operational services and foster new business opportunities and job creation. The data itself is collected since 2014 (Sentinel 1A) and the operation is scheduled to deliver data till 2020 at least. But how to get the data into the GIS of your choice.

Short Announcement: is available now – free and open

Back in 2016 Uber surpised the geo market with its solution ““, a “predecessor” of WebGL2 powered geospatial visualization layers The visuals were quite stunning: You can find some more information about 4.0 at the Uber blog. is build on top of this Uber framework: a data-agnostic, high-performance web-based application for visual exploration of large-scale geolocation data sets. Built on top of, [it] can render millions of points representing thousands of trips and perform spatial aggregations on the fly.

QGIS 3 officially released

On 24th of February, the QGIS developers have officially released QGIS 3 (codename “Girona”). It is the third major version of the free and open source cross-platform GIS software. In this post, I want to tease you with the most important infos and installation instructions.

Short Announcement: OpenWhateverMap

Choosing a basemap for your cool web map is always crucial for the style and perception of your map. A colorful basemap like watercolor might be stunning but also interfering with your data visualization. In contrary a grayish basemap might look a bit boring but your data visualization will be crucial. If you’re unsure and a playful type of developer: Use OpenWhateverMap!

ArcGIS Online (AGOL) for free: The Developer Way

You might have heard of ArcGIS Online (AGOL) already: ArcGIS Online is a complete, cloud-based mapping platform. Make and share beautiful maps, and do everything in between. It’s possible only with ArcGIS Online, a scalable and secure software-as-a-service hosted by Esri. But as there is nothing for free in this world the usage of ArcGIS online with all capabilities (batch geocoding, hosted feature services, app creation, etc…) will cost some money, aka credits, as well. If you use the developer program of Esri you can use almost everything from AGOL as you will receive 50 credits for free every month!…

Service Areas, Traffic and QGIS

Our author Riccardo recently published an article on GeoNet where he described the traffic aware analysis of service areas (isochrones) in ArcGIS Pro with the analytical support of ArcGIS Online. I searched for a way to do something similar in QGIS. So let’s follow the white rabbit.

Short Announcement: Your Input is Needed… A Readers Survey

We are always looking for new ideas, tutorials, work flows, solutions. Unfortunately we were not able to write so much in the past for our beloved blog Therefore I am asking you today: What do you want to know, read, see, be advised on in the future? Take this short survey as a starting point so we can gather your ideas and write about the stuff you would like to read in the future.