Digital Geography

Short Announcement: kepler.gl is available now – free and open

Back in 2016 Uber surpised the geo market with its solution “deck.gl“, a “predecessor” of kepler.gl: WebGL2 powered geospatial visualization layers The visuals were quite stunning: You can find some more information about deck.gl 4.0 at the Uber blog. Kepler.gl 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 deck.gl, [it] can render millions of points representing thousands of trips and perform spatial aggregations on the fly.

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!…

Short Announcement: Retro View of Mankind’s Habitat / Pastvu.com

Once in past there was a project called Panoramio were you uploaded your photos of landscapes or places around the world and it was explorable via a map. This was a great tool to digitally visit your next destination and wander around this beautiful planet. The project/service itself is not longer available. But there is pastvu.com which offers another approach: upload historic images and place them on a map.

Short Announcement: New Sentinel Cloudless Atlas

Mapbox created a cloudless Landsat map in 2013. That was a huge step for all the webmapping enthusiasts as we got a composit image of the world with stunning ground resolution and still cloudless! Now EOX, a company based in Vienna, provided a similar product called Sentinel Cloudless. And it is “for free”.

Map your family tree with Gramps and QGIS – how to digitize and visualize genealogy data

As I realized that I have a really huge family I was keen to digitize the current family tree and get into contact to my relatives. For getting things done, I choose the open source genealogy software Gramps to record all offline information about my family members and create a database as base for further investigations, updates and of course spatial visualization. After that, I exported a database view and visualized it with QGIS.

JuxtaposeJS and the Death (and Re-Birth) of Bogoslof Island

This post is just a quick update on a unique event unfolding in my home state of Alaska and a cool new tool to help you post image sliders on the web.  First, let’s start with the event. The Eruption of Bogoslof Island Over the past few weeks, a volcano has been erupting in Alaska.  This by itself is not that unique, as we have lots of volcanoes and they tend to erupt pretty frequently.  You can check out the current activity for yourself at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.  This most recent eruption is a bit different though.  The island is…

Isochrones in Webmaps: Three Approaches for Leaflet

As we are thinking more or less specially I always ask myself: where can I be in the next 30 minutes? Most of current webmaps out there are not answering this quite good using isochrones as example. Most of them taking into account the direct distance which have some major implications if you compare the distance of 30min road trip through the countryside compared with the same time in Paris: about 50km against , right? So I would like to show you, how to get a better idea of reachability using three different approaches but all implemented in Leaflet.

Observing deforestation with Sentinel-1

While preparing for an upcoming presentation at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) I came across a topic that I thought might make an interesting blog post.  The presentation is about using data from the Sentinel-1 mission for Earth Science applications.  The Sentinel-1 spacecraft are C-band SAR systems launched and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA).  An innovative aspect of this mission is that the collection scenario devised by ESA is systematic and very broad in coverage.  Using Sentinel-1 we can monitor Earth using SAR data like never before.

Mapalomalia: First web geological modeling platform

Mapalomalia lets geologists create and visualize 3D geological models from their browsers. It’s a free to use geological modeling platform. I hope people will use it to convey information about our planet that helps humankind to tackle big problems and at the same times makes geological modeling easier. I have developed it with input from many geologists, and by releasing it early I hope to receive more input from many more geologists. Just sign up here to start creating models.

Mapbox updated their mapstyles

Today I received the newsletter from Mapbox with interesting screenshots of their new mapstyles. The company convinced many users with nice basemap styles already in the past. Now they updated their background mapstyles for webmap usage. Just have a look: All pictures are from Mapbox. In my opinion the new styles fits good for modern map applications. If you’re interested in other background maps, check out this article – Map Compare. If you’re interested in getting more information about Mapbox styles, just visit this Mapbox article.

Short Note: Wikimapia…the World in a Map

We all love Wikipedia, right? And as most of you know, Wikipedia also offers the possibility to add some geospatial items to each “article”. By doing so, you can be sure to see the correct part of the former Berlin Wall and not some stupid painted wall in central Berlin… At this point Wikimapia steps in.

The new flickr2qgis plugin for QGIS

In the last week I saw a post on the German ESRI page called GIS-IQ which featured a new widget for ArcGIS which needs you to have the “ArcGIS Web AppBuilder Developer Edition 1.2”. This widget lets you fetch images from flickr and probably show it on the map. I haven’t tried it yet but I thought: lets build something similar for QGIS… so here is my flickr API plugin for QGIS

What is better: a map or a picture?

I was reading an article entitled “China, the megalopolis of 110 million inhabitants that impresses the world” on a popular online journal (see article) and after a dozen lines read: “Beijing is already surrounded by six ring roads, [… ] but the seventh will be 940 kilometers long.” How many are 940 km for example along a circle, as the Circular Highway of Milan?