Digital Geography

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.

Supporting humanitarian logistics with OSM in a more sustainable way: New Disaster OpenRouteService for Africa, South America and Indonesia

Recently HeiGIT @ GIScience Heidelberg released a dedicated stable disaster versionof OpenRouteService (ORS) to support humanitarian logistics within specific regions of catastrophes with data from OSM in a more sustainable way. Since his start in 2008 OpenRouteServivce had been spontaneously applied for specific real world disaster cases already numerous times, for instance during the earthquakes in Haiti 2008 and 2010, in Nepal2015, and in Equador 2016. Yet this always involved manual effort to set the system up for the specific disaster which costed time and manpower. For this reason this was only manageable for specific larger disasters. In order to provide this…

Vagrant: Setup and Share your Digital Geo-Lab

In one of my last posts I described the installation of a git server to improve collaborative work in closed environments. But developing solutions can be a pain in the axxxx if you need deal with user/OS dependent issues all the time. So let me introduce you to Vagrant: Vagrant is an open-source software product for building and maintaining portable virtual development environments.

Off Topic: self hosted GIT-server with Bonobo

This might be a bit off-topic for some of you but it was on my desk recently. Furthermore I think this might be interesting for GEO/GIS folks as well: host your own GIT. With GIT your efforts on working together on documents or solutions might be a bit easier. Normally we use GitHub: GitHub is a web-based Git or version control repository and Internet hosting service If you don’t know what GIT/GitHub is about: But what if you have just limited access to the outer world in terms of policies, compliance or just a “bad feeling” in storing/sharing your data,…

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.

The Atom Code Editor

There is this time of the year when the presents are unboxed and the new year hasn’t started yet, when a lot of people (including me) find some time for tinkering on personal projects. And I guess I am not the only one around here who is working on software projects. But because a proper code editor can make a huge difference,  I want to introduce you to my favorite tool for the job: Atom, a free, open source, modern and extensible, cross platform editor.

FME and Talend: ETL tools for your spatial data

Spatial data has some formats most of you know (shapefile, geoJSON, TiFF,…). But there is always a wide variety not only in available and used file formats but also in structure of data and formats of the data itself (numbers as text, different separators, etc.). To manage this variety and support the work with a standardized data set most companies use so-called ETL tools to Extract, Transform and Load data. In this article I would like to present you two of them: FME from Safe Software and Talend with Spatial Extension.

Software I use in both worlds: Windows & Ubuntu

I am somehow a messy guy. After 3 years now my OS was a bit “stuffed” and I decided to go with the flow, erased the whole HDD and installed the new Ubuntu 16.04. LTS Xenial Xerus. Aside from being a Linux user I also work a lot on Windows PCs. SO what tools do I use on my systems that are needed for my everyday GIS / geo-developer tasks? Let me show you my list:

Extracting information from Sentinel-1

SAR images can see through clouds and in darkness, and are therefore very useful for operational monitoring of our seas. Detecting ships, icebergs, wind patterns, and oil spills is daily business in Europe with the Sentinel-1 satellite. Want to see for yourself how to extract information from a SAR image? In this tutorial, we’ll use the SNAP toolbox for Sentinel-1 to extract information on the number of ships at sea.

Evolving Geographic Information System: OpenWebGIS plans & its crowdfunding campaign

Perhaps you have already used in your work OpenWebGIS or just have seen it or read about it. Due to this system exists since 2014. But we will describe OpenWebGIS briefly. It is an open source online/offline geographic information system for work in web browser or mobile app. Since its foundation, a great number of users have benefited from using this system functions.

Using Jupyter for data analysis

Data analysis in the modern-day computing industry is of great essence as the world tries to understand the data that has been accumulated in many systems across the globe. Extraction of useful information is a task being focused so much in most organizations as this is marking the lifetime for existence in the business world.

Panorama Geodata eXtractor

It’s been a while since I wrote here on DG, but I’ve been busy writing on my own blog in Swedish. However, now it’s time to reveal something I’m pretty pleased with, that you maby can use as well. A simple (well reasonably so) method to extract geodata from panoramic photographs, by using open javascript libraries, some javascript of my own and a lot of head scratching.

Some ways to produce high-res DEMs – tools and data

Many of us use digital elevation models (DEMs) for a whole bunch of different applications. There are some standard products which everyone should know, like SRTM1, SRTM3, ASTER, GLOBE or ETOPO1 for the land surface or GEBCO for bathymetry. However, they have a relatively low resolution and are therefore not suitable for all purposes. During the last few years there has been a huge progress in producing much better DEMs, especially local ones, using a wide range of techniques like LiDAR, photogrammetry, image correlation, structure-from-motion (SFM) etc. Some of these techniques make use of powerful, but expensive equipment (e.g., LiDAR),…