Digital Geography

How to use OpenStreetMap, guides for beginners and advanced users on LearnOSM.org

OpenStreetmap is the fastest growing community mapping project of all times. Beside the “normal” map result, what you can use for your daily navigation through cities and countries like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap allows you to get the geodata and use it for your own ideas and projects (with some licence regulations). For many peoples the difficult part is not getting the data but the usage and adoption. Therefore the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team created LearnOSM.org.

GIS as a profession: the GISP

“A GISP is a certified geographic information systems (GIS) professional who has met the minimum standards for ethical conduct and professional practice as established by the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI).” (source) But coming from good old Germany I was curious: what is this GISP about? Take a look at this map and you will see my concerns:   Is it a cultural thing or why are most GISPs located in USA? So I asked Justin Cole who works as a Senior GIS Analyst at Monroe County NY to write about being a GISP. Read his answer: Motivation I have been in…

short announcement: The Mercator Puzzle

A lot of articles here at Digital Geography deal with maps and projections. You may have wondered how wrong the different map projections are or let’s say, what they lead us to think how big some areas on earth might be. Well, I can not tell you exactly, but the Mercator Puzzle gives you an idea on the errors that we need to deal with. Plus, it’s fun. Drag the outlines and fit them to countries: The Mercator Puzzle by Google. (To be honest, I expected myself to perform better…)

“Top 100 Geospatial Influencers”: a critical map view

A short time of my day I am watching twitter like others are zapping the TV. A short time ago, there was this list out of nowhere: “the 100 most influencial geospatial people” which was published by OPENGEO. Is it a cultural thing, is the GIS business more developed in the US? So many questions when looking on the map that I’ve made wit the data provided by OPENGEO: SO what about all the people given so much input to QGIS, the spanish guys and so on? I mean the influences are not only coming from selling GIS, right? How…

NeoCartography and the need to code

The time when I studied Geography and Mathematics is long ago. So I chose Cartography as one major part of my studies and learned to draw circles and a good cartographic representation of discrete values as an example. As I have chosen this field of cartography and GIS I am well aware of the changes that came to this fields. Especially Cartography made big leaps to be more represented by Geoinformatics than those traditional map makers. And I would assume that it is hard for Geographers and Cartographers to catch up with all those fancy programming stuff. Nevertheless I think…

the best laptop for earth scientists. a personal review.

Once in 2008 I was searching for a reliable and powerful notebook for my work at the University and for my field-campaigns in Central Mongolia. So my thaughts on that were: get a high-end CPU small screensize for weight and long lasting battery power easy to open and enhance WWAN Module for Internet access everywhere robustness for field work Looking at this list the one and only laptop for my purpose was the IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X200:

getting to know open source GIS

in the next weeks I will produce a new series of how-to videos. They will cover the range of methods in GIS using open source GIS. As I am a fan of QGIS , I will present common tasks as explained in the book “Getting to know ArcGIS desktop” just by using QGIS instead. I hope you’ll enjoy it. If you have any tasks you would like see in QGIS just write a comment and I’ll try to cover them as well in the upcoming playlist. Stay tuned…

Possible application for topologies

Most of my students asked me: “why do we need this or that!?”. In fact: for topologies I failed in answering often. One possibility of usage is shown here: In fact I was confronted with this problem more then once: two neighbouring polygons, move one, move the other and hope that snapping will do the rest. Using the topology tools in ArcGIS makes this much easier as it treats your shared vertexes as one vertex and adjust the geometry of both polygons… “Thumbs Up!” for that! Find more informations on topology here: LINK

projections, ellipsoids/spheroids, coordinate systems, datum and all this crazy cartographic stuff.

We will go straight to the main part of the problem:how to communicate, where you are. Sometimes it is as easy as “one, two, three” but most likely it is as you are talking in another language compared to your listener. Let us assume you say something like “I am in the mall 500m northwest of the church”. Well there is plenty of information in it. More after the break!

Joint Master Applied Geophysics in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland

Let me introduce to you a nice option to study abroad! The TU Delft, RWTH Aachen and ETH Zurich now offer you the chance to do your master in three countries within a time period of two years. The joint master in Geophysics looks appealing, as it is a multi-cultural program, offered by three top-universities. What a nice way to learn about “GEOphysics” from so many different sides!