Digital Geography

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.

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.

Some ways to produce topographic swath profiles

For a geomorphological study that I am working on I want to produce topographic swath profiles across a mountain range, that is, I want the average elevation along a profile plus the min and max values within a certain distance of said profile. I have used three different methods to achieve that and found some nice resources that I’d like to share with you: GMT – Generic Mapping Tools GMT is a powerful suite of command-line small programs to manipulate all kinds of geographic data (Wessel and Smith, 1998; Wessel et al., 2013). A walk through on how to produce…

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.

Do you need open data? Ask for it.

The well-known Q/A-forum StackExchange has started a new “Open Data” section. Users can ask for needed datasets and get feedback from the great StackExchange community. Especially for our GIS and webmapping readers this is good news. Often the methodology isn’t the core problem of dealing with scientific or business issues. Often it’s more or less a lack of proper open datasets to run visualization and analyses.

QGIS and basemaps: QuickMapServices

To work in QGIS is very often much more convenient if you can use a basemap for your data. In the past we used and promoted OpenLayers plugin quite often but this was not the best out there as you saw often some issues with projections as well as with “lost tiles” in the map composer. So here is the new weapon of choice: the QuickMapServices plugin for QGIS.

Map your CV

Probably everyone at least once in your life was searching for a job and had faced the challenge of creating an interesting resume. But when you start to create a normal list-like cv/resume you will surely say “BORING! Next!”… As I’m a geographer the idea was to create map that is the CV itself.

Intergeo 2016 Day One: drones and drones and drones

The first day of the Intergeo 2016 and it was just mind blowing. The last years we saw a small increase in drone technology companies but especially here in Hamburg they seem to be everywhere. So there is the business rolling. About 500 exhibitors are here showing their latest products and services. At least 130 of them are into drone technology. The hottest shit is most likely the drone based laser scanning systems. So drones are getting more powerful, we see more and more fixed wing systems and the 3D laser scanners are getting smaller and smaller every year. I…

QGIS 2.16 tutorial: georeferencing images

Since our last tutorial regarding georeferencing images in QGIS is 4 years old, let us have a second look at this task in the current times of QGIS 2.16. For this tutorial we will use a Soviet map of Crewe in England to see changes in city structure with a snapshot from 1957. We will use simple and quite easy affine transformations for this purpose.

The Coup in Turkey: the Twitter Perspective

The coup/attempt in Turkey kept me up from going to sleep after the two nice hours of “Back to the Future” on German television. So despite of the tragedy behind it: twitter was exploding as I watched the news coming in. I was interested in the timeline of tweets, locations and “everything”. I downloaded about 10Gb of twitter data and here is my analysis for everything ‘#turkey’ from Friday till Monday.

5 ways to get a job in the “geo-industry”

Studying geosciences, geography or geology and all related disciplines commonly ends in the question of appropriate job position. Personally I felt very lucky about my former studies in geography, but it was also very complex to understand the Earth system. This led to my conclusion that defining and finding a job could be difficult. In conclusion to friends, who studied law, medicine ore teaching profession, my way into employment wasn’t so clearly predefined in a certain way. Even more: I saw this fact as advantage and big luck to be forced to creativity concerning job definition. Especially for Geoscientists the…

Pokémon Go: 3 Maps to find Pokémon easily

Until now I tried to ignore the worldwide Pokémon Go hype. But as the mobile game consists more or less of a map and some geo-related content, we should mention it here on Produced by Niantic, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game where the player can gather or breed Pokémon and fight against other players on real world map. Some functionalities are also just working when you are walking, so that it’s important to stay outside, which could have a positive impact on health of video gamers 🙂 Here you can download the Pokémon Go app for iOS…