Digital Geography

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…

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.

Spatial Big-Data: 10 stunning services

In the last month the German website Spiegel-Online showed some nice examples of big-data combined with geodata. Geodata get’s more important with every GPS-enabled device that is sold, form that will store your address, IP that is monitored, customer in a global market. Let me Introduce you some stunning examples of geo-enabled web applications. Maybe you get some inspiration to power your business with some spatial data too.

Open Data in the UK

The Ordnance Survey is UK’s mapping agency and frequently releases free datasets. Their OpenData policy is quite progressive compared to Germany’s and they’ve recently published some fresh datasets that anyone can use. All you need to do is to register and to acknowledge them. The new datasets are: OS Open Map – Local; OS Open Names; OS Open Rivers; and OS Open Roads. They include data on urban and rural features, an index for all the location names in the UK, a generalised open water network, UK’s connected road network and much more. All this adds up to their existing…

Maps of “Out of Eden Walk” by Paul Salopek (National Geographic)

Today I had the chance to attend a lecture by Paul Salopek in Tbilisi, Georgia. This lecture took me to the idea to write a short review about Paul Salopek and his project here on Digital-Geography because he mentioned several times that mapping his journey is one of his main goals. Some would wonder now: Which journey? – I’ll tell you what’s about: Paul Salopek is a journalist of National Geographic who is doing an amazing project at the moment. He is walking from the birthplace of humanity in Ethiopia at the pathways of human spreading around our globe for more…

Soil Atlas and Soil Data

If you are working on European soils, I’m sure you already know the website of the European Union Joint Research Center, the so called ‘European Soil Portal‘. If not, it’s your chance now to get in contact with many different soil data, maps and topics about soils – not only european soils.  Free soil and biodiversity atlas: At the beginning I would like to draw your attention to the great and powerful soil atlas you can download for several regions around the globe for free (PDF format). Follow the links to download the soil atlas (be aware that they contain large…

Using OpenStreetMap on your GARMIN

Since most people working with digital-data they are always interested in obtaining their own data using a Global Positioning System (GPS). Therefore I’ll give a short introduction for all of you, using a GARMIN device and like to have a free background map on the screens. There’ll be also the possibility to make routings to certain addresses or Points of Interest. Although the OpenStreetMap Wiki gives some explanations and tipps on bringing OSM to your device, there are some easier ways to do so. But first we have to clarify the question if your device can handle with OpenStreetMap-data: The following devices…

GPS Visualizer – a great online tool for GPS, GoogleMaps and GoogleEarth issues

I looked for a program to draw circles of a pre-defined radius around some points on earth I had the coordinates from. A quick search returned the website GPS Visualizer, and I absolutely love it! It is not only a great free website to convert GPS data in formats that can be used in GoogleMaps, GoogleEarth, jpgs and many other formats, it also allows you to customize maps very easily. Plus, you can use a large number of different maps as base data layer. It looks like the site has been created to deal with tracks and waypoint data, but…

The Spiegel Magazine and their “maps”

Today I stumbled upon a “map” on Spiegel Online ( an import news page in Germany ) which shows the spied countries of the NSA. As we already know leaflet quite good and also tried other mapping possibilities I was interested in what they are using for this map which is more informative than this useless map. So looking on the source code: It’s a library called jvectormap.

geocoding addresses directly in LibreOffice Calc

In a recent post I’ve described a way to geocode in a Google Spreadsheet quite easily. Now let’s move a little bit away from this crazy web 2.0 stuff and get a little bit more desktop orientated: Let us geocode addresses directly in LibreOffice (and OpenOffice probably as well). We will do this using the googlemaps API. If you are really into open stuff we show OSM geocoding as well.