Digital Geography

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.

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…)

Vehicle tracking now also available for the trains of the German DB

I have to admit that I don’t know since when the Zugradar (train radar) of the Deutsche Bahn (DB) is online, but I found it per accident and I think it’s fun to play around with it. The DB commonly has a bad reputation because of the many delays, so here you can now see how many trains are actually moving and how fast they (sometimes) are. It’s possible to display long-distance trains (IC and ICE) as well as regional trains. Check out the high-speed train from Frankfurt Airport to Cologne, which goes with 300 km/h over almost the entire…

short announcement: learn to create maps online

This week a new 5 weeks course will start at coursera. Coursera is an online learning platform that enables people from all around the world to learn and to develop skills. This week we will see the first cartography related course to start: Maps and the Geospatial Revolution by Dr. Anthony C. Robinson First Session will start with a short historical view on maps and technologies together with some basic questions: how do we navigate, what is geography and the simple statement: “The Earth is Round and Maps are Flat” Session two will cover the concept of a scale, dimensional…

Rainfall and weather data on GoogleEarth

On Saturday, some villages near my hometown suffered heavy rains. Up to 100 l/m² arrived during the afternoon and evening in Kirchhasel and other places in central Thuringia. Small streams became rivers and flash flooding occurred, damaging houses, roads, and cars. The local newspaper has an impressive pic dump. Locals say this have been the worst flooding for at least 40 years, so pretty much excitement here, we are not really used to this despite the river Saale caused some heavy floodings in the past. Now it looks like thunderstorms will arrive again: So I had a reason to think…

Youtube trends map: play Big Brother in the US

As I have seen today on engadget Youtube presents now a new Trend Map where you can see what viewers in the US like to see on Youtube. At the moment it seems to be the True Blood Trailer for Season 6. But the more interesting part is the analysis of metadata of the viewers: you can select different sexes, age groups and cities. Furthermore you can easily see, that older people tend to have a more diversified watching habbit.

How to find geospatial data for Spain

In some countries, such as the USA and Spain, there is a very nice law that makes life easy for geoscientists. This law guarantees free access to a broad range of geospatial data like DEMs, satellite imagery, aerial photographs, ground use data, hydrological information and so on. In most cases, these data are made public via web-based GIS applications. These are generally rather slow, but allow to display a lot of different datasets. I did both my diploma thesis and my PhD in Spain and I really needed to find out about all the data available. I knew that they…

Free Data and Maps from the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Behind this heading a real highlight is waiting. The European Environment Agency offers a massive amount of interesting datasets touching different themes of europe and the world. Additional to infographics, charts and much more, you can find interactive material about the latest environmental developements in europe. Nearly all datasets are free available.

Map Projections, spatialreference.org and gdalwarp

Map Projections The question of map projections and how to reproject data is one that comes up often in discussions with both experienced colleagues and those new to the geospatial profession. I’m not going to go through a complete discussion of map projections here, as there are many resources available on the Internet that can help you. I’m going to focus more on how to move data between projections. At its most simple a map projection is simply a mathematical description of how to take data on the surface of a sphere, that are inherently 3-dimensional, and transform them to…

QGIS Plugins — OpenLayers

Click for previous article in this series about RasterCalc How often have you been working on a project in QGIS and wanted some nice background imagery, perhaps for a quick and dirty evaluation of your own data? I find I need this with growing frequency and a great way to do it is through the OpenLayers plugin for QGIS. Of course, if you know of a good WMS for your area of interest you can always go that route, but the OpenLayers plugin is a great addition to your QGIS toolbox. The OpenLayers plugin is available through the official QGIS…