Digital Geography

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:

What is better: a map or a picture?

I was reading an article entitled “China, the megalopolis of 110 million inhabitants that impresses the world” on a popular online journal (see article) and after a dozen lines read: “Beijing is already surrounded by six ring roads, [… ] but the seventh will be 940 kilometers long.” How many are 940 km for example along a circle, as the Circular Highway of Milan?

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),…

Short Announcement: QGIS 2.8 Wien released

QGIS 2.8 (the new “Long Term Release”) was released a few days ago. It is a minor release according to the changelog but it will be supported in this setup at least for the next year: Some good news for all those working in a bigger, administrated environment as it is always a problem to update software in these bigger infrastructures. New features: >1000 issues flagged by static analysis tools fixed new code commits and pull requests are now automatically tests against our testing framework. more responsive browser support for contextual WMS legend graphics custom prefixes for joins creation of…

Am I the only one?

There’s a lot of great stuff going on in the GIS community, both in proprietary software and Open Source as well as online services like MapBox, Mapillary, CartoDB to mention just a few. For proprietary software a growing trend is that the licensing of the software is moving to the “cloud” and that one time payments are replaced by subscriptions or “tokens”. And why not, everybody and everything is online and most companies are guided by strict economic guidelines making regular monthly payments preferable to one-time investments, even if it in the end will cost you more. However…

QGIS 2.8: A Preview

QGIS 2.6 landed recently on this planet and it already brought great improvements to our daily work with geodata, the way we publish our results and the convenience in our workflows. But due to the very ambitious release plan of the QGIS core team and the great work of Klas we can have a look at the upcoming features in QGIS 2.8 major version already. Check em out:

geo.admin.ch: bringing Swiss geodata potential to life

A priorized project of eGovernment Switzerland Usage and exchange of geodata is fostered by geo.admin.ch in a significant way. The Federal geoportal is operated by the Federal Office of Topography, swisstopo, on behalf of the coordinating body for Federal geographical information with the aim to implement the Geoinformation Act. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that geodata relating to the territory of the Swiss Confederation is made available to the Federal, Cantonal and municipal authorities, to industry and commerce, to academic and scientific institutions and to society at large, for the broadest possible use, in a sustainable, up-to-date,…

SciPy integration in ArcGIS

Most of GIS users today will probably work with ArcGIS. Since version 10 the implementation / integration of Python into the ArcGIS framework and ArcPy it’s important for ArcGIS users to be aware of the capabilities of using Python in batch processing tasks, data manipulation and the broad possibilities of Python itself (eg. Numpy, Sympy etc.). SciPy will another topic for the future…

odyssey.js: your easy story mapping engine

Reading my tweets can be somehow interesting: It seems like ESRI invented and exclusively owns the phrase “story map”: #storymap Tweets What IS a story map? To me a story map is the same like a map: a way of information distribution. According to ESRI: “Story maps use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. They tell the story of a place, event, issue, trend, or pattern in a geographic context. They combine interactive maps with other rich content—text, photos, video, and audio—within user experiences that are basic and intuitive” (citation). Let’s sum up the characteristics: tell  a…

reproject and filetype change in python/pyqgis for QGIS plugin

In my current work on the qgis2leaf plugin I had the idea to place raster data on a leaflet map as an image overlay. With this in mind and looking at a webmap I needed to consider a good filesize, a strict projection of EPSG:4326 and a strict filetype as well. So decision was: projecting everythin to EPSG:4326 and changing file type to *.jpg. I know, how to do this in the Terminal and in QGIS. But what options do you have using python/ pyqgis only? Terminal For doing this work in the terminal/shell/command line the one and only choice…

QGIS 2.2 on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 14.04

QGIS on Ubuntu Trusty Tahr I’ve have started working nearly 100%, outside of work, in Ubuntu.  I was running Ubuntu 13.10 so naturally I decided to upgrade to 14.04.  My experience has been positive for the most part, but after the upgrade I was having issues with my install of QGIS 2.2.  Python – QGIS was not installing so I was not able to install any Plugins So after some digging I finally discovered that my “Software & Updates” repository for QGIS was still pointing to the Saucy Salamander (Ubuntu 13.10) package. So I changed my repository to the Trusty Tahr (Ubuntu 14.04), and…

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…