Digital Geography

Short Announcement: OpenWhateverMap

Choosing a basemap for your cool web map is always crucial for the style and perception of your map. A colorful basemap like watercolor might be stunning but also interfering with your data visualization. In contrary a grayish basemap might look a bit boring but your data visualization will be crucial. If you’re unsure and a playful type of developer: Use OpenWhateverMap!

ArcGIS Online (AGOL) for free: The Developer Way

You might have heard of ArcGIS Online (AGOL) already: ArcGIS Online is a complete, cloud-based mapping platform. Make and share beautiful maps, and do everything in between. It’s possible only with ArcGIS Online, a scalable and secure software-as-a-service hosted by Esri. But as there is nothing for free in this world the usage of ArcGIS online with all capabilities (batch geocoding, hosted feature services, app creation, etc…) will cost some money, aka credits, as well. If you use the developer program of Esri you can use almost everything from AGOL as you will receive 50 credits for free every month!…

Create Bounding Boxes without Desktop GIS

Bounding boxes are crucial for a lot of geospatial projects: wether you need to limit the extent of your web mapping application or need to cut your research data to the area of interest, bounding boxes are used everywhere. Here is a nice little tool from Klokantech that helps you generating bounding boxes in a variety of formats in your browser, without even opening your desktop GIS.

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.

Webmaps with R: the leaflet package for R

Some months ago I published qgis2leaf which enables a QGIS user to publish a webmap the easy way. It was integrated into qgis2web which offers a leaflet and a openlayers based output for qgis users. But what about R users? Jean-Francois recently published a longer post about GPX tracks and to publish them using some heavy coding. So let’s welcome leaflet for R: an easy leaflet webmap exporter.

Awesome map style

Are you back from holiday? Maybe you switched from Casale Monferrato, Piedmont and have used the map of Monferrato Landscapes. If you were lucky, you see a new update, I’ve made ten days ago, otherwise I invite you to go to review … but before I tell you how it was created.

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…

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,…

Analog Geography – German soil of the year 2014 is the vineyard soil

Sometimes you need to replace bits and bytes with dirt and soils, and today’s news are really pushing me to leave the desk and to go for a walk. Every year, the Deutsche Bodenkundliche Gesellschaft (German Pedological Society) announces the Soil of the Year. Next year’s soil is the Vineyard Soil! It’s not only one, but a whole group of soils known for their high fertility and their anthropogenic, mineral rich R-horizons. In Germany, those R-horizons formed as early as in Roman times in some regions, since the Romans brought the civilization wine to Germany. Currently, I am feeling a…

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…

Online GeoJSON Editor

The web is built upon a small set of languages that are present everywhere. Besides HTML, Javascript is the most common technology around here.  So it is not a surprise that web cartography adapts this technology and uses the native javascript object type to store its vector data. The specification is called GeoJSON (for Javascript Object Notation) and extends the JSON model with geometry fields. But if you ever needed to write some lines of Javascript, you’ll know that it’s brackets can drive you crazy. So why would someone want to write table-like structures in such a quirky format? The…