Yearly Archives: 2015


Dear Chancellor 2

The Right Honourable George Osborne 11 Down in the Street London Dear Chancellor I hope you are well. You must be looking forward to putting your feet up and sipping a nice single malt over the weekend after a the excitement of the budget. It’s been a pretty damn good week. Those nice people at OBR found you £27bn which came in pretty handy when you needed to ‘fine tune’ the austerity timetable. Then that amusing John […]


‘All you can eat’ may leave you with indigestion

It doesn’t matter whether you work in the public or private sector, everyone is looking to do more with less which includes pressure on software costs. Recently I have been looking at pricing models with clients in the private and public sectors and on both sides of procurement which has prompted some musings on software pricing and how it compares with the pricing of other products. The more you buy the less you pay Go into […]


OpenData – APIs vs data dumps, it’s economics innit? 2

  I spotted a tweet from Owen Boswarva a few days ago “We need to move away from government’s reliance on bulk data sharing and create an economy of APIs.” 100% wrong. #opendata #ODIsummit — Owen Boswarva (@owenboswarva) November 3, 2015 BTW, it wasn’t Owen suggesting we need to move to an economy of APIs, that quote was from Matt Hancock’s address to the Open Data Instate Summit. I replied It isn’t govt’s job to […]


When politics meet maps there is no right 1

Old atlases are fun Old school atlases are fascinating, they reflect the ways we learned geography and how we were taught political geography. They are probably the reason that I hated geography at school and dropped it at the first opportunity only to rediscover a love for the digital version much later in life. When I was a kid a lot of the world was coloured pink, for my non Brit readers this was the colour […]


A location grid is not an address 7

     This is going to be a longish post if you don’t care about addresses this might be one to skip. This post was prompted by reading Mike Dobson’s review of What3Words, shortly afterwards Rollo Home pointed me to an article about Google’s Open Location Codes, the topic also popped up on the OSGeo mailing list when someone tried to promote their proprietary grid and direction system, which prompted some quite strong responses to say […]


Google vs Siri, search vs access

I’ve been trying out Siri a bit more recently, she (or he) is a strange being, sometimes the results are just what you want and others leaving you scratching your head mumbling “what the ****?”. The other day I wanted to call a restaurant called La Rugoletta (a nice little Italian place in East Finchley, worth a try) so I tried asking Siri to “call La Rugoletta”, the results were hysterical including Rude Goal Letter, Lauren […]


Toposcopes aren’t spam, they are pretty damn neat

I get a lot more comments on this site than you get to see. Comments and messages via the contact form include offers of SEO services, things that will enlarge portions of my body, suggestions that I could earn a fortune by posting their irrelevant content etc. The nice folk at Automattic make a great WordPress plugin that filters out the spam that seems to perpetually arrive, when I get round to checking what they have blocked I […]


No more getting lost? That’s a shame 2

We recently did a road trip around California navigating around using the TeleNav Scout app and OpenStreetMap offline. Overall the app did very well, we didn’t get particularly lost, the directions were largely clear and understandable (more on that in a minute), we saved a fortune in data roaming charges (thank you OSM contributors) and we certainly didn’t follow any obscure tracks to the middle of nowhere like the picture below. All of which prompted a few disconnected […]


Eclectic, geo, fun, beer, talking late into the night – it must be #geomob 1

If #geomob didn’t exist someone would have to start it, actually Chris Osborne did back in 2008 and then Ed Freyfogle took over from him a few years ago. I don’t think I or any of the hundreds of attendees (probably close on a thousand by now) have thanked Chris and Ed enough for what they have given to the map mad, geogeek community in London. Here goes … If you haven’t been to a […]


When work gets in the way of fun

Gosh, it has been a long time since I wrote anything here! I have been pretty obsessively focussed on a client project for the last 6 months, some of you who know me will know what I have been working on, the rest will just have to wait until it becomes public (but maybe it won’t). Enough of the teasers. Anyway, the last of the pressing deadlines has been met, there is a lull and […]


Ooooh – a round thing with spokes! 5

I picked up on the twitter conversation between my friend James Rutter and folk at CycleStreets about an application to Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation program for “a modern interface to UK wide planning application data“- note that OS is offering a share of £101,000 to the winners of this challenge, that’s quite a lot of taxpayer dosh. There was a tooing and froing about whether yet another initiative was needed to aggregate planning information. I have written before […]