Crowd


#FOSS4G give to the 2018 Travel Grant Programme NOW

I am sitting at FOSS4G with a little smile on my face. We have just handed out the last of ten travel grants to people who would not have been able to have make the trip to Boston without our support. When you meet these people and hear a little more of their stories you know how important it is that we enable more people to experience FOSS4G. This year we crowdfunded over $1,500 to […]


FOSS4G, from Nottingham to Uganda to Boston

I have recently been chatting by mail with Bernard Muhwezi who is the Manager of Geo-Information Services at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Bernard is attending FOSS4G in Boston this year, he told me about what had happened in his country since he returned from FOSS4G 2013 in Nottingham, (Bernard authorised me to share this mail) I attended FOSS4G Nottingham, and collected materials and CDs and trained in QGIS, when I came back I trained 54 mapping […]


Pay it forward

FOSS4G starts in Boston in just over 3 weeks time, there will be close on 1000 attendees (could go higher if you are one of the late registrations) learning, sharing, networking, having a bit of geofun, making new friends and building the Open Source Geo community. There will be hundreds of presentations, workshops, keynotes, lightning talks, birds of a feather, meet ups, loads of QGIS and lots of new stuff. So who wouldn’t want to […]


Wanted: Old political boundary maps 1

Crowdsourcing some presentation images I need some help to find old map images for a presentation that I am preparing. In “When politics meet maps there is no right” I wrote about the challenges in representing disputed boundaries and place names for digital mappers. I will be presenting on this topic at FOSS4G in Bonn in August and the British Cartographic Society symposium in September. Do you have any images or scans of old political geography […]


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 […]


Two’s company, three’s a crowd 2

On Friday the ODI hosted an Open Addresses Symposium in London (thanks to the nice people at Arup for their great facilities). The event attracted a pretty large audience of people interested in Open Addresses (remember that idea?) including the ‘usual faces’ and veterans of the Address Wars and a wide range of potential users. As one friend commented near the beginning, it is something of a disgrace that after over 15 years we are […]


To OAF or not to OAF, that is the question 1

You may recall my blog post a few weeks back about the desperate need for something/one to break the logjam around open access to UK addresses and inviting people to get in touch to discuss building an Open Address File (OAF). It prompted quite a lot of traffic and generally supportive comments. The nice folk at the Open Data Institute reached out to share details of their application to the Cabinet Office for funding to […]


Enough of this AB PAF, I need an OAF 3

Every politician has their defining moment, it may not be the most important policy/event that they were associated with but it will be one that resonates long after they have retired. For people of my age Margaret Thatcher may well be remembered as ‘Thatcher, Thatcher, the milk snatcher’ rather than the woman who said their was ‘no such thing as society’ or any of her other exploits/achievements (depending on your politics). [Note to self: resist temptation to […]


What the hack? 3

It seems that barely a week goes by without some organisation (frequently linked to the public sector or an NGO) running a hack to address the challenges of poverty, the environment, sanitation, digital inclusion, unjoined up government, weather, using open data, etc etc and of course most recently flooding. Its hack this, hack that or as I would crudely put it “what the hack?” I have been wondering whether there are any tangible outcomes from […]


A tale of 2 crowds at 2 conferences 3

An eventful week with both W3G “the unconference” and Everything Happens Somewhere (the National Land and Property Gazetteer Awards). W3G at the newish Google Campus near Silicon Roundabout, was loosely themed around the question “Is Open the New Black”  and a lot of the talks (including mine) were about open data. The presentation of the day for me was Lawrence Penney (@lorp) talking about 1 dimensional maps (or strip maps) with an enormous, amazing collection of […]


When citizen science isn’t science

Last year I commented on the AA’s Streetwatch survey of potholes questioning the methodology used. I contacted the AA to see whether they would let me have a look at their data and see whether there were any other conclusions that could be drawn from this exercise in Citizen Science. After several mails and chasing for replies I eventually got a reply: “This survey was never intended to be a scientific investigation of local road […]


A plague of potholes – citizen science may not be enough 2

Potholes are one of those things that get everyone united in righteous indignation “Harumph, they should do something about this!” No one is going to suggest that potholes are desirable but are we too eager to bash the local authorities who are tasked with spending our taxes to keep the roads in good condition? The Telegraph and several other papers reported last week on the “plague of potholes” identified by the AA’s recent Streetwatch Survey. […]