General


Video conferencing for non-geeks 4

Over the last week I have spent a bit of time helping older friends and family members get started with video conferencing so they could stay in touch with their friends, their study groups, choir sectionals or religious services. It looks as if we are going to be socially distancing (or worse) for quite a while so I expect there are going to be more people who will need a little help with this stuff. […]


We map because

A few weeks ago my good friend Giuseppe Sollazzo published some maps that he had been working on. The first in the series was a thematic map of London coloured by the road name suffix (i.e. Street, Road, Avenue, etc.), a whole series of these maps appeared soon afterwards including Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. My immediate response was “why would you do that?”, I couldn’t see the point and felt that […]


nine.nine.nine 1

Last week the BBC published this “article” on what3words usage in emergency services. I use the word article with some hesitation as the whole piece reads like a press release from the very PR savvy w3w rather than any form of journalism. Regulars followers will know that I am skeptical about w3w to say the least, they have done a good job of marketing their version of location codes as a way of verbally communicating […]


A letter to my friends in Bucharest

It is just over a week until FOSS4G will kick off in Bucharest. If things had gone to plan we would have been ambling our way to Bucharest via Prague and Vienna at the moment, but that is not to be unfortunately. So I won’t be running another Sales & Marketing 101 workshop or presenting on Product Management in OSGeo Projects (hopefully both will get a reprise later in the year) and I will have […]


Citymapper – London’s Uber?

Last week Citymapper (one of the poster children of the UK’s OpenData movement) announced the launch of their CityMapper PASS card. Citymapper started out with a travel app based on the early releases of transport open data by UK public providers, they then launched a hopper bus service for a short while and this morphed into their shared taxi service “Ride“. Along the way they raised an enormous amount of funding for a relatively small […]


Never Lost Again

Thanks to Ed Freyfogle, I have just finished reading Never Lost Again by Bill Kilday. If you enjoy books about the history of tech and the rollercoaster of a startup in the early part of this century, this is a great read. For me it was a compulsive page turner, partly because I thought that I knew the story and of course I didn’t. Kilday was the VP Marketing at Keyhole from just about the […]


#geomob BCN is born

Last week I hopped on a plane to Barcelona to hang out with my pal Ed Freyfogle, strategise about the development of his OpenCage Geocoder business (where I am an advisor) and to support him at the launch of geomob in Barcelona. Barcelona is an awesome city with great food, wonderful walks, beautiful buildings and of course the beach, but I think it is fair to say that the tech scene in general and the […]


Entryism in Open Communities

If you are a follower of the OpenStreetMap Foundation mailing list you may recall that there was a flurry of concern in late November 2018 regarding 100 new members, all of whom worked for the Indian data factory GlobalLogic. The new members had all signed up in a relatively short time period just prior to the cutoff point for new members to vote in the annual OSMF Board Elections and understandably some people thought that […]


Sh*thole Geography Standup Quiz

Here is a little bit of fun for you to enjoy at a staff social, after your Xmas lunch or in the pub one evening This is how the Sh*thole Geography Standup Quiz works. “At the beginning everyone stands up.  Quizmaster asks a question with 3 suggested answers. If you think the answer is the first one put your left hand up, if you think it is the second one both hands up, if you […]


Mappery

In case you missed it, Ken Field and I have started a new little venture called Mappery The idea started when we were on safari in Tanzania before FOSS4G 2018, hence the elephant logo. Our aim is to gather pictures of “maps in the wild“, who knows where this might go or what a map in the wild might be? If you have a picture of a map that you would like to send to […]


FOSS4G is going to be an amazing event

I attended my first FOSS4G 5 years ago, I really had no idea what to expect even though I’d agreed to chair the organising committee! I’d been to lots of Geo conferences before and never experienced the passion, friendship and technical depth that a FOSS4G has. Since Nottingham, I’ve been to 2 more global FOSS4Gs, 2 UK FOSS4Gs and this year’s European FOSS4G and I can’t wait to go to Dar in August. The IT […]


Mapping Google Sheets

If you follow me on twitter you may have seen a few tweets encouraging you to donate to Linkey, a charity that provides support to rough sleepers by donors buying sleeping bags, cold weather gear and toiletry kits in their web shop. It’s an inspiring charity that only started a few months ago. I reached out to a couple of the founders to see if there was any way I could help them and in […]