Maps


Maps vs Cartography

This week a minor spat broke out on the twittersphere, so what’s new you ask? The chart in question is Ken Field’s somewhat ironic decision tree on whether one should make a map I need to emphasise that this is a joke that makes a serious point (IMHO) and the promotion of Ken’s excellent book Cartography. is the punchline. This prompted Amber Bosse, who describes herself as a critical cartographer, to reference Ken and other […]


Mapping Israel from biblical times to the present day

I first presented this talk in 2018 and I’ve since been invited to talk on the subject a few times. Each time the presentation evolves as people ask great questions which encourage me to find new material or friends send me interesting new sources. I did a zoom presentation to a group at my Synagogue last weekend which was recorded. There were a few glitches with the technology (including the red line that someone accidentally […]


Podcasting as therapy in troubled times

At the end of last year Ed Freyfogle and I started talking about doing a Geomob podcast as a way of sharing Geomob with a bigger audience. Ed had done a couple of podcasts with another friend and had learnt the basics. It seemed like a fun idea, two friends who share a passion for geo chatting each week and interviewing past Geomob speakers. We recorded our first podcast at the end of January and […]


Shithole Geography re-interpreted at KortDage

I was invited to deliver a keynote last week at KortDage to an audience of nearly 800 Danish (and Scandinavian) GI professionals. There were just a few snags: The person who invited me said “Last year Jack Dangermond gave a keynote, this year we wanted something different”. No challenge there! The slot was at 9.00am on the final morning after the delegates had been up till 1.30am boogying I don’t speak Danish and I wasn’t […]


FAKEMAPS – the movie

Thanks to the enormous efforts of the FOSS4G 2017 organising team the videos of keynotes and presentations are now appearing on their site. There were a couple of technical glitches when I was giving my FAKEMAPS talk in Boston but fortunately the video finally appeared with sound, slides and me. Get your self a cup of coffee, a beer or even a single malt, sit back and hopefully enjoy, it’s worth making the video ‘full […]


#FAKEMAPS standing room only 8

  Sometimes a glitch can work out. I had been worrying how I was going to get through over 60 slides in my FAKEMAPS presentation (plus builds) in 20 minutes, I cut and cut but still thought I might have to do a hard stop somewhere before the spectacular end. Stressful. The FOSS4G team had asked presenters to use their laptops that were hooked up for recording, they suggested PowerPoint format or PDF (no Keynote). […]


Google Maps to settle Afghanistan/Pakistan border dispute – Oh, really?

Last week this article appeared on The Guardian website suggesting that Google Maps were going to help settle the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over their shared border. Pakistan and Afghanistan plan to use Google Maps to help settle a border dispute that led to deadly clashes last week, officials from both sides have said. “Oh really?” I thought. Maybe the key word here is ‘help’ – maps and GPS might be a tool to […]


FAKE MAPS, very dishonest!!! 1

An open letter to President Trump Dear Mr President I read in this morning’s (failing) New York Times that you were pretty keen on maps in your briefing papers. And while Mr. Obama liked policy option papers that were three to six single-spaced pages, council staff members are now being told to keep papers to a single page, with lots of graphics and maps. “The president likes maps,” one official said. Now I recognise that […]


When politics meets maps – the movie

Last year, I wrote about some of the challenges of mapping political border disputes and mused on how things have changed with the advent of digital mapping. I have been busy doing some further research on the topic which included a couple of hours with Tom Harper at the British Library and presented on the topic at last week’s FOSS4G in Bonn. Spoiler warning: If you are attending the British Cartographic Society conference on 7th […]


Child Poverty in London 17

This is another post about making maps from OpenData. I am trying to learn more geeky stuff rather than my usual blathering about the map and data business, things open and stuff, so I am playing with PostGIS, QGIS, taking some tentative steps into CSS and JavaScript and generally having lots of fun. But hey, you can burn a lot of time wrangling data and making maps. A week ago I saw this tweet Mapping […]


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 […]


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 […]