Usability


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 […]


Could you make a better map than this?

Last week, the Local Government Association released a new version of its Shared Services map, they say: “We have changed the appearance and layout of the map to make it more user-friendly” Hmm, have to wonder how unfriendly it was prior to the changes!   Pause for a minute, try it out, see what you can discover about the 383 shared service agreements between 337 councils in England (95% of the total) that are predicted to […]


The Purcell Street problem – maybe Google haven’t lost (yet) 3

It’s odd how things come together sometimes. This morning I was reading Charles Arthur’s article on the Guardian “Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won“. The article is based upon a ComScore report which suggests that usage of the standalone Google Maps app on US iPhones has fallen off sharply as users switch to using the default Apple Maps app which is now the default within iOS 6 and 7. The article […]


Steve Jobs wouldn’t have let this happen

If they have a web connection in the afterlife Steve Jobs must be fuming about the gaffes in Apple Maps and thinking “This would never have happened on my watch” By now you have probably read about the catalogue of errors, incorrect data, wrong routes etc in the new Apple Maps app released with iOS 6, if not you can see some of the funniest here or here for some UK specifics, oh and here for some […]


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 […]


Another week, another map, some #opendata but where is the insight? 5

This could become a habit and is certainly unlikely to win me many friends but here goes anyway. This morning the Guardian published a map of road accidents and deaths over the last ten years produced by the clever folk at ito World who have produced some of the most stunning visualisations of transport and OSM data that I have seen. So what do you think of this? At first sight it is just a mass […]


Just because you can map something .. plus a bit of free data and we reach new highs (or are they lows?) 1

Usually maps that inspire, delight, offend, aggravate, mislead or seem pointless get a short mention on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly but thanks to Mark Percival and Rolllo Home Flood Map gets a front page spread. I don’t know much about the techniques of flood modelling but I have a feeling that it is a bit more complex than sucking up a 90m resolution free data set and draping it over Google. However you […]


The return of #W3G the unconference 2

For the 2nd year AGI’s GeoCommunity kicked off with an informal preconference unconference day, W3G. I had a lot of fun at this event last year but this one topped it. The morning started with a small panic as @MadProf (aka Jonathan Raper) had not appeared by 9.45, Gary Gale and Rollo Home are starting to reorganise the schedule when Jonathan strolls in wearing full evening dress and muttering about people thinking he was on […]


Met goes funky and open 1

The Meteorological Office have come up with a real corker of a weather map with their Invent service about which they say Met Office Invent will showcase some of our future plans for presenting web-based weather forecasts, products and information. It will allow you to become involved in the formation of new weather and climate change products, services or forecasts. There are one heck of a lot of options for different data to be displayed, adjusting the time […]


#uksnow needs True Grit 6

I had been planning to write blog piece about the poor state of local authority gritting maps after a little rant on gritting maps on twitter a couple of weeks ago and now I need a gritting map myself. The roads in Muswell Hill are completely impassable this morning, there isn’t that much snow but the gritting lorries have not been seen and the “Hill” bit is a dead giveaway for the slithering chaos around […]


Maps ‘n Photos – if a job’s worth doing …

I am thinking about “Just because you can put it on a map ….” the talk I still haven’t started for W3GConf and whilst pondering the question of what you should and should not try to stick on a map I am also feeling pretty caustic about naff and ugly. Or put more politely if it is worth mapping it is worth mapping in a useful, elegant and engaging way. In the last few months […]