GIScussions


Free is great but time is money

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now and I finally wanted to write something about gaming freemium. What do I mean by “gaming freemium”? How much effort will you go to in order to avoid paying for something? Most free services place a limit on the usage that you can get for nothing, the clever ones give you enough to make the service really useful and make their money from a small […]


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 […]


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. […]


The UK Location Market Survey 2020

On Monday the Exec Summary of ConsultingWhere’s Location Market Study landed in my inbox as a reward for my tiny contribution to the study. ConsultingWhere have been producing these studies for 12 years (2008, 2012, 2017 and 2020) and they also have produced foresight reports for the AGI, so they know quite a lot about the UK market. Unlike most sector studies this one is produced by real experts in the domain who have the […]


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 […]