The Spatial Miscellany


A weblog. A website. A geospatial miscellany…

Cloud GIS Comes of Age

Fascinating to see this press release drop into my inbox this week via the Amazon Web Services mailing list…AWS now supporting Postgres and PostGIS in their Relational Database Service…and if that wasn’t enough goodness, the good people at SAFE announced FMECloud this week:

Olympics 2012 starts tomorrow, GIS help needed…

The London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony is tomorrow, so it made me smile to see the job advert (below) posted today. Your country needs you…to run the 2012 GIS, perhaps they had the wrong flag stored as an attribute for North Korea in the database, and now they’ve sacked the analyst, they’ve no idea how this GIS thing works…


From JISC Mail…

I have a requirement for a  GIS Project Lead or GIS Project Manager.
You will be a strategic thinker who will be able to look at steering this
organisation in the right direction with their GIS operations over the coming years.

You will need to able to define GIS Business Requirements. You will need to look at some exisiting data and technology and advise strategy on how this can be utilised fully to fit the organisational requirements.

You will be a very,very clear and effective communicator and work well under pressure.

You will also need to used to working to VERY defined timelines and deadlines.

You need to be IMMEDIATELY available from next Monday (30th July).
If selected for interview and successful you will be starting almost immediately (next week).     

If you have had any London 2012 involvement this would be very useful.

Market rates.

If you would like any additional information please firstly send me your CV and then call me on 01932 562 900. Ask for Mark Jordan.

This will be an initial 3 month contract based in London (East).
This will be a VERY interesting assignment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geo Push?

I’ve been asked many times…

‘I want to share a map with a colleague in a remote office, I want to be able to draw my interpretation, and have them draw their interpretation, can you help me?’

Sounds pretty straight forward eh? Web mapping has got us some of the way, but it’s not elegant. For a while now I’ve hoped the web socket technology in HTML5 would come to the rescue, and it’s great to see this example from Stewart over at SAFE.

Having shared a few beers with my Real Time Web Expert and friend Phil Leggetter of Pusher, I understand the original home for push technology is finance; banks like to make all the numbers on the screen change at the same time; so rather than relying on the client to F5 page refresh, or an ajax script to poll for a new exchange rate, they would use a comet server to push the change in exchange rate out to the client – real time.

Where finance leads the rest of the world follows (don’t we know it), but it’s hard to find use cases for ‘push‘ technology; use cases where a user cannot wait 2, 5 or 10 seconds to poll the server for an update? Multi Player Games? For sure. Social Media, think Twitter? Perhaps. Sports Scores and Betting? Maybe – but the PUSH application that stares me in the face is collaborative mapping. I really think the technology GeoPUSH, can open up a whole new world of collaborative mapping possibilities. So great to see this proto (edit, display) from Stewart, it’s the first that I’ve seen, and I’m sure it’s the tip of an iceberg.


Where’s my free map gone?

The Google Maps API was never meant to be free. It was an inspired accident. Clever developers reverse engineered the Google Maps site, and rather than send a cease and desist, Google published the API…more here.

The rest is history. The ‘system integrators’ day rate was slashed as the ‘mashup’ was born, and a wave of web API’s followed. The general consensus is that this is just good business sense, ‘we’d hoped advertising would have funded the API, it hasn’t, so now we need to charge some money’ – hum, I wonder if there’s more beneath the surface?

When considering this news alongside other press releases in the Google Geo space this year, like this one last week announcing GeoEyes investment in Google Earth Builder, it appears to be a deliberate shift in focus from consumer GIS to enterprise GIS. I really struggle to understand, why?

Why does an advertising & search company, who revolutionised advertising by removing the large sales force and middlemen, staff up to sell enterprise software?

Wayne Rooney to buy father ArcGIS for Christmas?

Last week news broke that Wayne Rooney Senior had been arrested on grounds of involvement in a betting scam. This story wasn’t just about daft footballers and bags of money, this story was really one of Geography! In an attempt to better understand what happened, I mapped this story from the Daily Mirror using

A bunch of guys from Liverpool decided to bet notable sums of money on the sending off of a Motherwell FC player. In the 83rd minute of the game, Steve Jennings had an argument with the referee and was sent off. Steve used to live in Liverpool, once playing for the mighty Tranmere Rovers before retiring to Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League. Steve’s sending off resulted in some hefty pay outs for the bookies, not unusual perhaps… until we map them:

View Larger Map

Mapping the payouts show a number of payouts in Liverpool, some 200 miles south of Fir Park (home to Motherwell FC). Now if this was Man United, whose fans do actually live more than 200 miles from Old Trafford – no bother, however, this isn’t Manchester United, this isn’t even an English League club, this is Motherwell FC.

Idiots. Or do we just need to get them a copy of ArcGIS?

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