Archive for the ‘Self promo’ Category

Does your city have a nickname?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

I’m collecting nicknames for big cities, want to help? From the Windy City (Chicago) to Hotlanta (Atlanta), LND (London) to SF (San Francisco). We should be able to type these nicknames into a place search and have the right result come back without fuss. And nicknames are fun. Results will be rolled back into Natural Earth in a future update.

Add your city to the Google Doc: kelso.it/x/18s

News flash: I’m now at Stamen Design in SF

Friday, June 24th, 2011

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After mc’ing WhereCampDC June 10th and 11th, I hoped on a plane and flew to San Francisco to join Stamen Design. I’m back in California after 9 years in DC at National Geographic Maps and the Washington Post. Focusing on web mapping: interactive, design, data & tool chain. It’s a small studio with an impressive client list located in the heart of the Mission neighborhood. Keep us in mind for your next mapping project.

WhereCampDC ignite spatial videos

Friday, June 24th, 2011

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I helped organize WhereCampDC in Washington, DC, earlier this month on the 10th and 11th of June, 2011. Hosted at National Geographic and The Washington Post, around 275 geo nerds came together to talk about the latest technology and techniques to build maps and engaging spatial storytelling. Big thanks to both organizations for sponsoring, as well as our many other sponsors including the USGIF.

The key to the event’s success, like Practical Cartography Day during the NACIS annual meeting, was focusing on practical tools and workflows to help solve everyday problems; bringing people looking for solutions together with the programmers who build them in a social environment where making lasting personal and professional connections is emphasized to grow the community.

All told, we had 375 attendees (some overlap between Friday and Saturday but still ~275 uniques). That’s $60 a head for costs, all paid thru sponsorships and in-kind donations. We had generous sponsors and splurged on a few budget items. My guess is you could hold one of these for as cheap as $30 a head. The attendance and sponsorship logistics was managed thru EventBrite. The president of NACIS (my professional association), Tanya Buckingham (U. Wisc. at Madison), attended and it looks like we’ll hold another of these where camps in Madison with our annual meeting and in Portland in 2012.

Playing the spirit of WhereCampDC forward, a new DC meetup has formed and already has 85+ members who plan to meet regularly the upcoming year. Since both Kate Chapman and I are now moved out of the DC area, it’ll be up to the meetup folks to organize the next unconference ;) Check them out at: http://www.meetup.com/GeoNerds-DC

Powerpoint and keynote slides from the Ignite Spatial are up, as well as short video clips: http://www.wherecampdc.org/2011/04/friday-ignite-spatial/

Pictures from Saturday’s unconference are here: http://www.wherecampdc.org/2011/04/saturday-unconference-scene/

Here’s one of the videos featuring Javier de la Torre of Vizzuality talking about crowd sourcing “Old Weather”:

Please join me in June for WhereCampDC

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

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WhereCampDC is an unconference on June 10th and 11th, 2011 for people fascinated by place and the intersection of geography and technology. Please join us for our first event in the nation’s capital hosted at National Geographic and The Washington Post! We are an eclectic crowd ranging from geospatial professionals, open source developers, imagery analysts, urban cartographers, open data/gov hackers, locative media artists, augmented reality developers, and modeling theorists. The event is free to attend and participation is strongly encouraged.

Please RSVP your attendance to one or both days:

An unconference is a conference planned by the participants and created on the spot. It’s about having a low threshold for participation, bringing ideas into the open, and hearing all voices. It is like the 20% of a traditional conference where the best parts happen. You meet people, make relationships, and get down to what’s important to you. Please share your ideas!

Friday’s evening’s Ignite Spatial lightening talk session is an open-mic style opportunity to share your latest work and interests. We will also announce a special keynote speaker.

Saturday morning we’ll gather at 10 am to plan the day’s topics, demos, activities and start having fun. Sessions are held in multiple breakout rooms simultaneously. Lunch is provided thanks to our sponsors.

Find out more over at WhereCampDC.org . . .

Natural Earth version 1.3 released

Monday, January 31st, 2011

When Natural Earth relaunched in December 2009 with updated raster and new vector data our aim was two fold: First, to give cartographers an off-the-shelf solution for creating small-scale world, regional and country maps from scratch. Second, we included a wealth of features both large and small in hopes of improving the overall geographic literacy of map readers. Since then, we’ve taken Natural Earth on an around-the-world road show and January 2011 saw our 150,000th direct download and 500,000th pageview. We even made it into Wikipedia, were featured in PrettyMaps, and power some of the goodness behind Google Fusion Tables. With today’s 1.3 release, we add a couple newly independent countries, better delineate the world’s states and provinces, and make a whole host of corrections and additions to the original dataset, detailed below. Please continue to use these fine map ingredients to make great web and print geo mashups. Bon appetit.

Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso and Tom Patterson

Continue reading and download the updated files at NaturalEarthData.com »

    Live election results map from The Washington Post

    Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

    Looking for live results and post-election wrap up? Look no further than The Washington Post »

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    My WhereCampPDX keynote presentation (Kelso)

    Friday, October 8th, 2010

    I presented the keynote last month at WhereCampPDX, a fun, free “unconference” in Portland, Oregon focusing on all things geospatial. Lots of discussions and met great people. The PDF of my presentation can be downloaded at kelso.it/x/pdx.

    I talked about “cities and the people that live them” with particular focus on how do we count people, how grouping thematic and enumeration unit size changes with map scale and has specific impact on geofencing and choosing which cities to show at different web map zoom levels. The biggest hole in GeoNames.org and other gazetteers is the 3rd world, primarily in India and China but also Africa, also where most population growth will occur the next generation.

    Here are some preview slides:

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    Map: Top Secret America, A Washington Post Investigation (Kelso via WaPo)

    Monday, July 19th, 2010

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    [Editor's note: The government has built a national security and intelligence system so big, so complex, and so hard to manage, no one really knows if it's fulfilling its most important purpose: keeping citizens safe. Discover the top-secret work being done in your community via our map and search relationships within this complex world on our network diagram. Monday's story focuses on the growth in Top Secret America since 9/11. Next up we cover the government's increasing dependence on contractors and delve into the Top Secret America neighborhood around Ft. Meade, Maryland. The map is constructed in Flash using the Google Maps API with custom map tiles for zooms 0 to 5. The government and company locations and work relationships are gathered from publicly available records. This project has been in the works for over a year, I hope you enjoy!]

    Republished from The Washington Post.

    A hidden world, growing beyond control

    By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

    The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

    These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

    Watch the intro video at The Washington Post . . .

    Read the article . . .

    Interact with the map . . .

    Natural Earth updated to version 1.2

    Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

    This update introduces supplementary hydrography features in North America and Europe that quadruple (4x) the number of lakes and rivers there. Many thanks to Tom P. for generalizing the vectors and Preston M. for adding tapering to North America (absent in Europe). In some cases the basic 10m rivers and lakes were modified to fit the new information and that’s been refreshed, as well. The North America data comes from the CEC North America Environmental Atlas. The Europe data extract is kindly provided into the public domain by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), thanks Alfred J! Check out their original, higher resolution Europe data.

    On the cultural front, North America gets roads and rails. General 10m detail roads and railroads come from the CEC North America Environmental Atlas. The supplementary roads are donated by XNR Productions and are at 1m scale, thanks Laura M. and Rob!

    If you have data or time to contribute, especially to flesh out the new transportation and hydro themes, please contact me at nathaniel@naturalearthdata.com.

    Note: We are not committing to building out supplementary level of detail in the rest of the world (we’re not THAT crazy!), but will incorporate such data if you contribute it. As always, we edit these data files but you should too before you publish maps using them. Feed us back corrections.

    Download new or updated files »
    (54.11 MB) version 1.2.0

    (below) Rivers and lakes in North America. On the left the version 1.1 hydro features. On the right in color are the new, supplemental version 1.2 hydro features, 4x the density of features at the same 10m linework generalization.

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    (below) Rivers and lakes in Europe. On the left the version 1.1 hydro features. On the right in color are the new, supplemental version 1.2 hydro features, 4x the density of features at the same 10m linework generalization.

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    (below) Highways (red and blue) and ferry routes in North America.

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    (below) Supplemental road detail in North America. Slightly different feature class scheme and data vintage.

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    (below) Railroads in North America.

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    Preview of Natural Earth version 1.2 populated places

    Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

    Version 1.1 brought Natural Earth up to ~7,000 populated places (purple hollow circle icons with labels). Version 1.2 will increase that by 25 times to about 175,000 populated places. It will be available as a supplement to the 1.1 version selection. What does this get you? A 1:1 million scale map of cities around the world and a 1:250,000 scale map of the United States and other select countries. There’s still basic selection work to be accomplished (Santiago Chile has duplicate points now, as does London) and scale ranks need refining (boosting blue 10 million, 5 million and 2 million selections from the 1:1 million black dots on these preview maps).

    Because the world’s geo infrastructure sucks, not all the new features will have population counts in the 1.2 version. But most should have areal extent bounds and nesting to indicate if the town is part of a larger metro area. At the 1:250,000 scale (gmaps zoom 11), we start to see actual incorporated towns and unincorporated suburbs, but at the 1:1m scale we’re still dealing primarily in metropolitan and micropolitan features (urban areas that host multiple “cities”).

    The names of the feature will also need work, but that will occur after the 1.2 release (India, China, and Central Asia mostly). The version 1.1 locations will be shifted over to use the more accurate geoNames lngLats for about 6,000 features (note Oakland below). Locations were fine at 1:10,000,000 scale but don’t always hold up on zoom in. A later update will incorporate an additional 100,000 places to flesh out the 1:1m scale and maybe a few extra for closer in. Combine these populated places with roads and they start looking like atlas plates :)

    More preview images after the jump.

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    haiti

    iraq

    More preview maps after the jump.

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