Robin's Blog

Archive for the ‘GIS’ Category

Software choices in remote sensing

I recently read the article Don’t be a technical masochist on John D. Cook’s blog, and it struck a chord with me about the way that I see people choosing software and programming tools in my field. John states “Sometimes tech choices are that easy: if something is too hard, stop doing it. A great […]

How to: Convert OSM waypoints defining polygons into Shapefile

Today I got sent a file by a colleague in OSM format. I’d never come across the format before, but I did a quick check and found that OGR could read it (like pretty much every vector GIS format under the sun). So, I ran a quick OGR command: ogr2ogr -f “ESRI Shapefile” Villages.shp Villages.osm […]

Configuring legends in ArcGIS – a (slightly) less horrible way to do it

I must say that I’m not a huge fan of much of the ArcGIS interface – and I particularly dislike the many levels of nested dialog that you have to use to change various options while creating printed maps. Some of the worst of these are the dialogs for inserting, styling and configuring legends – […]

Encouraging citation of software – introducing CITATION files

Summary: Put a plaintext file named CITATION in the root directory of your code, and put information in it about how to cite your software. Go on, do it now – it’ll only take two minutes! Software is very important in science – but good software takes time and effort that could be used to do […]

van Heuklon Ozone model implementation in Python

As part of my PhD I wanted to use a simple model which would give me an estimation of the atmospheric ozone amount given a location and time of year. A simple model to do this was created by van Heuklon in 1979, and was described in a delightfully simple paper (unfortunately not freely available […]

Review: Programming ArcGIS 10.1 with Python Cookbook

Summary: A useful guide to automating ArcGIS using Python, which is fully up-to-date with the latest version of ArcGIS. Definitely provides “quick answers to common problems”, but it may take more effort to get a deep understanding of the methods used. Good breadth of coverage – but notably lacks raster examples – and well explained […]

John Snow’s Cholera data in more formats

In honour of the bicentenary of John Snow’s birth – and because I was asked to by someone via email – I have now released my digitisation of John Snow’s Cholera data in a few other formats: KML and as Google Fusion Tables. To save you reading my previous blog posts on the subject, I’ll […]