News Items


A Vision of Britain through Time now CC-BY

UK GIS Mapping Services

A Vision of Britain through Time now CC-BY ALL the downloadable historical maps within A Vision of Britain through Time, EXCEPT for the 'Stamp' Land Utilisation Survey of Great Britain (LUSGB) maps, are now open access (no Shibboleth) and available under Creative Commons (CC-BY) licensing.

That includes a complete set of scans of the OS First Series, specifically of the first available state for each sheet in the British Library collection. The main caveat is that they were done ten years ago and the resolution is effectively around 200 dpi; in practice, many look pretty good but some are a bit hard to use.

The maps of the Land Utilisation Survey of Great Britain cannot be made available in the same way because they are still in the original copyright, Stamp having died only in 1967, so you need to be in an institution that belongs to the UK Access Management Federation to download those.

Date April 10, 2014

Russian GPS failure?

GIS RS World

Russian GPS failure? There is an article on the BBC website suggesting that the Russian GPS system "GLONASS". The outage occurred on the 2nd April and resulted in positions being up to 50km out.

We have become quite used to getting accurate positional data for free, but we are perhaps over reliant on the US GPS system. Alternatives, including the European Galileo and Russian GLONASS systems, were supposed to reduce this reliance while improving coverage for systems that could communicate with multiple networks. The issues of the 2nd April highlights our dependence on accurate positional information and the importance of have back-ups systems.

It is interesting to note, and news to me, that the iPhone 5 can receive both GPS and GLONASS signals.

Date April 10, 2014

Google Maps Javascript API supports GeoJSON

GIS Programming

Google Maps Javascript API supports GeoJSON Google Maps have added GeoJSON as a supported format in their popular Javascript API. GeoJSON is a popular format for sharing spatial information, especially in web mapping. The addition to Google Maps Javascript API means that is should be easier thn ever to grab external data feeds and pump them straight into your own map mash-up.

There is more information on the Google developers blog, linked below, but adding data could be as simple as:


Date April 10, 2014

GEO Appathon 2014


GEO Appathon 2014 The GEO Appathon is a global App development competition that aims to develop new, exciting and, most importantly, useful Apps using Earth observation data from the open and expansive Earth Observation datasets in the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI).

The Appathon kicks off on 7 May 2014 and runs until 31 August 2014. Participation is open to any non-commercial entity (students, scientists and developers), individual or team from any background in any country. Apps can be created for any of the main operating systems, and can be designed for any type of portable device.

All Apps will be judged and the top three winners will receive a cash prize and a year-long GEO network endorsement and publicity for the App.

Please visit the GEO Appathon website for more information and to register for the event.

This is a virtual event.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Dan Williams at: dan at geoappathon.org

Date April 9, 2014

Senior Research Fellow in Social Science Research (Data Analysis and Statistics)

Research GIS UK

Senior Research Fellow in Social Science Research (Data Analysis and Statistics) Suspect that this role will rely heavily on GIS and spatial analysis without actually mentioning them. The Administrative Data Research Centre Scotland (ADRC-S) is currently looking to appoint a Senior Research Fellow working in the area of social science data analysis and statistics. The innovative nature of the Centre's activities requires energetic and intellectually dexterous researcher with skills in the area of quantitative social science, statistics or data science and excellent research and person management skills. The posts will be based in Edinburgh.

The Senior Research Fellow will supervise two Research Fellows who, together with the senior research fellow, will be expected to carry out original research, specifically using the major Scottish administrative datasets including those from schools, colleges and universities, the health system, the criminal and justice system, social services, social welfare, housing system, transport system and civil registration system.

Salary Scale: £37,756 - £45,053 pa
Fixed Term: Until 31 October 2018
Location: Edinburgh Bioquarter | 9 Little France Road | Edinburgh EH16 4UX
Closing Date: 07-MAY-2014 at 5pm GMT

Date April 9, 2014

PhD studentship in remote sensing of Antarctic ice shelves


PhD studentship in remote sensing of Antarctic ice shelves Norwegian Polar Institute invites applications for a 3-year PhD studentship in remote sensing of ice shelves in the Dronning Maud Land sector, East Antarctica, in cooperation with the University of Oslo. The successful candidate uses a range of satellite remote sensing tools to examine current status and decadal changes of ice shelves in this region, in particular, flow field, mass balance and basal melting. The primary working place is in Tromso.

More details are available on the NP website linked below.

Closing Date: 4th May 2014

Date April 8, 2014

British Cartographic Society Mapathon


British Cartographic Society Mapathon Can you design a map to help a charity better understand and communicate its data? If yes why not get involved in the world’s first charity Mapathon?

The developer world has been utilising Hackathon’s for a number of years to rapidly create software for a common, often charitable purpose. The BCS Mapathon adopts the same principles but rather than software our output will be high quality cartographic products that reveal previously unseen patterns in the data or maps the charity can use for marketing purposes.

The Mission
Working with data provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission teams or individuals from the cartographic community are invited to gather together to share their ideas, skills and experience for the benefit of others. Each team will have an opportunity to present their work.

A panel of judges will review the projects and award prizes.

Cost: This workshop is FREE to attend and a light lunch will be provided. Participants will have the opportunity to stay for the guest lecture, Mapping the Floods: The Utility of Synthetic Aperture RADAR, presented
by Capt Robert Moore V
When: 24th June 2014
Where: Winchester

Date April 8, 2014

Hand-drawn maps of Bristol


Hand-drawn maps of Bristol The BBC has a nice article about hand-drawn maps of Bristol. Gareth Wood has been interested in maps since childhood and when he moved to Bristol 4 years ago he decided to create his own map reflecting the character of the city. The result is a stunning piece of cartography. You can find out more about Gareth's maps on his website Fuller where there is a nice video. The aps will be included in an exhibition at the Its' All 2 Much Gallery from the 2nd May

Date April 8, 2014

PastPlace: Rethinking gazetteers for the semantic web


PastPlace:  Rethinking gazetteers for the semantic web This week's EEO-AGI(S) seminar, hosted by THe University of Edinburgh, is titled "PastPlace: Rethinking gazetteers for the semantic web". The seminar will be presented by Dr. Humphrey Southall of the University of Portsmouth.

The seminar will take place on Friday 11th Apr at 4.30pm in the Old Library, Geography Building, Univ. of Edinburgh, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP.

Also a reminder that following all EEO-AGI(S) Seminars are AGI Geo-Drinks for informal professional networking held from 5.45 in Teviot Library Bar, Bristo Sq, EH8 9AJ. All welcome.

Date April 7, 2014

Introductory R for Spatial Analysis

Open Source GIS Programming

Introductory R for Spatial Analysis The University of Leeds are running a course introducing R for Spatial Analysis. R is a powerful programming language originally designed for statistical analysis and visualisation. In recent years there has been rapid progress in R's spatial capabilities, however, allowing it to perform as an integrated tool for processing, modelling and mapping spatial datasets. This course will provide a solid introduction to these capabilities that will act as a foundation for further work. Based on the NCRM working paper Introduction to visualising spatial data in R the course will introduce R's way of 'seeing' spatial data in the 'sp' package. Frequent visualisation is key to R's philosophy and this will be demonstrated by heavy use of plots throughout, both in terms of R's base graphics and the 'ggplot2' package which makes creating beautiful plots a joy, once you have understood its underlying grammar.

Although the course is introductory, it will touch upon more advanced topics such as facet maps - useful for displaying time-series data - and heatmaps. It will also introduce the popular spatial packages including 'rgeos' and 'rgdal'. The course aims to demystify R and demonstrate how it can be an enjoyable tool to use. Used correctly, R will make a useful addition to the 'tool cabinet' of almost anyone dealing with spatial datasets.

No previous experience with R is needed although participants may get more out of the course if they have previously installed R/RStudio and played with its basic functions, e.g. via an "Introduction to R" type tutorial.

When: 12th June 2014
Where: University of Leeds, LS2 9JT

Date April 7, 2014
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