Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More Mapserver learning

Printed out Chapter 2 of this tool's tutorial.

Friday, May 20, 2005

VMAP arrives!

Great news is that the VMAP CD arrived yesterday here from David Cantrell in London. This has saved a huge download time from the web.

I now have:
Landsat imagery
River network

Yet to download:
SRTM data

I thought of writing a short summary of how useful these data are for this blog for those interested. Maybe later.

Coolest discovery yesterday was the Chicago Street Crime map which looked so professional. Very impressive.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Geonet as annotation layer?

I shall publish a review on this blog of my experiences of the quality of these datasets when I have used them all.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Progress to Whit....

Good progress recently.

I read and gained a grasp of basic Mapserver Chapter 1 tutorial. Now we need Chapter 2. One interesting function of theis software is that it allows you to share data as if it were a URL, so users may be able to even link in with say ArcExplorer if they wanted.
I downloaded band 8 of the Landsat image for Munich I need for this project. Brovey Transform and data fusion were done. But the imagery coords are wrong. Needs reworking. I processed all of the imagery I have in GRASS. Unfortunately my coordinate system needs an overhaul so I have to redo the work. No problem.
I have found the old 1991 DCW dataset at Penn State University. It is good enough for my need shere on my project. However it needs reprojecting. Free solutions?
New data source - what is the Geonet data from

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mapserver and Landsat

Downloaded the big Landsat image needed for data fusion.
Learned chapter 1 Mapserver

Friday, May 13, 2005

Rivers, emails and Mapserver....

These 2 emails were posted to openstreetmap:

Hello there,

Many thanks to the kind people on this forum who generously give of their time and advice.

Presently I work for a GIS company but I finish here end of June. I have this pet project to develop a Mapserver app for Munich using free data. I am presently developing the data layers.

Today I learned of the Open Geospatial Consortium in Europe and hoepfully will move my project towards that.

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to obtain funding for this initiative? The idea I have is a non profit free system for this city.

Jeremy Stocks.


I have been in the field of GIS nearly 14 years. I have seen every new craze come and go. But something exciting is slowly happening , thanks to the following factors. I shall list them:

The web for GIS is starting to come of age. Applications which are able to serve large quantities of data necessary for GIS are now here.
The rise of free web GIS such as Mapserver which allows people to publish their own maps on the internet as long as they have a connection.
The removal of selective availability on GPS receivers is allowing ordinary users access to precision they other wsie would never have had.

These changes, particularly the web and GPS are giving ordinary users power to create maps they were previously never able to do. Now I am told the location-based industry according to the Guardian article,3605,1453293,00.html is going to be worth a lot of money in the future.

The apps I am seeing are impressive but are only the tip of the iceberg. Everyone is serving out datasets based on exisiting features such as roads, railways and contours.

But what would be very exciting would be what I call "conceptual" maps, where the GIS actually does what many of us in the industry have dreamed it can do, namely the ability to create new maps based upon amalgamations of the existing data layers into new products which we call GIS models. This I argue is the very deep heart of GIS and what enticed many of us into the profession long ago.´These can be used to answer questions such as:

1. Tonight there is a frost. Where are the likeliest danger spots for me on my local roads given the predicted temperature? Can I upload aGPS location back to the map server to confirm or deny the frost location, thus improving the model?
2. I am going paragliding. Where would the best thermic areas be for me to fly at this moment in time? Can my in-flight GPS tracks be uploaded to the server to truth the model it puts out?
3. I am going off piste skiing. Where is it most dangerous given the recent heavy snow falls and what conditions will I likely encounter? Can I feedback my skiing experience back into the map served?

I would appreciate a discussion on this topic. Any takers?

BTW it's Friday. Here in Munich a web map which showed me the location of one of its nearest famous beergardens would be useful!!!

They were thoughts that had occurred to me on the bike to work this morning. I don't know if it will stimulate a response, we shall see.

Today I converted the rivers dataset into shapefiles. I must check to see if it is georeferenced to my projection UTM84-32. First impressions are that it is a bit blocky, but hell it is free. I think it has use for buffering etc.

Started to print off Mapserver tutorials and leanr how it works. Interesting app.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bayesian avalanche prediction?

In the car down to Italy I was thinking about the GRASS GIS and how cool this system is to have survived so long since I first came upon it (1992).

It has a Bayesian expert system modeller inside which I thought would be fun to apply to the Alps to add to my datasets.

Additionally I think of my own GIS analysis in the past, such as the Carneddau thermal modelling we (Ralph Oxley and I) developed way back in c.1991. Could we apply this to Bavaria for example to show areas susceptible to frost for cars in winter? A caveat must be added that it is only for research in these cases and no responsibility for loss of limb or life will result. Would be interesting to seee the reaction.

Even my MSc thesis for rainfall prediction could come in. It may be a chance to do real GIS which I have dreamed fof for years but never really did with commercial pressures dictating what I did.
Just thoughts.

An incredibly kind offer came from Britain today to send by post the VMAP Level 0 data. There are some wonderful people in the world.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Quiet lately

Not so busy on the project at the monet but here are some developments:

Landsat 28.5m image created but not quality checked.
Receipt of password to access river data for Europe
Bittorrent client installed and VMAP at 220Mb seen but not yet downloaded.
Problem to ascertian quantity of megabytes on home PC thru GMX not yet solved.
SRTM data seen but is large.
Still need to download band 8 data from GLCF but wait till next month.