June/July

 William Adam

As my Instagram followers and posts can attest to, I haven't had much time to go out photographing in the last month. In what was probably the best month of weather that Scotland has ever seen, with included spectacular sunsets, I have been busy moving to a new apartment.

As much as I enjoy building furniture from IKEA after hauling it up three flights of stairs and then having to spend over a week building it, my body decided that it was not much fun. Never before has a bowl of Swedish meatballs cost so much.

Now that I have been in the apartment for over a week I am starting to get myself into a routine where I can balance working with some web design and some photography. After the world cup has finished I'll start appreciating this summer weather before it disappears again.

GIS Update 2018

 GIS Update 2018

I attended GIS Update at The Institute of Geography st Edinburgh University last Friday. This is a closed conference that takes place each year for students at the univeristy taking the M.Sc in GIS (and its derivatives) and former students of the class. It’s a great chance to meet up with former classmates and to meet and network with newer and older students.  My 2016 class had strong representation, with Nathan, Kathryn, Franco, Sean and of course Trevor attending.

I love visiting Edinburgh, I don’t do it nearly enough now, especially when the city is blanketed in sun. Walking back to Waverley Station I could feel how alive the city was with Friday night partygoers coming out and the international accents hanging in the air around me. The city bustled In an eclectic mix of students, locals and tourists.

The day long conference got underway with an interesting talk from Zhiqiang Feng who has been studying the effect of bicycle facilities on cycling to work in the Edinburgh area. There was an interesting correlation between areas of deprivation containing the lowest percentage of people cycling to work. This was followed by William Mackiness asking “Who the hell needs tranquility?”, using social media as a measure. 

Nathan Fenney’s presentation on capturing Britain’s Antarctic heritage in 3D captured my imagination, the British Antarctic Survey are digitising many of the old stations in Antarctica in 3D point clouds to give to architects to help reconstruct them to their former glory. All done through digital photographs, UAV’s and some very smart software.   

I also particularly enjoyed Charlie Moriarty’s presentation regarding the company that he is currently working For, Bird.i, it was particularly interesting as it is startup company from Glasgow that cleans up and provides access to satellite data. 

After the open panel we retired to The Pear Tree for a well deserved drink and further discussion over the days presentation. 

I missed last years GIS Update so it was really good to be able to go to this years. 

June

I find it hard to believe that it is June already, it seems like only a few days ago that I was at Edinburgh Castle taking photographs of the New Year Fireworks. It occurred to me that it is almost three years since I moved back to Scotland and that my trips to the Netherlands have become less frequent, the gaps are increasing and it appears, or certainly feels like, I am settling into being in Scotland for the time being. 

Mid year is also a good time to take stock of what I have achieved so far and what I have planned for the rest of the year and whether I should re-plan. When I was a consultant for a large hydrocarbon based company each year would begin with a yearly plan for developement and of course there would be a mid-year review to see if you were meeting your targets. I was very good at using woolly terms that didn’t tie me into anything crazy “Will continue to develop my skills in x/y/z”. What does that even mean? Well basically nothing, you can’t really measure these types of targets. Of course the company didn’t really care that much as I was a consultant and they prefer to concentrate on the drones they were creating for the long term and not people they could dispose of with a months notice.

Wow, that sounded a little bitter. 

Of course my personal targets are usually much less woolly, so far this year, in no particular order:

  • Relocate back to The Netherlands
  • Travel outside europe (which soon may be achievable by getting out of bed, meh... Brexit)
  • Continue to develop Adam Design Studio (sounds woolly I know, basically get paid to design/implement/update websites)
  • Learn how to implement a PostGIS database and serve WFS/WMS maps from Geoserver
  • Learn how to load and serve Ordnance Survey data to users
  • Develop “Grateful” application for iOS
  • Attend conferences to network and gather new ideas

As alluded to at the start of this post I don’t see any King’s Day celebrations in my near future, I guess I’ll have to make do with more public holidays and no bridging days just now.  

I haven’t done as much travelling as I would have liked so far but I have visited the Philippines during March/April, which was fantastic and also showed me that being in 30 degrees heat isn’t the worst thing in the world. In actual fact I adapted to the heat better than I thought I would, which was just as well. It also taught me that I don’t tan well, I just kinda burn. 

I have built a few sites so far this year and have at least one in the pipeline and will start advertising for new clients this month. Each client I get teaches me something new about my skill level and skills that I need to learn to implement their ideas into their site. My real target for this is to always have a site to be working on, which up until now hasn’t been a problem, I think this will be more easily achieved once I start advertising.

In the last project I was involved in I should have developed an in depth understanding and skills to develop databases and serve them through Geoserver and how to load OS data. This unfortunately didn’t happen and basically led me to a new project wherein I read a lot about how to do it myself. My latest project is interesting as there is no one to ask, for the most part, so it leads to a certain amount of self-reliance and research. It pushes me to be better and develops my patience level to a point that I have never had before as described in a recent post “You do the math”.

I have had an idea for an iPhone application (Grateful) for a while now but haven’t got round to do more than the wireline sketches for it. I think that this will take a little longer to develop than I would like as it relies on me learning a lot more about programming but my feeling is that I need to block out a period of time every few days and sit down and work on it. 

Ah, conferences, how I love and hate them. I actually have two this month, GISUpdate at Edinburgh University and GeoDATA Scotland at the Glasgow Science Centre. Am looking forward to both conferences as I know that I will meet new interesting people as well as people that I have worked with before.  

So that’s it for 2018 so far, no further ahead, no further behind.

Sunday Wanderings

A few photographs from a Sunday wandering around Stirling and Bonnybridge. Accompanied by @alycoste who managed to lose her phone in a nettle bush, while the phone was on silent. Our trips are never dull. On our last trip she lost her gloves at Stirling castle, in the pitch black; the gloves were also black. To be fair at least both items were found again :-)