Off to Cambridge this week for training on FME. FME is a product by Safe Software that allows you to connect different applications, transform spatial data and automate workflows. Am particularly excited about this as I think it will be able to help with the GIS strategy that I am currently working on for the Central Scotland Green Network.

Also, it’s Cambridge, so its full of interesting places to take photographs. I am only taking my iPhone XS Max (of which a review will be posted this week) so I hope to test out the new camera. A fun week ahead.

Look out for the review of the new iPhone at the end of the week.

Tidying up and Fireworks

Having found myself with a little free time I decided to do a little tidying up of this site. I am amazed at how much time I can actually spend trying things out and thinking about how to put things together to then find, at the end of the day, that I have changed very little but know at least ten new ways that the design won't work.

Having said this, I have managed to go even more minimalist. The sidebar has been reduced to search, latest posts and social icons. I was going to chop the latest posts but there is point where minimalism goes to far. A design is finished when no more can be taken out, and although they could be taken out I like having them. So they stay, for now... The social icons are in (shock horror) colour. That may also change, but having them in their native colours make them easily identifiable, however, whoever chose red for instagram needs their head examined. I also changed the WA logo from square to round, as I think it fits the aesthetic of the site better. 

I am also going to start using two columns for the writing of blog posts, I have seen this in a few sites and I quite like the look of it.

You can see that I have changed the March madness post into this structure.

For those reading this on a mobile device the only thing you'll really notice is the that's about 80% of you :-)

I have brought back some of my older galleries into the main menu under 'Archives' and have also added a new gallery of Fireworks from Edinburgh. I vaguely remember saying that I would post the shots from the iPhone X that I took at New Year and never got round to doing that. After finding the photographs today I was really surprised and happy with how well the vast majority were captured. Take a look at the gallery. These are all straight out of the iPhone X without any re-touching or post processing. The photographs that were in the sidebar that I occasionally updated can also be found in a new gallery in the 'Archives' menu.

I updated the 'About' page a little as well with some archive information of previous blog posts from 2014 till now and added a new about image of myself, which was taken by @alycoste, my official photographer ;-)

I'll finish this post with a couple of the fireworks images from New Year to try and entice you to the gallery of all the Fireworks images :-) Thanks for reading!

February drought

I only realised yesterday that I went out photographing once in February. I think it was a combination of the weather and illness that caused this. On the bright side I have some photographs of Stirling to post later and will be taking a lot of photographs in the last third of this month and next month due to having some time off and vacationing! 

For now, I found this video inspiring and extremely creative and it features one of my favourite objects and a favourite music artist (FKA Twigs).

AGI Scotland Annual Event

I have just returned from what was a very interesting day at the annual meeting of the Association for Geographic Information, held at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. The AGI primary focus is to maximise the use of Geographic Information (GI) for the benefit of the citizen, good governance, and commerce. There was a whole host of talks surrounding two key themes:

- Data Security & Ethics
- Application of Geographic Information  

I attended the application of GI presentations and the two that I enjoyed most were:

Some Like it HOT, given by David Frankland from thinkWhere. The presentation surrounded the HOT tasking manager. The Tasking Manager is a mapping tool designed and built for the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team's collaborative mapping process. The purpose of the tool is to divide up a mapping project into smaller tasks that can be completed rapidly with many people working on the same overall area. It shows which areas need to be mapped and which areas need the mapping validated. Anybody can join this mapping effort and right now there is a particular need for mapping to be completed in Papua New Guinea after an earthquake set off mudslides. Helping mapping these areas will be vital for rescue and aid agencies. Anybody can help from novice to advanced mappers! 

Philip Taylor from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology provided a informative and humorous presentation on New Ways to Communicate GI data. The part that really caught my attention (apart from the Bloomin' Algae application) was the Edinburgh Tree Map (which is being expanded to other parts of the UK). Have a look at this wonderful map, the data was provided by Edinburgh Council which made all their Tree Data available for free and online! The map tree was inspired from these maps of LondonMelbourne and particularly New York, the question was asked: "Can we do that for Edinburgh?". A fantastic achievement for Edinburgh! Now I know where I can get all the good Cherry Blossom photographs in the spring!