I attended a course on "QGIS Conversion Training" on Friday, run by EDINA at The University of Edinburgh. For those that don't know QGIS (Quantum Geographical Information System) is an open source alternative to ESRI's ArcGIS.

Over the last few years QGIS has become more popular, partly as it is now as powerful as ArcGIS and partly due to it being open source (therefore free). Many companies are now switching to it as it doesn't require long term costly contracts with ESRI, and it runs on all the major Operating Systems (Windows, Mac OS X and Linus).

The course was excellent and although I have had previous experience of QGIS this course really filled in a lot of gaps, it covered:

  • Setting up QGIS
  • Working with Data
  • Creating Data
  • Geoprocessing
  • Advanced Visualisation.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the course was, how well run and how well presented it was. It was quite possibly the best course I have been on. EDINA will be running this course again in the future, if you are interested get in touch with Tom Armitage, who will be able to give you more information about the next date that the QGIS course will take place and costs associated with it.

I would like to say thanks to Bruce Gittings and Tom Armitage for their hard work on the day!


I graduated from The University of Edinburgh on Monday with an M.Sc. in Geographical Information Sciences. I have always felt a bit overwhelmed at the pomp and circus that is the graduation ceremony. It is a time honoured ceremony that is a celebration of completing a course. Celebrating the commitment and hard work that allows the conferring of the academic (in this case) degree. The graduation was at the Usher Hall as the McEwan Hall, where The University of Edinburgh usually has graduation, is undergoing renovation.

I think I find graduation overwhelming as it is nerve-wracking crossing a stage in front of over a few thousand people, trying hard to remember how to walk normally.

I thought I would post a few of the photographs that I took on the day and a couple from friends timelines.


Edinburgh University Class of 2016 GIS / Earth Observation / GIS & Archeology

Kerst and myself.

Maria looking thoroughly delighted!

Nick, Will and Maia discuss the finer points of Python.

Ryan gives the ceremony the thumbs up.

The parental units and myself.

The published list.

Professor Bruno Labour's speech after receiving an honorary degree.

Belated Canadian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day (Canada) occurs on the second Monday of October, our M.Sc. class celebration was a little belated but this didn't stop the celebration going ahead on the 16th of October instead. 

I took a few candid photographs during the evening and these are the shots that are safe for public consumption. I'll apologise here for the shocking standard of these photographs but to be fair there was a lot of whisky and wine going around (but at least I didn't take part in the 'buck fast tasting').

It was a nice evening to mix with the new class as well as catching up with my own class from the M.Sc. course. It's great to hear where my fellow classmates are now working and their new experiences at the forefront of GIS. 

Story Map

Update below...

I was recently tasked with an assignment as part of my Geovisualisation course taught by William Mackaness. The course highlights the need for effective visualisation in the analysis and display of geographic information. As part of the assessment of the course the class members have been asked to create a story map, through the ESRI story map web application. I have finally (is anything ever final?) got my story map to a point where I can share it online.

My story is of four different photography tours of The Hague, a city that I used to live in.  The photographs are all my own, mostly taken in 2013 when I was doing a 365 day photography project.

You can visit my story map at this link.

UPADTE 30/1/2016: It was pointed out to me that the link above was not shared publicly so here is the updated link that anyone can see :-) Photography tour of The Hague