Archive for September, 2009

Real-time twitter trends map

2009/09/22 1 comment


A new web app that displays the trending topics by location in near real-time. When you select one of the tags, the Introduction box displays a little sparkline for the region and the world as well as recent tweets with the topic. It’s pretty basic—all of the map tools are related to zooming. My main issue is with the info box on the right. That thing doesn’t move (although it does resize if the rending topic doesn’t have much to it) and it obscures part of the map. Why not just make it a column in its own right and not interfere with the map?

Anyway, it gives you an idea of the inanity of twitter without having to actually go to twitter, so there’s that.

Categories: GIS, Technology Tags: , ,

Quickly, quickly

2009/09/16 Comments off

Small rant.

Knowing that there is a button or menu (or even where the button or menu is) to do something in a GIS package does not actually mean that you how to do something in GIS. Adding the default compass image to a map does not make you a cartographer. Being able to make a surface with kriging doesn’t mean you know what that means or if it’s appropriate or why maybe the defaults aren’t the best idea for the task at hand. It’s something that is spoken about pretty often in graphic design circles—the democratization of design because the tools are so accessible leads to a whole lot of people doing a whole lot of really bad work and a whole lot of attitude. And it certainly doesn’t qualify you for an actual paying job. If you are one of those people with the one class, here’s some advice—shut up and listen to the people with more experience. Do not think that doing an assignment in a lab has really prepared you to say “I know how to do that” and not follow instructions. And don’t think that with no experience you should be running around at your job or your grad office refusing to do what you’ve assigned to do because it doesn’t interest you. You have to earn that and you earn that by doing and by making an effort to learn. Checking out one out of date book doesn’t cut it. Do something. Do it again (it probably had problems the first time around). Make it better. Don’t just keep doing something the same way that you did once over and over again (unless of course the task is spelled out for you in detail, then do that). Why exactly would you think that anyone would let you near anything more interesting to do if you haven’t shown them that you can do anything at all?

Sometimes I see kids I know have only had one mediocre class running around with chips on their shoulders and the attitude that they are GIS experts and I just picture them as the robot in Lost in Space with the arms flailing and the repetitive “Danger! Danger!” And then I think that really the world would be well served if they did in fact run around shouting “Danger! Danger!”  so that everyone understands that they in fact know just enough to be dangerous. And with limited logic so growth is unlikely.

Categories: GIS Tags:

Trying to put The Daily WTF out of business

2009/09/03 Comments off

Well, they’re no Canadians (with the always funny Corner Gas), but whoever thought that replacing the Microsoft error messages with haikus in Japan ranks pretty high on the comedy scale.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

This happened twice this morning:

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

The fate of my master work schedule:

Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.

which I did not retype. Too depressing.

Pick a flash drive or the Program Files partition (hint, IT boys, 10GB or even 20GB is not enough in these days of massive MS bloat):

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Lost count after the morning’s crashes:

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Pick a day, like tonight at 9 on the drive back to the office to reboot the piece of junk:

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Oh noes, where did SharePoint go!?

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

When the Google-fu fails me:

The Website you seek
Cannot be located, but
Countless more exist.

You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

So every time the thing crashes or the app borks:

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

I think I might get this on a shirt for Halloween. So much scarier than some random zombie.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Because, really, why would it be where you left yesterday?

With searching comes loss
And the presence of absence:
Your file, not found.

Windows and coding:

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Size matters:

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

until it’s gone.

via Let ε < 0. via Laura RuneMercury H.