Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

In the time honoured tradition, of kinda resurrecting closed down Google products, heres another..


Its the start of an attempt to recreate Classic Google Maps. But not far beyond a prototype yet.

It can already display KML files, split screen streetview, and 45-degree aerial imagery, three things lost in ‘New Maps’.

Its on GitHub:

and has its own issue tracker:

If want it to develop, post your requests!

Update: Added two new map types, a live emulation of UK road colour scheme (works worldwide!), and access to legacy map tiles, from before Google changed the colour scheme. I dont think the tiles will be updated to include new roads etc, but might be interesting to get a decent colour scheme.

Bulk/Batch coordinate converter

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

A revival of this blog to add a link to a new online tool…

Batch Coordinate Converter

Very barebones, but it should work for converting many coordinates in some columnar text format (eg CSV)

Can convert to/from OSGB easting/northings and Grid References, dito for the Irish Grid, and WGS84 decimal lat/long.

All done in javascript, so should be reasonably quick, and no formal limit to the number of conversions it can do – although of course it will be slow to do a really large number.

Geograph Channel Islands is back!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Sorry all for the extended outage on Geograph Channel Islands site. It used to share servers with Britain and Ireland, but that caused a number of stability issues. (caused mainly by a bug in APC I believe!)

Anyway, we are now hosted on CatN‘s vCluster platform.
CatN is by the same people who provide colocation hosting for Geograph, so the move isn’t actually far (both Geographically, and Virtually ;) .

Separating Channel Islands site into a more standalone project, should hopefully also make the site easier to manage – and give more flexibility to grow.

(Next project is moving Geograph Portals to vCluster too, but I’m going to have do some more work on the code first)

UK Onshore geology maps 1:50 000 scale in Google Earth

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

The BGS recently publised the Geology of Britain website, which makes available a Geological map of Great Britain online in an interactive Map Viewer. They make available a 1:625 000 scale layer for Google Earth, and a the 1:50 000 scale version via WMS only.

Unfortunatly the WMS doesnt play nicely in Google Earth for some reason, so here is a hand tuned Google Earth layer to display the 1:50 000 scale Geological Maps:


For Developers – download the (whole) Geograph Database

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Geograph is steadily amassing a huge amount of data, and due to the fact that we require images to be Creative Commons Licensed, we release the whole Archive under such a licence, for just about any use people can think of.

Now we have always been more that happy to produce and give out bulk dumps on demand to anyone who asks, we provide a live API, and even bittorrent based downloads of the images themselves (although admittedly they are a bit behind schedule!).

So in an effort to make it even quicker to get going on new ideas, we have began to put together a self service bulk data download site. So from the following page you can access MySQL dumps of the whole image database, as well as supplementary data such as extracted terms and words – ideal for making search engines and mashups, of course includes the full geographical locational data of the images.

The only caveat is the data doesn’t include enough info to build a link to the image file on our servers. We are doing this because we don’t want to make it easy for people to spider large quantities of images, however contact us and we will see what we can do… we are normally happy to allow hotlinking of thumbnail images as long as we know about it.

This is only the beginning so let us know about your suggestions!

Re: Three key things to know about moving MySQL into the cloud.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

As the comments on the original post dont seem to work (wp-comments.php returns a empty page) – will try replying via a blog post and see if the trackback is picked up.

Re 1. Isn’t that what “Elastic IP“s do? – “Virtual IP”s that you can map to which ever instance you like.


Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Just found this GreaseMonkey script:

Gmail – Hide Selected Label

Which removes the REALLY annoying redundant tag from when viewing all results from a tag. This has been enough to keep me on the ‘Older Version’ of Google Mail.

Works great in Firefox, now to figure out how to get it working in Chrome (uses as yet unsupported features).

Leaky and verbose URL parameters…

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Disclaimer: this post is a rant – turn away now!

I can’t keep quiet about this any longer, its getting me more and more annoyed. Google Maps includes a “Link” function – which creates a link to the current map, which is very useful – particully as the map is estentially ‘ajax’ style, but the parameters are definitly starting to suffer rot and lack of ‘love’ in maintaining them.

For example to just display a simple KML file, you get this corker:,+London,+UK&ie=UTF8&ll=55.053203,-3.208008&spn=17.762194,33.793945&z=5

There are so many things wrong with this url, its unreal. The first is the source – doesnt do
anything as far as I can see, an empty (but immensely useful) geocode, etc; but somewhat ironically I have HAD to edit the url provided by the function before I was willing to post it here, see that g param – yes that’s my (now made up!) home address.

Yes thats right, if you not careful Google Maps might get you to inadvertently share your home address – seriouslly WTF!


A transformation?

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Looking back over the last few posts, it would seem I turning into a Google hater, I certainly seem to be finding more to fault, which seems a change from my previous fanboy antics. 

Some things from Google (mainly Geo) roughly over the last year and my reaction: (in no particualr order…)


  • Static Maps API
  • Earth Plugin and API
  • Chrome Browser!
  • Map Icons in Chart API
  • Reverse Geocoding (& BBOX on forward)
  • StreetView
  • High resolution Imagry (including Wales/UK)


  • No PhotoOverlay or 3D-navigator in Earth Plugin
  • Google Installers and Updaters – a mess
  • Google Maps API Terms of Service. 
  • Google Pages shutting down (sites is NOT a real replacement atm) 
  • No Google Spell Check for Chrome (as no toolbar), and other minor irritations
  • Slow development on Google Maps – particully MyMaps (and MyMaps API)


  • Google Earth 4.3 a disapointment (plus no real upgrades since) 
  • Help Forums – good, but not there yet…
  • GeoWeb Search API – close, but no cigar

… so its not all bad, I guess just getting more worked up about the bad, and don’t really have anything to say about the good.

Mapping website has Gnome owners worried

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

In an announcement yesterday, Gogle anounced a new website.


/background – this post is a bit of light relief after the serious business.