We — me (Jon Reades), Steffen Zschaler (KCL Informatics), and Dani Arribas-Bel (Liverpool Geography) — been awarded money by the SSPP Faculty Education Fund to develop a new approach to using Jupyter notebooks for teaching, conferences, and workshops. Conjuring will use a low-power, small form-factor server running Jupyter Hub without an Internet connection, allowing it to be used in novel environments such as rural schools or in venues (schools, conference centres) where IT and networking support for advanced applications is limited or non-existent.
Our first Python coding dojo!
This week we had our first ever Python Coding Dojo! Around 25 current and former undergraduate students, PhDs and staff got together for evening of coding, pizza and fun.
Geography & Computers: Past, present, and future
I’m really pleased to share a piece that Dani Arribas-Bel and I recently co-authored in Geography Compass on the sometimes fraught relationship between (human) geography and computers, and advocating for the creation of a Geographic Data Science. For those of a ‘TL; DR’ nature (or without the privilege of an institutional subscription!), we wanted to share some of our key ideas in a more accessible format.
GeoCUP: supporting a flexible student computing environment
Over the past year, we’ve been supporting our first cohort of Geocomputation & Spatial Analysis (GSA) students as they learn to code and work with geo-data in an open computing context (predominantly FOSS). This post reflects on some of the problems – and solutions – that emerged as a result.
Aspect-Slope Maps in QGIS
While working with Naru to design our new 2nd year GIS methods training course (with parallel QGIS and ArcGIS streams!), I came across a rather striking map on the ESRI blog that managed to combine both slope (steepness) and aspect (direction) in a single representation. This post explains both a problem with the way that the colour scheme was specified and how to replicate this type of map in QGIS (with style sheet).
Come and Join Us!
We’re looking for someone with a passion for teaching and research that uses quantitative and computational methods to understand geographical systems. If that sounds like you, submit your application for the position of Lecturer in Spatial Analysis at King’s College London.
The Future of Geocomputation
On Friday 18 December, we hosted a workshop on ‘the future of geocomputation’ involving over 30 researchers from across the UK and Ireland. We’re still working to synthesise and write up the discussions that made up the second half of the workshop, but below are the presentations that kicked off the day. Some of the tweets from the day are embedded below but from more see our storify for the day or search #fogeocomp.
GSA starts today!
Today is the first day of our new Gecomputation and Spatial Analysis (GSA) pathway on our undergraduate degree. Over the summer Jon Reades, Naru Shiode and I have been developing module material and today we (well, Jon and I) finally get to use it with our students. We provide a very brief overview of the pathway on the About page of this website, but I thought today is opportune moment to discuss it in a little more depth.
Avoiding Email for Academics
How many times do you return from field work or a holiday to find that most of your first day is spent deleting emails that are no longer applicable or were never relevant to begin with? Or, worse, you are asked to address issue ‘x’ but have no history or documentation to explain how ‘x’ became a problem, what solutions have been considered, or even why you are the one to solve it! Asana and Slack can help with that.
Peer Programming for Academics
As we prepare to teach the first year of the GSA pathway, we’ve been experimenting with techniques more commonly used in software development to see if they can help us to deliver quality and integration in our new modules right from the start. This post will explore the logic of Pair Programming.