Simon Willison’s Weblog

Sunday, 1st November 2009

Cartographer.js. “Thematic mapping for Google Maps”—which means an easy way of adding heat maps (aka chloropleths), pie charts and point clusters as a layer over a Google map. # 1:20 pm

Adobe is Bad for Open Government. The problem isn’t just that PDFs are a bad way of sharing data, it’s that Adobe have been actively lobbying the US government to use their PDF and Flash formats for open government initiatives. # 12:51 pm

Traffic Server. Mark Nottingham explains the release of Traffic Server, a new Apache Incubator open source project donated by Yahoo! using code originally developed at Inktomi around a decade ago. Traffic Server is a HTTP proxy/cache, similar to Squid and Varnish (though Traffic Server acts as both a forward and reverse proxy, whereas Varnish only handles reverse). # 12:15 pm

4store Amazon Machine Image. Instructions for firing up an EC2 AMI running the recently released 4store high performance triple store and loading in 1.14 billion statements collected by crawling the semantic web. # 12:12 pm

pudb. A full-screen, curses console based visual debugger for Python, built using the urwid console UI library. # 12:09 pm

No PDFs! The Sunlight Foundation point out that PDFs are a terrible way of implementing “more transparent government” due to their general lack of structure. At the Guardian (and I’m sure at other newspapers) we waste an absurd amount of time manually extracting data from PDF files and turning it in to something more useful. Even CSV is significantly more useful for many types of information. # 12:04 pm

2009 » November