Simon Willison’s Weblog


Sunday, 21st April 2024

qrank (via) Interesting and very niche project by Colin Dellow.

Wikidata has pages for huge numbers of concepts, people, places and things.

One of the many pieces of data they publish is QRank—“ranking Wikidata entities by aggregating page views on Wikipedia, Wikispecies, Wikibooks, Wikiquote, and other Wikimedia projects”. Every item gets a score and these scores can be used to answer questions like “which island nations get the most interest across Wikipedia”—potentially useful for things like deciding which labels to display on a highly compressed map of the world.

QRank is published as a gzipped CSV file.

Colin’s hikeratlas/qrank GitHub repository runs weekly, fetches the latest qrank.csv.gz file and loads it into a SQLite database using SQLite’s “.import” mechanism. Then it publishes the resulting SQLite database as an asset attached to the “latest” GitHub release on that repo—currently a 307MB file.

The database itself has just a single table mapping the Wikidata ID (a primary key integer) to the latest QRank—another integer. You’d need your own set of data with Wikidata IDs to join against this to do anything useful.

I’d never thought of using GitHub Releases for this kind of thing. I think it’s a really interesting pattern. # 10:28 pm

tiny-world-map (via) I love this project. It’s a JavaScript file (694K uncompressed, 283KB compressed) which can be used with the Leaflet mapping library and provides a SVG base map of the world with country borders and labels for every world city with a population more than 48,000—10,000 cities total.

This means you can bundle an offline map of the world as part of any application that doesn’t need a higher level of detail. A lot of smaller island nations are missing entirely though, so this may not be right for every project.

It even includes a service worker to help implement offline mapping support, plus several variants of the map with less cities that are even smaller. # 10:11 pm

doom-htop (via) Ludicrous, brilliant hack: it runs Doom, converts each frame to ASCII art, then runs one process for each line of ASCII and sets each process to allocate enough memory such that sorting by M_VIRT will show the lines in the correct order. Then it updates the argv[0] for each process on every frame such that htop displays the state of the game.

Probably only works on Ubuntu.

From the FAQ: “Q: Why did you make this? A: I thought it would be funny.” # 1:59 pm