Simon Willison’s Weblog

12 items tagged “geo”


Weeknotes: Finally, an intro video for Datasette

My big project this week was this Video introduction to Datasette and sqlite-utils. I recorded the video a few weeks ago in advance of FOSDEM, but this week I put together the annotated version. I’m really happy with it, and I’ve added it to the homepage as a starting point for helping people understand the project.

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D3 Projection Comparison (via) Fun Observable notebook that lets you compare any two out of D3’s 96 (!) geographical projections of the world. # 10th March 2019, 10:58 pm

togeojson (via) Handy JavaScript library and command-mine tool for converting KML and GPX to GeoJSON, by Tom MacWright # 18th January 2019, 11:50 pm


Feature request: a batch version of mapzen.places.getHierarchiesByLatLon. I’ve been having a lot of fun filing issues against various Mapzen / Who’s On First repositories recently—mainly because the team there are incredibly responsive to suggestions and feature requests. Here’s a fun thread where Aaron Straup Cope and myself have been bouncing around some ideas around batch API design. # 4th October 2017, 11:51 pm


GeoPlanet data available again (via) Good news: the Yahoo! GeoPlanet data dump is available again. An issue with one of their data providers meant they had to remove that supplier’s data from the dump, but it’s now been separated and the dataset is live gain. By the end of 2010 they intend to derive all of the data from completely open sources. # 11th December 2009, 8:17 am

Flickr Shapefiles Public Dataset 1.0. Another awesome Geo dataset from the Yahoo! stable—this time it’s Flickr releasing shapefiles (geometrical shapes) for hundreds of thousands of places around the world, under the CC0 license which makes them essentially public domain. The shapes themselves have been crowdsourced from geocoded photos uploaded to Flickr, where users can “correct” the textual location assigned to each photo. Combine this with the GeoPlanet WOE data and you get a huge, free dataset describing the human geography of the world. # 22nd May 2009, 6:12 pm

Yahoo! Placemaker. Really exciting new API from Yahoo!—Placemaker accepts a block of text (or a URL to HTML or RSS) and extracts and returns geographical locations mentioned in the text. I just ran my djng blog entry through it and it pulled out “Prague” as the only location mentioned. This should be really useful for adding geodata to existing textual content. # 20th May 2009, 9:34 pm


FOWA London—Beyond GoogleMaps. Andrew Turner’s talk at FOWA was the most information dense presentation I’ve ever seen, and discussed a huge number of cool geo projects that I’d never previously heard of. Andrew links to the full slides and video, well worth a watch. # 17th October 2008, 2:01 pm

OS OpenSpace from Ordnance Survey (via) Ordinance Survey now provide a free JavaScript mapping API for “non-commercial purposes” by “private individuals”. The maps look incredibly detailed, although I can’t find any live API demos on the site (the documentation is illustrated with screenshots). # 9th June 2008, 8:30 am

flickr.places.findByLatLon. New API method for Flickr Places. If only Flickr could return a bounding box for each place... # 24th January 2008, 1:05 pm

Flickr Place IDs. flickr.places.find, flickr.places.resolvePlaceURL and flickr.places.resolvePlaceID combine to provide a really useful, lightweight not-quite-a-geocoder API. It’s a shame you can’t search for places by providing a latitude/longitude point yet. # 19th January 2008, 7:34 am