Simon Willison’s Weblog

36 items tagged “gis”


OpenStreetMap: QuadTiles. Fascinating explanation of a proposal for replacing lat, lon pairs in the OpenStreetMap database with a QuadTile-based addressing system. # 10th September 2009, 3:54 pm

EveryBlock source code released. EveryBlock’s Knight Foundation grant required them to release the source code after two years, under the GPL. Lots of neat Django / PostgreSQL / GIS tricks to be found within. # 1st July 2009, 8:01 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

Yahoo! Geo: Announcing GeoPlanet Data. The Yahoo! WhereOnEarth geographic data set is fantastic, but I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable about building applications against it in case the API went away. That’s not an issue any more—the entire dataset is now available to download and use under a Creative Commons Attribution license. It’s not entirely clear what the attribution requirements are—do you have to put “data from GeoPlanet” on every page or can you get away with just tucking the attribution away in an “about this site” page? UPDATE: The data doesn’t include latitude/longitude or bounding boxes, which severely reduces its utility. # 20th May 2009, 9:12 pm

Google Maps Data API (via) I’m disappointed by this one—it’s really just a CRUD store for the KML files used in Google MyMaps. It would be a lot more useful if it let you perform geospatial calculations against your stored map data using some kind of query API—a cloud service alternative to tools like PostGIS. # 20th May 2009, 9:07 pm


Represent. Andrei Scheinkman and Derek Willis describe how they built the NYTimes Represent feature using GeoDjango and PostGIS. # 29th December 2008, 10:10 pm