Simon Willison’s Weblog

49 items tagged “projects”

owlsnearme source code on GitHub. Here’s the source code for our new project. It’s a single-page React application that pulls all of its data from the iNaturalist API. We built it this weekend with the SuperbOwl kick-off as a hard deadline so it’s not the most beautiful React code, but it’s a nice demonstration of how React (and create-react-app in particular) can be used for rapid development. # 4th February 2018, 10:33 pm

Owls Near Me. Back in 2010 Natalie and I shipped—a website for finding your nearest owls, using data from the sadly deceased WildlifeNearYou (RIP). To celebrate #SuperbOwl Sunday we rebuilt the same concept on top of the excellent iNaturalist API. Search for a place to see which owls have been spotted there, or click the magic button to geolocate your device and see which owls have been spotted in your nearby area! # 4th February 2018, 10:26 pm

Analyzing my Twitter followers with Datasette

I decided to do some ad-hoc analsis of my social network on Twitter this afternoon… and since everything is more fun if you bundle it up into a SQLite database and publish it to the internet I performed the analysis using Datasette.

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Datasette Publish: a web app for publishing CSV files as an online database

I’ve just released Datasette Publish, a web tool for turning one or more CSV files into an online database with a JSON API.

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ftfy—fix unicode that’s broken in various ways (via) I shipped a small web UI wrapper around the excellent Python FTFY library, which can take broken unicode strings and suggest a sequence of operations that can be applied to get back sensible text. # 9th January 2018, 3:22 am

Datasette 0.14: customization edition. I just released the latest version of Datasette with a strong theme of customization: Datasette now supports custom templates and CSS styling hooks, and the metadata format has been expanded to allow per-database and per-table source/license/description information. You can also now define named canned queries which will be packaged up with your data. # 10th December 2017, 1:55 am

New in Datasette: filters, foreign keys and search

I’ve released Datasette 0.13 with a number of exciting new features (Datasette previously).

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gzthermal-web (via) I built a quick web application wrapping the gzthermal gzip visualization tool and deployed it to Zeit Now wrapped up in a Docker container. Give it a URL and it shows you a PNG visualization of how gzip encodes that page. # 21st November 2017, 6:24 pm

csvs-to-sqlite: Refactoring columns into separate lookup tables. I just shipped a new version of csvs-to-sqlite with the ability to extract specified columns into a separate SQLite lookup table by passing additional command-line arguments. # 17th November 2017, 6:41 am

Datasettes · simonw/datasette. I’m collecting examples of datasette-powered APIs on the project wiki. # 14th November 2017, 7:39 am

Datasette for Polar Bears. I found a fun dataset of Polar Bear ear tag tracking data put out by the USGS Alaska Science Center and deployed it using datasette in just a couple of minutes—here’s how I did it. # 14th November 2017, 5:41 am

Datasette: instantly create and publish an API for your SQLite databases

I just shipped the first public version of datasette, a new tool for creating and publishing JSON APIs for SQLite databases.

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simonw/csvs-to-sqlite. I built a simple tool for bulk converting multiple CSV files into a SQLite database. # 13th November 2017, 6:49 am

Find conferences to speak at with Lanyrd. We just launched calls for participation on Lanyrd. You can list calls for any conference, browse them by topic, and subscribe to an Atom feed of calls for your area of interest. # 24th November 2010, 2:38 am

Welcome to Lanyrd | The Lanyrd Blog. We’ve started a blog for Lanyrd, our social conference directory project. We’re off to a great start: “Lanyrd is now listing 1,508 conferences and 5,167 individual speaker profiles. 5,637 people have signed in to the site and made 13,293 edits to our data.” # 11th September 2010, 9:32 pm

Lanyrd—the social conference directory. Nat and my new project, launched today and doing pretty well despite some early server hiccups. Sign in with Twitter to see conferences that your friends are speaking at, attending or tracking, then add your own events. We’re particularly keen on helping people build up a detailed profile of their previous talks, so adding older conferences is encouraged. # 31st August 2010, 7:41 pm commit dae961a... I’ve finally added an OpenStreetMap tab to—here’s the diff, it turns out adding a custom OpenStreetMap layer to an existing Google Maps application only takes a few lines of boilerplate code. # 10th July 2010, 12:22 pm

webhook-relay. Another of my experiments with Node.js: webhook-relay is a self-contained queue and webhook request sending agent. Your application can POST to it specifying a webhook alert to be sent off, and webhook-relay will place that request in an in-memory queue and send it on its own time, avoiding the need for your main application server to block until the outgoing request has been processed. # 19th March 2010, 10:17 am

dogproxy. Another of my experiments with Node.js—this is a very simple HTTP proxy which addresses the dog pile effect (also known as the thundering herd) by watching out for multiple requests for a URL that is currently “in flight” and bundling them together. # 3rd February 2010, 1:05 pm

They Write For You. I helped put together this visualisation of stories written by MPs for various newspapers at last Friday’s ’Hackers and Hacks" hack day. # 2nd February 2010, 9:27 am

World Government Data. Launched last week, this is the Guardian’s meta-search engine for searching and browsing through data from four different government data sites (with more sites planned). Under the hood it’s Django, Solr, Haystack and the Scrapy crawling library. The application was built by Ben Firshman during an internship over Christmas. # 27th January 2010, 12:27 pm

Applications: the real stars of the launch. A write-up of the launch event at the Guardian. I demonstrated the Guardian’s World Government Data search engine and a small inspired feature on WildlifeNearYou. # 27th January 2010, 12:23 pm

Help pick the best photos, but watch out, it’s addictive! My favourite WildlifeNearYou feature yet—our new tool asks you to pick the best from two photos, then uses the results to rank all of the photos for each species. It’s surprisingly addictive—we had over 5,000 votes in the first two hours, peaking at 4 or 5 votes a second. The feature seems to be staying nice and speedy thanks to Redis under the hood. Photos in the top three for any given species display a medal on their photo page. # 25th January 2010, 12:36 am

Owls, Otters, Monkeys and Lions Near It’s not just Owls—we also registered, and We’ll probably stop there though, or this could turn in to a very expensive marketing gimmick. # 19th January 2010, 2:54 pm Nat and I built this over the weekend. It asks for your location, then tells you where your nearest Owl is (using sightings data people have entered on If you’re using Firefox 3.6 or an iPhone it grabs your location using the W3C geolocation API so you don’t have to type anything at all. # 19th January 2010, 2:45 pm

WildlifeNearYou: Help identify animals in other people’s photos. The first of a number of crowdsourcing-style features we have planned for WildlifeNearYou—users can now help identify the animals in each other’s photos, and photo owners get a simple queue interface to approve or reject the suggestions. # 15th January 2010, 1:35 am

WildlifeNearYou: It began on a fort...

Back in October 2008, myself and 11 others set out on the first /dev/fort expedition. The idea was simple: gather a dozen geeks, rent a fort, take food and laptops and see what we could build in a week.

[... 558 words] A quick Python / OS X script I knocked up last night to count in the new year (using the OS X “say” command). # 1st January 2010, 4:24 pm

Crowdsourced document analysis and MP expenses

As you may have heard, the UK government released a fresh batch of MP expenses documents a week ago on Thursday. I spent that week working with a small team at Guardian HQ to prepare for the release. Here’s what we built:

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Django ponies: Proposals for Django 1.2

I’ve decided to step up my involvement in Django development in the run-up to Django 1.2, so I’m currently going through several years worth of accumulated pony requests figuring out which ones are worth advocating for. I’m also ensuring I have the code to back them up—my innocent AutoEscaping proposal a few years ago resulted in an enormous amount of work by Malcolm and I don’t think he’d appreciate a repeat performance.

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