Monthly Archives: November 2010

Importing WorldClim climate .bil datalayers in GRASS GIS II

I uploaded an update to the R script I posted earlier to import data downloaded from WorldClim into GRASS. The main change is that it unzips and imports one grid at a time into GRASS, thus requiring much less free space on your hard-disk.

It moreover has the option to import and convert the layer to the region settings of the mapset you are working in. Alternatively, you can import rasters in their original extend and resolution. Continue reading

Improved labeling tool in QGIS

I just downloaded and installed the latest version of QGIS, version 1.6. It isn’t officially out yet, but it should be released any time soon now. For the impatient ones, you can download the source code and compile it yourself.

It has a bunch of welcome new features and improvements. One that is particularly useful if you want to make nice (printed) maps is the improved labeling tool. Continue reading

Using Freemind to explore and edit XML files

XML files are becoming more and more important to store data, including geographical data. Well known examples are the KML, aka Keyhole Markup Language and GML, a geographic markup language. The ‘Data and GIS tips‘ blog explains how you can use Freemind, a mind manager software, to to easily explore and edit your XML files. Definately something to check out if you want to learn more about KML, GLM or other XML format. Continue reading

Beautiful Kenya

I have lived in Kenya for seven years and this advert of Safaricom, a Kenyan mobile company, made me realize how much I miss it. It shows some of the beautiful and spectacular landscapes Kenya is famous for. For those who have never been there, take a look and you might understand why visitors invariably fall in love with the country. For those who have been there, great to see familiar places filmed in a spectacular way. OK, this has nothing to do with the usual subjects I write about… but much more beautiful :-)

Looking for historical maps of the Netherlands

History, nature and land use changes, it all comes together in ‘Verborgen wildernis’ (Hidden Wildernes) by Kester Freriks. It is a book describes about twenty five former ‘wildernesses’ in the Netherlands, in their current and historical context and based on and illustrated by historical maps. These include maps from the ‘De Atlas der Neederlanden‘ (atlas of the Netherlands), part of the special collections of the University of Amsterdam). It gives a good idea of what [wilderness] has been lost, but also what can still be found, if only one wants to find it. See this website for an interview with the author (in Dutch).

Reading the book I became curious about what historical maps of the Netherlands would be available online. Continue reading

MapTiler to create online maps II

In an earlier post I wrote how I created a mash-up map with MapTiler. There is an option in MapTiler to set transparency for a color, but this didn’t work for me at the time. I therefore created a small script to convert the background color to transparent and to process all PNG tiles generated by MapTiler using the PNGNQ utility.

I am working on a new online map and this time setting the background color to transparent in MapTiler works like a charm Continue reading