During the past few months some people told me that I should start blogging about my experiments. Actually, this idea was always in the air but I guess I just never made a lot of effort to think about it seriously. I always got stuck in the very beginning so I haven’t even chose a name for it, not to mention writing posts. Anyway, who the hell is curious about what I think or do? – I always thought. Now, it seems like some people are. Let me briefly explain what one can expect from me.
As soon as you look at the background or header images it should be obvious that I am interested in spatial information. Maps, GPS-es, applications or whatever that are somehow related to the geographic space. Thanks to the evolution of technology there’s a huge playground for me (and for other like-minded people) with lots of available data to explore some interesting patterns of how our world works. There is a smartphone in almost everyone’s pocket, cars are equipped with GPS navigation, photographers share images on the internet, a great number of volunteers edit maps and this is just the beginning. Thanks to you (and the technology that enables it) unbelievably huge amount of data are generated each day with some kind of geographic content. Yes, a special credit goes to you, who use those social media platforms, web communities or just a smartphone because you are the key in all this. You don’t necessarily know it but when you tweet, check-in or share a photo just for fun you provide scientists or explorers data that they can analyze and then they can extract some useful (or not?) information from it. Taking off the naive part, these data also plays a big role for service providers who make money with this. That’s completely normal and there’s nothing wrong with it.
So, I deal with these kind of data and I find it fun. I was lucky enough to join JRC in Italy for a few months in the past. Once I was talking to a great scientist there about what I am up to he told me:
That is cool! Test, test and experiment, experiment! This is how it goes!
And then I realized that I always did the same. I can easily become enthusiastic about a new application, platform or device and while I am trying to understand how it works and why it works on that way I do a lot of experiments. I find a method to get the data, make exploratory visualizations, play with it for a while before finding an another one which tends to be more interesting at the time. Just for fun. Yeah, but why is it important? – you may ask. There is no answer to that. Maybe it’s not. What is sure is that this approach resulted a complete mess both in my head and hard drive with tons of completely scrappy ideas and solutions… not having been shared with anyone. Most of them are probably useless and of no interest but some of them may would have been worth sharing. I learned a lot during I made these attempts. At least that’s something. I will change this approach with this blog and will post some part of the work that I am currently doing. Maybe I’ll come out some interactive map, code snippets or I’ll just show something interesting I found. I haven’t really decided yet. The frame is given the rest will come.
I hope that this blog will somehow force me to organize my thoughts and and ideas since I do not want to present a complete mess. I also hope that someone may will find some of the thing I post here interesting and useful.