Thursday, 22 May 2008

Shape Files and the NAO

Have been playing with ESRI shape files this evening. I can't easily view them at work due to the s/w I have available, so I bought them home to view. I downloaded Shape Viewer which is so easy to use even I worked it out. Sometimes you know it's a hassle to do something at work and a five minute job at home.

Someone mentioned the NAO today at work. My immediate thought was the National Audit Office but, no, it was more specialist than this - the National Almanac Office. Interesting stuff.

Alongside this I had a response from the publishing company today. Apparently they are audited occasionally and to prove that the individuals stated did really sign up, the auditors ring them to ask them their 'personal question' - ie, "what star sign are you?" If this is all it is why on earth don't they just ask for the month of birth? Believe it or not, I know people who don't know their astral sign (and why should they?). So I'm still on the campaigning trail!

Sunday, 18 May 2008


I've been thinking about Map Action quite a bit recently and wondered how they would prioritise their resource between the two humanitarian disasters which have happened - Myanmar and China - and all the others they are still involved with. It must be hard trying to gauge where you believe you can make most difference. I think we all face this all the time (or, rather, we should!).

I'd love to join Map Action except the commitment is high and I need to balance it with everything else I'm involved with. Added to this I'd be pretty useless as I've no ArcGIS 9.0 experience - just management guff.

Talking of priorities, my e-mails to the publishing agency have fallen on deaf ears. I shall recommence the fight on Monday.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Gnashing of Teeth

Arrived back from CHC2008 full of ideas having had a successful visit. Lots of news and views to swap with the American and Canadians. Also lovely to catch up on the Commission 4 news in person.

Had a free lunch today so sat and read the RICS Research paper on "The Potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar for assessing carbon storage in savanna woodlands" (I always thought it was Savannah with an 'h'). I'd highly recommend it. And I'm most impressed at their levelling misclosure of only 7mm over nearly 1km. As I agreed with one of the authors today - probably a good dose of errors cancelling each other out there! wink

And my rant today? I received two magazine renewals by e-mail today for which I have free subscriptions. I merrily went through the form to renew, filling in name, address, job title etc until I got to astral sign. Astral sign? What on earth has that got to do with surveying? It's a mandatory question so unless I fill it in I will forgo two interesting geo magazines. But I object strongly to filling in such irrelevant information and am digging my heels in.

For now, the magazine publisher shall remain nameless.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008


Currently in Victoria, BC, for CHC2008. Attended a workshop on Vertical Datum Transformations yesterday where I spoke and we had an interesting discussion about the UK, US and Canadian approaches to derivation of transformation models.

And this morning I've attended quite a few charting type presentations and a few poster sessions. Now, after an UNCLOS lecture, am taking a breather before back for a few more later.

Notwithstanding the conference, Victoria is a beautiful place.

and so was Greenland enroute.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

From the Lips of a 10 Year Old

In discussion with my 10 year old this morning I asked her if her trainers (which she says are too small) were too tight in width or too short in length. "Mum," she responded, "they are too small in both latitude and longitude!"

Can't beat that for an answer can you? wink