Cardiff, England

….can always count on a good geography blunder from local government!!

Maps.Me ReUpdate

This news article reminded me that I should provide a brief update on Maps.Me (which Ive blogged about before) which is receiving a good roadmap of development. Some points to note (and an update on my earlier update!):

1. as the news item states, Maps.Me has been open sourced - it will be interesting to see if this will be taken up by users. The rendering and routing is good and provides the basis for a very solid app.

2. You can now turn off returning usage statistics

3. You can now store the maps on an SD card (rather than internal memory)

4. You can download maps direct to your PC then transfer to your phone from here

A great app just got better and its my “go to” app on my phone and tablet when travelling.

QGIS 2.12….

….. has just landed. See the changelog for the new features which continue to be extensive and useful, for example rule based labelling and rule based styling of attribute tables.

Tips for Social Media

A helpful article on blogging/use of social media for academics which pretty much hits the spot. You can’t ignore it, but it can suck the blood out of you if you are not careful!

Free GIS Data

Great long list of free GIS data resources from Robin Waters. Something for everyone!

Redux: think you know your countries?

As a follow on to last weeks Think you know your countries? blog, have a visit to TheTrueSize.com where you can select countries and move them around a mercator map at will to compare them to any other country. How big is Germany, really, compared to Angola??

Battery Discharge Fix

Well after the debacle that Google’s upgrade of the Nexus 7 (2012) - just imagine wading through treacle and you’ll get the idea as to the usability of Lollipop (e.g.) - I finally got around to downgrading back to Android 4.4.4 (Kit Kat). This then sparked a “why didn’t I think that before” moment when I suddenly thought why not install Cyanogen Mod. Its a long term release and offers the flexibility and usability that any power user wants. So a quick flash of the ROM later, and installation of the Google Apps (Nano version so you just get Play services) and I had a faster, smaller, slicker ROM with a much better experience.

Roll forward 48 hours and the only problem was a significant one - severe battery drain. its not hard to find the culprit as the battery app in Settings shows you - Google Play Services. As this post explains its down to the constant location and server pinging that the app does. It’s fixed on the latest Lollipop version of Cyanogen Mod but no use for Kit Kat. However a quick installation of AppOps, selecting Google Play Swevices and disabling location, wakeup and keep awake seems to have fixed that.

(Cyanogen Mod now also installed on my Motorola Moto e using the recommended unofficial version. So far so good….. )

Think you know your countries??

Then try your luck with the Mercator Jigsaw - took me about 5 minutes with some distinctly tough ones in there. And - goddamn - that Mercator projection can be problematical ;)