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Install HWSD Viewer on an Ubuntu 14.04-based system

17 Aug

The Harmonized World Soil Database (HWSD) is a 30 arc-second raster database put together by a consortium of organisations: FAO, CAS, IIASA, ISRIC and JRC. It is a monumental collection of data about soil from all around the globe, and is therefore an important tool for researchers.

You can download the raw data or  visualise it on ISRIC’s online viewer, but there is a (closed-source) viewer app specially created to visualise, browse and query the data offline, the “HWSD Viewer”, which unfortunately was only developed for Windows.

To make the viewer work on and Ubuntu 14.04-based system (like KXStudio 14.04, but probably many other OS), you need to:

  1. Make sure you have Wine installed;
  2. Install the viewer, using the binary accessible from this FAO page;
  3. Install the missing runtime libraries thanks to Winetricks, with the following command:
winetricks jet40 mdac28

That should sort you out!

Specifically, what the Winetricks command resolves is:

  • The error message “This setup does not support installing on this operating system.” when trying to install MDAC from the Microsoft website;
  • The error message “Provider cannot be found. It may not be properly installed.” when the software realises Jet40 is not available.

HWSD viewer

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PDF of Zotero’s default bibliography styles

30 May

Back in July 2015, I made a PDF that shows what all the twelve default Zotero bibliography styles look like.

I just found the file and thought that it would be a waste not to share it.

Here is the whole description of the document:

This is a list of all the default bibliographic styles included in Zotero v. 4.0.27.5 as of July 2015, to make it easy to find the one that works best for you. The text was copied to clipboard and pasted in an ODT file, using the language option “English (UK)” when available. (Right click > ‘Create Bibliography from Item…’; Output Mode = Bibliography; Output Method = Copy to Clipboard)

It is possible to get additional styles from the ‘Zotero Preferences > Cite > Styles > Styles Manager’ menu. (At the time of writing, more than 7800 styles were available in the Zotero Style Repository.)

Notice how styles differ in how they handle a large number of authors.

At the end of this document is a RIS export of the publication for reference.

Hopefully this is helpful to others! Here is the PDF: Bibliography styles

Happy 10th birthday, OpenStreetMap!

20 Aug

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a open data project focused on mapping our entire physical world. Just a few days ago, the project turned ten.

The wiki introduces the project as follows:

Welcome to OpenStreetMap, the project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. We started it because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways.

The Wikipedia article describes the project as “a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world.”  It adds that “two major driving forces behind the establishment and growth of OSM have been restrictions on use or availability of map information across much of the world and the advent of inexpensive portable satellite navigation devices.”

OSM started on the 1st of July 2004. I started helping out as a simple local contributor almost three years ago, and I have closed more than 200 changesets. It isn’t much, but I feel like I am doing my bit for an amazing project. I sort of moved from Wikipedia to OSM as the open knowledge project I contribute the most to, although I never really stopped editing Wikipedia. I might even focus on it again later on, who knows!

For the tenth birthday of this project I really love, here are a few random examples of the great thing that the freely available data OSM offers lets people do and create, just in the two last years. Another example would be OpenBeerMap, a project I wrote about recently. I gathered them (with their captions) from the great selection of images offered by the Featured Images page on the wiki. Click on the pictures for more details.

3D-printed models

File:Gorbals 3d.jpg

3D printed model of the Gorbals, Glasgow, location of the Commonwealth games 2014. Created using osm2world to convert from .osm to 3D and SRTM elevation data. Printed using a Ultimaker 2.

Some information from Gary Martin:

“Duncan Bain documented the data extract process nicely in his blog post http://duncanbain.com/research/blog/state-of-the-map-scotland-2013/ I followed the same process, but also added elevation data from SRTM when using OSM2World; Blender was for the 3d clean-up work; Cura for slicing the 3d model to gcode; and an Ultimaker 2 for the final 7 hour PLA print.”

HOT is a humanitarian mapping project

File:HOT changesets west africa 2014-04-05.png

HOT (Humanitarian OSM Team) is coordinating mapping efforts for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The map shows all changesets with #HOT in and around Guinea. The tool visualises changesets of the last seven days with a certain comment.

HOT coordinates humanitarian mapping projects depending on what happens around the world, and often helps others do a better job at delivering aid on site after major natural disasters of health issues.

File:Three large poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc.jpg

Large OSM-based poster maps of Tacloban, Guiuan and Ormoc printed and delivered by International Organization on Migration in DSWD Operations Center in Tacloban Airport. The maps will be used to coordinate the relief and rescue efforts for the victims/survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

User-friendly open-source mapping tools

File:Nfgusedautoparts gps 1000x664.jpg

A car dashboard kitted out with gadgets. This is just one of a wide variety of mapping techniques. Visible here (left to right): A smartphone running OsmAnd (information and map display) and a tablet computer set up with OSMtracker (POI recording).

Interdisciplinary workshops

File:2014 Cochabamba workshop.jpg

1st “OpenStreetMap Workshop from scratch” – a free and open event that brought together artists, cartographers, marketing companies and territorial planning/computer science students as part of the activities of the HackLabCocha in Cochabamba, Bolivia. View the full set of photos.

GIS integration

File:QGIS tram lines black.png

Viewing OpenStreetMap buildings and tram data within the open source QGIS software.

Rendering data for events

File:Sochi Olympics Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster.png

The 2014 Olympics ski venues in the Krasnaya Polyana (Sochi) mountain cluster. This spontaneous mashup using Leaflet shows OpenSnowMap’s ski pistes and lifts on OpenTopoMap as baselayer on a slippy map.

Base for displaying meteorological information

File:OpenWeatherMap for Leaflet 2013-10-28 15-03-01.jpg

Wind speeds and directions of storm Christian at 28th October 2013 in Northwest Germany overlaid on an OSM base map. The leaflet-openweathermap JavaScript library shows free OpenWeatherMap data in a slippy map.

Cool-looking things

File:Lille toile.jpg

A colourful artistic map of Lille (France) with its characteristic star-shaped citadel, made using OpenStreetMap data and QGIS as described in the tutorial here.

File:20130223 DSC1072 Looking at Buildings.jpg

OSM contributor Hawkeye admiring his laser-etched acrylic map (bounding box at OSM.org) of OpenStreetMap buildings in central Glasgow, made at the MAKLab in The Lighthouse, Glasgow.

File:Softcities map leggings.jpg

OpenStreetMap leggings. A prototype on show at State Of The Map U.S. 2012 of a new product from softcities.net.

 

File:IMG 20120428 164740.jpg

Maps copied onto shoes (by tracing over a projector image).

Crowd-sourced mapping activity visualisation

File:OSM-node-density-map-HD-crop-2013.png

No volcanic eruptions, no wildfires, but burning passion of OpenStreetMap volunteers – represented by a map showing the colourised node density of OpenStreetMap data. Alternative views: full world as slippy map, full world as single image (67 Mpx, 1 MiB); full world scaled down, more info how this was created.

Empower websites

File:LeMondeMapBox.png

Le Monde, one of the largest French newspapers, relaunched their online paid edition with interactive French maps powered by OpenStreetMap. Read more on the MapBox blog.

File:School-phys-sci.png

The University of Cambridge’s new online map was made live at http://map.cam.ac.uk in late September 2012 (and also linked from the University’s home page). This prestigious, year-long project has contributed lots of data to OSM and uses OSM data for its street index and custom renderings.

Video games

File:STK Rostock compare.jpg

Supertuxkart is a free, open-source racing game. Using 3D data from OpenStreetMap we can race around real-world street layouts, such as this suburb of Rostock.

Fun data visualisation

File:Taginfo-tag-cloud.png

Taginfo shows what tags are used in the OSM database. Here, the size is correlated to the number of times the tags are use.

File:Data tiles with 32MB of OpenStreetMap data.png

This curious map of the world, shows the result of dividing the OpenStreetMap dataset into quarters until each of these vector tiles is less than 32MB in size. An experiment by Eric Fischer (details).

Decision-making in urbanism

File:Glasgow park access network.png

Map showing distance from parks in Glasgow, using openstreetmap data and GRASS/QGIS network analysis. Dark red means further away from a park.

File:Surging seas climate change New York 10ft.png

The “Surging Seas” map blends OpenStreetMap and aerial imagery to interactively simulate sea level rise due to climate change. Here we see New York after a 10ft rise, the maximum setting. The storm surge of Hurricane Sandy brought a rise of up to 13ft.

Education

File:HermeskeilOSMTraining.jpg

Students from Azores Islands, Portugal, visiting Germany on a training course in JOSM and QA Editor as part of the Life Long Learning Mapping Project.

File:T garmin.jpg

“Life Long Learning Mapping Project : Şeyma, Kader, Neslihan,(teachers: Manfred, Miray) Simge, Özge, Our project aims to tackle the issue of gender-stereotyping. Students from Karacabey, Turkey, learning how to use a tracking device (Garmin) to improve OSM in Turkey.”

File:UCAD team Dakar.JPG

Team from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop after a five day training course in AUF Dakar. 23 students and researchers focussed on mapping the Medina municipality of Dakar, Senegal. See the HOT blog write-up by Augustin Doury.

File:Cubbon Park OSM Map.png

Pedestrian Map for Cubbon park, Bangalore, created as part of a class project at NID. Students developed a system of navigation and wayfinding for visitors to the park. Data was collected using Walking Papers, added to OpenStreetMap, and then exported and processed in Adobe Illustrator for the final output.

File:BBSSaarburg.jpg

Students and teachers from five countries meet in Saarburg, Germany to learn how to gather data, use mapping devices, feed in and maintain the OSM data. Meetings in Portugal, Slovenia, Romania and Turkey will follow as part of this two year EU funded Comenius project.

Routing

File:Android-osmand-routing.png

One of the many apps available for navigation purposes, this is a screenshot of OSMAnd on an Android phone.

Want to help?

Obviously, there are many more great things to be said about this project and the data’s many uses. If you want to help make this this great project grow, feel free to have a look at the beginner’s guide on the wiki and navigate the rest of the pages to learn more. You can also ask questions on OSM help. (With more than 7000 questions, it is likely yours is already answered!) But you can also go straight to the main website, create an account and click “edit” to contribute your local knowledge to you area’s map!

Install data miner Deducer in Ubuntu 13.10

26 Mar

Deducer is a data mining GUI for R, the open source software environment for statistics.

It can be pretty useful for some people as it makes it less difficult to learn how to analyse some data and create plots (thanks to the ggplot2 package) without struggling with only command lines.

Deducer is a great way to use ggplot2‘s plotting capabilities without having to go through the trouble to learn all the details about each command. The package still works the same, using single elements that we can add to the plot, but the GUI makes it a whole lot easier.

Here are the easy steps you need to follow to install Deducer in R on Ubuntu 13.10 (and probably other versions of Ubuntu too).

It is assumed here that you already have a recent version of R installed on your system (if not, head to this page to install a PPA).

Get a JDK

As the interface needs Java support in R, you will first need to install a Java Development Kit.

Just go to the Software Center and get openjdk-7-jdk (other versions are available but this one worked fine for me).

Install a JDK in Ubuntu Software Center

Install a JDK in Ubuntu Software Center

Enable Java support in R

Now, open a terminal using the shortcut ctrl + alt + T and input the following command to enable Java support in R:

sudo R CMD javareconf

Install new R packages

Still in the terminal, start R by using the simple command

R

And install the two packages you need to use Deducer:

install.packages(c("JGR","Deducer"))

Use Deducer

Still in R, you have to launch the Java GUI for R in order to use Deducer. Use the following command:

JGR()

Now, the JGR console should open, and you can start Deducer from there:

library(Deducer)

Now you can enjoy using this useful piece of software!

Creating plots with Deducer in JGR

Creating plots with Deducer in JGR

Nota bene

I found that the GUI had issue with me using multi-monitors (windows out of range, tooltips jump to other screen…), but switching to just one works flawlessly.

Edit: I just found that someone has done a way better job than me at detailing the steps to follow to get Deducer nicely integrated in Ubuntu. If you want more details about installing R, adding extra useful packages and creating a launcher that opens Deducer straight away, see Iurie Malai’s amazing article.