Archive for June, 2011

The addictiveness of OpenStreetMap

June 26th, 2011 No comments

I must have some map geek tendencies, since in the past month I’ve probably spent around 100 hours updating the Nairn and Forres areas on OpenStreetMap. It’s just surprisingly addictive. You go into correct one place name, then you notice a road is not aligned correctly, then draw in a missing building… 18 hours later (no joke) you find that you’ve tweaked most of Nairnshire, and missed a number of meals!

So over the past month around Nairn and Forres, I’ve added almost all of the land-use boundaries, unclassified roads, the 33KV distribution network, hundreds of buildings, and realigned most roads to match the latest aerial photography. There’s still loads do, but I’m only spending maybe an hour each day on a small area each time. You can see a history of all my edits at

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An app from my past

June 25th, 2011 No comments

I came across some screenshots today of an application I developed almost a decade ago, when I worked for Ad Rem. It was called ‘Factor GIS’ and was a rural estate management database that tied into ESRI ArcView GIS.

The main application was developed using Delphi, and consisted of a main executable and numerious DLLs – one for each optional module.

The GIS extensions were are combination of ArcView’s Avenue scripting language and more DLLs which provided more attractive dialogues.

The whole thing used a MS Access database, which although was less than ideal, still worked. The main application accessed the database using BDE, and ArcView used ODBC. Inter-application communication was by means of DDE.

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Projects on the back burner

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

For the last month I haven’t had a chance to tackle any of the projects I talked about previously. Between doing numerous repair jobs on the farm, and some casual work at Eden Court Theatre, I’ve been somewhat distracted. With that all now out of the way, plus a mountain of other little tasks now dealt with, I think I can now hopefully get back to what I said I was going to do. We’ll see soon enough…

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