It’s the …


Things that have come rushing from my pen as if it were a firehose, and as if the words were water

  1. OS 1:25000 map of Studland from 1961 Maps

    ‘It astounds me to be able to look at a map and know to the square metre where my buttocks are deployed’

    How do traditional paper maps compare to today’s digital maps?

  2. Coins falling out of a glass jar Internet politics

    Price of .org domains has risen by 3% annually, far below 10% price cap

    The wholesale price of a .org domain could have risen 10% a year since 2003, increasing from $6 then to over $27 now. But in reality the price has risen by an average of only 3% annually. Now price caps have been lifted, what will happen next?

  3. A photo of a starry night's sky Astronomy

    Which planet is closest to Earth?

    The BBC’s Sky at Night programme said our nearest neighbour is Mars but one viewer disagreed. Was he right? Let’s find the answer using Python and R

  4. Part of a data visualisation style known as a ridgeline plot Data visualisation

    The rise and fall in support for British political parties

    How the distribution of the popular vote has been shared between Britain’s main political parties since the 1950s

  5. The number 2017 drawn in the air using sparklers Blog

    2017 in review

    A look back at last year’s books, podcasts, video games, and more

  6. Looking up the stairs of an underground escalator leading up to the surface Suburban freedom

    Access denied: using the Glasgow Subway by wheelchair

    The subway can be the quickest way to get around a city. Unless you’re in a wheelchair

  7. The word Trump spelled out using the letters from Scrabble Linguistics

    What of Trump’s ‘world’s greatest person’ claim?

    The 45th president of the United States has a fraught relationship with the English language

  8. Sport

    Data for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

    Making stats on the athletes and events available in a structured format

  9. Cartography

    From village to city: the evolution of Reykjavík

    Using open data to track 140 years of growth in Iceland’s capital city

  10. Politics

    How Antonin Scalia compared with other Supreme Court justices

    Charting the swing vote in the US Supreme Court, and finding a flaw in the New York Times while we’re at it

  11. Data analysis

    Analysis of health and economic consequences of storm events in the United States

    A report produced as an assignment for the Reproducible Research course run by Johns Hopkins University on Coursera

  12. Cycling

    The story of 2015’s Kexreið

    Sixty riders jostle for position in a 30km criterium around Reykjavík’s city centre

  13. Cartography

    Who came second in the British general election?

    Britain’s voters are more diverse than the election results suggest

  14. Bikes parked on a street as part of a public bike sharing scheme Cycling

    Glasgow’s upcoming bike-sharing scheme

    A bike-sharing scheme similar to that found in London, Paris, and other European cities is coming to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow

  15. Photograph of a panda walking in its enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo Blog

    ‘Pandas 2, Tories 1’

    Do pandas really outnumber Conservative party MPs in Scotland?

  16. Cartography

    How I made the map of the buildings of Reykjavík

    Every dataset is messy, and each is messy in its own way

  17. History

    The influence of the United States on Latin American political systems

    How the American Revolution, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Roosevelt Corollary shaped democracy in Latin America

  18. Explainer

    What is famine?

    How food shortages have come to be seen as a tragedy of the individual

  19. Cycling

    Three things to watch for in the men’s Olympic road race

    Will Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish win Olympic gold for Britain?

  20. Cycling

    A new obsession with cycling and the Giro d’Italia

    Deep in the centre of Italy, one of cycling’s great races is in full swing

  21. Data formats

    In praise of CSV

    A paean for the undemanding and widely-supported data format

  22. Web scraping

    The story of Ripped Records

    Scraping unstructured music gig data, combining it with several free APIs, and making something beautiful

  23. Journalism

    Is this what passes for an argument in technology punditry?

    Tech journalism is a bland, vacuous echo chamber populated by lightweights intent on celebrating one another

  24. Running

    The human race

    The happiness of the long-distance runner

  25. Diary

    This week in clubs

    This week’s news of note

  26. Jón Gnarr walks out of Reykjavík City Hall in a pink suit. Fashion

    Jón Gnarr to the fashion world: we are all prisoners

    Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr speaks about the profound effects of fashion

  27. Data

    How many pineapples will I find in Costa Rica?

    DataMarket International launches with 100 timeseries and 600 million facts

  28. Politics

    Davíð Oddson and the Constitutional Assembly candidates

    The former prime minister’s influence on elections to Iceland’s Constitutional Assembly is unmistakable

  29. Programming

    Blurring an image using the HTML 5 canvas

    How to blur an image in the browser as fast as possible

  30. Politics

    After a farcical display in parliament, what will the legacy of the digital economy bill be?

    As the digital economy bill becomes the Digital Economy Act 2010, I think about the legacy of that political process

  31. As the sun rises, two women skate across the frozen surface of Tjörnin, a pond in the centre of Reykjavík Flit, yeah?

    Falling off the map

    Alison and I are emigrating to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík

  32. Technology

    The future of control

    A revolution in publishing means companies will have to learn to relinquish control

  33. Technology

    There are some things the internet can’t do

    A eulogy to the printed word

  34. Blog


    Oh the youth of today

  35. Journalism

    Nick Davies on Rupert Murdoch and the digital economy bill

    A battle is emerging: the people of the planet against its media proprietors. Who’s going to win?

  36. The House of Lords in session Politics

    House of Lords debates the digital economy bill

    Britain’s upper chamber of parliament debates the controversial bill during its second reading

  37. The face of Malcolm Tucker, played by Peter Capaldi Television

    Malcolm Tucker’s resignation

    Have The Thick of It’s writers killed off the programme’s greatest character in his prime?

  38. Journalism

    Newspapers decide they’re not the news

    An important national story about workplace bullying fails to make it into Britain’s newspapers

  39. Politics

    Stop Peter Mandelson’s digital economy bill becoming law

    Find time to write to your MP and protest the digital economy bill

  40. Hope

    Leith Walk botanical cottage, demolished and risen again

    The campaign to bring a small eighteenth-century building in Edinburgh back to its former glory

  41. Higher education

    The world’s top 100 universities, visualised

    See how the world’s best institutions compare

  42. Technology

    If we’re not careful we’ll lose the web

    The ephemeral nature of the contempory Web means our time will be seen as a second dark age

  43. History

    The unintended consequences of Isaac Newton’s pursuit of counterfeiters

    How the Wikipedia article on an obscure architectural style came to be

  44. Politics

    How much do we pay our MPs?

    Britain’s MPs were first paid a salary in 1911. How has it changed since?

  45. Data

    The world in recession

    Visualising which countries are in recession, and which aren’t

  46. Daily life

    Walking home

    Common-or-garden photos from my short commute home

  47. Technology

    Musings on Apple and the App Store

    Developers are frustrated with the opaque rules surrounding Apple’s App Store. What should the technology giant do?

  48. Technology

    Twitter and the text message

    How to send and receive Twitter messages using only SMS

  49. Code

    Github participation sparklines for Django

    Introducing a library that lets you display snazzy charts on your Django-based web site.

  50. Blog

    Version three

    The world has another blog

  51. Cropped photograph of two posters of Barack Obama Politics

    Barack Obama

    Just in case anyone was waiting for me to throw my weight behind a presidential candidate

  52. 'Papa'. A photograph of Ernest Hemingway from 1918, a few years before he took the nickname Literature

    Ernest Hemingway and an Icelandic short story

    Famously, Ernest Hemingway wrote a complete story in six words. Here, I present that same story in just four. In Icelandic

  53. Fame

    The film festival and me

    The camera shutter snapped open. The flash fired. Darkness. And that was that: we had taken the photograph that would become the front cover of the programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival

  54. Blog


    At a party, you can live or die on your introduction. It needs to be good — it needs to be great. Last Saturday I got the greatest introduction of my life. Almost

  55. Runners. Taking part in last year's Vancouver Sun Run Running

    Slog, drudge, and excitement

    I’d been so concentrating on training for a marathon I nearly missed a week’s achievements. Once I realised, it felt fantastic

  56. Running

    Pheidippides and the marathon

    A short story from Ancient Greece gives me the excuse to introduce my latest harebrained idea. I think I like to make life harder for myself

  57. Blog

    And so the world has another blog

    Another day, another blog. Can I persuade you this is one blog worth reading? And do I have a reason to write publicly?