Blog

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

  1. Já’s new map: switching from raster to vector

    Maps

    In a talk I gave to LÍSA, the Icelandic association for geographic information, I argue that we need to think about maps as software now

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

    Blog

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

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

    Blog

    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?

  4. What if it were our city?

    Maps

    What impact would the Fat Man atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki in 1945, have on modern-day Reykjavík?

  5. Which planet is closest to Earth?

    Visualisations

    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

  6. The rise and fall in support for British political parties

    Visualisations

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

  7. 2017 in review

    Annual reviews

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

  8. Access denied: using the Glasgow Subway by wheelchair

    Maps

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

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

    Blog

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

  10. Data for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

    Blog

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

  11. A 3D terrain map of Iceland using Three.js and GDAL

    Maps

    Playing with open data and open-source libraries to make a three-dimensional terrain map of Iceland

  12. Shaded relief map of Iceland

    Maps

    What would Iceland look like if we could only see the shadows of its mountains?

  13. From village to city: the evolution of Reykjavík

    Maps

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

  14. The Counted in southern California

    Maps

    People killed by police and other law enforcement agencies in and around Los Angeles

  15. How Antonin Scalia compared with other Supreme Court justices

    Visualisations

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

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

    Blog

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

  17. The story of 2015’s Kexreið

    Visualisations

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

  18. Who came second in the British general election?

    Maps

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

  19. Glasgow’s upcoming bike-sharing scheme

    Blog

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

  20. ‘Pandas 2, Tories 1’

    DataMarket

    Do pandas really outnumber Conservative party MPs in Scotland?

  21. London: violent crime in 2012

    Maps

    Violent crime recorded in Britain’s capital city throughout the year

  22. How I made the map of the buildings of Reykjavík

    Maps

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

  23. The Age of Greater Reykjavík

    Maps

    The age of buildings in Iceland’s capital city, dating back to the 18th century

  24. The influence of the United States on Latin American political systems

    Blog

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

  25. What is famine?

    Maps

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

  26. How did MPs vote on the gay marriage bill?

    Maps

    In February 2013, the House of Commons voted on same-sex marriage. Did the vote follow party lines?

  27. Map of child poverty in England, Scotland, and Wales

    Maps

    District-level data from the Campaign to End Child Poverty

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

    Blog

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

  29. A new obsession with cycling and the Giro d’Italia

    Blog

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

  30. In praise of CSV

    DataMarket

    A paean for the undemanding and widely-supported data format

  31. The story of Ripped Records

    Blog

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

  32. Edinburgh’s most photogenic locations

    Maps

    Where in Scotland’s capital are you most likely to take a photograph?

  33. Wind farms across Scotland

    Maps

  34. Is this what passes for an argument in technology punditry?

    Blog

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

  35. The human race

    Blog

    The happiness of the long-distance runner

  36. This week in clubs

    Blog

    This week’s news of note

  37. Jón Gnarr to the fashion world: we are all prisoners

    Blog

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

  38. How many pineapples will I find in Costa Rica?

    DataMarket

    DataMarket International launches with 100 timeseries and 600 million facts

  39. Davíð Oddsson and the Constitutional Assembly candidates

    Blog

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

  40. Blurring an image using the HTML 5 canvas

    Blog

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

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

    Digital Economy Act 2010

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

  42. Falling off the map

    Blog

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

  43. The future of control

    Best of

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

  44. There are some things the internet can’t do

    Best of

    A eulogy to the printed word

  45. Students

    Blog

    Oh the youth of today

  46. Nick Davies on Rupert Murdoch and the digital economy bill

    Digital Economy Act 2010

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

  47. House of Lords debates the digital economy bill

    Digital Economy Act 2010

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

  48. Malcolm Tucker’s resignation

    Blog

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

  49. Newspapers decide they’re not the news

    Blog

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

  50. Stop Peter Mandelson’s digital economy bill becoming law

    Digital Economy Act 2010

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

  51. Leith Walk botanical cottage, demolished and risen again

    Best of

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

  52. The world’s top 100 universities, visualised

    Maps

    See how the world’s best institutions compare

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

    Best of

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

  54. The unintended consequences of Isaac Newton’s pursuit of counterfeiters

    Best of

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

  55. How much do we pay our MPs?

    Blog

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

  56. The world in recession

    Blog

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

  57. Walking home

    Blog

    Common-or-garden photos from my short commute home

  58. Musings on Apple and the App Store

    Blog

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

  59. Twitter and the text message

    Blog

    How to send and receive Twitter messages using only SMS

  60. Github participation sparklines for Django

    Blog

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

  61. Version three

    Blog

    The world has another blog

  62. Barack Obama

    Blog

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

  63. Ernest Hemingway and an Icelandic short story

    Blog

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

  64. The film festival and me

    Best of

    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

  65. Introductions

    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

  66. Slog, drudge, and excitement

    Blog

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

  67. Pheidippides and the marathon

    Blog

    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

  68. And so the world has another blog

    Blog

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