What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Notation coventions for QGIS: Roads

As you may know, old_bibigon and I are working at the project for notation conventions for QGIS. Symbols are created for the current stable release of the QGIS - 1.6.0-4.3.

I would like to show you the draft of the symbols for roads.

Symbols for roads (draft)

There are 2 scale versions for each symbol. The scale is marked at the end of the symbol's name. For example "...50k-100k" means that this symbol designed for scales of 1:50 000 and 1:100 000.  

Because of the possibility to create the same symbol in different ways, some symbols at the picture above (3rd and 4th at the 2nd line from the bottom for example) were designed in several versions. These symbols look different, even if they were not supposed to. One version has the exact parameters of its size, but has a lack of contrast and the other looks more attractive for it contrast (the colours are actually the same for the both versions) but there are some issues with the offset settings: seems that there are different units for the offset and width settings.

Some notation conventions (as embankments  - 4th in the 4th line from the top, tunnels, etc.) will be created only as an examples and won't be adjusted for each type of road - the user will do it if needed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Medvedev is a liar and a hypocrite

Here (autotranslated to English) you can find statements of the Russian president and its comparison to reality. Seems that google translated that post good enough so I suggest you read it. I will only tease you with this quote (from author, not the president):
"According to the suicide statistics, [in Russia] it is 50 times more likely for corruptionist to commit suicide, than  to be punished for his crimes."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Optics user's guide

Optics user's guide exists (as a draft). Proof link. Hope this will help Google to provide relevant information for the next seeker.

The weirdest thing is that the link to the guide is on the Optics front page... in the comments!!! *SUICIDE* And this guide wasn't mentioned in both of the blogs (1, 2) promoted on the front page...

Monday, January 24, 2011

iPad: designed 10 years later as supposed to be?

I've discovered article in an old journal yesterday. This article about future computers was written in 1988. There was a competition organised by "Apple" about what will be a PC in 2000. Following description won: it will have the size of an exercise book with only "Power" button, touch-screen display, build-in GPS, wireless interface and an option to find location of the lost computer. Definitely it is a portrait of the iPad. And "Apple" definitely was sure that it was possible to have it in 2000 (otherwise this version wouldn't be rewarded). So the next time you will be at the Apple store, point at the iPad and ask: "What took you so long, guys? I was expecting this shit like ten years ago!"

UPD: This picture above (original picture, actually) has an interesting history. I shoot it 22 of January, the next day I showed to the friend of mine, he copied it and on the next day showed it to his friend, who posted it at his death LiveJournal, and then it appeared there at habrahabr.ru. I suppose I should think about leaving watermarks at my pictures before showing to anyone ;-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter puzzle

There are sooooo many snow in St. Petersburg this winter. Here is a little puzzle for your amusement. How many vehicles can you see at this picture?

Click to enlarge

Project: notation coventions for QGIS

QGIS has a powerful tool to create notation conventions (polygons and polylines) called "new symbology", but initial stock of symbols (polygons and polylines) is extremely poor. I proposed a project to create a set of notation conventions for QGIS at the last GIS-Lab party. old_Bibigon (who already created notation conventions for exports of OSM to QGIS project) liked the idea and we decided to run this project together.

We are going to create a set of notation conventions which are used for the Russian topographic maps for scales 1:25000, 1:50000 and 1:100000. Of course these symbols could be used not only for topographic maps design. I've searched across the web and found this source of notation conventions the most convenient. Over 300 different lines and polygons, and at least several dozens of SVG-markers are about to be created.

Of course there are a lot of obstacles as in any project. Firstly, QGIS does not allow to use more than one library of symbols and there are no instruments for library import/export. Hope that  my request on that matter will not go in vain. For now old_Bibigon designed two python scripts: one for disassembling and another for assembling of the "symbology-ng-style.xml" (defines stiles of symbols for a given user).

Another problem is that QGIS does not allow to use fonts (only SVG markers are allowed) for polygons and polylines design. So a lot of fonts with needed symbols which I have or which can be discovered or shared by someone are completely useless. We have to design all needed symbols as SVG markers. old_Bibigon agreed to take care of this. Seems that I delegated all the dirty work to him ;-)

Progress will be reported.

I believe I have to repost this for GIS-Lab...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

QGIS for D&D. Part 1: Do you need a GIS support for your world and campaign?

I'm D&D fan for at least 6 years, who spend a lot of time to learning rules of  how to play  the game and run a campaign, but unfortunately without noticeable experience of playing. It happened that my wife's friends decided to play D&D and we were invited. I was the most experienced amongst them and decided to be the first to run the session, all the more so I had an old draft for my own world and campaign. "Now or never!" - I told to myself and prepared the first quest for them... But it is not the point. The point is that DM have to have the map of his world.

CC3 or CC2 is the common software to create maps of own D&D world. Despite produced images are not maps but schemes, it is not GIS as well... Ok, CC3 (2) was developed for a purpose and it gets the job done - you have nice pictures of your world fast. That's it. But you have to pay for it and the most important - it is not a GIS... did I mentioned it?

The "map" can be created almost in every image editor and it will fit requirements for the accuracy and beauty just because there are no requirements for accuracy and beauty for the map of imaginary world. Actually there is no need for accuracy of such "map", but it is pleasant to have a nice looking one... Seems that there is no need to use GIS... But my mind is twisted and weird enough to think otherwise.

Take a look at this beautiful fictional map designed by Mike Shley for Wizards of the Coast (source):

Beautiful map designed in Photoshop

It looks very good. But there are numbers. And you have to look for what they mean in additional book, file etc., because this numbers related to important places on the map. What I want  for my campaign (amongst other advantages of GIS) is to have access to these numbers descriptions right from the map itself.

I'm going to create not just a map of my world but GIS support for my campaign! And also it will help me to add some skill points to my GIS profession ;-) Actually, world and campaign creation is a long-term process and if your world is good enough, you do not need to create another one for the next campaign, but run new adventure in the same world in different (or my be even in the same) time. So investing time in GIS development might give significant benefits in future (at least I hope so).

Firstly I need to choose the GIS software. Obwiously it will be QGIS, because it's free, run under Linux, powerful enough for my plans, and... I like it)))

Now I have to decide what do and what I do not want to have as results.

What I want [is GIS support]:
  • a general map (that's obvious);
  • roads and rivers lengths to know the travel time;
  • places of the main encounters with descriptions;
  • settlements and other places of interest and with descriptions;
  • generalised maps of settlements and outdoors with the major encounters;
  • anything else???
What I do not want:
  • a beautiful, but useless picture (there is no one to show it anyway - even players won't be able to take a look at it because it'll be to much information for them), but it doesn't mean that the map itself must be ugly;
  • plans of dungeons and castles (there are other special software for it).
So the plan is to have general map with the "encounters" layer amongst others; additional layers for special quests (will be placed in TOC's sub-folders named after the quest). Campaign, quests, places, encounters and NPCs will be described in .html files (linked between each other) and will be evoked from the QGIS (from object info dialogue).

Progress will be reported.

UPD: See also: