By Simon Willison: Django People. Using GeoDjango, maybe? I'm tempted to smash together a Grok version.
Oh yeah, we get White-crowned Sparrows too, for a week or two later in the Spring.
I want to reassure Paul that I am in fact feeding seeds to the little birds, so here is a picture of McNutty the Red-breasted Nuthatch, which I took just a few minutes ago with my little PowerShot. He's giving me that annoyed look because he spent the night outside at -5F and I'm sticking the camera right in his face. 4 inches away (or approximately 20 centimeters according to my NASA Mars Mission unit conversion table). These little birds are fearless. If I had their agility I probably would be too. Nevermind Spiderman: Nuthatchman could easily kick his creepy arachnoid ass.
Update (2008-01-25): the link immediately below is broken. Fake James was just a candle in the wind, I guess.
Is Steve Citron-Pousty right? Is there nothing I like? I'm sure he never could guess how much I like feeding the birds in my neighborhood. There's a gang of 5 Black-capped Chickadees (which sing an extra third song here in the Fort, bet you didn't know that either), a pair of Mountain Chickadees, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches (back, plus one, after shunning us last year), a White-breasted Nuthatch (my favorite), pairs of Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, every variation of Junco, Goldfinches, Blue Jays, House Finches, Sparrows, Mourning Doves, and Flickers. The Flicker is a pigeon-sized woodpecker that thrives in this town. We have about 9 regulars ... minus one.
Returning home for lunch today, we found a Cooper's Hawk standing on, and tearing at, an unlucky Flicker directly underneath our feeder. My daughter was fascinated, no squeamishness at all. We were able to observe it feed for about 5 minutes before it hauled its prey off to a more private spot. Sadly, I'd removed my camera from our backpack just this morning or I would have been able to get a awesome wildlife action photo on my doorstep.
I meant to write this last week, but ran out of time. Stefano Mazzocchi writes:
My holy grail hiking/exploring map should have points of interests, morphology (contours/rivers/lakes), access roads and trails ... in that order of importance.
The best way, of course, would be to build your own and I did research a bit into ways to do that, but I had to give up pretty early on: there is a lot of software on how to get data in and out of your Garmin but not a lot of freely available mapping data and, worst, there was no community where people would get together and share experience and tools.
Until OpenStreetMap came along, that is.
Actually, the GDAL and MapServer communities were doing this kind of stuff well before OSM started, but it's interesting that a technically savvy person starting from scratch today might find the OSM community first and completely overlook the old timers.
Brady Forrest nearly equates Zillow's free (as in speech) neighborhood boundary data with Urban Mapping's free (as in beer, while supplies last, domestic only -- hey, no sharing) neighborhood ID API. I'm not calling on anybody to give away their proprietary data, just pointing out that, in fact, these things are only equivalent if you have no other application than answering simple questions like: "what neighborhoods contain (long, lat)?" There are many interesting questions that you can only ask with the boundary data itself, or only by hammering the Urban Mapping services Monte Carlo style.
I had fun working on this project. I had fun picking the name. I even enjoyed writing the manual. Major portions of this work were supported by a grant (to Pleiades) from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (http://www.neh.gov). It was part of my day job and I think that goes as well for the other contributors, but I also did some after hours volunteer work to keep it real. I'd also like to thank Yo la Tengo, Sonny Rollins, my family, and the letters G, E, O, and S.
I've been hearing great things about Mercurial (for a while. At the Pythoneers meeting I attended last spring, IPython developer Fernando Perez attested to its usefulness in a code sprint: programmers can pull changesets from each other with no need for a central server. It's written in Python, free (as in speech), backed by the Software Freedom Conservancy, and has a great tutorial. For what it's worth, Linus Torvalds says Mercurial is no git but doesn't suck like Subversion. The interface is similar in many ways to cvs or svn, but with no central repository getting started is trivial:
$ apt-get install mercurial $ cd /tmp $ hg init foo-project
There's your first repository. I set up a publicly readable repo on my server (using the Hg CGI) and pushed my local Gdawg repo to it using ssh. Voila: http://sgillies.net/sgillies/hg. Clone Gdawg (think checkout) to your own computer like this:
$ hg clone http://sgillies.net/sgillies/hg/gdawg my-gdawg
That Autodesk had acquired CS-Map and was going to donate it to us open source orphans was pretty much the only thing the average GIS person heard from the media in regards to the 2007 FOSS4G conference. Any news? Is it waiting on a MapGuide release or what?