A Crash Course in R

This code has been kindly contributed by Robin Edwards (from UCL CASA). There are many useful introductory guides out there to R, but below is the kind of thing I now wish I’d been given when I first started using it – something with simple log...


Visualising for Human Geography

The publication of the International Benchmarking Review of UK Human Geography back in March was a major event for the discipline. The report concludes that the UK human geography community is setting the intellectual agenda for the subject and can ...


In Praise of Paper Maps

When was the last time you held a paper map? I don’t just mean a map printed on paper, I mean one that was designed to be viewed on paper in the first place. The London A to Z would count, so would those in a printed atlas or obtained from a t...


Information Graphics

Taschen’s Information Graphics book is the most comprehensive I have seen concerned with modern (and historic) data visualisation. The book itself is worthy of its own infographic as it weights about 5kg and spans nearly 500 pages to include “200...


Fast Thinking and Slow Thinking Visualisation

Last week I attended the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference and heard a talk by Robert Groves, Director of the US Census Bureau. Aside the impressiveness of the bureau’s work I was struck by how Groves conceived of visual...


Great Maps with ggplot2

The above map (and this one) was produced using R and ggplot2 and serve to demonstrate just how sophisticated R visualisations can be. We are used to seeing similar maps produced with conventional GIS platforms or software such as Processing but I ha...


The Power of Comparison: Just How Big Is It?

  If I said a country was 1594719800 metres squared it would mean a lot less to you than if I said it was about the size of Greater London (so long as you know about how big Greater London is). For this reason the media tend to report the extent...


My Academic Research: What’s in a Name?

I have spent the last few years investigating the geography of family names (also called surnames). I work with the team who assembled the UCL Department of Geography Worldnames Database that contains the names and geographic locations of over ...



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