geoMP3 of the Week: Leonard Cohen’s “The Stranger Song”

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 12:39 pm

Blog defunct. Posts migrated elsewhere.



This Blog is Moving/Has Moved (2007 May 22)

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 2:09 pm

This blog is defunct. 


New Feature: GeoMP3 of the Week

Filed under: Geotagging — geoLibro @ 10:44 pm

Let’s try this for a while: since I’m doing this anyway by geotagging my iTunes library, every Friday I’ll post for download an mp* file (mp3, mp4, etc.) of some song that happens to have some implicit geospatial reference and, presumably, is somehow colored by its geospatial…ness. Accompanying this file will be a kml that will take you to that location, if you’re so inclined. Some parameters:

  • I don’t really want to pay for WordPress space, so I’ll be taking each one down ~2 weeks after they’re posted.
  • I will resist the urge to make every week a Tom Waits week. (First week doesn’t count).
  • I may or may not add a little gloss to each entry about the song’s geography.
  • I will tend to stick to bootlegs, torrented live shows, rarities, etc. (First week doesn’t count).

Good? So let’s get on with it. The first week is a double, featuring two versions of Tom Waits’ classic "Johnsburg, Illinois." This isn’t Waits’ best song ever ("Make it Rain" from Real Gone is, of course), but it’s a remarkably well-built, fundamental romance, referencing and aggrandizing (by proxy, no doubt) the town in which his wife, Kathleen Brennan, grew up. According to Waits (according to Pieter Hartmans’s at least) in a 1983 interview, Brennan was raised "up by the Ching-a-Lings" on a farm that was situated, you guessed it, "outside McHenry" near the Wisconsin border. I would be interested in hearing from anybody who has any insight as to where the Ching-a-Lings tended to be, presuming they were in Johnsburg/McHenry at all.

Johnsburg, Illinois (from Swordfishtrombones in 1983)

Johnsburg, Illinois (from Big Time in 1988)

kml (or just a GMaps lookup)

Am I Illiterate or Does That Say PostgreSQL 8.2?

Filed under: Open Source GIS — geoLibro @ 8:49 pm

Nowhere else is there an indication of support for PostgreSQL as the real back end of ArcSDE (except for the perpetual conversations taking place in ESRI forums), but…doesn’t this suggest that it might be in the works? Am I stupid for thinking such things?

(Here’s a screencap in case it turns out to be some prank):
PostgreSQL behind ArcSDE


Bad Map Hits Close to Home, or Craptastic Map Leaves Backyard Swirling the Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — geoLibro @ 3:21 am

I was in Chicago two weeks ago waiting for a flight to Phoenix when I got a call from my wife, who had dragged the shop-vac out of the garage for some…cleanup. The toilet overflowed, see, and it turns out (and I have to admit I suspected it) that it wasn’t an ordinary local clog. That is, plunging didn’t do anything to fix the proble, because the problem was deeper than that. Well when I returned we called a plumber who asked me over the phone if I had a lot of trees in my yard. I laughed because hell yes we have a lot of trees. "It’s roots, then," he said. "I see it all the time." Because we don’t have a clean-out anywhere on a property, my new plumber friend "Walter" was going to have to get a map of the underground from the city, dig down to the sewer line, and A) install a clean-out and B) root out/cut away whatever was blocking the pipe.

Walter and his guys arrived on Friday morning, plunged the backhoe bucket into the ground and found…nothing. Turns out the map was wrong, which meant they essentially had to begin guessing where to dig. That might sound trivial, but wherever you "guess" to dig with a backhoe becomes a giant hole in short order. So when they guessed wrong the first time (so that’s two holes so far), a decent chunk of what made our house worth anything was gone. Just a couple swings of that bucket.

incorrect sewer map

Anyway, they guessed right the next time (on the other side of the original hole), but no thanks to that decrepit, monochromatic, cro-magnon photocopy of cartographic degradation the city gave them. Never mind that the pipe they finally found was way below grade and had been crimped by the weight of the garage built 6-7 feet above it.

the carnage

I love bad maps, but this one hit close to home (seriously, they ended up digging right up to the foundation to install a bypass). And we’ll always remember that week in 2007 when everything that we expelled from our house went straight into an open hole in the backyard. (Wife, pointing: "I remember you!")


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