The Full Stack: Tools & Processes for Urban Data Scientists

Recently, I was asked to give talks at both UCL’s CASA and the ETH Future Cities Lab in Singapore for students and staff new to ‘urban data science’ and the sorts of workflows involved in collecting, processing, analysing, and reporting on urban geo-data. Developing the talk proved to be a rather enjoyable opportunity to reflect on more than a decade in commercial data mining and academic research – not only did I realise how far I had come, I realised how far the domain had come in that time.

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Installing PostgreSQL Extensions on Mac OS X

I’ve been making a lot of use of PostgreSQL and PostGIS for working with geo-data over the past year and, having finally gotten over my hatred of the non-standard administrative commands, I am seriously impressed with what this setup makes possible. Even on a MacBook Air with just 8GB of RAM! However, one area where I’ve run into problems is the use of extensions on OS X so this post is intended as a handy reference for how to install them.

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Hex Binning Land Registry Data

One of the known problems with choropleth maps is that small zones, even if they contain very significant values, tend to get lost in amongst much larger zones. A current example is that the ridings in London are much smaller than those outside of London, so it can be hard to tell what’s happening in the capital if you are looking at a map of the entire UK. One solution to this is the hexagonal bin. Continue reading

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