How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell →

Interesting read about what can happen if you use a technology – IP addresses in this case – for something completely different than it was meant to:

For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat.

The title is a little bit misleading – it’s not really a mapping glitch, but I can see how using IP-based geocoding in the title would turn most readers away without even reading the first sentence of the article.

Substitute GIS Assistant Professor Position Open at Hunter College

The Department of Geography at the Hunter College of the City University of New York, located in the heart of New York City’s Upper East Side, invites applications for a one year appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor in Geographic Information Science, beginning August, 2016.

The successful candidate must have a strong commitment to both undergraduate and graduate teaching and be prepared to teach graduate level Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Introduction to Geographic Information Science; combined graduate and undergraduate level Advanced GeoInformatics and a special topics course in the candidate’s area of focus (for a total of 3 courses per semester). It is expected that the successful candidate will also mentor a small group of undergraduate and graduate students over the course of the academic year. Candidates must have a PhD in Geography or a related discipline. The Department of Geography has a suite of geospatial software and dedicated lab facilities, and approximately 150 undergraduate majors and 50 MA/GIS Certificate students.

Applicants should submit via email a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching interests, copies of or links to up to three publications, contact information for three references, and any questions to Review of applications will begin March 18, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.

Open Source GIS Training Course at Hunter College, January 2016 Edition

I’ll be offering the one-week professional training course on Open Source GIS again through Hunter College Continuing Education. It will be running from January 25–29, 2016. We have changed the content of the course a bit, so that each day is a self-contained unit, and participants can book individual days if they are only interested in specific topics – or book the full week to get the full FOSS GIS treatment. This is the schedule:

  • Monday: QGIS. Hands-on introduction to the most popular FOSS desktop GIS, covering setup, data management, spatial analysis, map design, digitizing, the plugin ecosystem, and integration with other FOSS GIS software.
  • Tuesday: PostGIS. Introduction to the spatial extension to the popular PostgreSQL database. Participants will learn how to set up and use PostGIS as the central data storage in their GIS software stack, how to connect it to other software, and how to query the database using SQL.
  • Wednesday: Geospatial Python. General introduction to the Python programming language with a specific focus on its capabilities for processing and analyzing geographic information, including automating GIS workflows, raster and vector data processing, and geocoding.
  • Thursday: Web Mapping. Introduction to the development of interactive web maps using online services such as·CartoDB·and·MapBox, as well as JavaScript libraries such as Leaflet and OpenLayers.
  • Friday: Web Services. Introduction to Geospatial web services including OGC services such as the Web Map Service and the Web Feature Service, as well as tile services that deliver base maps for interactive web maps. Participants will learn how these different kinds of web services work and practice how to set up and configure different kinds of web services.

Head over to the Hunter Continuing Education website for information on prerequisites, pricing, and signup.

Call for Papers: LocWeb 2016

6th International Workshop on Location and the Web
April 11 or 12 2016

In conjunction with WWW 2016
25th International World Wide Web Conference
April 11- 15 2016, Montreal, Canada

Paper deadline ** December 22, 2015 **


Important dates

Paper submission deadline: Dec 22, 2015
Paper acceptance notifications: Feb 02, 2016
Camera ready hard deadline: Feb 08, 2016
Workshop: April 11 or 12 2016

Call for Papers

Location has quickly moved into the mainstream of the (mobile) Web. It also continues to be a strong driver of applications and research activities. After the initial boost and consolidation of approaches based on the simple use of geospatial coordinates, we now see an increasing demand for more sophisticated location-based services, involving more powerful mechanisms in terms of information retrieval, mining, analytics and semantics. New application areas for Web architecture, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Web of Things (WoT), also mean that there will be increasingly rich and large sets of resources for which location is highly relevant.

Following the successful LocWeb workshops in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, and 2015, LocWeb 2016 continues the workshop series, addressing issues at the intersection of location-based services and Web architecture. Its focus lies in Web-scale systems and services facilitating location-aware information access. The location topic is understood as a cross-cutting issue equally concerning Web information retrieval, semantics and standards, and Web-scale systems and services.

LocWeb is an integrated venue where the location aspect is discussed in depth within an interdisciplinary community. It is also highly interactive and collaborative, with ample room for discussion and demos that will explore and advance the geospatial topic in its various relevant areas. We expect the workshop to further the integration of the geospatial dimension into the Web, and promote challenging research questions.

LocWeb 2016 solicits submissions under the main theme of Web-scale Location-Aware Information Access. Subtopics include (i) geospatial semantics, systems, and standards; (ii) large-scale geospatial and geo-social ecosystems; (iii) mobility; (iv) location in the Internet/Web of Things; and (v) mining and searching geospatial data on the Web. The workshop encourages submissions describing Web-mediated or Web-scale approaches that build on reliable foundations, and that thoroughly understand and embrace the geospatial dimension.

Topics of Interest

– Location-Aware Information Access
– Location-Aware Web-Scale Systems and Services
– Location in the Web of Things
– Large-scale Geospatial Ecosystems
– Standards for Location and Mobility Data
– Location in Unstructured and Semi-Structured Information Sources
– Location Semantics
– Modeling Location and Location Interaction
– Geo-Social Media and Systems
– Location-Based Social Networks
– Geospatial Web Search and Mining
– Visual Analytics of Geospatial Data on the Web
– Location-Based Recommendation
– Geo-Crowdsourcing
– Mobile Search and Recommendation

Submission Instructions

We solicit full papers of up to 8 pages, and short papers of up to 4 pages describing work-in-progress or early results. Authors are invited to submit original, unpublished research that is not being considered for publication in any other forum.

Workshop submissions will be evaluated based on the quality of the work, originality, match to the workshop themes, technical merit, and their potential to inspire interesting discussions. The review process is single blind, so please provide your name and affiliation.

Manuscripts should be formatted using the ACM camera-ready templates ( and submitted in PDF format to EasyChair at

Accepted workshop papers will be published in the WWW companion proceedings and will be available from the ACM Digital Library. These may be regarded as prior publications by other conferences or journals.

For inclusion in the proceedings, at least one author of the accepted paper has to register for the workshop.

Presenters are encouraged to bring demos to the workshop to facilitate discussion.

Workshop Organizers

Dirk Ahlers, NTNU, Norway
Erik Wilde, Siemens, USA
Bruno Martins, University of Lisbon, Portugal


Technical Program Committee (tentative)

Andreas Henrich, Universität Bamberg, Germany
Arjen de Vries, CWI, Netherlands
Bruno Martins, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Carsten Keßler, CUNY, USA
Chandan Kumar, University Koblenz-Landau, Germany
Christoph Trattner, Graz University of Technology, Austria
Christopher Jones, Cardiff University, UK
Claudia Hauff, Delft University, Netherlands
Clodoveu Davis, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Dirk Ahlers, NTNU, Norway
Erik Wilde, Siemens, USA
Francisco López-Pellicer, Universidad Zaragoza, Spain
Massimiliano Ruocco, NTNU, Norway
Max Egenhofer, University of Maine, USA
Rainer Simon, AIT Austrian Institute for Technology
Ross Purves, Universität Zürich, Switzerland
Steven Schockaert, Cardiff University, UK
Torsten Suel, New York University, USA
Vanessa Murdock, Bing, USA
Yana Volkovich, Centro Tecnológico de Catalunya, Spain

How to Build a Robot That Will Feed You Breakfast →


This is the most funny thing you will read this weekend:

The plan: get a robot arm, have it pour cereal and milk into a bowl and feed it to me with a spoon. The only catch was that I had to learn how to program a robot arm and code a pretty complicated sequence to have it serve me breakfast. But I was up for the challenge, because the best way to avoid real problems is to deal with fake ones.