Life over the past 2 months

One of the big takeaways that I had from attending NACIS 2012 in October was to focus my efforts more on specific projects to more clearly demonstrate my mapping skills. So, I’ve taken
taking 2
Since December, I’ve spent most of my time on one of them, Cleveland Photography Society’s Scavenger Hunt Map

I realized that I wanted to take my maps to the next step, to offer interactivity, multi-zoom levels, I needed to learn how to code javascript (the language that mapping libraries like leaflet and mapbox.js are written).

It had taken me longer than I had planned to learn enough to reach my objectives for the Cleveland Photography Society’s Scavenger Hunt Map – http://maps.jhfeichtnerfund.com/
offering interaction (users seeing the picture when their mouse cursor is over the marking, a nice zooming action when someone clicks on the list of markers).

That said, I spent parts of December, January, and February, crashing head first into Javascript.

Initial, very brief thoughts on JS:
That there’s no standard for writing API documentation for javascript blew my mind.
As someone who’s learning, this can be frustrating at times.
However, I can understand (and don’t agree) the developer’s prospective: code becomes obsolete relatively quickly (within years), decreasing the incentive to write good documentation. Good documentation also means more than just writing enough notes for yourself so you could understand it months later. I am guilty of this myself sometimes for my projects.

– Best books so far to learn: Douglas Crockford’s “javascript, the good parts” and Marijn Haverbeke – http://eloquentjavascript.net

Also, mozilla’s js reference. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/JavaScript/Reference

Most other online resources have been meh.

January, Cleveland has its first Open Geo meeting. Steve Mather and I organized it and it was a blast. I wrote a run down of it on my OpenStreetMap blog. http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/skorasaurus/diary/18494

In a nutshell, Cleveland was missing a place, really, a culture or ecosystem where people could informally talk about OpenStreetMap, open-source geospatial software, and other GIS-related projects [cool maps, data visualizations, analysis, etc] that they are working on. As the culture would develop, people would develop friendships, increase the size of their network, hare tips on using software, discuss geospatial news, share pointers on code, give career advice or share job leads, maybe even off or start ventures or even informal projects together. etc, all things that were missing or didn’t exist as much as they already did.

This culture isn’t going to develop overnight. But it’s starting. I’m excited to what will come out of it.

(Note to self, I do this more often, more and more things are coming into my head of things/projects that have been going on. )

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