News: Case made for 'ninth planet'

Shapefile Update

Updated on Sunday, May 23, 2021

A few people have asked for 3D shape support in my ESRI Shapefile library. I've never got around to it, but CodePlex user ekleiman has forked a version in his ESRI Shapefile to Image Convertor that supports PointZ, PolygonZ and PolyLineZ shapes. If that's what you need please check it out.

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San Bruno Mountain

Updated on Sunday, January 2, 2022

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain

San Bruno Mountain State Park has outstanding views of San Francisco, the Pacific out to the Farallon Islands and much of the bay. We did the three mile summit loop (the wrong way round, San Bruno pros do it counter-clockwise).

Hike starts at 37.6888964,-122.437008 (Google Earth).

(Related: Summit Loop, San Bruno Mountain; San Bruno Mountain 360 4K; San Francisco from San Bruno Mountain)

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(Hike Map)

Book reviews for December 2015

Updated on Friday, February 24, 2017
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson


I always want to like Kim Stanley Robinson more than i do, this time was no different. It's a generation ship colonization story with a pretty decent if depressing twist and I really enjoyed the fist half of the book. After that it gets pretty slow and repetitive and then ends in a pretty unsatisfying and trite way.


(Related: Go-arounds: LEGO and Legislative Service; The end of Facebook; Google I/O 2016)

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Mount Davidson 360 4K

Updated on Saturday, February 19, 2022

Mount Davidson 360 4K

360 degree 4K timelapse from Mount Davidson, the highest peak in San Francisco. Shot in five segments.


(Related: Mount Davidson; Bernal from Davidson; San Francisco from Mount Davidson)

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(More Timelapses)

Winter Solstice 2015

San Francisco from Mount Davidson

Updated on Saturday, September 24, 2022

San Francisco from Mount Davidson

Photo of San Francisco seen through some rocks on Mount Davidson.

(Related: Merced; San Francisco from Alameda; Bernal from Davidson)

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(Recent Photos)

Catfood Earth 3.41

Updated on Monday, May 31, 2021

Catfood Earth 3.41

Catfood Earth 3.41 fixes a problem that was preventing the weather radar layer from loading.

I've also updated to the latest (2015g) time zone database and the latest time zone map from Eric Muller.

Download the latest Catfood Earth.


(Related: Catfood: Earth, PdfScan and Weather; Catfood Earth; Catfood Earth 4.30)

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(All Code Posts)


Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We'd probably be living in a post-scarcity Star Trek / Culture style universe happily working on self-actualization if we didn't have to spend so much time fucking around with OAuth.


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(All Etc Posts)

Got It

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Got It irritating me on Facebook

When I run an app or launch a website it's generally because I've got some task to complete and a few free minutes to try and complete it.

Let's take Facebook for example. I want to quickly scan through to see which of my friends are sharing anodyne inspirational quotes superimposed over stock photography and silently judge them.

Facebook picks this moment to let me know about a new feature that will display previously unshared photos and videos to try and get me to share them. I'm instantly pissed off because of the unwelcome cognitive load and then I realize that the whole app has frozen. In fact every time I load Facebook at the moment it just hangs until I give up and do something else.

This is probably because one of my daughters has the endearing habit of shooting hour long 4K videos of the floor. The poor app is probably innocently trying to grab a couple of thumbnails and instead getting an object lesson in the halting problem. I'm sure this will eventually get fixed and it's not even the root cause of my current fury.

Got It irritating me on the Londonist

Got It

My only option is to click Got It. This chirpy little phrase is slowly infesting every corner of interaction design. It seems relatively innocuous at first but let's unpick it a little.

Generally Got It signals that something has been added to an app or site that the designer feels is important enough that they need to let me know about it.

This is almost always going to be bad news. Probably the way I complete my task has changed and I'm going to have to learn the new way. Maybe there has been a complete redesign and the use I had for the app was considered an edge case and has been removed. It could be that for legal reasons I need to be told that some new previously unpillaged corner of my privacy needs to be violated.

I'm immediately in a bad frame of mind when I see Got It.

Also there is rarely a Don't Got It or  Don't Want It link. Got It is a sign that something is being forced on you and the happy language is an implicit forced value judgement that you've both fully comprehended the change and that you wholeheartedly agree with it.

It probably feels cute to designers that come up with this. After all, a whole team has probably toiled for weeks if not months to come up with a new way to cause my phone to hang. They really want me to use it. But you're not putting yourself in my shoes. I rarely care and usually you're making my day fractionally less enjoyable and the design should be about me and not you.

Got It irritating me on YouTube

I miss OK. It's less loaded. I'm OK with dealing with whatever you're inflicting on me. It's not as good as OK / Cancel but sometimes OK is about the best you can expect.

I just don't Got It.


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(All Marketing Posts)

I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison's blog.