Father's Day

June 16, 2019 • #

I’m not a big holiday person, so I don’t think much about it when something like Father’s Day rolls around.

Simple morning with the kids doing breakfast, then I spent most of the day over at the old place getting it prepped for listing this week. Home Depot trips, painting, yard work, and power washing. Looking forward to getting that thing sold.

Elyse made me a great card this morning. She knows I love maps!

Elyse Father's Day card

Weekend Reading: The Next Mapping Company, Apple on Pros, and iPadOS Workflow

June 15, 2019 • #

🗺 (Who will be) America’s Next Big Mapping Company?

Paul Ramsey considers who might be in the best position to challenge Google as the next mapping company:

Someone is going to take another run at Google, they have to. My prediction is that it will be AWS, either through acquisition (Esri? Mapbox?) or just building from scratch. There is no doubt Amazon already has some spatial smarts, since they have to solve huge logistical problems in moving goods around for the retail side, problems that require spatial quality data to solve. And there is no doubt that they do not want to let Google continue to leverage Maps against them in Cloud sales. They need a “good enough” response to help keep AWS customers on the reservation.

Because of mapping’s criticality to so many other technologies, any player that is likely to compete with Google needs to be a platform — something that undergirds and powers technology as a business model. Apple is kinda like that, but nowhere near as similar to an electric utility as AWS is.

👨🏽‍💻 Apple is Listening

With the release of the amazing new Mac Pro and other things announced at WWDC, it’s clear that Apple recognizes its failings in delivering for their historically-important professional customers. Marco Arment addresses this well here across the Mac Pro, updates to macOS, iPadOS, and the changes that could be around the corner for the MacBook Pro.

📱 iPadOS: Initial Thoughts, Observations, and Ideas on the Future of Working on an iPad

I’m excited to get iPadOS installed and back to my iPad workflow. This is a good comprehensive overview from Shawn Blanc, someone who has done most of his work on an iPad for a long time.

Running Kit

June 12, 2019 • #

This year’s annual target for running (pinned at the 500 mile mark) has me trying to figure out my own personal flow — what it takes to get a consistent, comfortable process for building the habit. The number one factor consistency: making the appropriate time and not breaking the promise to myself is the foundation of being able to hit the target.

It’s also important to get your kit in place. One of the great things about running is its minimalistic nature. You truly need nothing but your own body and motivation to get started. As you get into it (and depending on your preferences for style), you eventually figure out a consistent set of gear that works for you.

Here’s my normal setup:

Running kit

This has been my consistent setup now for a few months for every run. I always have the AirPods and my watch on me, so there’s very little required to always have what I need. The headlamp has been a game-changer for night running, which I do a lot. Really makes me feel much safer even when running in the neighborhood.

I’ve really loved the Cloudflashes with their extreme lightweight build, minimal form factor, and still-decent support. Strava reports that I’m approaching the 300 mile mark on the shoes, and the wear is showing in the heel of the sole pretty bad. This week I ordered a pair of their new Cloudrush shoes that I should get in a couple of days that I’m excited to try out.

If you told me 5 years ago I’d be running 5K distances routinely like it was nothing, I’d have thought you were crazy. Now it’s a habit I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to. Just goes to show that (for me) consistency, good gear, and some stretch goals can really change that perspective.

Interview with Naval Ravikant

June 11, 2019 • #

Naval’s thoughtful, measured perspective on most issues I find insightful and novel in a sea of people with hot takes and commentary around political issues in the zeitgeist. He’s got an interesting “long view” on a range of things from automation to economics to thinking and more.

There is a cult of personality around him, especially on Twitter, that seems to think he’s a “philosopher king” of the internet. While that position is wildly overblown, he does have unique and unconventional point of view that’s refreshing. Worth a listen.

Weekend Reading: Tissot's Indicatrix, National Park Fonts, and Starlink

June 8, 2019 • #

🌐 Tissot’s Indicatrix

This is a neat interactive tool to visualize distortion due to map projection using Tissot’s indicatrix, a mathematical model for calculating the amount of warp at different points:

Nicolas Auguste Tissot published his classic analysis on the distortion on maps in 1859 and 1881. The basic idea is that the intersection of any two lines on the Earth is represented on the flat map with an intersection at the same or a different angle. He proved that at almost every point on the Earth, there’s a right angle intersection of two lines in some direction which are also shown at right angles on the map. All the other intersections at that point will not intersect at the same angle on the map, unless the map is conformal, at least at that point.

🏞 National Park Typeface

A typeface designed to mimic the National Park Service signs that are carved using a router bit.

Perfect timing on finding this one. I’ve been working on a cartography project to simulate a USGS-style topographic map in QGIS, and this could work perfectly in that design. Excellent work from the Design Outside Studio.

SpaceX is developing a space-based broadband internet system of 24 satellites. The design of this hardware looks incredible. I hope it gets traction and sparks a consumerization of this sort of tech. Between projects like this and the work of Planet and others with microsatellites, that industry seems like it’s on the cusp of some big things.

Places: Great Slave Lake

June 7, 2019 • #

Our place for today I found via NASA’s Earth Observatory feed: the Great Slave Lake of the Canadian Northwest Territory.

The Great Slave Lake

While it’s a big body of water when you pan over it on the map, it’s size is hard to fathom when compared to other geographic features:

If you are traveling on Canada’s Great Slave Lake, you will notice one characteristic right away: it is enormous. Roughly the size of Belgium, it ranks in the top fifteen largest lakes worldwide. It is the deepest lake in North America, diving about 615 meters (2,020 feet)—almost the same extent as the world’s second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower.

It’s strange to imagine that you could be on a body of water that’s oceanic in size, miles out of sight of land, but in the middle of the remote Canadian wilderness. The glaciated scarring of the Simpson Islands on the east side must be truly impressive in person. Massive rocks and hundreds of tiny islands dotting the deep water.

I would bet that, if polled, most people would have no idea that 2 of the 10 largest lakes in the world are in Canada. The Great Bear Lake further north is even larger!

The Great Slave Lake :: 61°40' N, 114° W