By some margin my favourite read this weekend: Shadows on maps are getting a lot more exciting, and here’s why…
As cartographers, we want to make beautiful maps that grab our readers’ attention. Sometimes we wish our maps could jump out of the screen or off the page, and with a recent trend in cartography we’re starting to see more and more maps that seem to do just that. […]
Fun to think about using maps to plot non-geographic data like income distribution.
For the record, I want a copy of David Garcia’s Hundred Largest Islands of the World poster1 for my wall.
[Via Sentiers #236]
Lovely, optimistic work. Much-needed right now.
[Via Memex 1.1]
Marvellous use of scrolling and zooming. I’d like it very slightly more without the silhouette of the hand controlling where the focus moves to, but that’s not to discount the neatness of the concept and how nicely it’s executed.
Many of the somersaulting, spinning and plummeting maneuvers that birds have mastered aren’t ones that anyone would want to experience in a passenger aircraft. But uncrewed aerial vehicles, also known as UAVs or drones, are freer to make drastic maneuvers, and their increasing popularity for military, scientific, recreational and other uses is creating more opportunities for them to do so.
At the very least, drone-watching seems as if it’ll get more interesting1 as drones swoop in from an unexpected angle and bank hard at the last second to kill their speed and change their direction before landing with an attention-seeking flourish on the drone-pad next to your front door.
[Via Sentiers 230]
Will Amazon’s drones play nice with other retailers’ drones when it comes to finding a perch, or will they get weirdly territorial about defending their (air)space? ↩
If you watched ESPN2 during its stint last weekend as "ESPN8: The Ocho," you may have seen some odd, meme-friendly competitions, including corgi racing, precision paper airplane tossing, and slippery stair climbing.
Or you might have seen "Excel Esports: All-Star Battle," a tournament in which an unexpected full-column Flash Fill is announced like a 50-yard Hail Mary. […]
Having read Excel esports on ESPN show world the pain of format errors I feel a little bit better that even these Excel experts can occasionally find themselves screwing up and botching a formula’s reference when under time pressure. Mind, they’re making these mistakes in competition mode; what’s my excuse, when I’m in just the office, doing this stuff between answering phone calls and emails?
Excel makes juggling with data so easy to do that it’s possible to forget that it’s not always the best tool for the job.
A fair point:
The English invented a sport [cricket] that relies on five consecutive days of without rain. Then they compete with countries like Australia and India. It’s like on some level they want to be punished for colonialism.
Don’t forget the West Indies.1
As a teenager I spent time listening Test Match Special for news of how Tony Greig’s England side were repeatedly failing to make the West Indies grovel. Then a few years later Viv Richards took over the West Indies captaincy and spent a decade and a half making sure nobody in English cricket could forget the West Indies. ↩
Hell, yes! The future needs files…
For many mobile users, files are like dinosaurs, a holdover from the bygone desktop era. Sure, they “work” but, they’re mostly there because, you know, ancient history. I’ve discussed this issue for the last 2 years and I usually get some version of “get over it grandpa”.
I’m not here to tell you exactly what should happen, but more what you should want. For me, it’s a travesty that people don’t understand why files are so powerful and more importantly, how they need to evolve for mobile. I want all OSs, including mobile ones, to properly support real files as they are amazing, inspiring, and possibly the future of how we build our digital future.
This is the biggest challenge Apple users are facing as Apple find themselves having to balance the needs of users of their various platforms as MacOS moves ever closer to the iOS way of doing things. Some future iteration of Siri might be clever enough to locate everything the user is looking for if it can talk to all the Apps and get them to query their own datastores for search results, but that’s a pretty dicey proposition and I’m not sure that’s the way to bet.1
Sidelining the creation of files to an option on the Share menu while your OS provides a lamentably weak Files app is definitely not the way to go. If creating iPadOS had been the genesis of a different approach to the needs of users that would be one thing, but using the Files app on iPadOS is just such weak sauce for anyone who used a halfway decent file manager on a Mac or Windows or Unix system.2
[The Mac…] created the “Desktop”, a temporary holding place for files. People needed folders for longer term storage but it was also powerful to have a temporary ‘working area’ for recent files. The original Mac even had a “Put away” command that would return a file from the Desktop back into its original folder location (sadly removed in OS X). This small bit of history shows how adding a tiny amount of metadata can have a significant positive impact on a user’s workflow.
I’d completely forgotten that "Put away" was ever a thing on the Mac desktop. Our computers are capable of this3 so why can’t they offer such useful and helpful features?