Welcome to the Spatial Thoughts Newsletter #11

[see previous newsletters]
Thanks for reading my newsletter. Special shoutout to the new subscribers! Read on for new learning resources and updates from the world of free and open-source geospatial tech.

Upcoming Classes

Since moving the classes online, I have had a great response from participants across the globe. All the events last month were fully sold out! With more demand for the classes, I am now hosting classes every weekend.

23-24 May | Advanced QGIS Certification Register now
30 May    | Automating GIS Workflows with QGIS * | Register now
6-7 June  |  Python Foundation for Spatial Analysis ** |  Register now
13-14 June | Spatial Data Visualization and Analytics |  Register now
20-21 June |  Python Foundation for Spatial Analysis ** |  Register now

* Short lecture-style class
* New course: Launching a new course for beginners and covering topics and libraries relevant for geo data processing

Learn more about these courses on my website. If you are a trainer, I recently wrote about some best practices for hosting online classes that maybe useful.

Featured: An open-source tool for creating flow maps!

Check out - An amazing dataviz tool created by Ilya Boyandin that runs in the browser and creates stunning interactive maps from origin-destination data. See Ilya's recent talk and slide deck about the tool.

Learning Resources and News

  • Topi Tjukanov wrote a nice introductory article on Spatial SQL with PostGIS and Postgres for Azure Database blog
  • A collection of tutorials for getting started with Machine Learning for Remote Sensing, compiled by CEO Chinmay Adhvaryu.
  • Nyall Dawson did an amazing live demo of the new Temporal capabilities coming in the next version QGIS 3.14 (pi!). QGIS will now handle time as a first-class object and natively support temporal datasets across raster, vector, mesh, WMS-T and PostGIS.
  • If you collect field data - the QGIS ecosystem now has 2 mature mobile data collection platforms. Kurt Menke gave a comprehensive overview of them in a recent episode of the Mapscaping Postcast
  • I recently met (virtually, of course!) Krishna Lodha - a freelance web developer focusing on open-source web mapping technologies. Check out his YouTube channel, particularly the Complete Code series  - where he shows how to build complete web mapping apps from scratch.  
  • Anita Graser outlines the challenges in applying AI for Geospatial data and catalogues some recent advances in movement data.
  • A special issue of Remote Sensing journal has published a collection of 26 open access papers that apply Google Earth Engine. ICheck out this recent publication for Estimating Land Surface Temperature from LandSat with open-source code.
Following a reader's suggestion, I have started adding all learning resources in a public spreadsheet and will continue to maintain it.This includes resources from past newsletters, so you can easily browse, search and filter based on your interest.

Population Datasets

In my last workshop, we had an interesting discussions on population datasets and their varying levels of accuracy. Population data typically comes as a raster grid representing population counts as pixel values. There are many free global datasets such as GPW and WorldPop. There is also LandScan - which is a high quality commercial offering. But due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, they have released the USA dataset in public domain.

Creating accurate population dataset boils down to distributing census or official estimates for a region onto a smaller grid. This is a challenging problem but Facebook's Data for Good program has made some strides by using extracting building footprints from satellite data and creating extremely accurate and high resolution datasets by refining the GPW dataset. They have made the data freely available for download
I am always happy to hear from you, so feel free to just hit 'reply' and introduce yourself. Tell me what topics related to geospatial technology you are interested in. If you are a job-seeker, share your profile and I may be able to connect you with potential employers.

Regards, and Stay safe!
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