Tuesday 29 September 2009

The Regional Studies Association

Today, I thought I'd write about the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and what they're all about. I am involved with the RSA in a professional capacity but have also enjoyed their conferences, events, and journals for many years and my interests are very much aligned with those of the organisation.

What does the RSA do? Good question...

"The Regional Studies Association is a learned society concerned with analysis of regions and sub national issues. Through our International membership we provide an authoritative voice of, and network for, academics, students, practitioners, policymakers and interested lay people in the field of regional studies."

So, if you're interested in regions, cities, regional economics, spatial analysis, urban issues and anything related to any of these areas, the RSA is likely to be relevant to your work. The international conferences are also really good and in 2010 it takes place in Pécs, in Southern Hungary (about 215km from Zagreb, and 200km from Budapest).

A screenshot of the RSA website is shown below. Take a look by clicking the image.

Thursday 24 September 2009


I was at an ESPON UK event recently. For those unfamiliar with ESPON, it stands for the European Spatial Planning Observation Network and there is a UK section which is administrated by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

What is ESPON for?

The main aim is to increase the general body of knowledge about territorial structures, trends and policy impacts in an enlarged European Union.

From the ESPON website, here's a run-down of the main objectives:
  • Diagnosis of the principal territorial trends at EU scale as well as potentials and imbalances within the European territory;
  • Impact analysis of EU policies and their influence on the territory and on cohesion;
  • European maps of major territorial structures and regional diversity within a wide range of themes important for the development of regions and larger territories;
  • Integrated, cross-sectoral analysis and spatial scenarios offering a European perspective on regions and larger territories and their development opportunities;
  • Indicators and typologies assisting a monitoring and setting of European priorities for a balanced and polycentric enlarged European territory;
  • Integrated tools and appropriate instruments (ESPON database, indicators, methodologies for territorial impact analysis and spatial analyses, mapping facilities) in order to improve the spatial co-ordination of sector policies.
Typically, the main things that people see from ESPON are lovely colourful maps covering the EU plus 4 other nations (to fill in the gaps).

ESPON also fund research.

So, that's ESPON.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Camtasia Studio 6

I recently bought Camtasia Studio 6, after previously using versions 5 and 3. It's a tool for screen recording (or screencasting, as some people like to call it). I use it for all my screen recording work, so I thought I'd do a quick video of how I use it. So, what you see below is a video of me making a video - which is kind of mind-boggling to do. To record me recording the screen with Camtasia I used Camstudio - a free screen recording app.

The video below just gives an idea of how you can use Camtasia to record your screen. I don't usually use any format other than flash for the web, but in this case I've encoded the video to wmv, just for the blog.

Friday 18 September 2009

ET Spatial Techniques

A short post today about another useful tool for ArcGIS - and what I've used it for. ET SpatialTechniques for ArcGIS is a free download. Some functions are restricted unless you pay, but the functionality of the free version is great. I've used the tools here for quite a few years and they keep getting better. The person behind it is called Ianko Tchoukanski.

One thing I've used his tools for is to create a 20km x 20km grid network for Great Britain that lines up with the National Grid - in effect a 'tile finder'. The reason I did this is because when you need to add a 20km raster tile to a vector map it's often difficult to know which one you need (unless you know the National Grid letters off-by-heart!). Here's the result:

And here's how it looks with labels turned on and two raster tiles (OS 1:50,000, from digimap) in place:

I've shared this file with the higher education GIS user-community in the UK, and it is available from the new ShareGeo section of digimap.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Hawths Analysis Tools

Short post on a very useful GIS extension today, for ArcGIS 9.x. It's called Hawths Analysis Tools for ArcGIS and it is great. For example, if you have a layer with a number of different points, you can quickly create a n x n distance matrix in csv format. There are lots of other very useful tools. Here's an example screenshot:

It really is great, and it's a FREE download.