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SpatialTau v2.4 – Planet Geospatial without Planet Geospatial

SpatialTau is my weekly newsletter that goes out every Wednesday. The archive shows up in my blog a month after the newsletter is published. If you’d like to subscribe, please do so here.


So I did this late last year.


While traffic was very stable, the code was old and patched together with twine.  It was ugly, hard to manage and couldn’t parse feeds very well anymore.  It was time and I think 99% of people understood.  We get our news from Twitter and Facebook these days.  I gave a link to the Planet Geospatial OPML List and let everyone download it and use it with their own RSS reader.  But the list itself is old, most blogs are dead and hasn’t been updated in over a year.  I’d like to change that.

So I’m setting up a GitHub repository where we can collaboratively update Spatial IT RSS feeds and use them however we wish.  But before I do that, I’d like to clean up the OPML.  I thought about just uploading it and letting everyone hack at it but it’s so out of date I’d like to make a pass at it first.  What I need though is your help.

If everyone who reads Spatial IT/GIS blogs can forward me their top 5 (you can do more or less of course) blogs I’ll grab the RSS feeds from them and create an updated OPML list that everyone can use on GitHub.  Just reply to this email and send me your top blogs.  I’ll update everyone on the process next week!

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Thoughts

Big Change for Planet Geospatial

I’ve made a pretty big change over on Planet Geospatial, but not one I’ve been talking about (I still need to buckle down and get mxTidy installed to fix that). Rather than full text RSS feeds, Planet Geospatial now only shows excerpts from the feeds, irrespective if the site offers full text or no. Both RSS feeds also only offer excerpts, rather than full text.

I did this for two reasons. First I think if you enjoy an article, you should “click through” and view the article, rather than just read it on the front page of Planet Geospatial. Nothing has changed, other than only the first 500 characters on each post is now displayed. The RSS Feeds also only offer the first 500 characters, but as with the website, you just have to click on the title to view the whole post. Second the page was getting way to long. Many of the posts were pages of code, which might be enjoyable to some programmers, but I think it got in the way of readability for the page.

My to-do list still includes integrating mxTidy and I’ll try and get that done soon, but the page already looks much better than before.

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Planet Geospatial and Atom Feeds

I’ve been having loads of trouble with Atom RSS feeds from Blogger on Planet Geospatial. I’m beginning to run out of ideas to fix them (though I’m going to try and fix it with mxTidy tonight or later this week). The feeds validate, but the HTML that is generated by the WYSIWYG editor in blogger is horrible, so when I display them they screw up the whole page. We’ll see what I can do to fix this, but the only other solution is to remove feeds that cause this. I’ve been able to replicate this using Blogger, but TypePad doesn’t seem to have this problem. The best thing bloggers can do is not use any WYSIWYG editors and just type it all into notepad.

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Planet Geospatial Update

I’ve added many more feeds into Planet Geospatial tonight for a total of over 60 blogs. You’ll see some old posts at the top of the page for a couple hours. It seems that some blogs feeds (in this case Atom feeds as usual) have bogus dates in them. The Python script I’m running detects this and assigns the current time to them. This should go away after more blog posts happen over the next couple hours.

Remember you can subscribe to any of the blogs by clicking on the RSS feed link on the right of Planet Geospatial or you can subscribe to the Planet Geospatial feed which includes all of them.

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Introducing Planet Geospatial

I’ve had this idea in my head ever since I’ve started posting every GIS blog I’ve found on my blog front page figure out a way to bring them all together so people can follow the GIS blog community without having to visit every site I was thinking this would be a good way to introduce people to new GIS blogs also, rather than just visiting the top 5. Anyway after learning way too much about Python and FreeBSD I’ve finally gotten the script to work.

Anyway, announcing Planet Geospatial.

What is it?

Planet Geospatial aggregates posts from just about every GIS blog I can find that posts regualarly or is important for strategic reasons and serves them in a variety of formats from headlines to full posts and RSS (you can subscribe to Planet Geospatial on its own). The script is set to rebuild the files every hour so posts may not show up instantly. There is a timestamp on the front page that shows last rebuild.

There are still some issues as posts modified will show up again on Planet Geospatial and some feeds created by many of the bloggers don’t validate (I’ve had to escape out of most of them) so many of you might want to validate your RSS feeds.

I’ve probably missed some feeds so please email me with any suggestions or comments about Planet Geospatial.

Update – I didn’t think to offer this, but if you wish to be removed from Planet Spatial, just email me too. I’ll get it out of there ASAP with no questions asked.