Last week saw FOSS4GUK (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial) come to Southampton…and it was awesome!

I was pleased to see that Maptime Southampton was well represented at the event and I gave a talk about what we do. I hope to have encouraged a few more peeps to attend a local Maptime, or better still, start their own chapter.

The open source geo community is fantastic - full of fun, friendly peeps who are all keen to learn and share their knowledge which made for a really good event. I got to meet lots of peeps from Twitter which is always nice and saw some really interesting talks which I will summarise at a future meetup.

As well as all the amazing software on show my biggest take away was that this is a fantastic community to be involved in and one that I’m proud to be part of. I did note a lack of cartography in the talks and workshops so I will be submitting something for the next event to put a focus on the importance of good map design.


Posted Jun 20 2016 by Charley

Maptimer's feedback

On Tuesday 14th June, the totally awesome FOSS4GUK event comes to Southampton and I will be giving a talk about Maptime!

I want to spread the word about all the great stuff we’ve done here in Southampton and hopefully encourage other peeps to attend or even start up their own local chapters. I thought a good way to do this would be to use some quotes from our own Maptimer’s experiences. Thanks to all who have replied - I wanted to share those quotes here as they made me very proud and they really show what Maptime is all about:

“I’m not a professional GIS person but use Ordnance Survey and Environment Agency open data in a couple of spare-time projects. Maptime has been a great way to informally learn more about GIS tools and data, chat over ideas and meet friendly and knowledgeable people who use geographic tools in their working lives.”

“I have really enjoyed Maptime meetings. I don’t know much about digital mapping but have picked up some good tips, but more importantly feel part of a much bigger and knowledgeable community of map enthusiasts. Everyone is friendly and Charley is really excellent at leading the maptime sessions and making them inclusive to all.”

“Maptime is a really fun way of meeting fellow GI people in the southampton area and beyond plus learning about the latest open source gis stuff out there. I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and learning new stuff in a chilled and fun setting.”

“I love maptime, it has introduced me to technologies/applications I hadn’t used (very often) before like mapbox and QGis - which might be daunting to start using on your own. It’s also a great way of informally meeting other geospatial professionals/geogeeks to exchange data, tips and ideas with. But not only geo-professionals come along, people who make use of spatial data in a very broad sense (artists, community groups, foragers…) come along as well, which leads to refreshing insights and collaborations.”

“I love the approach and the attitude - the learning never stops”

“Maptime brings together the perspectives of a diverse map audience; I find it very valuable that not all attendees are from the direct cartographic and geographic industries.”

“I find the sessions useful since they highlight web software applications and open data sources that can be used to make mapping an interactive and learning experience”


Posted Jun 13 2016 by Charley

April's Lidar meetup

On Wednesday 13th April we met once again in The Art House cafe in Southampton for the 13th time. This time we were talking and learning all about Lidar.

Lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) is a surveying technology from which lots of amazing data is produced. In the UK, lots of Lidar-derived data has been released recently and so it has become quite a hot topic and this was a great opportunity to learn more and hear how people are using it.

We had 4 presenters and were also treated to a fantastic demo from Tom of Snowflake Software, our sponsor for the evening.

Rose-Ellen got the ball rolling by showing us how to use Lidar data in QGIS - there are lots of tools availabale for analysis and visualisation.

Jamie gave us a great demo of his new custom 3D printing app which uses open Lidar data. This was very impressive and a superb example of what can be achieved - you can even make jewellery!

We had a nice insight into how the Channel Coastal Observatory capture and use data for coastal monitoring from Sarah. Liz then gave us some great tips on where to get Lidar-derived data from - with special mention to the Environment Agency for all their lovely free and open data.

See you all soon :)

Happy mapping

Posted Apr 20 2016 by Charley

March meetup cancelled

Really sorry but due to unforseen circumstances our March meetup (Wednesday 9th) has been cancelled :(

We will be back in April to discuss Lidar data! :)

If you would like to present about any aspect of Lidar data then please let me know.

Email me:

Posted Feb 29 2016 by Charley

Project Night summary

On Wednesday (10th Feb) we met in The Art House cafe in Southampton for the 12th time. This was the first time we have tried out the ‘project night’ format and I must admit that I didn’t really know what to expect. Turns out it was awesome!

There were 14 of us including quite a few new faces which is always nice to see. We had a real mix of interests in the room but after a quick round-the-table it was clear that there were many overlapping/complimentary interests. I presented a few bits and pieces that I have worked on recently and so did regular Maptimer and local geoninja, Nick Duggan (@dragons8mycat on Twitter).

After that the evening organically turned into a bunch of really interesting conversations, from open point cloud data, to editing OSM, to cycle route data and lots more. Lots of good knowledge was shared and there were lots of ideas generated and good links made between people and projects.

This is a format that we will defnitely use again. Next month I’m thinking about focussing on Lidar data; good sources, capture techniques, good software for manipulating/visualising/analysing and anything else releated to Lidar. If you would be interested in presenting then please le me know. Email

Thanks to everyone who came on Wednesday, thanks to The Art House and thanks to our friends at the OSGL for sponsoring the meetup!

See you all soon :)

Posted Feb 13 2016 by Charley