Category Archives: gsoc

If there was one thing you wish you had known before…

One of the questions in the student evaluation of the Google Summer of Code reads: If there was one thing you wish you had known before getting started in Summer of Code, what would it be? It is a very typical evaluation question and we all sortof know what it means and how to answer [...]

The end of the Summer – let there be Summer!

Although there are still a couple of days left until the official Pencils Down date of the Summer of Code, I am now officially putting my pencil down because I need to catch a train to Adelaide tomorrow morning. I guess this really marks the end of my student period; even though I graduated in [...]

Weekly update route altitude profile

It’s a bit of a boring title, but it actually has been an interesting week.  Although I found myself highly distracted by some unrelated but fascinating things, I still managed to get quite a bit done. The script that I used to download the SRTM data set and import it into a Postgres database can [...]

Is Google evil? And why the world is happy I’m not a CEO.

I have recently started following Umar Haque’s blog. Umair Haque is Director of the Havas Media Lab, a new kind of strategic advisor that helps investors, entrepreneurs, and firms experiment with, craft, and drive radical management, business model, and strategic innovation. He’s written a manifesto for the next industrial revolution and vouched to provide free [...]


Update 17-7-2008 : “Formal” demo server now runs on apache2-mod-python API Not much has changed on the outside, but a lot has changed on the inside. Most importantly you can now get the altitude profile through a RESTful API. My mentor Artem Dudarev built a nice Google Maps demo that uses this API. A more [...]

Google Map Maker and OpenStreetMap – My five cents

Update 1-7 : New evidence blows my best-case scenario out of the water, but no worries (see below) Update 1-7, on hour later : Or perhaps it does not, just keep the popcorn close For those of you who have been sleeping for the past couple of hours, Google just released a map making application. [...]

Google App Engine – On uploading serious bulk data

“The Google App Engine enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications”, says Google. Sounds like that could come in handy for my route altitude profile. The NASA SRTM dataset has 1.5 billion data points just for Australia and I have no idea how many people will use [...]


I built a simple website that displays the altitude profile for four different example routes. But you can already get the altitude profile for any route in Australia through an XML-RPC request to: And then call one of the following two functions: altitude_profile(route) : returns an xml document altitude_profile_gchart(route) : returns a Google Chart [...]

Internet Dependancy and the 15-Minute People

This is the second time that I am living in another country for a while and once again I have stumbled into a huge problem that I believe is massively under appreciated by many. I need the internet, but it’s not as ubiquitous as you’d think. Has anyone seen the South Park episode about this? [...]

Import NASA SRTM3 data into Postgres

The first official week of my ‘summer’ of code was a succes. I managed to import the NASA SRTM3 data into Postgres. That is, the import is running at about 1 tile per minute while I am writing this. The result is available through Subversion and Git. I think I am getting the hang of [...]