Latest Posts

Mein Fahrrad!

2018-08-06 22:08

Vielleicht googelt ja jemand beim Gebrauchtfahrradkauf und meldet sich dann netterweise bei mir.
In der Nacht vom 27. auf den 28. Juli 2018 gestohlen:

Herrenrad (Diamantrahmen, nicht Trapez)
28 Zoll
52 cm Rahmengröße
8 Gang Shimano-Nabenschaltung
Felgenbremsen Vorne und Hinten
Rahmennummer PBTDA 452596 266550 (oder schreibt man die anders? PBTDA452596266550 / PBTDA 452596266550 / 452596266550)
(Am linken Griff ein leicht hervorstehendes Endstück)

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QGIS: “no result set” with PostGIS

2018-07-03 16:07

If QGIS tells you “no result set” while you are playing around with PostGIS query layers. If your query works fine in the DB Manager but “Load as Layer” fails (and not silently with “invalid PostgreSQL layer”).

Try turning it off and on again. Restart QGIS. It just might save you many minutes of unreasonable frustration.

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(Not) Solving #quiztime with a spatial relationship query in Overpass-Turbo

2018-04-21 13:04

I saw a #quiztime on Twitter and it looked like a perfect geospatial puzzle so I had to give it a try:

So we have something called “Lidl” which I know is a supermarket. And we have something else, with a potential name ending in “nden”. And that’s it.

If you have a global OSM database, this would be a simple query away. If you don’t have a global OSM database, the Overpass API let’s you query one. And overpass turbo can make it fun (not in this case though, I had a lot of trial and error until I found these nice examples in the Wiki).

I ended up looking for things within 50 meters to a Lidl named “-nden”





(._;>;);  // whatever? 

Too far away from the Lidl.

But driving around the place in Google StreetView I could not find the spot and it does not look very much like the photo.

So I guess my query is fine but either the "thing" or the Lidl are not in OSM yet.

Oh well, I did learn something new (about Overpass) and it was fun. :)

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Specifying the read/open driver/format with GDAL/OGR

2018-01-20 12:01

For the commandline utilities you can’t. One possible workaround is using and to blacklist drivers until the one you want is its first choice. A feature request exists at but it seems that the option is not exposed as commandline option (yet?).

PS: If what you are trying to do is reading a .txt (or whatever) file as .csv and you get angry at the CSV driver only being selected if the file has a .csv extension, use CSV:yourfilename.txt

PPS: This post was motivated by not finding above information when searching the web. Hopefully this will rank high enough for *me* to find it next time. ;)

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z/x/y.ext tiles to mbtiles/gpkg

2017-11-27 20:11

I just had some trouble converting a set of tiles I scraped into a nice package. I tried both mb-util and Both seemed to work but QGIS did not display anything. The “solution” was to convert the tiles from 512×512 pixels to 256×256. WTF? also crashed at joining its intermediate files if used in Python 3.6. It needs “-tileorigin ul” for OSM-like tile names.

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Turn a Raspberry into a no-fancyshmancy mpd server with Archlinux ARM

2017-08-05 13:08

Because my SD card keeps getting corrupted and I always start from scratch, here are my notes on how to turn a Raspberry Pi 2 with an always connected USB disk full of audio media into a nice little mpd server outputting via the 3.5mm jack. Probably works somewhat the same on a Raspberry Pi 3.

Install Archlinux ARM

And obviously update it right after, add your ssh key, whatever. Then:

Add packages to build a special mpd, sound stuff and common utils:
# pacman -Syu screen wget zip base-devel libmikmod unzip zziplib git doxygen boost alsa-utils hdparm ffmpeg htop libao audiofile libshout libmad faad2 libupnp libmms wavpack avahi libid3tag yajl libmpdclient

Get sound working

Add to /boot/config.cfg:

dtparam=audio=on  #
disable_audio_dither=1  # if you get white noise on low volume,
audio_pwm_mode=2  # better audio driver,

Make sure audio output is enabled, not muted, in # alsamixer.
# speaker-test -c6 -twav

Connect and mount external disk with all your media

Connect USB disk. Check UUID using ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid/ or lsblk -f, add it to /etc/fstab at a mount point of your choice:
UUID=12341234-1234-1234-1234-123412341234 /media/egon ext4 defaults,nofail,x-systemd.device-timeout=1 0 2
and made sure that it can spin down by adding /etc/udev/rules.d/50-hdparm.rules (you might want to verify the hdparm call works first):
ACTION=="add|change", KERNEL=="sd[a-z]", ATTR{queue/rotational}=="1", RUN+="/usr/bin/hdparm -B 1 -S 60 -M /dev/%k"
Then check if things work with # mount -a

Compile mpd with zip and curl support (optional, if not wanted, just install mpd from the repos)

I compiled my own mpd because I wanted zip support and Archlinux’s does not ship with that.
$ wget
$ tar xfvz mpd-git.tar.gz
$ cd mpd-git

Add ‘armv7h’ to the archs

and add some fancy configure options:

      --enable-zzip \
      --enable-mikmod \
      --enable-modplug \

$ makepkg
# pacman -U the resulting package

Takes about 30 minutes.

Configure mpd


user "mpd"
pid_file "/run/mpd/"
db_file "/var/lib/mpd/mpd.db"
state_file "/var/lib/mpd/mpdstate"
playlist_directory "/var/lib/mpd/playlists"
music_directory    "/media/egon"

audio_output {
  type            "alsa"
  name            "default"
  mixer_type      "software"      # optional

# systemctl enable mpd
# systemctl start mpd



Once it all works, make an image of it so that next time installation is just dd.

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A hurricane map in QGIS, from geodata and hacks

2017-08-01 22:08

Cartography Inspirationator John Nelson made an awesome map of hurricanes and later posted detailed how-tos for ArcMap and recently ArcGIS Pro. Right after his first post I started rebuilding it in QGIS using draw effects for adding the colored outer glow instead of using image icons, adding a vignette on-the-fly and adjusting the background raster’s saturation on the fly. All in all, less manual work, more dynamic processing in QGIS. I quickly got frustrated though and gave up.

More than a year later (triggered by the new ArcGIS Pro how-to storymap) I revisited my draft and finished it. So here is the QGIS version. As no-one is paying me to write this, I currently cannot be arsed to make it as fancy as John’s posts. Sorry! :)

This project shows QGIS’ strength in features and struggle with performance. Also some bugs. I stopped working on this once I liked the looks. It is not optimized in any way. So this is just how I ended up doing it. You could do much better. I like proof of concepts. And short sentences.

Data sources (I host a lightning-fast mirror of Natural Earth at if downloads are 404 again…):

That’s right, nothing but pure, unaltered geodata!

  1. Load the NE2_LR_LC_SR_W_DR.tif raster. Lower the saturation to about -50.
  2. Set your project’s projection to EPSG:3031 so that you get a nice polar viewpoint.
  3. Rotate the canvas by 150° because that’s what John did.
  4. Load the graticules. Use a rule-based style for ‘"direction" = 'W' or "direction" = 'E' or "direction" is NULL‘ so that you get all longitudes but only the equator from the latitudes. Set the layer transparency to 60 or something like that.
  5. Load the coastline.
  6. Add a vignette using this trick.
  7. Load the Allstorms.ibtracs_all_points.v03r09.shp Shapefile and then:
    1. Create a rule-based style with rules for the storm categories. I think I used this.
    2. Use white markers without outlines. Set their sizes using an expression on the wind speed or like me, manually to e.g. 0.7, 0.8, 1, 1, 1.6, 2 millimeters. This is something to play around with until it looks good.
    3. I used transparency for the markers of the lowest classes, 85% and 70%, the others are not transparent. This is something to play around with until it looks good. If I recall correctly I used transparency on the layer level here to keep the bubbly looks.
    4. By now you should be quite annoyed at how slow the rendering process is. >:) But wait, it gets much worse! :o)
    5. For each of the classes, enable draw effects on the markers.
    6. Set the source to use Addition blend mode. Set the source to be somewhat transparent, I used 50%, 80%, 80%, 50%, 40%, 0%. This is something to play around with until it looks good.
    7. Add outer glow and choose an appropriate color (Hint: Use a lot of saturation). Then play around with the spread, blur radius and transparency until it looks good. For some reason I ended up using 1mm/3/95%, 1mm/4/95%, 1mm/3/80%, 1.2mm/4/50%, 1.5mm/4/40%, 3mm/1/50%. Only now that I post this I realise how weirdly inconsistent this is and a quick test shows how irrelevant the blur radius changes are (except for the highest class). Oh well. It’s not fun to interate if you have to click so much and rendering that 40-50 seconds…
  8. That’s it! Done!

This was both fun and incredibly annoying. QGIS has the features but lacks in speed for this funky project (no wonder, blending 300,000 glowing points is not that nice). Here is a realtime video of how it rendered on my machine (take away some seconds from manually enabling the layers after another):

PS: Oh god this WordPress style sucks…


Flowers in QGIS?

2017-07-30 21:07

The other day I was working on visualisation of some intermediate research stuff and ended up with something looking like a bouquet of flowers.

Twitter liked it so here is a how-to.

  1. Have some lines that meet in a shared point. They should have a shared ID per group (in my case they were MultiLineStrings).
  2. Color them per ID.
  3. Turn the background black.
  4. Use an Arrow style for the lines. Set the Head thickness to half the Arrow width. Set the Head length to whatever you consider fancy.
  5. Remove the Outline (set No Pen).
  6. Set the Feature blending mode to Multiply (or to Screen or Dodge or Addition if you prefer fireworks to flowers).
  7. Set an appropriate color scheme. For flowers I think RdYlGn works great (that’s how I realised what my random tinkering had lead to) or PiYg or simply Spectral, for fireworks random colors.

That’s it! Now play around and have some fun!

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Initial setup failed. Cannot continue. Error: Couldn’t run mojosetup

2017-05-06 13:05

If you are trying to install a game downloaded from but you get something like

$ ./
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun ( 100%
Collecting info for this system…
Operating system: linux
CPU Arch: x86_64
trying mojosetup in bin/linux/x86_64

Initial setup failed. Cannot continue.

Error: Couldn’t run mojosetup

then your file is corrupted or incomplete. You will have to re-download it. Ignore the “bin/linux/x86_64” path, that references something inside the installer, not something on your system.

Petition GOG to add checksums to their download pages or better yet, have reasonable download options that support resuming and HTTPS and what not…

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