SemanticScuttle: New Interface

Abstract: I created a new interface for SemanticScuttle, a free, open-source, self-hosted social bookmarking service. It allows you to build a vast database of web articles on your own web space.

Over the last three years, I have saved, tagged and excerpted 4.224 bookmarks. My collection serves as a personal chronicle as well as a cabinet of curiosities. It has proven useful both for journalistic research and for ending chat arguments by providing statistical data. Up until June, I had stored all of these links in my Delicious account. As is well known, the service has become increasingly unusable due to various usability improvements. Ultimately, I felt the benefits I received did not make up for the value my links provided to the proprietors of Delicious.

A few weeks ago I’ve had enough and decided to migrate all bookmarks to my own personal web space using SemanticScuttle 0.98.5. SemanticScuttle, built by Christian Weiske, is a fork of Scuttle. It features pretty much everything you need for building a database of web articles. It even supports¬†structured tags and collaborative tag description. Both the CMS and the Firefox plug-in work quite well. If you plan to switch, I suggest you’d give it a try. (more…)

Beautiful drawing of a Plant

Creating maps in HTML and CSS

Abstract: When it comes to highlighting certain areas of a country, use map fonts instead of SVGs whenever possible. If you don’t have a map font, build one.

Imagine you wanted to highlight certain areas of a country for datavis reasons without using any Flash or flashy stuff. You only speak HTML and CSS. You want the map to work in all browsers and all resolutions. You want lossless scalability and you also want to provide mobile users with a fast and pleasant UX. And you don’t want to pay someone to do the job.

There are different ways to display cartographic data in your browser using only HTML and CSS, and embedding a JPG is obviously not an option. In this post, I shall discuss two methods, both of which use an SVG file of the desired area. The first one is to tinker with the XML source of a public domain SVG, the second one is to create a map font out of such. Each method caters to different needs and has different disadvantages. (more…)

Beautiful drawing of a Plant

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