Slapped in the face by the 90’s


Recently I listened to something I haven’t heard in quite a few years, namely the album “Whiskey”, by Swedish crooner Jay-Jay Johanson. I remember I listened to it all the time when it was released some time in the mid 90’s. It was then described as a trip-hop Scott Walker. I was surprised I still enjoyed the music as much. Have I changed that little?

So tell the girls that I am back in town – Jay-Jay Johanson

Over – Alpha

Over – Portishead


Static maps with Google Maps

Google has just released an API to include static maps on a website. No need for JavaScript or server-side programming, using it merely means including on a page a simple img tag, with the source set to a specific URL, depending on what you want to display. For example, for my place near Parc Montsouris, in Paris, with a red G icon (“redg” in the string below) on it, the src string would be :,2.341465& markers=48.823825,2.341465,redg&zoom=15&size=500×300

(I have excluded the key parameter for conciseness)

And here is the resulting image :

My place

It is limited currently to 1000 requests per day and per user (that would refer to a reader of the page I think). A special version of maps, specifically for mobile users can be obtained as well. It seems to have more contrast, especially on toponyms :

My place mobile

It does not do much then but it is still nice. I really think they should add some simple form of thematic mapping to it (chloropleth, proportional icons…), which would nicely complement their Chart API released a few months ago, for all-around simple data visualization needs.

PS: I have my own consultancy and love to work on interesting problems. I have helped several startups and established companies deploy innovative GIS and Data Engineering solutions. Check out some showcases of my work at If you have a project that we can collaborate on, then please contact me at