About this blog

17 Nov 2023
This blog is now archived and I won't be posting to it any more, but I will keep it online.

Thanks for stopping by!

In 2008, I started a blog with a daft name and no real idea of what it would be about, other than that it would be about things related to my academic work at the time. In the end, after a few hundred thousand page views and 237 posts, I figured out that it was mostly about maps, data and images. But by that time, I had decided to move on. Nowadays I no longer work in academia and instead run my own spatial data, analysis and training company called Automatic Knowledge

I have a question - how can I get in touch?
You can contact me via this page on my business website (Automatic Knowledge)

How can I learn how to do this stuff?
I run training courses periodically, so if you want to learn how to do any of this kind of thing, you may want to head to my Training home page. I also have a YouTube channel for map and data stuff, called Map Academy.

Where did the title come from?
The idea behind the title comes from the kinds of things I'm interested in but the specific phrase 'stats, maps n pix' is taken from an undergraduate class at the University of Liverpool's Department of Civic Design - the world's oldest planning school and also where I did a PhD. Peter Brown ran this class for many years so I got in touch with him to check if he minded me using it. He said yes, so this is kind of part-homage to where I did my PhD and part-homage to Peter Brown's undergraduate class, which many former students will remember.

Who was the blog aimed at?
Hopefully, anyone interested in maps, statistics and images. I'd like to think it appealed to a wide constituency of people including, but not limited to: students at all levels, academics, people who like geography, statisticians, journalists (data journalists in particular), politicians, teachers, urbanists of all sorts, architects, urban planners, data hounds and map addicts.

What font is this?
It's Open Sans, commissioned by Google and designed by American typeface designer Steve Matteson in 2010. If you're viewing this page on a mobile device you may see a different font.

Why does it say 'pix' in the blog title?
Partly because it's catchier than 'pics', partly because I wanted an x in the title and partly because it brings to mind pixels, the smallest components of a digital image.

What's the image in the blog banner?
This is taken from a small mapping project I did in the summer of 2015. There's a blog post on it here and a more formal paper here, but essentially it shows commuting flows between census tracts in the lower 48 states of the US. The big glowing blob in the top right shows Chicago - which I deliberately used to pay tribute to the epic Chicago Area Transportation Study of 1959, which you can read more about in this blog post. As you can see, I've now added an 'ARCHIVED CONTENT' sticker to the blog banner, to indicate that there will be no more posts here.

What blogging platform is this?
It's Google's own blogger platform, with a modified style. I kept it as simple as possible, because I didn't want any clutter.