Weeknotes #37, November 3rd, 2023

Given that we didn't get around to publishing Weeknotes last week, welcome to this edition of Fortnightnotes.

Over the past few weeks Taz has been working with Northern Powergrid on a hack event around net zero. The aim is to bring together our friends and sponsors, and other organisations from the energy sector including utilities, local authorities, universities, SMEs, innovators and more - and asking questions about how these organisations can collaborate and share data to support Northern England's transition to net zero. The main event will be at the end of January but we will be having a warm-up session in early December.

For big events we usually create imagery to be used on the event's hub page, in Eventbrite listings, and on social media. Previously, awesome illustrator Amy would usually do that but, as she is away finishing her MA in animation, Stuart took on the job. He made use of existing design elements Amy had created across several years and brought them together in a new design. But it isn't just a static image. To misquote Galileo, "eppur si muove" ("and yet it moves"). Stuart used his background in astronomy to animate the Sun's position and to change the sky colour as the Sun (as seen from Leeds) rises and sets. Not content with that, Stuart also grabs data on the National Grid's current generation mix and adjusts the speed of the wind turbines accordingly; the larger the fraction of wind on the grid, the faster the turbines. All this was done in SVG/Javascript and comes in at a pretty small 30kB (uncompressed) which means we keep the CO2 emissions down too.

We've been publishing our open Dashboard since mid 2016. It shows information about how we are doing. With ongoing changes in the social media landscape this week we converted our "Twitter impressions" panel into a "Social media impressions" panel that combines impressions/views from each social media source into one plot.

In things-we-have-seen-around-the-web news, Giles was interested to read about Protomaps, which appears to be a lightweight tool suite comprising a tile format and toolchain enabling efficient mapping. They also publish basemaps in a highly customisable vector format. Stuart was also intrigued by the idea that they were using HTTP Range Requests to access parts of huge files. Definitely something to look into.