On a Tangent

A blog about all sorts of stuff

Until recently I was responsible for running an online gig guide for Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Over the four years that the gig guide operated I published over 60,000 events. Collating and mapping the events was a painstaking task that took many hours each week. Each of the events in the database is accompanied by a […]

The iPhone operating system records a user’s Longitude and Latitude over time. This information can be accessed readily and visualised. This posts describes the process of creating an animation of the location data over time. Most of the co-ordinates were from the Sydney and Hunter regions of NSW, Australia.

Maps Schmaps


This post explores the inner workings of @NewcastlePlaces, a twitter service that maps the locations of events that others are tweeting about. They have some serious issues with their mapping process however, this often results in events being incorrectly mapped. Some of the mapping failures have unexpected results, like placing a dead body inside a solicitors office over 15,000 km away from it’s correct location for example.

Animation of the advancing front delaunay triangulation algorithm. Each of the frames of this animation were generated using PHP and the GD library. The first triangle constructed is called a supertriagnle. It is an equalateral triangle that entirely contains the convex hull of the points to be triangulated. The vertices of this construction will be […]

A comparison of carbon footprints resulting from traveling. Analysed in the light of the 2010 Earth Hour event.

Day four of the Beyond The Dish Tour. We leave Narrabri and head South towards Sydney. On the way we reflect on the many acronyms we encountered on the tour.

Day three of the Beyond The Dish Tour. The group swelters in 44 degree heat as we tour the Australia Telescope National Facility 25km west of Narrabri. We are shown through the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer (SUSI). Later in the evening we view several objects in the night sky through a 14 inch telescope in our hotel carpark.

Day 2 of the Beyond The Dish Tour. This post describes our day at Siding Spring Observatory. We inspected numerous telescopes, often receiving in-depth commentary from leading astronomers. Later in the evening the group got some hands-on experience with some smaller telescopes at a nearby amateur observatory. Here we were able to explore the objects in the night sky for ourselves.

This post describes the events of day one of the Beyond The Dish tour. We began the day at Sydney University and headed west. After a brief lunch stop at Orange we headed towards Parkes for a tour of the Parkes Radio Telescope.

Beyond The Dish was a four-day, 1500km journey through rural NSW that took our small group behind the scenes at some of Australia’s world-class astronomical installations.