Articles

Single family homes in San Diego

Inspired by this article from the New York Times I wanted to create the same map for San Diego. Since the article did not include San Diego, I thought I can do it. Residential land zone for detached single-family   other housing As you can see, there are more single-family zones, than other residential areas. I expected that, but there is a lot of space that is not just residential zone.

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VizRisk Challenge: Audience

When I prepare a conference talk or a workshop, I am tailoring my talk or workshop to the expected audience. For example, I will add details about the country or city the conference is in. Adding pictures of the town, or in case of my workshops use data from that city to use as examples or exercises for the participants. Thinking about who is in the audience helps them to relate more to my talk/workshop and hopefully pay closer attention.

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Makeover Monday: How Americans Sleep

Practicing your skills is essential in every aspect of your life, primarily when you work for yourself. When I coach my softball team, I always work on the basics. We hit a lot, and we field a lot. The same is true for my work, and since I have the fortune to work for myself and make my own schedule, I always like to practice my skills. One goal for me for this year is to share more stuff openly and not just work on my skills in private.

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VizRisk Challenge Entry

I love playing Softball and I‘m playing for more than 10 years now, it is a great team sport and I love the mix of action, team play and personal challenge getting up 1 vs. 1 against the pitcher. I used to coach the women’s team of the town that I studied in and was asked again to coach my team here in Berlin. I love coaching a team sport, strategizing how to approach the game and most important see players improve over time.

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Five podcasts that changed how I run my business

I listen to podcasts for a while now. I started with technical podcasts like Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots, Ruby Rogues, Core Intuition and more. I think I have an easier time listening to something than to read a blog post. I can listen to them while walking my dog, riding my bike to college back in the days or taking the train. Since starting my own business in 2014, I listen to more and more business and freelance related podcasts.

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Two-year anniversary

Wow, I can’t believe it! It’s been two years already. I did it! :) Today I’m in business for two years with my company Civic Vision. I founded the company on Aug. 2014 and am happy to report that we’re still operating and growing every year. Our revenue grew every year and our profit as well. I had the opportunity to work with awesome companies and organizations such as Code for America, Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, Worldbank, 18f, Terranodo.

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Podcasts I listen to regularly

I listen to podcast for a while now. I started with technical podcast like giant robots smashing into other giant robots, ruby rogues, nsbrief, etc. I love listen to podcasts even about technical stuff. I think I have an easier time listening to something than to read a blogpost. I can listen to them while walking my dog, riding my bike to college back in the days or taking the train.

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Inbox Zero

I’m happy to be able to say: I’m back at Inbox Zero After my last trip staying at a friends place for a week, my emails started to pile up, and my filters were not any good anymore. So I used the last two days to clean up my inbox and add more and better filters to my inboxes. I started with my personal account because it’s easier to clean up.

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Help families in need: MapSwipe

A new app launched a little more than a week ago called MapSwipe. And it is great; I try to use it every day. You help families with mapping certain areas of the world. But it is mapping you can do without a geospatial background. What’s the purpose With every swipe and tap, you help put families on the map That’s how they describe their app. And it is that simple.

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Progress Update: Civic Tech Project

Last week I decided I should do something with the newly released Open Data Portal of the City of San Diego. And I thought about Data Sets where I could reuse/redeploy apps from other cities. There are 44 datasets in the current portal, and I wanted to use something that could be done relatively quickly but still would be an improvement. Finding the right dataset After looking through several datasets and trying to find apps that I could easily reuse and redeploy I found the „Monitoring of select chemical parameters in drinking water“ dataset and I remembered an app from Code for Heilbronn, Germany about drinking water quality.

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How I keep myself healthy and inspired while working for myself

Working for yourself can get lonely and monotone. Here are a few things I do to stay active and inspired. Activities I love doing sports. I’m a very active and sport-hungry person. And I love team-sports. I play Softball for almost ten years now, and I love going to tournaments, compete and have fun with friends. I met my wife through Softball, and I’m very grateful for that. But even walking my dog is an activity I enjoy most of the time.

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See you at these conferences!

I went to just a few conferences this year just yet but plan on going to a few more. Conferences are a good way to connect with people, learn more about your craft or other people’s business and get in the mindset of learning and speaking/socializing. Brennan Dunn recently tweeted something which struck a nerve with me, and I regretted not going to DYFC in Sweden this year. But I will go to more conferences next year and a few more business conferences as well, and DYFC 2017 is already on my calendar.

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Three new habits to get better at writing

I want to start a few habits and it’s tough to find the right ones to start and to maintain. Getting into habits is all about consistency and trying to find the balance of too little or too much. But I think publicly committing to something is a good first step to getting really into habits. I tried for the last months to get into reading and writing habit. And I must admit both are not doing great.

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Nokogiri Search Helper

I recently used Scraperwiki to scrape some data off a couple of sites. During the development process (which I will describe in a coming post) I encountered some repetitive code/task. I then refactored the code and wrote a small class which I then would use for every site. Most often you want the first text of the matching selector and the attr of the first element matching. You can find the class here: {% gist 8491837%}