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Messages - robinofloxley

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1
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: Today at 06:41:35 AM »
You didn't just open it.
You opened it, and then took a screenshot, producing an image file.

The screenshotting was in no way necessary. I'd already opened the file, not otherwise touched it, not converted it in any way and I was able to determine to my satisfaction that it was a map.

I could have just told you that's what I had done and that's what I found, but, being a helpful fellow, decided to screenshot it for your benefit. I invite you to install your own software and open it yourself, then you don't need my screenshot.

You even stripped away a bunch of information. It doesn't have any labels.

I did no such thing. That is how it opened. It may not look exactly like your original map, but it is still clearly (to me at least), a map.

I suspect that the default export format lacks the necessary styling instructions to tell GIS how it should look. Certainly with Ordnance Survey, if you want your maps looking a particular way, you download a separate stylesheet of your choice. OSM may have something similar or maybe there are better export options, I don't know, the format is completely new to me.

mathematically transforms
By scaling an putting in an offset.

Last time I checked, scaling and transformation are both mathematical transformation operations.

It's a no-brainer to me to say that an XLS file is a spreadsheet if I open it and hey presto!
How about an xlsx? Do you also think that is a spreadsheet (ignoring the technicality of neither actually being a spreadsheet as spreadsheets are saved in a workbook).

Yes, it's another variation of my flexible duck test. It will just open and look (and indeed work if it has embedded calculations) as a spreadsheet, so it's a spreadsheet.

If you instead want it to be like a trial, then ditch the jury and stick to logical arguments.

Go ahead then let's hear a properly formulated sound, deductive argument, which will inevitably make me reverse my position. A nicely formulated syllogism perhaps.

Remember, the point you made was that ANYONE should be able to see your map, and you indicated my device is defective if I don't get a nice image.


I already explained that my gold standard is you just double click and it opens. You were going out of your way to make out that a PNG isn't an image it's bits or bytes (I can't remember now) and I was simply pointing out that if you have a device that doesn't know how to natively open a PNG and display it as the creator intended, well in this day and age, that device is defective.

If you have a booking system such as I've outlined, so your volunteers aren't treading on others toes and you have a Web page where they can record their results, what more do you need?
Or in another words, if you have a complex system to organise it, how is it complex? I wonder...

And again, don't try to break it down into individual steps.
Again, lots of complex tasks are a series of non-complex steps.
Building a clock is complex, but the individual steps are not.

You trying to break it down into parts shows that you do not understand complexity.

The typical way to complete a complex task is by breaking it up into simpler tasks and then completing all of them.

And again, don't try to break it down into individual steps.

So to complete the task, I have to break it down, but I mustn't break it down. Yeah that makes sense.

You're dodging the question yet again. Where is the complexity? OK, maybe I don't understand complexity, try explaining it then. We're not making clocks anymore we're just going out and about and recording two numbers. Here are the steps for each volunteer.
  • Go to Web site, pick an un-surveyed area and register as a volunteer for that area.
  • Go and record some locations in latitude/longitude format.
  • Go to Web site and enter your results.
That's it, no interaction needed between the volunteers.

2
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: Today at 02:28:42 AM »
No, neither of the above, all I did was open a file in some software package. That's literally all I did, didn't touch anything, just screenshotted what you saw.
And in doing so you converted it from the .osm file to an image.

Wow, so now if I open something, that's now converting it is it? "Hey I just sent you a photo". "Great, wait a minute while I just convert it". "????". You have a very strange way of looking at things.

The GeoNames files have two floating point numbers in columns 5 and 6. You cannot tell from the file itself what these numbers represent. The files come in TXT file format.

My software reads one of these files, reads columns 5 and 6 and mathematically transforms them into two completely different numbers (X & Y) and I then choose to treat these as co-ordinates to plot on a rectangular X-Y space.

I could just as easily choose to interpret this pair of numbers as a musical note and duration, mathematically transform them and play them through my speakers.

My point is I have to make a whole series of decisions about what to do with these numbers in order to interpret them in such a way as to produce a map.

If you try and load one of these into GIS, you have exactly the same problem, GIS has no idea what it is and what to do with it, it's a TXT file with some numbers and words in. You would have to make all the decisions.

The OSM format on the other hand, GIS understands exactly what that is meant to be, out of the box in just the same way as Excel understands an XLS file or Word understands a DOC file.

It's a no-brainer to me to say that an XLS file is a spreadsheet if I open it and hey presto! I see a spreadsheet. Now the OSM file, I've frankly never seen before and had no idea what my GIS software would make of it, but hey, it opens and I see a map, so that's enough for me.

GeoNames files? I've no idea. I don't know what to do with one, GIS doesn't know. I can import it into Excel if I make some decisions, such as telling Excel to use TAB as a separator. Does that make it a spreadsheet? Well I'm saying no, because I had to tell Excel how to interpret it.

The way I found out what was what was to read the additional documentation on their site and nowhere is there anything saying this was a map.

That is exactly what I was suggesting. Initially I said something like I could just show my map to someone, but then expanded that to you and I presenting a case to a jury.
And where did you expand to presenting a case to a jury?

I wasn't explicit, but I'm basically saying here we put the issue to trial in the normal way, so evidence is presented, questions are asked and a judgement is made. What I'm basically saying is one way or another, people decide these things. Whether it's asking the man on the street, the court of public opinion or full trial by jury. In the olden days it would be the King. This is really a response to your fantasy sentient computer idea.

If I have a copyright dispute with GeoNames and we can't settle it, other than going to court, how else are we resolving it?
Courts decide these issues all the time. Sentient computers never do.

I would already have to jump through hoops to be able to get software to open the .osm file. When things are niche it isn't surprising.

No more than if I sent you a Powerpoint presentation or a spreadsheet and you didn't have the software to open it. Once you have the appropriate software (and downloading software is hardly difficult is it), opens straight away.

There's a big difference between opens right away and I might be able to do something useful with this if I could figure it out.

The organisation involved was very simple, a web site where you just pick a set of records to decipher and click a button or fill in a simple form to say "I've got this" so everyone else would leave you to it and at the end just post your results.
And there you go ignoring the complexity of it.
You are effectively focusing on a single component. Look at a clock, but instead of looking at the entire thing, look at a single gear. How complex is that gear?

The typical way to complete a complex task is by breaking it up into simpler tasks and then completing all of them.
That does not make the overall task less complex.

Building a clock is a complex task. But if you break it down to its individual step, it is not.

If you have a booking system such as I've outlined, so your volunteers aren't treading on others toes and you have a Web page where they can record their results, what more do you need? You keep saying over and over, "it's complex", you've finally expanded on this and said it needs organising, OK so now I've organised it for you, now where is this elusive complexity that you keep banging on about but never actually explain?

3
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 28, 2021, 06:43:38 AM »
I think I'm about done with this. The discussion has veered off into petty squabbling now
Because you wanted to focus on technicalities of if what you produced was a map and if what you used was a map, rather than focus on the actual issue

With respect, we're both to blame for the petty squabbling, it takes two to tango. I have apologised for my contribution, I haven't asked for, nor would expect you to respond in kind, but your response, sadly, is to just aggressively go on the attack and tell me it's all my fault. If I rise to the bait and respond, we're right back at it again aren't we?

  • What I've produced isn't a map or doesn't count as a map (at least I think that's what you are claiming).
It is more a case of the arguments you make against GeoNames being a map can equally apply to your map or other maps.
And that I have supported by using those arguments against your map and other maps.

So, I think you are saying I can't have it both ways, if mine is a map, then GeoNames is a map? Don't accept that, but I think that's your argument?

So the question is did you really make a map, or did just convert an existing one?
Did you make this map:
Or did you merely convert an existing map?

No, neither of the above, all I did was open a file in some software package. That's literally all I did, didn't touch anything, just screenshotted what you saw. No different to me opening a Word document or a spreadsheet. I didn't make a map, didn't convert an existing map, just opened a file.

  • The general public (e.g. a jury) cannot be used to decide on the question of what is or is not a map.
Again, that is not what you were suggesting.

That is exactly what I was suggesting. Initially I said something like I could just show my map to someone, but then expanded that to you and I presenting a case to a jury. Maybe you missed that bit. Just to be clear, I present my case that what I have done constitutes map making and you present your case for GeoNames being a map. Obviously I or my counsel will question you about your claim and you and your counsel will question me about my claim. Perhaps these are two separate cases, one for each claim, but you get the idea.

The alternative seems to be to ask a non-existent sentient computer.

My belief is that your claims about geotagged collections and GeoNames in particular would require a lot stronger argument and evidence than you've currently presented, to sway anyone.

If this was a legal case, I would put in far more effort, such as going through all sorts of GIS software to find one that would let open/import the GeoNames .txt file and plot them as a collection of points.

Well good luck with that. You might be able to find a way to get a GIS system to use my technique to plot points, but again, that would be you essentially telling it what to do and how to do it. No different really to just writing your own program, as I did. I don't think for one second you'll find GIS software or any other software for that matter which will just open GeoNames and display a map for you with no additional work (in complete contrast to the OSM export). If you have to jump through hoops to transform one into the other, then that suggests they are not the same thing.

The complexity comes from organising a bunch of random people to collect and collate the data, to produce a map by collating the data.
That is what the interaction is.

Well finally you've answered the question. It's the organisation that makes it complex.

Some time ago I did some research into my family history and one of the tools I used was freecen. That database was put together by an organised group of volunteers who would decipher images of handwritten old census records. The organisation involved was very simple, a web site where you just pick a set of records to decipher and click a button or fill in a simple form to say "I've got this" so everyone else would leave you to it and at the end just post your results.

Really nothing that complicated required, it's just a type of booking system. A simple Web site with the potential survey sites divided up into manageable chunks and then you as a volunteer find something nearby and sign up to say you'll give it a go. A form to post your results and that's it.

Yes there is a bit of work to set it up, but hardly rocket science.

4
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 28, 2021, 03:30:12 AM »
I think I'm about done with this. The discussion has veered off into petty squabbling now and that was never my intention. I apologise for my part in this and I'll try and keep my post civil.

I accept your point that not having labels or a grid weakens my claim to it being a map, so here they are, I've added them. Labels could be a bit tidier for sure and you'll no doubt have to zoom in to read them, but use your imagination, this is not a professional map.



Whilst a number of points have been raised, I believe I have one main claim, I have produced a map. My evidence for this is primarily the image I've posted and its close resemblance to other, similar, professional maps. If that isn't enough to convince you that this is a map, so be it.

Your claims I believe are:
  • What I've produced isn't a map or doesn't count as a map (at least I think that's what you are claiming).
  • What I've done doesn't amount to making a map.
  • The general public (e.g. a jury) cannot be used to decide on the question of what is or is not a map.
  • Any collection of geotagged items is a map (as opposed to could be used to make a map). This would include for a example a twitter conversation containing geotagged tweets.
  • There are interactions between surveyed locations which makes a whole survey more complex than the sum of its individual parts.
I don't really think that you've provided much in the way of supporting evidence for any of these claims and as a consequence reject them all.

I'm particularly baffled by the last two. The argument for a collection of geotagged items being a map seems to be that if you can turn it into something that looks like a map, then that's what it is. This is surely a false equivalence, it doesn't follow. I can turn lots of things into other things without them being equivalent. Flour into a cake is an obvious example. Since this is not a logical argument and you haven't provided any evidence to back it up, it really seems to rest on your opinion and nothing else.

I simply don't understand the claimed interaction between survey locations. I don't think you've explained yourself at all well there. Again you just seem to claim it is true without any logical argument or evidence, so opinion only I think.

Generally I think you are swimming against the tide of common sense with quite a lot of your claims, but as I said, I do want to keep this civil, so don't take that observation personally.


5
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 27, 2021, 07:13:26 AM »
And you accuse me of missing the point?
Yes, the point is that you haven't really mapped anything. You have put a bunch of dots on a page, with no labels, nor any indication of what they are.

We aren't talking about a printed map either. If you noticed one of the suggestions I gave needs it to not be printed, as it is interactive.


You don't have to keep repeating your opinion. We don't agree on this point you claim I am missing. Meanwhile you frequently miss various points being made, which is ironic.

I've no intention of making an interactive map. Unnecessary and far to complicated, defeating the purpose of something which is intended to be (relatively) easy to accomplish.

It can be a lot easier to have an agreement in place to avoid being sued, rather than trying to stand on the moral high ground and get sued.

Sure and if everyone made a watertight unambiguous legal agreement every time they did anything, there would be lots of unemployed lawyers. In the real world, they don't. I would be happy to sell my map without talking to GeoNames' lawyers. More fool me perhaps, but there it is.
 
Courts decide these issues all the time.
But not by asking people to just decide on instinct with no arguments?
How many court cases do you know of that just had a simple statement of the case to the jury for them to then go away and decide? I don't know of any.

You are the one making the claim that GeoNames is a map. Not can be used to make a map, but actually is a map. This is your claim, so it's up to you to make it convincing. As a sceptic, I rightly choose to reject your claim until such time as you present sufficient evidence.

Although I don't strictly need to present any evidence myself, I'm within my rights to just sit and wait to hear your reasoning and evidence, I have in fact pointed out several things which undermine your claim:
  • The creators of GeoNames do not call it a map
  • I cannot find any definition equating spatial database and map, they appear to refer to distinct things
  • I haven't found anyone (apart from you) who calls it a map
  • GIS software does not recognise it as a map (unlike say OSM export)
  • I can't find anything (and neither can you apparently) which will recognise it as a map
No, you aren't. You are offering a recipe of just taking an existing maps and converting it to a different form. Why should they trust that map, but not software?

So nothing new, just repeating the same tired old rejected assertion ad infinitum based on no evidence.

It doesn't fail my personal duck test
Because you happily manipulate your duck test to pretend that everything you want to be a map is a map, and everything you don't' want to be a map isn't.

I opened your exported OSM with no difficulty whatsoever and it looked like a duck map. You asked me before if I was happy to call this thing a map. It looks like a map, so yes. It's an extract from something which refers to itself as a map.

There is a style of painting known as pointillism.
There you go deflecting yet again.
You acted as if the osm format is a map because of that connection. Now you are saying no connection is actually required and just point are fine.

Data intended to be usable as maps by GIS come in one of two formats, geotagged raster images (e.g. satellite or drone) or vector layers. The vector formats are never just points, there are relationships built into the data to allow you to connect points together as lines, paths or polygons (OSM export being a perfect example). GIS software understands many of these file types and renders them as maps. GeoNames does not fit that description. If they wanted GeoNames to be a map or intended it to be used to generate maps, then they could have added the additional routing linkages, but they did not.

I'm using a bit of lateral thinking to use a very simple to understand technique, similar to pointillism, to paint an image of something that at a suitable scale (e.g. the whole world), resembles a traditionally generated, similar map closely enough to be recognised straight away for what it represents. I'm calling that image a map. It's not the normal way to make a map, but it works.

If you want to write some software to generate your own map from an OSM export, you go ahead, but it'll be a lot more complicated.
The only part making it more "complicated" is that it is in xml format.
Instead of just grabbing the nth section of text to determine latitude and longitude, all you need to do is grab the nicely labelled lat and lon tags. A fairly trivial modification.


So yes, if you ignore all the information which makes OSM export suitable for it's intended use as a map and just pick out lat/long of the point nodes and then use the pointillism technique, then you can generate a map like mine. It will no longer work at a local scale (see my screenshot and imagine it with only the little orange circles left).

Which would also mean what you produced isn't a map.

You can't have it both ways. Either that connection is required so you didn't make a map, or it isn't so GeoNames can be a map. Make up your mind and stick with it.
Stop contradicting yourself so you can pretend what you made is a map and what you used to make it isn't.


There is no contradiction. Something can be used to make a map that isn't a map. Something else can be a map and can be used as a map. Flour is not a cake. Bricks are not a house. I can give you instructions on how to turn flour into a cake or bricks into a house. You can use the same pointillism technique to generate a map image from anything geotagged (e.g. cat photos).

You claim that this makes geotagged cat photos a map. I can also turn these photos into a rug. Doesn't make cat photos a rug any more than it makes them a map. Your counter argument appears to consist of "this thing or collection of things is a map because I say so". That is not reasoned argument and you present no evidence.

I can't make a usable map on a very local scale like your OSM example because although I can plot the dots, I can't connect them up to make the roads and buildings, because the information necessary to do that simply isn't there.

At the scale of the world however, that doesn't matter because all I need to know is what is land (a plotted dot) and what isn't. The shapes of the continents appear naturally.

Each brick must hold the load of the bricks above. Take out enough and the wall collapses.
They do interact.

Missing the point as usual. I'm not comparing a wall with a clock, I'm comparing a pile of bricks with a clock. Take any brick away, the pile still a pile and it has value, that's why people pay good money for bricks. The value is not substantially altered by taking away a brick. All have equal value. There is no dependency. Remove the mainspring from your clock and it's reduced to little more than scrap value.

6
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 27, 2021, 03:04:16 AM »
Last time I checked, people don't post books here.

And you accuse me of missing the point? It's a rough calculation for the size of the map. 11 million labels would fill approximately 30k pages of a book. Tear each page out and lay in a grid pattern on the ground to get an estimate of how large the map would need to be to accommodate that many labels. Rough calculation says you would need a field of around 1/4 acre, so that's how large my map would need to be printed.

It just means I chose to post it in a reasonable resolution for the forum.
It means your final "map" has far less than 11 million points.

If I were to generate the map at 9000x4500 resolution, I'd probably have 11 million separated data points. Double that just to be sure and print at 300dpi and that would make a very reasonable wall map. For the purposes of discussion on a forum, that resolution is completely impractical.

If I have a copyright dispute with GeoNames and we can't settle it, other than going to court, how else are we resolving it?
Through legal arguments over what constitutes creative original work.
It being a map or not likely would not enter the discussion.
Instead the 2 most likely factors would be the copyright license, and it being primarily factual, the latter making it ineligible for copyright protection as you cannot copyright facts.

When I see a map or satellite image on TV news, it usually has an acknowledgement saying it's Google or whatever. I imagine that's because the news organisation has a specific legal agreement with Google, allowing them to do this. If I were to do the same and sell the image without permission, I would get into legal trouble over it.

You've stated many times that using GeoNames in the way that I do is no different to screenshotting a Google map, so if that were true, I'm copying GeoNames map and profiting from it if I decide to sell copies.

According to you, GeoNames would be within their rights to sue. I would argue that I've done no such thing. GeoNames is not a map and therefore I can't be accused of copying it.

This kind of issue crops up a lot with software. Did I just copy the idea or did I copy the code? One you can copyright, the other, usually not.

Courts decide these issues all the time. Sentient computers never do.
 
It is almost as if map making is really hard so not many people want to make a map entirely from scratch. They would prefer to use an existing map and add to it.

No, it's almost as if there are lots of maps available you can use and it's wasted effort to do it all yourself. However, if you are a flat earther and don't trust anything, you've ruled out using these maps and any software you didn't write yourself and you do need to make your own.

I'm offering a recipe for doing that. It has to be simple and it has to produce something that is recognisably a map with things in the right places.

And your .osm fails your "duck test".
It isn't a file I can just give to anyone to open a computer, because most computers do not have the software to open it.
In its form as an xml file, it is a bunch of text that few people would recognise as a map.

It doesn't fail my personal duck test because I used what you wrote, created an OSM export and opened it straight up with some software I already have. The styling is all wrong, so it would need to be tweaked, but the software had no problem whatsoever rendering it as a recognisable map:-



All you have done is taken the information in the GeoName database and plotted it, the simplest being taking the coordinates as specified in the file and plotting them, with no transformation.
You have not added in any connecting information.

There is a style of painting known as pointillism. The artist doesn't draw any lines or shapes, they create an image from small coloured dots in a pattern. My technique for drawing a map is essentially the same. The advantage is you don't need any shapes or lines or anything like that, only points. Technically very straightforward. It doesn't generate the best maps in the world, I don't claim that. It does generate usable, recognisable maps. If you want to write some software to generate your own map from an OSM export, you go ahead, but it'll be a lot more complicated.

There is a another good reason why my dots are not connected. GeoNames only contains points, nothing else, no information about if or how the points relate to each other. That is yet another reason why I reject your claim that it is a map. It is deficient for that purpose.

You have already stated you can import it into GIS software.

GIS can make use of it, but won't recognise it as a map. Because it isn't. GIS will immediately recognise an OSM export as a map and render it as a map without even being asked. If GIS were a sentient computer, it just voted.

What interaction?
The easiest way to understand the interaction is by their absence.
Try making your map from a single point and convincing anyone it is a map.
You need an interaction between the points such that there is some measure of distance between them such that they can be located relative to each other in this space (real or abstract).

I can't make anything useful out of a single brick, but with enough I could make a wall or a house even. That doesn't mean the pile of bricks are interacting. No brick is any more important than any other. Contrast that with a clock. Remove the mainspring and it's completely useless because ultimately everything depends on it. Take any single brick away and I can still make a smaller wall or house.

Widely used by people who work with GIS around the world.
Remember, your standard was that anyone can open a png, and that if I can't I have a defective device, and that because you couldn't do the same with your .txt dump of GeoNames to get it in a pretty format, it isn't a map.

That's my gold standard, yes. If you send me a file and I can double click on it and it opens as a photo of a cat or a video or a spreadsheet or a document, then I instantly recognise it for what it is.

Send me something that doesn't open or opens in some weird format, XML say and you now need to convince me. So you might say "download this software" and now I can open it and recognise it. However if you send me something and you can't provide me with any means at all to do anything with it, why should I believe any claim you make about what it is?

7
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 26, 2021, 08:00:41 AM »
This thread has degenerated into a pointless semantics debate.

You don't say. :)

Are you not entertained?  ;D

8
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 26, 2021, 07:10:20 AM »
11 million labels, how much bigger do you suggest?
As big as needed so you can see them all. Or, trim down the amount of labels you have, or make it hover.

Well 11 million labels, if you printed them in an an average sized book in a reasonable font would require about 30k pages, so I guess my map would need to be of the order of 30k book sized pages. My rough calculation says about 1/4 acre. Probably a bit big to post here.

Quote
Many of the points overlap because of the pixel size and scale.
And that means you have less than 11 million actual points on your image.

It just means I chose to post it in a reasonable resolution for the forum. I still plotted all 11 million. They are all represented on the map and making a contribution even if the map is too grainy to resolve all of the detail. If I take a photo of the moon, every photon from every bit of the surface that enters the lens is contributing to the image, but that doesn't mean you can resolve it in the resultant image. I can't for example resolve the Apollo 11 lander.

Quote
Of course you would.
No, you wouldn't.

If I have a copyright dispute with GeoNames and we can't settle it, other than going to court, how else are we resolving it?

Quote
I can point you to any number of tutorials for GIS software and all of them are going to start off from nothing, no "underlying database" and the first step is to add a base digitised map from Google or OpenStreetMap or Ordnance Survey or some other source. You then layer on additional information from other data sources to create the map you want.
Try getting one that doesn't just grab a map from elsewhere.
Get one which starts from nothing and builds a map from scratch. And then tell me where it stores that information.

Yes indeed, please do. That's exactly my point. Will you please try and find one which starts from nothing and builds a map from scratch. I can't find one. Can you?

But as you want to appeal to OpenStreetMap as a source, should I have used that instead of Google Maps?
...
Other than being an xml file instead of plain text, and having more information, this is quite like the export from GeoNames.
It would fail your "duck test" and people would not recognise this xml file as map.

Does this mean it isn't a map?
That something calling itself OpenStreetMAP isn't a map?
Just because it fails your dishonest duck test?

Yes, the xml is structured as a .osm file, and there is more compatibility, but I can't open it on my computer as anything other than text.
And that will apply to the vast majority of people.

The particular snippet you show doesn't really work as a map, but I'm happy to call an OSM export a map. The OSM export exports nodes, ways, relations - keys and tags. These are all the components you need, so nodes are point features, ways are ordered lists of nodes, so think roads, coastline etc. A way may form a closed loop, e.g. a state boundary.

The OSM export format is expressly designed so you can easily reconstitute it visually as a map. You know where your road starts, you know where it goes next, you know where it finishes. The ordering information is crucial, it creates lines and polygons, it gives the whole thing shape. Without it you just have a list of unconnected points. That's the crucial difference between GeoNames and a map. GeoNames is just a list of point nodes. Nothing is connected to anything else. Unlike the OSM export, there is nothing to tell you how to connect the dots.

The iconic London Underground map is an interesting example. None of the nodes (stations) are in the right physical locations, but they are all connected together via routes. It works very well as a map, but remove the routing information and it is useless.

A quick search pulls up a good selection of easily available tools which will open an OSM export and display it in diagrammatic map format . Not hard to find. Contrast with GeoNames (still waiting to hear if you've found anything).

Quote
My car uses petrol. i.e. my car is petrol. Nonsensical and illogical conclusion.
If you bothered reading what I said you would understand that is nothing like the comparison I was making.

I said Google maps (probably) uses spatial data. You said i.e. it's a spatial database. The argument you used is basically this:

  Socrates uses string
  (Therefore/i.e./in other words) Socrates is string

The i.e. to me means "therefore" or "in other words"

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Still requires what exactly?
My bad, it seems I didn't finish that sentence, but from context it is quite clear, it still requires an interaction between the parts, quite unlike your non-interacting box of parts.

What interaction?

You and I in completely different places, using our sextants or whatever to determine our location. Where is the interaction? These are completely independent events.

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It's been around 16 years and is very widely used.
Widely used by who?
Almost everyone who uses a computer will use various image formats. But plenty of people would live their lives without the use of GeoNames.

Widely used by people who work with GIS around the world. I'm not saying widely as in a widely viewed TicTok video where you probably need a billion views to even count these days, but it's probably in the thousands would be my guess.

I doubt OSM export is any more widely used than GeoNames, but plenty of choice of software there. Why is that do you think? Possibly because enough people would want to use the OSM format as a map to make it worthwhile, whereas using GeoNames as a map is not something anyone really wants to do, because that's not what it's for?

9
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 26, 2021, 04:17:34 AM »
You are suggesting I put 11 million labels on a small map? That'll just create a complete mess.
No, you could make it bigger.

11 million labels, how much bigger do you suggest?


But like I already said, with the map you provided, you don't have 11 million points.

Yes I do. The map has (over) 11 million plotted. Many of the points overlap because of the pixel size and scale. At the equator, each pixel represents a block of approximately 50 square miles. There may be several features inside that block.

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You wouldn't expect to have a jury full of blind people to decide an issue that hinged on visual recognition
And with that, you have already biased it.
Again, you are basing it on what you want a map to be, and ignoring the underlying information.

But the same argument applies against you. You wouldn't use a jury of humans to determine if a map for a computer is a map.

Of course you would. If GeoNames decides to sue me because they claim I haven't done anything original (as I'm claiming) and everything hinges on whether GeoNames is or is not a map, who do you think is going to decide the issue? I don't recognise this world of yours where we all defer to a mythical sentient computer for answers.

The court of common sense isn't going to require much in the way of evidence from me that what I've produced is a map. The duck test says it's a map.

You on the other hand are making a claim which on the face of it, is unusual. What you have to prove is that a human readable text file with some words and numbers in, is a map. That's a pretty extraordinary claim, so you need to present lots of compelling evidence (does any recognised authority refer to is as a map? Do the creators refer to it as a map?) and a sensible argument. Simply repeating "it's a map, it's a map" in an echo chamber doesn't cut it.

Only because I already know it is Greenland.
Give it to someone who has no idea of world geography, who has no idea what country is where or what each country looks like, and see if they can tell.

Sure, give it to someone who has never heard of the word map, let alone seen one and they are not going to recognise it. So what. Proves nothing.

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So now Google Maps is a spatial database is it?
Yes, the more complete term is GIS.
Because that includes both the underlying database, and the software to use it.
The software is what "opens" the database to present it in a way which is unambiguously a map.

Here we go again, yet another evidence free baseless assertion. Just for once can we see some actual evidence, pick some GIS software, plenty to choose from, demonstrate that it has an "underlying database" (why would it?) and then demonstrate that it generates a map from said mythical database (and nothing else).

I can point you to any number of tutorials for GIS software and all of them are going to start off from nothing, no "underlying database" and the first step is to add a base digitised map from Google or OpenStreetMap or Ordnance Survey or some other source. You then layer on additional information from other data sources to create the map you want.

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Sure, it will no doubt make use of spatial data from a database.
i.e. it is a spatial database.

My car uses petrol. i.e. my car is petrol. Nonsensical and illogical conclusion.

By your argument, you have not produced a map, you have a produce a stream of bytes which a computer can use to produce a map.

My camera produces a stream of bytes. I listen to a stream of bytes on a music CD. I watch a stream of bytes when I go to the cinema. I'm typing a stream of bytes right now.

I say my camera takes pictures, my CD player plays music and I watch films at the cinema. According to you they are none of these things, they are just a stream of bytes. It might well be strictly accurate, but It's a very peculiar viewpoint.

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No, no. We were talking about clocks
If you want to stick to the clock, then the most appropriate analogy would be the intact clock, not the dismantled one. This is because map making still requires

Still requires what exactly?

Geonames is far more niche, is significantly newer, not a standard, and that alone is enough to mean you wont easily be able to find software to access the database and convert it to other forms.
The ability or lack thereof to easily find such software is irrelevant to if it is a map or not.

It's been around 16 years and is very widely used. There are plugins for most of the major GIS programs, so yes, there is plenty of software available to make use of GeoNames, but nothing to turn it into a readable map. GeoNames is an incredibly useful resource, but it isn't a map, people don't use it as map. I haven't seen a single complaint out there from a GIS user saying, "I can't figure out how to display GeoNames as a map". On a map, yes, as a map, no.

10
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 25, 2021, 05:58:06 AM »
So what you would actually need to do is put the names of all those places you have plotted onto the map.

You are suggesting I put 11 million labels on a small map? That'll just create a complete mess.

I'm guessing they would say "why are you asking us, we're blind".
But the point remains. They don't recognise what you produced as a map.

There are many situations where some issue needs to be resolved and the traditional way is put it before the public to decide one way or another. Trial by jury is one, referendums and elections are others.

You wouldn't expect to have a jury full of blind people to decide an issue that hinged on visual recognition, so I don't see the point in you bringing this up. Equally what is the point of saying ask a sentient computer. They don't exist.

I'm confident that if you just asked a few members of the general public what they thought, then they wouldn't have any trouble recognising one thing as a map and the other  as not a map. I can't see any unfairness in that test.

If you've other evidence to present, which has a bearing, by all means present it, but so far all I hear is you stating a database is a map because you say it is.

How about see the actual land of the country? Your map has far too many holes. Is most of Greenland water? (and no, I don't mean that in the sense of ice).

So I see you had absolutely no problem whatsoever in taking the thing I produced, which you claim is a stream of bytes, which has no labels of any kind and no grid, can't be called a map for any number of reasons and immediately identifying Greenland.

Most people recognise Google Maps as a map. That is a spatial database. Again, PRESENTATION MATTER!

So now Google Maps is a spatial database is it? Again, you just throw out a completely unsubstantiated claim with no evidence. Sure, it will no doubt make use of spatial data from a database. It also includes satellite and aerial photos. There is a world of difference between "is" and "uses". So you made the claim, show us the evidence.

How are you proposing to navigate between two cities using a spatial database? How are you going to measure the distance between two places using a spatial database?
How would you do that on your map?

No, you made the claim about GeoNames, you justify your claim, don't change the subject. You claim it can be done, how?

If you were to randomly take away 10 parts of a plane, chances are the plane would still work. Does that mean it isn't complex?

No, no. We were talking about clocks and I asked you, which was the most appropriate analogy, the intact clock A or the dismantled clock B.

Randomly take 10 parts off a plane and I'm not flying on that plane thank you very much. I'll take the later flight.

But that is the natural form, a stream of bytes. That is how the file format is defined. The first few bytes are the hex value 89, ASCII P, ASCII N, ASCII G, CR, LF, EOF, LF.
After that there are a series of chunks, again, specified with bytes.

That's just one interpretation. There are many at many different levels and who cares anyway, it doesn't have to be a PNG, it could be BMP, GIF or JPEG. You can very easily convert between the different formats and the image will still look the same.

Print it onto some paper, still looks the same and your whole argument about is it bits or bytes is then redundant.

Now, can you tell me any way at all (which actually exists), other than using my software, how you can convert GeoNames into a diagrammatic map? If they are one and the same thing, then it should be at least possible to turn one into the other, just as you can turn one image format into an other.

11
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 25, 2021, 05:26:45 AM »
There is no flat earth map on a flat piece of paper with a fixed scale and accurate distances. That fact all by itself should end the debate. But it won't.
See?  I was right.

This thread has degenerated into a pointless semantics debate.

Yep, agreed.

12
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:06:08 AM »
My duck test is a flexible test, it doesn't really matter who asks what question in whatever form, of whom, you can ask yourself if you want to.
But you don't seem to like that. I accept it is a map, I'm sure there are plenty of mathematicians that would recognise it as a map as well. Conversely, I wouldn't say what you produced is a map, because it lacks so many things. You have a picture, with a few different coloured regions. There is no marking of latitude or longitude, there is no marking of what anything is, such as what country something is.

So with a little extra effort, adding a latitude/longitude grid and country names, it would be an acceptable map? Or are you then going to say it lacks some other feature which disqualifies it?

But if I can ask anyone, I'll just go ask a bunch of blind people if what you have is a map. What do you think they would say?

I'm guessing they would say "why are you asking us, we're blind".

The point is my map looks like a map, you can use it like a map
Again, it bares superficial resemblence to some maps, and by your own criteria, you can't use it like a map.


Conversely, the spatial database you dismiss as not a map, you can use like a map, to determine the location of things, and determine what is at a particular location.
You can even find the location of multiple things and use that to  navigate between them, or determine the distance between them.


I've said I can produce maps in several different projections at different scales. My rectangular world map would be a match for someone else's rectangular world map. What can I do with someone else's world map that can't be done with my world map?

There is no map in existence that anyone would instantly recognise as a map that you could swap out for a spatial database. Try putting a spatial database on a classroom wall.

How are you proposing to navigate between two cities using a spatial database? How are you going to measure the distance between two places using a spatial database?

Oh yes please and why don't we ask Bigfoot and a Unicorn while we are at it, see what they think?
No thanks, neither of them are computers. But if you gave your "map" to a unicorn, do you think it would recognise it as a map?

Missing the all important issue, which is that none of them actually exist so the exercise is theoretical and pointless.

Let's start to dismantle B. We'll put each part in it's own compartment in the box. Once we've removed a couple of parts, clock B will cease to function as a clock, it is now practically useless. Continue on until B is completely dismantled and now sits in the box. Is A complex? Yes. Is B complex? Not any more, it's just a box of bits. So where did the complexity go? The key is that a clock is a very precisely constructed set of interconnected and critically interdependent parts such that any one part which is removed or defective is likely to render the whole thing useless. With B however, the parts are now independent of each other, an individual part can be defective or missing without any noticeable effect.
You can actually remove a lot of the clock without it stopping working entirely.
For example, plenty have 3 hands, and you can remove a significant part of the mechanism driving one of them and still have the others functions just fine.

Oh really. Well a complex clock is likely to have 100 plus parts. Randomly take away 10 of those and tell me if the clock still works.

Randomly take away 10 parts from a box of clock parts and tell me if you notice any significant change.

a PNG in it's natural form
Is a stream of 1s and 0s.

No it isn't, it's magnetised particles on a disk platter or voltages in a wire or.... If you decide you want to interpret it as a stream of 1s and 0s or hex digits or octal digits or holes in a punched card, then of course you can, but one is no more natural than any other artificial interpretation of something that you basically expect to see as an image.


13
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 23, 2021, 02:00:31 AM »
Apply my duck test then. Point to someone and ask are you an Earthling?
That wasn't your "duck test".

My duck test is a flexible test, it doesn't really matter who asks what question in whatever form, of whom, you can ask yourself if you want to. The point is my map looks like a map, you can use it like a map, hang it on the wall in a classroom like a map etc. etc. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

So if you want the comparison to be valid and fair, get a sentient computer and ask it.

Oh yes please and why don't we ask Bigfoot and a Unicorn while we are at it, see what they think?

Yes I do. I'm trying to get to the bottom of where this complexity lies.
Which again shows you don't actually understand what complexity is.

Where is the complexity inside a clock?
Each gear simply meshes with another gear to turn. There is nothing complex at all. Yet the clock is complex.

Where it the complexity in a double pendulum? And pendulum is very simple.

The complexity comes from combining things.
If you are trying to understand where the complexity comes from by breaking it down into tiny parts, you don't understand what complexity is.

Oh a clock? Love this analogy, going to run with it if I may, see where this takes us.

So, let's start with two clocks, A and B and one of those large plastic boxes, divided up into lots of small compartments.

Let's start to dismantle B. We'll put each part in it's own compartment in the box. Once we've removed a couple of parts, clock B will cease to function as a clock, it is now practically useless. Continue on until B is completely dismantled and now sits in the box. Is A complex? Yes. Is B complex? Not any more, it's just a box of bits. So where did the complexity go? The key is that a clock is a very precisely constructed set of interconnected and critically interdependent parts such that any one part which is removed or defective is likely to render the whole thing useless. With B however, the parts are now independent of each other, an individual part can be defective or missing without any noticeable effect.

So now let's have a survey. 1000 people, each surveying 100 random locations. Are these interconnected and critically interdependent? Not at all. If one of our volunteers fails to complete their task or doesn't turn up, this has no effect whatsoever on the other 999.

So which is the closest analogy to our survey, clock A or the dismantled B in a box?

I'd suggest you take your device back to where you bought it and complain it is defective if it's incapable of opening a PNG.
The device doesn't determine it, the software does.
And again, you ignore the point.

The point is that your png file is entirely useless as a map, without software which can open that png file, interpret what is inside it, and present it as an image.
Likewise, the spatial database is entirely useless as a map, without software which can open/access that database, interpret what is inside and present in some way.

Taking that database, treating it as a text file and printing it out to get people to say it isn't a map, is just as honest as taking that png file, opening it in a hex editor and printing out the hexadecimal string to get people to say it isn't a map.

The point is you have a device which doesn't have any kind of Web browser on it (because any modern browser will natively open a PNG) and doesn't have any image capability whatsoever. You are talking about a DOS PC from the '80s. You are having to invent a nonsensical scenario to get around the fact that if you display a PNG in it's natural form, it will be an image, and there are lots of different ways to do that which any device bought in the last 10 years will have no problem with automatically.

The spatial database on the other hand doesn't have any software I can find, built in or downloadable, that is capable of displaying it in any form which any reasonable person would point to and recognise as a map.

14
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 22, 2021, 06:42:11 AM »
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You are so insistent that a spatial database is a map that you're prepared to ignore the obvious, that there are substantial differences between the two, so they require different names so that people understand their purpose.
Just like medicines and drugs.

I'm sure we can have a field day back and forth arguing different definitions of drug and medicine and these definitions no doubt vary between different cultures. My interpretation would be that a medicine is a drug, a drug is not necessarily a medicine.

So let's say paracetamol is a drug and a medicine, where does that get us? Two names for exactly the same thing. I think only a true pedant would argue against that interpretation. I can take the drug paracetamol or the medicine paracetamol. Absolutely interchangeable. Contrast with map and spatial database.

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The only reason you are following this tortured logic at all is a determination to show that I haven't made a map at all.
There are plenty of other avenues for that, such as how your map has no labels at all or any indication of what various things, and no scale.
The only reason people would recognise it as a map is because it looks like other maps.

If Joe public is going to immediately recognise it as a map with or without labels or scale, then that's reason enough for me. Passes my duck test for sure.


By your own claims of what a map is required to do, your picture is not a map.


Don't really care. If Joe public is happy that it's a map and you are the lone voice in the wilderness, fine by me.

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I don't think for one second that had you discovered GeoNames before this discussion that you would have described it to anyone as a map. You are just being deliberately obtuse.

There are lots of maps I wouldn't normally describe as a map.


I'm sure there are.


For example, street directories, i.e. maps of where various streets are, normally with an index to help find the street.
Unless someone specifically started discussing if it was a map or not, I likely would just call it a street directory and not think of calling it a map.

Well I've a number of books containing maps. I call them books, but if you turn to a page with a map on it and say "what's" that, then I'm going to say "a map".

I have a map in my car, I'm not going to start calling my car a map either.

If Google Maps didn't have "maps" in its name, I probably wouldn't even describe that as a map.

Typically when referring to maps of all of Earth (or very large portions), I would refer to them as projections.


All accurate maps of ground features are projections of some sort or another. Do you want to stop using the word map altogether?


A single item can be described by many different words. People not using a particular word doesn't magically mean that thing isn't what is described by that particular word.

If you would like another example, consider people from Earth. How many people normally refer to those type of people as Earthlings?
Does that mean that no one on Earth is an Earthling? That we are actually all aliens, just because people don't normally use that word?


Apply my duck test then. Point to someone and ask are you an Earthling? They might look a bit puzzled, but they'll almost certainly understand what you are getting at. Show someone my map, ask "is this a map". Obviously they'll say "yes". Show them the spatial database anyhow you choose to, ask them "is this a map", you know full well what the answer will be. Maybe you can convince someone that a spacial database is a map if they've got an hour to spare, but I seriously doubt it.

Better yet, grab hold of them, show them your album of geotagged cat photos and say "look at my lovely map!". If you are lucky they'll back away slowly and you won't end up in a padded cell.

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You are presupposing using a sextant+chronometer approach. Use a GPS.
You mean yet another thing FEers likely claim are in on the conspiracy, as they use satellites which orbit the globe and math based upon Earth being round to determine your location on Earth?
Yes I do. I'm trying to get to the bottom of where this complexity lies. If the complexity goes away entirely if you use GPS, then there is a separate topic to discuss, whether it is possible to convince someone that a GPS is accurate (doesn't matter what it is or how it works, plenty of people think it's ground based transmitters). So I repeat, if we were to use GPS, does the complexity disappear or not. If not, why not?

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If you are using a sextant, why not use the stars, then you don't need to mess with the equation of time.
Because then you need to be able to identify what star is what.

OK, is that complex? Is that the real issue?

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It's impossible for me to fly to New York today for many reasons. Flying to New York is not difficult.
Notice how you have 2 different tasks.
Flying to New York is not difficult, but YOU flying to New York TODAY is impossible.

Notice how it's exactly the same task with some constraints.

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What exactly can I do with the GeoNames database (and I don't mean the online GeoNames application, I mean the database, the thing you download)?
What exactly can I do with the image you provided if I don't have a program that can open png files?

I'd suggest you take your device back to where you bought it and complain it is defective if it's incapable of opening a PNG.

15
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 22, 2021, 03:03:07 AM »
Yes, intentionally misrepresenting my position to pretend I'm dumb.

No I don't think you are dumb. You deliberately take up contrary positions just for the sake of arguing. When I say hard as in quantum theory vs hard as in digging a hole, you claim quantum theory can be easy and digging holes can be hard. There's no need for this, you knew perfectly well the point I was trying to make.

You are so insistent that a spatial database is a map that you're prepared to ignore the obvious, that there are substantial differences between the two, so they require different names so that people understand their purpose. If all searches for "Google Maps" or just "map" ended up at GeoNames.org, you'd have a lot of very confused people. You've even gone down the rabbit hole and are insisting that a collection of cat photos is a map. This is bizarre, completely at odds with the common understanding of what a map is. The only reason you are following this tortured logic at all is a determination to show that I haven't made a map at all.

Your dogged pursuit of this goal has led you to this absurd situation where you have said the very things you are complaining about me repeating.

I don't think for one second that had you discovered GeoNames before this discussion that you would have described it to anyone as a map. You are just being deliberately obtuse.

You mean I provided you an example of how combing simple things can make something complex.

Clearly combining can make simple things complex. Atoms and Elephants for example. You don't need to state the blindingly obvious. I was clearly asking you to explain the specific example of determining position. There is no combining anything here it is just endless repetition of a simple process.


Determining the latitude and longitude (based on an arbitrary reference) of a single location is easy. Coordinating to be able to determine it for many locations is complex due to the many locations used. The complexity can grow depending on what you are using to determine longitude. For example, if you are using the sun, then you really need to do it all in one day, or monitor the sun for a long period of time to determine the equation of time and use that to correct your measurements.

Why is coordinating it a complex task?

You are presupposing using a sextant+chronometer approach. Use a GPS. It does the same job, easier. We can argue whether that is valid or not separately. If you use a GPS, does all the complexity disappear or if not explain why.

If you are using a sextant, why not use the stars, then you don't need to mess with the equation of time.

You don't need to determine the equation of time, you can look that up or write some software yourself, there are plenty of published algorithms. If you don't like that idea then get someone else to work on that problem whilst you do the surveying.

Come on, where exactly is the complexity in this. Working out your position is something any competent offshore sailor could do in their sleep.

I don't know of any impossible thing that is easy to do.

It's impossible for me to fly to New York today for many reasons. Flying to New York is not difficult. It's the constraints which make it impossible. There are any number of things which are repetitive, which are simple enough to perform but might be impossible to complete due to some constraint or other, often a time constraint. The entire task may be impossible, the individual steps are simple. There is always a trade off between resource availability, timescale and goal in any project. If you are willing to accept a timescale of decades and have thousands of volunteers and are prepared to use GPS, then re-surveying the world sounds eminently achievable to me.

Oh, go on then, how do you check a map? I give you a standard off the shelf map of the world and say "go check it". What are the steps? You'll be lucky if you can get within a couple of degrees of latitude or longitude trying to pinpoint anything. You could easily be 100 miles out.
I guess that rules out Google Maps then.

Use Google Maps if you like, just don't use the zoom or pan or search feature, because you've no idea what that's doing under the hood, so keep it fully zoomed out (and maybe disable the globe view option). It's Google Maps plural, not Google Map. It's an interactive application which effectively presents you with an almost infinite collection of maps. Using these features would be the equivalent of you carting around thousands of local maps and verifying those. But the point is to verify a map of the world, because that's the thing we're interested in, not just your back yard.

The crucial difference is that if you want to use Google maps as a map, you don't need to do anything at all.
Which is just you saying Google maps is already a map. But your database is already a map, a map for a computer.
The step of plotting those points as a 2D png file is completely unnecessary.

I can change the software to implement the Mercator projection algorithm, add grid lines and country names. I can print out a large version of my world map. I can put it on the wall in a classroom and it's a perfectly usable replacement for the existing map. I can 3D print it as a globe and it's a perfectly usable replacement for an existing globe.

What exactly can I do with the GeoNames database (and I don't mean the online GeoNames application, I mean the database, the thing you download)?

Your png file doesn't look like a map.
It looks like a string of random numbers (with some letters thrown in).

How do you know? To claim that, you would have to first view the file in some kind of software or dump the contents using some kind of dump program. The PNG file format is intended to be opened by something which understands the format, an editor or a browser for example. If you've deliberately chosen to open the file with inappropriate software, that's not my problem. Any reasonable person would just double click the file and the computer would then open it with something appropriate and then you see it as intended - as an image.

Try double clicking the downloaded database files or better still why don't you find some software somewhere which can understand it. Good luck.

So by your own argument, your "map" is not a map.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

16
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 21, 2021, 07:46:22 AM »
Collecting enough data "from scratch" to generate a useful map is probably, in my opinion, too (I don't know what word to use here) "hard" in the sense of time and effort to contemplate. I don't think it's "hard" in the sense of "hugely complex".

You are totally correct, ask the Cassini family who spent generations producing accurate maps of France.


Where I don't follow is what you are trying to prove? All existing data relating to map production has been used to produce our current maps. Using any existing data will just produce what already exists, so what is the point? Your initial statement was:-

I hear this quite a lot and I disagree. These days, you can make a very reasonable, fairly accurate map for yourself, it doesn't take that long.

AS you have said collecting new data for map production is a Herculean task.

If you are just wanting to reinvent the wheel, what is the point? Accurate maps exist for most of the planets surface. You fooling around with some data pretending you have made a map is akin to taking an existing map and either tracing it or using a photocopier or scanner. You have a copy...and?

I guess I'm struggling to explain what is clear in my mind and TBH slightly losing the will to live at this point, however:

If (and I stress if) there exists a large and freely available spatial database that can be validated as trustworthy by some means, then it is possible to create from said database, recognisable and usable maps without having to rely on anyone else's software, i.e. you can write your own code and produce your own maps from said database.

So if there were any objections regarding off the shelf GIS software for example, then that objection is dealt with, because you did that part yourself.

So I've split the map-making issue into two parts and dealt with the second part (I hope).

That leaves the issue of how can we trust the database. If there is some means to establish trust in that database, both parts of the problem are hopefully solved.

The obvious way is to basically recreate the database (or a part of it) from scratch, but that seems a waste and is almost certainly impractical, it's not an especially complex task, but would be enormously time consuming and logistically difficult.

So now I'm making a suggestion. Sample the existing database and verify the sample. If the sample is considered large enough and random enough and the results say the sample is accurate (enough), then my question is, are we satisfied the entire (or at least the vast majority) of the database is trustworthy?

So my question to you and anyone else interested is simply this. Does this sound like a viable approach to making a map (I don't mean an FE map, I just mean a map)?

As to the why, well if someone claims a square wheel would be much more efficient than a round one, you'd probably say "go on, show me". If the answer is "oh no, wheel making is far to difficult", I'd find that a rather unsatisfactory answer and want to challenge it if I could.

At the moment we're in a situation where some FEer says "it's flat" and we say "OK, then let's have a map" and they respond "too hard" and we then say "yeah, fair enough". I would like to be able to say, "not necessarily, how about this method".


The original issue was, if I can remind you:-

I need a FE map with scale. Does anyone have one? If we have no scale, we can't determine if the map is accurate.

I said it is a total impossibility for any Flat Farther to produce an accurate map of the planet earth showing it was flat or otherwise using original data. Why original data? It the current data was used the end result would be a copy of the existing map. FE belief says Antartica is located around the edge of the world complete with ice wall! According to them its an entirely different continent to what we know. To make an alternative FE map with a scale would involve them completing an accurate survey of Antartica as they believe it to exist. That is an impossibility, thus to answer the original OP...it is an impossibility for you or anyone for that matter to produce an accurate FE map with or without a scale.

Good luck with you map making though I would recommend just buying one, so much easier.

I think Antarctica is a difficult issue because of access and it would not be the only place in the world with access issues for sure, but I believe enough of the rest of the world is accessible.

TBH I've quite enjoyed making a few maps from someone else's data. It started out as a question to myself really. Other than screenshotting an existing map, would it be possible to create a map some other way, e.g. from just a list of locations. Turns out that a) it's possible, b) quite fun, c) they come out surprisingly well.

A few things I discovered along the way which delighted and surprised me:

Quite a few features in the UK dataset are in Cyprus and it turns out that's because there is an airbase there which is technically UK territory.
"dots" sometimes end up in the sea. If you dig a bit you realise these are often oil and gas exploration platforms. There are a lot of them.
The Amazon basin renders very nicely. I suspect that's because almost everyone lives close to the river or one of its tributaries.
Whilst some places such as parts of Australia and Canada are sparsely represented other odd places, such as the Faroe isles seem to have been surveyed to death for some reason.


17
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 21, 2021, 06:40:13 AM »
Before I start, just want to summarise where we seem to be now, according to you:

Quantum mechanics is easy.
Digging holes is a complex task.
An album of cat photos is a map.

Glad we have that straight.
You mean glad you have your blatant lies about me?

Lies? Don't think so. Sure, I've quoted you out of context, but you have pretty much claimed all of those things can be true, depending on this that or the other condition/situation. Personally I think your claim that a database is a map is just as ridiculous as claiming digging a hole is complex and quantum mechanics is easy.

OK, so what is a "new dataset".
A dataset which is newly created.


And what does that mean? Newly created when? In the last hour/week/month/year, what? The post to me suggests that someone can come along separately and create a map from some recently created dataset. Again it's all words and interpretation. You seem very clear as to what the poster meant. To me, it's ambiguous. Creating a map "from scratch" implies to me that you start with nothing. OK that's an option for sure. Why then say "or from newly created dataset"? If they have to be created at the same time, then what's the difference between the A or B option?

How so? This is exactly the sort of clarification I'm after, but never seem to get. If recording a single location is easy (not complex), but doing it many times is then somehow complex, then where does the complexity arise?
Do you understand what complexity is?


OK, so I ask you a direct, straightforward question about locations and exactly how and when does complexity creep in and you start talking about pendulums. You have several times accused me of avoiding answering questions, so step up to the plate and answer this one.

Did you mean the task is impossible, or just tedious but easy?
I would typically say if something is impossible it is hard.


There's that troublesome word "hard" again. I'm guessing you mean complex? Something can be impossible due to practical considerations, doesn't necessarily make it massively complex.

However, I think using an existing source of data, which can be checked, is a valid approach.
That is just as valid as taking an existing map, and taking a picture.
After all, you can check the map.

Oh, go on then, how do you check a map? I give you a standard off the shelf map of the world and say "go check it". What are the steps? You'll be lucky if you can get within a couple of degrees of latitude or longitude trying to pinpoint anything. You could easily be 100 miles out. On the other hand, the features in the database are going to be mostly within 10m of where they actually are. I mean good luck trying to spot the Empire State building from Philadelphia.

I just don't get the analogy.
Again, it is quite simple.
A claims to have made a map by taking X and processing it.
B says they have just taken an existing map and thus haven't really made a map.
A tries to say they did make a map, because X isn't normally used for making a map, and implies that that means X isn't really a map.

The argument works just as well with me being A and X being Google Maps, as it does with you being A and X being GeoNames.

The crucial difference is that if you want to use Google maps as a map, you don't need to do anything at all. The step of taking a photo is completely unnecessary. If I have a car, I can just get in and drive it. It is not necessary to wash it first. I might have a very large box of parts: nuts, bolts, instruments etc. I could maybe assemble a boat or a motorcycle or a car from these parts, depending on what takes my fancy. All the normal things I would expect to do with a car aren't possible with my box of parts. I can't climb inside and drive it somewhere. It isn't a car, it's a box of parts. OK so now I choose to make a car out of the parts. Was my box of parts a car?

I need a map. Here's Google maps. Can I use it as is? Yes. Here's a collection of geotagged cat photos. Can I use it as is? Yes, but not as a map. Can I turn it into a map? Maybe. Does that make it a map, no.

Your argument for GeoNames being a map really boils down to, "I'm calling it a map, therefore it is a map". It doesn't look like a map, doesn't work like a map, can't do the things a map can do. Doesn't self-identify as a map. Nobody else anywhere on the Internet as far as I can see ever calls it a map. Same thing with geotagged photo collections. Nobody else calls these things maps, only you as far as I can tell. Words are only useful if enough people recognise the intended meaning behind them. I'm pretty clear in my mind what most people would think of if you said "map".

You can't measure distances with it
As opposed to your map, where you explicitly objected to putting a scale on it and actually measuring distances?

For the same reason any sane map maker won't put a scale on a large scale equirectangular or mercator map.

However if you want me to focus in on a small enough area, say 50x50 miles in mid-latitudes, then quite happy to add a scale.

We can also do an AE map centred on a particular point and that can have a scale and you can measure directly from that centre point to anywhere on the globe.

Or I could 3D print a globe from the data and that can have a scale on it too.

you can't navigate with it
define "navigate".

No thanks, we can't agree on "hard", "complex", "map", "database". No point adding to the list.

18
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 21, 2021, 02:28:43 AM »
Before I start, just want to summarise where we seem to be now, according to you:

Quantum mechanics is easy.
Digging holes is a complex task.
An album of cat photos is a map.

Glad we have that straight.

So now you are conveniently missing the "or", so it's from scratch, "or"
No, it doesn't really change it.
It is from a new dataset, clearly emphasising what is required.
It is not from an EXISTING dataset.

You are not using a new dataset.


OK, so what is a "new dataset". It's not something created from scratch, because that part is covered already, it is something else, clearly, otherwise why mention it?

I honestly have no idea myself, but in a way that's my point, a throwaway dismissal with little to no detail and a lot of ambiguity.

Determining latitude and longitude is not "a hugely complex process"
For a single location, no. But doing it on a global scale, and accurately, is.
And that is something you haven't even demonstrated.


How so? This is exactly the sort of clarification I'm after, but never seem to get. If recording a single location is easy (not complex), but doing it many times is then somehow complex, then where does the complexity arise?

But that's the kind of thing I object to, someone just trots out a phrase like "a hugely complex process", no explanation, no justification, just apparently a statement of fact that we are all supposed to accept without question.
Potentially why then they started to focus on the data collection aspect, which you seem to want to flee from.

But more importantly, you are now contradicting yourself yet again.

You are claiming now that the data collection (as in to collect it yourself, or with a group of people) is easy and making a map is easy. But you previously claim if it requires collecting the data it is impossible.

You really need to make up your mind.

Or are you saying it isn't complex, just tedius?


There is a difference between me trying to express my ideas in different ways to correct a perceived misunderstanding and me contradicting myself. I'm quite clear what I'm trying to get across and that hasn't changed. The fact that you believe I'm being inconsistent and contradicting myself over and over suggests to me that I'm just not expressing myself clearly enough. Which I will agree is ironic, seeing as I'm asking others to express their ideas with more clarity.

Collecting enough data "from scratch" to generate a useful map is probably, in my opinion, too (I don't know what word to use here) "hard" in the sense of time and effort to contemplate. I don't think it's "hard" in the sense of "hugely complex".

However, I think using an existing source of data, which can be checked, is a valid approach. That is my opinion and I'm interested to know if anyone agrees with that. So far, no takers, so I think that answers my question.

If it is a valid approach then making a map from that data is easy and we can put that one to bed. Of course that immediately raises a second issue which is how do we validate the data we've used? My suggestion there is random sampling (please let's not re-start a semantics war over "random"). Again, an opinion and nobody else is buying that either. Fair enough, I have my answer there as well.

Again, Google Maps is not normally for making maps. If someone takes that a picture, have they made a map? Or does something not normally being used to make a map in no way mean it isn't a map, and in no way means people taking it and using it constitutes making a map?


I just don't get the analogy. There is a database. You insist on calling it a map. Nobody would recognise it as a map (unlike Google maps). Most of the things you could do with a normal map, you can't do with this database in its usual form. You would have to go to a fair amount of effort to transform it into something else first. You can't measure distances with it, you can't navigate with it, it gives you no clue to size and shape of anything. The sort of questions you can answer from it are very different from the normal things you would use an off the shelf map for.

Let me try one more analogy: I have an easel, palette, canvas, brushes etc. I can come up with a plan to generate a painting from what I have. Does this make what I started with a painting, just because it is possible to turn the parts into one? OK, so now I have a painting, maybe even a masterpiece. It is a 2 dimensional image. I can take a photo of that image. What have I done, have I created a painting? A masterpiece even? I can use this image, I can frame it and put it on my wall.

This to me is the difference between turning a database of features into a map and just taking a photo of something which is already, indisputably, a map.

I've stitched together plenty of photos without any need for geotagging and never ended up with a jumbled mess.
There you go ignoring what I said again.
It requires some form of location. Even if that is determined from the photos themselves, it still has location data. If you didn't you wouldn't be able to place the images together. The entire goal of stitching together images is determining where the photos should be positioned relative to the other photos.

Oh terrific, so now a collection of things don't even need to be geotagged for them to be a map, you just need to be able to recognise them and put them in the right order.

I highly doubt most people would accept a map of cat locations as an actual map. Even though by its very definition, it is a map.

By no definition I've ever come across is a collection of cat photos a map. A collection of cat photos is not the same as a map with cat photos on it. One is a collection of photos, one is a map. Yes, if the metadata is there and you know what you are doing, you could create one from the other, but when you create a new thing out of some ingredients, you have created a new thing, you haven't magically created an equivalence between the ingredients and the thing.

If I have a thing or a collection of things and I need to apply a significant amount of work to transform it into something unrecognisable with a different function/purpose, then the thing I started with is not the thing I ended up with. They are not equivalent. Paint/painting, flour/cake, iron ore/knife and fork. Taking a thing and doing nothing significant to it, such that it is still essentially the same thing or used for the same purpose is different. Knife/sharp knife, letter/photocopy of letter, Google map/photo of Google map.

The database has the potential to become the source for a map, amongst other things. On that basis, you claim the database is a map. A seed has the potential to become a plant, but then again you could grind it up make flour and bake a cake. So is a seed a plant or is it a cake or is it just a seed?

19
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 20, 2021, 08:02:56 AM »
Here is the post you initially objected to (emphasis mine):
Have you any idea why it takes to produce an accurate map? If you did you would not be asking the question.
Making maps is a hugely complex process. Making accurate maps from scratch or from a new data set is a total impossibility for a few flat earthers.
Let’s make it quite clear, the creation of an accurate flat earth map is a complete impossibility and is not something open for debate.

You objected to someone saying making maps from scratch is hard. Your approach is admittedly not doing that.
So now you are conveniently missing the "or", so it's from scratch, "or"... Why specify or if the only option is from scratch? Now I'm not sure exactly what the author meant by "a new data set", but it's clearly significant. Second point "Making maps is a hugely complex process". Oh really? Determining latitude and longitude is not "a hugely complex process" and I've demonstrated that turning these locations into a map isn't "a hugely complex process" either, so what part of this is "a hugely complex process". Time consuming maybe, hugely complex, hardly. But that's the kind of thing I object to, someone just trots out a phrase like "a hugely complex process", no explanation, no justification, just apparently a statement of fact that we are all supposed to accept without question.

Surely that's the point I've been making? A co-ordinated group, each doing the individual verification.
No, you were making the opposite point, that the individual verification of a small, local area, is actually useful at verifying the dataset.


My point was (and I think I've clarified it quite enough, multiple times over) that an individual local validation is useful. It is a start. I didn't claim that me personally verifying a few local features should be enough to convince a sceptic, it is a start and therefore useful.

There isn't a binary database to download. It comes in that format, a readable text file.
You mean it comes in the format of a tab delimited ASCII file, with specific codes.
That IS a format that computers can quite easily churn through, but humans would see as a bunch of strings.


Well I actually find it quite readable myself, but that's beside the point. Your position seems to be that anything at all which has been geotagged, is fundamentally changed and any collection of such items can be called a map. No sane person is going to recognise a geotagged collection of cat photos as a map, but to you, it's a map. Fine, if that's the point we've reached, I'm not going to argue this point any longer, we are absolutely miles apart here.

I find that an odd argument. You take a photo of a cake, you haven't made a cake.
Probably because a photo of a cake isn't a cake, but a photo of a picture is still a picture.

You say Google maps isn't normally used as a map
No, I said it isn't normally used to make maps, just like you said GeoNames isn't used to make maps.
Remember my point was that you took an existing map, but a map made for a computer.
That is equivalent to using an existing map, like Google maps, to "make a map" by taking a picture of it.

You actually said

So the same argument applies with Google Maps. People claim it is a map. But it typically is not used for making maps.

I apologise, I did misread the bit about making maps, however I took "people claim it is a map" to mean that you are not one of those people, the way you expressed it. So, just to be clear, is Google maps a map? Maybe we can at least agree on that.

A getotagged photo is fundamentally different to a non-geotagged photo? Somehow it's very essence as a photo is no more?
Why assume they are exclusive?
As for it being fundamentally different, that depends upon what you are talking about.

Well you are the one who claimed a collection of geotagged photos was fundamentally different. I know what I understand by fundamental, what did you mean?

Yes, Google satellite view is a map made up of stitched together images. If I use a drone to take aerial photos of my back yard and stitch them together, I've made a map. They don't have to be geotagged to do that. It's the content of the resulting image that makes it a map, not the geotagging. A stitched together set of non-geotagged drone images is a map, a set of geotagged cat images isn't in my view.
Stitching together requires some form of tagging the location. Otherwise you end up with a jumbled mess.

I've stitched together plenty of photos without any need for geotagging and never ended up with a jumbled mess.

As for other sets of images, it depends entirely upon what you are mapping. If you are mapping the locations of various cats or cat sightings (or their residence) then a set of geotagged cat images can be considered a map, as this shows the locations of various cats and allows you to find various cats at or near a location.

OK a collection of geotagged cat images is a map. Good luck convincing anyone that is the case. Such a bizarre idea IMHO.

You have that backwards.
No, I don't.
You have ignored the hard part to pretend that map making is easy to pretend that FEers (and others) are wrong to claim it is hard.

Part of the problem is that the word "hard" has many meanings. The post I was responding to used the phrase "a hugely complex process". Quantum theory is hard, digging a large hole in the ground is hard. I accept that gathering enough data points from scratch is "hard" in the sense of time consuming, but it's not complex. Creating a readable map from collected data is neither particularly complex nor time consuming, so however you choose to interpret "hard", I would say that step is not hard.

Furthermore, I believe that a lot of the time consuming aspect of gathering data points can be greatly reduced by statistical random sampling of an existing, comprehensive dataset to establish trust. Potentially that turns a "too hard" problem into something viable. I was hoping someone would see the value in such an approach, but clearly no one does, so I think it's probably a dead end.

I've proposed verifying the existing data source as a group activity, you then said "at which point you can make a map". So what am I making the map from if not the verified data which someone has at some point collected?
You are making the map from data the group has collected.
You are going out to obtain data to verify the location. But in doing so you have collected data that you can use to make a map.
The point is that with this group activity, you don't need to rely upon data gathered by anyone other than the group.

The point is that I don't believe you need to collect anywhere near the same number of points to verify someone else's data (i.e. to give you a very high confidence level that not only the verified data from the samples are accurate, but by implication the rest is also trustworthy) than you would need to be able to create your own map.

I agree that collecting all the data "from scratch" would be the ideal approach, but is completely impractical, it's simply too much work.

If I buy a sat-nav/gps system for my car, if it takes me where I want to go often enough, I learn to trust it. I don't need to drive hundreds of thousands of miles down every little back road.

I'll bet that when sailors first started using GPS, they were cross checking everything with a sextant and chronometer. You'd have to be completely paranoid to do that now.

20
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 20, 2021, 04:14:15 AM »
No idea what's going on, but I can't seem to post a complete reply in one go, so I'll respond in two parts, sorry...
That's because your post is around 11 000 characters long, which is above the limit.
Ah, that makes sense, should have thought of that, thanks. The error message I kept getting was "503 Service Unavailable The server is temporarily busy, try again later!" which is not very helpful.

Ever heard the saying "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts"?
This applies here.
Individual, small scale verification alone is pointless. It does nothing to establish the shape of Earth and only helps establish the map is correct for your local area.
It is only when combine with verification elsewhere that it starts to be of value.

Surely that's the point I've been making? A co-ordinated group, each doing the individual verification.

Well I'm guessing it's a conversion of a part of a binary image to text. Now I'm assuming if you gave me the whole file in its original binary format I'd be able to open it in any one of dozens if not hundreds of off the shelf image editors and without any further work, would immediately see what it was.
We aren't talking about opening it in a piece of software.
Remember, you didn't want to give people the database as a digital database which could be used with software to produce a map, you wanted to give them a print out of a bunch of numbers.

So if I gave a bunch of random people on the street the entire file represented like that, as a string of numbers, how many would recognise it as a map? Basically none.

There isn't a binary database to download. It comes in that format, a readable text file. That is the database. Yes, I'm sure you could figure out how to load it into your own database, but that's not how it comes and I created my map directly from the text file I downloaded. I called it a database because it's a file full of data you can use. Dataset would probably be more accurate.

So on the one hand we have
I notice you avoid the question.
Your argument was that as it isn't used for making maps that means you made a map as you took things which aren't used for making a map and made a map from it.
This is with me saying you took an existing map and made another representation of it.

So the same argument applies with Google Maps. People claim it is a map. But it typically is not used for making maps.
So by your reasoning, if you take a screenshot of Google Maps, you have made a map.

I find that an odd argument. You take a photo of a cake, you haven't made a cake. You take some ingredients and bake them together and you've taken something which wasn't a cake and made it into something that now is a cake. They seem very different to me. You say Google maps isn't normally used as a map, but I certainly do use it as a map and I'm surprised to hear that's unusual. I mean it's not called Google directions is it.

What's the difference between doing that and putting a photo at a specific point? Photo's can and often are geotagged
You in no way indicated previously that the photos were geotagged.
A collection of photos is fundamentally different to a collection of geotagged photos, especially as it is that geotagging which allows it to be a map.
Also note that that is effectively what Google has, a collection of geotagged images which it presents based upon what location you are looking at and the zoom level.

So by your own argument, Google Maps is not a map.


A getotagged photo is fundamentally different to a non-geotagged photo? Somehow it's very essence as a photo is no more? OK, don't know what to say.

Many things are commonly geotagged, photos, videos, social media posts, QR codes. You seem to be suggesting that any collection of anything which has been geotagged is somehow a map. So if someone walks around with their phone taking photos, posting on social media etc. and these are all geotagged, then these people are map-making?

So there are millions of people walking around making maps, all of the time?

Yes, Google satellite view is a map made up of stitched together images. If I use a drone to take aerial photos of my back yard and stitch them together, I've made a map. They don't have to be geotagged to do that. It's the content of the resulting image that makes it a map, not the geotagging. A stitched together set of non-geotagged drone images is a map, a set of geotagged cat images isn't in my view.

Oh really? And you are a spokesperson for REers now? How do you know what they object to? All I hear is "maps are difficult/impossible", never any explanation, never any detail. You claim they are going to object to a database of positions, based on what?
So go look for that explanation rather than just making assumptions. Do you really think they object to plotting a collection of points?
You are basically going:
"They claim map making is hard. This can be divided into 2 parts. One part is hard, the other part is easy. I will pretend they are talking about the easy part to show they are wrong."

You have that backwards. I've split the task of map making into two parts, collecting/verifying data and producing an image, I don't know which part is objectionable. I'm just breaking the task into two, solving one part and then addressing the other with a suggestion to make it achievable. You are the one claiming you know which of the two parts are objectionable to FEers, not me.

My view is that verifying and existing data source by random sampling as a group activity might be acceptable
At which point you can just use that to make a map.
Confused now, that's what I've been proposing all along.
No, you proposed using the data you have downloaded. I am proposing you use the data that has been collected, such that you don't need to rely upon any other data.

Still confused. I've proposed verifying the existing data source as a group activity, you then said "at which point you can make a map". So what am I making the map from if not the verified data which someone has at some point collected?

21
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 20, 2021, 03:30:53 AM »
(Apologies, missed this bit from previous reply)


My suggestion is to randomly sample the data
And then means do it randomly.
Not just discard the vast majority as being too far away.

I'm not sure if anyone is going to argue that you can't determine a location's latitude and longitude, surely it is beyond doubt that you can, we've been doing it for centuries.

Latitude and longitude don't have anything to say about the shape or size of the earth
The question is what they are physically are, as when you measure them you are not actually measuring what they represent in the RE model.
For the RE model, latitude and longitude are angles measured at the centre of Earth from your location to reference points/lines.
Specifically the angle between your location and the equator, in a plane perpendicular to the equator, is your latitude. The angle measured from a reference 0 degrees to to a point on the equator due north or south of you is your longitude. You then use that RE understanding which you have been told about, along with the 6371 km radius you have been told about and an appropriate scale and projection, to produce an image showing this points where they would be on such a map if Earth was round.

Again, this does NOTHNG to verify that Earth is actually round.

If instead you allow different interpretations of what latitude and longitude are, such as longitude being the angle measured at the north pole, from an arbitrary reference point to your position, and latitude being an indirect measure of distance from the north pole, you instead get a FE map. (And there are several different ways you can try to do that.)
Here is an example of one such map:


If you try to verify this, you will find the latitude and longitude of all locations are correct.

The key issue you are leaving out, which is why you can't just use a local measurement to test, is the distance between the various locations.
While latitude and longitude are correct for any projection chosen, the distance will not necessarily be.
When taken as a projection of the RE, the distance on the map, along with information about the projection, tells you what the distance should be in reality.
When taken as a FE map with a constant scale, the distance on the map, along with the scale, tells you what the distance should be in reality.
You can test if the distance is correct for each map.

The problem is that if you are just measuring distances in a small area, you can make make it correct for a RE or a FE.

Again, totally missing the point. Latitude and longitude should not be a contentious issue for a FEer because they tell you nothing about the shape of the earth. You can't work out a distance between anything based on position alone, you have to make an assumption about the shape to do that. Of course this has NOTHING to do with the shape of the earth, it's all about maps and whether or not an amateur can create one.

You could create a map of you back yard, just and no more.

Like I said producing an accurate map of, lets say just one country, starting from scratch and not using any pre-existing data would take several lifetimes. How so? That was exactly what happen when the Cassini family decided to produce the first really accurate map of France.

If you imagine,  you or any other amateur could map the world from scratch then you are in dreamland. It's an impossibility just as the notion of producing an alternative map.

What do you think are the problems with our current maps aside for the basic issue of mapping parts of a curved surface onto flat bits of paper. Though when all said and done I find all the maps I have ever used pretty dam accurate.

Firstly the Cassini map is incredibly detailed, far more than you'd need. For the purposes of discussing the shape of the earth all you really need is an accurate boundary line around each continent, there is no need to have every river, building, street mapped out. Secondly, we have made a few advances since the mid 1700s, we have automobiles, trains, aircraft, drones, GPS, phones and the internet so we don't need to travel around on horseback and on foot with lots of old-fashioned surveying equipment any more.

I don't understand this obsession with starting from scratch. My entire approach is predicated on the complete opposite of that. There are publicly available databases documenting the position of millions of features. These can be randomly sampled and checked for veracity, there is no need to throw that all away and pretend it doesn't exist. What exactly is the objection to sampling existing data to determine if it is trustworthy? All we need to know is does feature X which is supposed to be at (lat/long) position Y exist at that location. For an individual feature in a reasonably accessible location, that's not hard to do. A coordinated group, geographically spread could cooperate on such a validation exercise and given enough time could no doubt make a statistically valid, valued judgement on whether or not the data can be trusted. If the data is trusted, then you can make a map.

If everyone insists that you have to start entirely from scratch and do everything yourself, then of course the task is impossible and nobody should ever criticise the FE community for failing to produce a map or every ask them to do so.

22
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 19, 2021, 09:43:07 AM »
(part two...)

I liked your example of buying a premade cake-base and premade icing, but the problem with that analogy is that the primary use of premade cake-base is self-evidently to make a cake and indeed it's very likely that they'll print a recipe on the back to do exactly that. However, whilst GeoNames is used for a lot of things, map making is not one of them.
Likewise, Google Maps is not made for making maps. Instead it is more made for giving people directions.
So if I go to Google Maps, and take a screenshot, by your "reasoning", I have "made" a map?

So on the one hand we have GeoNames, which self-identifies as a geographical or spatial database and on the other Google Maps which self-identifies as a map. You don't need to screenshot Google Maps. It quite literally is already a map. Anyone with any sense would immediately recognise it as a map and plenty of people, myself included, use it as a map.

If you can find a single example of anyone making a map from GeoNames (other than myself) then please show me.
How about just going to their website and looking for things, like this:
https://www.geonames.org/countries/GB/united-kingdom.html

But again, the database is a map.

OK I see a map which has been annotated from the GeoNames database. I don't see a map which has been created from the database. Nice try though.

Sure you can take an existing map and annotate it with data from GeoNames, but that's very different. You can annotate a map with photos of monuments, but that doesn't suddenly make a collection of photos a map.
But you aren't putting in photos. You are putting in specific points.

Sure, I'm putting a dot at a specific point. What's the difference between doing that and putting a photo at a specific point? Photo's can and often are geotagged, so what's the difference between a collection of geotagged photos and a collection of geotagged features in a database? I mean if you had enough photos, say 11 million of them, you could just pull out the location data and create a perfectly usable map using exactly the same technique I've used. By your own argument a collection of geotagged photos is a map for computers.

Personally surveying the whole world to create a map is impossible, so I'm looking for a practical way around that stumbling block.
Again, you are missing the point and effectively refuting yourself.
The point is FEers reject that data. It doesn't matter if it is in the form of something you would call a map or not, they reject.
You are just taking that data and using it anyway.
The reason they say it is difficult, is the difficulty of obtaining that data.
You are now effectively agreeing with them and saying it is impossible.

Oh really? And you are a spokesperson for REers now? How do you know what they object to? All I hear is "maps are difficult/impossible", never any explanation, never any detail. You claim they are going to object to a database of positions, based on what?

My view is that verifying and existing data source by random sampling as a group activity might be acceptable
At which point you can just use that to make a map.
Confused now, that's what I've been proposing all along

So now who is missing the point entirely. I'm not attempting to assert anything about the shape of the earth, that's a discussion for another day.
That would be you.
A key thing mentioned by the OP is a scale. That is what ties the map to a particular shape of Earth.
With a RE, any 2D map, by necessity, must have a variable scale. That is, there are at least 2 points on the map such that the a particular distance in reality is represented by a different distance on the map. (Unless you redefine distance to factor in the method of representing locations).
But for a FE, a 2D map should be able to be produced without such distortion such that it has a constant scale everywhere.
And yet again I have to remind you that am not addressing the OP, I'm specifically responding to and challenging the later post which basically says maps are too hard for amateurs.

This is in essence what I'm trying to do here
So the essence of what you are trying to do is to completely avoid the point?

And what point would that be? The one from the OP which I've said over and over again I'm not attempting to address or the single point I am addressing concerning the difficulty of making maps?

Again, totally missing the point. Latitude and longitude should not be a contentious issue for a FEer because they tell you nothing about the shape of the earth. You can't work out a distance between anything based on position alone, you have to make an assumption about the shape to do that. Of course this has NOTHING to do with the shape of the earth, it's all about maps and whether or not an amateur can create one.
Again, that would be you missing the point. The OP asked for a map with scale. That means latitude and longitude are not enough.
A map with a scale has quite a lot to do with the shape of Earth.
It was even pointed out in the OP that the scale is something you can use to determine if it is accurate.

If you don't care about a scale you may as well just draw it in crayon, free hand and say you made a map.

Not interested in the OP, only addressing the difficulty of map making. Since I'm not in the least interested in size, shape or distance, why would I put a scale on my map? Feel free to hand draw a map in crayon and overlay it on a professional map and show me how it matches exactly.

23
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 19, 2021, 09:42:25 AM »
No idea what's going on, but I can't seem to post a complete reply in one go, so I'll respond in two parts, sorry...

The point I'm trying to make about verification (which you are consistently missing)
No, I'm not missing that.
If I was, why would I have pointed out your local verification is useless for determining if Earth is round or flat, and thus making an accurate map of Earth?

And when you do start verifying things, you obtain the data yourself which you can use to make a map.
So either you don't need that database as you can obtain the data yourself, or you are trusting a set of data.

And remember, no one is asking for a map showing everything. So you can't make the argument that you need all that data.

You absolutely don't need to make any assumptions about the shape of the earth to make a map. It's only when you start claiming that what you've produced is reality that shape comes into it. I've made several maps based on different projection styles, they can't all represent reality can they. I can map the GeoNames data around a 1" cube if I want to. That doesn't mean I'm claiming the earth is a 1" cube.

My single verification of say 100 features local to me may not be very significant, but if 100,000 randomly located people do the same then we have 10 million verified features which would more than satisfy me. Again, it's a process. An individual, small scale verification exercise is not pointless, it's a building block to something valuable. That's the point you are consistently missing here.

The difference between verifying the existing data and ignoring it and starting from scratch is convenience and scale. If you decided you needed at least a million locations for a viable map, then if you are starting from scratch, you need to go out and collect a million results. If you are verifying a million items of data which has already been collected, then you don't need (in my opinion) anywhere near a million verifications to be able to trust that data.

You could certainly filter the GeoNames features to look at ones near the coast, so for example specifically look for features tagged as "coast". I haven't tried that, might work and would certainly reduce the number of features significantly.

Well I beg to differ and so would any reasonable person. If you showed them an actual map, you know full well they would call it a map and if you showed them a printout full of numbers, they would not.
You mean if I show them a map made for a person, they would recognise it as a map, but if I give them a map for a computer, they wouldn't.
The same would happen with a computer, if you provided them a map made for a computer, they recognise it as a map, and can use the data for all sorts of things. But give them an image, and they have no idea what it is.

But on that line, what is this:
89504e470d0a1a0a2020200d49484452202002082020022601032020200c94e066202020017352474220aece1ce92020200467414d412020b18f0bfc610520202006504c5445ffffffb9d0c31c1840f4202031514944415478daedbd797c53c516387e667293d

(Its only the start, but is it enough for you?)


Well I'm guessing it's a conversion of a part of a binary image to text. Now I'm assuming if you gave me the whole file in its original binary format I'd be able to open it in any one of dozens if not hundreds of off the shelf image editors and without any further work, would immediately see what it was.

Now let me turn this on its head and say if I gave you or you downloaded the GeoNames database. Could you find me a single piece of software, anywhere which would turn that into a map?


24
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 19, 2021, 02:47:05 AM »
(Apologies, missed this bit from previous reply)


My suggestion is to randomly sample the data
And then means do it randomly.
Not just discard the vast majority as being too far away.

I'm not sure if anyone is going to argue that you can't determine a location's latitude and longitude, surely it is beyond doubt that you can, we've been doing it for centuries.

Latitude and longitude don't have anything to say about the shape or size of the earth
The question is what they are physically are, as when you measure them you are not actually measuring what they represent in the RE model.
For the RE model, latitude and longitude are angles measured at the centre of Earth from your location to reference points/lines.
Specifically the angle between your location and the equator, in a plane perpendicular to the equator, is your latitude. The angle measured from a reference 0 degrees to to a point on the equator due north or south of you is your longitude. You then use that RE understanding which you have been told about, along with the 6371 km radius you have been told about and an appropriate scale and projection, to produce an image showing this points where they would be on such a map if Earth was round.

Again, this does NOTHNG to verify that Earth is actually round.

If instead you allow different interpretations of what latitude and longitude are, such as longitude being the angle measured at the north pole, from an arbitrary reference point to your position, and latitude being an indirect measure of distance from the north pole, you instead get a FE map. (And there are several different ways you can try to do that.)
Here is an example of one such map:


If you try to verify this, you will find the latitude and longitude of all locations are correct.

The key issue you are leaving out, which is why you can't just use a local measurement to test, is the distance between the various locations.
While latitude and longitude are correct for any projection chosen, the distance will not necessarily be.
When taken as a projection of the RE, the distance on the map, along with information about the projection, tells you what the distance should be in reality.
When taken as a FE map with a constant scale, the distance on the map, along with the scale, tells you what the distance should be in reality.
You can test if the distance is correct for each map.

The problem is that if you are just measuring distances in a small area, you can make make it correct for a RE or a FE.

Again, totally missing the point. Latitude and longitude should not be a contentious issue for a FEer because they tell you nothing about the shape of the earth. You can't work out a distance between anything based on position alone, you have to make an assumption about the shape to do that. Of course this has NOTHING to do with the shape of the earth, it's all about maps and whether or not an amateur can create one.

25
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 19, 2021, 02:45:19 AM »
I've tried to explain this a number of times now and I've clearly failed, so forgive a long answer to try and finally make it clear.
Likely because you are still completely missing the point.
Certainly one of us is.


FEers often claim that REers are indoctrinated, they simply believe what they've been told and haven't actually investigated for themselves. I have some sympathy with that view.
Yet you still just believe what you have been told about the database, and only bother verifying it locally.
Again, that is no better than just taking a map.
The point I'm trying to make about verification (which you are consistently missing) is that if I get presented with some claim or other (e.g. this database is accurate), then I should rightly start from a sceptical position and reject the claim from a lack of evidence. If I can then prove that all 11 million features are correctly located, then I must then accept the claim. But this is not a binary position, there is a process here. As you start to verify more and more locations, the evidence gradually stacks up and at some point the weight of evidence justifies a change of position. Let's say we might agree (or not) that if we randomly verify 1000 locations, we'll then agree that the database is most likely accurate. So we start by me verifying 100 locations local to me, because that's convenient. Obviously I don't mean 100 locations 1mm apart. Now you go and verify 100 local to you, then we find someone else and so on and so on.

Sure, if I'm away on my travels somewhere, I can add some more.

The point is, I think this is a more efficient way to at least make some progress towards an acceptable set of data from which we can build a map. If you insist (as you seem to be doing) that a map can only be trusted if the one who makes it has personally surveyed the entire earth, then you've just constructed a strawman because that's clearly an impossible undertaking and indeed would rule out all existing maps.


Firstly, when you do this, you typically start with someone else's base map and then add other features to get to what you want. That of course begs the question, where did the base map come from in the first place?
And using a database is the exact same thing.
Again, a database is a map in a format useful for computers.
So you have the exact same issue, where did this data (map) come from in the first place?

Well I beg to differ and so would any reasonable person. If you showed them an actual map, you know full well they would call it a map and if you showed them a printout full of numbers, they would not.

I liked your example of buying a premade cake-base and premade icing, but the problem with that analogy is that the primary use of premade cake-base is self-evidently to make a cake and indeed it's very likely that they'll print a recipe on the back to do exactly that. However, whilst GeoNames is used for a lot of things, map making is not one of them. If you can find a single example of anyone making a map from GeoNames (other than myself) then please show me. As far as I'm aware, there is no GeoNames recipe for making a map (excluding mine). Sure you can take an existing map and annotate it with data from GeoNames, but that's very different. You can annotate a map with photos of monuments, but that doesn't suddenly make a collection of photos a map.

What I've done is used a bit of lateral thinking to use GeoNames for something it was never intended for.


Realistically, nobody in their right minds is going to make a map from scratch when you can start with one ready to go, but of course that's exactly what I want to do.
Then make it from scratch. Don't use an existing dataset.

Now you can split this process into two halves, collecting the location data (a form of survey) and drawing the map (cartography).
It turns out that the first part has already been done
It turns out both parts have been done, so lets just call it a day and not bother with either.
Especially as FEers are more likely to object to the first part
Personally surveying the whole world to create a map is impossible, so I'm looking for a practical way around that stumbling block. My view is that verifying and existing data source by random sampling as a group activity might be acceptable and I'm just trying to explore that idea.

I suspect that FEers may well object to both parts, but at least I hope I've removed part of that objection.
 
The database I'm using is certainly consistent and useful, because I've been able to generate several maps from the same data in different projections and they match up very well with equivalent professionally produced maps and indeed you can project the same data onto a sphere and it will look like any other globe.
To be honest, that alone is enough to convince me the database is accurate. If it were nonsense, then you wouldn't get a sensible map out of it.
So the fact that it produces maps consistent with the RE is enough to convince you that it is accurate, when the very thing being questioned is if Earth is round?
To those rejecting that Earth is round, that is no where near good enough.
You are still just accepting what you are told.
Sure, I'm speaking personally here, seeing the data produce a very familiar map, using software that I wrote, gave me confidence that the data are correct and my program is also correct. I'm not for one moment suggesting that anyone else should take that at face value.
I'm no longer relying on something I've read about or been told about. That I believe is an important point when trying to debate with someone who is sceptical. The charge of indoctrination is no longer applicable.
You are still just accepting/relying upon something you have read about or been told about. Specifically that dataset you used to make your images.
So no, the charge of indoctrination is still just as applicable.
You haven't done ANYTHING to support that Earth is actually round.
So now who is missing the point entirely. I'm not attempting to assert anything about the shape of the earth, that's a discussion for another day.

At least some FEers believe the North Polar Azimuthal Equidistant map is reality and reject the idea that it is simply a projection. You might well believe, based on what you've been told, that you can produce one of these maps by projecting from the globe, but I strongly suspect you have never proved it. I on the other hand have, because I've generated a globe and an AE map from the same data, so I know for certain that one can be transformed into the other. For me, this is no longer an opinion or a belief, it is a matter of fact.

This is in essence what I'm trying to do here, I'm demonstrating how some of these things can be checked.

26
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 19, 2021, 02:31:53 AM »
I've looked at various definitions of "map" and "database". To me, there a clear difference between the two. Here's just one definition of map I found:
So you looked at various definitions and picked one.
And now want to act like that 1 definition is the only definition and anything that doesn't match that isn't a map?

Well I guess that means there can't possibly be any map of the sky, as that doesn't show land or sea.

Here is another, also from Google, just below yours:
"a diagram or collection of data showing the spatial arrangement or distribution of something over an area."

Notice that this definition allows a "collection of data".
That sure sounds like a database.

Again, maps have a particular purpose.
Humans are quite good at using it visually, where they have a picture and take the data from that.
Computers are much better dealing with that same information provided as a table or a set of related tables.

So when the main things trying to extract information from a map were people, maps were pictorial. But as more is being done by computers, it is becoming far more common to have that map as a database.

For starters, I said "Most of the definitions agree that a map is some kind of visual, diagrammatic representation". I did not claim that all definitions agree.

This is a pretty pointless item for discussion, I have my definitions and reasons for using them, you have your definitions. However, before leaving this alone, let me suggest an experiment for you. Print the following two out and show them to a random group of people on the street and ask them to describe what they see:

A)



B)

2633400   Yaxley   Yaxley   Yaxley   52.3228   1.11065   P   PPL   GB      ENG   N5   42UE      0      47   Europe/London   2010-05-24
2633401   Yaxham   Yaxham      52.65567   0.96598   P   PPL   GB      ENG   I9   33UB      394      51   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633402   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   51.48612   -2.19337   P   PPL   GB      ENG   P8   00HY258      825      128   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633403   Yatton   Yatton      51.96667   -2.53333   P   PPLA3   GB      ENG   F7   00GA237      0      134   Europe/London   2014-08-02

If more than half describe A as a database and more than half describe B as a map, then I'll happily concede and we can move on.

Cartography/mapmaking to me is the process of turning raw data
You do not have the raw data.
You do not have a list of observations. Instead you have latitude and longitude and that has already been paired up with other information.

I've no idea why my azimuthal equidistant or equirectangular map would be an FE map.
Then you still fail to comprehend an extremely simple idea.
You take that projection and treat it as a FE map.
It isn't actually a FE map. It is a projection of the RE, but you are treating it as one, as if someone had a nice database claiming to be a FE map of the world, and provided it to you.

If someone can specify some algorithm to project the data onto a flat surface which is accurate then that could be turned into an FE map
Then follow the simple instructions.
Do what I said, and treat that as a FE map, and then confirm that it is accurate locally.
The point is your local verification is useless as it cannot distinguish between a RE and a FE.

You can use any projection which doesn't distort your local area significantly. Then set the scale to be correct for your area.
Then go and validate in your area.
You will find it works just fine.

Does that make it a FE map of the globe? No, because your local verification is useless.

I honestly don't know where you are going with this. Let me propose a small thought experiment.

I have a teleporter. I can set a latitude and longitude and press a button and it takes me there.

I look up in a spatial database some random locations, let's say a couple of places close to the north pole, a few in Antarctica, the Americas, Europe, Asia. I carefully plot these on a number of maps with different projections, including North and South Polar Azimuthal Equidistant, a Mercator and an Equirectangular and finally a globe. Just for good measure, I write down the actual numbers on these as well, next to where they are positioned.

I take these items, plus sextant, compass, chronometer and GPS and step into my teleporter.

At each location, I verify where I am with the sextant etc. and then look at each map to see if everything is correct.

The maps and globe will all say I'm where I think I am (assuming the spatial database is accurate) so now a look around me for a visual check and yes, looks right. What am I proving here, other than the spatial database is accurate. What is the point of bringing along the maps?

All that you say is well…. Stuff you say.

The issue is around the production of a FE map from FE acquired data.
Whilst that is the topic under discussion, I'm not directly addressing that, I'm addressing the general and oft repeated claim (including in this thread) that map making is hard and beyond the scope of an amateur.

The reason I'm doing this is that I believe that is a convenient excuse which allows anyone to say "too hard" and walk away without ever trying.
Assuming you were able to survey the planet what do you imagine you would produce?
A database of locations expressed in terms of latitude and longitude.

Do you think during your surveys mountains continents and oceans would rearrange themselves or do you think the would stay put?
Stay put

If you produced an accurate map of the planet the result would be identical to current maps. So my question to you is why bother. What are you hoping to achieve.
To demonstrate that it is possible for an amateur to make a map and remove the excuse that map making is too hard.

The continental  USA is a well known piece of real estate surveyed to within an inch of its life. Do you imagine  a FE survey would yield a different shape with more land mass, or perhaps an undiscovered infinite USA?
I don't know what an FE survey is. How does it differ from any other survey?

As I said what are you hoping to achieve?

I've tried to explain this a number of times now and I've clearly failed, so forgive a long answer to try and finally make it clear.

FEers often claim that REers are indoctrinated, they simply believe what they've been told and haven't actually investigated for themselves. I have some sympathy with that view.

So when someone asks a FEer to make a map, I think to myself OK, how do you make a map? More specifically, how would I make a map?

The obvious place to start would be to use some GIS software, but there are two problems with this approach. Firstly, when you do this, you typically start with someone else's base map and then add other features to get to what you want. That of course begs the question, where did the base map come from in the first place? Second problem is that GIS software is complex, so you end up having to take for granted what it does, which is unsatisfactory.

Realistically, nobody in their right minds is going to make a map from scratch when you can start with one ready to go, but of course that's exactly what I want to do.

I'm looking for a simple approach and I want to produce a map of the world. It occurred to me that in principle it isn't that difficult to produce something usable. The concept is simple. Go somewhere on land and then by some means, determine your latitude and longitude. If you have a piece of paper marked out with latitude and longitude, then just make a mark on the paper in the right place. Now just keep repeating this process, but use a different coloured pen for each country you visit. Just keep going and the map will fill itself in and you'll end up with a perfectly adequate world map.

Now you can split this process into two halves, collecting the location data (a form of survey) and drawing the map (cartography).

It turns out that the first part has already been done and there is a large database of features with locations at GeoNames.org which you can download (more on this later).

For the second part, writing a computer program from scratch to do the cartography is not that difficult and avoids the obvious difficulty of having to trust a complex GIS package. You trust your own work, right?

So I've now shifted the problem and demonstrated that if you have a trustworthy source of location data, you can create a viable map. So the problem now is no longer map making, but how we can learn to trust a database from somewhere else?

The database I'm using is certainly consistent and useful, because I've been able to generate several maps from the same data in different projections and they match up very well with equivalent professionally produced maps and indeed you can project the same data onto a sphere and it will look like any other globe.

To be honest, that alone is enough to convince me the database is accurate. If it were nonsense, then you wouldn't get a sensible map out of it.

I've demonstrated to myself that equirectangular, north polar azimuthal equidistant, south polar azimuthal equidistant and a 3D globe can all be produced from exactly the same set of data. I already believed this to be the case, now I know it for certain, I'm no longer relying on something I've read about or been told about. That I believe is an important point when trying to debate with someone who is sceptical. The charge of indoctrination is no longer applicable.

How then can I go beyond a simple belief in the data to conviction supported by fact?

My suggestion is to randomly sample the data, pick some data points, go there and check. If enough randomly selected points are verified in this way, then the evidence is there that the data are trustworthy. A well organised and geographically spread group could make real progress here.

I'm not sure if anyone is going to argue that you can't determine a location's latitude and longitude, surely it is beyond doubt that you can, we've been doing it for centuries.

Latitude and longitude don't have anything to say about the shape or size of the earth, they are just measurable attributes of your current location, so they shouldn't really be contentious. It's only when you start putting them on a map that that changes, because you have to choose a specific layout and projection.

All it would take is for some FEer to invent a new projection that gives us all a map to look at and critically examine.

You say map making is not hard!

Explain how, without reliance on existing data,  how you as an individual would map Antarctica?

You should go back in time and tell that to the Cassini family who took generations to produce the first real accurate maps of France.

Well I've explained how I make maps and it does rely on existing data, so I'm not accepting your constraint, sorry.

The question is then how do I know I can trust the data I use?

My suggestion is that a group of people from different locations could randomly check some of the values in the database. A bit like sampling a product on a production line, if enough samples are taken and everything looks good, then we can assume everything is running smoothly and production can continue. If enough sample locations in the database are checked and everything looks good then we trust the database.

It's a much, much smaller task than attempting to re-survey the entire world and with enough volunteers, might be practical. Then if the data is determined to be trustworthy, I've shown that you can use it to produce maps.

As for Antarctica, I think that would be a step to far. As you can see from my map, even the very comprehensive database I'm using is pretty sparse in that region. But I think there's enough of the world left for this to be a useful exercise. A step in the right direction I would hope.

27
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 16, 2021, 03:24:26 PM »
I've looked at various definitions of "map" and "database". To me, there a clear difference between the two. Here's just one definition of map I found:
So you looked at various definitions and picked one.
And now want to act like that 1 definition is the only definition and anything that doesn't match that isn't a map?

Well I guess that means there can't possibly be any map of the sky, as that doesn't show land or sea.

Here is another, also from Google, just below yours:
"a diagram or collection of data showing the spatial arrangement or distribution of something over an area."

Notice that this definition allows a "collection of data".
That sure sounds like a database.

Again, maps have a particular purpose.
Humans are quite good at using it visually, where they have a picture and take the data from that.
Computers are much better dealing with that same information provided as a table or a set of related tables.

So when the main things trying to extract information from a map were people, maps were pictorial. But as more is being done by computers, it is becoming far more common to have that map as a database.

For starters, I said "Most of the definitions agree that a map is some kind of visual, diagrammatic representation". I did not claim that all definitions agree.

This is a pretty pointless item for discussion, I have my definitions and reasons for using them, you have your definitions. However, before leaving this alone, let me suggest an experiment for you. Print the following two out and show them to a random group of people on the street and ask them to describe what they see:

A)



B)

2633400   Yaxley   Yaxley   Yaxley   52.3228   1.11065   P   PPL   GB      ENG   N5   42UE      0      47   Europe/London   2010-05-24
2633401   Yaxham   Yaxham      52.65567   0.96598   P   PPL   GB      ENG   I9   33UB      394      51   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633402   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   51.48612   -2.19337   P   PPL   GB      ENG   P8   00HY258      825      128   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633403   Yatton   Yatton      51.96667   -2.53333   P   PPLA3   GB      ENG   F7   00GA237      0      134   Europe/London   2014-08-02

If more than half describe A as a database and more than half describe B as a map, then I'll happily concede and we can move on.

Cartography/mapmaking to me is the process of turning raw data
You do not have the raw data.
You do not have a list of observations. Instead you have latitude and longitude and that has already been paired up with other information.

I've no idea why my azimuthal equidistant or equirectangular map would be an FE map.
Then you still fail to comprehend an extremely simple idea.
You take that projection and treat it as a FE map.
It isn't actually a FE map. It is a projection of the RE, but you are treating it as one, as if someone had a nice database claiming to be a FE map of the world, and provided it to you.

If someone can specify some algorithm to project the data onto a flat surface which is accurate then that could be turned into an FE map
Then follow the simple instructions.
Do what I said, and treat that as a FE map, and then confirm that it is accurate locally.
The point is your local verification is useless as it cannot distinguish between a RE and a FE.

You can use any projection which doesn't distort your local area significantly. Then set the scale to be correct for your area.
Then go and validate in your area.
You will find it works just fine.

Does that make it a FE map of the globe? No, because your local verification is useless.

I honestly don't know where you are going with this. Let me propose a small thought experiment.

I have a teleporter. I can set a latitude and longitude and press a button and it takes me there.

I look up in a spatial database some random locations, let's say a couple of places close to the north pole, a few in Antarctica, the Americas, Europe, Asia. I carefully plot these on a number of maps with different projections, including North and South Polar Azimuthal Equidistant, a Mercator and an Equirectangular and finally a globe. Just for good measure, I write down the actual numbers on these as well, next to where they are positioned.

I take these items, plus sextant, compass, chronometer and GPS and step into my teleporter.

At each location, I verify where I am with the sextant etc. and then look at each map to see if everything is correct.

The maps and globe will all say I'm where I think I am (assuming the spatial database is accurate) so now a look around me for a visual check and yes, looks right. What am I proving here, other than the spatial database is accurate. What is the point of bringing along the maps?

All that you say is well…. Stuff you say.

The issue is around the production of a FE map from FE acquired data.
Whilst that is the topic under discussion, I'm not directly addressing that, I'm addressing the general and oft repeated claim (including in this thread) that map making is hard and beyond the scope of an amateur.

The reason I'm doing this is that I believe that is a convenient excuse which allows anyone to say "too hard" and walk away without ever trying.
Assuming you were able to survey the planet what do you imagine you would produce?
A database of locations expressed in terms of latitude and longitude.

Do you think during your surveys mountains continents and oceans would rearrange themselves or do you think the would stay put?
Stay put

If you produced an accurate map of the planet the result would be identical to current maps. So my question to you is why bother. What are you hoping to achieve.
To demonstrate that it is possible for an amateur to make a map and remove the excuse that map making is too hard.

The continental  USA is a well known piece of real estate surveyed to within an inch of its life. Do you imagine  a FE survey would yield a different shape with more land mass, or perhaps an undiscovered infinite USA?
I don't know what an FE survey is. How does it differ from any other survey?

As I said what are you hoping to achieve?

I've tried to explain this a number of times now and I've clearly failed, so forgive a long answer to try and finally make it clear.

FEers often claim that REers are indoctrinated, they simply believe what they've been told and haven't actually investigated for themselves. I have some sympathy with that view.

So when someone asks a FEer to make a map, I think to myself OK, how do you make a map? More specifically, how would I make a map?

The obvious place to start would be to use some GIS software, but there are two problems with this approach. Firstly, when you do this, you typically start with someone else's base map and then add other features to get to what you want. That of course begs the question, where did the base map come from in the first place? Second problem is that GIS software is complex, so you end up having to take for granted what it does, which is unsatisfactory.

Realistically, nobody in their right minds is going to make a map from scratch when you can start with one ready to go, but of course that's exactly what I want to do.

I'm looking for a simple approach and I want to produce a map of the world. It occurred to me that in principle it isn't that difficult to produce something usable. The concept is simple. Go somewhere on land and then by some means, determine your latitude and longitude. If you have a piece of paper marked out with latitude and longitude, then just make a mark on the paper in the right place. Now just keep repeating this process, but use a different coloured pen for each country you visit. Just keep going and the map will fill itself in and you'll end up with a perfectly adequate world map.

Now you can split this process into two halves, collecting the location data (a form of survey) and drawing the map (cartography).

It turns out that the first part has already been done and there is a large database of features with locations at GeoNames.org which you can download (more on this later).

For the second part, writing a computer program from scratch to do the cartography is not that difficult and avoids the obvious difficulty of having to trust a complex GIS package. You trust your own work, right?

So I've now shifted the problem and demonstrated that if you have a trustworthy source of location data, you can create a viable map. So the problem now is no longer map making, but how we can learn to trust a database from somewhere else?

The database I'm using is certainly consistent and useful, because I've been able to generate several maps from the same data in different projections and they match up very well with equivalent professionally produced maps and indeed you can project the same data onto a sphere and it will look like any other globe.

To be honest, that alone is enough to convince me the database is accurate. If it were nonsense, then you wouldn't get a sensible map out of it.

I've demonstrated to myself that equirectangular, north polar azimuthal equidistant, south polar azimuthal equidistant and a 3D globe can all be produced from exactly the same set of data. I already believed this to be the case, now I know it for certain, I'm no longer relying on something I've read about or been told about. That I believe is an important point when trying to debate with someone who is sceptical. The charge of indoctrination is no longer applicable.

How then can I go beyond a simple belief in the data to conviction supported by fact?

My suggestion is to randomly sample the data, pick some data points, go there and check. If enough randomly selected points are verified in this way, then the evidence is there that the data are trustworthy. A well organised and geographically spread group could make real progress here.

I'm not sure if anyone is going to argue that you can't determine a location's latitude and longitude, surely it is beyond doubt that you can, we've been doing it for centuries.

Latitude and longitude don't have anything to say about the shape or size of the earth, they are just measurable attributes of your current location, so they shouldn't really be contentious. It's only when you start putting them on a map that that changes, because you have to choose a specific layout and projection.

All it would take is for some FEer to invent a new projection that gives us all a map to look at and critically examine.

28
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 11, 2021, 03:10:16 AM »
I've looked at various definitions of "map" and "database". To me, there a clear difference between the two. Here's just one definition of map I found:
So you looked at various definitions and picked one.
And now want to act like that 1 definition is the only definition and anything that doesn't match that isn't a map?

Well I guess that means there can't possibly be any map of the sky, as that doesn't show land or sea.

Here is another, also from Google, just below yours:
"a diagram or collection of data showing the spatial arrangement or distribution of something over an area."

Notice that this definition allows a "collection of data".
That sure sounds like a database.

Again, maps have a particular purpose.
Humans are quite good at using it visually, where they have a picture and take the data from that.
Computers are much better dealing with that same information provided as a table or a set of related tables.

So when the main things trying to extract information from a map were people, maps were pictorial. But as more is being done by computers, it is becoming far more common to have that map as a database.

For starters, I said "Most of the definitions agree that a map is some kind of visual, diagrammatic representation". I did not claim that all definitions agree.

This is a pretty pointless item for discussion, I have my definitions and reasons for using them, you have your definitions. However, before leaving this alone, let me suggest an experiment for you. Print the following two out and show them to a random group of people on the street and ask them to describe what they see:

A)



B)

2633400   Yaxley   Yaxley   Yaxley   52.3228   1.11065   P   PPL   GB      ENG   N5   42UE      0      47   Europe/London   2010-05-24
2633401   Yaxham   Yaxham      52.65567   0.96598   P   PPL   GB      ENG   I9   33UB      394      51   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633402   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   Yatton Keynell   51.48612   -2.19337   P   PPL   GB      ENG   P8   00HY258      825      128   Europe/London   2017-06-12
2633403   Yatton   Yatton      51.96667   -2.53333   P   PPLA3   GB      ENG   F7   00GA237      0      134   Europe/London   2014-08-02

If more than half describe A as a database and more than half describe B as a map, then I'll happily concede and we can move on.

Cartography/mapmaking to me is the process of turning raw data
You do not have the raw data.
You do not have a list of observations. Instead you have latitude and longitude and that has already been paired up with other information.

I've no idea why my azimuthal equidistant or equirectangular map would be an FE map.
Then you still fail to comprehend an extremely simple idea.
You take that projection and treat it as a FE map.
It isn't actually a FE map. It is a projection of the RE, but you are treating it as one, as if someone had a nice database claiming to be a FE map of the world, and provided it to you.

If someone can specify some algorithm to project the data onto a flat surface which is accurate then that could be turned into an FE map
Then follow the simple instructions.
Do what I said, and treat that as a FE map, and then confirm that it is accurate locally.
The point is your local verification is useless as it cannot distinguish between a RE and a FE.

You can use any projection which doesn't distort your local area significantly. Then set the scale to be correct for your area.
Then go and validate in your area.
You will find it works just fine.

Does that make it a FE map of the globe? No, because your local verification is useless.

I honestly don't know where you are going with this. Let me propose a small thought experiment.

I have a teleporter. I can set a latitude and longitude and press a button and it takes me there.

I look up in a spatial database some random locations, let's say a couple of places close to the north pole, a few in Antarctica, the Americas, Europe, Asia. I carefully plot these on a number of maps with different projections, including North and South Polar Azimuthal Equidistant, a Mercator and an Equirectangular and finally a globe. Just for good measure, I write down the actual numbers on these as well, next to where they are positioned.

I take these items, plus sextant, compass, chronometer and GPS and step into my teleporter.

At each location, I verify where I am with the sextant etc. and then look at each map to see if everything is correct.

The maps and globe will all say I'm where I think I am (assuming the spatial database is accurate) so now a look around me for a visual check and yes, looks right. What am I proving here, other than the spatial database is accurate. What is the point of bringing along the maps?

29
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 10, 2021, 08:47:08 AM »
Does this map of yours exist though, because if it doesn't you'll need to create it.
That's right, you will need someone to collect all that information.
Now they could write it directly on a normal map, making it useful for people. Or they could make the entire map in a form more useful for computers.
The point is a spatial database is effectively a map for a computer.

You are using a map for a computer and using it to make a map for a person.


I've looked at various definitions of "map" and "database". To me, there a clear difference between the two. Here's just one definition of map I found:

    "A diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features"

Most of the definitions agree that a map is some kind of visual, diagrammatic representation.

Databases are just tables with columns of data, text, numbers etc. they are not diagrams.

In my view, a database is not a map. Flour is not a cake. You might be able to make one from the other, but that doesn't make them the same thing.

I'm not going to convince you, that's clear. We'll just have to agree to differ. To me, a spatial database (aka geographical database) is a database which contains positional information. How that information is determined, I'm not particularly interested in, but presumably someone surveyed something and recorded a location.

Cartography/mapmaking to me is the process of turning raw data into a visual diagram, so that's deciding on layout, colours, labelling, content and projection.

In my opinion, the process of gathering the raw data is the job of a surveyor, not a cartographer.

You don't have to agree with this, as long as you understand that's my position and how I understand and interpret the terminologies.

The reason I got involved in this thread in the first place is that here and elsewhere I've seen map making dismissed as something too hard for an amateur. By my definition of map maker, that isn't the case and I believe I've demonstrated this as asked to do. If you want to include surveying as well, then I don't agree that is hard in the sense of requiring advanced mathematics or anything like that, but it is certainly time consuming and would require a lot of travel. As a collaborative group activity, it becomes more practical.

Why on earth do I need to create a map for this and why an azimuthal equidistant projection.
Technically you could use any projection you wanted.
But the point you seem to be ignoring, is that if you did take all those steps, you would have a FE map, that is a map claiming to be of a flat Earth.
This would work in your local area, so by your own standard you should take it serious and regard it worthy of proper study.


I've no idea why my azimuthal equidistant or equirectangular map would be an FE map. It would look identical in shape and layout to anyone else's azimuthal equidistant or equirectangular map and none of those are FE maps in my book.

I can project my data on a 3D sphere and I'm happy to call that a good representation of reality. It would look like any other reasonably accurate globe.

If someone can specify some algorithm to project the data onto a flat surface which is accurate then that could be turned into an FE map, but a) I'm not aware of any such projection, b) I'd be very impressed, it'd be the 3D equivalent of squaring the circle.

You are asking me to check what I'm already convinced of - i.e. that this database I'm using is accurate. That's a waste of my time and won't convince anyone else.
No, I'm not.
I'm asking you to use the database to generate a FE map, then pretend it didn't come from that database, but was just presented as a FE map, and then take the same kind of steps to "verify" it, and see that it works just fine for your local area. Showing that your idea of local validation is worthless.

It would only be a waste of your time if you already know that local validation is worthless when discussing if Earth is round or flat.

30
Flat Earth Debate / Re: FE map with scale
« on: July 10, 2021, 04:24:57 AM »
If you say so. I have no idea how a map is supposed to answer "how many towns with a population of over 1000 don't have a bus station", particularly a printed one.
You would have a map, labelled with bus stations, and populations. You then proceed to count them one by one.
Or you can have a list of the same data.
That is how you would do it without a computer.

But for a computer, having it as an image is not useful for data processing, so they take all the information that would be found on a map, and instead convert it into a form more usable for computers, which also allows them to have a lot more information.

That spatial database is a map for computers.
Does this map of yours exist though, because if it doesn't you'll need to create it. Now I know how I would do this, I'd take a base map and annotate it with data from a spatial database, so let's say the spatial database says there is a town called Mytown, with a population 2,000 and a bus station. I can transfer this information to the map. Then I can read the map to see what the population is and whether it has a bus station. The map is irrelevant because all the information originally came from the spatial database, not the map. So how do you create your map without a spatial database to get the information from? And the queries you need an answer to are completely arbitrary, so are you going to create a new map for each query? Again how?

You seem to be going out of your way to insist a database is a map. The publishers of these databases call them databases, they don't say they are maps. By your reasoning, any database, no matter what its purpose, if it contains positional information, it's a map. So a database of orders for CDs say is a map if it contains shipping addresses.

If anyone has any doubts, just start checking, but be reasonable. If 1 million features are all exactly where they are supposed to be, are you satisfied or not? How about 1/2 million? How about 10,000? At what point to do cross the boundary and accept the values are trustworthy?
There you go ignoring what has said.
The simple number is not enough. It is where that number is.

If I showed you 1 million features are where they are supposed to be, but all of them are within 1 mm of each other, would that satisfy you?
No. My definition of local would be within a 100 miles of where I live. So that would be a bunch of locations reasonably spread over that area, a few hundred say. I'm not saying that would be enough to convince me, but I'd certainly take a result like that seriously.
The point remains the same, and you continue to overlook it.
The number of points tested does not matter.
What matters is the spread.

Your 100 miles is quite small compared to Earth. (the following is provided using unrounded values from excel, so given to far too much precision, but done this way to show the difference)
As an example, if you have a 80 km radius circle, for a FE, the perimeter of that circle would be 502.6548246 km.
For a RE, where that radius follows the surface, you would end up with the radius of the flat circle being 79.99789767 km, and thus the perimeter being 502.6416153 km.
That is a difference of 13.2093043 m, or ~ 0.0026%.

Do you really think you can measure that accurately and the terrain variations on Earth wouldn't cause that much of an error?

100 miles is tiny.
You may as well just measure that 1 mm diameter circle.

If someone produced an FE map, based on some data they also supplied, where I could check for myself, then yes, if I tested a few hundred locations nearby and they were all tolerably accurate, I'd very much take it seriously and regard it worthy of proper study. I'd certainly applaud the effort and openness. Probably not enough by itself to convince me. but a very good start.
Then here is a nice simple challenge for you:
Take that dataset of yours, generate an azimuthal equidistant projection centred on you.
Then treat that as a FE map of constant scale, with the scale set so a location right near you is accurate.
Now go and check those locations within that 100 mile area, and see if you can find any discrepancies.

Why on earth do I need to create a map for this and why an azimuthal equidistant projection. All the data is in the database, so why am I looking up the location of (say) Buckingham palace and then transferring that to a map at all when all I need do is go there and check it is where the database says it is.

I'll skip the challenge if you don't mind. You are asking me to check what I'm already convinced of - i.e. that this database I'm using is accurate. That's a waste of my time and won't convince anyone else.

Well I think that is always the problem isn't it. Rather than try and think of some way to approach a problem, FE so often just says "too hard" and walks away. I see many ideas for experiments which are sketchy at best and clearly the proposer has no intention of actually performing the experiment.
Yes, so the issue is trying to give them simple enough experiments to perform which will be able to distinguish between a FE and a RE.

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