Recent things indoors and outdoors

Random updates as an excuse to publish a new post here. Some stuff from work, a pretty map, and outdoor trips I need to write about!

New sections for photos and books

I added two new sections to this site, one for photos and the other for books. And some couscous for good measure. Have a look!

A new approach to data and mapping

Data is a key enabler in boosting (among other things) increased access to modern energy sources. We took a (slightly) more human-centric approach to residential data and mapping in Tanzania.

Fun with recursion and scoping

Creating a smart, tree-aware algorithm for optimising electrical networks led to an interesting exploration of recursion and variable scoping.

A new open source electrification model: openelec

In my work in electricity access and related issues, an issue that often comes up, and often frustrates me, is the lack of good open source tools. So building on some previous efforts, I’ve started to work on this issue by creating openelec.

Using NASA night time lights to guess where the grid is

A lot of the work I do relates to finding the cost-optimal of bringing electricity to more people and businesses. Implicit in this is the assumption that we know where the people are who already have electricity access. Often we don’t.

Places to go in Barcelona

A basic web map featuring cool places and things discovered in the last few months in Barcelona.

Leaflet maps with data from Google Sheets

I love working with Python, but as soon as you want to put something online, JavaScript’s ability to process in the browser is a clear winner. In this post I’m going to go through making a web map in JavaScript that pulls data from Google Sheet...

Modelling the optimum way to achieve universal electrification

Building on the algorithms I developed for mini-grids, I decided to move up a level of abstraction and look at the country- rather than village-level. What follows is the outline of a model that use population and other input data, and techno-e...

A semi-scientific look at acclimatization

I’ve climbed about seven mountains above 4,000 metres. After my latest trip to Kyrgyzstan, where I took a very careful approach to acclimatization, I decided to have a look at my previous trips to see if anything of statistical value could be d...

A hackathon with iRise in Mogadishu

Together with a colleague at the World Bank, I ran a small project aimed at supporting the Mogadishu tech community. We worked with Awil Osman at iRise Hub to put together MogadishuWatt, focused on using technology to solve energy issues in Som...

A workflow for Python mapping with automatic updating

A friend needed a map of the US displayed with points at specific locations with attached information, and overviews for certain states with summaries. And for this to be done (and updated) as easily as possible by people with no coding knowled...

Visualizing book club cliques (and replacing them with AI)

My book club is quite good about recording what we read each month, and noting what score each of us give each book. Let’s see if it would be possible to do away with book club meetings altogether and replace my fellow book-readers with a less ...

Open data and energy access in Tanzania

Based on work in Tanzania with the government, several private developers and other stakeholders, two colleagues and I put together a report on the benefits of open data in off-grid access.

Modelling hydrological networks at massive scale

Ironically, a large part of my work at KTH’s Division of Energy Systems Analysis was modelling complex hydrological systems. I set out to create a model that would conduct massive scale hydrological modelling.

Primero, somos tontos (firstly, we're fools)

We knew this already, but our three weeks in Mexico drove the message home on an almost daily basis. This is the story of three South African amigos fumbling their way up a few volcanoes and some jagged rock faces in the land of chillies, torti...

'Lighting the World' - A paper I worked on

This model is used to determine the best way to achieve universal electrification, by suggesting for each location in a country whether to extend the electrical grid, use a mini-grid system, or rather to rely on stand-alone household solar PV s...

Rudderless in the Richtersveld

At the end of June I joined my brothers in South Africa for a jaunt to the border of Namibia and the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. It’s a harsh and barren landscape, with the tail end of the Orange River providing the only evidence ...

Summer of climbing in Europe

This year I was lucky enough to join two UIAA youth meets. Youth rock climbing in Catalonia, organised by the FEEC, and the Kazbek mountaineering expedition, organised by the Mountaineering & Climbing Association of Georgia.

Fun with population dynamics

Some time, several years ago when I still very excited about Java, and read a lot of books on evolution, I had the fun idea to combine the two. I created a simple program to model one of the more interesting examples of game theory used to expl...