What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creation of the complicated notation conventions in QGIS: a river lock

New symbology in QGIS allow to create sophisticated convenient notation. And it will be more powerful in future QGIS version 1.7.

Here some approaches to symbols creation will be demonstrated with the specific example. You can see an example of the very difficult symbol to create - a river lock:

"Lock" symbol
It might be difficult to believe that it is possible to create symbol like this, but the proof is right here. That's how it looks like after export from  the Print Composer:

Symbol "lock" in QGIS (river is in another layer).

How to create such beauty?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Congrats to Sea Shepherd!

Guardian reports:
Japan has temporarily suspended its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic after anti-whaling activists obstructed its fleet's mother ship.
Sea Shepherd demonstrated effectiveness of the direct action!
And there is an unusual for NGO option to help them (and another evidence of their real activity) - to make a gift from the wish list. I think helping with used things is quite environmental friendly option (of course, if you are located nearby).

Despiceble ESRI's competition

There a lot of contemptible actions around environmental issues. Infamous permission for  pollution of the Baikal lake sighed by Putin is an example. But what is your opinion on this "International Conservation Mapping Competition" organised by ESRI and the Society for Conservation GIS? They offer some money really miserable amount of money for NGO in several nominations:
$5,000 — Grand Prize
$1,000 — Best Cartography
$1,000 — Best Web Map
$1,000 — Best Use of Science
$1,000 — Best Societal Impact
$1,000 — Best Innovative Map
The main condition is: "Entries must be created using Esri GIS as a primary tool". Go ahead and ask for a prising list: there is no way you will pay less than $1,000 for the cheapest license.

Prizes of this competition do not worth a try until you already purchased a license for ESRI's software. And if some NGO purchased software from ESRI, than this NGO doesn't worth support of community, because there are plenty of free and open-source GIS software, which is even better than ESRI's, ESTI's, Intergraph's, etc. The money that NGO would spend for proprietary GIS software would find better implementation in hands of professionals who will get the job done with free and open-source GIS software! It is even cost-effective to pay for job, not for the software!

There is a trust. A trust of volunteers or sympathizer in particular NGO. Would someone donate money to NGO who spend it ineffectively? I don't even need to search for example. I  was used to donate to the Russian department of WWF. But one day I received a call from WWF and had a conversation with a young man on a subject of WWF's activity and (the main point of the conversation) the possibility of donating more... I was disappointed. The money I gave them were used to pay for the phone bills to talk to me about the money instead of  being used for nature protection. Since that conversation I do not donate WWF - they've lost my trust. It is clear that a professional (who contribute to NGO's activity) would use an open-source GIS software, not proprietary, so NGOs which finds it acceptable to pay for proprietary GIS software do not have professionals, which means they don't worth trust.

So the point of so called ESRI's competition (or grants for NGOs for ESRI's licenses) is a sales promotion and nothing else. But the sale promotion, which might be acceptable in general, is discussing when NGOs are involved. Shame on ESRI, shame on Society for Conservation GIS! If they would want to help NGOs - prizes would be at least 10 times higher and money would be granted despite software used.

Monday, February 14, 2011

R-commander installation in openSUSE

Thanks to this post I was able to install R-commander in openSUSE.  I've modified recipe a bit and don't want to search for it the next time.

You have to perform several steps:
  1. Install R-base and R-base-devel packages from here.
  2. Install gfortran :~> sudo zypper install gcc-fortran
  3. :~> su
  4. [as root] start R  : # R
  5. In R console type > install.packages("Rcmdr", dependencies=TRUE)
  6. You will receive several warnings after installation - fuck that shit.
  7. In R console type > library(Rcmdr). A warning window about missing packages will appear - click Ok to allow installation.
  8. In R console type > library(Rcmdr) and enjoy R-commander!
P.S. R is a powerful programme, but it has a shitty name to search for. I was close to start shitting bricks when tried to find repositories with R in the first place.

UPD: you could also need (al least for another libraries installation) following packages: xorg-x11-devel, mesa-devel, gcc-c++, libpng-devel, tcltk.  

Related post: R spgrass6 Library Installation in openSUSE: workaround

Friday, February 11, 2011

musora.bolshe.net launched 500 actions to get rid of illegal dumps

Musora.bolshe.net [No.more.waste - my unofficial translation to English] is another environmental-oriented NGO in Russia. Fellows try to solve multiple waste problems like separate waste collection and illegal dumping (but not illegal landfilling - unfortunately, this fish is not for their teeth for now) in countries of the former USSR.

Guys were inspired by Estonian Let's do it project and its international offspring and decided to carry out 500 actions to get rid of illegal dumps on the 15 of May.  Hope that information about locations and composition of illegal dumps they're asking to provide is going to be reflected at the Global waste map

Musora.bolshe.net created a map for the scheduled actions. There are only 3 actions at the moment, hope this number will grow. You can pick up an action from this map and take part in it.

P.S. When I discovered Global waste map today there were only a couple of places with litter in St. Petersburg and whole Russia. Immediately I decided to reveal some of the "inconvenient truth" to the civilised world and upload data about large illegal landfill inside the borders of St.Petersburg  and a thematic "photo" (RGB true-color + panchrom composition from WorldVeiw-2 imagery). Seems, it is the largest illegal landfill in Europe at this map. Unfortunately I have to register (don't know if I will) before I will be able to edit composition of the illegal landfill.

40 000 m3 illegal landfill inside St. Petersburg

Monday, February 7, 2011

At the Seminar for waste utilisation in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region

This seminar organised by "St. Petersburg Recycling Association" occurred the other day. Heretofore I thought that this Association is a batch of ass-kissers (Eng), but I was wrong - they are just conformists (in presence of these in power they are posing respect to their opinion on the subject of waste management development, but when these in power are not around they speak more sincerely). There were three most interesting persons to me at the seminar: Vaisberg (Eng) (head of the Accociation and Mekhanobr Corporation), Hmirov (Eng) (head of the waste management department of St. Petersburg) and a deputy from Leningrad region whose name I wrote down but was unable to read it because I write a very bad hand. Here they are (sorry for the poor quality).

From left to right: Vaiseberg, Hmirov and deputy in the pink shirt
I would like to share the main points of their speeches dedicated to waste problems in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region.

  1. There is a need to develop legislation to make producers co-finance waste treatment.
  2. Waste treatment payments should be accumulated at municipal and regional level instead of management companies [it is interesting that hi said that payments should be accumulated in people's not official's hands - LOL, such a stupid hypocrisy].
  3. Municipal solid waste (MSW) have to be used as a power source [he is known for standing for waste to energy technologies]. And there is even some Swedish company already interested in buying RDF which would be produced after new waste plants will be constructed.
  4. Local folks have a "lack of understanding" [I'm citing] all the importance of the new "waste-processing complex" [ironical quotes] construction and are about to ruin (Eng) this project which is so useful for everyone.
Point #4 of Hmirov's speech should be discussed further. There were over 2000 locals at the pubic discussion on the subject of "waste-processing complex" (Eng) (which is mostly a landfill Russian "landfill") construction at Gladkoe settlement . Every single local voted against the project. Hmirov implied that the locals are stupid and selfish - both St. Petersburg and Leningrad region are in need of the new place for MSW. But when Hmirov have left the seminar he was mocked for the public discussion could pass far worse, because there were no schemas for the  "landfill" at the discussion.  Here you are examples of the "landfill" and the landfill (used in civilised countries).

Typical Russian "landfill"

Civilised landfill (source)
You do not need to know Russian to see the difference between a "landfill" and a landfill. In a "landfill" there are only natural barrier between waste and ground waters, no biogas collection, no adequate drainage system, etc. Frankly, there will be some kind of isolation between waste and  ground at Gladkoe and even wells for ground water monitoring and drinage of some kind, but definitely, there won't be any biogas collection (assessment of the environmental impact Rus).

I've read the environmental impact assessment - quite interesting... if you're looking for luls. Among staled and unreferenced Yandex maps, used for illustration there and tons of other bullshit this document dedicated to make statements about acceptability of estimated environmental impacts. So estimated landfill filtrate leak to the ground water (from landfill and precipitation pool) of 50 cubic meters per day(!!!), i.e. 18 250 per year  was found acceptable... ZOMFG!!! 0,00 cubic meters of this shit can be acceptable!!! This filtrate is the main landfill's threat to the environment and the point is keep it away from water bodies! So 18 250 m3 is not fucking acceptable! Ok, leaks are almost inevitable, but 50 m3 per day for the project where 44% of budget is dedicated to environment protection is far too much.

Back to the seminar. The next speaker was the deputy in the pink shirt (who will have to pass through elections soon).

Deputy in the pink shirt:
  1. There is no junction to provide necessary transportation flow for new waste-plant at Janino settlement [place for another waste-treatment plant]. There are already terrible jams and if the wave of waste-trucks will be increased all the transportation between Vsevolozsk and St. Petersburg will just stuck.
  2. There are no presses at the waste-collection stations, so more trucks used than it could be.
  3. Nikol'sky, Ul'znovsky and Tosnenskiy districts of the Leningrad region already have the largest percentages of cancer amongst the population, so another source of the environmental impact (landfill at Gladkoe) is not desirable.
  4.  It is better to build waste-treatment complex in place with the least population density, for example in Podporozskiy district of the Leningrad region. He used as an example an experience of Washington DC where all the collected waste is sent to California by train. [I wasn't able to find a proof-link for such practice]
Hmirov commented point#4 of the deputy speech: railway company has its own classification of waste [O_o] and once such option was considered: transportation costs were calculated at level of 2800 rubles (70 euro) per ton; but the destination was Appatity - town at Murmanskaya region.

I don't know why they wanted to move waste that far, but transportation inside the borders of Leningrad region will take at least 3 times less time so costs would not exceed 900 rubles (22,5 euro) per ton. It should be mentioned that expenditures for overall waste management in EU was about 26,73 euro per ton in 2006 (Anda et al., 2010 - Eurostat).

Speech of Viseberg wasn't interesting at all (he promoted technologies of the Recicling Association members), except he underlined issue of medical waste presence in MSW, but there were no proposals how to solve it; and separate waste collection - bins for separated waste are too small to produce profit for the transportation companies.


Seems that they are trying to solve the problems without any plan! So I know for sure the strategy  for waste management for St. Petersnurg and Leningrad region was developed twice in past 10 years. So they have to reread it or to redevelop it to have in mind every aspect of the waste management and develop them simultaneously to achieve to goals of environmental impacts minimisation.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Calibre: convert to EUPB problem

I had a problem with converting any file to EUPB format for Sony Reader both under Windows and Linux. Calibre started conversion but stuck at certain percent. I solved the problem with checking "Without default cover" in EUPB output options.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lamps: Philips vs Ecowatt contest

Today I had to replace a couple of lamps in my chandelier. As usual I had to choose in the market what kind of lamps I should buy: regular or energy-efficient. Energy efficient lamps are  5-10 times more expensive than regular, also they claim that they last longer, but... Often I heard that such lamps do not survive estimated time, and the last year I had to replace 2 energy-efficient lamps  myself (but I do not know for how long they were in use). 

Another problem is utilisation. There is no problem for utilisation of the regular lamps, but you can't just throw away energy-efficient lamp because of the mercury in it. There is NO SYSTEM FOR UTILISATION OF ENERGY-EFFICIENT LAMPS USED BY POPULATION IN FUCKING RUSSIA (but it exists for juridical persons), even if this retarded president Medvedev ordered to get rid of the regular lamps in a few years. There is pathetic eco-mobile in St. Petersburg, which is supposed to collect 75 000(!!!) tons per year of hazardous waste from population. Who will search across the web to find out its timetable? Only guys from the Greenpeace and other greens like me. Normal (mindless) people just throw these lamps with other waste.

Ok, I decided to figure out whether the energy-efficient lamps worth its costs and additional efforts for its utilisation. I bought 2 lamps: not the cheapest frost-glass regular lamp from Philips and energy-efficient from Ecowatt (5 times more expensive than Philips). See the comparison at the picture:

Seems that single Ecowatt lamp is equal to 8 lamps from Phillips and consume less power. Ok, I will place both this lamps into my chandelier and will replace every broken Philips lamp with the same one. We'll see how many Philips lamps will Ecowatt survive.