Monsters like to move….

27 Jun

The Monster is moving….


Taking it back to the 80s: Enterprise Zones

20 Mar

Enterprise Briton? Again?

This week, Chancellor George Osborne stated that the government will put aside £100 mil in the new budget to create 10 new enterprise zones in England. These ‘hotbeds of economic development’ seem to be a revival of Margret Thacther’s 1980’s individual tax breaks and other incentives for ‘depressed urban areas’.

However, the Thatcher’s ‘urban renewal-program’ has been under fire since the early 90s; the rate of return from this model is said to be far too low, some even argue negative. Two reports from ‘The Work Foundation’ and ‘Centre for Cities’ put forward how zones create too few jobs and are far too expensive. Moreover, it is suggested by many sources that times have changed – 80’s style enterprise zones will simply not work in the present climate.

However, let’s look at the opportunity! This is a fantastic way to further any business. ‘Depressed areas’ suggests a ready and willing work force, not to mention the vast array of tax and regulation relief. Furthermore, the government would be silly not to follow the Canary Wharf model of impeccable infrastructure and transport links; surely that will make living, trading and working in these zones a joy?

My point is that whilst the zones may not be the most cost effective for tax payer, only the true entrepreneurs and innovators within the public realm will realise and adopt the social, cultural and economic capital that these zone provide an opportunity to harvest. In support, Mr Chancellor has stated that the new zones will be focused on areas of high growth potential, not just physical decline, and will be tailored to the individual needs of an area. This will become apparent when the 2011 Budget is unveiled on March 23rd.

Finding Your Nearest Billionaire…

14 Mar

Check out for a great tool on mapping billionaires. Fascinating stuff!!

Mapping Twitter Moods

6 Mar

Research from Harvard University  titled ‘Pulse of the Nation: U.S. Mood Throughout the Day inferred from Twitter‘ has created a fascinating model using ‘happy and sad tweets’. Using  data  from the U.S. Census Bureau, maps from Wikimedia Commons, user locations inferred using the Google Maps API; all displayed perfectly using a PostGIS cartograms. Check out the video:

70mph Blog

12 Feb

Vast amounts of geographical research has been focused on the impact of the Internet Revolution on geography as we know it. The decoupling of time, space/place and activity in recent years has completely re-invented societies and economies within the last decade. As a result, the geographies of the Internet have been heavily theorised and mapped; most of which is interesting stuff!

HOWEVER, I am posting this blog whilst traveling at 70mph (Mr Officer) along the M5 motorway on my way to the Manchester derby – of course I’m not the driver today!

….. From a geographers eye, the fact that I can blog, tweet, follow, chat or study anything on the world wide web whilst travelling at such speeds in a car is quite frankly scary. Some would say it is liberating, some would strongly argue against this! Much more importantly, the opportunity to capitalise on use of time is amazing; perhaps time and activity have never been so together?

Introducing the fastest evolving organism: ‘The Internet’

18 Jan

It is no secret that the internet has disbanded the geographies of time, place and activities. People can now create and access information where and when they want (given some access and a little bit of education). With a growing population of 2 billion users, this revolutionary world has given birth to an intricate set of ‘Online Communities’ or, what academic geographers may call ‘Neo-tribes’. Combing this rapid growth with the freedom of time, place and activities has created an organic like world which evolves to meet the population’s needs.

Artist Randall Munroe’s  “Map of Online Communities” (below) exemplifies how the e-world has evolved at an alarming rate; survival of the fittest being clear cut (poor Myspace!)

Online Community Map, 2007

The Online Community: 2007

Online Communities Map: 2010

Online Communities Map: 2010

Back before the internet days (when the geographies of time, place and activities were less unsettled), there would be chaos if communities grew and landscapes changed that much in just three years…. Don’t you agree?

This BIG question is… What will it be like in 2013?


3 Jan

A new year has arrived and the festive period has rushed past once again. ‘Twenty Ten’ has certainly been a good year to me with my graduation, 21st birthday and first step on the career ladder being personal highlights. More global events such as unprecedented international fiscal bailouts, a disappointing FIFA world cup, coalitions and ‘wikileaks’ have all shaped the last 12 months in the western world. This nostalgic mindset raises speculation on what the next year will bring and, subsequently, the first few days of January becomes a time when people set themselves goals that they most likely will never stick to…. new year’s resolutions.

So here is two of my annual pledges I know I can (and will!) stick to…

1.)     Fully utilise everything in the social networking sphere for personal and professional gain.

2.)    Carry on pursuing my interests in Human Geography and applying to everyday life.

What better way to chase these goals than reviving this blog? I guess I will review this in 362 days time..

Happy New Year!