Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 13 August 2016

My brilliant wheeze for solving login annoyances on ticket-selling sites

You know how everyone has a blind spot, something that they're irrationally (or possibly rationally) irritated by and their anger is a bit out of proportion to how annoying the thing is, when compared to other annoying things? I'm a bit like that with ticketing websites that force you to log in when buying tickets.

Here's my new plan -
1. Meekly create an account and log in
2. Buy tickets
3. Request that the site deletes your record from its system. As far as I'm aware they must comply with this request (in the UK at least).

This means that in future you'll be able to re-use your preferred email address as you are now creating a 'new' account. Of course you'll have to ask them to keep deleting your account afterwards. This is a bit 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' but how else will they learn ;)

What I don't understand is why everyone isn't sufficiently annoyed about this forced-login irritation, to the point that we all down tools and have a massive collective huff about it.

This article - the $300 million button - gives an example of a retail site which found that sales increased dramatically when they removed the requirement to log in.

Analysis of the site's database showed that "...45% of all customers had multiple registrations in the system, some as many as 10. We also analyzed how many people requested passwords, to find out it reached about 160,000 per day. 75% of these people never tried to complete the purchase once requested."

I've just tried to buy tickets from a site and had to give them my email address to send me the tickets (fine). However I discovered that I couldn't use that email address because I'd previously registered it to create an account (in 2013) to buy tickets for something else. Yes it would have been quicker to use a different email address and create a new account (though I'm quite convinced I've no real need of an account in the first place).

The process went like this, to an accompaniment of grumbling:
  • choose the 'forgotten password' option
  • receive an emailed link to change the new password
  • click that link which opens a new tab to change the password. 
I now had my original tab open (where I wasn't logged in but with my ticket selected ready for purchase) and the new tab open (where I was logged in but with no record of the ticket). On some sites this is a bit fatal, but fortunately refreshing the tabs solved things here.

The site had remembered my address from but I still had to type in my card details so very little time was saved in the process. I realise I'm probaby a bit of an outlier in that I know my card details off by heart but even if I didn't the card's in my wallet which is usually in my pocket. Obviously I know my address off by heart.

Every time this login-fail-and-recover-password cycle has happened it's taken me more time (and annoyance) to recover my account than it would have taken me to type in all of my details from scratch.

Retailers: please let me buy tickets without having to create an account or log in. Those who prefer to log in can still use the option, if they wish, but don't make it a condition of me buying tickets.

Edit
I've just seen a 'tweet this post' link on another website and wanted to try it here. Feel free to ignore it, it won't actually send a tweet until you click 'post tweet' after editing it. I'm not even sure it will work as I've not set anything up, just adapted the HTML code and linked it to my post instead. Tweet this post


Further reading
Don't force users to register before they can buy (July 2015)




Friday, 12 August 2016

The 2016 scientific society talks in London blogpost


by @JoBrodie, brodiesnotes.blogspot.com.Tweet this post.

I know it's still Summer (there are plenty of open-air cinema screenings in London before the end of September in London) but it's about this time of year that I start to keep an eye on the autumn science talks season. Here's what I've found so far...
There are also events from the Royal Institution and the Royal Society which are fantastic but it's almost impossible to copy and paste text from their website so I've not added them here.

Also, feel free to copy and paste this and put it in your own blog posts and listings. It's not my info, it's just culled from all these sources above. Share the science communication news :)

SEPTEMBER 2016
2 September 2016 - Friday
2-5pm - Linnean Society
RBG Kew – QMUL MSc Student Project Presentations: Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation - PARTNER EVENT

15 September 2016 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
A Personal History of 62 Years of Bioengineering - Prof. Emeritus Heinz Wolff (Brunel University)

15 September 2016 - Thursday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
Sex, Drugs, and Ecosystem Services: the Sweet Poisons in Nectar - EVENING MEETING - Professor Philip Stevenson FRES (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and University of Greenwich)

26 September 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
 ‘Keeping every cog and wheel – How can botanic gardens conserve all plant diversity for future generations?’ - Dr. Paul Smith (Secretary General BGCI)

29 September 2016 - Thursday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
Wild New Territories: Portraits of the Urban and the Wild - NATURE READER

OCTOBER 2016
3 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Confessions of a show gardener’ - David Domoney (Broadcaster, Writer and Show Gardener)

4 October 2016 - Tuesday
5.30-7pm - Linnean Society
Why We Die - STUDENT LECTURE [A-level students can sign up to attend]
In this lecture, Simon Watt, biologist, writer, science communicator, comedian and TV presenter, will delve into the surprising science behind why we die.

6 October 2016 - Thursday
7pm - Chelsea Physic Garden
'Reduced to Almost Nothing: Londoners in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London' - Meriel Jeater

10 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Californian native flora – The wonder of Calochortus’ - Solène Dequiret (Kew Diploma Student)

6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Living tree sculpture in the USA’ - Joe Clements (Kew Diploma Student)

12 October 2016 - Wednesday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
Sir Julian Huxley Lecture: Dosage Sensitive Genes in Evolution and Disease - PARTNER EVENT
Aoife McLysaght (Professor in Genetics and Head of Genetics in University of Dublin, Trinity College)

17 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘The relocation & development of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden’ - Nicholas Wray (Curator University Botanic Garden Bristol)

17 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Sydenham Lecture - “Life and death in chains: Streptococcus pyogenes and history” - Marina Morgan, FRCPath, Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Exeter

20 October 2016 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Genetic Variation and Multiple Sclerosis - Dr Jessica Davies (University of Oxford)

20 October 2016 - Thursday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
The Feminisation of Nature - EVENING MEETING - Professor Charles R Tyler (University of Exeter)

24 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Exploring Australian botanic gardens and plants in the wild’ - Nicola Lloyd (Kew Diploma Student)

6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘A botanical excursion to North and South India exploring the flora and its medicinal plants - Anna-Lena Tack (Kew Diploma Student)

27 October 2016 - Thursday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
Wildflowers in the Western Mediterranean - NATURE READER - Chris Thorogood FLS

31 October 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Ancient oaks in the English landscape - Aljos Farjon (Kew’s Conifer Specialist)

NOVEMBER 2016
1 November 2016 - Tuesday
8pm - Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution
Blowing Hot and Cold: the strange story of the earth’s atmosphere - Keith Shine, Professor of Meteorology and Climate Science, University of Reading

2 November 2016 - Wednesday
12-1pm - Linnean Society
Wildlife Live – A Springwatch Experience - LUNCHTIME LECTURE - James Smith

3 November 2016 - Thursday
12-1pm - Linnean Society
Darwin Lecture – Global De-Worming: A Darwinian Perspective - EVENING MEETING - David Rollinson FLS i(Natural History Museum London, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre)

3 November 2016 - Thursday
7pm - Chelsea Physic Garden
'Tea, Cotton, Rubber and Quinine: The Garden at the Centre of Change' - Letta Jones

7 November 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Education at Longwood Gardens – A continuum of learning’ - Dr. Doug Needham (Director of Education)

8 November 2016 - Tuesday
8pm - Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution
The Future of British Broadcasting: making the good popular and the popular good - Alex Graham, Chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival and Visiting Professor, University of Lincoln School of Film & Media Network

8 November 2016 - Tuesday
5.30-7pm - Linnean Society
Exploring Ocean Wonders - STUDENT LECTURE [A-level students can sign up to attend]
Oceans cover seven tenths of our planet and are home to a huge range of living things. Dr Helen Scales, marine biologist, writer and documentary-maker, will unveil the oceans’ living wonders, offer a glimpse into the life of a marine biologist, and show why there has never been a more important time to look after the marine realm.

14 November 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘An illustrated tale of another Royal Botanic Garden: RBG Melbourne’ - Richard Barley (Director of Horticulture RBG, Kew)

17 November 2016 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Gravitational Lensing - Dr Benjamin Joachimi (UCL)

17 November 2016 - Thursday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
Form, Function and Fisheries: The Scientific Legacy of Edward Stuart Russell - EVENING MEETING - Introduced by Gordon McGregor Reid, Past President of the Linnean Society. Speakers: Roger Downie, Professor of Zoological Education, University of Glasgow, with research interests principally in the life histories of amphibians and marine turtles; and Carl O’Brien FLS, DEFRA Chief Fisheries Science Adviser and the 2015 Buckland Professor.

21 November 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Q and A session with; Head Gardener of the American Ambassadors House, London – Horticulture with diplomacy’ - Stephen Crisp (Head Gardener Winfield House)

23 November 2016 - Wednesday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Monckton Copeman Lecture - “Death by Water: Rethinking John Snow and Cholera” - Dr Richard Barnett, Writer, Teacher and Broadcaster

28 November 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Conservation in action- British Virgin Islands’ - Miranda Janatka (Kew Diploma Student)

6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Ecuador, from the jungle to the Andes’ - Mathew Rees (Kew Diploma Student)

DECEMBER 2016
2 December 2016 - Friday
7pm - Chelsea Physic Garden
'A Christmas Carol: an evening' - Carol Klein  

2 December 2016 - Friday
6-7pm - Linnean Society
The Invention of Nature - FOUNDER’S DAY - Andrea Wulf FRGS
5 December 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Acorns as food in human history: Myth or Reality?’ - Béatrice Chassé (Plant Hunter)

7 December 2016 - Wednesday
12.30-1pm - Linnean Society
The Botany of Christmas - LUNCHTIME LECTURE - Mark Nesbitt FLS, curator and ethnobotanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

8 December 2016 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Non-Native Invasives in Fresh Water - Joe Pecorelli (Zoological Society of London)

12 December 2016 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘What do we mean by ‘natural’ planting?’ Fundraising lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff
Dr. Noel Kingsbury (Garden Designer)

JANUARY 2017
9 January 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Botanic gardens in Central Honshu, Japan’ - Misako Kasahara (Kew Diploma Student)

6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Bhutan, the last paradise’ - Christopher Brown (Kew Diploma Student)

16 January 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Small bulbs in the winter garden - snowdrops and more’ - Dr. John Grimshaw (Director Yorkshire Arboretum)

17 January 2017 - Tuesday
8pm - Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution
Future Challenges for Palliative Care - Irene Higginson, Professor of Palliative Care and Policy, King’s College London

19 January 2017 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Origin, Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs - Prof Paul Barrett (Natural History Museum)

23 January 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘No dig abundance; fewer weeds, save time’ - Charles Dowding (Writer and Vegetable Grower)

26 January 2017 - Thursday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Gideon De Laune Lecture - “Thinking, Learning and Teaching, An essential role of Apothecaries everywhere” - Dr Christopher Gardner-Thorpe, MD FRCP FRCPE FACP, Deputy President of the Faculty and History Courses Director at the Society of Apothecaries, Consultant Neurologist in Exeter

30 January 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Collecting in the mountains of northern Vietnam’ - Bleddyn Wynn Jones (Crûg Farm Nursery)

FEBRUARY 2017
6 February 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Is the nutrition in crops declining?’ - Fundraising lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff - James Wong (Ethnobotanist, TV Presenter)

6 February 2017 - Monday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Osler Lecture - “The Foundation of Taunton and Somerset Hospital (1812)” - Mike Davidson, FRCS, DHMSA,Semi-retired Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

13 February 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Adventures in gardening’ - Andy McIndoe (Consultant, Lecturer and Author)

16 February 2017 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
The Acoustic Bubble: From Whales To Other Worlds - Prof Timothy Leighton (University of Southampton)

20 February 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘In search of hidden treasures in the woodland garden’ - John Anderson (Keeper of the Gardens, Crown Estate, Windsor)

23 February 2017 - Thursday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Keats Lecture - “Keats and Medicine, an exploration of their relationship” - Emeritus Professor Sean Hughes, MS FRCSEd (Orth) FRCS FRSCI DHMSA DPMSA, Orthopaedic Surgery, Imperial College London

27 February 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Wisley - A new chapter for the RHS flagship garden’ - Matthew Pottage (Curator RHS, Wisley)

MARCH 2017
6 March 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Rubus - wild raspberries and blackberries’- Barry Clarke (Botanist, Hillier Gardens)

13 March 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Remnants of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest’ - Will Spoelstra (Kew Diploma Student)

6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘A desert in bloom – Journey through the Western Cape’ - Tom Pickering (Kew Diploma Student)

16 March 2017 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Diamond – More Than a Girl's Best Friend - Dr Katherine B Holt (University College London)

20 March 2017 - Monday
6pm - Kew Mutual Improvement Society (KMIS)
‘Placemaking and planting’ - Fundrasing lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff - Tom Stuart-Smith (Landscape Architect, Designer)

APRIL 2017
20 April 2017 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
Lost Worlds of the Solar System - Prof. Hilary Downes (University College London)

25 April 2017 - Tuesday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Sir Hans Sloane Lecture - “William Turner – Tudor Physician” - Marie Addyman, BA B.Phil D.PhilFreelance Lecturer and Researcher

MAY 2017
18 May 2017 - Thursday
8:15 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
The Medical Implications of Space Flight - Steven Cutts FRCS (James Paget University Hospital)

JUNE 2017
22 June 2017 - Thursday
8:00 pm - Hampstead Scientific Society
AGM: Wine & Cheese £zzz + scientific entertainment

29 June 2017 - Thursday
2-5pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Flavell Symposium - tbc
29 June 2017 - Thursday
6pm - Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
John Locke Lecture - “Compassion in Healthcare: Practical Policy for Civic Life” - Dr Joshua Hordern, MA PGDip MSt (Oxon) PhD (Edinburgh), Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford

Here are the talks you missed last year (or not, if you went to them)
The 2015 scientific society talks in London blogpost (August 2015)




Lovely plant-related talks at Kew Gardens - the KMIS lectures season

I've been attending the KMIS (Kew Mutual Improvement Society) lectures for a few years now. They take place in the Jodrell Lecture theatre (near Kew Bridge and The Botanist pub) and there's something lovely, genteel and other-worldly about them. Perhaps it's the lecture theatre, or the history. Anyway I recommend them and they're £2 each. Sometimes they have 'items of interest' before the lecture in which anyone can give a short presentation about something plant-related that's interested them. Bit like parish notices.


For some reason they publish the KMIS lecture programme as a PDF rather than an HTML page. More information about the series can be found here too.
On Twitter - @Kewlectures email: kmis@kew.org

How much / when / where
£2 / lecture starts at 6pm, Jodrell Lecture Theatre (entrance on Google view), Kew

SEPTEMBER 2016
26 September 2016
‘Keeping every cog and wheel – How can botanic gardens conserve all plant diversity for future generations?’
Dr. Paul Smith (Secretary General BGCI)

OCTOBER 2016
3 October 2016
‘Confessions of a show gardener’
David Domoney (Broadcaster, Writer and Show Gardener)

10 October 2016
‘Californian native flora – The wonder of Calochortus’
Solène Dequiret (Kew Diploma Student)

‘Living tree sculpture in the USA’
Joe Clements (Kew Diploma Student)

17 October 2016
‘The relocation & development of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden’
Nicholas Wray (Curator University Botanic Garden Bristol)

24 October 2016
‘Exploring Australian botanic gardens and plants in the wild’
Nicola Lloyd (Kew Diploma Student)

‘A botanical excursion to North and South India exploring the flora and its medicinal plants
Anna-Lena Tack (Kew Diploma Student)

31 October 2016
‘Ancient oaks in the English landscape
Aljos Farjon (Kew’s Conifer Specialist)

NOVEMBER 2016
7 November 2016
‘Education at Longwood Gardens – A continuum of learning’
Dr. Doug Needham (Director of Education)

14 November 2016
‘An illustrated tale of another Royal Botanic Garden: RBG Melbourne’
Richard Barley (Director of Horticulture RBG, Kew)

21 November 2016
‘Q and A session with; Head Gardener of the American Ambassadors House, London – Horticulture with diplomacy’
Stephen Crisp (Head Gardener Winfield House)

28 November 2016
‘Conservation in action- British Virgin Islands’
Miranda Janatka (Kew Diploma Student)

‘Ecuador, from the jungle to the Andes’
Mathew Rees (Kew Diploma Student)

DECEMBER 2016
5 December 2016
‘Acorns as food in human history: Myth or Reality?’
Béatrice Chassé (Plant Hunter)

12 December 2016
‘What do we mean by ‘natural’ planting?’ Fundraising lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff
Dr. Noel Kingsbury (Garden Designer)

JANUARY 2017
9 January 2017
‘Botanic gardens in Central Honshu, Japan’
Misako Kasahara (Kew Diploma Student)

‘Bhutan, the last paradise’
Christopher Brown (Kew Diploma Student)

16 January 2017
‘Small bulbs in the winter garden - snowdrops and more’
Dr. John Grimshaw (Director Yorkshire Arboretum)

23 January 2017
‘No dig abundance; fewer weeds, save time’
Charles Dowding (Writer and Vegetable Grower)

30 January 2017
‘Collecting in the mountains of northern Vietnam’
Bleddyn Wynn Jones (Crûg Farm Nursery)

FEBRUARY 2017
6 February 2017
‘Is the nutrition in crops declining?’ - Fundraising lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff
James Wong (Ethnobotanist, TV Presenter)

13 February 2017
‘Adventures in gardening’
Andy McIndoe (Consultant, Lecturer and Author)

20 February 2017
‘In search of hidden treasures in the woodland garden’
John Anderson (Keeper of the Gardens, Crown Estate, Windsor)

27 February 2017
‘Wisley - A new chapter for the RHS flagship garden’
Matthew Pottage (Curator RHS, Wisley)

MARCH 2017
6 March 2017
‘Rubus - wild raspberries and blackberries’
Barry Clarke (Botanist, Hillier Gardens)

13 March 2017
‘Remnants of the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest’
Will Spoelstra (Kew Diploma Student)

‘A desert in bloom – Journey through the Western Cape’
Tom Pickering (Kew Diploma Student)

20 March 2017
‘Placemaking and planting’ - Fundrasing lecture: £8 entry £4 students/staff
Tom Stuart-Smith (Landscape Architect, Designer)




Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Disable notifications at the level of a tweet - suggested Twitter improvement

by @JoBrodie, brodiesnotes.blogspot.com

Yesterday I had a handful of notifications from slightly iffy accounts that had been favouriting tweets of mine, or tweets I was mentioned in, but with all of these tweets being from several years ago.

The tweets were reasonably popular being retweeted or responded to a few times when they were originally sent. As far as I can tell the purpose of favouriting these tweets now is to get people to notice the account doing the favouriting, a sort of "hey I'm here". Some people will follow / interact, others will ignore or not even notice (I report as spam* and block).

Sometimes one tweet will receive a spate of new favourites. To stop the notifications tab from recording this (not talking about email or web notifications as I got rid of those on day one) the options currently available are to block each account that favourites a tweet, activate the option to show only notifications / mentions from people you follow, or delete the tweet (if it's one of yours).

A suggestion
Allow users to choose to stop receiving notifications about activity on any tweet that they previously sent or were mentioned in (at the level of the tweet, not user). This will not stop replies to the tweet of course (but my experience has been that these bots never reply, they only favourite previously popular tweets).

A separate suggestion (not related to spam bots) for users with tens of thousands of followers
Instead of sending a notification each time someone interacts with a tweet instead do it in batches of 10, 50, 100 etc. That way people still get the information but aren't swamped with constant updates. I'm not affected by this as I don't have tens of thousands of followers, I just get the spam bot interaction instead, but the reason I killed off Google+ was because I couldn't work out how to switch off notifications. It also seemed like nothing much had happened to warrant being notified most of the time so it was the final straw for me ;)

*annoyingly Twitter's phrasing says 'they are posting spam'. In fact they're often not posting anything they're just engaging in spam-like behaviour to get someone's attention.





Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Mapping London postcodes onto London boroughs - doable with Google Fusion tables?

Everything I want to do below I can already do manually on my computer. I'm looking for a "yes it's here Jo" off-the-peg solution, but not really looking to learn how to do something new at this stage - maybe later :)

As I'm only likely to do this process once or twice a year I'm caught in that "is it worth expending ages learning something now to make this simpler?" Possibly not. 

If it looks too fiddly then I may well have to carry on with my manual process. Here's a post I wrote previously (with pics and worked examples) on how I used Google Fusion / tables to map UK cinemas, for the Sherlock special.

Is it easy to map a list of postcodes to London boroughs?
If it's fiddly and difficult then that's no good because I already have a low-res working method. It's just inefficient and non-shareable. I have an unshakeable belief that lots of people have probably wanted to do this and someone must have already come up with a solution for the non- or only mildly-technical user.

Background
I have a list of 100 London schools' postcodes (it could be 10, 50 or 2,000 as this needs to be scaleable for others to use) and I would like to display them on a map that says something like: 4 are in Harrow and 16 are in Greenwich, with a magnitude indicator of some kind. I might get it to do "if fewer than 5 show as blue", "if more than 5 show as green", "if 5-10 show as orange" etc). In fact I can do this fine on a PC with a bitmap file of a black and white line drawing of boroughs (using the fill tool on free Paint.exe, no idea what free tool works on a Mac).


Currently I can, with ease, use Google Fusion tables to convert a single column of postcodes to a geocoded map. It looks like a map with one red (the default, can be changed) dot per postcode.

But even at sensible magnification they eye does not naturally see the borough limits and I'd like to (a) add them (as an overlay?) to begin with - at a minimum it should be possible to see the borough boundaries (at least people can count the dots)
(b) see if I can get Google Fusion to combine SE1 1AA and SE1 2ZZ into "two in Borough X" - my workaround is to add a column and write in the borough, re-order and count them and then have two columns with the borough name in one and the number of times it appeared in the other ("Lewisham, 2" / "Barking and Dagenham, 1")
(c) make the raw file available (without my postcodes which are my data) to anyone else who finds themselves with a list of London postcodes and a desire to map them in this way.

Is there a pret-a-Fusion look-up table or a ready-made-London-borough-map that will work with a Google Fusion table of postcodes that I can ust add? I did look but couldn't find it, nor could I understand what I could find ;) I don't really know what KML or SHP files are.

Further reading