Category Archives: Just wandering

September 2018 – Scroll Free September Is Soon Over

The RSPH, Royal Society for Public Health advises to have a scroll-free September meaning, no social media what so ever.

It is true, that some people suffer from social media over dose, others feel trapped by it, and it is easier to bully than in a real life.  But, for those people, the scroll-free September is not a solution, is a problem lapse.

Anyway, the scroll-free September is not necessarily a total ban. One can choose from a number of roles: as a Social Butterfly you’ll give up social media while sosializing; as a Night Owl you’ll go to sleep at six pm; as a Busy Bee you’ll stop to use the individual some accounts at school or at work; and as a Sleeping Dog you won’t use a mobile or laptop in bed.

I would not call the social media a nuisance, or a problem either. Whether I need a break, I do not know. Social media is a part of the working role for many of us, keeping together social life and bringing old friends together. Is this a problem?

So, what happened, did you spend or ignore the scroll-free!



Message To the Outer World By GPS Tracks

Play with GPS and create funny figures on ground and your message will reach the outer world. But also it can be followed as a route!

A Briton called Andy Pardy made it political. He had a parcours of thousands of kilometres around Europe. If you do not live in Mars, and you are courious to know how the letters were compiled, the web publication Think Big has the detailed information about this.

Read more in detail and see how the letters were formed on Big Think

The reindeer city plan of Rovaniemi, Lapland in Finland is a playful way of creating an interesting route for the tourists before they go and greet Santa Clause at the Artic Circle.

The Reindeer Statue in front of Rovaniemi City Library. Read more about it on Nomadi app.

The city plan of Rovaniemi samples the head of a reindeer, and if you watch carefully, many of the newly build skiing resorts in the Finnish Lapland have the ones of reindeer antler.

The figures by the GPS are often rough, but when you see them as symbols, it really does not matter.


Back To School, In Finland At Least!

Every Autumn we have this steady news topic about how to ‘back to school’.  And guess what – it is about the type of a smart phone for a 7 year old.

Probably it is our heavy Nokia burden, that makes the Finns honestly believe that the age  of 7 years is the age to have the first if not a smart phone, but a mobile, and personal phone anyway. It is of course based for the security, communication, sociality among the peers, but the most important reason might be individuality.

Also the Finnish government’s school curriculum takes into advantage the mobility, iPads, tablets and digital learning. Unlike in France, where the mobile has been rejected at school, totally banned recently, in Finland it is often allowed to use your own phone during the classes, well, for learning of course.

Read the intro of Helsingin Sanomat about the comparison of price and technological features. (In Finnish and for subscribers only.)

Some guidelines for teachers by the vocational association of teachers in Finland. (In Finnish.)


Remember to cover the screen – no matter minor or major!

Where’s the Night Club?

According to the research, a human territory consists only of about 25 locations at the time. The research is not taking any notice for the distances between them. The number 25 is suprisingly little considering the human being’s curiousity and capability to move around.

The study is quite exhaustive: it was made with 40 000 individuals participating to the study. They carried a GPS device which tracked their movements. People tend to visit the same places over and over again. That’s why the locals’ are so popular, people are loyal to places.

I started to wonder, what are my top 25 locations. Here you are, they are not in any order, these just occured to me.

  • home – daily
  • office – workdays
  • a shop one have to walk through in order to pick an elevator to our office – 1 – 5 times a week
  • shopping mall of my neighboroughhood – weekly
  • my mother in law’s place – weekly
  • my French lesson’s place – weekly
  • Helsinki-Vantaa airport – twice a month
  • railway station of Tampere – 1 – 5 times a month
  • Helsinki railway station – 1 – 5 times a month
  • Finlayson area in Tampere, two or three places there – once a month
  • my hairdresser’s place – once a month
  • Tampere Hall – Moomin Museum is our client and the concert hall is frequently visited – twice a month
  • nearby forest for jogging – 1- 5 times a week
  • a shop on my way back home from work – 1- 3 times a week
  • a bus stop – 1- 5 times a week
  • another bus stop – 1- 5 times a week
  • the third bus stop – 1- 5 times a week
  • the fourth bus stop – 1- 5 times a week
  • the fifth bus stop – 1- 5 times a week
  • my spouce’s workplace – 1 – 3 times a week
  • swimming hall and gym – on a monthly basis
  • another gym – on a monthly basis
  • cafe Pella’s in Tampere – on a monthly basis
  • restaurant Kattila in Tampere – once in 2018, 5 – 10 times 2017
  • my secret free car park in Tampere – 1 – 5 a week
  • market place – once a month during the summertime
  • a cellar for the home made jams – every other month
  • just to gather the 28th, the daily bike route to office, if the routes count – weekly during the summertime

The most amazing thing is, that when a new locations climbs up to the top 25 list, the older locations automatically drop off. You can easily test this on holiday or during the business trip. While staying in another city, you easily make new routines, the hotel is obviously a base camp, the nearest metro is soon located, the nicest cafe found – for a week.

Actually the time span is more and more interesting, do people have a similar way of loyalty, or are some individuals quicker to find new places?

My list has dropped off the library, and another, which I used to visit weekly if not daily, a cafe Lasipalatsi where I used to have a latte and croissant when arriving early to Helsinki, Library 10 in Helsinki, where I used to wait for the train back home, the important places for my family members and so on.

Read more on the Article on Nature Human Behavior

Maps for everyday utility – Maps for visitors – Maps for special events

Accurate maps are needed during the Finnish summer events!

The Helsinki summit confused the traffic for one day. The closed streets for hours, public transport route reductions, private cars strongly advised to leave at home.

Media gives out tips of the best places to spot the famous visitors Trump and Putin during their short stay in Helsinki.

The tourism marketing in Helsinki had a few days and a fortnight to arrange the marketing of our beautiful capital. Be prepared for the suprise suprise visitors, proximate 2000 influential extra people, most of them journalists, just for a few days’ time.

A similar kind of challenges are met in Pori, a small town by the west coast of Finland. During one week of July three big events take place: Pori Jazz festival, political event of SuomiAreena ja the Housing Fair.

Those who are the stars of the events and those who work for them have no problems in findind their ways in the new traffic circumstances. But the vistors, and inhabitants in the area. How do they manage?

Citynomadi partipates to the AVM-project of a consortium of companies (Autonomous Vehicle and Mobile Services) which is present in Pori at the Citizen Square of SuomiAreena event at the stand 72. We made a simple guide map for the superweek in Pori, just to remind of the few roles of location based data in the everyday life, but also in events. The print map, but also the pdf map is stubborn and old fashioned, or what do you think?


The event map of Pori in July 2018, download the Nomadi app for free, available on!

To Save Santa’s Best Friends

We have had a project in Finnish Lapland called Village Stories, in which we produced an app with several routes in six villages aroud the Eastern Lappish areas. It was launched in January this year and gives you a nice overview of the life in Lapland. Download the app and watch the videos! Also, please rate the app!

Village Stories by Citynomadi on Google Play

Village Stories by Citynomadi on App Store

The villagers will update the content for the app and therefore me and Nadja took a tour for Rovaniemi, Kemijärvi, Pelkosenniemi and Sodankylä to give training for them. We rented a car in Oulu and drove 1000 kilometres in two days.

While driving in Lapland you need to be prepared for the reindeers, they tend to  conquer the road. No hurry, take you time. Sometimes they are for a serious danger for the traffic. Here comes an app called ‘Porokello‘, Reindeer alarm by the local government of Finnish Lapland.

This is a neat example of utilising location based data and crowdsourcing in real time. You have a map with recent observations and you can give out yours, if you happen to spot the reindeers. We did.

We tried to notify, but the app approves only the observations of the pros: truck, bus and taxi drivers at this point. Maybe in the future also the ones of amateur drivers, because the app is very useful for all drivers in Lapland.


A reindeer on the road from Sodankylä to Rovaniemi. Photo from our car’s side window.. 


Sauna after a long day on the road, in a summer hut between Kemijärvi and Pelkosenniemi.   It is so bright because the sun never goes down around Midsummer in Lapland.

by Merja July 8, 2018

Watercolor Maps

Maps can be informative, plain or something in between. Geographic data covers more than streets, seas and railways, and you can enrich the map with any information and create a so called theme map.

We’ve found a Creative Commons map based on the Open Steet Map information by Stamen Design, and it’s something else. Maps are global, they cover the whole world. It’s fashinating to watch the geography of Finland, of Tampere, our home town, from the totally new perspective. There not as up to dated as we are used with the Open Street Maps.


The global map has been colored with a watercolor style, and it surely looks beautiful. It is still easy to understand and one can navigate through it. You can follow the routes and waterways and locate your self on it.

We’ve implemented the maps on Nomadi app, and they are an option for any of our route creators. Just contact us! There is always one default map for a route, but usually one is able to switch the map  by clicking the icon in the south-east corner of Nomadi app!


As an example you can have a look at the Mobile game for Helsinki Design Week in Helsinki and the top attractions in Venice. Notice our spotty on Tampere in the far horizon of the Helsinki map! It here I am writing this blog at the moment.

Download Nomadi app on and admire the new outlook of maps, watercolored maps.

Taking Social Media Seriously At Schools – 10 Tumb Rules For Teachers

Rule 1 is about socialising.

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When pupils will leave schools for the summer vacations, and they’ll arrive in autumn – with their mobiles. There’s nothing new of drawing the lines of the mobile use over and over again, isn’t there?

There are special kinds of lockers for the mobile in some schools, and Clash of Clan is cultivated even in the queues in some schools.

Well, the pupils follow trends, let us follow them! They try new gadgets and apps, and a  trend follow one another in a quick pace. The teachers or parents are not fully capable to follow them. And why should they, while the social trends come and go, some are here to stay.

Did you know that the most common message of a teacher to a teacher on social media is: ‘did it get through?’ and from a pupil to a pupil: ‘Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy….’

The fist rule is: You don’t really have to have anything to say – just say – in social media.

Rule 2 is about creativity.

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Parents and teachers don’t always support the creativity of pupils in social media. We often forget that it’s really about creativity, nothing else. Being verbal, clever, finding out the cleverest way of playing on words, taking grazy photos, editing photos.

Social media is entertainment, but it’s also creativeness and trying out the limits the features of gadgets and apps. Hanging on the edge. That’s why the kids are better with the computers than we adults are. The cliché but so true. Conclusion, the teachers should perhaps give up and have some fun with social media.

The second rule is: You can’t break the social media, be brave, make trials, download apps and get introduced to their features.

Rule 3 is about flow.

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Tablet computers and social media has entered to working at schools which is a positive thing. We must bear in mind that in the future they will be used every day in the working life. Conclusion, schools should teach the reasonable use of them instead of closing the eyes and pretending that social media is only for fun.

It also seems to be motivating to use the familiar gaming gadget for the home work as well. The pupils seem to get enthusuastic about the subject if they are to make a You Tube video about it. It’s more likely that a pupil performs better and gains better results.

The third rule: follow the flow, accept tablets and mobile phones on your lessons.

Rule 4 is about participation.

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Finland had a new parliament in April, the campaigns have been going on in social media, it’s got a great influence on amazingly large amount of voters. We must remember, that social media is not only entertainment unless participating and influencing. We both parents and teachers should deal this attitude forward.

To enlighten this in connection to the parliament elections we could mention the election machine of YLE. It’s been two times more popular than earlier. Many Finnish voters searched similar opinions and values to vote for.

It’s a good lesson to teach the pupils to influence through the social media. E.g. using the map application the pupil may mark the good and bad things around the school environment and therefore affect to the atmosphere at school.

The fourth rule: Discuss with your pupils about the social media effect on the life of their own and their families in everyday life and school going.

Rule 5 is about empathy.

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Social media is also sharing experiences and getting to know new things and people around. Thinking social media as a possibility to express empathy instead hate lessens bullying and harassment. No growing place for that.

What is true interaction, it’s listening to others, honouring the opinions and acceptance of differencies. Even we adults have sometimes difficulties to remember the empathy on web. Here we’ve got a mutual goal …

The fifth rule: You don’t have to have a save mode for expressing the feelings and emotions on web. It’s crucial to teach pupils to think how the others feel about your comments.

Rule 6 is about sharing.

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Tablets are the cheapest way to implement the ICT to schools, both in developed and developing countries. This fact predicts that they will be widely used in teaching. At the same time there will be more and more applications placed into the education plan and into the lessons. They say that the developing countries will have a super highway to the mobile use age.

The way of utilizing the applications can vary. One way is to stream information via mobile data and the other way is to use native apps.


The sixth rule: Ask for your pupils to give a tip of app of week, and find some time to find out about it together as a class

Rule 7 is about expressing.

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Tablets, mobiles and selfies equal social media to many of us. Trend, and some of us are tired of it. Yes, I have been tired of reading the similar kind of Facebook posts over and over again. But … is there something positive in this too?

In social media you’re able discuss, negotiate, give arguments, express yourself creatively. Partly this is the reason, why nearly all of us are active in at least one social media channel.

The seventh rule: Is there even a minor role available for a social media post or mobile device use each day or dare to say, each class?

Rule 8 is about acceptance.

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Teachers might find it hard to recognise the pedagogically valued social media applications for classes. How to make the most use out of the most popular ones in school work? They may irritate you in the first place and it might be hard to remember that the point is to find out how to utilise them in school work.

The keywords of the social media are interactivity, co-operation and togetherness.

The eight rule: Have a think tank with pupils about the irritating features of the social media and how to turn them into positive energy.

Rule 9 is about choosing.

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The apps for social media vary all the time and pupils surf on the trends. One of the recent ones is Periscope for short time video blogs. They exist only for 24 hours and after that dive under water again. Waste of time, says a reasoned adult and is probably quite right.

The ninth rule: Take the advantage of the apps that are for you, serve your objectives as a teacher, and then choose which ones are suited to your classes and support you as a teacher.

Rule 10 is about life.

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While in social media, it’s not just clicking and surfing. This is social media for many of us. In social media it’s a benefit to have communication skills in style, writing, language skills, politeness, literacy and so called media literacy. In addition it’s good to know how to make audio and video files and how to publish them.

It’s important to remind the pupils to cross check facts and dismiss rumours, combine information, make source criticism, estimate and analyse the social media content.

The tenth rule: Social media is a new dimension in communication and interaction with others, consider it as a richness of life.

What was SLUSH all about for us? 

Slush was established in 2008 in Helsinki, Finland if I recall it right. It was a modest event in the beginning. Citynomadi participated with a demo stand on 2010 and 2011 – when the event seemed to have future and so called market demand – first time in the Cable Factor. The profile of the investors was very much Finnish like. Last year we had a demo stand on the second day and traffic was steady.

In 2015 – side events

Last week’s Slush was breaking its records over again. Some of the visitors reckoned that Slush will turn into an establishment, meaning that the fresh marginality and rebellious attitude will be gone.

I don’t know, but I doubt it. Slush evolves at the time. This year you could participate a number of side events all over Helsinki. Believe me, one of the wildest was the idea to invite the NGOs and public sector to meet the start ups. And not only the start ups, each other and investors. The NGO sector needs new ideas to put into the practice in a drive level of Slush. The world faces problems, individuals face problems and start ups want and need to face the user feedback. It’s a perfect match!


Not only for start ups, Slush is for the growth companies, this year even more explicitly. The start ups do well a good idea can be piloting with a small amount of money, with the government support. Then there’s the marketing and internationalising challenge. If there’s not enough marketing and selling competency many of good ideas will fall. And that’s not always the company’s fault. The founders may try, spend money and energy and still loose the grip. It’s the growing that’s painful.


The death toll of the new born companies even in Finland before reaching five years is about 50 %, so there’s a lot of waste of good ideas, energy and effort. Hopefully the investors would notice this gap and start to support the companies with a product but not enough turnover to survive the hard marketing struggle.

The investors tend to swarm around the trends, so they smell money in ideas or tend to pick up the companies with already steady cash flow.


For the students and new job seekers, there was a recruiting area for them. I like the spectre of perspectives.


The trend of today according to the demo booths seems to be the data analysing, sales and marketing analysing, user analysing, analysing in general. Two specific companies I’d pick up were Walkbase, that analyses the behaviour of visitors within a specific area and Enevo, that analyses the waste containers filling degree. Analyse and make the processes of the customer organization more efficient.

It was nice to notice the amount of foreign companies around together with the companies presenting so called old fashioned products such as card games, 3D wooden puzzles and cuddly toys with a light. Nothing to do with digitalising.

One success story for sure will the grasshopper growery concept in a sea container size. The target is to produce protein without a huge carbon footprint.

Slush 100

Slush 100 is the competition of the best pitch, a sales talk that makes people to buy your idea. Remember: ‘I would not buy a used car from him!’. Not like that.

Read more about Slush 100 on


The Slush has been remarked in everyday life at least in Finland, it had even inspired the skit makers of a popular TV show Putous (Fall down) last Saturday. As a part of the competition of the funny characters was the pitching competition. Among the ideas there were a mother-in-law app, a cougars’ lad trap, a virtual reality paper bag, a 30 day stadium concert with one performer, a movie of life and deeds of a 9 year old genius, a video game of Super Mario in 2015 …

And to be honest the true life’s start up ideas sometimes sound like skits last Saturday. But, you never know what will be the future.

Next year – see you!

I liked Slush, I enjoyed being there, I got to know a lot of new people, I talked with interesting persons, I created networks, I’ll attend next year.

Have a look at the photo report of ours on Pinterest. Do not worry about the quality of the photos, because it’s always dark in there, the photos are dark and despite the flash they’re dark.

By Merja 17.11.2015

Mobile Apps May Save Nerves Of Moving People During The Tube Strike 

London has a 24 h tube strike on Wed and Thu this week. If you’re a tourist it’s not so important, only annoying, but if you’re a Londorneer, and your smooth everyday life is in danger, you might seek for relief.

First time ever I came across a news title like this on Guardian web site ‘Five key apps to help you get around London during the tube strike’. The newspaper had picked up the following five apps, all available for free. We have entered to a new era, apps are recommended to make your life easier during the challenging circumstances.

Citymapper seems to be a handy Real Time Transit app with timetables and lines together with maps. Quite a few cities are covered, so it seems to be a good companion. Information is based on open data, and the description doesn’t mention offline usage.

And of course Google maps, who wouldn’t dare to pass it. Google maps is Google maps, it’s a pure map and navigation application, and nothing to say more about it.

For the ‘Boris bikes’ user the Santander cycles is a good choice, it’s the bike company’s official app with the code releasing the right to use the bike. Didn’t get the best rates of the Android users, probably gives out the hiring places of bikes but lacks some more information, etc. cyclists are very sensitive about the bike lines and the route conditions.

Hailo is one of the taxi applications that allows you to tap your location on a map and wait for the taxi to arrive. While using the taxi apps, you’ve got to know which is the official app in each city, that’s a benefit for Uber. It’s nice that the taxi apps are serving people more and more.

London Live Bus Countdown is telling you the nearest bus lines, their accuracy and much more. Sounds countable and useful. I will try this at least, when in London.

So, what’s Nomadi’s role during the Tube strike that strikes? Well, if you can, take it easy and enjoy some of the most charming walks along the streets of London: download a FREE Nomadi by writing on your mobile, choose Here and now and let go! I would recommend Live East, Die Young – movie routes!