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Drake 1.0.1: You Can Use It Now

We’re pleased to announce the release of Drake version 1.0.1. This release is a quick follow-up to the recently released Drake 1.0.0. The 1.x version of Drake provides easy installation, including a Homebrew recipe for Mac users. We’ve also included a commemorative logo upgrade, check it out! Many thanks to @amalloy for his ownership, guidance, and...

A Day in the Life of a Factual Engineer: Polygon Compression

In this series of blog posts, Factual’s blog team asked engineers to describe what a typical day looks like. Background Chris Bleakley, our resident polygon and Lucene expert, had written meticulous documentation about the problem he was solving. The first paragraph read: “Because search times are dominated by the cost of deserializing JTS objects from when...

How Geohashes Work

We use geohashes all the time at Factual, so one day I got curious and read through the canonical Java implementation to figure out exactly how they work. It was an enlightening read, but along the way I encountered some unfortunate bits of coding horror that got me wondering about the fastest way to encode and decode geohashes. The geohash...

Drake after Two Years: “Barely Famous”

We released Drake (“Data workflow tool, like a ‘Make for data’”) two years ago. The impetus behind Drake was the classic “scratch your own itch”. We craved a text-based data workflow tool that would make it easier to build and manage our data processing tasks. We open sourced Drake in the hope that others would find...

The Humongous nfu Survival Guide

Github: github.com/spencertipping/nfu A lot of projects I’ve worked on lately have involved an initial big Hadoop job that produces a few gigabytes of data, followed by some exploratory analysis to look for patterns. In the past I would have sampled the data before loading it into a Ruby or Clojure REPL, but increasingly I’ve started to...