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Hemen zaude: Hasiera / Blogak / Ingelesen hilerria / The English Cemetery

English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

A Basque shepherd named Joe Aguirre

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/27 15:19

I saw Brokeback Mountain this weekend. In the first part of the movie, there's a character named Joe Aguirre. We may think that he's a former shepherd that has prospered to become a herd owner.

I knew one Joe Aguirre, Basque shepherd in the US. Not in Wyoming, but in Idaho. He was a natural of Mallabia, the birthplace of my mother. My mother also grew among sheep: as a child, she usually watched after the herd, she told me that she new sheep by their faces, and that each one had a name for her. I suppose that Jose Agirre from Mallabia had also experience with sheep or cattle before embarking to the US. It is very possible that there he would be called Joe, as other emigrants named Jesus became Jess in the US.

Jose Agirre eventually left Idaho, and came back to the Basque Country. He was employed at my hometown Eibar, and afterwork, he earned some extra money teaching english. I was one of his pupils, that attended his lessons at his home.

Joe Aguirre from Brokeback Mountain is the bad guy in the film. The Jose Agirre that I know was a good man, though I don't know what he thinked about homosexuals.

Brokeback Mountain is a touching movie, a good one, about truth, love, being a man... I liked it very much. It isn't a movie about sheep or Basque immigration, certainly. But, well, I just recalled Jose Agirre watching it, and I suppose that if I have a blog in English right now, I owe it to him as well.

And regarding sheepherding in Wyoming... in 2005 a documentary was released, The Last Link, a feature about Pete Camino, a Basque shepherd born in Buffalo, Wyoming.

How we got Tagzania in Polish

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/27 15:13

Someone asked privately, why Polish for Tagzania ? Well, we're neither in Poland nor master too much Polish, actually. We are in the Basque Country, far from Poland, really.

But, some boys from a tech institute in Rzeszow have come to a local tech institute here (student exchange), and this Basque school has put the 18-year boys practising at companies around. There was one of this young poles with Internet skills, so the local institute sent him to us . This young man, Karol Palys, came just perfect for us, to test the l10n of the tool in some non Latin-1 encoding language...

And there it is. Karol will go back to Poland this week. You may contact him at the ZSE tech institute Rzeszow and at rahrahim at by email.

Don't know if Polish users will see any interest in our tool.... Word of mouth is our only way to get out. Our content at Tagzania is open, and the translations as well. The polish one is already public here.

Multiple languages and more novelties at Tagzania

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/23 13:27

A big step for Tagzania today. We are multilingual from now on.

Four languages as a beginning. English, Spanish, Polish and Basque. Go to the settings page, and choose your interface language. We have currently published the translations, the .po files, at Tumatxa. We hope to add new language versions, with the help of users. A mailing list (information - archive) has been set up, and we hope to develop a closer relationship with users of all over the world through that.

There are more settings available as well. Measurements, distance between locations, are now shown in the units of your choice, metric (kilometers) or anglo-american (miles).

We have also created a page to show our gratefulness to some propagandists of Tagzania. Users that have tested our tool, promoted it in their website, provided ideas and valuable feedback... There have been many of them, but, well, the Supreme Council of Tagzania, applying esoteric designation procedures, has designated just a handful of them as ambassadors, and there they are, at our Diplomatic Service page and a map specially dedicated to these people. Tagzania is proud of you!

Desperately seeking contact with Naobasque

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/21 15:17

This fascinating japanese blog, Naobasque, written from the Basque Country! Right now he has a post about the Basque flag, and the author comments some wikipedia entries about the Basque Country!

I would like so much to leave a comment there... but I cannot. Google's translation service (BETA), tells me that in Naobasque's comment dialog box there is a field for password and I cannot guess which one it is... And the trackback feature is only for registered users (and that's a barrier I cannot trespass). No trace of an email that I can detect as well.

Will pingback or some Technorati-like tool make him aware of me?

Naobasque! Hear my desperare cry! I want to contact you by email!

Open EU geodata, say no to Inspire

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/15 15:36

Please sign the petition for Public Geographical Data and against Inspire.

INSPIRE is a UE Directive on European "spatial data infrastructure" and it just began its second reading in the European Parliament. Read in a mailing list: Within a few weeks or months it may entrench a policy of charging European citizens to access public information they've already paid to collect.

Europeans need open data. Open maps, open postal address geocoding.

Doing our bit, I just signed, and contributed with translations into Basque and Spanish.

Streetplans, Platial and other things

Luistxo Fernandez 2006/02/14 12:03

The Winter Olympics event was used by Google to bring roadmaps to continental Europe: to the Piedmont region around Torino as a beginning. Probably they'll expand to the whole of Italy, and perhaps to coincide with the Football World Cup, to Germany and other countries (France and Spain, I would predict, after reading comments on this screen capture ).

Mashups and geo-social-sites were fast to use the novelty, to publish Torino-related maps. So we did at Tagzania, and rival site Platial noted it on their blog. They're elegant, at Platial, mentioning us, and maintaining a creative website. Tagzania seems to have more traffic (according to Alexa), but I suppose that Platial are better located (on the west coast of the US), have better connections (Tim O'Reilly on their board) and now they have money.

The Platial-blogger mentions the great advantages that detailed mapping brings for place-bookmarking or geo-tagging. Or, to put the other way, the chances you have to wrongly locate a given place.

Certainly streetplans and roadmaps increase the chance to bookmark locations, but even without that or hi-resolution imagery, wherever users are active, an interesting amount of locative information can be added. Tagzania's been sort of popular around our home base, so a city like Donostia, with no imagery of quality, looks quite well mapped

BTW, Tagzania's home page looks different today. We've changed the text-only delicious-like interface that we had since July 2005, and will include now an example map. We've added another Bitakora-based blog to Tagzania, as well. Maps to be displayed as examples, will be permalinked in that blog.


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

Ingelesen hilerria

El cementerio de los ingleses


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