Monday, January 22, 2018

How Far Can You Get in Ten Minutes?


TravelTime is a very handy tool for working out how far you can travel in a certain time. It allows you to find areas you can reach by walking, cycling, driving or accessing by public transport in a set amount of time.

If you share your location with TravelTime you can view an isochrone map showing you how far you can travel using different lengths of time. For example,  you can select to view all the places you could walk to within 15 minutes. TravelTime also allows you to search for venues and points of interest within your allocated travel time. So, for example, you can ask TravelTime to show you all the coffee shops within a 15 minute walk of your current location.

TravelTime also allows you to search from more than one location. So, for example, if you want to meet a friend for coffee you can enter both your locations and find the areas which you can both reach within a 15 minute walk.


TravelTime also now includes a new Radius Map tool. This tool allows you to draw a radius around any location. This allows you to quickly see any area which is a set distance from from your location.

You can use the radius tool to visualize how different a set distance from a point is to a travel time isochrone. Add a travel time layer to the map and you can directly see all the areas within a set radius which are reachable in your travel time. The TravelTime Radius Map even calculates the percentage of the area within your radius which isn't accessible in your set time and the percentage of the iscochrone area which falls outside your radius.

Mapping the World's Favorite Songs


The Pudding has mapped the world's most popular songs on one interactive map. The Pudding's Cultural Borders of Songs map uses data from YouTube to visualize what people are most listening to around the world.

The map replaces the world's place-name labels with map labels which reveal the most popular songs in each part of the globe. Countries and states are also colored on the map by song. This helps to reveal the regions where individual songs are most popular.

The top 15 songs are listed in the side panel. If you select a song from this list you can see the areas of the world where it was the most popular song on YouTube last month. You can also listen to the song and watch its YouTube video directly from the map.


Spotify's Musical Map of the World allows you to listen to locally distinctive music in cities around the world. Using the Musical Map you can select from around a thousand global cities and listen to the music that appeals to local people who use the Spotify music streaming service.

When you select a city on the map you can view a Spotify playlist of the most popular distinctive music from that city. This playlist is not necessarily the most popular songs listened to on Spotify in the chosen city but the most 'distinctive'. In other words this is music that people in the chosen city listen to a lot, which people in other cities do not listen to so much.

Poles of Inaccessibility


A pole of inaccessibility is the furthest point on the Earth from a point of accessibility. It is most often used to describe a point in an ocean which is the most distant from a coastline. However it could also be used, for example, to describe the point in a country which is the furthest distance from the sea.

Atlas Obscura has worked out a number of Poles of Inaccessibility. Their collection of points on the Earth which are hard to access includes the Arctic Pole of Inaccessibility (the northernmost point that is furthest from land), the Eurasian Point of Inaccessibility (the point on the Eurasian continent that is furthest from the ocean) and the North American Pole of Inaccessibility (the spot in the USA furthest from the coast).

Places of Inaccessibility is a new interactive map which shows Germany's most inaccessible locations. The map visualizes the points in Germany which are the furthest away from a road. Großer Knechtsand is Germany's Pole of Inaccessibility being 13.59 km from the nearest road. Part of the reason it is so far from a road is because it is on a road free island. A point in a military training area in Bergen is the most inaccessible place that is neither in the water, on an island or in the mountains.

The History of the Russian Empire


To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution Histography has created an interactive map which visualizes Russia's changing borders from the year 862 right up until the "adoption of Crimea into Russia" in 2014. Russian History looks at centuries of Russia's history, particularly as to how it has affected the country's border.

This history map is controlled by an interactive timeline, which chronicles Russia's rulers and history. As you scroll through this interactive timeline the background map automatically updates to show how Russia's border has changed and how the country has grown in size over the centuries. A menu allows you to quickly jump to any century on the timeline and map.

View more Russian maps by using the Russia tag on Maps Mania.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The First Modern Map of London


Do you know how many roads there are in the City of London?

None - there are no roads in the City of London.

The reason there are no roads in the City of London is because all those streets paved with gold were named a long time before the word 'road' came into use about 250 years ago.

If you don't believe me then you can search this 1682 map of London for any streets with a 'road' place-name. The London Time Machine is an interactive version of William Morgan's map of London. If you explore the map you will find lots of streets, lanes, alleys and yards. You won't find any roads.

William Morgan's map was the first properly surveyed map of the city released after the 1666 Fire of London. After the Fire of London the city had to be rebuilt and this new city needed a new map. The survey for the map took 6 years to complete. The finished map was made up of 16 copper engravings and is eight feet by five feet in size. Along the bottom of the map is a panoramic view of the city created by Robert Morden and Phillip Lee. The panorama shows a view of the city as seen from south of the River Thames.

Luckily for map fans William Morgan's map was featured in the BBC's great The Beauty of Maps series.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Which Country is Bigger?


You're smart.

You know that maps misrepresent the relative size of different countries. In fact you have a perfect mental map of the relative sizes of most of the world's major countries.

Don't you?

Let's find out!

How Accurate is Your Mental Map? is a fun little survey which tests your knowledge of the size of countries around the world. In the survey you are are presented with the maps of two separate countries. All you have to do is estimate the real size of the two countries by adjusting the maps so that the relative size of each country is as accurate as possible.

After you have compared ten different pairs of countries you are awarded a score based on your answers. I look at maps all day long and I only managed 77%. How well can you do?

The Scaled Size of the Solar System


If the Earth was the size of a tennis ball then Neptune would be about 15 miles away. It would also be about 27 cm in diameter (compared to Earth's 7 cm).

A new interactive map helps explain the size of the solar system by overlaying a scaled representation of the distance from the sun to each of the planets on top of a map of your neighborhood. Basically Solar System Maps shows you how far away each of the planets would be from your home if the Earth was the size of a tennis ball.

If you share your location with Solar System Maps or click on your house on the map then it will place your home at the center of our scaled solar system. Each of the planets' orbits are then shown on the map to scale. You can view a relative comparison of the size of any of the planets to the Earth by clicking on the planet's orbit on the map. Solar System Maps can also show you the relative distance to each of the planets if the Earth was the size of a basketball.

Where Have All the Poppies Gone?


In 2014 artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper installed 888,246 ceramic red poppies in the moat of the Tower of London. The artwork was called 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' and was created in commemoration of the centenary of the start of World War I. Each of the poppies planted in the moat represented a colonial or British serviceman killed in the war.

After the installation ended the poppies were sold for £25 each, in order to raise money for service charities. You can now see where a lot of the poppies have gone on a new interactive map.

Owners of a poppy can plant their flowers on the Where are the Poppies? map. So far nearly 35,000 people have added their poppies to the map. If you click on a poppy on the map you can read the story about the flower that the owner has shared with Where are the Poppies.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Supply Chain Mapping


The Green Supply Chain Map is a new interactive map which shows the Chinese supplier lists of a number of international brands alongside real-time environmental data. The map allows customers to view both a brand's supply chains in China and their environmental performance.

If you select a company from the map sidebar you can view the factories in China which are part of that brand's supply chain. If you select a factory's marker on the map you can then click through to view whether the factory has violated any environmental codes. The Green Supply Chain Map also includes air pollution and water pollution in China.


Many companies are becoming more open about how and where their products are manufactured. As part of this trend some individual businesses have created their own  supply chain maps to inform consumers about the origins of the raw materials and / or the global factories where products are made.

The Nike Manufacturing Map is an interactive map which shows the location of independent factories contracted to make Nike products. The map also allows you to access information about the product made by each factory and data about the employees.

If you select a factory on the map you can view details on the number of employees employed, the percentage of female employees and the number of migrant workers. If you want to learn more about Nike's compliance standards you can click through to read their Code of Conduct and Code of Leadership Standards.


In the UK the retailer Marks & Spencer has also released a supply chain map, the M&S Supplier Map. In order to be more transparent with their customers M&S has created this interactive map to show the factories around the world where M&S source their branded clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, food, non-alcoholic drinks and household products.

Using the map you can view details on individual factories around the world which are part of the M&S supply chain. If you select an individual manufacturer on the map you can view a few details about the factory, such as the total number of employees and the percentage of female & male employees.

May the Map Be With You


If you've ever wanted to map the Star Wars galaxy then you will probably like the Star Wars API. SWAPI contains all the data you might ever need from the Star Wars series of films. This includes data on Star Wars' planets, spaceships, vehicles, people, films and species.

You can discover what kind of data the API includes about the planets in this interactive guide to the Star Wars Planets. This visualization orders the planets by size, population, population density, and how long the planet takes to rotate & how long it takes to orbit the galaxy's sun.


You might get a better idea of the size of the Star Wars planets with this Star Wars Galaxy map. The Star Wars Galaxy is a huge 3d WebGL map of the entire fictional galaxy from George Lucas' series of Star Wars films. The map includes 3d models of all the planets and moons that feature in the movies

This 3d map of the Star Wars Galaxy was sketched out in ArcMap and is displayed using the Esri CityEngine. Using the map you can explore the Star Wars galaxy in 3d, visiting all the major planets and even the Death Star!

When the map loads you should press the play button in the bottom left-hand corner of the map to set out on a tour of the whole galaxy and the major planets. You can also navigate to individual planets using the menu that runs along the bottom of the map. If you get lost in your travels around the galaxy you can use the search option to search for individual planets by name.


The above 3d map is quite memory intensive. If you are on a slower computer or a browser that doesn't support WebGL then you might prefer this 2d map of Star Wars. The Star Wars Galaxy Map is a two dimensional interactive atlas of a galaxy far, far away. You may have heard of the legendary battles between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Now you can explore the spatial background to this epic galactic war on your own map.

The map shows the location of planets, sectors and regions within the Star Wars Galaxy. You can click on regions and planets to reveal their names and a link to the relevant Wookieepedia article. You can also select which layers you want to see displayed on the map by clicking on the 'visible layers' button. The layers included on the map are Planets, Hyperspace, Sectors, and Regions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

London's Busiest Tube Stations


Where do passengers get on and off the tube? is an interactive map of the London Underground showing how many passengers enter and exit the tube at each London tube station. The size of each tube line on the map reflects the number of passengers who enter and exit the tube at each station.

The data behind the map is interesting and the resulting map looks quite pretty. As a visualization of the data however the map could be better. For some reason the map's creator has decided to make a 'geographically accurate' map of the London Underground rather than copy Harry Beck's iconic tube map design. This would be fine if the map had station labels. It doesn't. It is therefore very difficult to work out where individual stations are on the map. This would be less of a problem if the map copied the London Underground map design. At least then people familiar with the tube map would have some idea where a lot of stations are on the map.

You can hover over the map to view the names of stations. The map also has a search function. Unfortunately the search engine doesn't appear to recognize half of the names of London Underground stations.

Of course the number of passengers entering and exiting a station doesn't necessarily reflect how busy a station is. On this map North Greenwich appears to be about 8 times busier than West Ham. However, anyone using the Jubilee line in East London will know that West Ham is often far busier than North Greenwich. At West Ham most of the activity is from passengers moving between different tube lines. So although it is often the busier station West Ham doesn't have as many passengers entering and exiting the station as North Greenwich.

Map of the Day


Scotland's Trunk Road Gritter Tracker wins the internet today. This real-time map of Scotland's road gritting trucks is creating a bit of a winter storm on social media.

The popularity of the Trunk Road Gritter Tracker is not because you can follow the trucks in real-time as they grit Scotland's roads. Don't get me wrong - watching the little truck markers moving around on a map of Scotland is lots of fun. However, what has excited the internet more is the hilarious names given to some of the trucks.

Some of my favorite truck names on the map include Gritty Gritty Bang Bang, Sir Salter Scott, Gritty Gonzales, Luke Snowalker and Grittie McVitie,

How to Rob a Country


The problems with having an oligarch as a president is that they will steal as much money as they can while they are in power. The longer they remain in power the better they become at laundering their stolen money. This is particularly true of those oligarchs who are supported by Russia.

Take Viktor Yanukovich for example. As president of Ukraine from 2010-2014 he managed to steal billions of dollars using a global money laundering network. Al Jazeera has used documents recovered after the Ukrainian revolution to map how Victor Yanukovich was able to move his stolen money around the world.

The Oligarchs is an interactive story map which tracks the movements of the stolen money through shell companies in offshore tax havens and other money-laundering hotspots around the world, such as the UK. As you progress through the story map you can follow the trail of the money as it is laundered clean by being passed from bank to bank and tax haven to tax haven. None of the banks used, including those in the United States, flagged the money or its movements as suspicious.

Al Jazeera suggests that the money stolen from Ukraine by Victor Yanukovich is now being used to fuel dissent in Ukraine.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How Well Does Your Home Score?


Two factors that you might want to consider when buying a new house are how noisy the neighborhood is and how busy the local roads are. Both of these factors can hugely affect your quality of life and neither may be entirely apparent until you move in to your new home.

That is why Total Home Score has been released. Total Home Score is a new interactive map that rates every building in Chicago and Boston (hopefully the rest of the United States will be coming soon) for noise and traffic.

The 3d buildings on the Total home Score interactive map are colored by either noise or traffic levels (you can switch between the two by using the buttons on the map). If you select a building on the map you can view its 'Quiet Score' and 'Road Score'. Each of these scores are out of 100, with a higher rating being better than a lower rating. If you select the 'details' link next to either score then you can view some of the environmental factors which have contributed to the score (details are shown beneath the map).


The amount of traffic on a neighborhood's roads will affect how pleasant it is to walk around the neighborhood. You can discover how nice a neighborhood is for walking and cycling at Walk Score.

Enter an address into the Walk Score interactive map and you can find out how well it scores for walking, cycling and public transit. Walk Score also has a great apartment search facility which helps you find an apartment not only by price but by what nearby amenities are within an easy walk or bike ride.


Trulia Local is another useful interactive map which can help you find out how well a neighborhood rates for other important factors, such as crime, commuting times, local amenities and local traffic. It can also help you find out whether there are good local schools, restaurants, banks and stores nearby.

Trulia Local provides a heat map of local crime. This heat map shows areas of high and low crime and also maps individual crime reports. If you want to find how long it will take you to commute from a neighborhood to your work then you can mark your workplace on the map and view an isochrone map showing all nearby commute times.

The Real-Time Electricity Map


The Electricity Map is a real-time map of electricity production around the world. The map uses data about electricity production and consumption from energy producers and government agencies across the globe to provide a near real-time dashboard of the live CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of individual states and countries.

Each country and state on the map is colored by how much CO2 is used to produce its electricity demand. If you hover over a country or state on the map you can view the percentage of its electricity which is low carbon or from renewable sources. If you click on a country or state then you can view a breakdown of how its electricity demand is met. For example, how much electricity is produced by wind, solar or hydro power plants.


If you are interested in the live production of electricity, especially from renewable sources, then you might also like this map of UK wind energy production. The United Kingdom generates a higher percentage of its electricity from offshore wind farms than any other country. You can view the current output of the UK's offshore wind farms on the Offshore Wind Electricity Map.

The map shows the locations of the UK's offshore wind farms. Each wind farm is represented on the map by a scaled animated wind turbine marker. The size of the marker represents the scale of the current output from each wind farm. If you select a marker on the map you can view the name of the wind farm and its current output in megawatts.

The map sidebar shows a dashboard reading of the share of the UK's electricity currently being generated by offshore wind. If you select a marker on the map the dashboard updates to show the operator of the selected wind farm, the site capacity, the number of turbines and the type of turbines.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Seas of Plastic Debris


The Seas of Plastic is a visualization of the floating plastic debris that is polluting the world's oceans. The visualization includes an interactive globe showing the five large circulating gyres of plastic in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Indian, South Atlantic and North Atlantic oceans. The visualization also includes a Sankey Diagram that shows the amount of plastic debris which different countries contribute to each of these five circulating gyres.

The data for the Seas of Plastic visualization comes from a Lagrangian particle tracking model which simulated 30 years of input, transport and accumulation of floating plastic debris around the world. The model tracks the paths of plastic particles from land to sea and estimates the relative size of each of the five circulatory gyres.


Around 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the world's oceans every single year. This plastic is dangerous to marine life and, once it enters the food chain, ultimately dangerous to the health of the human race.

The Ocean Cleanup organisation believes that between 1.15 and 2.41 million metric tons of the plastic in the oceans originates from the world's river systems. Two thirds of it from the rivers of Asia. To help explain how and where plastic ends up in the world's oceans the Ocean Cleanup has released an interactive map, River Plastic Emissions to the World’s Oceans.

The map shows river systems around the globe. The predicted input from each river system is shown at the coast using scaled circular markers. These predicted inputs are based on a model which looks at population density, waste management, topography, hydrography, the locations of dams and the reported concentration of plastic in rivers around the world.


You can see where all that plastic goes on Sailing Seas of Plastic, an interactive mapped visualization of the concentration of plastic in the world's oceans. According to the map there are 5,250 billion pieces of plastic adrift on the seas of the world.

This dot density map shows the estimated concentration of floating plastic in the oceans. Each dot on the map represents 20 kg of floating plastic. The estimations are based on the results of 24 survey expeditions (2007-2013) and on wind and ocean drift models.

If you want you can also overlay the sailing tracks of the 24 survey expeditions on top of the dot map.

Funky Road-Trip Planning


Long car journeys can be very boring. If you want to break up a long road-trip then you can always use Make My Drive Fun to find interesting pit-stops along your route.

Make My Drive Fun is a route planner which includes the 'funkiest places' to visit along each route. Just enter your starting point and destination into Make My Drive Fun and it will create a map for your route. The map will include a number of markers showing 'funky attractions' within less than a 20 minute drive of your route.


You can also find fun things to do on your road-trip using the Rand McNally Trip Maker. This interactive road trip planning tool can give you turn-by-turn driving directions for your trip with the option to find interesting places to visit along the route.

If you are looking for interesting pit-stops on your journey then you can use the 'Things to Do' option. This allows you to search for rest-stops and points of interest along your route. You can even define how far you are prepared to deviate from your route by entering the number of miles. When you are happy with your planned road trip you can email and export your trips to any Rand McNally GPS device.


You can also use Roadtrippers to plan a journey with interesting diversions. Roadtrippers allows you to find pit-stops along your route using a number of different options. For example you can define how far off your route you want to search for suggested stops. You can also save your planned trips on Roadtrippers for later reference.

Roadtrippers includes a huge database of points of interest. This includes cafes, gas stations and hotels. It also includes tourist destinations and offbeat, strange and unusual places to visit.

Lighting Up the World


Lighthouses of the World is an interesting map of all the world's lighthouses. OK, it isn't that interesting - but I do like how the map lights up some of the world's busiest coastlines and the Great Lakes of North America.

I believe the map was made using data from OpenStreetMap (you can read more about how lighthouses are mapped on the OSM Wiki). This does mean that the Lighthouses of the World map is only as accurate as the data on OSM. It could be that some areas of the world have not had as many lighthouses mapped as other areas of the world.


You can see that not all busy coastlines have lighthouses marked on the map. You can view most of the busiest shipping lanes around the world on Shipmap.org. Shipmap.org is an outstanding animated map that visualizes the movements of the global merchant shipping fleet over the course of one year.

If you compare the two maps it appears that Africa and the western coastline of South America are two areas with heavy marine traffic but less lighthouses. I'm not sure if this is due to a lack of data on OSM in these regions or if there isn't the same tradition of building lighthouses in these areas of the world.

Another thing I like about this map is its use of Firefly Cartography. Firefly Cartography is a term coined by John Nelson to describe maps with:

  • A dark, de-saturated basemap (usually imagery) 
  • Masked highlight area and vignette 
  • Single bright, glowing, thematic layer
Lighthouses of the World certainly has the dark basemap and glowing thematic data of firefly cartography. Of course a firefly cartographic theme is entirely appropriate for a map of lighthouses, which are meant to similarly guide us in the dark. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Where Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers


As a member of Generation X I increasingly find myself caught in the middle of a generational war between Millennials and Baby Boomers. It is a war that Millennials just might be beginning to win. The latest reports from the front-line suggest that the Millennials have now captured most large urban centers and are increasingly pushing Baby Boomers out into the wilderness, beyond the walls of our towns and cities.

Yesterday Alisdair Rae tweeted a map he created which shows Where Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers in the UK. The map shows that in most local authority areas Baby Boomers outnumber Millennials. However in the most densely populated areas in large towns and cities Millennials actually outnumber Baby Boomers.

Alisdair's map inspired Census Mapper to create an interactive map showing Millennials vs Boomers in Canada. The map uses data from the 2016 census to show areas where there are more Millennials (people born in the years 1982 through 2000) and where there are more Boomers (people born 1946 through 1964).

In Canada there are slightly more Boomers than Millennials. But only just and the total numbers of each are pretty even. However there is a big difference in where Boomers and Millennials live. As in the UK Baby Boomers dominate in most rural areas (except areas with a large First Nations population). The Millennials though have captured most of Canada's largest towns and cities (although I suspect most of the property is still owned by Boomers and members of Generation X).

Journey to the Center of the Earth


Seismic Waves is an application which allows you to visualize the propagation of an earthquake's seismic waves as they radiate across the Earth's surface and bounce around inside its interior. The app allows you to watch animated simulations of the earthquake waves of ten historical earthquakes that occurred around the world.

As each animated earthquake simulation plays out you can watch the earthquake waves radiate out on a WebGL half-globe. The waves traveling through the Earth's core bounce off and travel through the Earth's Outer & Inner Core. The half-globe is interactive. Therefore, if you want to study the seismic waves traveling through the Earth more closely, you can rotate the globe to get a better view of the Earth's Mantle, Outer Core and Inner Core.

This Seismic Wave simulator provides a great demonstration of how earthquakes can be used to investigate the Earth’s interior structure. It shows both P-waves (pressure; these waves pass through liquid and solid) and S-waves (shear or secondary; these waves only travel through solid - not through liquid). Waves are refracted (change direction) when they travel through different densities. Therefore by measuring the time P-waves and S-waves take to travel through the Earth it is possible to infer the make-up of the Earth's interior.

Seismic Waves was created by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. If you want to know more about seismic waves the IRIS has created many more lessons, animations and posters on seismic waves.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Global Travel Time Map


The Global Accessibility Mapping Project shows how long it takes to travel to the nearest high-density urban center, from any point on Earth. The map was made using OpenStreetMap data with distance-to-roads data from the Google roads database. It was created through a collaboration of the Malaria Atlas Project (Oxford University), Google, the Joint Research Centre of the European Union, and the University of Twente.

The map can be used to identify areas of the world where populations have low accessibility to urban centres. Used with population data the atlas can be used to identify populations with poor access to work, educational attainment and healthcare.

The Guardian has printed a number of country maps which use the Global Accessibility Mapping Project data to show the Daily Commute Travel Times to Cities Around the World. You can view an interactive mapped version of the same data on the Malaria Atlas Explorer (to view the map you need to select the 'Layer Catalogue', then 'Surfaces', then 'Human Population' and then finally select the 'Accessibility 2015' layer). You can also view an interactive version of the map at Roadless Forest. The Roadless Forest map allows you to compare the new global accessibility map with the previous accessibility map from 2009.

Mapping Ancient Greece


The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens has released a number of virtual tours of some of Greece's most important archaeological and historically important sites. These Virtual Tours include interactive maps of Athens, Ancient Olympia, Mycenae, Marathon and a number of other historically important locations in Greece.

Each of these interactive maps includes a custom made map of the archaeological site, on which the most important buildings and landmarks are shown. For example the map for Athens includes the Parthenon, the Acropolis, the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. You can learn more about any of these ancient landmarks by clicking on the links in the map sidebar or by clicking on the markers on the map.

The archaeological and historical maps for each virtual tour can be found by clicking on the tour's 'Myth' tab. If you select the 'Experience' tab on any of the virtual tours you can view a modern map of the site, featuring the locations of restaurants, transport links and other useful amenities for visitors to the site.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

San Fran Windows


This interactive map provides a window into the soul of San Francisco. In fact Windows of San Francisco provides 100 different windows into the daily life of the Golden City.

The premise behind Windows of San Francisco is wonderfully simple. The site provides 100 short videos of San Francisco street-life, as seen through different windows in the city. Although the concept is simple the result is a beautifully realized snapshot of the city and its different neighborhoods. From the leather clad men idly parading on Folsom Street, via the snap-shotting tourists at the Embarcadero, to the homeless man lying on Columbus Avenue, the videos on Windows of San Francisco provide a portrait of everyday life in one of America's most popular cities.

If you are stumped as to the location of any of the videos then you simply need to click on the map icon. This loads an interactive map showing you where the video footage was captured. If you zoom out on this map you can see markers showing you where all 100 videos were shot. Unfortunately these markers aren't interactive. This is a shame as interactive markers would make the map a great way to navigate and view the videos by location.

The Dunder Mifflin Office


Over the years there really haven't been enough interactive maps of television studios sets. The nearest thing we've come to this in the past has been the Interactive Simpsons Story Map, which introduces the cartoon's main characters and shows where they live on an interactive map of Springfield.

However the wait for a proper interactive studio set map is now over, thanks to Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Office Map. This interactive map of the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of Dunder Mifflin provides an interactive floor map of the desks, offices, toilets staff room and other amenities which can be found in one of the world's most famous work places. What's more the map is also fully searchable. If you want to know where your favorite character sits in the Scranton office then you can enter the character's name and the map will automatically zoom in to show you their desk on the office floor plan.

As fun as the Dunder Mifflin Office Map is the map actually has a serious purpose. The map is a demonstration of the Office Floor Plan Navigator. This GIS application is designed to help create interactive floor plan maps. The application "takes indoor building floor plans and turns them into an interactive mapping platform allowing you to assign a location to anything from your favorite pen to a meeting room".

If you want to see another demonstration of the Office Floor Plan Navigator in action then check out this interactive map of the set from the television drama Suits.

Berlin Pollution Mapped


The Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin has released an interesting visualization of air pollution in Berlin. The visualization uses an interactive map to show the hourly distribution of particulate matter at measuring stations throughout the city.

3D-Feinstaub Berlin uses extruded cylindrical polygons to show the levels of particulate matter measured at each station. Both the height and the color of the cylinders reflect the level of air pollution recorded. If you turn on the heat map layer you can view an estimation of how that air pollution might have spread around Berlin based on the wind speed and direction at the time of the measurements.

The map includes data on Berlin's air pollution dating back to January 15th 2017. You can use the date and hour controls on the map to visualize the air pollution measured at any hour on any of the days since that date.

If you are interested in using extruded polygons in your own map visualizations then you should check out the Mapbox GL Extrude Polygons demo map and code.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

No News is Bad News


Wikipedia's List of Defunct Newspapers of the United States includes the names of over 1,000 newspapers which are no longer in print. Many of these papers collapsed decades ago. However a large proportion of these newspapers are victims of the loss of 50% of print newspaper readers in the last 20 years.

The Colombia Journalism Review's map of America's Growing News Deserts shows the number of local newspapers left in each county in the United States. The choropleth layer on the map shows the number of daily newspapers in each county. It reveals that a lot of counties no longer have a single local newspaper in print.

The data for the map comes from 2015. The Colombia Journalism Review is currently working on updating the data for the map. It is therefore keen to hear if any local newspapers are missing from their database or if the map includes newspapers which no longer exist (contact details for the CJR can be found in the map's accompanying article).

How Germany Moves


Telefonica West has used mobile phone data to visualize the movements of every single German by hour and by day. The result is a huge animated interactive map which reveals the daily commuting patterns of the whole population in every German town and city.

So bewegt sich Deutschland is an animated map which uses anonymous location data from mobile phones to show the movements of Germans by air and by road. Five billion data points are generated every day by Germans as they move around the country with their mobile phones. This map visualizes that data to show the movements of Germans over a typical week. For reasons of security each of the moving markers on the map represents a large number of anonymous travelers not individual Germans.

Using the map it is possible to zoom in on individual towns and cities to view when most people commute to and from work. In fact if you type in a postcode you can see at what time the average commuter in that area starts their day and how that compares to the national average. You can also observe how big a catchment area for commuters each city has. For example people commute into Hamburg from much larger distances than those commuting in and out of Munich.

The Global Fans of English Football Teams


The favorite English football team in the USA and northern Europe is Arsenal. Chelsea are the most popular team in South America and Manchester United have the most fans in India.

Twitter has analysed the global reach of English Premier League (EPL) teams and mapped the results. The Where are your club followers? map is based on the number of followers a team has in each area. Using the map you can view the most followed team in each area of the world. Alternatively you can select to view the global reach of any of the individual teams playing in the EPL.

The map includes QPR, who were relegated from the EPL after the 2014–15 season. The data for the map is therefore at least three years old.


EPL teams are global brands and these teams also consist of players from around the world. The Reckless Agency has plotted the growth of overseas players in the EPL by mapping the birthplaces of EPL players for the 1992 and 2016 seasons. The Premier League Player Birthplaces map includes a slide control which allows you to switch between a map of the birthplaces of the players in 1992 and the birthplaces of the players in the 2016 season. By switching between the maps of the two seasons you can instantly see the huge fall in homegrown players in the EPL and the rise of overseas players.


If you live in England & Wales and you want to know which EPL team you should support then you probably need to know which is your nearest football team.

The Which Team Should I Support map uses a voronoi overlay to divide England & Wales into areas assigned to the closest Premier League teams. You can therefore use the map to quickly see which football team you should be supporting. You can also enter your address into the map to see which team's catchment area you currently live in.

This map dates from 2015 and includes Norwich & Aston Villa.

Also See

Monday, January 08, 2018

The Strange Beauty of Grid Corrections


Before Thomas Jefferson became president he came up with the bright idea of dividing up the American west into regular rectangular parcels of land. The Public Land Survey System was devised in order to distribute land to Revolutionary War soldiers and to make it easier for the government to raise money by selling land.

The result is what is now known as the 'Jefferson Grid'. If you have ever flown over the United States then you will no doubt have seen these square mile sections in the American landscape. From the air it appears that a lot of the USA is almost perfectly divided into one mile squares.

Although it isn't quite perfect. If you've ever driven across that same landscape then you might have also experienced Jefferson Grid corrections. In order to correct for the curvature of the Earth the regular Jefferson Grid system has to make occasional deviations. These deviations help get around the problem of placing a two dimensional rectilinear grid onto the surface of a three dimensional sphere.

Photographer Gerco de Ruitjer's has compiled a beautiful collection of aerial images showing examples of where the Jefferson Grid has strange kinks, bends or curves to correct for the curvature of the Earth. In Grid Corrections you can view examples of where the Jefferson grids are not perfectly aligned.

If these grid corrections are not to your taste then you might prefer to view areas where the grid is perfectly aligned. You can see some great examples of how Thomas Jefferson shaped the American landscape on the Jefferson Grid Instagram account. This account posts aerial imagery (taken from Google Earth) showing examples of Jefferson's gridded plots of land.

The Atlanta Building Age Map


The Atlanta Building Age Map reveals the age of every building in the city of Atlanta. It shows that some of the city's oldest buildings are located near Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse & Spelman colleges.

The map follows the now well established format of building age maps. Building footprints are colored on the map by year of construction. You can also click on individual buildings to reveal their year of construction. The map legend includes a filter control which allows you to select to view buildings built in 20 year periods. The filter provides a handy way to show when Atlanta's different neighborhoods were constructed.

If you are interested in learning more about Atlanta's oldest buildings then you might be interested in the Saporta Report's article on the map, The Age of Atlanta, Mapped and Buildings to Visit. In this article the map is accompanied by information and photographs of some of the cities most historical buildings.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

The Queen's Shopping Map


After a busy day ruling over the Commonwealth the Queen likes to sit down and relax with a large tumbler of the Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky. This is quickly followed by a glass of Thomas Hine cognac, drunk with a Bollinger champagne chaser.

You can discover some of the Queen's other favorite brands on Esri UK's By Royal Appointment interactive map. For centuries the British monarchy has issued royal warrants of appointment to shops and services who supply the royal court or royal family. Brands can then advertise the fact that they supply the royal family, which obviously adds a little prestige to their brand.

The Esri map shows companies and businesses around the world who have been awarded warrants of appointment by the Queen or the Prince of Wales. The businesses shown on the map are colored by type of business.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Driving Directions for Electric Cars


If you drive from New York to San Francisco in an electric car you can save $381 in gas. However you will need to stop 19 times on the journey to recharge your car. I know this because I asked Tesla's new trip planning map to work out the route.

Go Anywhere is a simple trip planning tool for electric car drivers. The tool is a stripped down version of Tesla's in-car navigation system. Using the tool you can get a quick overview of the duration of a journey and all the car-charging locations along the route.

Go Anywhere allows you to add different stages to your route and it also has an option to show you the location of charging stations near the end of your route. However Go Anywhere really only provides a snapshot of your journey. It doesn't provide you with any detailed driving directions. Of course, if you are a Tesla driver, then you have your in-car navigation system to provide you with these detailed directions, while you actually drive.

Collecting Trash in NYC


Back in 2014 Chris Whong created an impressive interactive map, NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life. This seminal interactive map followed the journey of one New York taxi over the course of 24 hours. You can now follow the journey of one New York garbage truck over the course of one night-shift on a new interactive map.

ProPublica has created an animated map which draws the route taken by a garbage truck as it drives around New York collecting garbage at night. One Night on a Private Garbage Truck in New York City draws the 60 mile route taken by one garbage truck over an eight hour period (which is only one half of its shift). As the truck's route is drawn on a map of New York the current time is shown alongside the total miles covered so far. Small nuggets of information about the route, the job and the type of rubbish collected are also added to the map as the route appears on the map.

The animated map was created as part of a ProPublica investigation into the dangerous world of private garbage collection. The investigation reveals that overworked and underpaid private garbage truck drivers often have to break the law in order to complete their routes on time. A situation which is dangerous both for the truck workers and the general public. For example last year in New York City "private sanitation trucks killed seven people... .By contrast, city municipal sanitation trucks haven’t caused a fatality since 2014".

London's Employment Zones


CDRC Maps has added a new data layer to their interactive map of UK census, consumer and health metrics. The new London Workplace Zones uses data from the 2011 census (and various other sources) to classify the capital's workplace populations. The map provides an interesting guide to the main employment sectors in the different parts of London.

The map doesn't show in which sectors the people who live in these areas work. Instead it shows the main type of employment available in each these areas. You could think of it as showing the main employment sectors for the daytime population in each area of London.

The overall picture it paints of London's workplace zones isn't that surprising. The financial centres are mainly situated in the City and around Canary Wharf. Residential services seem to be concentrated in outer London. A lot of retail destinations are based in inner London and a lot of self-employed service providers work in areas surrounding inner London.