Friday, March 23, 2018

Mapwork Quilts

When I was a lad we were so poor we had to make our own interactive maps, stitching together the old scraps and castoffs we found on the cobbled streets outside the New York Public Library.

OpenWhateverMap is a very useful map for anyone looking for distinctive map tiles for their latest interactive mapping project. OpenWhateverMap is a random map of the world made up of a hotchpotch of different map styles, sourced from lots of different interactive mapping providers.

OpenWhateverMap is a showcase for a number of different base map styles that can be used with any of the leading interactive map libraries. It includes base maps designed by Mapbox, OpenStreetMap, Thunderforest, Stamen and CartoDB. If you like the look of any of these map styles then click on the tile on the map. This will open an information window containing the base map's template URL and the attribution you need to use the style in your own interactive maps.

When I first saw OpenWhateverMap I thought it might be interesting to create a similar map using random map tiles from vintage maps. I have therefore completely ripped off OpenWhateverMap to create Random USA.

RandomUSA creates a random map of the USA made from 18 vintage maps held in the NYPL Digital Collections. The effect, as I suspected it would be, is a bit of a mess. The good thing is, if you don't like the look of a random vintage map of the USA, then you can just zoom in and out to change the look of the map.

It is definitely not as useful as OpenWhateverMap.

The Submarine Cable Map 2018

Every year the company Telegeography release a new updated undersea cable map of the world. The map shows all the submarine cable systems across the globe that are active or are under construction.

Telegrogaphy's 2018 Submarine Cable Map has a much more utilitarian style than some of the previous years' maps. This year's map is designed to highlight the areas where cables traverse and connect to landing stations. To that end the map is possibly a little less fun than some of Telegeography's previous maps but also possibly a little more useful to those working in the industry.

If you want to view the company's Submarine Cable Maps from previous years you can just change the year in the URL. For example, my favorite 2015 Submarine Cable Map can be found at The 2015 map was inspired by medieval and renaissance cartography and features not only a vintage map style but sea monsters, cartouches and map border illustrations.

Fremont - More Money Than Sense

You can tell a lot about a neighborhood by the types of businesses and stores it attracts. For example, a lot has been written (mostly by me) about how you can determine which neighborhoods are becoming gentrified by the ratio of coffee shops to fried chicken restaurants in an area.

But why only look at coffee shops and fried chicken restaurants? Perhaps the proliferation of other types of businesses and stores could tell us more about the unique characteristics of different neighborhoods. For example, if a neighborhood was dominated by stores offering massage therapy, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and skincare, what might that tell us about a neighborhood?

It might tell us that the residents of Fremont, Seattle have more money than sense (or if you are Amber Thomas that the neighborhood is 'artistic and entertaining'). But I digress ...

The Pudding has published a great story map exploring the most unique businesses in Seattle and New York neighborhoods. In A Tale of Two Cities Amber Thomas and Ilia Blinderman have mapped out the businesses which are found more distinctly in a neighborhood than in the city as a whole. This 'uniqueness' is determined by comparing the ratio of businesses in each neighborhood to their ratio in the city as a whole.

As you progress through the story map you can explore which businesses are most unique to different neighborhoods in both Seattle and New York. Anyone who knows either city reasonably well will probably quickly recognize that the distinct characteristics of some of the featured neighborhoods are definitely reflected by the types of unique stores and businesses which flourish within their borders.

The method definitely seems to have merit. I can also see how it might be applied by different web services. For example, real estate websites could use this 'over-index' to list the top 5 unique businesses found in each neighborhood to give customers an insight into the characteristics of different neighborhoods.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pre-Trade War Planet Earth

Data Labs has created a 3d visualization of a pre-apocalyptic planet Earth. The visualization shows import and export rates around the world before Donald Trump's first global trade war. Global Corridors for Trade - Imports and Exports by Country shows how trade helped goods and services travel around the world before the Orange One began to impose arbitrary tariffs.

Using the drop-down menu you can select to center the map on a country of your choice. The map will then show you the total amount your select country spends and makes on importing and exporting goods (in minerals, machinery and agriculture).The lines on the map show the countries around the world that your chosen country has trade deals with.

You can select to view either imports and exports on the 3d globe. You can also break this trade down to show imports and exports of minerals, machinery and agriculture. The date tool at the bottom of the page allows you to view the trade figures for individual years and to a view a graph of import and export totals over time.

Worldwide Climate Change

A new interactive map from the University of Cincinnati shows how climate change could effect every location on Earth. The map uses 50 years worth of data from 50,000 different locations around the globe to predict how the climate could change in the next 52 years

ClimateEx provides a map layer which show the changes to the climate between the years -6000 and 2000. It also provide two different layers which use a predictive model to show how the climate could change between -6000 and 2070 and between 2000 and 2070. The green areas on these three different map layers show where the climate has (or will) change the least. The brown and white areas have (or will) see the most climate change.

Clicking on the map opens an information window displaying a climatogram for the selected location. This climatogram shows values of temperature and precipitation. Clicking between the different map layers will update the climatogram to show the results from the predictive model for the chosen location.

Old Toronto

You may remember Sidewalk Labs from such maps as OldSF and OldNYC. They are now back with a completely new enterprise - Old Toronto.

Old Toronto is an interactive map showing the locations of more than 30,000 historic photographs of Toronto from the City of Toronto Archives. The photos in the archives date back to 1856, so Old Toronto is a great way to explore the Toronto of yesterday and to view how Toronto looked in the past.

Using the map you can find and view old photographs of Toronto by location and by date. The date-range tool in the map sidebar allows you to filter the photos shown on the map by the year that the photos were taken. If you click on a photo on the map then you can view the picture, the archival details and click-through to view the photo on the City of Toronto Archives website.

Sidewalk Labs has also released all the photo locations as a GeoJSON file. If you want to view vintage photos of other locations then you might enjoy OldSF and OldNYC. If you want to see vintage photos outside of Toronto, San Francisco and New York then you could also have a look at Historypin.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Award Winning Mapping from the Times

The New York Times has created another stunning mapped visualization. In Easter Island is Eroding the Times has created a 3d map of the island showing the locations of all the island's famous moai statues. It also shows the position of Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean.

The purpose of the New York Times' story is to raise awareness of Easter Island's vulnerability to rising sea levels. One of the purposes of the map is to help emphasize this vulnerability. It does this with a stunning cinematic zoom-out from the island to a view of the whole Earth - revealing the island's isolation in the Pacific Ocean. Easter Island is one of the remotest inhabited islands in the world and this cinematic zoom-out from the island to the whole globe demonstrates this superbly.

If you want to make your own award winning mapped visualizations then you might want to check out Derek Watkins' How We Animated Trillions of Tons of Flowing Ice and Adam Pearce's Hurricane How-To. These two articles, by developers at the Times, explain how the Times' created two of their award winning mapped visualizations from last year.

Mapping UK Taxi Fares

You might think that London's black cabs are expensive. But the capital's taxi drivers don't charge the highest fares in the UK. That honor goes to the city of Coventry, where taxis charge an average fare of £3.11 per mile traveled.

You can now compare the taxi fares charged in the UK's largest cities using a new UK Taxi Price Index and interactive map. The UK Taxi Price Index uses local authority data to compare the price of a taxi journey in different UK Cities. The interactive map uses numbered markers to rank 25 UK cities in terms of the fares charged by the city's cab drivers.

At the top of the list, with the highest taxi fares, is Coventry. Liverpool is the cheapest city to hail a cab, costing a full 20p less per mile than Coventry's taxis. London doesn't even come in the top three most expensive cities, being listed at number 5, with a cab fare per mile of £2.60.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Car Thieves of San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle has mapped the thousands of locations in San Francisco where cars were broken into last year. Breaking down San Francisco’s car break-in epidemic is a story map analyzing some of the geographical hot-spots for car break-ins during 2017.

As you scroll through the Chronicle's story the background map zooms in on different locations in the city which experienced exceptionally high levels of car break-ins. Proportional sized markers are used to show the number of break-ins at a location. These are contrasted with the purple markers which show where police actually made arrests of car thieves.

The Chronicle's story doesn't make too many connections between the various hot-spots highlighted on the map. However it does mention that some popular tourist areas and parking garages and lots appear to be regular hot-spots of car break-ins.

Building Up Walls

Donald Trump wants to build a 2,000 mile wall between Mexico and the USA. This American Life has been wondering about the effect that border walls have on the lives of the people who live near them. In The Walls This American Life has compiled a number of stories from around the world. In these stories This American Life correspondents visit and talk to individuals and communities living in the shadows of walls.

The Walls is accompanied by an interactive map which shows the locations featured in all the podcast stories. This map allows you to zoom-in on the various locations and view the border walls (using Mapbox GL's extruded polygons to visualize the border walls). Each location includes aerial imagery and and a very short description of the border wall.

If you are having difficulty envisioning just how far big Trump's proposed wall would be then you can use the Berliner Morgenpost's interactive map. The Trump Wall Comparison Map allows you to overlay an outline of Trump's proposed border wall between the USA and Mexico on any other location on Earth. You can also get a good sense of the scale of construction needed to build Trump's wall in a video from the Intercept. The Intercept downloaded and stitched together 200,000 satellite images to create a huge strip map of the U.S.-Mexican border. You can view this strip map in Visualizing the U.S.-Mexico Border, a short video which pans along the whole border.

Berlin - Along Each Transit Line

The Berliner Morgenpost has published an impressive data visualization exploring how the social universe of the German capital transforms from one S-Bahn stop to the next. The visualization allows you to travel along any one of Berlin's 250 bus, train or tram lines and view the economic, demographic and cultural differences of each neighborhood along its route.

At the top of Berlin is Ticking on Your Line is an animated map showing vehicles moving on all 250 lines of the BVG and the Berlin S-Bahn. The map shows the typical traffic on a weekday over the whole 24 hours of the day. Vehicles on the map are color-coded to show whether they are trains, buses, trams or underground trains. Their movement on the map is based on the departure and arrival times of a normal Wednesday timetable.

Beneath the map you can select any one of Berlin's 250 transit lines to explore in detail the socioeconomic differences that can be found between each station or stop along the line. The application uses statistical data to show how different Berlin can be along each of its bus, train and ferry lines.

An interactive graph is used in the visualization of each public transit line. The x axis of each line graph shows all the stops along the line. The y axis is used to show different variables at each stop, such as the average age, the average rent, voting patterns and economic wealth.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Population Density of Slaves in the USA

In 1861 the United States Census Office "for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers" created and put on sale a map showing the distribution of slaves in the southern United States. The map was based on data from the 1860 census and was the Census Office's first population density map..

You can view the map online on the Library of Congress website. The map uses different shades and patterns of gray to show the percentage of the population in each county who are slaves. If you have problems determining the differences between the different shades and patterns of gray you can zoom in on this interactive version of the map to read the actual percentage labels written on the map.

You might also like this modern version of the 1860 Census Slavery Map. Spencer Baucke has created a very faithful interactive reproduction of the original map in Tableau. On Spencer's map each county is interactive. If you hover over a county you can view the name of the county and the percentage of residents who were enslaved.

Oil Spills in the Niger Delta

The Niger Delta in Nigeria is the most productive oil-producing region in Africa. It has been relentlessly exploited, mostly to the economic benefit of western oil companies and corrupt politicians. It has also had a devastating impact on the local environment. Since oil drilling started in the 1950's it is estimated that between 9 and 13 million barrels of oil (1,400,000 and 2,100,000 m3) has been spilled. The government and oil companies have made little effort to control the environmental impact of the oil industry, nearly always deny responsibility for oil spills and try their hardest to avoid having to clean-up after spills.

Amnesty International's Niger Delta Oil Spills is an interactive map of oil company spills in the Niger Delta. This map is the result of a crowd-sourced effort to analyse oil spill investigation reports by volunteers around the world. This crowdsourced campaign analysed thousands of reports and photographs produced by companies in relation to oil spills in the region.

Using the interactive map you can view the locations of the oil spills derived from reading the oil spill investigation reports. The markers show the location of spills and are color-coded by the severity of each spill. The map includes options to filter the results shown by the two main oil companies operating in the region, Shell and Eni. If you click on a marker on the map you can view details about the spill and click through to read the oil spill report and any photos included in the report.

You can read more about how crowdsourcing was used to analyze oil spill records and the effect of oil spills on the Niger Delta in Amnesty International's Niger Delta Negligence.

Time Travel on the Thames

One of the best ways to view London is from the Thames. A boat trip through the city allows you to sit back and relax while the vistas of London unwind around you. While you drift through London's historic sights you might even begin to wonder what it would have been like to sail down the river in Georgian times.

A Riverside View of Georgian London can help you picture the view from the Thames in 1829. This tourist guide to London, published in 1829, provides a hand-drawn view of both banks of the Thames from Westminster to Richmond upon Thames.

Luckily for us Panorama of the Thames has provided a great tool for viewing A Riverside View of Georgian London. Its Compare Panoramas tool allows you to travel along the river in 1829, comparing Georgian London to the same river views as can be seen in modern day London.  Press play on the 1829 panorama and on the 2013 panorama and you will be taken on a simultaneous journey down the Thames with synchronized views of Georgian and modern London.

Via: Londonist

E-mail a Tree Today

A new interactive map allows you to e-mail any one of Singapore's half a million urban trees. is a new map from the National Parks Board of Singapore. The map allows anyone in Singapore to look up and discover the species name of any of their favorite trees. It also allows them to leave a message for their favorite tree.

Users can click on any tree on the map to find out details about its species, when it was planted and its ecological benefits. More importantly you can also send a tree a personal  'treemail'. This might be just a general message of support for the tree. Or, if you want to be more serious, you could leave a treemail about the health of the tree or post a photo you've taken of the tree.

It is possible to search both by location and by species of tree. also provides details of walking tours where you can see and learn more about some of Singapore's most interesting and important trees.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

5...4...3...2...1 Ignition - Launch SpaceX in 3D

I've seen a number of 3D maps over the years but this has to be one of the coolest. Concept3D's SpaceX map is a 3D map of the launch site of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. This on its own would be pretty amazing but this map also allows you to actually launch the 3D model of the Falcon Heavy into space.

Using the map you can explore the SpaceX launch site in 3D, rotating around and zooming into the model of the Falcon Heavy. When you are happy that everything looks ready for take-off turn on your computer's sound and press the 'launch' button. You can then listen to the actual countdown from a Falcon Heavy launch and watch as the 3D model rocket on the map takes off and shoots into space.

This animated 3D map was made in Mapbox GL using Three.js. If you want to create your own 3D scenes in Mapbox then you should look at threebox, a plugin for Mapbox GL JS that supports basic animation and advanced 3D rendering.

The Hate Crime Map of India

Amnesty International has released an interactive map that allows Indians to report hate crimes. Halt the Hate maps crimes which have been committed against people or groups in India because of their caste, religion or ethnicity.

Unfortunately the Halt the Hate map is a very basic interactive map. In fact it is less of a map than a yellow blob that happens to be in the shape of India. Obviously the main reason for using a map to document hate crimes is to enable users to browse and search by location. The fact that you can't zoom in on the map and because the map has no place-labels it is very difficult to search this map by location.

Because there is no marker clustering and all 489 hate crimes have been placed all on top of each other on the map it is actually impossible to select a huge number of the hate crimes from the map. You can partially overcome this problem by filtering the number of markers shown on the map. If you filter the hate crimes shown by year, motive, location etc. it does become a little easier to select individual markers on the map.

The Halt the Hate map is a great idea. It does therefore pain me to conclude that Amnesty International's hate crime map is a bit of a crime against mapping.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Free Map Backgrounds for Your Phone

If you want a beautiful map background for your phone then you should have a look at Alvar Carto's Map Backgrounds. This tool allows you to make your own background map image for a mobile phone, centered on any location in the world.

To make your background map you just need to zoom and pan an interactive map to your chosen location. You can then choose between four different map colors.

And that's more or less it. Just select your phone from a drop-down list (Map Backgrounds supports iOS, Android and Windows 10) and you are ready to download your new phone background map.

If you really love your new phone background (or you just want to buy a map poster) then you can head on over to Alvar Carto's Map Poster site. Map Poster is an equally easy to use tool for creating and ordering a map poster of any location in the world.

Deindustrialization & Population Decline

Population change from 1990-2010: (green = rising population, purple = falling population)

This week's release of the Alperin-Sheriff/Wikipedia Population Dataset provides us with a great resource for studying American population trends. This Introduction to the Alperin-Sheriff/Wikipedia Population Dataset, in the form of a story map, provides a great introduction to the data and briefly examines where populations in the USA are growing and where they are in decline.

The story map is mostly concerned with introducing and explaining the data but it does briefly touch on the declining populations in the industrial Midwest. This decline is perhaps explained in this Financial Times article, Shrinking cities: population decline in the world’s rust-belt areas. The article explores how deindustrialization is happening across much of the world, as manufacturing and industrial jobs in industrial heartlands move elsewhere in the world.

Cities with the largest population decline 2005-2015

This decline from deindustrialization isn't just limited to the American rust belt. It is also happening in former industrial powerhouses throughout the world. Cities in the German industrial heartland are in decline and even China's north-eastern rust belt is beginning to experience decline.

The Berliner Morgenpost's Where the population of Europe is growing – and where it’s declining allows you to explore more closely recent population decline in Europe. It shows that there is some decline in the German industrial heartland of the Ruhr valley. However this decline doesn't seem much worse than elsewhere in Germany and isn't as bad as the decline being seen in the former East Germany.

Obviously not all population decline can be explained by deindustrialization. The Washington Post used the same data to explore some of the population trends that are shown in the Morgenpost's map. Their article on Where Europe is growing and where it is shrinking notes that populations are declining in the former East Germany and other former countries of the Eastern bloc (except for Poland which has experienced growth). It appears that some areas of western Europe have managed to mitigate against the population decline normally associated with deindustrialization by taking in economic migrants from countries in the former Eastern bloc.

The Sounds of Istanbul & London

The Soundscape of Istanbul is a project dedicated to mapping and archiving the urban sounds of Istanbul. The project was created by Pınar Çevikayak Yelmi during her doctoral studies, however anyone can record and upload sounds to the map.

Individual sounds are displayed on the map by categorized markers. If you select a marker on the map you can listen to the street sounds recorded at that location. If you select the 'Thematic Map' option you can view the sounds organised by category rather than geography. Both the thematic and the spatial maps include a timeline which allows you to filter the sounds by the year they were recorded.

If you like the Soundscape of Istanbul then you might also enjoy the Soundscape of London. This map was also created by Pınar Çevikayak Yelmi, in collaboration with the British Library. This project uses exactly the same format to map the urban sounds of London. Again if you want to listen to any of the recorded sounds you just need to click on the markers on the map.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

America's Quietest & Most Scenic Roads

Geotab has mapped out the quietest stretches of road in each state in America. In America's Quietest Routes you can view details about the quietest roads in each state and also browse through the ten most scenic routes, as chosen by landscape photographer James Q Martin.

If you click on a state on the map you can view details about the state's quietest stretch of road. These details include the name of the road and the route length. They also include a Street View image captured on the route by Google Maps.

Each state's quietest road was determined by the traffic count data from the Highway Performance Monitoring System. The quietness of a road was determined by the annual average daily traffic measured by the number of vehicles. The routes with the lowest average daily traffic were deemed the quietest.

The Secrets of the Sea Revealed

Robert Dudley was the 17th century author of Dell’Arcano del Mare. This huge maritime encyclopedia covers all aspects of maritime life including shipbuilding, astronomy and navigation. It also contains 130 beautiful maritime charts covering all parts of the world.

One of the 130 maps in his Secrets of the Sea is the Carta Particolare della Terra Nuoua con la Gran Baia et el Fiume Grande Della Canida, a sea chart of the Newfoundland era. Norfish has created an interesting story map which explores some of the more interesting details in Robert Dudley's sea chart of Newfoundland.

As you progress through the story map Norfish examines the map's projection, calligraphy, place-name labels, prevailing winds and fathom soundings. You can also explore the map for yourself. Robert Dudley's sea charts are completely unique, enjoying a distinctive technical style with beautiful calligraphy and elaborate compass roses and cartouches.

Synchronized Street Views of the World

Street Image Compare is a fun little tool which allows you to directly compare Google's Street View imagery with Mapillary's crowdsourced alternative. Using the tool you can virtually walk around any location while comparing Google Maps Street View coverage with the street-side images available in Mapillary.

Mapillary is a free to use and crowdsourced service which provides street-level imagery around the world. Street Image Compare places the Mapillary street level imagery of a location directly beneath the Google Maps Street View imagery of the same location. You can explore around a location using the navigation button on either street level image or by using either of the maps. Street View Compare automatically updates, as you move around a location, showing you the closest images from both Google and Mapillary.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day on Planet Earth

The best way to celebrate Pi day is to take a little tour of some of the many natural and human-made circles which can be found on planet Earth. Luckily Esri has created a World of Circles interactive map to help you find these beautiful landmarks of striking symmetry.

This Esri map contains aerial imagery of natural and human-made circles of various sizes, locations and origins. These circles include circular crop fields, thousand year old human earthworks, dormant volcanoes and even a defunct particle accelerator. If you would like to create a similar tour of interesting shapes then you can get started at Esri's Story Maps website.

Mapping the Last Ice Age

IceMap is an animated map of the last Eurasian Ice Age. It allows you to view the ice sheets, sea levels and temperatures which affected the Eurasian Arctic 38 thousand years ago.

The map includes an interactive timeline which allows you to view the conditions from 37,000 years ago through to 8000 years ago. If you press play on the timeline you can watch as the ice sheets grow and move and the sea level falls and rises.

If you select the graph icon on the map you can view an interactive graph of the ice volume, mean annual temperature and sea level over the period of the Eurasian Ice Age. The graph includes an interactive bar which allows you to select a year to view the ice volume, temperature and sea level totals and to view these levels shown on the interactive map.

Hand Drawn Polygons for Leaflet

You might have seen examples of rough.js floating around on social media this week. Rough.js is a new canvas based library for creating graphics which have a sketchy, hand-drawn appearance. The library's github page includes a neat d3.js demo map in which each of the states has been filled in with a different hand-drawn style.

Rough.js doesn't only work with static maps. Because the library is canvas based you can also overlay hand-drawn, sketch like polygons on top of an interactive map. At least you can if you use the new Leaflet.RoughCanvas plug-in for Leaflet maps. The plug-in allows you to add polylines and polygons to a Leaflet.js map which have a hand-drawn style.

Here's a demo map which I created using Leaflet.RoughCanvas with a Mapbox styled base-map.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mapping Student Debt

$1.3 trillion in student debt is owed by 42 million Americans. Student debt delinquency can affect all sections of society. However delinquency in the USA disproportionately affects minority communities.

Mapping Student Debt allows you to view the average student loan balance in each household at zip-code level in the United States. If you hover over a zip-code on the map you can view the level of delinquency, the average loan balance and the median income. If you want to view how student loan delinquency disproportionately affects minority communities then select 'Map 2' from the 'View Map' menu. You can then switch the map layers to show choropleth layers of student loan delinquency and the African-American or Latino populations.

The text beneath 'Map 2' reveals how debt delinquency is often highest in areas with a large minority population. In other words student loan delinquency disproportionately affects minority communities. One reason for these above average delinquency rates in minority populations is that African Americans and Latinos are more likely to receive loans from high-cost credit providers with less generous terms and tougher repayment requirements than white students. After graduation African Americans and Latinos also suffer from higher unemployment rates and lower earnings. This in turn contributes to higher levels of delinquency.

The Rise and Fall of American Cities

Population change from 1990-2010: (green = rising population, purple = falling population)

The Alperin-Sheriff/Wikipedia Population Dataset is an introduction to a comprehensive database of American city and town populations over time. This introduction, in the form of a story map, provides a great introduction to the data, what it can be used for and some of the caveats you should be aware of when viewing or using the data.

As you scroll through the story map you can see how the historical population data can be used in many different ways. For example, to map the rise and fall of populations in American cities over time. As you progress the story map provides various mapped views of when different towns and cities have seen growth and decline.

Towards the end of the visualization the cities and towns are reorganized to show cities which share  similar population curves over time. Instead of being shown geographically on a map the cities are reorganized by their similarities in population growth and decline. For example St. Louis, Scranton and Bridgeport, Ohio are placed near each other because they have all experienced similar shaped population declines over a number of decades.

The Alperin-Sheriff/Wikipedia Population Dataset can be downloaded from GitHub. The data is being compiled as part of the on-going Creating Data project (Schmidt, Benjamin. Creating Data: The Invention of Information in the nineteenth century American State. Creating Data).

European Population Density

Dan Cookson has mapped out the population in the European Union at the 1km square level. The EU Population 2011 by 1km Grid visualizes the number of people living in each square kilometer of the whole EU.

You can hover over individual 1km squares on the map to view the total number of people living in that square. If you zoom in on individual cities the map reveals the most densely populated areas and also the outlying satellite commuting towns and suburbs.

Berlin, Paris & London

Berlin, Paris & London all share a similar pattern of population density, with densely populated centers surrounded by ever less densely populated suburbs. In Berlin the population snakes out of the city along the S-Bahn rapid transit rail lines. You can see similar lines snaking out of Paris and London along popular public transit commuting routes.

A good accompaniment to Dan's EU population density map is Alasdair Rae's article on The Most Densely Populated Square Kilometre in 39 European Countries. In this post Alasdair uses the same 2011 data to reveal the most densely populated kilometer square in each country.

You might also be interested in this 3D Global Human Settlement visualization of European population density. This map provides a different view of population density in Europe, displaying densely populated areas as population mountains. If you want to view population density outside of Europe then I recommend the SEDAC Population Estimator (GPWv4). This interactive map uses NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) data to show where the world's population lives.

The SEDAC Population Estimator map includes a tool to draw an area on the map to see an estimate of the population that lives there. You can therefore draw a square kilometer on the map to make your own comparisons with Alasdair's most densely populated square kilometers in Europe.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Mapping The Irish Famine

On Friday Alan Fernihough Tweeted a truly shocking animated map which shows how the population of Ireland was devastated by the Irish Famine. The map shows population density in Ireland for every year from 1841 to 2012. It reveals the devastating effect of the famine on the population of Ireland -an effect so devastating that the population of Ireland was larger in the first half of the 19th Century than it even is today.

Alan's website The Irish Famine Project provides an interactive map which allows you to explore in more detail the effect of the Irish Famine on individual parishes. If you select a parish on the map you can view details on the parish's pre-famine and post-famine population and the overall percentage fall in the population.

The map uses data from a wide number of sources, including the 1841 and 1851 census. If you click on the 'more information' link in a Parish's information window you can view a more detailed breakdown of the pre- and post-famine population. This includes details on the drop in the male and female populations.

A Medieval Interactive Map of Britain

Matthew Paris' Map of Britain is one of the first ever geographical maps of Britain. It was made by a 13th Century monk called Matthew Paris. The map is one of the first medieval maps to move away from a schematic plan (e.g. a strip map or route map) and to instead attempt an accurate geographical representation.

The map was made hundreds of years before the development of accurate surveying tools. It is therefore remarkable how accurate the map is. However it does contain many errors ....

My Matthew Paris' Map of Britain is a short story-map that I created to explore some of Matthew Paris' errors and to begin to understand the geographical conception he had of Britain in the 13th Century. The map also includes modern English translations of the medieval place-names. Just click on the map to view these translateions.

This map was created using Leaflet.js. It also uses Leaflet-IIIF, to import the IIIF manifest of Corpus Christi College's manuscript of Matthew Paris' map into Leaflet. The story-element makes heavy use of waypoints.js to trigger the map actions on page scroll.

Japan's National Crime Map

Gaccom Safety is Japan's new national crime map. Using the map you can search for local crimes by location, type of crime and by date & time.

If you zoom in on a location on the interactive map you can see where crimes have been reported to the police or local authorities. The map includes two modes. In 'normal' mode the crimes are displayed on the map by type of crime. There are 27 categories in total, ranging from theft to violent assault. In 'avatar' mode the locations of crimes are indicated by small stick-men who are based on the descriptions of the actual criminals.

If you click on an icon or avatar on the map you can read a summary of the reported crime. This summary includes a link to read a more detailed report about the selected crime. These details include the date and time of the crime and a description of the perpetrator.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Size of Australia's Land Clearing

395,000 hectares projected over Sydney

Australia is the only country in the developed world on the WWF's Deforestation Fronts. These are the 11 places around the world where 80% of global deforestation is expected to occur in the next decade. In fact the WWF estimates that 3m hectares of woodland will be cleared in Australia before 2030.

The Guardian has released a new map tool which allows Australians to visualize how large 3m hectares is by overlaying a 3,000,000 hectare square over their town or city. The Land Clearing in Australia interactive map includes a number of options for viewing different areas of land clearance, including Estimated Land Clearing between 2010 and 2030, Annual Clearing in NSW 2013-2014 and Queensland Annual Land Clearing.

If you enter your postcode into the map you can view how these areas look when superimposed over your home.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Anti-Muslim Activities in the USA

Anti-Muslim Activities in the United States is documenting and recording all reported incidents of anti-Muslim activity in the USA. It provides information about anti-Muslim activities in each state and allows you to view how these incidents have increased over the last few years.

A timeline view shows all the anti-Muslin activities by year, since 2012. The map clearly shows how anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply since 2015. The activities on the timeline are color-coded by type of incident. You can also hover over the individual dots on the map to view details about each actual incident.

The map presents a choropleth view showing the total number of anti-Muslim incidents recorded in each US state. The map also provides a normalized view which shows a choropleth view of incidents per-capita in each state. The map can even be used to view the actual anti-Muslin activities reported in each state. Click on a state on the map and the incidents are loaded into the map sidebar.

The European Drug Use Map

The Dutch, the Germans and the Belgiums are the highest users of MDMA in Europe. Cocaine use is highest in cities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. Amphetamine use is highest in cities in the north and east of Europe. It is not so popular in cities in Southern Europe.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction analyzed the wastewater in 60 European cities and towns to discover which drugs were most used by the local population. The results reveal some distinct geographical and temporal patterns in recreational drug use in Europe. As well as the geographical patterns discussed above the analysis found that cocaine and MDMA use is higher at the weekend than during weekdays. Amphetamine use, however, seems to be fairly consistent throughout the week.

You can explore the results of the analysis for yourself on the EMCDDA's interactive map, Wastewater analysis and drugs — a European multi-city study. The map allows you to view the levels of each individual drug found in each of the cities where wastewater was tested. The map also allows you to compare the levels found during weekends and weekdays and to explore how individual recreational drug use in each city has changed over the last seven years (where the data is available).

Friday, March 09, 2018

How Long Will You Live?

Women in Great Corby and Geltsdale in Carlisle can expect to live longer than women who live  everywhere else in England & Wales. According to new data from the ONS women in Corby and Geltsdale have a life expectancy of 97.2 years. Women in Gwersyllt West in Wrexham are not so lucky as at 72.6 years, they have the worst life expectancy for women in England & Wales.

Men living in Bloomfield don't have to worry about paying in to their pension plan, as they only have a life expectancy of 68.2 years. However men in Warfield Harvest Ride in Bracknell Forest need to plan carefully for their retirement as they can look forward to a lengthy 90.3 years of life.

The UK's Office of National Statistics has mapped out life expectancy for every neighborhood in England & Wales. Using the map you can find out how long males and females in your neighborhood can expect to live.

The Life Expectancy by Census Ward map shows that there can be huge disparities in life expectancy between neighborhoods in the very same town. For example where I live in West Ham males have a life expectancy of 81.3 years. If I lived a few hundred meters down the road in Canning Town I would have a life expectancy of just 77.2 years. So I won't be moving there.

The life expectancy figures are based on data from the 2011 census.

The Dog Map Dot Map

The European Population Density map is a dot density map which shows the population density of people in Europe. Each dot on the map represents 50 people. However the map completely fails to show where all the dogs live in Europe.

One Dog One Dot is an attempt to address this problem. At least for the capital of Hungary. One Dog One Dot is an interactive dot map showing where dogs live in Budapest. On this interactive map one dot equals one dog.

If you click on a dot on the map you can view the selected dog's name. It is important to note in order to ensure doggie privacy the locations of all dogs are randomized within each neighborhood. Therefore the dots don't show the exact address of each dog.

I don't know anything about Budapest housing. Therefore I'm unable to read much into the density of dogs in Budapest. The map's creator says that "there is no question that more dogs live in flats than in family houses". I just feel sorry for all those dogs living in the Danube.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Mapping Māori Place-names

The New Zealand Herald has created an interactive map which colors place names depending on whether they are English or Māori. The Our Place Names map reveals that North Island is dominated by Māori names and South Island is dominated by English place-names.

The map is made using data from Te Pūnaha Matatini, Dragonfly Data Science and Te Hiku Media. They used algorithms to identify Māori words in the New Zealand Gazetteer of place-names. If you hover over a place-name on the map you can view the actual name.

Unfortunately the New Zealand Herald don't have any theories about why there is such a clear difference between the two islands. It would be interesting to know why North Island has far more Māori names than South Island.

How Long is Your Walk to School?

When my granny was a little girl she used to have to walk 5,000 miles to get to school everyday. through freezing wind and blinding rain. I, of course, don't know I'm born and should stop complaining about a tiny two mile stroll to get to school.

If you don't want to listen to your kids complaining everyday about their over-long journey to school then you could use Parallel's Schools in England & Wales. This interactive map provides, walking, cycling and driving times for every school in England and Wales. Zoom in on any school and you can view isochrone layers showing the areas that you can walk, bike or drive to (from the school) in six minute increments.

Schools in England & Wales is just one of Parallel's interactive maps showcased on the Mapbox blog this week. The others are Flood Planning in Leeds, London Atmospheric Emissions, Output Area Classifications for City of Leeds and Ward-level Population Projections for London.

Last year Maps Mania also featured Parallel's interactive map of UK population density in 3D. Their ONS Population Estimates map shows the population density in each UK Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) and the age breakdown of the population in each LSOA.

The population density view on the map uses Mapbox GL's extrusion property to create 3D towers on the map. The height of the towers represents the population density of the LSOA. In other words the higher the tower then the greater the population density.

Google Dog View, Cat View & Sheep View

Hachikō was an Akita dog who lived near the city of Ōdate in Japan. He belonged to Hidesaburō Ueno, who would commute daily to work by train. At the end of every workday Hachikō would walk to Shibuya Station to wait for his master's return.

In May 1925 Ueno suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, while at work and died. Ueno never returned to Shibuya station again. However Hachikō did. Each afternoon, exactly at the time when Ueno's train was due to return, Hachikō sat outside the station waiting for Ueno's return. He came and sat outside the station every day waiting for his master for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days.

You can now walk around outside Shibuya station on Google Maps and view the scene from a dog's point of view. Here you can gaze upon the statue of Hachikō outside the station. To capture this scene a small camera was attached to the collar of an Akita dog. The result is a distinct dog's point of view of the station, seen through two little pointy ears.

If you want you can also take a walk up into the mountains using dog view, visit Roken Shrine and wander around Akita Dog Hall.

Of course this isn't the first time that animals have been used to capture Street View imagery in Japan. In fact Street View was invented by cats.

In Hiroshima cats now have their very own version of Street View. Cat Street View is an impressive virtual tour of Onomichi, providing an unrivaled cat's eye view of the city. The tour takes in many of the cat-about-town's favorite shops and restaurants in the city. It also shows the locations of some of Onomichi's most loved cats.

The format of the tour will be familiar to any non-cat type entity who has ever used Google's Street View. It consists of a series of connected panoramic photos of the city. The big difference however is that the panoramic photos in Cat Street View are all taken from a cat's perspective. And it's all the better for it.

Before Google captured Street View imagery in the Faroe Islands the islanders got fed-up of waiting. They therefore took things into their own hands and invented Google Sheep View.

While the Faroe Islands didn't have Google Street View it did have sheep. A lot of sheep. The logical step therefore was to deck out the islands' sheep with 360 degree panoramic cameras and set them loose. You can find links to the Sheep View imagery of the Faroe Islands on the Sheep View Map. Just click on the sheep markers on the map and you will be taken to the Sheep View imagery directly on Google Maps.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Jogging Route Roulette

If you are bored of jogging, walking or cycling the same routes everyday then you need Routeshuffle. Routeshuffle can create random routes for running, walking and biking on the fly for any location in the world. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Routeshuffle is that it was created by a 15 year old school student, with hardly any experience of coding.

Generating a random route with Routeshuffle is very easy. Just share your location with the map and enter the length of route that you need. The map will then create a random route, starting and finishing at your location. Routeshuffle will also create a unique link for your route.

If you sign up to a premium account with Routeshuffle then you can get access to a number of other features. These include the option to view the route on Google Maps and download the route as a GPX or KML file.

Mapping the Most Popular Films of 2017

Dunkirk was the most popular film in most of the world last year. Apart from in the USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the Republic of Congo where Get Out was the most popular. At least those two films were the most popular movies in terms of Google searches.

Google Trends has been busy mapping the most searched films around the world in 2017. In the 2018 Oscar Nominees, in Google Search they have mapped the most searched movies around the world for each month of the year. The map for the complete year (shown above) shows Dunkirk (turquoise) as being the most searched film in much of the world. While Get Out proved very popular in the USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the Republic of Congo.

The map includes the option to view the most searched movie by month. Tracking the popularity of Dunkirk and Get Out over the whole year we find that Get Out dominates the map for the early months of the year. However in July (when Dunkirk was released) the map suddenly becomes dominated by the turquoise of Dunkirk. 

NYC Restaurant Inspection Scores

The NYC Foodiverse is a data visualization of New York City's restaurant sanitation inspection data. The visualization also includes Foursquare reviews, ratings and price tiers for all New York restaurants.

The visualization includes three different ways to explore the data. In the map view NYC Foodiverse marks each New York restaurant by its inspection grade. All the restaurants are color-coded to show the grade they received in their last sanitation inspection. You can hover over individual restaurants on the map to view details on when the restaurant was last inspected, its price tier and the number of likes it has had on Foursquare.

The graph view provides another visualization of the same data. In this scatter plot view the restaurants are plotted by sanitation score and price tier. In other words the restaurants at the top-right of the graph are the most expensive restaurants with the dirtiest sanitation conditions. The restaurants in the bottom-left of the graph are the cheapest restaurants with the best sanitation conditions.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Mapping Lines of Sight

William Davies has created a really interesting demo map that uses turf.js to map viewsheds. He was inspired to create the map after seeing Esri's Campus Blue Lights map, which uses viewsheds to show where the beacons on emergency telephones can be seen on a university campus.

William's Viewshed map uses turf.js to show where lines of sight intersect with building polygons on a Mapbox map. The map animates a pair of sunglasses around the Egyptian pyramids. A circular polygon shows the viewshed from the point of view of the sunglasses. The holes in this circular polygon show where the sunglasses' point of view is interrupted by the pyramids and other buildings.

The map is very impressive. It is also a pretty neat demonstration of the power of turf.js for carrying out advanced geospatial analysis with interactive mapping libraries.