Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Khmer Empire on Google Maps

I've been impressed with a lot of the long-form reports that I've seen recently, many of which have included great map interactions. I've therefore decided to try and create my own library which can be used to create great long-form mapped visualizations.

The Khmer Empire is the first outing for this library. In truth it isn't a great long-form story about the Khmer Empire (I really don't know enough about the subject). However Google Maps does have some great satellite and Street View imagery in Cambodia, so it did seem like it would be an interesting subject to use for this test of the library in action.

The Khmer Empire uses the Google Maps API with Waypoints.js to create an interactive map. To navigate through the narrative all you have to do is to keep scrolling down on the page.

America's Divided Cities

Esri has mapped occupational class, income and educational achievement for every census tract in the United States. The Geography of Class, Education, and Income in the United States uses three maps shown side-by-side, one map for each of the three metrics.

The Occupational Class map shades each census tract to show the dominant occupational class. The Education map shades each tract to reflect the percentage of the population with a Bachelor degree or higher. The third, Household Income map, shows the average median household income.

Using the maps you can zoom in on any city in the United States and explore the various socio-economic divides that split modern America. City Labs has also used these maps to illustrate how today's cities show a 'clear pattern of class division and segregation across the entire United States'.

Twenty Five Years Since the Berlin Wall

The Berliner Morgenpost has published a great aerial view map of Berlin which allows you to compare the modern day Berlin with the Berlin of 1989.

Twenty-five years ago this November the Berlin Wall was torn down. Since then Berlin has been transformed. Using the Berliner Morgenpost's new interactive map Die Narbe der Stadt (The Scar of the City) you can compare the Berlin of 1989 with the Berlin of 2014, using aerial imagery of the city from both years.

You can pan and zoom the map and switch between the aerial views from the two years to compare the Berlin of today with the Berlin of 1989. A menu in the top-left corner of the map provides quick links to some important locations in the city which have been transformed in the last twenty-five years.

German speakers can also read a long-form guided tour of the Berlins Wall's once boundary to learn more about how the city has changed since the collapse of East Germany.

The Essex University Campus Map

Not only do universities have a need for accessible campus maps they also often have ready access to staff with amazing GIS skills. The result is that over the last few years we've seen some great university campus maps. Maps which make use of and push at the limits of the different mapping libraries on the market.

The Essex University campus map, WAI2Go, is a superb example of a campus map created with Leaflet. The map not only looks really good it also has a number of really useful navigation features. I especially like the custom built directions service. Using the map you can get directions between any two points on campus. You can even request the 'shortest route', a 'step free route' or an 'indoor route (where possible).

Another great feature of the Essex University campus map is its indoor maps. Select the 'campus overview' option and you can view indoor map plans for different buildings and even the different floor levels in each building.

Combine this with the directions service and you can quickly find your route between any two rooms on campus. Click on a room and you can quickly select 'directions to' or 'directions from' this room. I particularly like how the direction service manages to navigate users between different floor levels on their journey.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The HMS Cavalier Guided Street View Tour

C Inside Media has created a very impressive guided Street View tour of HMS Cavalier. The tour uses Google Maps Street View in conjunction with a narrated audio guide of the ship.

The HMS Cavalier is a retired C-class destroyer of the Royal Navy, which served in World War II. Using the HMS Cavalier Guided Tour you can explore the ship using the custom Street View imagery. This allows you to explore all over the ship using Google's interactive panoramic imagery.

Being able to explore the Engine Room, Captain's Cabin and the Petty Officer's Mess is impressive enough on its own. However, as you explore HMS Cavalier you can also listen to an audio guide which explains all about different aspects of the ship and life on board. Use the menu at the top right of the Street View to navigate to the different rooms.

While touring the ship also look out for the colored overlays which sometimes appear on the Street View images. If you click on these you can also watch videos about different aspects of the ship.

Remember HMS Cavalier has many steep stairs and places to bang your head. So please don't walk and listen to the guide at the same time.

Viva Street View Vegas

Google's indoor Street View imagery allows you to explore some wonderfully exotic locations around the world. On Google Maps you can take a virtual stroll down Harry Potter's Diagon Alley, check out the TARDIS (it's bigger on the inside) or explore inside a submarine.

Naturally some of the most exotic indoor locations to appear on Street View are located in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has taken advantage of this fact to create an entertaining virtual tour of some of the best indoor Street View imagery available on Google Maps from the 'entertainment capital of the the world'.

GeoVegas includes a number of curated tours inside Las Vegas hotels, restaurants and other venues. There are five tours in total, each of which allows you to explore a number of featured venues using Street View. There is also the option to 'Explore on Your Own', which allows you to search for Las Vegas venues by category, including restaurants, bars, shows, hotels and attractions.

The Paris Map of Desire

The Map of Desire is a real-time map of Paris shoppers based on Twitter activity in the French capital. The creators of the map claim that it uses machine-learning to track the location and level of desire among Parisienne shoppers in real-time.

I'm not sure how much 'machine-learning' is actually taking place. What the map does is search geo-tagged Twitter messages posted in Paris for a number of key-words associated with shopping and desire (e.g. 'want', 'need'). Tweets saying that someone has bought something are shown on the map with orange markers and desires are shown in pink (looking at the code for the map I think the white markers show when someone swears on Twitter in Paris).

As with all these real-time Twitter maps the map is only showing a small subsection of the general population (Twitter users who share their location). However, if this is the demographic which retailers and advertisers actually want to target, then I guess this kind of real-time Twitter map could be useful. At the very least it is an interesting visualization of Twitter activity in Paris.

Monday, September 29, 2014

US Carbon Footprint Map

It seems to be Save the Planet day on Maps Mania. All the best maps today seem to be concerned with raising awareness about global emissions and our carbon footprint. My guess is that last week's UN climate change summit in New York has led to a rise in the global output of environment maps.

Today we've already looked at the Changing Global Emissions Map and the Changing Global Emissions Map, two maps which visualize CO2 emissions around the world. Now the Cool Climate Network has released a Carbon Footprint Map of the USA.

The Carbon Footprint Map visualizes the average annual household carbon footprint of zip code areas in the United States. On first glance my thoughts were that this heat-map of zip code carbon footprints closely resembled a population density map. This would kind of make sense, assuming that the more people there are in an area then the larger the carbon footprint.

On a second look however you can clearly see that the map doesn't actually mirror population density for the whole of the US. In fact northern zip code areas have a far larger carbon footprint, on average, than those in the south. Again this makes sense if you assume colder areas will require a larger carbon footprint due to an increased need to burn fuel to keep warm.

However, as the authors observe, there is also a clear pattern in large cities, which shows that those living in the center of cities have a lower household carbon footprint than those living in city suburbs. It does appear that city slickers are greener than their suburbanite neighbors.

Putting Global CO2 Emissions on the Map

Earlier today we reported on the Changing Global Emissions Map, which animates carbon dioxide emissions by country over the last 160 years. The Fossil Fuel Data Assimilation System (FFDAS) has also just released a Google Map visualizing global CO2 emissions.

The FFDAS Map displays estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, across the world, for the years 1997 to 2010. The map allows you to view global heat-map layers for any of the 14 years, You can also view carbon dioxide emission layers for domestic and international aviation and shipping.

The map not only visualizes the global estimates of CO2 emissions but also allows you to download the FFDAS data for any of the calculated years and for any region of the world. You can use the data retrieval tools to download the data for the whole world, for any country or you can use a polygon drawing tool to download the data for a custom drawn area of the map.

Global Carbon Emissions on Google Maps

The World Resources Institute has used the Google Maps API to create an animated map which visualizes carbon dioxide emissions by country over the last 160 years.

The Changing Global Emissions Map uses scaled circular markers to show the carbon emissions of each country around the world. If you hover over the circles you can view the exact figure for each country, measured in millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide.

If you use the timeline beneath the map you can view an animation of the growth of carbon dioxide emissions over time. The timeline shows that a few western countries have managed to stabilize and actually manage to slightly reduce their emissions over the last few years. Unfortunately these reductions pale into insignificance compared to the huge growth in carbon emissions in the developing world.

Before the west gets too holier than thou about the developing world it is worth checking out the other map on the World Resources Institute website. This map shows the per capita carbon dioxide emissions of countries around the world. This map shows for example that while China's carbon emissions now dwarfs that of the USA its per capita emissions are still well under half of the per capita emissions of the United States.

Via: Visual Loop