Sunday, June 26, 2016

Maps of the Week


Choice and Chance is an impressive and harrowing mapped visualization recounting the events of June 12 in the Pulse nightclub. The visualization uses a 3d map of the nightclub to illustrate a number of first-hand eye witness accounts of Omar Mateen's murder of killed 49 innocent people.

At the heart of this interactive report is a three.js powered 3d map of the Pulse nightclub. The 3d model of the nightclub is used as the backdrop to a narrative account of some of the events that happened after Omar Mateen entered the club. As you progress through the narrative the 3d map rotates and zooms to explore some of the first-hand accounts of the harrowing events which took place that night.

The eye witness accounts and the realism of the 3d map of the club make this visualization particularly upsetting. The use of different colored lighting effects adds even more realism to this retelling of the nightmarish events that took place in the Pulse nightclub on June 12th.


In the middle of the Twentieth Century new highways were driven through a large number of American cities, ruining the character of many neighborhoods for ever.

The Institute for Quality Communities at the University of Oklahoma has put together a series of historical and modern aerial images to show the impact of mid-Twentieth Century urban renewal on American cities. 60 Years of Urban Change allows you to compare historical aerial images of a number of America's biggest cities with aerial imagery of the same areas, showing how they look today.

By comparing the modern and historical aerial imagery it is possible to see the impact of the mid-century construction boom on many of these cities. New highways, parking lots, housing projects and mega-structures were built at the expense of small lots of integrated streets and tight communities.


You can now create a little Street View based movie showing your house being destroyed by aliens. A new website, promoting the release of the new Independence Day movie, allows you to view your house on Google Maps Street View, after it has been destroyed by an invading army of aliens.

Just enter your address into Independence Day - My Street and you can view a little Street View scene showing the alien inflicted destruction at your address. Pan around the Street View scene and you can see fires burning, smoke rising and darkened skies. Look up and you might also spot a fleet of UFO's flying around overhead.

This amazing Street View interactive is possible because of Google's undocumented Street View depth library, You can make use of this depth data in Street View yourself with the GSVPanoDepth library, developed by 0xef.

Mapping the Divided Kingdom

Fake is the New Real has released a map showing the vote margins in the UK's European Union referendum. It visualizes where and by how much UK voters voted to leave or remain in the EU.

Most other visualizations I've seen have used a choropleth map to show the extent to which areas voted to leave or remain in the EU. This map uses colored scaled circles to show the vote margins in each UK local government area, region, and country. I think the result is a much clearer visualization of the support for staying in or leaving the EU around the UK.

If you select the country option you can see that Northern Island voted to remain and Wales voted to leave. However in both cases only by a small margin. The biggest margins were in Scotland and England - both on opposing sides. This really emphasizes the huge political gap between the two countries at the moment and I suspect predicts Scotland's eventual split from the Union Kingdom.

If you select the regions option you can see that London was the only region in the whole of England which voted to remain. This points to a huge political and cultural divide in England between the capital and the rest of the country.

Switching to the local government area view it is clear that outside of London the main areas which voted to remain were mainly the largest university towns, Overall remain proved most popular with younger voters, the higher educated and those on higher median incomes. This seems to be confirmed by this view of voting margins in local government areas.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Illustrated Interactive Iron Works Map


The National Park Service website has a wonderful illustrated map of the Saugus Iron Works in Massachusetts. The Saugus lron Works was the first successful, integrated iron works in the New World.

The illustrated map has been made interactive using the Leaflet mapping platform. It was well worth the effort as you can use the interactive map controls to zoom into the beautiful detail in this pictorial map. Check-out the individual trees, people and the geese & wading birds in the river.

It is a shame there in no option to turn off the map labels. The labels are obviously important to aide navigation but you could appreciate the artwork more without them. Having gone to the trouble of creating the interactive map tiles from the pictorial map the next step might be to add a little information to the map, It would be an easy enough job to make the building's interactive. This interactivity could then open pop-up windows or could add information to another page element outside of the map.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Animating Increasing Property Values


The Vancouver Assessment Map is an interactive map showing how land assessment values have changed in Vancouver over the last ten years. The map visualizes how land & building values in the city have altered from July 2005 to July 2015.

The map includes an interesting 3d view, which allows you to view building & land values as extruded 3d building footprints or building lots. If you happen to loathe this type of mapped data visualization you can always switch to the 2d view, which presents a more traditional choropleth view of Vancouver land & building values.

You can use the time control on the map to select to view land & building values for any year. Alternatively you can press play to automatically progress through all ten years of the land & building values. This animated view of the data provides a neat overview of how and where properties in Vancouver have increased over the last ten years.

This technique of animating through colored building plots has been used in the past by some building age maps - in order to visualize how cities have grown over time. You can see examples of this in the Amsterdam Growing Over Time map and the LA Building Age map.

Who Voted to Leave the EU

Yesterday the UK voted to leave the European Union. The immediate result has seen the Prime Minister announce his intended resignation and mayhem in the markets.

The interactive maps emerging in the main broadsheets this morning suggest that outside of London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and a few major cities most of the country voted to leave the EU. It also appears that the vote to leave was won by those voters who are facing the brunt of the government's austerity programme.

The Guardian has used a cartogram to illustrate how different areas voted in the EU referendum. On the map each electoral region has been sized by population. The result is a map which distorts the geography of the UK but more accurately reflects the number of votes cast for each side in the election.

Outside of London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and a few major cities the majority of the country voted to leave the EU. The Guardian has examined the demographics of each local area authority, exploring education levels, age and median income. These demographic graphs color each local authority based on whether a majority voted to leave or remain in the EU.

The graphs clearly show most of the areas that voted to leave are poorer, have less experience of higher education and tend to have an older population. Conversely it seems that remain voters were more likely to be richer, younger and have experience of higher education.

The Times has created a hexagon grid map to visualize the EU referendum result. Each local authority is colored to show how the area voted. Each color is also shaded to show the strength of the leave or remain vote in each local authority area. The darker the yellow or blue then the higher the vote for leave or remain.


This shading of the hexagons reveals some interesting results in London, where it appears that boroughs with higher median average incomes have voted more strongly to remain than the poorer outer boroughs. So even in areas which voted to remain in the EU it appears that those on lower incomes were more likely to have voted leave than those on higher incomes.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Arresting Americans by Location


In Mineral Country, Nevada the annual arrest rate is 2 people per 100,000. Just over the border in Esmeralda County the arrest rate is an incredible 126 per 100,000 people. Are the citizens of Esmeralda County relentless criminals or is something else going on here?

In Arresting America Fusion has mapped the arrest rates in most counties in the United States (there are some gaps in the data so some counties are missing). The map provides a choropleth view of where the police make the most and least arrests as a percentage of the population.

Fusion asks if these huge differences in arrest rates, displayed on the map, reflect the amount of crime in different areas or whether the police in some areas are targeting citizens - because they are black or because the police are writing tickets to raise money.

5 Ways to Destroy Your House in Street View

The End is Nigh! You can't escape your destiny. Your road and your house are about to die. The only choice you have is whether you want your home to be destroyed by fire, flood or alien invasion.

1. Urban Jungle

Check out your house on Urban Jungle and you can see what happens when you forget to weed your garden. Urban Jungle allows you to catch a glimpse of what your post-apocalyptic house will look like, after civilization has collapsed and nature has reasserted its dominance over man.

Drop Pegman on the Urban Jungle Google Map and you can view your house in Street View - only this is Street View with a difference. Urban Jungle's Street View includes creeping vines and grass superimposed on Google's panoramic imagery.

2. World Under Water

Do you want to see what your house will look like once global warming causes the inevitable rise in sea levels? Just type in your address into World Under Water and you can catch a glimpse of your house sinking under the waves.

World Under Water is a very powerful campaign from Carbon Story which uses Google's panoramic imagery to provide a warning about rising sea levels. Once you have typed in your address into the application you can watch the rising water lap against the Street View image of your front door. Yikes!

3. Perfect Storms

To promote the last season of Perfect Storms the History Channel created this interactive that allows you to virtually destroy your house in a fire storm.

The app uses a combination of Google Maps and Street View to show the likely effects of a perfect storm on your own home and neighborhood. Just sit back and watch as your home disappears behind a wall of flames.

4. Independence Day - My Street

It is also possible to see your home being destroyed by aliens. Independence Day - My Street creates a little Street View based movie showing how your home might look after an alien invasion.

Just enter your address and you can view a little Street View scene showing the alien inflicted destruction of your home. Pan around the Street View scene and you can see fires burning, smoke rising and darkened skies. Look up and you might also spot a huge fleet of UFO's flying around overhead.

5. Brick Street View

Of course the end that we all fear the most is being turned into miniature toy versions of ourselves. In Legoland's 'Brick Street View' everything is made of bricks. That includes your home!.

Brick Street View allows you to take a little glimpse into the parallel world of Legoland and observe how your house would look if it was made of tiny colored bricks. Type your address into the Legoland Google Map and then drop the Lego Pegman onto your street. You can then view your home as it will appear when Lego finally takes over the whole world.

Mapping the Battle of the Somme


The Battle of the Somme was the largest battle of World War I on the Western Front. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 and more than a million men were wounded or killed. Around 90 of the dead were from the small English county of Rutland.

Rutland and the Battle of the Somme is a new interactive map which recounts the history of the Battle of the Somme and explains when, where and how the soldiers from Rutland died. The map includes a timeline feature which recounts the progress of the battle in chronological order.

As you progress through the battle the map updates to show the front line of the battle as it stood at the beginning of every month. A small information window at the top of the map also provides brief updates on the progress of the battle.

Poppy shaped markers are added to the map by date to show when and where Rutland soldiers were killed. You can click on the markers to learn more about each individual soldier commemorated on the map. The red cross markers show where a soldier was severely injured, before dying late in hospital.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Aliens Attack on Street View


You can now create a little Street View based movie showing your house being destroyed by aliens. A new website, promoting the release of the Independence Day movie, allows you to view your house on Google Maps Street View, after it has been destroyed by an invading army of aliens.

Just enter your address into Independence Day - My Street and you can view a little Street View scene showing the alien inflicted destruction at your address. Pan around the Street View scene and you can see fires burning, smoke rising and darkened skies. Look up and you might also spot a fleet of UFO's flying around overhead.

This amazing Street View interactive is possible because of Google's undocumented Street View depth library, You can make use of this depth data in Street View yourself with the GSVPanoDepth library, developed by 0xef.

Mapzen Captures Copenhagen for Sweden


In April Mapzen's Pelias geocoder accidentally started suggesting that Denmark's Copenhagen was in Sweden. Mapzen of course quickly rectified the mistake. However to atone for this error Mapzen has published an interesting article which explains how the mistake was made, how Pelias has been fixed and why Copenhagen is not in Sweden.

The Assault on Copenhagen is not only an interesting read in terms of how Pelias mistakenly placed Copenhagen in Sweden (damn those pesky centroids) but also a really interesting account of the Second Northern War, 1655-1660. In this little history lesson Mapzen explains how Denmark was able to hold on to Copenhagen despite a series of assaults on the city by Sweden.

The article is accompanied by an interactive map which illustrates how King Charles X advanced on Copenhagen in his attempt to capture the city for Sweden.