Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Paris Building Age Map


Paris is the latest city to be added to Maps Mania's ever growing directory of building age maps. BatiParis: Période de Construction des Immeubles Parisiens maps the age of buildings in central Paris. It is also a rather good example of the building age genre of interactive mapping.

Like other building age maps BatiParis uses a choropleth layer to show the age of buildings, with each building colored according to its year of construction. If you zoom in on the map important historical buildings are also shown on the map with interactive map markers.

Like other good building age maps BatiParis allows you to filter the buildings shown on the map by age of construction. This allows you to visualize the major stages of construction in the Paris capital over the centuries. What I particularly like about the Paris building age map is that each of the building periods in the map menu is also represented by a proportional square.

These colored squares in the menu allow you to tell at a glance the times when Paris undertook major building construction. For example, the 1851-1914 range has the largest square showing that this was a major period of construction in the French capital. Presumably this is a result of Haussmann's renovation of Paris in the later half of the nineteenth century.

Here are a few other building age maps from around the world:

Monday, February 08, 2016

Real-Time Pedestrian Maps


There are now many interactive maps which show the real-time movements of trains. buses and trams on transit systems around the world.  Over the years Maps Mania has reported on hundreds of these real-time transit maps. This is the first time we have reported on a map which shows pedestrians moving in real-time.

Placemeter has created a real-time map of pedestrian and bike traffic in Union Square, New York. The map shows the animated movements of pedestrians on the Broadway and East 17th sidewalks and cyclists passing by in the bike lane.

Placemeter provides sensors that can process feeds from video and security cameras in order to extract data on pedestrian and / or vehicle movements. The data can then be used to analyse foot-traffic at specific locations.

A post on the Placemeter blog, Visualizing Traffic Data in Real Time, includes an interactive map showing the real-time movements of people in Union Square. As well as showing people moving around in real-time the map includes a table showing the total number of pedestrians and cyclists for the current day. It also seems to show the total number of people entering the Chipotle and Geox stores on Union Square.

Time for Work


Why are so many people in Humboldt County, Nevada leaving for work before 5am? It's just plain wrong. They should learn from the residents of Grand County, Colorado, where the favorite time for leaving home for work is between 9am and 10am.

When Do Americans Leave For Work? is an interactive map from Flowing Data, showing the times people leave for work at county level in the USA. As you might expect the most popular times for leaving for work across the country seems to be between the hours of 7am and 8am. However there are some notable exceptions. As well as the early risers of Humboldt County the map reveals that in Aleutians East Borough in Alaska, the most popular time for going to work is between 4pm and midnight.

The Distribution of Placenames

I've always wanted to create a map that visualized the geographical distribution of place-names. bgrsquared has now made that map.

Places! allows you to map the relative density of place-names in different countries around the world. Using the application you can enter place-name prefixes or suffixes and view a map showing the geographic distribution of place-names containing those terms.

For example, in the UK we can enter the place-name suffixes of -thorpe and -thwaite to see where the Vikings settled in Britain. The resulting map shows that these two place-name endings are popular throughout the area that was once known as the Danelaw, following the Viking invasions of the ninth century.

If we take two more common town endings, such as -ford or -bridge we find that the geographic distribution of places with these endings is far more evenly spread across the UK.


Places! uses OpenStreetMap for the place-name data. The application includes a number of options which allow you to adjust the size of map, circle points and an 'advanced' option which allows you to carry out 'regular expression' searches.

You can have hours of fun with Places! For example in the USA you could search for the distribution of the San- or Santa- prefixes to see where there might have been a strong Spanish influence in place-names. On the other hand the suffix -ville might be a good indication of where French immigrants originally settled in the USA.

Maps in the Age of Cholera


Twenty Years before John Snow famously mapped the locations of cholera victims in Broad Street, London, Robert Baker plotted the deaths of cholera victims in Leeds.

Maps in the Age of Cholera is a story map based around Robert Baker's 'Sanitary Map of the Town of Leeds' exploring the 1832 cholera epidemic in the Yorkshire town. Baker never made the link between cholera and contaminated water. However, in his map and in the accompanying report to the Leeds Board of Health, Baker noted that "the disease was worst in those parts of the town where there is often an entire want of sewage, drainage and paving".

The map itself uses this Leaflet Story Map plug-in. The Leaflet Story Map library uses jQuery to create a scroll driven story map. The map tiles scheme for Robert Baker's 1832 'Sanitary Map of the Town of Leeds' comes from Wikimaps Warper.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Maps of the Week


My favorite map of the last week hasn't even dented the top ten most read posts on Maps Mania over the last seven days (you can see the list in the right-hand panel of this page). So let's give it another go.

Project Ukko is a beautiful new mapped visualization of seasonal wind predictions. The map is a visual interface which provides industry, energy traders, wind farm managers and others with a way to access predictions about future wind conditions.

On the map you can drill down to view regional wind forecasts at a detailed level. The line symbols on the map represent predicted wind speed through line thickness and the predicted wind speed via the tilt and color of the line. The more tilted the lines then the stronger the predicted indication of significant changes in wind speed.


Project Ukko wasn't the only brilliant weather map to be released this week. The Global Weather Comparison map allows you to compare the weather between different locations around the world. It allows you to pick two different weather stations, from more than 14,000 locations world-wide, and compare their temperatures, rainfall and hours of sunshine.

To compare the weather of two different locations you just need to click on their markers on the map. The complete annual weather data for these two stations can then be compared in the graph below the map. You can also use the map menu to directly compare the temperature, precipitation or sunshine hours between the two locations, in the graph below the map.


The top most read map this week on Maps Mania was the Interactive Scribble Map. The Interactive ZipScribble Map connects all the Zip or postal codes in a country in ascending order. The resulting map provides a visual representation of how countries around the world arrange or order their post code systems.

If you view the ZipScribble map of the USA, you can immediately see that zipcode density appears to closely follow population density (the more people that there are in an area then the more zipcodes there are).

As I understand it the first digit of a U.S. zipcode represents the state. If you turn on the colors on the map you can see that zipcodes do indeed seem to remain within state lines. Use the drop-down menu beneath the map to view the postal code maps for other countries. There are maps for 38 different countries in all.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Super Bowl Twitter Champions


The winners of the Super Bowl Twitter Championship are the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers played a great pre-game and there was really only one team in it. The Denver Broncos did manage to beat the Panthers in Colorado but the Panthers managed to take most other states.

The #SB50 Twitter Fan Map shows which of the two Super Bowl teams have been Tweeted about the most in every U.S. state. You can click on each state to view the percentage of Super Bowl Tweets made by the fans of both teams in that state.

The Broncos may have lost the map but they can take some consolation from the fact that they are still the most Tweeted about team in Hawaii and New Hampshire.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Your Source for Vintage Map Tiles


I noticed yesterday that Wikimedia is using Tim Waters' Map Warper to geo-rectify old historic maps. This means that map developers have another great resource for accessing map tile schemes of vintage maps from around the world.

Today I used some of the geo-rectified vintage maps on Wikimedia to put together this little collection of old historical maps of Berlin.

The NYPL Digtial Collection and the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection are two other great resources to access map tile schemes of old historic maps.

If you view a vintage map on the NYPL Map Warper website and click on the 'Export' tab you can find the map's tile scheme URL, which can then be used with most of the popular mapping platforms, such as the Google Maps API, CartoDB, Mapbox and Leaflet.

Wiki Media and the NYPL Digital Collections both use Map Warper. This means that if you want to access the map tile scheme of an historical map on Wiki Media you just need to follow the same steps - click on the 'Export' tab and copy the map's tile scheme URL.

On the David Rumsey Historical Maps website you need to select a vintage map and then click on the 'Embed OGC WMTS tiles' link. Next you need to select the 'source code' link and find and copy the map tile scheme URL.

So, if you are looking for map tile schemes of old vintage maps from around the world, you could start with these links:

David Rumsey Geoeferenced Maps
NYPL Map Warper
Wikimaps Warper

The Vintage Maps of Berlin


Once upon a time, a long, long time ago two old towns sat on opposite sides of the River Spree. To the south the town of Cölln looked longingly across the river at the town of Altberlin. Altberlin stared back across the flowing waters at Cölln with love in its heart.

Like all love stories this tale of passion also has a happy ending. To cut a long story short the towns of Cölln and Altberlin eventually married and became the city of Berlin.

The remnants of this ancient tale of love between Cölln and Altberlin can be discerned in the Vintage of Maps of Berlin. This collection of old historical maps of Berlin centers around what is now Museum Island in Berlin.

In the oldest maps you can clearly see the two towns of Cölln and Altberlin, on opposite banks of the River Spree. As you progress through the maps you can see how this area of Berlin's has changed and developed over the centuries.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Mapping the Changing Landscape


Tidskikaren is a fascinating interactive map which allows you to explore the dramatic changes in the landscape around the Julita Museum, in Södermanland Sweden, over the last four centuries.

The map includes a timeline which allows you to view the changing landscape over the centuries and a number of layers which allow you to view the changes to arable land, forests, meadows and pastures (or all four layers at once).

Once you select one of the different land types you can click on the information button to learn about the landscape changes for that type of land over the centuries (in Swedish). The map also includes a number of markers which you can select to learn more about the landscape changes in that region.


The Welikia Project is a similar map which allows you to explore a map of Manhattan, New York in 1609.

Before there was Manhattan there was Mannahatta. You can explore Mannahatta as it once was with the Welikia Project. The map provides an imagined satellite view of how Manhattan Island looked before New Amsterdam was established.

The project maps the natural landscape of New York's valleys, forests, fields, freshwater wetlands and salt marshes. If you click on any New York neighborhood on the Welikia Google Map you can discover a wealth of information about the area's ecology as it existed in 1609.