Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Immigrant Dot Map of America


Mapping Immigrant America is a dot map showing the number and origin of immigrants throughout the United States. Each dot on the map represents 20 immigrants and the dots are colored by the general region of origin. The data for the map comes from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey carried out at the census tract level.

If you zoom in on most cities on the map you can see how immigrants from the same general region of origin often seem to cluster in the same neighborhoods. The 'about' page contains more information about the data used and how the map was created. It also reveals that some navigational tools, such as a search option, are in the pipeline.


The Cooper Center's Racial Dot Map uses a similar methodology to map every person in the United States.

This map uses data from the 2010 US census, with each of the 308,745,538 dots on the map representing the location of one American. The Cooper Center's dot map however goes beyond being just a visualization of geographic distribution as it also visualizes the distribution of race and ethnicity in the United States.

Toronto's Green Directions


Toronto has a new directions service which can find you the prettiest route from A to B. Greenlane is an interactive routing map which provides cycling and walking directions in Toronto. More importantly it uses park, tree and trail data to find you the greenest route for your walk or bike ride.

Greenlane is very simple to use. Just enter your starting point and your destination. Then choose whether you want cycling or walking directions. You then have the choice to decide on a faster or greener route. Choose the greener option and the resulting directions will try to take you on the greenest route.

Each time you ask Greenlane for directions it will give you the choice of three different routes. Each route in clearly marked with the estimated time it will take you to complete your journey.

Cats Can Haz Maps - Street View for Cats


CATS LUV MAPS. CATS ARENT GUD AT MAPS. CATS NED STREET VIEW. CATS CAN HAZ STREET VIEW.

Thanks to the Hiroshima Tourism Agency 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.


If you like Cat Street View then you might also like Catography - The Lost Art of Mapping Cats.

Mapping Europe's Refugee Crisis


Europe faces a growing humanitarian crisis as increasing numbers of refugees enter the continent after fleeing the troubles in Syria. In Hungary an estimated 3,000 people are camping outside Budapest's main station desperate to travel on to Germany and Austria.

El Diario has mapped the number of asylum applications received by each European country in 2015 and the percentage of applications accepted by each country. The size of the red dots on the Refugee Distribution map represents the number of asylum applications received by each country and a choropleth layer shows the percentage of asylum applications accepted.

One of the arguments being used by some of Europe's political leaders for not accepting more asylum applications is that this will only encourage more refugees to head to their countries. This map seems to suggest that there is no strong correlation between a high acceptance rate of refugees by a country and the number of refugees seeking asylum in that country.

If the willingness to accept asylum seekers affected the number of refugees to then apply for asylum then the dark green colored countries on the map should have the largest red dots. This clearly isn't the case. For example, Germany only agreed 42% of asylum applications in 2014 and yet it is by far the most popular destination for asylum seekers.


In fact the current crisis in Hungary is because the country is right in the middle of one of the most popular migration routes to Germany. The BBC has published a static map showing the migrant route from Greece and Turkey to Germany. With Hungary being a popular gateway to the passport-free Schengen zone in the European Union.

The BBC says that Germany is expecting 800,000 asylum applications this year. Many of those refugees will have successfully followed this migrant route through Hungary. Hungary's response to this growing refugee crisis has been to build a 110 mile razor wire fence.


This fence is just one of many fences now being built or planned in Europe. The Washington Post, in an article entitled Fortressing Europe, has mapped some of these construction projects designed to block some of the most popular migrant routes into Europe.

These fences include the fence being built by Hungary along its border with Serbia, a 100 mile fence being constructed by Bulgaria along its border with Turkey and Greece's own fence along its Turkish border.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Mapping the Arctic Ice Cap


MasterMaps has created a really impressive mapped visualization of the Arctic ice cap. The Arctic Sea Ice map allows you to compare the monthly sea ice cover in the Arctic for any month since 2006.

If you select a month from the bottom timeline you can then adjust the year on the top timeline to make a direct comparison of any month for each year from 2006 to 2015. Every time you adjust the timeline the Arctic see ice coverage is automatically updated on the map.

The map was created with D3.js. Creating a map of the Arctic with most mapping libraries is very difficult so this custom mapping solution from MasterMaps is even more impressive. If you don't have the D3.js chops yourself then you can use the Arctic Web Map, an Arctic specific web mapping tool, consisting of an Arctic-focused tile server, and a Leaflet-based client library.

Mapping the Great Plague of London


It is estimated that in the Seventeenth Century the Great Plague of London killed off nearly a quarter of the city's population.

One of the best accounts of the plague is Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year. There is some debate as to whether Defoe's Journal should be read as a work of fiction or non-fiction. The book was originally published under the initials H.F. and many critics believe it was based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Defoe, with sparing invented detail from Daniel Defoe himself.

A “Frightful Number!” – Mapping Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year is an interactive map and timeline of events depicted in Defoe's novel. The events in the novel are plotted on top of a vintage 1720 map of London.

You can use the forward and back arrows beneath the map to navigate chronologically through the plotted events from Defoe's Journal. The events are also listed chronologically beneath the map in table format. The location links in the table can be clicked on to view them plotted on the map.

The project includes an extensive 'About' page which details how the project was created, including an explanation as to how to geo-rectify vintage maps and overlay them on a Leaflet map.


In the summer of 1665 London experienced a huge rise in the numbers of people dying from the Bubonic Plague. The Guardian has used historical data from the Bills of Mortality to chart the progression of the plague parish by parish over the course of the summer.

In Mapping London's Great Plague of 1665 the newspaper has created a dot density map showing the number of plague burials by parish per week. Underneath the dot map an interactive graph allows you to view the number of burials in total per week. You can use the graph to select a week to view on the map.

When you select a week on the graph the map updates to show the number of burials in each parish for that week. You can mouse-over the individual parishes on the map to view the number of burials in the parish for the week. Above the month you can also see the total number of plague burials in London for the selected week.


If you want to read more first hand accounts of London's Great Plague then you can also consult the Diaries of Samuel Pepys. Phil Gyford's Pepys Diary is probably one of the longest running interactive mapping projects on the web. It is also one of the best 'book maps', where locations in a text have been plotted on an interactive map.

Every day Pepys Diary publishes an excerpt from the diaries (one taken from the same calendar date). All the locations in the diary entry are links, which when clicked on show you the location on an interactive map of London. The site also includes a search facility which allows you to search for Pepys' diary entries which mention the 'plague' or the 'Bills of Mortality'.

England for Sale


British satirical magazine Private Eye has created an interactive map which shows the amount of English & Welsh land that has been bought up by offshore companies. Selling England by the Offshore Pound uses Land Registry data to plot all land parcels registered in the name of an offshore company between 2005 and July 2014.

The situation in London in particular is extremely depressing. As Private Eye reports land is often being bought by offshore companies for 'tax avoidance and ... to conceal dubious wealth'. The result of all this offshore investment is to stoke up the cost of property in London. Buying a house in London has therefore become unaffordable for almost everyone except the very rich.

Many of these offshore owned properties are also left empty for long periods of the year. This removes the property from the rental market, effectively pushing up the cost of renting a property in London. The other effect of all these empty properties is to destroy local businesses many of whom operate in once active residential areas which are now deserted for much of the year.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Adult Coloring Maps - US Edition


Last week the UK's Ordnance Survey released a number of free Adult Coloring maps of UK cities.

Now, for your coloring enjoyment, Maps Mania is pleased to present 9 free Adult Coloring maps, of U.S. cities. Just click on the links below to download a PDF map of your chosen city. The list also includes a map of the World and Europe.

World, San Francisco, New York, Europe, Washington DC, Dallas, Boston, Seattle

Once you have downloaded a PDF you can print out the map and spend hours of fun coloring it in.

While you enjoy coloring your downloaded maps of U.S. cities be sure to thank OpenStreetMap for the map data (CC-BY-SA).

The Ordnance Survey Blog has links to the 11 UK maps which you can download as PDF files.

The United Colours of Vancouver


You can learn a lot about Vancouver from its maps. For example this Vancouver Building Heights map can teach you where all of Vancouver's tallest buildings are concentrated. It can even tell you the height of every building in the city

Building footprints on the Vancouver Building Heights map are coloured to represent the height of the building. If you want to know the exact height of an individual building in the city then you just need to mouse-over the building footprint on the map.


Vancouver's building footprints can also be coloured by the age of the buildings. This Vancouver Building Age Map shows the age of all the buildings in the city.

The data for the building ages is from the City of Vancouver's Open Data Catalogue and the map tiles were created using ArcGIS and TileMill. The property lots of the oldest buildings are shaded yellow on the map. The youngest buildings are shaded blue.


Once you know the size of a building and its age it is also possible to estimate a building's energy usage. The Energy Explorer is a set of tools for exploring community energy use in Vancouver. The site aims to encourage a vision of a more sustainable city through the use of renewable energy resources. As part of this aim the Energy Explorer includes two interactive maps visualizing the city's current energy use and its potential for renewable energy resources.

The Home Energy Map provides a visualization of current energy use by Vancouver households. Building footprints on the map are coloured to show their estimated energy usage based on the age of the building and its size. Vancouver citizens can therefore use the map to see how much energy they use and compare it to the estimated energy usage of their neighbors.


We don't need to stop at building age, building height and estimated energy usage. We can also find out the value of Vancouver's land parcels. The Vancouver Land Prices Heat Map visualizes the price of Vancouver parcels of land based on the 2014 BC assessment data from tax reports. Land parcels on the map are coloured to reflect the price per square foot of the property.

The map shows that many of Vancouver's most expensive properties are concentrated in the Downtown, West End and Fairview neighborhoods. The map also shows that land prices tend to get cheaper the further you move east in the city. If you select a building lot on the map you can view the exact price per square foot for the property.

The Pixel Map Wizard


Pixelmap from Amcharts is an easy to use tool for creating a pixellated map. Using the tool you can create a map in a matter of seconds and download the map as an image, SVG or HTML file.

Pixelmap includes a number of options which allow you to adjust the size and shape of the pixels used in your finished map. The tool also includes options to color individual countries on the map and to choose the color of the world's oceans. You can also zoom and pan the map to create a pixel map for a selected region of the world.

When you have completed your map design you have the choice to download your map as an image file, as an SVG or as an HTML file.