Tuesday, March 11, 2014
This week we have an amazing opportunity to watch a live broadcast from the International Space Station. National Geographic are broadcasting the program around the world and in the UK Channel 4 are running a similar program.
To celebrate this week's launch of Live from Space National Geographic has also released a very nice Google Map showing the live position of the International Space Station. Live from Space provides a satellite view of the Earth, showing the current position of the ISS. The map includes live data of the ISS's altitude and velocity and also tells you which country it is currently flying over.
This Worldwide Population map is rather beautiful. The map uses d3.js to create a map of the world which represents population density by latitude.
The map uses population data from NASA. You can select to view the population densities for a number of different years, which means that you can view how the global population has changed over the last twenty years. The map was inspired by James Cheshire’s Population Lines. If you find this type of population visualization as beautiful as I do you can buy prints of James' map from his website.
Ever since Street View was added to the Google Maps API one of its most popular uses has been in driving directions maps. Add Street View to driving directions and you can create a very useful application that allows drivers the option to find and preview a driving route before leaving home.
Recently we have seen Jefferson Lam's Daytripper. Daytripper allows you to request directions and then preview the route in Street View simply by scrolling up and down the page. Daytripper is a great way to request directions and zip through the route simply by scrolling up and down. However it is not the only way to present driving directions with Street View.
The Google Maps Street View Player is another useful driving directions map that actually creates a Street View animation of a requested driving route. Request a route from the Google Maps Street View Player and you can not only view the suggested route on a Google Map but you can animate through the route on Street View.
The Street View animation includes pause and play controls and the options to speed up or slow down the animation. Each created route also comes with a unique URL so you can share or save your favorite routes. The code for the Google Maps Street View Player is also available GitHub.
Another option for anyone who wants to preview a driving route in Street View is Map Channels Animated Route Maps. Animated Route Maps also allows you to request a driving route and preview the suggested route on Street View.
Animated Route Map includes options to pause, play, speed up or slow down the animations. On Animated Route Map you can also click anywhere along the route to skip parts of the route that you may already be familiar with. It also includes a Bing Maps Birds Eye view to give you another perspective of your requested route and the option to view current traffic conditions along the route.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I really do have the mental age of a five year old. There is no other excuse for the enjoyment I got from creating this Talking Rude Map.
The map animates through some of the more NSFW place-names around the world and reads the names out loud. I don't think that this map will work with any other browser but Chrome. If you don't use Chrome don't blame me if you don't get past the F#cking first page.
Posted by Keir Clarke at 3:35 PM
The World Wildlife Fund's ArkGIS map is great tool to visualize data about the Arctic from a number of different sources, including several Arctic Council working groups, the Institute of Marine Research, and the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
The tool includes a number of layers that can be viewed on the map. The layers include historical ice and snow coverage, oil and gas exploitation and information about wildlife in the region. The various layers can be visualized on the map in any combination and the map also includes a number of drawing tools which enables users to highlight and draw attention to areas on the map.
Using the various data layers and the drawing tools users can create their own unique map views, which can then be shared via a unique URL or captured in a screenshot.
Toronto is one of the world's most diverse cities. About 49% of Toronto's population was born outside Canada. Cosmopolis Toronto is celebrating the diversity of Toronto's citizens by photographing someone born in every single country of the world, who now calls Toronto home.
Cosmopolis Toronto uses Google Maps throughout its website. The homepage features a prominent map that acts as a great navigational aide. All the featured Torontonians on the site are shown on the map by country of birth. You can click on a country's marker to click-through and view the selected Torontonian's photographed portraiture and read more about their life-story.
Frequency 2156 is a radio station and Google Map that has been transmitted back through time from the year 2156. In the year 2156 the world is suffering from a twenty year long nuclear war.
Frquency 2156 appears to be gathering data about survivors of this global nuclear war. The map allows you to listen to the messages sent into the station from survivors around the world. You can really mess with the heads of those survivors by recording your own message on the map. Your message will then be transmitted forward through time to this future dystopian world.
RadiantCopenhagen is another Google Map that is somehow sending back important information from a dystopian future.
The map shows a number of important future locations in Copenhagen. When you click on a map marker an information window opens with news that is dated a number of years in the future, usually describing a world that seems to have been hit by global warming and a global depression.
The map also includes a handy time-line, which is useful for those who like their dystopian futures prophesied chronologically rather than spatially.
Map of the Dead is a handy MapBox guide to surviving the approaching zombie apocalypse.
Once you enter your address into Map the Dead you are presented with a map of the area, displaying nearby places that are likely to have resources to help you survive once the zombies begin to take control. It is highly likely that the internet will not survive the rise of the dead so you are advised to print out your personalized Map of the Dead and store it in a secure location.
Sunday, March 09, 2014
This week I was impressed by a couple of maps that repackaged previously mapped visualizations.
First-up - Esri has created a demo map using Windy-JS. Wind Animation allows you to view global wind conditions animated on a slippy map. I'm sure you have all seen earth.nullschool.net's gorgeous animated globe visualizing weather conditions around the world.
Esri has now taken the same weather data from the Global Forecast System used in the map and created Windy-JS. Two Windy-JS re-purposes the weather data so that it can be overlaid in a canvas element on top of a variety of mapping APIs.
The Racial Dot Map was one of my favorite Google Maps of last year. It is now also possible to view the same data overlaid on an OpenStreetMap.
The Racial Dot Map is a fascinating visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the USA. The map uses data from the 2010 US census, with each of the 308,745,538 dots representing the location of one American.
If you prefer your underlying map to be open-sourced then you can now view the data on a Leaflet.js OpenStreetMap, called the Racial Dotmap Site.
Now on to some new maps. The WWF Species Tracker is a Google Map dedicated to tracking the movements of a number of animals around the world. The map includes the tracks of a number of polar bears, marine turtles, yellowfin tuna, bowhead whales, jaguars and a narwahl whale.
You can select each individual animal on the map and not only view the animal's movements but read a journal of the animal's movement and behavior over the last few months. Each track includes time stamps along its path, allowing you to see when it passed through each location, and a number of 'information' markers providing analysis of the animal's progress.
The Transit Map of San Francisco MTA is a real-time simulated map of San Francisco's bus, streetcar, and metro services, based on the MTA timetables. The map animates the movements of the city's buses, streetcars and metro trains on a Google Map.
The vehicle movements on the map are determined by the timetables provided in the GTFS dataset of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The map works by plugging the city's GTFS dataset into Vasile Cotovanu's Transit Map library.
Vasile has also released the code for the GTFS plug-in as well. The code converts a set of GTFS files into a SQLite database and the GeoJSONs needed by the Transit Map library. So if you want to create your own simulated animated map of a city's transit network all you need to do is to grab the city's GTFS dataset, use GTFS-viz to create the database and GeoJSON's and then plug the data into the Transit Map library. Voila you have your very own animated simulated transit map.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
The Birthplaces of Award-Winning Actors & Actresses is a Google Map that shows where all the Oscar winning actors and actresses were born. For example, did you know Julie Christie and Vivien Leigh were both born in India? Or that Natalie Portman was born in Israel?
You can filter the results displayed on the map to view the best actors or the best actresses. You can also filter the results to view only those actors or actresses who have won the Oscar more than once.
Posted by Keir Clarke at 5:59 AM
Friday, March 07, 2014
This is probably completely pointless but I've just used the Web Speech API to create a Speaking Map. If you click anywhere on this map the address will be spoken out loud.
To get the map to speak only required one line of code (where the address is the reverse geo-coded address from clicking on the map). Here's the magic line of code:
var msg=new SpeechSynthesisUtterance(address);window.speechSynthesis.speak(msg);
The Web Speech API isn't widely supported yet - so to hear the map talk you will have to use a compliant browser. In this case you will probably need to view the Speaking Map in Chrome. This map obviously isn't that useful but it would be easy to add speech to directions and create your own navigation system.
Posted by Keir Clarke at 9:01 PM