Wednesday, August 24, 2016


OpenStreetView is a new application and map for collecting and presenting geo-referenced Street View imagery. OpenStreetView is a Telenav project but the software is open-sourced and the imagery is free to use under a Creative Commons license.

Using the iOS or Android app you can collect Street View imagery and automatically upload it to the OpenStreetView map. You can view all the uploaded Street View imagery on the OpenStreetView desktop map.

One of the main purposes behind OpenStreetView is to improve OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetView includes computer vision technology which can recognize speed signs in uploaded imagery. OpenStreetView is also working on computer vision technology to automatically detect street lanes and lane restrictions. This data can then be fed back into OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetView is obviously very similar to Mapillary, the current leaders in crowd-sourced Street View imagery. OpenStreetView claim that the major distinctions between the two projects is that OpenStreetView is truly open-sourced, 100% focused on improving OpenStreetMap and optimized for car drivers. They also say that OpenStreetView users own their own data. This means users can download their own uploaded imagery and have the option to delete their account and remove their imagery from OpenStreetView at any time.

The Global Trade in Crude Oil

Crude oil is the world's single most actively-traded commodity. A World of Oil allows you to explore the world's leading exporters and importers of oil over the last 20 years.

A World of Oil uses a WebGL interactive globe to visualize the top ten importers and exporters of crude oil for each year from 1995 to 2014. You can also select individual countries on the map to view where the county imports oil from or where it exports oil to. You can even view the total amount of money made or spent on oil.

The 'Stories in Oil' section (accessed from the hamburger menu) picks out some interesting stories in the data. For example, 'US Spend Falls' will take you to a view showing USA oil imports in 2012. Although still the largest importer of oil in 2012 the USA actually spent less on importing oil than in 2011.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mapping the Texas Triangle

Texas Triangle Tragedies maps the number of fatal accidents in Texas from 2005 to 2014. The map picks out what it calls the 'Texas Triangle', an area outlined by I-35, I-45 and I-10, which has a high concentration of traffic accidents.

I like the consistent design on the interactive map in this report. The aesthetic of highway signs is used for the timeline, legend and for the information windows. The map itself however isn't particularly revealing. As the introduction to the map points out this area has a densely concentrated population. So with more people, and presumably more traffic, we might expect this area to have a higher concentration of accidents than elsewhere in the state.

Texas Triangle Tragedies draws attention to the fact that the "number of traffic fatalities has remained relatively flat comparing the years 2005 and 2014". The site's analysis of the notable contributing factors to the traffic accidents is probably more revealing than the map itself. It shows that driving under the influence is a leading contributor to accidents and that "alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased by more than 20 percent during the time period".

If the Texas Triangle Tragedies map included an option to allow you to filter the accidents shown by contributing causes it could possibly reveal some interesting spatial patterns about where these different types of accidents occur.

Discover the New Delft

Nieuw Delft is a huge new urban development taking place in the Dutch city of Delft. The development will include 800 new homes, new businesses, restaurants and parks. You can now explore how this new development will look when finished on a beautifully designed interactive map.

Ontdek Nieuw Delft is a really cleverly designed oblique aerial view map of the Nieuw Delft district. The map allows you to explore what is currently little more than a huge construction site on a large oblique view of Delft. If you want to see the future of Nieuw Delft then just turn on the seamless image overlays to reveal an oblique projected view of the finished development.

Markers on the map allow you to find out more about individual buildings and districts in the Nieuw Delft. You can also switch to a more traditional map view if you want a better idea about how the Nieuw Delft area fits into the existing map of the city.

Revealing Your Location with Photos

Many people knowingly share their location with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pokemon Go and countless other apps. However there are probably just as many people who are unaware that they are sharing their location on-line, either because they have forgotten that they agreed to it, or they were unaware what they agreed to when they blindly ticked to accept an app's terms and conditions.

There are probably even more people who are unaware that they are sharing their location every time they share or post a photo online. Accidental Geography is a good reminder that the metadata you share when you post a photograph online can include the location of where that photo was taken.

Accidental Geography maps photos that have been posted to Wordpress blogs by users who haven't removed the geo-tagged data added by their digital cameras and /or phones.

A slightly more polished and humorous warning of accidentally revealing your location by sharing photos online is I Know Where Your Cat Lives.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives displays pictures of cats on a Google Map. The pictures of the cats come from popular photo sharing websites and the locations are based on the data hidden in the cat photo metadata.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Brutalist Street View

Google's panoramic Street View imagery is a great resource for documenting and reporting on building styles around the world. For example, Arti-Fact has been collating and collecting architecturally interesting buildings and sculptures that can be found on Google Maps Street View for over four years.

Artstreetecture is a similar collection of architecturally interesting Street View images. However Artstreetacture has a narrower focus than Arti-Fact, concentrating purely on the Modernist and Brutalist architecture of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Brutalism obviously has its fair share of critics. Many people find Brutalist buildings cold and ugly. However there does seem to be some re-evaluation of Brutalism going on in architectural criticism. For example, in Britain there have been campaigns to save and conserve examples of Brutalist architecture.

Thanks to the work of Artstreetecture and Google Maps Street View you can view Brutalist buildings from around the world and make up your own mind about whether these buildings deserve saving or whether they deserve the wrecking-ball.

The World of Movie Maps

If you've ever wondered where your favorite films were shot or which locations in your neighborhood have featured in the movies then you should check out these interactive maps dedicated to mapping the filming locations of blockbuster movies.

MovieTrip features a worldwide Google Map plotting the locations featured in thousands of films. Just zoom in on a location and the markers on the map will reveal the locations where movies have been shot. If you then select the marker on the map you can click through to view stills from the movie showing its various shooting locations and another map featuring all of the locations featured in your selected film.

If you've ever wanted to visit the stunning locations featured in a Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings then you should have a look at Expedia's interactive map of the best locations seen in film and television.

Expedia's World on Screen map features the shooting locations of some of your favorite films and television shows. Select a movie location on the map and you will be taken to a more detailed map featuring some of the shooting locations used in the selected film.

For example, if you click on the Cardiff marker in Wales, you can view a map of the city highlighting some of the locations which have featured in the famous BBC drama Doctor Who.

If you've wanted to purchase a product that you have seen in a movie then you can use TheTake to help identify and purchase your coveted item. If you aren't interested in movie related products you can still use TheTake to identify the filming locations used in your favorite movies.

An interesting feature of TheTake's movie map is that you can filter the results by category. For example you can select 'Restaurants' to only view restaurants and bars which have been used as the settings in movies. Therefore, if you want to surprise your significant other, you could use TheTake to find a restaurant featured in their favorite movie and treat them to a special movie themed night out.

Filmed in San Francisco maps all the locations in San Francisco used in movies since January 2013. The map is based on all the film permits issued by the San Francisco Film Office between January 2013 and August 2015.

You can search the map by location simply by clicking on the markers on the map. Alternatively you can use the list in the map sidebar to find a film by name and then view all the San Francisco film locations used in that film on the map. Each film includes a brief note on the scene location. You can even click through to view the original filming permission issued by the San Francisco Film Office.

In the three years from 2011 to the end of 2013 there were 17,241 film scenes shot on New York's city streets. There were so many that it is probably harder to find a Manhattan street that didn't feature in at least one movie than a street that did.

This Filmed in NYC Leaflet map allows you to explore which films were shot on which New York streets. You can click on the colored streets on the map to discover which films were shot on the selected street. Alternatively you can select a film from the map sidebar to discover which city streets were involved in the shooting of the film.

New York's city streets are colored on the map by the number of films that were shot there. You can therefore also use the map to discover which New York city areas are the most popular with film directors. Times Square and the Financial District both jump out on the map as being popular locations for shooting movies.

Singapore's Stagnant Housing Market

Singapore's relatively weak economy, extensive new builds and tighter rules on immigration has led to a cooling of the Singapore property market. The Strait Times has analysed the data behind Singapore's stagnant housing market, looking at where real estate is not selling and why.

Tracking Down Singapore's Unsold Private Homes includes an interactive map visualizing real estate projects in the city which will be completed in 2016 & 2017. The map uses scaled circular markers to show the location of new builds and the number of unsold units in each project. If you select a marker on the map you can learn more about the project, such as the name of the developer, the number of unsold units and the price range distribution of the units that have sold.

The article also includes a chorpleth map showing the drop in rental take ups in each Singapore region over the last three years.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Mesmerizing Migration Map

The Nature Conservancy has created a mesmerizing animated map showing where birds, mammals and amphibians will need to migrate to in order to maintain hospitable climates as global warming takes effect.

Migrations in Motion uses data from climate change projections to model potential habitats for 2,954 different species. The animated map visualizes the migratory flow of these species, showing how they would need to move from their current habitats to the projected locations.

The amazing animated flow map layer is based on the equally amazing Earth Wind Map and Chris Helm's adaptation of the Earth Wind Map code. You can learn more about the science behind the Migrations in Motion map on this Nature Conservancy blog post.

The Olympics in Your Backyard

If you have been inspired by the Rio Olympics then why not run some Olympic races around your own neighborhood? You don't even need to measure out the correct distances as the New York Times has worked it all out for you.

Olympic Races, In Your Neighborhood allows you to see what Olympic races would like if they were held in the streets around your house. Just enter your address into the NYT's Google Map and you can view a series of different Olympic events measured out on the roads near your house. The map will even tell you the time you will need to run each race in order to beat the gold medal winner in the Rio Olympics.