Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Australian Property Bubble

For a number of years economists have been queuing-up to warn that the Australian property bubble is prime to burst.

Wikipedia, for example, finishes its entry on the Australian Property Bubble with a very hyperbolic conclusion, "... the great Australian housing bubble has been expanding unsustainably for well over two decades, since the early-nineties, making it the largest, longest lasting and most dangerous bubble (of any type) that has ever existed anywhere in the world in known history".


This week the All Things Spatial blog has being looking at real-estate maps for Sydney, Australia. Judging by the following two maps a lot of hot air is still being blown into this particular property bubble.

Realestate.com.au is Australia's leading real-estate portal. The website uses Google Maps to provide a heat-map visualization of capital growth over 5 years and rental yields. The heat-map for Sydney shows that the property market in Sydney at least is still showing exceptional growth. City wide median price for units have risen by more than 12% over the last year.


Domain are also using Google Maps to provide an overview of the Australian property market. Their map allows you to view median prices for properties as well as the capital growth rates for the past year, and for the last 3 and 5 years.

The Domain heat-map for Sydney again seems to show strong growth in property prices, with most areas experiencing year-on-year price gains of over 8%. I'll let the economists argue over whether this is a sign of a healthy market or of a bubble about to burst.

Via: All Things Spatial

The Sun Rises on Planet Earth


This is a clever animated map showing the slow eastward movement of the sun around the world during one day. The map also animates through the locations of Twitter messages, which include the word 'sunrise', sent during the same day .

The Sunrise Around the World map shows a flashing yellow line of Tweets following the start of the day around the world, as people react with joy to the sudden appearance of the morning sun. Although it must be said that there are also a lot of Twitter users talking about the sunrise at other times of the day.

(BTW - I tried swapping out 'sunrise' for 'sunset; in the URL and it looks like the inevitable sunset map has yet to be released).

Mapping New York Traffic Problems


The City of New York has set a 'Vision Zero' goal which aims to end traffic accident deaths and injuries on the city's roads.

To help achieve this aim the City has released the Vision Zero interactive map which allows New Yorkers to share their knowledge of the city streets. Anyone can report an issue with the city's streets by clicking on the problem location and completing a short form.

The problems reported can be to do with double parking, poor visibility, speeding or a number of issues. The map also displays the streets with the most pedestrian accidents and the location of pedestrian fatalities.

Amsterdam During the War


The prolific Amsterdam mappers at maps.Amsterdam.nl have released a new Google Map, Amsterdam in the Second World War. Using data from the city archives the map shows the location of all the bombs that were dropped on the city between 1940-45.

The map also shows the location of downed aircraft, plane debris and anti-aircraft shells. You can click on the individual markers on the map to view details about each recorded incident (in Dutch).


When you think of Amsterdam during the Second World War you immediately think of Anne Frank. The Het Amsterdam van Anne Frank time-line is beautifully realized account of the Amsterdam of Anne Frank.

The time-line explores the history of Amsterdam before and during German occupation in World War II. It includes excerpts from Anne Frank's diary alongside historical photographs and videos of Amsterdam during the occupation.

If you click on an entry in the time-line it will open in a lightbox style window. Most of the entries' locations are visualized using a a static Google Map. If you click on the static map a larger Google Map will open to show the entry's location in Amsterdam.


In London you can view a map of all the bombs that fell during the Blitz in WWII on Bomb Sight. To create the map the original 1940's bomb census maps were scanned, geo-referenced and the geographical locations of all the falling bombs were digitally captured.

You can click on all the individual bomb markers on the map to view details about the bomb and damage caused and to view nearby photos taken during the Second World War.

Mapping the Great Wildebeest Migration


HerdTracker has started to map the 2014 wildebeest migration. Every year the blue wildebeest of East Africa migrate across the Serengeti and Massai Mara following the rains and grass growth.

This year Discover Africa is providing weekly updates of the wildebeest migration on a Google Map. Using information from pilots who fly over the Serengeti, safari guides on the ground, Tanzania National Parks Authority rangers and lodges in the Masai Mara in Kenya the map provides updates on the latest locations of the wildebeest herds.

Each weekly report is displayed on the map with a map marker. A large blue marker indicates the latest report on the widebeest's location. Beneath the map a Twitter style timeline also provides information on the latest reports on the wildebeest migration.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Far can You Travel?


Isocope provides a beautiful mapped visualization of how far you can travel by car in a chosen time from any location in the world. You can even select the day and time to view an isochrone view of your time restricted travel extent.

The map uses the Isoline feature from the Nokia Here Map API to calculate the area you can travel in a given time. You can view another example of the Nokia isoline calculator in this demo map from Nokia.

Nokia also provide another neat demo map which uses the resulting isochrone polygon from a travel time search as the bounding box for a places search. The Isoline Bounding Box Search map is a nice demonstration of how you could use Nokia's isoline calculator to refine searches on a map, for example you could create a map that allowed users to search for cafes within a ten minute walk of their current location.

Isochrone Maps & Employment


Access to Jobs is a very clever Leaflet map which allows you to view the number of jobs you can travel to in the New York Metropolitan Region, within a given travel time. It is an isochrone map which reveals the distance you can travel in a set time and also reveals the underlying employment patterns within that area.

Drop a pin anywhere within the New York Metropolitan Region, select your mode of travel and set your maximum travel time and you can view a visualization of the number of jobs within your given travel time. Individual building footprints on the map are even shaded to show you the type of jobs available within your set travel time.

Using the options in the map sidebar you can refine the category of jobs shown on the map to find the total number of jobs available within your commuting zone for any industry or combination of job types. The map also allows you to view the jobs displayed by education level (degree, high school, less than high school and some college).

Mapping the Burn with Strava Labs


Last week Google Maps Mania looked at the Strava Global Heatmap, a visualization of where Strava users most like to run and cycle. The map is one of a number of amazing map visualizations created by Strava Labs.

Strava Labs also features on its home page a Real-time Map of Strava Users. This Leaflet platform map shows the location of Strava users in real-time. As Strava users run or cycle their locations are shown on the map. Each mapped Strava user fades out on the map over 20 seconds.


Another neat Strava map is the Activity Playback Map. The Activity Playback Map allows Strava Users to check out who else was running or cycling near them, enabling them to check out who they passed whilst out exercising. The page includes links to some example maps, for example you can view an animated map showing Strava users competing in the Boston Marathon.


The Strava Slide Tool might not be of much interest to most Strava users but is a neat visualization of one of Strava's mapping algorithms. The tool allows you to draw a route polyline on a map and then view as the line is iteratively refined to optimize its alignment based on Strava's global heatmap routes.

The visualization allows you to view in real-time how a coarse input route could be refined to more accurately align to the actual route undertaken, based on Strava's huge database of routes.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mapping LA's Pollution


The Los Angeles Times has released a great mapped visualization of the city's pollution. The CartoDB powered map uses Nokia Here map tiles with data from the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Pollution Burdens provides heat maps of a number of pollution concerns in Los Angeles, including ozone concentration and drinking water quality. You can click on the map to view pollution levels for each pollution category for any census tract in California.

Mapping Urban Tree Canopies


The National Geographic celebrated last Friday's Arbor Day by creating maps of the tree canopy coverage in some of America's biggest cities.

In Nine Cities That Love Their Trees the National Geographic has used MapBox to map the trees in nine US cities. The maps reveal the areas of greenery in each of the cities and also explores some of the tree planting campaigns carried out in each selected city.


If your city is missing from the National Geographic map then check out OpenTreeMap. OpenTreeMap is a crowd-sourced platform for creating city tree coverage maps. You can view tree maps created with the platform at the Urban Forest Map (San Francisco), PhillyTreeMap and GreenPrintMaps (Sacramento).


OTTrees is a Google Map that visualizes Ottawa's open data of trees owned and cared for by the city. The database includes information about more than 40,000 individual trees.

Using the map it is possible to view the seasonal foliage of any species of Ottawa's trees. The foliage is estimated by taking the diameter at breast height of each tree and calculating the approximate spread of the tree given it’s species and estimated age.

The filters in the sidebar allow the user to visualise the foliage in different seasons, select individual species of trees or any combination of species and also to show the allergen potential for different locations in the city.

Mapping Iceland's Secret Beauty


Iceland is a beautiful country. A country full of hidden treasures and natural wonder. Luckily Icelanders are happy to share their secrets with the rest of the world.

Inspired by Iceland has created a Google Map that allows anyone to map and share their favorite locations in the country. The Inspired by Iceland Secrets Map is a map of some of Iceland's most beautiful but little known locations. 

From the cotton fields near the mountains of Landmannalaugar to the spectacular river gorge at Fjaðrárgljúfur, the Secrets Map is full of beautiful locations to visit in Iceland. Each submitted secret includes a description and a photo or video of the location.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mapping the Melbourne Commute


Federation University in Australia has created an animated Google Maps based visualization of commuter journeys undertaken by university staff. The animated map reveals travel patterns based on staff journeys from their homes to the university's main campus sites. The first three streets of each member of staff's journey is not shown for privacy reasons.

The FedUni Commute shows how staff travel from their home to arrive at their destination campus by 9 am. As the animation plays the most used roads on the map become thicker to reflect the increased traffic.

The map includes a breakdown of some of the data, including the average distance traveled, the average commute time and the estimated CO2 output of all the journeys per day and per year.

The Google Maps of the Week


In New York joggers love Central Park and the southern tip of Manhattan. In Chicago the lake shore is very popular and in San Francisco the Golden Gate Park and The Embarcardero seem to be the most popular places for joggers.

The Strava Global Heatmap is a really informative Google Map of where joggers like to run and where cyclists love to ride. The map allows you to view the most popular running and cycling routes by Strava users across the world.

The map reveals some interesting differences between the preferences of joggers and cyclists. In London, for example, lunchtime joggers love running along the paths on both banks of the Thames. Cyclists on the other hand prefer to take the roads that run parallel with the river.


There have already seen some amazing applications built with the GSVPanoDepth Street View depth library. HyperlapseMB uses the depth information hidden in Street View data to create a nice motion blur effect to an animated Street View drive and Urban Jungle is a fantastic website that allows you to view Street View scenes enhanced with some virtual jungle greenery. Both of these sites have been created with the undocumented depth data stored in Street View.

Now thanks to GSVPanoDepth and some awesome hacking by Callum Prentice you can step into a 3d version of Street View made up of a point cloud representation of the Street View depth data.

Once immersed in the point cloud representation of Street Cloud you can spin around 360 degrees, look up and down and even view the original Google Maps Street View. After you've checked out the point cloud representation of your house (you know you're going to do it) why not type in '210 W 46th St, New York, United States' to view Times Square (pictured above).


The New York Times has mapped where the fans of America's baseball teams live. The newspaper has taken data from Facebook to create a Google Map that allows you to explore baseball fandom in the USA down to county level.

Using the data of Facebook users who have declared support for a baseball team in their profiles, the New York Times has produced this Map of the Baseball Nation. The result is a map of the United States which replaces the 50 states with a colorful montage of baseball regions.

Zoom in on the map and you can select counties on the map to view the top three teams (and the percentage of fans for each) supported in the clicked county. You can also search the map by zip-code or address to find out who are the most supported baseball teams in your county.

The Leaflet Maps of the Week

There has been some great maps this week. Some of them were created with the Google Maps API and some of them with the Leaflet mapping platform. This week I've decided to split the Maps of the Week round-up into two posts. Later I'll look at the best Google Maps of the past week, but first let's take a look at the best Leaflet maps featured on Google Maps Mania in the last seven days.


By far the most viewed map on Google Maps Mania this week was Donut Holes in International Waters. This post had six times more page views than the next most viewed post on Google Maps Mania (which was news of Google Maps' new historic Street View imagery option - Time Travel with Street View).

Donut Holes in International Waters is an interactive map showing who has sovereignty over seas around the world. The map also highlights 'doughnut holes', areas which are designated as international waters and which can be areas of territorial dispute between different countries.

To create the map the author, Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, had to design an interactive map that included the state maritime borders defining each country's sovereignty over the world's seas. He also had to create his own bathymetry layer.

A post on the CartoDB Blog explains in some detail how Dmitriy created his beautiful looking maritime map.


Biking from Place to Place is a neat Leaflet map visualization of Chicago's bike share network. The map uses a very clever Voronoi heat map technique which allows you to find out the number of bike trips from any bike station and view the most popular destinations from each station.

Select a bike station on the map and you can view a heat map showing the most popular destinations from that station. The map provides some interesting insights into the travel patterns of Divvy bike users. For example, if you select a bike station along Lake Michigan you quickly notice that most Divvy users borrow bikes here to cycle to other bike stations along the lake shore.

The heat map overlay uses a very clever Voronoi map technique which allows you to find the nearest bike station to any location. If you point to any location on the map the nearest bike station is automatically selected for you and the Voronoi heat map overlay also shows you the areas around the destination stations.


Trip Risk is a neat route-planning map for Melbourne, Australia which displays accident black spots along suggested routes. The map uses open sourced data on car crashes, from the State Government of Victoria, to not only suggest a driving route but also show you all the car crashes that have taken place along that route.

The crash markers along the suggested route are sized to represent the total number of crashes at each location. You can click on the crash markers to view the number of crashes at a location and the total number of people involved in crashes. A red dot signifies a crash that involved a fatality.

The results displayed on the map can also be filtered by speed and by accident type. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Mapping an Ageing Planet


Slate has used the Leaflet mapping platform to create a simple but effective map of the world's ageing population. The Aging World is a heat map visualizing the percentage of each country's population who are 65 or over.

The map shows the percentage of the world's aged populations using 2010 data from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The map also includes projections for 2050 and 2100.

Much of the rise in ageing populations is due to better health care and economic prosperity around the world. However, the Slate article accompanying the map, appears to take the view that people living longer around the world is bad news for us all. I almost expected the article to end with a call for enforced euthanasia for everyone over 65.

Building the World Cup on Street View


Over the last few days I've been playing with the new historic Street View images on Google Maps. It is possible to use the new historic Street View images with the Google Maps API if you use the Street View image's panoID.

I've put together a demo showing how the historic Street View images can be used with the Google Maps API. This Historic Street View demo uses the HTML5 'input type="range"' slide control to allow you to manually browse through Google Maps' historic Street View images of the 2014 World Cup stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Unfortunately the slide control is not supported by Internet Explorer yet. IE users will instead see an alternative link to view a slideshow of the historic images.

The London Bike Video Map


Cyclodeo has arrived in London. Cyclodeo is a really useful application that enables cyclists to preview a cycling route on a Google Map and on video at the same time.

All the videos of cycling routes on Cyclodeo are synchronized with the route on a Google Map. This means that cyclists are able to click on the route on the map and instantly jump to the video recording of that part of the route. Cyclists can therefore use Cyclodeo to preview new routes on video before cycling them for real.

The new London video routes includes extensive coverage of central London. Cyclodeo video bike routes are also available in San Francisco, New York, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Eindhoven.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Map of Underwater Trash


Since 2011 Project Aware has been collecting data from volunteer scuba divers about underwater debris around the world.

The Dive Against Debris Map shows the location of debris and trash scuba divers have removed and reported to Project Aware since 2011. If you select a marker on the map you can view details about the type and amount of debris reported and removed by Project Aware scuba divers.

The aim of the map is to raise awareness of the problems of underwater debris and also to provide a platform which enables divers to easily report and identify areas where waste prevention efforts are needed most.

Street View in 3d


We've already seen some amazing applications built with the GSVPanoDepth Street View depth library.

HyperlapseMB uses the depth information hidden in Street View data to create a nice motion blur effect to an animated Street View drive. Urban Jungle is a fantastic website that allows you to view Street View scenes enhanced with some virtual jungle greenery. This effect is also made possible by of the undocumented depth data stored in Street View.

Now thanks to GSVPanoDepth and some awesome hacking by Callum Prentice you can now step into a 3d version of Street View made up of a point cloud representation of the Street View depth data.

Once immersed in the point cloud representation of Street Cloud you can spin around 360 degrees, look up and down and even view the original Google Maps Street View. After you've checked out the point cloud representation of your house (you know you're going to do it) why not type in '210 W 46th St, New York, United States' to view Times Square (pictured above).

Hat-tip: Google Street View World

Where the World Runs


In New York joggers love Central Park and the southern tip of Manhattan. In Chicago the lake shore is very popular and in San Francisco the Golden Gate Park and The Embarcardero seem to be the most popular places for joggers.

The Strava Global Heatmap is a really informative Google Map of where joggers like to run and where cyclists love to ride. The map allows you to view the most popular running and cycling routes by Strava users across the world.

The map reveals some interesting differences between the preferences of joggers and cyclists. In London, for example, lunchtime joggers love running along the paths on both banks of the Thames. Cyclists on the other hand prefer to take the roads that run parallel with the river.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Building the World Cup on Street View


As a quick follow-up to my previous post on Hacking Historic Street View - here is another demo. This Street View slideshow uses Google Maps historic street view imagery to show the construction of the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza, Brazil.

World Cup Street View animates through six Street View images of the stadium, under construction, which Google collected over 18 months.

Hacking Historic Street View


Yesterday Google Maps began to roll-out to users the option to view historic Street View images. These are the Street View images which have been updated by more recent imagery.

My first thought on hearing the announcement was 'I wonder how easy that will be to hack'. Well a couple of hours ago the historic Street View option appeared on my version of Google Maps and it turns out to be very easy to hack.


All you need to do to get the historic Street View imagery is take the panoID and pass into a Street View element. I've created a quick demo which automatically rotates through seven of the occasions when Google has driven past the Freedom Tower in New York. Using the Historic Street View demo you can view the construction of the Freedom Tower, as captured by Google Maps Street View over four years.

To give the user some control over the date of the Street View image shown I should probably have used a slide control rather than animate through the Street View images. However an animated slideshow was quicker to throw together.

Historic Street View imagery has not yet been added to the Google Maps API so it is probably not possible yet to access historic Street View images programatically. This means that for now if you want to hack the imagery you will need to grab the panoID of each separate Street View image, as I did for this demo.

A Google Map of this Baseball Nation


The New York Times has mapped where the fans of America's baseball teams live. The newspaper has taken data from Facebook to create a Google Map that allows you to explore baseball fandom in the USA down to county level.

Using the location data of Facebook users, who have declared support for a baseball team in their profiles, the New York Times has produced this Map of the Baseball Nation. The result is a map of the United States which replaces the 50 states with a colorful montage of baseball regions.

Zoom in on the map and you can select counties on the map to view the top three teams (and the percentage of fans for each) supported in the clicked county. You can also search the map by zip-code or address to find out who are the most supported baseball teams in your county.

The Seattle Upcoming Events Map


The Living City Map is an events guide map for Seattle and Portland. The map allows you to view upcoming events in either city by location, date and by category.

You can filter the upcoming events displayed on the map by date and by a number of categories, including music, theater and visual art. A nice feature of the map is that if you select a venue on the map you can view all the upcoming events taking place at that location.

The marker information windows also allow you to click through and view the details about your selected event.

Vikings Live on Google Maps


The British Museum has devised an ingenious Google Map's based campaign to promote the cinematic release of Vikings Live. Today, in 380 UK cinemas and in 50 cinemas around the world, the British Museum are screening a live guided tour of the museum's Vikings exhibition.

Rather than create a simple cinema finder map for the event the British Museum has released a Google Map which also shows the location of all UK towns with Norse place-names. The Norse Placenames Map not only shows the lasting legacy of the Norse invasion on large sections of the UK it also allows you to click on individual town names to learn more about the etymology of the place-name.

For example, the etymology of the town of 'Scunthorpe' is explained as 'Skuma's outlying farm/settlement'. When you search for a town on the map not only can you find out about the etymology of its placename (if it has Norse origins) you are also told the nearest cinema to the town, where you can watch Vikings Live.

Vikings Live is screening in cinemas around the UK today only. The exhibition itself is now on at the British Museum.


If you are interested in the meaning behind place-names you might also like this map of US States. Back in 2010 I used the the Google Maps label library to create this simple US States Etymology map.

The map shows the meaning of each U.S. state name based on the 'U.S. State Name Etymologies' entry on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time Traveling in Street View


Now that Google Maps are offering you the chance to go back in time and re-visit updated Street View imagery I thought it might be an appropriate moment to remind you of my own Street View time-traveling map.

There and Then superimposes vintage film footage on top of Street View to help transport you back to a different age. Using the map you can view vintage film of 1930's San Francisco, London in the 1920's and New York in the 1900's. The map also includes a number of other vintage videos from locations across the globe, all of which you can view on the same scene today - as captured by Google Maps Street View.

Time Travel with Street View

Over the next few days the new look Google Maps is rolling out a new feature to all users, which will allow you to travel back in time with Street View.

Now when you browse Street View on Google Maps you might spot a clock icon in the upper left-hand corner of the Street View image. When you click on the clock you will be able to browse through and view historical Street View images that Google has since updated.



Using this new feature you will be able to view buildings as they grow or visit locations which have recently been hit by natural disasters (such as L'Aquila in Italy or Onagawa, Japan) and view before and after Street View images from the selected location.

Google has experimented before with allowing users to revisit older and since updated Street View imagery. After the Japanese earthquake and tsunami Google Japan released Memories for the Future, which allows you to compare pre and post earthquake Street View imagery for much of northern Japan.

The Music Genre Heat Map


Movoto has created an interactive map that visualizes the popularity of different music genres throughout the USA.

The All American Music Map displays heat maps showing the popularity of a number of different genres of music by location. The map reveals that the spiritual home of Indie and Punk is on the West Coast. Unsurprisingly Country music seems most at home in Nashville.

Movoto has also broken down the data behind the map to look at the most popular music genres in some of America's largest cities.

Enter the Story Map Competition

Using Esri Story Maps is a simple way to create interesting mapped narratives about any subject. Esri Story Maps provide a number of easy to use templates that allow you to combine map and satellite views with multimedia and other interactive features to create an interactive mapped presentation.

Now Story Map users can also enter the Esri Storytelling with Maps Contest. There are four different categories and Esri will provide first, second, and third place prizes in each category. The categories are:
  • Best Conservation, Environment & Sustainability Story Maps
  • Best Travel & Destinations Story Maps
  • Best Culture, History & Events Story Maps
  • Best Science, Technology & Health Story Maps
The best overall map will win the grand prize of a one year ArcGIS Online subscription (5 users) and a winner's plaque & certificate. The other prizes include one year subscriptions to the Smithsonian Magazine.

My nomination for the best Culture, History & Events Map would have been the Smithsonian's own map of the Decisive Moments in the Battle of Gettysburg. However I'm not sure they will be eligible to enter if they are sponsoring the prizes.

Therefore I think this Esri Story Map of Minard's flow chart of Napoleon's March on Moscow
could have a good chance of winning. The map presents Minard's flow chart on an Esri map and narrates some of the important events during the military campaign.

Unfortunately there seems to be a bug in the map that prevents the map tiles being shown when the map is zoomed out. This means that you have to keep zooming in on the map to view the map tiles. If you want to see a zoomed out mapped visualization of Minards' flow chart you can check out Napoleon's March.

This Leaflet reworking of Minard's flow map is a good attempt at a slippy map visualization of the Napoleonic army's movements and dwindling size. Unfortunately this map lacks Minard's temperature chart that visualized the freezing temperatures faced by Napoleon's army as they pushed eastwards.

If you want to see some more examples of Esri Story Maps then have a look at Google Maps Mania's recent Pick of Esri Story Maps.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Donut Holes in International Waters


Donut Holes in International Waters is an interactive map showing who has sovereignty over seas around the world.

The map also highlights 'doughnut holes', areas in the sea which lie within 200 nautical miles of two different countries but are of equal distance from each country. Doughnut holes are designated as international waters.

To create the map the author, Dmitriy Skougarevskiy, had to design an interactive map that included the state maritime borders defining each country's sovereignty over the world's seas. He also had to create his own bathymetry layer.

A post on the CartoDB Blog explains in some detail how Dmitriy created his beautiful looking maritime map.

Welcome to readers from Gizmodo in Brasil. You might also like this Street View demo - showing the Building of the 2014 World Cup Stadium in Fortaleza.

Map Your Retirement


I really don't want to live in Florida but according to Map My Retirement that's where I should spend my golden years.

Map My Retirement asks you a series of questions about your lifestyle, pursuits and personal interests and then recommends where you should spend your retirement. For me the recommended location was Florida. Luckily, for those of us who don't like Map My Retirement's initial recommendation, you can also tell Map My Retirement where you want to live and it will then only suggest locations close to your preferred home.

All the recommended locations are displayed on an interactive map. If you click on the location markers on the map you can view details about the location and the estimated monthly cost to live there.

The Isodistance Google Map


The Road Network Isodistance Map is a Google Maps based experiment which shows the extent you can travel by road within a specified distance of a given location. If you enter a distance to travel and right click on the map to set the location the extent you can travel from that point on any road is shaded on the map in green.

The routing comes from OpenStreetMap and only works for Austin. Therefore if you click on the map outside of Austin you won't see any results.

You can also view isochrone maps for a number of locations at Travel Time (for a number of US cities) or Mapnificent ( major cities around the world).

Fusion Tables Map Wizards

One of the easiest ways to create a sophisticated mapped visualization of data is to use Google Fusion Tables. Simply throw your data into Fusion Tables, select the column to geocode and grab the embed code. You now have a map which you can add to your website.

You can even add labels to your map, a search box &/or drop-down menu to query the data displayed on the map and you can style the Google Map tiles to create a unique looking map. These added options can all be easily implemented if you use the following Fusion Tables Wizards.

FusionTablesLayer Builder

The FusionTablesLayer Builder is a great little wizard for creating a Google Map from a Fusion Table. To build your map all you need to do is add the embed link of your Fusion Table and specify the name of the column holding your location data. That's all there is to it! FusionTablesLayer Builder will now create the html for your finished map.

The wizard does provide a number of other useful options. You can set the height and width of your Google Map. You can also set the center location and the initial zoom level. A really nice option also lets you add a search box for your map or a drop-down menu. These options allow your map's users to query the results and refine the data shown on your map.

Fusion Map Generator

Fusion Map Generator is another clever wizard for Fusion Tables, which allows you to define the size and width of your map and then provides you with the full html to publish your finished map.

The Fusion Map Generator also includes the option to choose from a number of map styles, which allows you to create a map with a distinct look and feel.

Searchable Map Template

Derek Eder's Searchable Map Template is a free, open source tool that helps you create a searchable, filterable Google Map from a Fusion Table.

The template can create a Google Map pulling in data from any Fusion Table. It includes a number of features, including, an address search (with variable radius), geolocation (automatically center the map on the user's location), results count (using the Google's Fusion Tables API) and the ability to easily add additional search filters (checkboxes, sliders, etc).

Derek Eder's website includes a number of example maps created with the template. These include Derek's own maps, mainly centred on Chicago and lots of maps created by others with the template,

Monday, April 21, 2014

Route Planning & Risk Avoidance


Trip Risk is a neat route-planning map for Melbourne, Australia which displays the accident black spots along suggested routes. The map uses open sourced data on car crashes, from the State Government of Victoria, to not only suggest a driving route but also show you all the car crashes that have taken place along the route.

The crash markers along the suggested route are sized to represent the total number of crashes at each location. You can click on the crash markers to view the number of crashes at a location and the total number of people involved in crashes. A red dot signifies a crash that involved a fatality.

The results displayed on the map can be filtered by speed and by accident type.

Voronoi Heat Mapping


Biking from Place to Place is a neat visualization of Chicago's bike share network. The map uses a very clever Voronoi heat map technique which allows you to find out the number of bike trips from any bike station and view the most popular destinations from each station.

Select a bike station on the map and you can view a heat map showing the most popular destinations from that station. The map provides some interesting insights into the travel patterns of Divvy bike users. For example, if you select a bike station along Lake Michigan you quickly notice that most Divvy users borrow bikes here to cycle to other bike stations along the lake shore.

The heat map overlay uses a very clever Voronoi map technique which allows you to find the nearest bike station to any location. If you point to any location on the map the nearest bike station is automatically selected for you and the Voronoi heat map overlay also shows you the areas around the destination stations. This provides an insight into the likely final destinations of the bikes' users.