Monday, July 28, 2014

Create a Customized Trip Map


The KLM Must See application is a pretty cool tool to create a nice customized map for an upcoming trip. Using the application you can choose a city which you plan to visit soon and create a map of places you want to visit.

Using the application you can easily add places to the map which you want to visit on your trip. The map uses the Google Places API, so that as you type in a venue it should automatically appear beneath the search box. You just need to select the correct suggestion and a map pin is automatically added to the map. This also means that you can type in generic terms, such as 'museum' or 'gallery' to view a list of these venues in your chosen city.

The application also allows you to connect with your friends, via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail invite, so that they can recommend places on the map for you to visit.

The KLM map also makes good use of the Styled Maps feature in the Google Maps API to create a map in the KLM livery colors. The folded paper effect on the KLM map uses a well established image masking trick.

Mapping Buildings by Tax Revenue


Harvesting Our Cities' Land for Dollars is a map which shows the tax revenue per hectare of every building in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Building plots on the map are colored by the amount of tax revenue per hectare generated by each building. If you select a building on the map you can view the tax revenue per hectare of the building for 2011 and 2014. Another map shows the median change in the tax revenues of each building between the two years.

The maps are accompanied by a an interesting article explaining how the map was created with TileMill and Mapbox.

Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap


OSM Then and Now allows you to view OpenStreetMap coverage around the world in 2007 side-by-side with today's OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMap was started in the UK in 2004. OSM Then and Now shows that by 2007 OpenStreetMap was still a largely European project. By 2007 European cities, such as London, Amsterdam and Berlin had been comprehensively mapped. Conversely coverage in the rest of the world was very patchy and practically non-existent in most countries.

Even in many European cities OSM in 2007 was nowhere near as comprehensive as it is now. The screenshot above shows the map of Paris. You can clearly see that in 2007 (on the left) although the road map was fairly detailed the map was largely free of points of interest, building plots and other map features.


However Paris in 2007 was still mapped in far more detail than say Washington D.C.. In 2007 Washington D.C. did have a few major roads mapped but the sparse coverage meant that OSM in 2007 could never really have been used to navigate the US capital.


Because OSM is a crowd-sourced project its growth depends on its ability to attract active members. The Stats page on the OpenStreetMap Wiki has some useful information on the rising popularity of OSM. Back in 2007 OSM had less than 50,000 members. It is now quickly approaching 2 million registered users.


In 2011 Skobbler created this nice timelapse video showing the growth of OpenStreetMap coverage in Europe. The video shows the growth of OSM in Europe between 2006 and 2011.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Maps of the Week


This week a couple of news maps really caught my attention. First up is Liveuamap, a Google Map reporting incidents from the crisis in Ukraine. The map is a nonprofit, volunteer run project with a mission to inform the world about the on-going conflict in Ukraine.

The latest events in the country are plotted on the map using categorized map markers and are also listed in a map side-panel. The blue map markers relate to Ukrainian government actions and the red markers show the actions of the pro-Russian rebels.

The map includes a date picker so that you can select to view reported incidents from any date during the conflict. It also includes dynamic URL's so that you directly link to any incident reported on the map.


There have been quite a few news maps over the years and none of them have been better than Breaking News. Breaking News is an impressive website highlighting the latest news stories around the world. The site includes two main elements, a map and a news stream. Users can either read the posted news stories by clicking on the map pins or on the streamed news story headlines.

One of the nicest features of Breaking News is the 'ongoing stories' function. The news stream includes an 'ongoing stories' section and the headlines in the news stream are also tagged with these 'ongoing stories'. If you select an ongoing story from the news stream the map updates to show only the geo-tagged news items related to your chosen news topic.

The site includes a number of other neat features, such as the ability to search for news stories and to save topics.


I Know Where Your Cat Lives is not the most innovative of maps but it has to be included in this week's round-up of the best maps, if only because it has been the most popular map on social media over the last few days.

One of the earliest popular uses of the Google Maps API was Gawker Stalker. The now defunct Gawker Stalker allowed you to track the movements of your favorite celebrities thanks to the detailed stalking carried out by Gawker and their readers.

If there is one thing more popular than celebrities on the internet then that is pictures of cats. It is therefore surprising that we have had to wait seven years for someone to finally get around to releasing 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 cat photo metadata.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Namesake Towns on Street View


While searching for Street View of Camden, North London this morning I accidentally ended up taking a virtual stroll around the derelict streets of Camden, New Jersey instead. I was struck by the obvious differences in fortunes of the trendy London neighborhood and its run-down namesake in America.

This got me interested in exploring some other towns and their namesakes on Street View. I've put together a few juxtapositions of these Street View images from towns with common names.

Twin Cities places two Street View images from two towns which share a name side-by-side. Among the more interesting comparisons is the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York with the quaint Shambles in York.

Putting News on the Map


There have been quite a few news maps over the years and none of them have been better than Breaking News. Breaking News is an impressive website highlighting the latest news stories around the world. The site includes two main elements, a map and a news stream. Users can either read the posted news stories by clicking on the map pins or on the streamed news story headlines.

One of the nicest features of Breaking News is the 'ongoing stories' function. The news stream includes an 'ongoing stories' section and the headlines in the news stream are also tagged with these 'ongoing stories'. If you select an ongoing story from the news stream the map updates to show only the geo-tagged news items related to your chosen news topic.

The site includes a number of other neat features, such as the ability to search for news stories and to save topics.

Two Libraries Looking for a Story


I'm still convinced that animating Twitter data isn't the best way to use CartoDB's Torque library. I'm also pretty sure that the Torque library isn't the best way to map the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

I'm therefore not overly impressed with Al Jazeera's map of Israeli-Palestinian conflict related Twitter messages. We hardly need an animated Twitter map to tell us that the conflict is currently big news all around the world.

What is interesting about this map is that Torque is being used here within CartoDB's Odyssey.js narrative mapping platform. To that extent the map is a good example of how Torque and Odyssey.js can be combined to create an animated map of geo-tagged data, in which interesting stories within the data can be highlighted on the map.

Combining the two libraries can enable developers to create very powerful animated maps of data and to actually explain the stories and narratives that emerge from that data. Unfortunately at the moment the only other example I've seen of Torque and Odyssey.js combined is another animated Twitter map - Ramadan: How the World Celebrates.

I'm fairly certain that sometime soon someone is going to create an amazing map with Torque and Odyssey.js. There is a lot of time-stamped geo-tagged data out there just waiting for someone to map using Torque & Odyssey.js. It's just not on Twitter.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Urban Elders of Seattle


The Seattle Times has created an interactive map of Nielsen demographic groups in Seattle.

The Nielsen Company categorizes people into 66 different demographic groups in order to help businesses target their marketing more effectively. By looking at the dominant groups in different neighborhoods the market-research company can than infer generalized characteristics of the local residents.

The Seattle Times' What Your Census Tract Says About You is an interactive map revealing the two most dominant Nielsen categories in each Seattle neighborhood. Click on a Seattle neighborhood and you can find out what Nielsen thinks about the people who live there.


These Nielsen categories suggest that there may be a future for Judgemental Maps within the marketing world. These stereotype maps may not be quite as well researched as Nielsen's neighborhood categories but I'm sure they are made with much more real local knowledge.

Looking at the two maps above there does to be some sort of agreement between the two. Where the judgmental map has 'Republicans' the Seattle Times has 'Executive Suites' and where the judgmental map has 'Single Girls Drinking Wine' the Seattle Times has 'Bohemian Mix'

Mapping the US Drought


The New York Times has published an interesting animated map to visualize the spread of drought conditions in the US over the last five months. Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S. includes a number of weekly updated charts with an animated map to show the latest extent of the drought in the western and south-western states.

The map animates through the last five months showing heat maps of where the drought has been most severe. I'm not entirely sure how the map was created but based on the Mike Bostock credit I'm assuming the map was created with d3, using SVG to draw the map and the drought areas. The map may also be using path transitions to help smooth the animations between the different drought by date SVG paths.

Mapping Squatting in Berlin


Berlin Besetzt is a map showing the locations of squats in Berlin from 1970 to the present day. You can view all the houses that have been squatted in this period or you can use the date slide control to view the history of squatting in Berlin over the last few decades.

Using the date control it appears that 1981 was the golden age for squatters in Berlin. It is also interesting to note the rise of squatting in east Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The map also reveals that Kreuzberg has remained a very popular area for Berlin squatters for more that thirty years.

Conservation & Crowd-Sourced Maps

This week I came across two interesting examples of organisations using crowd-sourced maps in order to help protect the countryside in the UK.


Butterfly Conservation are holding their annual butterfly count (19th July- 10th August). The butterfly count enables Butterfly Conservation to monitor the health of butterfly species across the UK.

If you visit Butterfly Conservation you can download a Butterfly Chart to help you identify and record butterflies. You then need to find a suitable location and spend just fifteen minutes identifying and recording the butterflies which you see.

All the results from this crowd-sourced butterfly census are then added to the Butterfly Sightings Google Map. The butterfly sightings on the map can be filtered by date, species, habitat and location.


The Campaign to Protect Rural England has released a Google Map to identify brownfield sites across the country.

In order to try and stop the over development of rural land in the countryside the CPRE needs your help to locate brownfield sites where land is being wasted and could be used for property development instead.

#WasteOfSpace is a map of all the brownfield sites identified so far. You can contribute to the map by submitting brownfield sites by e-mail, by Tweet or through Facebook.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Europe is Moving Westwards


The European Union has released a new open data portal to provide information on EU funding and the socio-economic situation in each European Union country. The data can be downloaded in a number of common formats (including CSV, JSON and XML) and can be used free of charge.

The Cohesion Policy Data also provides visualizations of the data in a number of formats, including using Mapbox powered maps. The maps allow you to visualize a number of the socio-economic data-sets on a map of Europe, including data on GDP, unemployment rates and population.

The net migration data is particularly interesting. Immigration is currently proving to be a hot political topic in many European countries so I'm sure this data will prove to be popular with developers and news outlets. The map (screenshot above) clearly shows that most of the EU countries from the former Eastern Bloc (including East Germany) are experiencing high levels of emigration.

The map also shows that the many of the most popular destinations in Europe are around the Mediterranean coast, with north-western Italy, southern France and eastern Spain proving particularly popular as migrant destinations.

Mapping the Crisis in Ukraine


Liveuamap is a Google Map reporting incidents from the crisis in Ukraine. The map is a nonprofit, volunteer run project with a mission to inform the world about the on-going conflict in Ukraine.

The latest events in the country are plotted on the map using categorized map markers and are also listed in a map side-panel. The blue map markers relate to Ukrainian government actions and the red markers show the actions of the pro-Russian rebels.

The map includes a date picker so that you can select to view reported incidents from any date during the conflict. It also includes dynamic URL's so that you directly link to any incident reported on the map.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tracking Flight 17


I've seen a number of impressive images maps showing the location where Malaysia Airlines flight M17 was shot down over Ukraine. Now the Wall Street Journal has released the first decent interactive map that I've seen.

Tracking Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shows the flight path of flight 17 on July 17th, the date of the crash. The map also allows you to view flight paths of flight 17 in the months preceding the crash and the paths taken since the plane was fatally shot down.

The map shows that Flight M17 was flying within the usual flight path. You can also see how Flight 17 since the crash is making a wide berth of Ukrainian air space.

The WWI Mapped Interactive


The Guardian has released a very impressive mapped interactive about the history of World War I. A Global Guide to the First World War uses maps, audio, historical film and archive newspaper reports to examine the causes, struggles and effects of the first truly world-wide armed conflict.

The introductory map is particularly stunning with a number of small videos playing within the country outlines of a global map.

The first chapter of the interactive is a tour of the world highlighting when individual countries entered the First World War. Let's hear it for plucky Andorra, who, with an army of just 10 soldiers, declared war on Germany in 1914.

The other chapters in the narrative use audio narratives, archive film footage and excerpts from The Guardian's own newspaper reports during the war. These chapters deal with life in the trenches, the experiences of soldiers around the world and the aftermath of the war.

Introducing Wikia Maps


There's a new interactive mapping platform in town! Wikia Maps is a new easy to use map creation tool from Wikia, the free web wiki creation and hosting website.

The first thing to note is that Wikia Maps is not a fully fledged online mapping platform. It has similar functionality to Google Maps Engine Lite, in that it allows you to quickly add a few pins to a map and then grab the embed code to add a map to your webpage. However Wikia Maps does have an option to quickly create a map from any image. This option could make Wikia Maps a very popular amateur mapping tool indeed.

At the moment Wikia Maps provides two main user options. The first option, 'real map', allows you to add map pins to a Mapquest base map layer. You can create categories for your added map markers and you can also use your own images for the map pins. This easily allows you to add groups of markers and to select a different map pin marker for each of your categories.

The second option is where Wikia Maps excels. Using Wikia Maps you can easily create maps from your own images. So if you want to create a map of Westeros all you need to do is upload a Westoros image map and start adding pins to the map of your fantasy world.

This option should prove very popular. It allows computer game players to quickly create maps of game worlds. It allows fantasy fiction fans to quickly create maps of fictional worlds. It allows photographers to upload photos and add map pins to highlight people and other features in a picture. I can truly see this option being used by lots of people in lots of exciting ways.

If you look at the Featured Maps you can see the fun users are already having with this option to create maps with your own images. There is already a map of the Millennium Falcon, Westeros and a photo map from the Oscars.

If you want to start creating your own Wikia Map then you might find the Wikia Maps How-to Guide a useful place to begin.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Incredible Cat Stalking Map


One of the earliest popular uses of the Google Maps API was Gawker Stalker. The now defunct Gawker Stalker allowed you to track the movements of your favorite celebrities thanks to the detailed stalking carried out by Gawker and their readers.

If there is one thing more popular than celebrities on the internet then that is pictures of cats. It is therefore surprising that we have had to wait seven years for someone to finally get around to releasing 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 cat photo metadata.  I'm guessing that the map is partly intended as a warning about sharing your personal information online (or maybe its just a warning about sharing your cat's personal data online).

Weather on the Route


If you are planning a leisurely hike or a nice road-trip then you probably want to know what the weather will be like. WeatherTrip is a very easy to use map which can show you what weather conditions to expect along your planned route.

Just enter your starting point and destination into the application and a route will instantly be shown on a Google Map with a number of weather symbols showing you the current weather conditions along your planned walk or drive.

If you aren't setting off right now then you can use a date picker to select the date of your planned trip. Pick a new date and the weather symbols automatically update to display the weather on your planned trip date.


The Dark Sky: Weather Along a Traffic Route is another map which can show you the weather along your planned route. The app lets users request directions and then displays the route on a Google Map.

The first 60-minutes of your requested route will include a rain forecast from Dark Sky, showing where (and how hard) you’ll get rained on if you left right now. One feature that is missing is the ability to check the weather for a specific time. However the map could still be useful if you are heading out for a walk and you want to know if it is going to rain any time soon along your planned route.

The Endonym Map


The Endonym Map is a neat little Leaflet powered map which labels the countries of the world in their official or national languages.

The map includes four informative map insets in each corner of the map. These inset maps highlight the countries of the world grouped by the four most common languages, English, French, Arabic and Spanish.

The map itself was obviously designed as a static map and you can purchase a poster of the printed map. The interactive version of the map uses the Leaflet.Zoomify JavaScript library, which can create base map tiles for the Leaflet mapping platform from Zoomify images.

Test Your Local Knowledge


In recent years the UK's Office for National Statistics has been very creative in its use of interactive maps to help visualize census and other government data. Their new online map game is proving to be the most popular yet.

How Well Do You Now Your Area? is an online quiz which tests your knowledge of your local area, using data from the 2011 UK census. Enter a postcode into the quiz and a Google Map will highlight your local electoral ward area. You are then asked seven questions about the area and its population to test your local knowledge.

The questions concern information from the UK census, such as the median age of the local population and the percentage of Christians. The quiz is a great way to learn about the the demographics of your local area. For example, I learned that an astonishing 56% of households in my neighbourhood don't own a car.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tour de France Winners


Tour de France: Where Have the Winners Come From? is an interactive map showing the home countries of all the winners of the Tour de France. Using the map you can view the geographical spread of all the Tour winners since 1903.

I found the results a little surprising. Having grown-up during the period when Lance Armstong seemed to dominate the race almost every year (his wins are obviously now expunged from the records) I was expecting the race winners to be a bit more global. However apart from the American Greg LeMond (winner 1986) all the winners of the race have been born in Europe.

France dominates the map, although Belgium seems to produce a disproportionate number of great cyclists. Another surprise to me was that the great cycling friendly country of the Netherlands has only produced two winners of the Tour de France.

The map itself was created with the underused jVectorMap library.

Isochrone API's

Route360 has released an API to provide developer access to their isochrone library. The API has been designed to provide simple access to the Route360 isochrone travel time library from the Leaflet.js mapping platform.

Using the Route360 JavaScript API you can add a travel time isochrone layer to a Leaflet map. The API allows for users to view bike, car or walking travel-time isochrone layers on a Leaflet map. The API includes options to add a time control, so that the transit isochrone travel times will adjust to a transit network's schedule of operations.


You can see the Route360 isochrone library in action on SONA's map of apartments to rent in Berlin by travel time.

This apartment search map allows you to search for available apartments within a defined travel time of your workplace or other location. All the areas you can travel to on public transit in your commute time are shown on the map with an isochrone layer.

The isochrone layer is colored in ten minute segments, so you can easily tell at a glance how long it would take to travel to each of the displayed properties. If you select an apartment's marker on the map you can view all the details about the apartment. A transit route is also automatically displayed on the map showing your route from work to the apartment and how long the journey would take.


The Nokia Here Map API also includes a calculate isoline option. Nokia provide a neat demo map which uses the resulting isochrone polygon from a calculate isoline 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.

You can see the Nokia calculate isoline function in use at Isoscope. 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.


If you prefer to use the Google Maps API then you can use the Mapnificent API to add isochrone layers to you maps. The API only works where Mapnificent has transit time coverage but this includes major cities in the US and other world-wide cities (you can check out the current coverage of the API on the Mapnificent coverage map).

Mapping Financial Distress


UK consumer rights magazine Which? has released a Google Map to show where UK citizens are suffering financial hardship.

The United Kingdom Financial Distress Map uses the results of a Which? survey into people's financial experiences. The map visualizes the results of the survey at three different zoom levels, by region, parliamentary constituency and by neighbourhood. If you click on the map you can view the Which? 'squeezability' score for the selected area.

The map also allows you to visualize UK unemployment rates and the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Bike Video Routes in Berlin


Grab your virtual bike helmet and take a ride through the Tiergarten and the Brandenburg Gate and along the Unter den Linden with Cyclodeo's new bike video coverage in Berlin. Cyclodeo's mission to video all the world's bike paths has taken another step forward with the release of video mapped bike routes for Berlin.

Cyclodeo is a really useful application that enables cyclists to find cycling routes on a Google Map and preview the route by watching a video of it being ridden. With this new release Cyclodeo has added 86 bike rides in Berlin covering more than 200 km. Even if you aren't a Berlin cyclist you can use these new video routes to take a virtual tour of Berlin.

Once you've taken in Berlin on Cyclodeo you can move on to view bike video routes in San Francisco, New York, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Eindhoven.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Digital Maps of the Week


NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life is a MapBox visualization of the journey of one New York taxi over the course of 24 hours.

The map animates the taxi's route over the course of one day. As the animation plays the taxi's position is shown by a yellow circle map marker. All the passenger journeys are added to the map with a blue polyline. While the animation plays the map also keeps a running total of the cab's total number of passengers, fares and tips received.

Once you have viewed a day in the life of this New York taxi you can choose from another one of thirty cab journeys mapped over 24 hours.


Messages in the Deep is a fascinating Google Map which allows you to explore the history of the growth of the undersea fibre optic network around the world since 1989.

The map allows you to view the undersea cable network for any year, or you can animate the map to view how this global network has grown since 1989. The map also allows you to refine the cables shown by cable owner.

You can click on any of the cables displayed on the map to view it's length, it's first year of operation and the cable's owners.


The Sydney Morning Herald has created an interesting mapped analysis of the languages spoken in the city. The map shows the top non-English languages spoken in each of the city's suburbs, the density of English as a first language and the linguistic diversity in each neighbourhood.

Sydney's Melting Pot of Language reveals that east Asians predominantly live in the north shore, while Arabic speakers dominate the western suburbs. Over 250 different languages are spoken in the city and nearly 40 percent speak a non-English language as their first tongue.

Accompanying the mapped visualization is a bar graph showing the numbers of speakers of each of the non-English languages spoken in the city. The graph groups the languages into global regions but you can select any of the region bars to view a percentage breakdown of the individual languages.  

Street View Sniffing


Google has faced no end of legal problems as a result of using its Street View cars to sniff out unsecured wi-fi data around the world. I suspect they won't face any legal challenges to their latest Street View sniffing experiment.

Google has teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund to equip Street View cars with air-quality sensors to detect natural gas leaks from utility pipes under city streets. Using the data collected by the Street View cars Google and EDF can then create detailed maps showing where gas leaks are occurring and where gas pipes need to be fixed or replaced.

EDF has released maps from the experiment in New York, Boston and Philadelphia. The maps reveal that Boston and New York's ageing utility pipes result in a large number of leaks, while Philadelphia's newer gas pipe network is responsible for far fewer leaks.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

All Aboard the Mapillary Train


Mapillary, the crowd-sourced alternative to Street View, is going off-road. Anyone can contribute to the Mapillary mission by uploading photos using the Mapillary smartphone apps. This has resulted in people adding sequences of photos to Mapillary mainly along roads but also along footpaths, ski slopes, from boats and from trains.

Yesterday I noticed that someone had added a great sequence of photos taken from the front of a train in Sweden. This means that you can now ride the Ystad to Malmo train on Mapillary. Here's a little user tip - click and drag up & down on the photos to quickly move forwards or back through the sequence of images. This helps to create an animated journey effect as you quickly move through the uploaded photos.

Check out the Mapillary homepage for the latest picture uploads and to view a map of the current coverage around the world.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The First Man on Mars


There have been a number of Google Maps over the years which plot the locations mentioned in works of fiction. Andy Weir's The Martian Map is the first Google Map to plot a novel set on Mars.

In Andy Weir's 'The Martian' NASA astronaut Mark Watney is abandoned on Mars after the rest of his crew are forced to leave him behind. Watney is then forced to drive a Mars rover 2,000 miles across the planet to Schiaparelli Crater in order to be picked up by another NASA mission.

The Martian Map plots the course of Watney's journey to Schiaparelli Crater and some of the incidents he encounters along the way. The map uses the Google Mars base map layers. These layers are not directly accessible in v3 of the Google Maps API, however you can use them by using this Planetary Map Types example.

Watch that Map


Over the last few years a lot of car manufacturers have made great use of Google Maps and Street View to help market their cars. Swiss watch manufacturer Tissot has now caught the map marketing bug.

Tissot are using the Google Maps API to showcase some of the features on their range of watches. For example, you can experiment with the Tissot watch compass by rotating Street View imagery of the Grand Canyon, or you can play with the stop-watch feature by racing cars around the streets of New York. You can even explore the height of the Grand Canyon on Google Maps by using the Tissot altimeter.

If you want to see more examples of how maps have been used in marketing check out the Top Five Street View Car Ads.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Brief History of the Slippy Wind Map


Since its release two years ago Hint.fm's beautiful Wind Map has proved a source of inspiration to a number of map developers. This real-time animated map of wind speed and direction really is a gorgeous realization of live meteorological data. It is no surprise then that it has proved a source of inspiration for other cartographers.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association were so impressed by the Wind Map that they decided to create their own real-time weather map of the Great Lakes. Being the Great Lakes however the NOAA decided to map live lake currents instead of wind.

The resulting Great Lakes Surface Currents Map is an animated map simulating current flow patterns in the Great Lakes.


Over in Japan some map developers were so inspired by Hint.fm's Wind Map that they decided to create their own map. The Tokyo Wind Map is an animated map of real-time wind speeds and direction. The map also includes controls to view previous hours' wind data on the map.


The developers behind the Tokyo Wind Map then went on to create an even more impressive visualization of near real-time global weather conditions. Like Hint.fm and the Tokyo Wind Map, Earth uses D3.js to create an interactive map that displays wind speeds in near real-time, only this time the map is a gorgeous 3d globe.

Esri were in turn so inspired by the Earth 3d globe that they then went on to develop Windy-JS.


Windy-JS re-purposes the same weather data used in the Earth map so that it can be overlaid in a canvas element on top of a variety of mapping APIs. Esri has created a demo map with Windy-JS, Wind Animation, which allows you to view global wind conditions animated on a slippy map.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Humanitarian Drone Mapping


It's hard to get away from drone mapping at the moment. Last week on Google Maps Mania we featured four different drone related mapping projects:

Drone Adventures - a non-profit organization designed to promote the potential of drones in conservation and humanitarian work
MapKnitter - a free and open source tool for aligning and creating maps from drone and other overhead captured images
Dronestagram - an Instagram type website for sharing aerial photos captured by drones
TravelByDrone - a map of video footage taken by drones around the world

The Humanitarian UAV Network is another map collecting drone shot video footage from around the world. The aim of the Humanitarian UAV Network is to provide a platform for the sharing and collaboration of humanitarian uses of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).

Part of this platform is a global map of UAV captured video, taken at disaster sites around the world. The map includes aerial shot videos taken at the sites of landslides, floods, building collapses, typhoons and other natural and man made disasters.

The New York Once a Week Parking Map


I learnt something new today. In New York a lot the streets have once a week parking restrictions. Apparently this has something to do with access for street cleaning vehicles.

These parking restrictions can cause a problem for motorists in terms of long-term parking. Matt Petric has become so frustrated with the problem of having to move his friends' cars multiple times per week while they are out of town that he has created a map to help find which roads he can park on and on what days.

Using Street Parker you can select individual days of the week to discover which streets you can not park on. Select a day and all the roads with parking restrictions for that day are highlighted on the map.

Street Parker was made with the help of Derek Eder's popular Searchable Map Template for Fusion Tables. The tool-tips were created with the help of Nianwei Liu's Fusion Tips for displaying map mouse-over effects with Fusion Tables maps.

Dr Who Takes Over Google Maps

Update: The Cyberman and Tardis have now been removed from Google Maps. Boo!



Earlier today I posted about this picture of a Cyberman that has suddenly appeared on Google Maps in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. I assumed that this was the result of someone playing around with Google Maps Maker to change Google Maps.

However I have now found the TARDIS on Google Maps at a location nearby to the Cyberman .


I think Dr Who is actually produced by BBC Wales. I'm therefore beginning to wonder if this might actually be part of some marketing campaign by the BBC and Google to promote the next season of Dr Who. Please let us know in the comments if you find any more Dr Who related surprises on Google Maps.

The Swiss Cantons of Football


By now I assume that you have seen the New York Times' maps of the Basketball Nation and the Baseball Nation. These maps show the support of US baseball and basketball teams based on the locations of their Facebook fans.

Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger has created a similar mapped visualization showing the geography of football support in the country. Die Hochburgen der Schweizer Fussballfans colors the map based on the home addresses of season ticket holders of Swiss football teams. The color indicates the dominant club in each neighborhood. The intensity of the color indicates the number of fans buying season tickets in the area.

It is also possible to select individual teams from a drop-down menu to view the level of their support throughout the country.