• Map series of oil spill in Gulf

    October 7, 2010  |  Mapping

    Tracking the oil spill in the Gulf

    Everyone's fascinated with animated graphics, which is cool, but sometimes a series of a whole bunch of maps is just as good. Archie Tse of The New York Times shows the spread of oil over time as several static maps to complement the animated version. Nice, right? You can see the changes from start to finish at a glance.

    [New York Times via @mericson]

  • Fictional map of online communities

    October 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    Map of online communities

    xkcd + numbers on online communities. Need I say more? Along the same lines as the Web 2.0 Points of Control, xkcd maps online communities with fictitious regions sized by the amount of daily social activity. Beware of the Bay of Flame in the Blogosphere and the Northern Wasteland of Unread Updates in Facebook. Personally, I like to hop between the Twitter and YouTube islands.

    It's most interesting when you compare it to the 2007 map where MySpace, Yahoo, and Windows Live ruled the land. I guess things are a little different nowadays.

    Make sure you check out the large version.

    [xkcd | Thanks, Elise]

  • Typographic maps

    October 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    Typographic map by AxisMaps

    Cartography group Axis Maps continues their run of mapping goodness with the announcement of their typographic maps:

    Created as a labor of love, these unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type. Only by manually weaving together thousands upon thousands of carefully placed words does the full picture of the city emerge. Every single piece of type was manually placed, a process that took hundreds of hours to complete for each map.

    Prints are available. Grab the large size for maximum goodness. They only have maps for Boston and Chicago right now, but hopefully the project continues to more cities. I'll be keeping an eye out for San Francisco.

    [Axis Maps via Cartogrammer]

  • Europe geographically stereotyped

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    Europe According to the United States of America

    We tend to see the world in different ways, depending on what part of the world we live in. If you've never been to California, you probably associate it with Hollywood and surfers. If you've never been to the midwest, you think corn and potatoes. Of course, these regions have much more going for them and are a far more varied. Still, the stereotypes are amusing. I couldn't help but chuckle when an old roommate came from Washington to Los Angeles and thought he was going to see movie stars on every block. Boy, was he surprised. It was only every other block.

    Graphic designer Yanko Tsvetkov takes such notions of Europe in his series of stereotype maps, which themselves are stereotypes of stereotypes. The above is how the US sees Europe.
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  • History of the Blitz bombings

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    historypin - the blitz

    In September 1940, Nazi Germany began bombing London for 76 consecutive nights in what is now known as The Blitz. There was tons of destruction obviously, but you'd never know it looking at the streets in current day. Historypin, which launched a few months back, places this important history in their most recent collection. Old pictures are pinned on top of a Google Maps street view so that you can see the destruction of the past and what the street looks like now.
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  • Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    September 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    Instead of breaking up demographics by defined boundaries, Bill Rankin uses dots to show the more subtle changes across neighborhoods in a map of Chicago using block-specific data US Census.

    Any city-dweller knows that most neighborhoods don't have stark boundaries. Yet on maps, neighborhoods are almost always drawn as perfectly bounded areas, miniature territorial states of ethnicity or class. This is especially true for Chicago, where the delimitation of Chicago's official “community areas” in the 1920s was one of the hallmarks of the famous Chicago School of urban sociology.

    Each dot represents 25 people of the map color's corresponding ethnicity.

    Eric Fischer, who has made a map or two, takes the next step and applies the same method to forty major cities. Here are the maps for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, respectively. Same color-coding applies. You definitely see the separation, but zoom and you much more subtle transitions.
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  • The state of mapping APIs

    September 15, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    O'Reilly Radar surveys the state of mapping APIs from old sources (like Google) and new ones (like CloudMade). Spoiler alert: there's a lot of opportunity out there.

    Maps took over the web in mid-2005, shortly after the first Where 2.0 conference. They quickly moved from fancy feature to necessary element of any site that contained even a trace of geographic content. Today we're amidst another location and mapping revolution, with mobile making its impact on the web. And with it, we're seeing even more geo services provided by both the old guard and innovative new mapping platforms.

    [O'Reilly Radar]

  • Evolving path of the Mississippi River

    September 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    Evolution of the Mississippi River

    We often think of rivers as following a given path for the course of its life, but really, the path changes over time as the flow cuts into the earth. The water flows through old and new and back again. In 1944, cartographer Harold Fisk mapped the current Mississippi River. It's the white trail. Then Fisk used old geological maps to display old paths. They're the old colored paths. And what you get is this long run of windy, snake-like things. [Twisted History | Thanks, Michael]

  • Where your neighbors commute to and from

    September 14, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mapping where people commute from

    Some people live in areas where a one-hour commute both ways is common, while others practically live across the street from their workplaces. Engineer slash designer Harry Kao has an interactive look at commuting by zip code:

    In Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), the author states that commute times throughout history have remained steady at roughly a half hour in each direction. Advances in transportation technology (our feet, horses, bicycles, trains, automobiles, flying cars, etc.) allow us to live farther from where we work. This got me thinking about my own commute from Berkeley to San Francisco, how it compares to those of my neighbors, and how commutes vary across the country.

    Using commute data from Census Transportation Planning Package and travel times from the Google Maps API, an interactive map lets you see where people in your area commute to or from. Enter your zip code and explore.
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  • Battle for Web supremacy

    September 12, 2010  |  Mapping

    Points of control - battle for network economy

    Blend Interactive maps points of control for the Web 2.0 Summit in the style of the Risk board game. Areas of the Web are shown as continents, and countries are the areas where major players have "claimed." Click on the movements button to see what areas each company has ventured in to, and click on icons to get more info. A more neutral-colored map might have benefited the paths and icons, but it's still fun to look at. And yes, the geography of the map is fake.

    [Web 2.0 Summit | Thanks, KM]

  • Social life of Foursquare users mapped

    September 9, 2010  |  Mapping

    Social life of foursquare

    Foursquare, the location-based social network, lets people share their location with others in the form of checkins. Map all of those checkins, and you get a sense of social hotspots across a city. This is what Anil Bawa-Cavia did in his project archipelago. Based on 845,311 checkins and 20,285 locations, he mapped activity for New York, London, and Paris.

    In these maps, activity on the Foursquare network is aggregated onto a grid of ‘walkable’ cells (each one 400×400 meters in size) represented by dots. The size of each dot corresponds to the level of activity in that cell. By this process we can see social centers emerge in each city.

    Here are the maps for each city.
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  • Mapping the moves of New York residents

    September 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    moritz.stefaner.eu - Map your moves

    A couple of months back, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show asked listeners who have moved to or away from New York some questions. They asked current zipcode, previous zipcode, year of move, and some other questions. BLS then posted the data and let information and data folk have a go at it. Here are the results.
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  • Asteroid discoveries over past 30 years visualized

    August 27, 2010  |  Mapping

    Asteroid discoveries visualized

    This animation by Scott Manley of the Armagh Observatory shows a beautiful view of the past 30 years of asteroid discoveries, using data culled by Ted Bowell and company.

    As time passes, asteroids are highlighted white and then colored by how closely they come to our inner solar system. Earth crossers are red, Earth approachers are yellow, and all others are colored green.

    What you get is a view of the solar system's planets and asteroids orbiting the sun and these beautiful sparkles in sky. As automated sky scanning systems come online in the 1990s, we see waves of discoveries. Then starting at the beginning of 2010, we see a discovery pattern as a result of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which has been tasked with mapping all infrared light in the sky.

    Watch the full video below.
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  • Map of who owns the Arctic

    August 27, 2010  |  Mapping

    Map of who owns Arctic

    Do you know who owns the Arctic? As it turns out, it's a pretty messy subject:

    In August 2007 Russian scientists sent a submarine to the Arctic Ocean seabed at 90° North to gather data in support of Russia's claim that the North Pole is part of the Russian continental shelf. The expedition provoked a hostile reaction from other Arctic littoral states and prompted media speculation that Russia's action might trigger a "new Cold War" over the resources of the Arctic.

    Luckily things are at least a little more in control now though. Well, sort of. Canada, Denmark and the US still need to define their continental shelf limits. Keep in mind that the shelf can be more than 200 nautical miles from these countries' coastal baselines.

    The International Boundaries Research Unit provides this map [pdf] of claimed boundaries and areas that will potentially be claimed in the future.

    [via]

  • If major environmental disasters happened in your neighborhood…

    August 24, 2010  |  Mapping

    Chernobyl radiation cloud map

    When major environmental disasters occur, thousands of people are often affected, but it's hard to put it all in perspective when it's not actually happening to you. When the BP oil spill was in full force we saw this simple mashup that placed the oil blob over your area. In the natural iteration to that, BBC Dimensions maps the outcome of other environmental disasters in your neighborhood, including Chernobyl explosion, the 2010 Pakistan floods, and Bhopal chemical accident. Enter your location, and put things into perspective.

    [via]

  • Design advanced online and interactive maps with Polymaps

    August 20, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    Flickshapes map with polymaps

    In a collaboration between SimpleGeo, who makes location data easier to access, and Stamen, who does all kinds of wonderful with maps, announced Polymaps today. It's a free and open-source JavaScript library for image- and vector-tiled maps using SVG.

    Polymaps provides speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and supports a variety of visual presentations for tiled vector data, in addition to the usual cartography from OpenStreetMap, CloudMade, Bing, and other providers of image-based web maps.

    Because Polymaps can load data at a full range of scales, it’s ideal for showing information from country level on down to states, cities, neighborhoods, and individual streets. Because Polymaps uses SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) to display information, you can use familiar, comfortable CSS rules to define the design of your data. And because Polymaps uses the well known spherical mercator tile format for its imagery and its data, publishing information is a snap.

    The above is map using Flickr shapefiles. Here's a map of pavement quality in San Francisco.
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  • Bus movements in San Francisco animated

    August 19, 2010  |  Mapping

    Eric Fischer has been having a good bit of fun with maps lately. In his latest, he animates movements of the San Francisco MUNI (that's their bus system) over the month of June 2010. Each second of in the video represents about an hour in real life.

    As you might expect, traffic dwindles during the late/early hours from midnight to four in the morning. Then like clockwork, it picks up again. My knowledge of San Francisco geography has always sucked, so maybe a local can point out some of the interesting areas. If my orientation is correct though, that main street that runs from southwest to northeast and seems to stay lit through the night is Market.

    This of course is reminiscent of Stamen's Cabspotting, but much more raw, without any trails or ghostly footprints.

    [Thanks, Laurie]

  • Stamen makes experimental prettymaps

    August 16, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    Los Angeles prettymap by Stamen Design

    Add another toy to Stamen's bag of tricks. The recently launched prettymaps by Aaron Straup Cope uses shapefiles from Flickr, urban areas from Natural Earth, and road, highway, and path data form OpenStreetMap, for an interactive map that's well, pretty.
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  • Animated map of earthquakes in Iceland

    August 16, 2010  |  Mapping

    Animated map of Iceland earthquakes

    I'm late on this, but remember that volcano eruption in Iceland a few months back, and all the European airports had to shut down because of the giant ash cloud? DataMarket mapped the Iceland earthquakes in 2010, leading up to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.

    This visualization shows earthquake activity leading up to eruptions in Eyjafjallajökull in South-Iceland in March and April 2010.

    Each bubble represents a measured earthquake and the size of the bubble represents its magnitude. Deeper earthquakes are represented with darker colrs while shallow earthquakes are brighter. An earthquake slowly fades out as time passes. Yellow stars indicate eruptions.

    Like you'd expect, it's a stagnant in the beginning, then rumble, rumble, and boom. Eruption. Watch it unfold in the clip below.
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  • Weeplaces visualizes your FourSquare movements

    August 10, 2010  |  Mapping

    Weeplaces maps FourSquare movements

    I'm still not comfortable sharing my location with strangers, and my friends are all really low-tech, so FourSquare has never appealed to me. But if you are an avid FourSquare user, you'll like this one. Geo startup, Movity, built Weeplaces over the weekend. It's a simple idea to visualize your movements via FourSquare check-ins.
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