• Fake filming locations of Paramount Studios

    May 21, 2010  |  Mapping

    This might shock you, but many movies are not filmed on location. Yeah. Sometimes they're filmed in completely different countries. Sorry, but it's time you knew. This map from Paramount Studios, produced in 1927, showed investors where movies could shoot, instead of going to the actual places. Does your movie take place in Venice, Italy? No problem, head down to southern California. How about the Mississippi River? Check out the Sacramento River.

    [via A Whole Lotta Nothing]

  • Senate and House races are on

    May 19, 2010  |  Mapping

    I'm not proud of this, but I know very little about what's going on with these 2010 midterm elections. The New York Times just put up their election maps on the race though — for governor, House and Senate seats — so at least you have a way to get informed in a hurry.
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  • Tracking the oil spill

    May 7, 2010  |  Infographics, Mapping

    For those following the status of the oil spill, the New York Times provides a map tracking the spread. Press play to get the day-by-day. The oil is currently spreading to the west of the Mississippi delta, getting dangerously close to the oyster beds (in red).
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  • Major wood pallet fires?

    May 4, 2010  |  Design, Mapping

    wood-pallet-fire-risks

    I put this up only because I had no idea wood pallet risks were such a hot topic. No pun intended.

    Of course, if you compare number of pallet fires to number of residential fires, the above almost seems like nothing. There were 20 major pallet fires between 2008 and 2010. There were 403,000 residential structure fires, causing an estimated $8.6 billion in damage - in 2008 alone.

    While I'm sure the pallet fires caused plenty of problems, it's always good to put things in perspective.

    Update: As Douglas points out, the site reeks of plastic pallet propaganda. Another case of forcing an issue by exaggerating the numbers. Tsk.

    [Thanks, John]

  • Seeing the art in cartography

    April 30, 2010  |  Mapping

    In much of the same spirit of the recent Cartographies of Time, the BBC is running a series on The Beauty of Maps. They've got two branches. The first is historical, which is an exploration of some of the world's oldest existing maps. As a complement, the second is a study of digital worlds, or maps of virtual spaces.
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  • Review: indiemapper makes thematic mapping easy

    April 28, 2010  |  Mapping, Reviews, Software

    It's finally here. Indiemapper brings easy and flexible thematic mapping online. I've been looking forward to this app ever since I got a glimpse of what was to come over a year ago, through the eyes of Indieprojector. The guys at Axis Maps have taken the core functionality of advanced GIS, simplified the work flow with a well-designed interface, and made it it super easy to create beautiful maps.
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  • Air traffic rebooted in northern Europe

    April 26, 2010  |  Mapping

    Air traffic has returned to normal levels in northern Europe, and planes fill up the sky once again. Ito world, who has been doing some great stuff lately, visualizes the reboot of air traffic. We start to see some planes on April 18, and by April 20, everything is back to normal.

    There are some holes in the data over France and the Atlantic but you get the idea.

    [Thanks, Hal]

  • A guide to geostatistical mapping with open-source tools

    April 22, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    Mapping with R and other free and open-source programs feels clunky and hacked-together at times. The plus-side is that it's all for free, and once you find the time to wrap your head around it, you can get quite a bit done. Tomislav Hengl provides a free e-book, A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping, that can hopefully help you with such tools (namely R, SAGA GIS, and Google Earth). You can also buy the paperback version on Lulu.

    [Thanks, Ryan]

  • Gay marriage timeline

    April 19, 2010  |  Mapping

    gay-marriage

    The Los Angeles Times reports on the chronology of gay rights in the United States. States are colored from fewest to most rights for same-sex couples. "Fewest" means the state bans marriage and legal rights. "Most" means gay marriage is legal in the state. Press play, and watch the changes from 2000 to present. Just disregard the clashing red and green color choices.

  • The Ash Cloud and Airport Shutdowns

    April 17, 2010  |  Mapping

    In case you're following the craziness going on over Europe due to that pesky volcano in Iceland, The New York Times provides a tracker for airport closures. The train stations must be packed more than ever before right now.
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  • lisbon2

    Explorations of real-world traffic

    We don't often get to see how cars, trains, airplanes, etc move in physical space, because, well, we're usually in them.
  • Swing vote effects explored with swingometer

    April 8, 2010  |  Mapping

    With the 2010 UK elections coming up, the Guardian explores possible outcomes, given a certain amount of swing votes. Three views are provided: a grid map (above), your traditional geographic map, and a bar chart. You can select a region of interest, and it stays highlighted as you switch between the options.
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  • Best place to catch a cab? Try Bloomingdale’s

    April 5, 2010  |  Mapping

    Matthew Bloch, Ford Fessenden, and Shan Carter continue the New York Times geographic sexiness with their recent interactive, mapping taxi flow across Manhattan over time. The scroll up top lets you move through times of the week, or just press play and watch it go. You can also roll over blocks to see rides per hour.
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  • Location check-ins during South by Southwest

    April 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    Location-aware apps are the hot topic nowadays, and with all the tech-oriented people congregating at South by Southwest, there was a whole lot of checking-in to be done, especially with all the parties and get-togethers. Everyone wanted to know where everyone else was at.

    SimpleGeo scraped the location stream, which was available on vicarious.ly, and mapped the check-ins over time.

    I didn't spot any particularly interesting patterns other than the occasional bar-hopping, but still fun to watch. Looks like Foursquare leads, with Gowalla taking a big chunk too.

    To be honest, I still feel kind of uneasy about the whole location-sharing thing. Anyone care to share their experience?

    [Thanks @mrflip]

  • Map and report data with InstantAtlas

    April 2, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    As you know, there's this big wave of transparency going on right now, and many organizations want to do more than just post a bunch of spreadsheets. They actually want to visualize it and share their data in a way that can be consumed by the general public. InstantAtlas aims to make that easy - without any code.
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  • What burger chain reigns supreme?

    March 10, 2010  |  Mapping

    alone

    In a follow up to his McDonald's map, Stephen Von Worley of Weather Sealed maps the dominating burger chains across the United States. McDonald's obviously has a stronghold in a lot of areas but not all of them. Most noticeable is Sonic Drive-in with over 900 restaurants in Texas alone. Personally, I'm rooting for Carl's Jr. and In-n-Out.

    [via We Love Datavis]

  • Looking Inside a Bus Routing Algorithm

    March 9, 2010  |  Mapping

    In an effort to put transit data from the Toronto Transit Committee to better use, MyTTC provides a trip planner to help you find the best route from point A to point B. This video, compete with smart arses sitting on a couch, provides a peek into how the underlying algorithm works.

    [Thanks, Canna]

  • Where Bars Trump Grocery Stores

    March 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    Bars and groceries

    FloatingSheep, a fun geography blog, looks at the beer belly of America. One maps shows total number of bars, but the interesting map is the one above. Red dots represent locations where there are more bars than grocery stores, based on results from the Google Maps API. The Midwest takes their drinking seriously.

    Of course there are plenty of possible explanations for the distribution. Maybe people get all their food from superstores like Walmart in the red dot areas, so there are fewer gigantic stores than there are small local bars.

    Then again, the FloatingSheep guys did their homework and found, according to Census, that the number of drinking places in those red dots are really skewed compare to the average. So it's also possible that area of the country just likes to drink a lot.

    Anyone who lives in the area care to confirm? I expect your comment to be filled with typos and make very little sense. And maybe smell like garbage.

    [Thanks, Michael]

  • Sunlight Labs releases mapping framework, ClearMaps

    February 23, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    clearmaps

    Open data is great, but it's useless if you don't know what to do with it. Sunlight Labs, a group focused on using technology to support open government, recently released ClearMaps. It's an Actionscript framework for interactive cartographic visualization.

    In addition to giving designers and developers more control over presentation the project aims to address some of the common technical challenges faced when building interactive, data driven maps for the web. ClearMaps is designed as a lightweight, flexible set of tools for building complex data visualizations. It is a framework not a plug-and-play component (though it could be a starting point for those wishing to make reusable tools).

    It's still in the early stages, but developers will want to check this out I am sure.

    [Thanks, Kevin]

  • OpenStreetMap Edits Towards Haiti Relief

    February 21, 2010  |  Mapping

    Haiti map

    ITO world, who you might remember from a year of OpenStreetMap edits, come back to the map visualization to show the efforts of an impromptu community and Crisis Mappers to produce the most complete and accurate map of Haiti following the earthquake.
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