Tuesday, November 13, 2018

California Wildfire Damage Map


The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has released an interactive map showing which buildings have been destroyed or damaged by the Camp Fire. The Camp Fire Structure Status map plots the latest field damage inspection reports for buildings in areas affected by the Camp Fire.

The map uses different colored icons to indicate the scale of fire damage to individual buildings. The red markers indicate buildings which have been over 50% destroyed. The black buildings are those which are lucky enough to have suffered no visible damage. The map is only a preliminary assessment of the fire damage caused by the Camp Fire. The map will be updated as fire inspections continue. Currently Cal Fire estimate that 6,522 residences and 260 commercial properties have been destroyed by the Camp Fire.

You can find a link to the Cal Fire evacuation map and the latest incident reports about the Camp Fire at the Cal Fire Camp Fire Incident website.

This Warming Planet


If you want to know what kind of temperatures you can expect from global warming then you might want to check out this new interactive map. Bread for the World's August 28, 2100 is a map showing the predicted temperatures around the world up to the year 2100.

If you mouse-over any location on the map you can view the near surface air temperature for that location as predicted by NASA. A dynamic graph running along the bottom of the map will also show you the predicted temperatures at your selected location for every year until the end of this century.

The map shows near surface air temperatures around the globe for 1950, 2017 and 2100. The data comes from NASA's Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections which predicts daily temperatures across the globe until the year 2100. If you are interested in how this data was mapped then you should read Visualizing Near Surface Air Temperature, a blog post written by one of the map developers.

August 28, 2100 is just the latest in a number of maps which visualize the environmental conditions we can expect in the year 2100. You might also be interested in:

Air Pollution in 2100 - air pollution predictions for the year 2100
Climate Impact Map - mapping rising temperatures around the world over the rest of this century
Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days - predicted extreme heat events from now until 2100
Sea Level Rise Viewer - NOAA's sea level rise prediction until the year 2100

Shadow Mapping


Septima Skyggekort is an interactive map which visualizes the shadows cast by Denmark's buildings at any hour of the day and for any day of the year.

The map was created using the OpenLayers mapping library using height data from Styrelsen for DataForsyning og Effektivisering, the public data agency of the Danish government. The height data appears to come from a Lidar survey of the whole of Denmark. This means that you can use the map to view the length and positions of shadows for any building and for any tree in the whole country. Just use the two slider controls on the map to select the day of the year and the time of the day you wish to see visualized on the map.


Norway's The Shadow Visualization Demo is another impressive demonstration which shows dynamic shadows on an interactive map. This map uses digital terrain model data and building height data from OpenStreetMap. Because the map knows the height of the terrain this map not only shows the shadows of buildings but the shadows cast by hills and mountains as well.

Again you can use the slide controls to select any time of day and any day of the year.


In New York you can use the New York Times' Mapping the Shadows of New York City interactive map to visualize the shadows cast by the city's famous sky scrapers (and all of its other buildings as well.)

The Times says that most Manhattan neighborhoods will remain in shadow for at least half of all daylight hours. They also claim that the amount of time a location spends in shadow during daylight hours can affect everything from apartment rental prices to the flow of foot traffic on the city's streets.

The map uses building height data provided by the city. With the help of the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University the NYT used this height data to calculate the total number of minutes that a given point spends in shadow over the course of a day.

If you are interested in creating your own shadow map then you might be interested in SunCalc.js, a javascript library for calculating the position of the sun.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mapping California's Wildfires


NASA's Earth Observatory has published two satellite images of the California wildfires captured by its Landsat 8 satellite. Camp Fire Rages in California includes images of the Camp Fire (shown above) captured on November 8th. The article also includes a more zoomed out image which shows the smoke from both the Camp Fire and the Hill & Woolsey fires spreading out into the Pacific.


Yesterday the New York Times mapped out how the Camp Fire and the Woolsey fire have been spreading. The NYT's Tracking Where the Fires Are Spreading includes two mapped visualizations of each fire.


The Times has overlain the fire footprint of each fire on top of a Google Map. These fire footprints are colored to show the new areas that the fires reached yesterday (colored red) and the areas previously burned. For both the Camp fire and the Woolsey fire the Times has also created a footprint comparison visualization. These comparisons place three footprints of each fire in a sequence showing how the fires have grown over the previous three days.

If you want the latest news about California's wildfires then you might be interested in Esri's Smoke from Wildfires map which shows the National Weather Service smoke forecast for the next 48 hours. Esri has also released a special California Wildfires Map which is providing near real-time information about the traffic conditions on the state's major roads. This map also contains the fire perimeters of active fires and fire reports from the National Interagency Fire Center.

The San Francisco Chronicle's California Fire Tracker map provides information on all the wildfires currently burning across California. The map shows fire perimeters and the latest air pollution particulate reading from the smoke. The map also has links to the newspaper's latest news on all the fires and to their fire disaster guide.

The Map of Meaning


Jordan Peterson's Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief explores how humans and culture's construct meaning. Fernando Bresciano has been so inspired by Paterson's ideas that he has attempted to illustrate some of these theories in his own illustrated Land of Meaning. The Land of Meaning is an illustrated map of some of the archetypal meanings which can be found in life, in legends and in myths. It can even be used to explore the spiritual journeys which were undertaken by religious leaders, such as Christ and Buddha.

The Land of Meaning includes a story map feature which takes you on a guided tour of the various mapped archetypal explanations. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the ideas illustrated in this map of meaning. If you use the forward and back arrows you can navigate step-by-step through each of the archetypal meanings shown on the map. An information window opens to provide a brief explanation of the mythical archetype which is illustrated at this point on the map. You can also open these explanations simply by selecting the information markers on the map.

The map also contains a number of journeys or paths through the Land of Meaning which have been taken by historical or religious figures. It also includes the plot paths taken by well known myths or fairy tales. If you open the 'Myths' section in the map menu you can select from a number of individuals (including Jesus and Buddha) or from some well known mythical & nursery tales. Choose one of these individuals or stories and a path will appear on the map. This path attempts to show how the selected individual's life or story's plot follows a path through some of the archetypal meanings illustrated on the Land of Meaning.

The Land of Meaning can also help to explain the world's main political belief systems using Paterson's Maps of Meaning. Open the 'Ideologies' section in the map menu and a map of ideologies will be overlain on top of the Land of Meaning. This overlay maps where different political ideologies sit on the Land of Meaning and attempts to explain each ideology's core beliefs in terms of the archetypal meanings illustrated on the map.

Mapping the Norse World


The Norse World is an interactive map showing the locations mentioned in medieval Norse literature. The map is intended to be a resource for students of medieval Swedish and Danish literature and history. It provides an invaluable insight into what places were written about and how places & countries were perceived and visualized in Old Swedish and Old Danish in the Middle Ages.

If you select a marker on the map an information window opens listing all the known appearances of the selected location in medieval Norse literature. You can select the place-name itself in this list to learn more about the location and what type of locality it is. You can also select from any of the medieval texts in which the place-name appears. This will load a brief introduction to the selected medieval Norse text.

You can also use the search function to map individual works of Norse literature. For example if you search 'Ivan Løveridder' you can view all the locations around the world which appear in this medieval verse romance on the Norse World interactive map.


The medieval Icelandic family sagas are prose histories describing the lives of the first few generations of settlers in Iceland in the late 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. The Icelandic Saga Map allows you to read each of the Icelandic Sagas alongside an interactive map showing the locations of all the places mentioned in these historic tales.

When you select an individual saga from the Icelandic Saga Map homepage you are presented with the text of the story alongside an interactive map. Locations in the saga are hyperlinked to the map. Therefore as you read the saga you can select place-names mentioned in the text to view its location on the interactive map. Alternatively you can click on the locations tagged on the map to jump to the parts in the texts where they are mentioned in the Sagas.

When reading an individual saga you can use the Sagas menu (top right) to also overlay the locations mentioned in any of the other Sagas on the interactive map.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mapping the Fallen of World War I


A Street Near You is an interactive map showing the home addresses of men and women who died while serving in the First World War. There were an estimated 8 million military deaths in the war and the map shows the location records for nearly 410,000 of them.

A Street Near You is a powerful and sober visualization of the numbers of individuals who lost their lives in World War I. If you enter an address into the site you can view the names of all the people from your neighborhood who fell during the war. For example, if you search my neighborhood of West Ham in the East End of London, you will find that nearly every house experienced the loss of at least one family member.

If you click on a person's marker on the map you can view more details on the individual selected. These details include the name, regiment and the date of death.


The Royal British Legion is hoping to commemorate every Commonwealth serviceman and woman who died in World War I. Every Man Remembered allows you to commemorate relatives who died in the First World War or leave a commemoration for someone that hasn't yet been given a tribute.

Every Man Remembered includes a Google Map showing the resting places of Commonwealth soldiers around the world. If you select a cemetery on the map you can view details about the individual servicemen and women from the First World War who are buried or commemorated there. If you select an individual serviceman or woman from the map you can read details about their service and life.

If you have information about a Commonwealth serviceman or woman who died in the war you can add your information and photos of them to the records.


Canada's Global News has mapped the home addresses of the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Mapping Canada’s war dead, house by house includes interactive maps for many Canadian cities. This includes maps showing the home addresses of soldiers in Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

California Wildfire Maps


Esri's Smoke from Wildfires map visualizes the National Weather Service smoke forecast. Using the map's slide control you can view the NWS smoke forecast for the next 48 hours. The map also shows the fire perimeters of active fires. Esri has also released a special California Wildfires Map which is providing near real-time information about the traffic conditions on the state's major roads. This map also contains the fire perimeters of active fires and fire reports from the National Interagency Fire Center.


The San Francisco Chronicle's California Fire Tracker map provides information on all the wildfires currently burning across California. Fires are shown on the newspaper's map when they are larger than 500 acres, have caused damage to property, or when people have been injured or killed as a result of the fire.

The fire perimeters and hot spots shown for each wildfire are based on infrared and thermal imaging from Satellite imagery. These perimeters are coarse and not real-time. They should therefore only be used as a rough guide to the extent of a wildfire. The California Fire Tracker also allows you to view current air quality data on the map. This layer is near real-time (it is updated every 30 minutes) and shows concentrations of air pollution particulates.

The map also includes links to the newspaper's latest news on all the fires and to their fire disaster guide.

Mapping Internal Migration


Internal Migration in the City of Barcelona 2016 is a simple but effective visualization of where Barcelona residents moved to and from within the city in 2016. The map provides an overall scale of the numbers of people moving between Barcelona's different neighborhoods without giving the precise figures of how many people moved between each district.

The scaled markers on the map provides a rough overview of how many people moved into or out of each Barcelona neighborhood from elsewhere in the city. If you can switch between the incoming and outgoing internal migration views the markers automatically change to represent the numbers for the selected view. If you then hover over a neighborhood on the map flow-lines show all the other districts where residents moved to or from.

These flow-lines are scaled to show the number of residents who moved between the different neighborhoods. Some of the flow-lines have numbers attached, which presumably represent the number of residents who moved between the two connected neighborhoods. However not all the flow-lines are annotated with the number of residents. The scaled neighborhood markers on the map also don't give the precise numbers of internal migrants. When you hover over the neighborhood markers the neighborhood's name is revealed. It would be nice if the number of internal migrants (incoming or outgoing depending on the view) was also revealed when you hover over a marker.

The Internal Migration in the City of Barcelona 2016 map is therefore an effective visualization of the general size of internal migration between different neighborhoods in the city. However it isn't much use if you want to know the precise number of residents moving between different neighborhoods in Barcelona.


The US Migration Flow Map provides a nice example of how an internal migration flow map can provide the actual numbers of people moving between different areas.

The US Migration Flow Map, like the Barcelona map, uses scaled flow-lines to visualize the numbers of people moving between different states in the USA. The size of the flow-lines on the map is representative of the number of people moving between two states. However, unlike the Barcelona map, you can also hover over the lines to view the total number of people moving between the two states. You can also hover over a state on the map to view the total number of internal and external migrants.

Migration in Latvia is another internal migration map which allows you to hover over the flow-lines on the map to view the precise number of people moving between two regions. Hover over a selected region on the map and you can also view details on the total number of people who moved in and out of the region.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Global Food Security


Around 12% of the Earth’s land surface is being used to grow crops and about 22% is being used for grazing and rearing livestock. As the world's population grows rising demand for food coupled with the environmental strains of global warming is straining our ability to feed ourselves.

The Colors of Food Security is a series of maps visualizing some of the social and environmental issues surrounding the future of global agriculture. The maps visualize a multitude of issues that affect the future stable supply of quality food, such as agricultural productivity, poverty, climate, biodiversity loss, water, and environmental pollution.

You can access each of the Colors of Food Security map visualizations by selecting from the icon buttons running down the side of the map. When a map visualization loads an information window provides a short introduction to the data being shown and its relationship to global food security.

If you are interested in where different crops and livestock are grown and reared then you might also be interested in Esri's The Living Land interactive map. The Living Land is the second installment in Esri's Living in the Age of Humans series and focuses on global agriculture and its environmental impacts. If you want to look more closely at agriculture in the USA then check out The Consolidation of the American Harvest. Bloomberg's The Consolidation of the American Harvest maps where different crops are grown in America.