Thursday, December 05, 2013
Every year on Christmas Eve Google releases a live map tracking Santa's progress around the globe as he delivers presents to the world's children. Between now and Christmas Eve you can visit the Santa Tracker webpage and everyday play a different Santa related game.
Alongside the games the Santa Tracker website features a prominent countdown revealing how many days, hours and minutes until Santa begins his annual epic journey around the world.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Have you found Jesus? Then you are not the only one. People around the world are finding Jesus in the most unlikely places; in food, on trees and in household items.
The Jesus Face Database is mapping sightings people have made of Jesus in objects around the globe. The map even includes the face of Jesus found on Google Maps in a field in Hungary.
Jesus is not the only holy figure to appear on Google Maps. God himself has made a brief appearance above the Walensee in Switzerland on Google Maps Street View.
Psycologists have a word for the phenomenon of finding familiar objects in random patterns. They call it 'Pareidolia'. Onformative has even created a computer program, called GoogleFaces, that scans Google Maps satellite imagery looking for patterns that humans might believe are human faces.
GoogleFaces scans through one satellite image after another on Google Maps, sequentially along the latitude and longitude of the globe. After scanning around the world it then switches to the next zoom level and starts all over again.
As it scans each satellite imagery the GoogleFaces face detection algorithm records the latitude and longitude of any 'faces' it finds. The onformative website has a few examples of the faces already found on Google Maps, including the one above, found in the satellite imagery of Russia.
Posted by Keir Clarke at 12:52 PM
The unwritten law of tribal football support is that you support your local team (for life). If you end up supporting a non-local football team then you will forever be known as a plastic fan and a glory hunter.
It's harsh I know but thems the rules.
If you want to find out which football team that you should support then enter your address into Your Nearest Football Ground. You will then be presented with a Google Map of your nearest football grounds.
I've begun testing the application out on my friends and have already had to drop two close friends for supporting the wrong football team. As I said before 'thems the rules'.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Map Your Representatives is a handy application that helps you find out who your political representatives are, from local councilor up to the President himself, simply by clicking on a Google Map.
Enter your zip-code or address into the search bar and a pin will be dropped on your location. The page will then automatically scroll down to reveal all your local political representatives.
The map itself includes an attractive mask that creates a circular map. If you pan the map around the map marker remains in the center of the map and not on your searched for location. Simply click on the 'Update Location' button and the political representatives for the new location will be displayed on the map.
This year the Snowman is visiting your street!
It's nearly Christmas, that special time of year when we get lots of special Google Maps and Street View promotional campaigns. This year the first to get in on the act is chocolate company Thorntons, with a magical online Christmas Card featuring Raymond Briggs' cute Snowman character (and Google Maps).
The Thorntons Facebook Christmas Message application allows you to send an animated Christmas message to a friend in which the Snowman flies over their house (using Google Maps satellite imagery) and even walks down their street (using Street View).
I feel kind of guilty about trying to get everyone excited last week about the Sky Live Ison Tracker map, only for Ison to meet the fate shared by everyone who flies too close to the Sun.
In compensation let me point you instead to this map of 2013 Meteor Sightings put together by the Montreal Gazette. The Gazette used Fusion Tables to map data from the American Meteor Society. The AMS tracks meteor sightings around the world. The map shows more sightings in the USA than elsewhere around the globe as the society's members live mainly in the US.
The Wondrous Wellington Advent Calendar is also a wondrous interactive map, although you wouldn't know it just by looking at it.
The Wellington, New Zealand Tourist Office has created a gorgeous looking online advent calendar featuring illustrations of well known landmarks around the city. Users can explore the calendar to find today's date, click on the date and discover a voucher that can be redeemed at a Wellington business.
Monday, December 02, 2013
Mapping Slavery and Colonial Connections is a Google Map exploring the lives of individuals connected to the slave trade who lived in Norfolk, Nottinghamshire or Angus in the UK between c.1600 and 1939.
The map includes several layers which show; the locations of individuals in these areas who owned plantations which used slave labour, those involved in the abolition of slavery and 'black presences' in the mapped areas.
The University College of London website Legacies of British Slave-ownership is dedicated to "tracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain".
After the abolition of slavery in Great Britain slave owners were very generously compensated, whilst the slaves themselves were not so generously looked after. Slave-owners were given compensation for each slave that they owned. The slaves were re-designated as apprentices and basically had to continue working for their owners without pay for a further six years.
Legacies of British Slave-ownership has created two maps showing the addresses of recipients of slave-compensation in two areas of London, Fitzrovia and the Portman estate area.
Tacky's Rebellion, was an uprising of black African slaves that occurred in Jamaica in May, June and July 1760. The Jamaican Slave Revolt Map tells the story of the revolt, and its brutal suppression by the British Army.
Using contemporary accounts the map animates through the important events and locations in the rebellion and subsequent suppression. A number of eighteenth-century maps were used to create the terrain map and the places map, which form the base maps for the narration.
The Jamaican Slave Revolt map was created by Vincent Brown, Professor of History and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University. Brown says that "the map suggests an argument about the strategies of the rebels and the tactics of counterinsurgency, about the importance of the landscape to the course of the uprising".
Back in 2007 the BBC created The Abolition of British Slavery - Interactive Map to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Great Britain.
The map allows you to explore the history of the transatlantic slave trade, which involved the enforced transportation and enslavement of millions. It is possible to follow dynamic trails across Africa, the Caribbean and the UK with text, images and audio that explain how the slave trade worked and how resistance to slavery eventually led to its abolition.
The Global Slavery Index has created a map displaying the number of people living in modern slavery in countries around the world. The 2013 Global Slavery Index ranks 162 countries based on three factors: the estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, the prevalence of child marriage, and the prevalence of human trafficking.
The Global Slavery Index Map provides a global heat map showing in which countries in the world slavery still remains a huge problem. Users can click on individual countries on the map to view the estimated number of enslaved people. It is also possible to click-through and view a more detailed breakdown of the problems of slavery in each country, including where the country ranks in the index, the total population and the country's GDP.
On November 25th UrtheCast launched two cameras aboard a Soyuz rocket. The rocket delivered the cameras to the International Space Station where they are now being installed. Once the cameras are up and running UrtheCast will begin streaming near-realtime satellite imagery of the Earth.
UrtheCast will be providing a free live stream of imagery of the Earth from the ISS on its website. Users will be able to view the imagery live on the website. They will also be able to subscribe to receive real time notifications for their favorite locations around the world to find out when the UrtheCast cameras captures new imagery and video of the selected places.
NASA's Worldview platform allows users to browse the latest satellite imagery from NASA. NASA's satellite imagery is generally posted on Worldview within three hours of the imagery's capture.
The Worldview application includes a timeline function that allows users to view imagery taken on any day, going back to May 2012. Worldview also allows anyone to download the underlying data and use the imagery in their own applications.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
The most shared map from Google Maps Mania this week was this little Video Map displaying over 700 videos of landmarks around the world (yep, my map, so I win).
The map is an update of an old Google Maps API v2 map I created four years ago and have just updated to use v3 of the Maps API. The data for the map is therefore a few years old now so there might be a few deleted videos in the collection.
ClimateViewer 3D uses the Google Earth plug-in to track climate change and environmental pollution across the globe.
The application includes a large number of layers that can be viewed on a Google Earth map. These include pollution layers, weather, satellites and emergency alerts. The pollution layer includes data from the Environmental Protection Agency and a layer displaying the Ten Most Radioactive Places on Earth
There are really too many layers in ClimateViewer 3D to mention them all. The application even includes the option to load your own KML files (or KML files from elsewhere on the internet) and view the file on the ClimateViewer Google Earth map.
TripStamp is a new Google Maps application that allows anyone to easily create a digital scrapbook of their trips and travels.
Log-in to TimeStamp with your Facebook account and you can quickly start mapping your travels by adding places you have visited to your own trip map. You can add photos and videos to each place that you add to the map and you can also add your thoughts about each location.
Once you have created a map of your trip you can share your TripStamp with friends and family on your favorite social networks.