Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week


Over the years there have been many, many Flickr maps built with the Google Maps API. Luminous Cities is probably the best yet.

Luminous Cities allows users to visualise Flickr data for a number of major cities worldwide on Google Maps. The Luminous Cities maps provide a platform for users to explore Flickr data by location, time, tags and number of views. The application therefore has a large number of possible uses, for example it can be used to explore the locations where most photos are taken in major urban areas.

Using the time-line filter it is possible to explore how popular photography locations change over time. It also allows users to explore specific events, for example photos uploaded during the 2012 London Olympics. 


This week I was also impressed with how the Asia Foundation used the Google Maps API to present the results of their annual survey of Afghans. Since 2006 the Asia Foundation has undertaken a yearly survey in Afghanistan to measure how Afghan citizens assess their country’s future.

In the survey Afghans are asked a number of questions including, "Is Afghanistan headed in the right direction?". The Asia Foundation has now released a Google Map that visualises the results of the survey by region and by year. Visualizing Afghanistan: A Survey of the Afghan People allows the user to view the results for each question and compare the results given by year and by region. 


Mapping Protest Data is a Google Map of worldwide protests this year. The map uses 2013 protest data from the Global Data of Events.

The heat map shows a high level of protests throughout Europe and the Middle East. If you zoom in on the map you are able can see individual points. You can click on the points to view more information about the specific location and the number of protest events.

The creator of the map, John Beiler, has blogged about how the map was created and even has a theory about the lack of protests shown by the map in the US.
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