Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week


I do love a good animal tracking map, so LifeWatch's bird tracking maps fit the bill nicely. LifeWatch are currently tracking 30 gulls and march harriers using GPS units and CartoDB powered Google Maps. 

Unfortunately the live real-time map is no longer of much use as the birds have flown south for the winter and are out of range of the project's antennas. However LifeWatch has created some interesting maps using the data tracks from the spring and summer.

These include an intensity map of Eric, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, breeding in the colony of Zeebrugge. The map shows Eric's movements over two months, revealing his most visited locations, including his frequent day-trips to Bruges. Using the same data LifeWatch also created a map showing his paths for every day. In this map Eric's daily flight paths are colored by day to show how his flight pattern changed over the two months.

Vizzuality's Torque library was also used to create a fascinating animated map showing all Eric's movements over the two months in just 150 seconds.


This week Amtrak launched a real-time map of its more than 300 daily trains. The Amtrak Track a Train map shows the live position of all the network's trains.

Passengers can search for individual trains by train number or train name or search for individual station. If you select a train's marker on the map you can view details about its current speed, next station and estimated time or arrival.

Users can also click on individual stations to view station details and the station address. 


One of the effects of the Federal Government Shutdown is that 800,000 federal workers have been indefinitely furloughed without pay. The Washington Post has created a Google Map to show how the government shutdown effects federal workers across the United States.

The Federal Government Shutdown Map shows the top 100 metro areas with government and military areas as a percentage of the total workforce. The map markers are sized in proportion to the size of the number of federal workers (as a percentage of total employment).

If you select any of the markers on the map you can view the total number of federal workers, the total number of the workforce and the percentage of federal employees in the selected metro area.

If you are a non-essential federal worker living in the Washington DC area you might want to check out this map that shows the locations of businesses offering special deals for furloughed federal workers. 
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