Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Maps of the Week


In 2009 an earthquake in the Italian city of L'Aquila caused the death of 308 people and damaged many of the town's historically important buildings. Last year the City of L'Aquila released Noi L'Aquila.

Noi L'Aquila is a Google Map where residents of L'Aquila can record their memories of the city. The site also included a Google Earth plugin of L'Aquila visualizing its reconstruction with 3D models.

Now you can also take a virtual walk through L'Aquila in a new custom Street View tour of this historic Italian town. Hello L'Aquila is an amazing interactive virtual tour of the city consisting of more than 400 custom shot Street View panoramas covering the entire historic city center.

Most of the Street View images on Google Maps in L'Aquila were taken before the 2009 earthquake. This new Street View tour allows you to explore the city in its current state. The new tour even includes Street View images taken inside some of the city's historic buildings, allowing you to see the restoration work being carried out to repair the damage caused by the earthquake.

If you click on the cross in the top right-hand corner of one of the Street View images you can view a Google Map which shows some of the important locations in the city captured in this new custom Street View tour. The yellow icons on the map indicate where you can view indoor Street View panoramas.


This week I was also impressed by The Boston Globe's interactive photo of survivors of the bombing of the Boston Marathon. Although not strictly a map, the photo was created with the Leaflet mapping platform.

One year after the tragic bomb explosion at the Boston Marathon, The Boston Globe invited survivors, police, firefighters, EMTs, doctors, nurses and runners back to the finish line on Boylston Street to pose for a group photo.

The resulting One Year, One City photo is a powerful testimony to the resilience of the people of Boston. By using the Leaflet mapping platform the Boston Globe has created an interactive photo which you can pan around and even zoom in on individuals in the picture. You can even click on the people in the photo to learn a little more about their experience during last year's tragic events.

The library used to create this photo has also been open sourced on GitHub.


Dynamic Holland Shading is a gorgeous looking map that includes dynamic hill shading based on the date and time of day. Move the date and time of day sliders and you can see the hill shading update instantly on the map.

The dynamic hill shading is powered by a combination of MapBox's dynamic hillshading and the SunCalc library.
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