Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Maps of the Week


The Name Navigator is an awesome data visualization of the popularity of American names over 100 years. It consists of a mapped portal which allows you to discover where and when your name has been most popular.

Enter your first name into the Name Navigator and you can view an animated heat map, which shows the popularity of your name in each state over the last 100 years. You can even select any year and click on the map to find out how popular your name was in that year in the selected state.

Alongside the map a frequency graph is displayed showing the rise and fall of your name's popularity over time. You don't even need to restrict yourself to one name. You can also add your friends' names and view a side by side comparison of both your names' popularity over the last 100 years.


I'm a huge fan of CartoDB's Torque library, which is capable of creating very powerful animated mapped time-line visualizations of large data sets. The India's Election: 2014 so far on Twitter map is one of the more impressive examples of a CartoDB Torque created map that I've seen.

The use of different colors for each of the three party leaders results in a very impressive looking map, redolent of a Jackson Pollock painting. Among all the visual noise it is difficult to pick out which of the party leaders received the most Twitter mentions. However it is still a powerful visualization of when and where around the world people were Tweeting about the Indian election.


Digital Augustan Rome is an online interactive map of ancient Rome, as it looked around A.D. 14. The map is an accurate depiction of the size, location, and orientation of the various structures, roads, and water systems of the city at a pivotal phase in its transformation into the imperial capital.

The map includes points of interest throughout the city, so it is a great resource for learning about the buildings and the life of the Romans. The map even includes a terrain overlay which shows the city’s historical topography at the time of Augustus.

Cartography geeks will also be very interested in how the map was made. Making the Map is a fascinating article explaining the cartographic resources used and the processes undertaken to create this gorgeous interactive map of ancient Rome.
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