Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Maps of the Week


A God in Every Stone is a novel by Kamila Shamsie. To accompany the publication of the novel Kamila has released a gorgeous interactive map featuring some of the important locations in the novel. The novel takes place in the early 20th Century. However artifacts and events from the Persian Empire impinge on the plot and the interactive map reflects this with three different maps representing different eras of history.

The map uses the Google Maps API and the Leaflet mapping library with some gorgeous custom map tiles. I love the fading in and out of the different custom map tiles on the map. Use the links at the bottom right of the map to switch between the map tiles. Clicking on the markers also switches the map tiles when they relate to a particular era covered in the novel.


There are some interesting experiments going on displaying 3d building views with OpenStreetMap data. Mapzen's new Vector Tiles map demo shows building footprints at lower zoom levels and some impressive 3d buildings when you zoom in on the map.

The map includes a number of controls to change the perspective of the map view, to change the lighting effects and to add various effects to the map (check out the 'elevator' view). You can import the 3d buildings into your own maps by using the Mapzen Vector Tile Service API.


Visits is a neat way to visualize your Google location history or Flickr albums as a mapped timeline. Add a link to your Google location history or a geotagged Flickr album and you can immediately create an impressive mapped timeline.

A chronological series of circular static Google Maps creates a visual timeline of your check-ins or photos. Mouse-over any of the circular maps and one line is drawn from the map to its date in the timeline and another line appears to show its location on a larger map.

You can control the look of your timeline visualization by selecting a date-range. You can also control the level of zoom in the circular maps by selecting from Street, Neighbourhood, City, Region, or Country views.
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