Sunday, May 10, 2015

Maps of the Week


Brick Street View is an incredible transformation of Google Maps and Street View into a Lego themed world of plastic bricks.

Brick Street View is the work of Einar Öberg, the creator of the awesome Urban Jungle Street View, which allows you to see your street transformed into a jungle. Brick Street View makes use of the same undocumented depth data stored in Street View - only this time in order to transport you to Legoland. Both apps use the 3d depth data to create a depth map which can be used to plot geometry and sprites in the 3d space of the Street View panorama.

In Brick Street View the Google Maps Street View panoramas are pixelated to give them that Lego brick look. The images are then enhanced with little Lego trees, cars and other figures. Even the roads have been transformed into a Lego base.


For a long time I've been waiting for someone to animate building age data to create a visualization of a city growing through time. That wait is now over.

Amsterdam Growing Over Time is an incredible animated map which shows how the city of Amsterdam has developed and grown from a few houses in the 17th century into the dynamic city it is today. Click on the play button and watch as the city's building footprints are added chronologically to the map based on each building's age.

The data for the buildings comes from the Construction and Address Database - BAG. This database provides the age of buildings throughout the Netherlands. Some of the buildings in the database are obviously newer buildings which have been built in the same location and have replaced older buildings. However Amsterdam has enough historical buildings still standing for the animated map to provide a pretty accurate picture of how Amsterdam has grown over the centuries.


Flights Over Your Neighborhood is a very clever map which can show all the scheduled flights flying over your location and the amount of noise pollution that you will suffer. Unfortunately the map only works if your neighborhood is in Berlin. However, if you don't live in Berlin, the map is still fun to play with.

Enter your address into the application and the map shows the actual routes of all the flights from Berlin airports that will be flying over your neighborhood today. All the flights for the day are displayed on a 3D map by altitude. The map is shown with an oblique view which you can rotate to get a real sense of the altitude of each of the flights' paths over your home.

If you select a flight path on the map you can view details on the plane's estimated time, altitude, and the amount of noise the individual aircraft emits (measured in decibels). The scale beneath the map shows how much noise pollution you can expect for the day in comparison to other areas in Berlin-Brandenburg.


Here's a new map style to add to your collection of favorite base maps. I think its safe to assume that the Lichtenstein map is inspired by the famous pop art painter and not the German municipality of the same name.

The map emulates Roy Lichtenstein's use of thick outlines, bold colors and copious dots. It's also the second map I've seen to successfully use the much maligned Comic Sans as the font for the map labels.

The map is the work of Katie Kowalsky, a cartography student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was designed in Mapbox Studio, the popular map design tool, which was also used to create the The Woodcut MapSpace Station EarthThe Pencil Map and the The Pirate Map.
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