Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Miniature Maps of the Week


This week a couple of very interesting Google Street View projects were released. Jumeirah Inside is an incredibly well designed Street View tour of the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. The most impressive aspect of this tour is the seamless integration of video on top of Street View's 360 degree panoramic imagery.

If you select the Street View of the hotel's lobby you can view the Cascade Waterfall in action. There are three buttons beneath the waterfall which actually allow you to view the waterfall's different fountain shows in video on top of Street View. Select one of the numbers and you can view the selected video of the fountain on top of the Street View image.

The other Street View project released this week involves panoramic imagery of the world's largest model railway, Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany.

To capture panoramic imagery of this miniature world Google worked with Ubilabs to build minuscule Street View cameras mounted on tiny vehicles. You can explore this new miniature Street View project on Google Maps. However the best place to view these new tiny Street View scenes is on this dedicated Miniatur Wunderland Street View website.


This week I also really liked the NYC Felonies Map, in which the New York skyline is dominated by a series of skyscrapers of crime.

The NYC Felonies Map shows the rates of the seven major felonies for each city block in New York City. The felonies are shown at the midpoint of each street segment by stacking map markers for each felony. The taller the stack the more the crime. Zoom in on the map to view each stack in more detail.


In the 1980's movie WarGames a high school student hacks into a supercomputer and nearly starts a full scale global nuclear war. The computer is called the War Operation Plan Response and in the film NORAD have a huge wall-sized dashboard to interface with the computer.

Alan Walker, Jeffrey Shaffer, Anya A'Hearn and Chris DeMartini have collaborated to recreate the War Operations Plan Response dashboard, complete with a faithful rendering of the WarGames map (animated nuclear weapons et al). You can read more about how they managed to recreate the WOPR dashboard in Tableau in this Re-creating WarGames with Tableau and Mapbox blog post.

You can also view the U.S. WOPR dashboard and Russia's own version of a super military computer. The map used in both of these WarGames dashboards was created by Anya A’Hearn in Mapbox Studio. You can view the WarGames Map full-screen here. You can also check out the WarGames map with a polar projection.
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