Sunday, July 03, 2016

Maps of the Week


This year is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the largest battle of World War I on the Western Front. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 and more than a million men were wounded or killed.

The Living Legacies Engagement Centre at Queen's University Belfast has released a story map of the battle, looking in particular at the key events involving the Irish Raised Divisions (36th Ulster & 16th Irish). 4dSomme uses the Esri Story Map library to explore the history of the battle, the importance of field-surveyors & cartographers to the battle and the key events involving the Irish Raised Divisions.

This story map makes great use of modern 3d aerial maps of the River Somme overlaid with vintage military maps to plot the advances and retreats of the Irish Raised Divisions during the battle. Vintage photographs and Google Street View imagery are also used throughout to illustrate some of the important locations in the battle.

The final interactive map in 4dSomme allows you to view a number of the vintage military maps overlaid on top of a 3d map of the region. This map also allows you to overlay the changing positions of the British and German front lines on top of the vintage military maps.


Back in January Emy Analytics released the Building Heights in London map. They have now released a new interactive map which incredibly shows the heights of nearly all buildings in England.

Building Heights in England uses data from the Environment Agency's open LIDAR data to color building footprints in all of England by the height of each building. You can use the map's search function to zoom the map to any location in the country. You can then click on any building on the map to find out its exact height and its area size.

The Building Heights in England map also provides a statistical breakdown of building height data for England's top 25 urban areas. If you select one of these urban areas from the map menu you can view information in the map sidebar on the number of buildings in the area, the density of buildings and a histogram which shows a breakdown of all buildings in the area by height.


Esri has released a great cascading Story Map exploring the achievements of the geographer, naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. In Alexander von Humboldt's Whole Earth Vision Esri uses vintage maps, 3d maps and historical images to help explain the scope and importance of Humboldt's discoveries in South America.

The story map looks in particular at Humboldt's attempt to climb Ecuador's Chimborazo Mountain and his exploration of the Orinoco River. As you progress through the story map Humboldt's achievements, observations and contributions to science are illustrated with historical maps from the David Rumsey Collection, Humboldt's own diagrams and Esri's interactive maps.

The Esri story map of Humboldt's Whole Earth Vision concludes with a final section which explores the legacy of Humboldt's work and his influence on other scientists, writers and statesmen.
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