Sunday, November 13, 2016

Maps of the Fortnight


If you are looking for a little escapism at the end of this momentous week then how about undertaking a virtual hike along the Grand Canyon. Earlier this year Pete McBride and Kevin Fedarko walked 875 miles along the Grand Canyon. National Geographic has created a wonderful story map which allows you to follow this epic journey on a fantastic interactive map.

As you scroll through Hiking the Grand Canyon you get to follow the route of this 70 day hike on a gloriously rendered map of the journey. As you progress through the hike the map includes stunning video footage and photos that the two hikers captured on their expedition. Text overlays also keep you up to date with the trials and tribulations experienced on this epic adventure.

The map itself provides a beautiful oblique relief view of the National Park. The map even changes color as you progress through the story. Check out the wonderful rendering of snow as Pete and Kevin battle the elements on their wonderful adventure.


Another way to escape might be to step back in time and explore the streets of 1920's New York on Google Maps. The Fantastical Beasts Magical Map uses the power of Street View to transport you through space and time to a New York where Muggles and wizards stand on the brink of war.

Using the Fantastical Beast Magical Map you can explore a number of locations from the new Harry Potter prequel movie 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'. The movie is set in 1920's New York and the map allows you to step inside and view some of the movie's most important locations using Google's 360 degree panoramic imagery.

This isn't the first time that J.K. Rowling's magical world has appeared on Google Maps. Fans of Harry Potter can also explore Diagon Alley on Street View. If you use Google Maps to slip through the secret door in the Leaky Cauldron pub you will find yourself transported to Diagon Alley on Street View.


The Digital Elevation Model from Hell is an Esri relief map which shows areas of low elevation as they might appear if the gates to hell are thrown open. On this map the molten crevasses of the Underworld have consumed anyone who hasn't taken the higher ground.

If you scroll to the bottom of this Esri Story Map you can view the molten color gradient used to style this DEM. This molten color gradient is similar to an effect which you can duplicate with Mapbox Studio. Mapsmith has a nice tutorial which explains how you can create a map inspired by neon signs by overlaying different colored polylines on top of each other. You can view Mapsmith's completed Neon Map here.
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