Monday, August 20, 2018

Germany's Plans to Invade Britain

Germany's invasion map of Newcastle - Library of Congress

The German plan for invading Britain in World War II was code-named Operation Sea Lion. Although both Germany and Britain believed that an invasion was unlikely to succeed it didn't stop both sides from planning for a German invasion of Britain. In Germany the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Nazi German Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) ordered that a series of military and geographical assessments be carried out in preparation for an invasion of Britain.

These assessments consisted of photographs, drawings and maps of British towns and military & strategic targets. In order to prepare troops for the invasion of Britain a series of maps of the country were drawn up, identifying strategic locations, and military targets. Published in 11 A4 sized folders these invasion plans included 144 maps of British towns and cities and over 1,500 photographs of key military targets.

The maps and photos in these invasion plans highlighted locations which would be important for troop movements, such as airports, railways, docks and bridges. They included strategically important sites, like hospitals, airfields and radio stations. They also identified important infrastructure and industrial sites, for example waterworks and power plants.

The German invasion plans also included photographs of key strategic targets in each town. 
Neue Strassenbrucke uber den Tyne in Newcastle upon Tyne - Library of Congress

The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has interactive copies of the German invasion maps of Britain. These include both the maps and the photographs identifying Germany's military and strategic targets for the invasion. If you want to find the German invasion map of your town then expand the 'where' section in the sidebar to view an alphabetized list of links to the town maps.

The invasion maps were copies of Ordnance Survey maps on which the strategic and military targets were highlighted. A simple color-code was used when highlighting these targets. For example, bridges are highlighted in black. Railway and goods yards are highlighted in red. Purple is used to show industrial sites, such as waterworks and power plants.

As the German maps were merely copies of Ordnance Survey maps they would presumably not show many of the country's secret locations. Secret and classified buildings like military locations and barracks were often omitted from Ordnance Survey maps at the direction of the British government. This is presumably why during the cold war the Russian's created their own maps.

During the cold war the Soviet Union created detailed maps for thousands of cities around the world. We don't know exactly how the Russian military completed their detailed maps of the west. Presumably they also used freely available maps as the basis for their maps. However the Russian maps often contain military sites left off of western maps (for military secrecy), therefore they must have been based to some extent on knowledge gained from spying and espionage.

John Davies has written an interesting article on the Soviet military maps for the British Library. Soviet Military Mapping of the Cold War Era includes more information about the composition of the Soviet military maps, the cities mapped and more informed speculation on how the maps were made.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Ethnic Dot Map of Estonia

The Ethnic Dot Map of Estonia is an interactive map which shows where different ethnic groups are living in Estonia. The map contains 1.29 million dots, each dot representing a different Estonian. The map was created using data from the 2011 census. On the map the blue dots show Estonians, the red dots represent Russians and the green dots are for other ethnic groups. Purple dots show people of an unknown ethnic background.

The map does not show where individual people live. The number of people in each ethnic group is randomly placed in buildings in each census area. This gives an approximation of the numbers of the different ethnic groups in each census block not the geographical distribution of ethnic groups within census areas. The buildings are also not necessarily residential. Therefore it may appear as if people are living in your local schools, hospitals or factories.

Although the map doesn't reveal the geographical distribution of Estonian or Russian ethnic groups within individual census blocks it does provide an overview of their distribution at the town or city level. If you zoom out on the map you can clearly identify neighborhoods and areas where Russian immigrants live in large numbers.

Other Dot Maps

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Streetcars of San Francisco

The wonderful Where the Streetcars Used to Go now includes an interactive map of the historical streetcar network in the East Bay. Where the Streetcars Used to go is a fascinating map visualizing the San Francisco streetcar transit network as it existed in 1941 & 1956 and as it exists today. It now includes the tram lines that were once operated by the Key System company in Berkeley and Oakland.

If you like streetcars then it is a bit depressing switching between the Oakland streetcar network maps of 1941 and 2020. However you can cheer yourself up a little by browsing through the vintage photos of the old streetcars of San Francisco and the East Bay. You can actually filter these wonderful photos of San Francisco's historical streetcars by the different streetcar routes. If you click on a streetcar route on the map the photos, running along the bottom of the map, are filtered to only show photos taken along the chosen line. The name of the selected route is also displayed on the map alongside the dates when the route was operational.

You can cheer yourself up even further by exploring the BC Electric Railway Map. This beautiful looking visualization maps how Vancouver's BC Electric Railway Company transit network looked in the early Twentieth Century. The map plots the historical interurban and streetcar lines of the network between 1890 to 1958.

The map also contains a few photos and Street Views of modern day Vancouver showing how some of the company's historical buildings and lines look today. To view this content click on the 'Introduction' button and then on the markers that appear on the map.

The Cartography Playground

The Cartography Playground is a new interactive website where you can learn about many different aspects of map design, principles and cartographic algorithms. At the moment the Cartography Playground includes components on Map Design, the Douglas-Peucker Algorithm, Contour Lines to Profile, Clustering Methods and Cartographic Generalization. It also includes a quiz where you can test how much you have learned by completing the other five sections.

Each section of the Cartography Playground provides a simple introduction to a different element of cartography. These explanations are accompanied by examples and illustrations. Each section also includes links to further reading on the covered topic.

Cartography Playground includes a number of interactive exercises designed to illustrate, reinforce or test the mapping principles explained in each section. For example, the Map Design section includes an interactive which allows you to change the colors of different map features. While the Cartographic Generalization section includes an interactive map which changes to illustrate the different methods of generalization that cartographers use when making maps.

When you have finished every section of the Cartography Playground you can test how much you have learnt by completing the Cartography Playground Quiz. This multiple-choice quiz tests you on the different aspects of cartography you have explored in the previous five sections.

If you are interested in good map design then you should also bookmark ColorBrewer. Cynthia Brewer's ColorBrewer is an online tool to help cartographers choose good color schemes for their maps. The tool helps you to think about the type of data you are visualizing and the appropriate color scheme to use for visualizing that data.

The tool includes three types of color scheme, sequential, diverging and qualitative. You simply need to choose which scheme best fits your data, choose the number of classes in your data and then choose a multi-hue or single color palette range. As you make your design decisions you can automatically see the scheme being applied to a sample map.

When making your choice of color scheme it is worth reading the advice provided (using the information button) about when to use a sequential, diverging or qualitative color scheme with your data.

Carto has also provided a short explanation of when to used sequential, diverging, or qualitative data. color schemes. It has also provided a number of color schemes to use with each. You can view the palettes for Carto's sequential color schemes, diverging color schemes and qualitative color schemes at CartoColors.

Mapping Raptor Persecution

Birds of prey in the UK all share a common enemy - the human race. Every week the RSPB receive reports of raptors being shot, trapped or poisoned. Many other incidents go unreported. This is why the RSPB has decided to release a centralized hub to monitor and track raptor persecution in the UK.

The Raptor Persecution Hub provides an overview of the illegal treatment of birds of prey in the UK. The hub consists of an interactive map of historical data on raptor persecution going back to 2012. An interactive map visualizes the attacks geographically. The map can be filtered to show the incidents of raptor persecution by date, incident type, county and country.

The Raptor Persecution Hub includes a heat-map view of attacks on birds of prey. If you switch to the heat-map view (using the buttons under the map) you can clearly see where most attacks have been reported. The locations with the most raptor incidents are shown in black and red. This heat-map view shows that upland areas in North Yorkshire, the Scottish borders and Aberdeenshire are hot-spots for attacks on birds of prey. The RSPB believe that this is direct result of the persecution of birds of prey on land managed for grouse shooting.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mapping the Homeless of LA

In January 2015 the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority carried out a survey of the homeless in Los Angeles County. The survey estimated that there were 44,359 homeless living in the county. Using the data from the count the Los Angeles Times created a dot map to visualize the distribution of homeless people throughout the county.

Each dot on the Where are L.A. County’s Homeless? map represents one homeless person or a makeshift shelter or vehicle occupied by the homeless. The dots do not represent the exact location of homeless people recorded in the survey but were randomized throughout each census tract. If you select a census tract on the map you can view a breakdown of the number of homeless counted in the neighborhood at the end of 2014.

In the latest point-in-time count, carried out in 2017, there were more than 57,000 men, women, and children estimated homeless in Los Angeles County. Esri has used the data from the count and other publicly available data to explore how GIS can be used to combat homelessness in the county.

In Combating Homelessness in Los Angeles County Esri has created a number of mapped visualizations which show the distribution and characteristics of the homeless population in L.A. County. The story map continues by showing how GIS can be used to identify priority areas to target resources for the homeless.

The Combating Homelessness map makes a lot of use of the L.A. point-in-time count. These counts are required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and are conducted every one or two years across the US. You can use Esri's story map as a template for creating a map visualizing the homeless problem in your own area and to identify priority locations to target resources.

Making Vintage Panoramic Maps

The Buffalo News has created a nice interactive map from an 1880 panoramic map of Buffalo, created by E.H. Hutchinson. The Buffalo News interactive version of the map allows you to zoom-in and explore this vintage oblique view of the city in close detail.

The map includes a number of map markers which provide information about some of the landmarks shown on the map and some historical photos of the same landmarks. Each of these information windows also includes a link to a Buffalo News article on the selected location, from the newspaper's weekly series on how the city has changed over the last 138 years.

From 1880 to Today is a Leaflet.js version of a panoramic map from the Library of Congress collection. The Library of Congress owns over 1,500 vintage panoramic maps of towns and cities across the United States. You can create your own interactive map from any of these Library of Congress panoramic maps using the IIIF manifest provided for each map and the Leaflet-IIIF plug-in for Leaflet.js.

Leaflet-IIIF is a simple to use plug-in for creating a Leaflet based browser for IIIF manifests or images shared using the IIIF Image API. Using this plug-in you can make interactive maps from tens of thousands of manuscripts, paintings and other images held by some of the best known global art galleries, museums and universities. And the Library of Congress.

I used the Leaflet-IIIF plug-in to create a Leaflet.js map of another vintage panoramic map from the Library of Congress. This Sherbrooke Panoramic Map shows a 1881 panoramic map of the southern Quebec city. I worked out the latitude and longitude of individual buildings on the map by using the Leaflet-Hash plug-in to create a dynamic URL for the map with the latitude and longitude shown in the URL for what ever is at the center of the map.

You can also create a simple interactive map from any of the Library of Congress vintage panoramic maps using the antirubbersheeter tool. Antirubbersheeter is a new web service which can help you create a Leaflet.js map of any image, with its own co-ordinate system. The problem with using an IIIF manifest as your background map is that you then need to work out how to geocode points on your map if you want to add markers. Antirubbersheeter does all this for you by creating a unique co-ordinate system for your uploaded image.

This means that you can easily use Leaflet.js to make interactive maps from vintage maps, fantasy maps, game world maps or from any image that you want to use. It is really easy to use Antirubbersheeter. Just upload your image. Add a list of places you want to geocode on your image. Antirubbersheeter then allows you to simply click on your image to geocode the list of places where you want to add markers.

When you've finished added locations to your image Antirubbersheeter outputs the JSON of your geocoded locations, providing you with the co-ordinates for each of the places you want to mark on your very own Leaflet.js map.

Antirubbersheeter includes a demo map which you can view to see how this all works in practice. I've also created a slightly simpler demo map which you might find a little easier to work from.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Key Seats in the Midterm Elections

The New York Times has mapped 62 key House seats which could go either way in this year's midterm elections. The Democratic Party must win at least 23 Republican held seats to win the House in November. To take control of the House the Democratic Party or the Republican Party must reach the 218 seats needed for a House majority

In Tracking the House Races to Watch in the 2018 Midterm Elections the NYT has mapped out the 62 key House seats which could win the House for either party. These are the seats which according to the Cook Political Report are likely to be the closest races. The seats are colored on the map by who is likely to win the seat based on the latest analysis from the Cook Political Report. The yellow seats are the seat which are currently the hardest to call. The red and blue colored seats are the competitive seats which could be won by either the Republican Party or Democratic Party respectively (based on the analysis of the Cook Political Report).

According to the Cook Report the Democratic Party has a total of 192 solid and likely to win seats. The Republican Party currently has 205 solid and likely to win seats. It says that there are 38 seats where either party has a good chance of winning.

Exploring Stonehenge's Prehistoric Neighbors

Stonehenge is one of the most iconic prehistoric monuments in the world. Every year it is visited by over 1.5 million people. I wonder how many of those visitors visit any of the other 300 odd Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows that are within walking distance of Stonehenge.

One way to appreciate the astonishing prehistoric landscape around Stonehenge is by exploring the Stonehenge Barrow Map. This Google Map shows the location of prehistoric barrows in the vicinity of Stonehenge. While it might not be the same as visiting the barrows in person the Google Maps aerial view does give a unique perspective on these prehistoric sites and reveals some features that aren't always apparent on the ground.

The barrow markers on the map are color-coded by how they are grouped by Richard Colt Hoare in his 'The Ancient History of Wiltshire'. The map also has a search facility which allows you to search for barrows by name and by other criteria, such as what artifacts were found in them. You can find out more about individual barrows by clicking on its marker on the map. This will open an information window containing descriptions from 19th-century and modern-day researchers. It also includes links to relevant research & websites and to photographs of the artifacts discovered in the selected barrow.

Historic England's 2002 National Mapping Project of Stonehenge added another 539 important archaeological sites around Stonehenge. About thirty percent of the newly discovered sites were prehistoric or Roman in date. These included ring ditches, field systems, round barrows and enclosures of various forms dating from prehistory.

You can now explore and download research reports from the Stonehenge NMP for 46 of the most important new historic sites discovered around Stonehenge, The Stonehenge World Heritage Site Landscape Map allows you to view aerial imagery of these 46 NMP listed sites, learn more about each site and download each site's report.

All 46 sites can be navigated to from the map sidebar or by clicking on the numbered markers on the map. When you select a site from the sidebar or map, the map zooms to show the listed site and information for the site is displayed in the map side panel. A link to download the individual site's NMP report is also provided in the map side panel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Saving Half the Planet

The biologist Edward O. Wilson argues that if we conserve half the Earth’s land & sea we will be able to save most of the planet's biodiversity from extinction. His proposal is a simple to understand concept which, if implemented, could save life on planet Earth. The Half-Earth Project was born out of Wilson's proposal to ensure that Earth's biodiversity is saved by protecting half all the planet's land and sea.

In order to better understand how to protect life on our planet the Half-Earth Project has begun to map out the rich biodiversity of life across the globe. They have released an interactive 3D globe which provides a heat-map view of biodiversity across the planet's land. The map provides a guide as to the areas with the richest biodiversity and therefore the areas which are most important to protect from further human development.

You can explore the biodiversity of life on Earth in more detail by scrolling through the map sidebar. This sidebar provides more information about the biodiversity of our planet. It includes a number of highlighted words and phrases which can be selected to view different aspects of biodiversity on the interactive map. It also allows you to view biodiversity richness maps for individual species and the natural areas of the planet that are already protected.

The American Murder Rate Map

A new interactive map allows you to explore trends in violent crimes in America's biggest cities. The map, created by a team of social scientists at New York University, allows you to view the murder rates in cities across the USA.

At launch American Violence consists of an interactive map visualizing the murder rates in 84 of the largest U.S. cities. Going forward the map will also show neighborhood-level figures on violent crime in the largest U.S. cities (with available data). The murder rates shown on the map will be updated monthly to provide up-to-date information on violent crime. The data is from the F.B.I.'s Uniform Crime Reports, city police departments and other vetted sources.

The initial map view uses scaled map markers to show the last year's murder rate in each of the featured cities. A drop-down menu at the top of the map allows you to view the murder rates for longer periods or to view the murder rate for the last month. Another drop-down menu also allows you to view trends in city murder rates, visualizing which cities have falling or rising rates of homicide.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Fracking in California

California's Getting Fracked is a story map created by Faces of Fracking to illustrate the impacts of fracking in California. The map takes you on a tour through some of the state's most high-intensity fracking sites responsible for some of the most serious environmental and health concerns.

As you scroll through the story the locations of oil & gas wells in the LA Basin are added to a background map. As you continue scrolling the oil & gas well markers on the map are re-scaled to show the number of pounds of toxins that each well has released. California's Getting Fracked also looks at the number of high–intensity production wells across the whole of California. Both the LA Basin and state maps include a layer showing the groundwater aquifer.

You can read more about the methodology used in creating the map and the data sources used on the Faces of Fracking website.

3D Models in Mapbox GL

Andrew Harvey has created an impressive demonstration overlaying a 3D model on top of a Mapbox GL map. His Add a 3D Model to a Mapbox GL JS Map places a 3D model of a radio telescope on top of an interactive map.

Adding a 3D model to a Mapbox GL map allows the user to view the model from lots of different angles. If you right-click on the map you can rotate around the model and adjust the angle of view. While Andrew hasn't done it with his demo, you could also use the Flyto method in Mapbox GL to animate around or zoom in and out on the model on the map.

The 3D model in Andrew's map uses the glTF file format for 3D scenes and models. This is a well used format and there are plenty of freely available glTF files of 3D models on the internet. If you want to experiment with adding other 3D models to Mapbox GL then you are spoiled for choice of ready made 3D objects (for example try Sketchfab).

You can also use glTF 3D models with the Cesium WebGL 3d globe engine. To get started you should check out the Cesium 3D Models tutorial. Or, if you want to jump straight to a working 3D globe with 3D model, have a look at the 3D models sandcastle.

For the 3D models tutorial Cesium created a number of 3D models, including a plane, a milktruck and a hot-air balloon. If you wanted you could try overlaying these on a Mapbox GL interactive map.

The UK's Secret Photogenic Hot-Spots

If you want to increase the number of your followers on Instagram then you could start by posting some stunning photographs of beautiful locations that nobody else has heard of. Luckily for UK photographers the Carphone Warehouse has created an interactive map of some of the UK's most stunning but little known locations. It has identified locations in cities across the country that are both extremely photogenic and under-photographed.

In London the Off the Beaten Snap interactive map ignores well known and over-snapped locations such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in favor of locations such as the beautiful Neasden Hindu Temple and the ruins of the church St Dunstan-in-the-East. The map has similar off-beat locations in cities across the UK, where you can capture some beautiful snaps of buildings and places which are unfamiliar to even many of the locals living near-by.

If you are more interested in taking photographs of the most snapped locations around the world then you need Sightsmap. This interactive map provides a fascinating insight into the most photographed locations around the world.

Sightsmap is an interactive map which shows where photographs have been submitted to Panoramio. It provides a heat map based solely on the number of available Panoramio photos for any area. The dark and the blue areas on the map represent areas where fewer photos have been submitted, the red areas show where more photos have been taken and the yellow areas show the most photographed locations.

You can click anywhere on the Sightsmap map to reveal the location and to see an example photo (where available) which has been submitted to Panoramio at that location.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

How Big is the Mendocino Complex Fire?

The Mendocino Complex Fire has now become the largest fire in California's history. This has led to an outbreak of mapped visualizations of the fire. Some of these maps have attempted to visualize the size of the fire and how it compares to previous Californian fires.

The Guardian's report on the fire includes an animated map which shows how the fire has spread since it started on 27 July. How the Mendocino Complex fire became the largest in California history also includes a static map which overlays the area of New York City on top of an aerial view of the fire. The Guardian report on the fire ends with a timeline of Californian fires showing the relative size of each fire.

You can also see how the Mendocino Complex fire compares in size to previous California fires on an interactive map created by Mercury News. Their California’s Biggest Fires article includes a Google My Map which overlays the footprint of California's 10 biggest fires on top of a map of the Bay Area.

The New York Times has also released a visualization of the largest Californian fires. In Three of California’s Biggest Fires Ever Are Burning Right Now the NYT shows the footprints of the 29 largest wildfires in California's history in order of the size of the fires.

Three fires burning right now in California are in the top 28 of the state's largest fires. This small multiples visualization shows this year's fires in red, while the footprints of fires from previous years are shown in yellow. Later in the NYT's story the footprints on the three active fires are also shown on top of a static map of California.

NBC Philadelphia has created an interactive map which actually allows you to compare the size of the fire to any location. The See How Big the Mendocino Complex Fire Would Be in Your City map allows you to view the shape of the fire on top of any city. Use the search function or pan the map to see how the fire compares to your location.

The NBC map was made with the Leaflet.js mapping library. The Turf.js geospatial analysis library was used in order to rescale the fire shape depending on the degree of latitude of the current map view (to compensate for the distortions of the Web Mercator map projection).

Friday, August 10, 2018

Explaining Droughts in Taiwan

It rains quite a lot in Taiwan. However despite all that precipitation the country also often suffers from water shortages. One reason for these water shortages is illegal land use in reservoir catchment areas. CommonWealth Magazine has created a wonderful story map to visualize how such illegal land use around the Shihmen Reservoir has led to a huge silt build-up in the reservoir, severely restricting its capacity to store water.

Taiwan - The Water Starved Island is a cleverly designed story map which takes you on a journey along the Shihman Resevoir catchment area. To explore the story map use your mouse's scrollwheel. This will navigate you along the valleys of the catchment area and lead you to each of the highlighted examples of illegal land use (you can also just click on the map markers in the small inset map).

When you reach one of the mapped examples of illegal land use an inset close-up will appear of the featured location. If you click on this circle you can read all about the illegal land use at this location which is contributing to the reduced capacity of the reservoir.

The map was created using Leaflet.js using imagery from DigitalGlobe. You can read more about how the map was put together at Behind the Digital Newsroom.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Mapping American Anti-Semitism

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish non-profit organization, has released an interactive map documenting over 3,000 incidents of extremism or anti-Semitism in the United States in 2017 and 2018. Their new H.E.A.T. Map shows the locations of incidents of extremism, anti-Semitism and terrorism across the whole country.

Incidents on the map are color-coded by the type of incident. If you hover over a marker on the map a pop-up window reveals the number and types of incident reported at that location. If you click on a marker the details of all the separate incidents are shown under the map.

The ADL says that the data on the map comes from a large number of different sources. These include "news and media reports, government documents (including police reports), victim reports, extremist-related sources, Center on Extremism investigations and more".

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the overall rise of hate groups is a direct result of the 'incendiary rhetoric' used by Donald Trump. Last year, in its annual census of extremist groups the SPLC said that "Trump’s run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country".

The SPLC's interactive Hate Map tracks the growing number of hate groups operating in the United States. The map uses colored markers to indicate the category of each hate group shown on the map. If you select a marker on the map you can click-through to learn more about what this type of hate group believes and how they operate.

Avoid the Sun Walking Directions

If even the mere thought of walking in the midday sun gives you sweaty palms then you need the new Parasol walking directions map. Parasol is a routing engine for Boston which can give you walking directions between any two points in the city, optimized for walking in the shade. If you love the sun then don't worry. Parasol isn't just for those looking for shade, it can also be used to find you a route that avoids the shade and maximizes your time in the sun.

Using Parasol you can ask for walking directions in Boston and get directions based on how much sun or shade you prefer. You just need to enter two locations into the map, adjust a slide control to enter the level of sun/shade you require and enter the time of day when you will be walking. Parasol will then show you your route based on the level of sun/shade that you requested.

Parasol uses lidar data to work out the location and the height of buildings and trees and other objects that provide shade in Boston. It then uses that data to calculate the position of the shadows cast by those objects depending on the position of the sun. A cost function that incorporates the level of sun/shade is then calculated and the shortest path between two points is mapped out given this custom cost. You can learn more about how this is implemented and what tools were used in the author's blog post on Parasol.

Removing Pollution with Vegetation?

Around 1.4 billion kg of air pollutants are removed by woodlands, plants, grasslands and other vegetation each year in the UK. The amount of air pollution removed from the air where you live is dependent on the amount of local vegetation.

The UK's Office for National Statistics has created an interactive map which allows you to see how much air pollution in your area is absorbed by local vegetation. The map also calculates the amount that this saves in health care costs. If you enter a postcode into the Pollution Removed by Vegetation map you can find out how many kilograms of air pollution was removed by vegetation and how much was saved in health care costs per person by the local vegetation.

Four of the five regions with the least amount of pollution removed by vegetation are in London. The other one is Blackpool. Three out of the five regions where the most pollution is removed by vegetation are in Kent. The other two regions are East Sussex and Breckland & South Norfolk.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Population Density of the USA in 3D has created a series of interactive maps to explore the population of the United States and how that population has changed over time. These maps visualize the population density of the United States today and how the population center of the country has shifted during its short history.

3D Population Density of the US is an interactive map which shows the population density of every U.S. county. On this map each county's height is proportional to the number of people per square mile. The map also allows you to view a more refined picture of population density in individual cities by visualizing 2,000 of the largest cities at the individual block level. The data for the map comes from the 2010 census.

The US Population Over Time is an animated map showing the population in counties over time since 1790. The map shows how the population of the country spread westwards as the United States was settled.The map uses data of historic county populations from each census from 1790 to 2010. Beneath the animated map a number of static maps visualize specific major migrations, showing how different parts of the United States were settled.

In Urban Nation: The Rise of the American City an animated map shows the historic population of America's cities since 1790. The map visualizes how the populations of American cities have grown (and shrunk) over time.  Under this animated map is a series of static maps looking more closely at the differences in the urban, city and rural populations in the USA.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Extreme Heat Forecast Map

About two hours after posting yesterday's Map Mania post on extreme heat maps I discovered that the National Weather Service actually has an interactive map which forecasts potential heat risks for the next seven days. This new weather forecast map provides a quick overview of the potential heat risk for the upcoming week.

The NWS HeatRisk map uses a simple color scale to show the forecast of heat risk. Locations colored magenta on the map are where there is a 'Very High Risk' for the entire population due to a forecast of a long duration heat, with little to no relief overnight. Red indicate locations where there is a 'High Risk' for much of the population, especially for those who are heat sensitive and those without effective cooling and/or adequate hydration. Orange and yellow areas have a moderate and low risk respectively, while areas colored green have no elevated risk of extreme heat.

A simple day picker allows you to view the HeatRisk forecast for a specific day of the week. If you click on the map you can get a quick overview of the HeatRisk forecast for the next seven days at that location. This includes the maximum and minimum temperature for each day.

How far can you travel on a Dublin bus?

Dublin is currently planning a major overhaul of its bus network. This will involve a more efficient network which connects more locations and which will carry more passengers. Of course the new network also carries the danger of upsetting existing customers, who are familiar with the current routes and services.

What better way to show the benefits of the new Dublin bus network than with an isochone travel time map? This map shows how far you can travel in 30 minutes using the current bus routes and how far you will be able to travel using the new proposed BusConnects routes. Enter a location into the Dublin's Proposed New Bus Network interactive map and you can see two isochrone overlays. One showing how far you could travel using the old routes and the other visualizing how far you can travel in 30 minutes using the new routes.

The isochrone layers are calculated based on how far you could travel assuming bus, rail and tram frequencies between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM on weekdays. The calculated travel times include the walking, waiting and time on public transport. The waiting time is given as half the time between scheduled buses. For example, if a bus comes every 20 minutes the waiting time is calculated as 10 minutes.

As well as knowing how much further you can travel in 30 minutes using the new BusConnects network customers will also need to know where the new routes go. Therefore the Dublin's Proposed New Bus Network interactive map also shows all the new proposed bus routes. If you hover a route on the map you can view the bus frequency (how often buses will run on that route).

Monday, August 06, 2018

Extreme Heat Kills

Extreme heat is a killer and this summer has yet again been a season of extreme temperatures. From 1975 to 2004 an estimated extra 1,300 deaths occurred annually, on average, during periods of extreme summer heat. This is a figure that is likely to significantly rise as we experience more and more days of extreme heat.

Last year the New York Times created an animated map to show how extreme heat will spread around the globe during the rest of this century. In How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across the World the NYT has used data from the Climate Impact Lab to shows how 95-degree days (35 degrees Celsius) are expected to multiply this century in countries across the globe.

The NYT's map is based on the world taking moderate action against global warming. Of course if we fail to take action the number of extreme heat days is likely to rise even higher.

The Natural Resources Defense Council has released an interactive map, Extreme Heat, which shows the number of days of extreme heat each year in each U.S. county. Two-thirds of the population are now experiencing many more frequent days of extreme heat than they were just a few decades ago. If you select a state on the NRDC map you can view the number of days of extreme heat each summer and the number of heat related deaths reported in the state in 2005.

The data shown in the map covers the 10 years from 2007 to 2016. So it doesn't even take into account the last two years of record temperatures.

It isn't only Americans who are experiencing more and more days of extreme heat. In 2003 in Europe 70,000 people died during an extreme heatwave. As global warming increases countries around the world are likely to experience many more periods of life threatening extreme heat. By the year 2100 it is estimated that 74% of the world's population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves.

The University of Hawaii has released an interactive map which predicts the number of deadly days we can expect from extreme heat around the world for each year up to 2100. Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days provides a timeline control which allows you to select any year from 1950-2100. The blue dots on the map show historic extreme heat events that have occurred around the world before 2014.

If you click on the map you can view two charts for the selected location. One chart visualizes the number of yearly deadly days over time and the other shows the humidity vs. temperature for the current year.

How far can you get in 30 minutes?

Oalley is an interactive map that can tell you how far you can travel within a given time. For example it can visualize on a map everywhere that you can travel to in 30 minutes by car, train or bike (France only) from your current location.

If you enter a location into Oalley, a method of transport and a period of time you can view an isochrone map showing how far you can travel in that time using that mode of transport. The isochrone layer is determined using a number of criteria, including road speed limits, timetables for public transport and the availability of cycle paths, etc.

One neat feature of Oalley is that you can add more than one location to the map. This means that you can view travel time layers for two or more different locations and see where those travel times intersect. So, for example, you could enter a ten minute travel time for your location and for a friend's location and see if there are any locations which are within ten minutes travel of both of you. Alternatively, if you are house hunting, you could enter your work location and the locations of your children's schools to see all the areas which are within a 30 minute drive of both work and schools.

You can see other examples of travel time maps using the isochrone label.

The Street Names of Paris

Le Figaro has been researching the history of street names in Paris. In particular it has examined how many Parisian roads were named for people and which historical periods those people are from. It then colored those roads on a map of Paris to show which historical period is most commemorated in Paris' roads.

In What Paris Street Names Reveal the newspaper says that a total of 2,500 streets in Paris are named for people. Only 15% of these roads are named for people born before 1700. One reason for this is that after the French revolution street names referring to the monarchy or Catholicism were banned. 1700-1850 is the most represented period in French history in the street names of Paris. 56% of streets in Paris named for people are named after figures from this historical period.

Le Figaro discovered that political figures were most likely to be commemorated by having a Paris street named for them. The next most commemorated group are writers, followed by military leaders.

A few years ago Strassenkrieg mapped out all the roads in Berlin named for battles, important military leaders or German army regiments. On this map all the military connected roads are highlighted on the map with colored lines. The colors of the streets indicate the historical period associated with the road's name, e.g. Prussian, the Weimar Republic, National Socialism or post-WWII.

In January of this year Zeit Online released a fascinating analysis of the most popular German street names. They then extended their examination to explore what the names given to roads reveal about the past and how German attitudes have changed over the centuries. In Streetscapes: Mozart, Marx and a Dictator Zeit Online explores how there is a distinct east-west split to many German street names, which owes a lot to the differing politics of the former East and West Germany, before reunification.

The History of San Francisco Place Names was the original place name etymological map. The History of San Francisco Place Names is a fascinating insight into the history of the names behind the California city's landmarks and streets. Click on any of the streets or landmarks, marked in blue on the map, and you can find out who it was named for or where the name originally came from.

Street Names in Vienna visualizes all the streets named for men and women in the Austrian capital. On the map streets named for men are colored blue and streets named for women are colored red. You can click on the individual streets to learn a little more about each individual memorialized in Vienna's street names.

It isn't only in Vienna where a patriarchal view of the world is reflected in the names of the streets. Mapbox has analysed the number of street names named after men and women throughout the world and determined that far more streets are named for men than women. According to Mapping Female versus Male Street Names if you add up all the streets in Bengaluru, Chennai, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, and San Francisco only 27.5% are named after women.

Geochicas have also been investigating the under-representation of women in street names. They have looked at a number of Latin American and Spanish cities to explore the number of streets named for men compared to the number of streets named for women. Las Calles de las Mujeres is an interactive map which shows all streets named for men and women in Asuncion, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cochabamba, Lima and Montevideo.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

The Shark Tracking Map

You can now explore the movements of 45 sharks off the east coast of America on Oceana's interactive Global Fishing Watch map. Millions of sharks are caught and killed every year by fishing boats. By overlaying the shark tracks on top of the Global Fishing Watch map users can view where these sharks have intersected with nearby commercial fishing vessels.

Global Fishing Watch aims to help monitor global fishing and protect fish stocks around the world which are threatened by over-fishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction. The Global Fishing Watch interactive map tracks over 35,000 commercial fishing vessels around the world in near real-time. It also includes historical data on fishing vessel activity from January 1, 2012 until the present day. The near real-time activity and the historical data will hopefully deter illegal fishing and allow fishing managers to understand and manage fishing activity in their waters.

The newly added shark tracks can be viewed by turning on the 'Shark Tracking' layer in the 'Active Layers' menu. The shark tracks are shown in yellow on the interactive map. If you click on one of the yellow tracks on the map you can learn more about the selected individual shark being tracked. This information includes the species of shark, its sex and its length.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Mapping the Global Refugee Crisis

Refugee Flow uses an interactive 3d globe to visualize the current migration crisis across the world. The site uses a number of different datasets and interactive visualizations to explore different aspects of the crisis that force millions of people to flee from their homes.

Refugee Crisis is divided into two main sections; Armed Conflicts and Migration Routes. The Armed Conflicts section visualizes the number of fatalities from conflicts around the world in order to better explain the conditions that force people to leave their homes. If you select any of the fatality markers on the map you can read more about the selected armed conflict and the number of fatalities involved.

The Migration Routes section maps out a number of migration routes around the world. If you select one of the migration routes you can view an overview of the route and why it has been used. An interactive map shows the locations and cause of migrant deaths experienced by refugees on the selected route.

The data used in Refugee Flow comes from a number of different sources. The conflict data used in the visualization comes from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The Asylum application data  comes from the UNHCR database. The migratory routes come from the IOM missing migrant database and the illegal border crossing data is sourced from the Frontrex database.

Refugee Flow was built using d3.js, WebGL, React and mode.js.

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Fans of Danish bacon won't be surprised to learn that there are a lot of pigs in Denmark. Although they might not be aware that pigs in Europe are also heavily concentrated in northern Belgium and the Netherlands. Fans of pizza and buffalo mozzarella might be interested to learn that European buffaloes live almost exclusively in southern Italy.

I learnt all this from Maarten Lambrechts Herds of Europe. The Herds of Europe is a series of fascinating population bubble grid maps showing the geographical distribution of farm animals in Europe. His series of static maps shows the European distribution of cows, pigs, sheep, goats and buffaloes.

Each of the maps was created in R (the R Project for Statistical Computing) and the R code for the maps is listed below the maps on Maarten's blog post.

UK Marine Traffic

The tracks of fishing boats off the coast of Cornwall

One of my favorite real-time vehicle tracking maps is Marine Traffic, which shows the live positions and tracks of boats around the world. It is always fascinating to explore the major shipping lanes in and around coastal waters that emerge on Marine Traffic. One thing that never occurred to me when using Marine Traffic is that different types of marine vessels obviously use different routes and engage in different types of marine journeys.

The different types of routes and journeys taken by different types of marine vessel can be seen in a new series of maps by Alasdair Rae. In Watching the Ships Go By Alasdair has created a series of static maps showing the vessel tracks of different types of vessel in the coastal waters around the UK. These include maps showing the different type of marine traffic and shipping routes taken by cargo ships, passenger ships, fishing boats, high speed craft, military vessels, tankers and recreational craft.

Each of these individual vessel maps is fascinating (and beautiful) in its own right. For example the fishing vessel map reveals not only where British waters are being fished but the ports around the UK which are still active centers for marine fishing.

Also See - an animated map visualizing the movements of the global merchant shipping fleet over the course of 2012.

Global Fishing Watch - tracks over 35,000 commercial fishing vessels around the world in near real-time in order to help monitor global fishing and protect fish stocks, which are threatened by over-fishing, illegal fishing and habitat destruction.

Billionaires on the Sea - Forbes's interactive map shows the journeys around the world taken by a number of super-yachts owned by the super-rich during 2017.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Where & When New York Eats

A new interactive map reveals where New Yorkers like to eat and what they like to eat when they get there. Bites of the Big Apple is an animated map which plays through one whole day of food related Instagram posts in the Big Apple. To make the map Crimson Hexagon identified the most popular food and drink hashtags used in New York during the 6th-12 May 2018 and where & when in the city those tags were posted.

In truth I don't think the map reveals anything particularly insightful about New York's eating habits. For example it will probably surprise no-one that the map shows a lot more people eating in new York restaurants at lunch-time than people eating at four in the morning.

However the map does have some nice touches. I particularly like the circular (clock) mask on the map which has an animated line rotating around it to show the currently displayed time on the map. I also like the block neighborhood inset map which allows users to quickly pan to different New York neighborhoods.

The map also includes a drop-down menu which allows you to filter the Instagram posts by type of food & drink. I guess there may be more insights to be had into New York's dining habits by looking at where & when individual foods or drinks are taken. For example where & when cocktails are being taken or where & when New Yorkers like to eat oatmeal.

If you are interested in the pulse of New York over the average day then you might also like the Manhattan Population Explorer. The Manhattan Population Explorer is a mapped visualization which allows you to explore how the population of Manhattan changes block by block for each hour of every day.

You might also enjoy Chris' NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life, a mapped visualization of the journey of one New York taxi over the course of 24 hours.

Mapping Bird Migration Routes

Tönn, a Greater Spotted Eagle, was born in Estonia in 2008. Every year Tönn flies south to his winter grounds in Spain. Usually in March-April he flies back to Estonia. You can explore the migratory route of Tönn and hundreds of other birds on the Birdmap.

The Birdmap is an interactive map which shows the tracks of Estonian birds that have been tagged with GPS trackers. You can select to view any individual bird or combination of birds from the map menu, where the birds are listed by name and species. The selected birds' current positions and tracks are then shown on the interactive map.

The map includes the option to animate the birds' tracks for the whole year. You can also select to view the routes taken in previous years from a drop-down menu. If you click on an individual bird's marker on the map you can see how far it has flown (up to the date selected). Where available you can also view photos of the selected bird.

Also See

Julie's Improbable Journey - an Esri Story Map tracing the 2,500 mile migration of a young osprey from her birthplace in southeast Michigan to Venezuela
Where Do They Go? - National Geographic map tracking the annual flight patterns of American bird species
Tracking Cuckoos to Africa ... And Back Again. tracking the migration of cuckoos between the UK and Africa
Other animal tracking maps featured on Maps Mania

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Melbourne in 1945

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the largest sports stadium in Australia and the tenth largest in the world. The MCG hasn't always been used for sports. During World War II the stadium was occupied in turn by the United States Army Air Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Marine Corps. Now you can view the stadium as it looked at the end of World War II on Melbourne 1945.

Melbourne 1945 is an interactive map which allows you to compare aerial views of Melbourne captured in 1945. The map allows you to make a direct comparison between the historical imagery and the city today by placing the vintage and modern day imagery side-by-side on a Leaflet map. The original aerial survey maps were put together by the Victorian Department of Lands and Survey using aerial photographs taken by Adastra Airways in 1945.