Saturday, June 16, 2018

Who Moves Where in Europe?

In Europe citizens of countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are free to live, study, work and retire in any other EU or EFTA zone country. Swissinfo has been looking at the effect of free movement on the net migration rate in each of the countries in the EU & EFTA.

Which European countries attract the most immigrants? shows the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants in each country based on movement within the free movement area. Areas with a positive net migration rate (where more people are moving to) are colored blue on the map and areas & regions with a net migration rate (where people are leaving) are colored brown on the map.

As you might expect migrants within Europe tend to move to regions that have the strongest economies. Conversely the areas and regions where the most people move from tend to be areas with weaker economies.

This map is featured in Swissinfo's 'migration' series. This in-depth series explores the issues of migration around the world (particularly in how it effects Switzerland) and includes a number of maps and other data visualizations of global and European migration data.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday's Portrait of Earth

Japan's Himawari-8 satellite is in stationary orbit over New Guinea where it captures some truly amazing imagery of the Earth. Every day the satellite captures imagery of the western Pacific, Australia, and parts of Asia, Antarctica & Alaska.

Digital Typhoon's Weather Satellite Himawari Viewer is an easy way to explore the latest satellite images from Himawari and explore historical Earth images captured by the satellite. The viewer takes the latest satellite images of Earth captured by Himawari and displays them as an interactive Leaflet map. This allows you to zoom-in and pan around satellite images of the Earth which were actually captured earlier today.

You can also view time-lapse animations of the latest Himawari-8 satellite imagery, on Himawari-8 Real-time Web. Himawari-8 Real-time Web defaults to create and show animations of Himawari's latest satellite views of Earth. You can also use the calendar to view historical imagery and animations for any other date.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Atlanta Rap Map

According to the Syncopated Geography of Hip-Hop "the sounds of rap music in Atlanta have grown out of the blending of hard-core sounds from the West (Gangsta Rap and G-Funk), bass beats from Florida, and styles and images from the North". The sounds of rap music in Atlanta were also hugely inspired by the city of Atlanta itself.

The introduction to the Atlanta Rap Map says that the map explores "the symbiotic relationship between art and space". In essence, however, this is an interactive map showing Atlanta locations mentioned in the lyrics of Childish Gambino, Ludacris and OutKast.

The map provides a great resource for exploring the places that are important to each of the featured three rap acts. If you click on the categorized markers on this map you can read the lyrics that mention the location and the name of the Childish Gambino, Ludacris and OutKast song that mentions the place. The map really does show "the symbiotic relationship between art and space". In fact I think I can even tell where the three rap acts grew up in Atlanta purely from the clusters of the three different colored markers on the map.

The Pudding analyzed the lyrics of about 50,000 songs in order to discover the most common words used in Hip Hop. From this analysis they were then able to make an interactive map which groups Hip Hop artists by lyrical similarity.

The Words That are Most Hip Hop interactive map organizes the faces of Hip Hop artists based on the overlap between the words they use in their lyrics. You can hover over the faces on the map to reveal the name of each artist. The map reveals distinct etymological families in Hip Hop. For example there is the Wu-Tang branch of the language of Hip Hop whose members share a very similar lexicon.

The different dialects of Hip Hop that emerge on the map may owe a lot to the physical geography of the Hip Hop artists. Further study is needed to see if the lyrical similarity between artists correlates to geographical closeness. The Atlanta rap artists Childish Gambino and Ludacris are quite close to each other on the map and OutKast aren't too far away.

To prove a link between Hip Hop dialects and geography you might want to explore the Geography of Hip-Hop interactive map. The Geography of Hip-Hop documents the history and geography of Hip Hop. The map (and accompanying essay) explore how Hip Hop has spread around the world and how different cites have developed their own distinct sounds and styles of Hip Hop.

The interactive Hip Hop map allows you to browse and listen to Hip Hop music by location. The map features 955 songs, most of which you can listen to directly from the map. The size of the markers on the map reflects the number of artists featured from that location. In this way you can get a rough idea about the size of the Hip Hop communities in these different urban locations.

By listening to the songs listed in one city you may begin to get a feel for the sound and style of Hip Hop from that location. You can learn more about the development of Hip Hop in the accompanying essay, The Syncopated Geography of Hip-Hop. The essay explores the influence of geography on Hip Hop communities & styles and how Hip Hop music reflects the influence of the different urban locales where it is made.

The 2018 World Cup Stadium Tour

12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities will host the 64 matches of the 2018 World Cup. Two of the stadium are in Moscow. The 81,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium will host the final. The Luzhniki Stadium will also host today's opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The other World Cup stadium in Moscow is the 45,000 Spartak Stadium.

You can explore the two Moscow stadium and the ten stadium hosted in other Russian cities on AP News' World Cup Venue Tour. The tour uses Esri maps to show you a satellite image of each of the 12 World Cup stadium. Each satellite image is accompanied by a short description of the stadium, including information on the stadium's capacity.

The BBC's Guide to the Grounds includes more detailed information on each of the stadium. These details include information on each of the group and knockout matches that each of the stadium will host.

The Kalingrad Stadium is one of the most interesting of the 12 stadium from a geographical point of view. The stadium is located in the Kaliningrad oblast. Kalingrad is a Russian exclave situated on the Baltic Sea. The country is bordered by Poland to the south and Lithuania to the east and north. That means that to travel to the Kalingrad Stadium from any of the other stadiums you would have to leave Russia and travel through or fly over or around at least one other country.

From a cartographical point of view the most interesting team in this year's World Cup is Switzerland. That is because the Switzerland team are the only team in this year's World Cup who will be wearing topographical maps on their team shirts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The American Noise Map

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics has released an interactive noise map of the USA. The map uses data from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Highway Administration to show you how much noise you might be subjected to anywhere in the country.

The National Transportation Noise Map shows you how much aviation and highway noise noise you will endure at any address. In truth the map doesn't show you much more than you already know. Airports and busy roads are the source of serious noise pollution. Therefore if you live near a busy road you can expect to hear a lot of cars. If you live near an airport then you are going to hear even more noise pollution from those noisy planes.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics say that the map provides "a basis for understanding what-if scenarios". This is where these transportation noise maps are most useful. They provide a valuable guide to the possible noise pollution that residents can expect from any planned roads and airports. The Bureau say that they will add additional transportation noise sources, such as rail and maritime, in future updates to the map.

Stop & Frisk in Chicago

Last week Maps Mania reviewed Stop and Frisk, a data visualization of New York's controversial stop and frisk policy. Of course The NYPD are not the only police force to have been criticized for practicing racial profiling in its practice of stopping and searching its citizens.

Stop and Frisk in Chicago is an interactive map which visualizes data from police contact cards between 2014 and 2016. The map shows the number of times people were stopped and searched in each Chicago city block. If you hover over a block on the map you can view the total number of stop & frisks carried out in that block. The map also allows you to view the number of stop and searches that were carried out in each block by police officers of different races (white, black, Hispanic).

The map was created by the Lucy Parsons Labs. You can explore the data further and download it here. The code for the interactive map is also available at GitHub.

UK Travel Time Maps

Esri has a created a series of isochrone maps for the BBC showing how far you can drive in the Friday evening rush hour in ten major UK cities. The Friday Night Rush includes ten maps showing travel distances in the UK's most populous cities on an average Friday evening.

Each map shows the average distance you can travel in an hour when leaving the centre of each city at 4pm, 7pm and 10pm on a Friday evening. The travel distances for each map were calculated using data from HERE's traffic speed predictions. These predictions are themselves based on up up to three years of historic data.

If you don't work in the exact geographical centre of one of the UK's ten most populaous cities then you could try TravelTime instead. TravelTime is a very handy tool for working out how far you can travel in different set times. It allows you to find areas you can reach by walking, cycling, driving or accessing by public transport in a defined amount of time.

If you share your location with TravelTime you can view an isochrone map showing you how far you can travel using different lengths of time. For example,  you can select to view all the places you could walk to within 15 minutes. TravelTime also allows you to search for venues and points of interest within your allocated travel time. So, for example, you can ask TravelTime to show you all the coffee shops within a 15 minute walk of your current location.

TravelTime also allows you to search from more than one location. So, for example, if you want to meet a friend for coffee you can enter both your locations and find the areas which you can both reach within a 15 minute walk.

TimeToAnywhere is another interactive map which shows you how far you can drive in the UK for different lengths of time. The map is very easy to use. Just click on the map to set your location and you can instantly view an isochrone layer showing the driving times from your selected location.

The stand out feature of TimeToAnywhere is its speed (drag the marker around the map to see how quickly the isochrone layer updates). However TimeToAnywhere also includes a number of other useful features. These include an option to view the isochrone layer for busy commuting times (when driving times are longer). The map also includes an option to view a route and travel time to a specific location, by dragging a destination marker onto the map.

Not everybody who commutes is traveling to work. Some commuters are traveling to schools. I think those people are called students.

If you are looking for a new school and don't want an over-long journey each way then you could use Parallel's Schools in England & Wales. This interactive map provides, walking, cycling and driving times for every school in England and Wales. Zoom in on any school and you can view isochrone layers showing the areas that you can walk, bike or drive to (or from) the school in six minute intervals.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

96 Shootings a Day

The New York Times reports that on an average day 96 Americans die after being shot by firearms. Individual suicides and homicides don't get as much news coverage as mass shootings but they still contribute a significant proportion of the total number of gun killings in the United States.

In On an Average Day, 96 Americans Die By Firearms the NYT explores some of the data behind the daily toll of gun violence. This analysis uses data from the Gun Violence Archive to illustrate the incessant routine violence perpetuated by gun owners. This includes a timeline showing the number of people injured and killed by guns every day since the start of 2014.

Since 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in 2016 there have been been at least 87 shootings in just a three mile area around the club. The NYT illustrates this point with a clever interactive map. As you scroll through the article an expanding circle shows an ever increasing area around the Pulse nightclub in Florida. As the circle expands more and more shootings are revealed on the map of Orlando. By the time you get to a circle showing 14 miles around the club the number of shootings has risen to 383.

Maps that Changed the World

The Library of Congress has thousands of world maps in its collection. If you browse the collection in chronological order you can explore the history of cartography and, at the same time, gain an insight into how the world has been perceived throughout history. The Library of Congress' World Maps is a small presentation of some of the library's most important world maps.

I'd like to take all the credit for selecting the world maps in this short presentation. But I can't. These maps all come from a story map created by the Library of Congress itself. Maps That Changed Our World is an interesting interactive tour of some of the most important maps owned by the Library of Congress. Starting with the world atlas from Ptolemy's Geography published in 150 AD this story map takes a chronological tour of world maps through history.

The world maps chosen for this story map each represent an interesting shift in how the world was visualized. The maps start with Ptolomy's Geography and progress through important maps from the Middle Ages, the 17th and 18th centuries, and right up to our modern digital maps.

The Library of Congress' story map includes information about each of the maps which helps to place them within their historical context. However all the featured maps presented in Maps That Changed Our World are presented as still images. This is why I put together my own short presentation of the Library of Congress' World Maps. My map presentation allows you to explore all but one of the maps as interactive maps. So you can explore the maps in detail in my presentation and learn more about their creation using the library's story map.

The only map missing in my presentation is the world atlas from Ptolemy's Geography. This is because I couldn't find the individual iiif manifest for the map on the Library of Congress website.

Safe Cycling in Berlin

A new interactive map from Tagesspiegel provides a complete audit of the safety of Berlin's roads for the city's cyclists. Berlin is Planning New Bike Paths shows where new bike paths are being built in Berlin and also assesses all existing roads based on how safe they are for cycling.

Roads on the interactive map are colored to show how safe they are for bikes. This score is based on the length of the road and how much of the road has measures to support cyclists. If you click on a road on the map you can view details about how safe it is for cyclists. These details include the length of any dedicated cycle lane, the length of any bike paths and the length of any protective barriers on the road.

The red roads on the map have the least measures to support safe cycling. These roads tend not to have separated bike lanes or any protective barriers.  The yellow lines on the map are the new bike paths Berlin is building to support safer cycling in the city.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The 100 Worst Polluting Cities in the World

Just 100 cities around the globe create 18% of the world's emissions. The upside to heavily polluting cities contributing so much to the world's carbon footprint is that local action at the city level could have a meaningfully affect on global emissions.

City Carbon Footprints has created an interactive map of the 100 cities that contribute the most to the global carbon footprint. The Carbon Footprints of World Cities map shows the top 10 polluting cities in red, the 11-50 most polluting cities in orange and the 51-100 most polluting cities in blue. If you select a city on the map you can view the city's position in the top 100 and also the percentage that the selected city contributes to its country's national carbon footprint.

The top 100 cities shown on the map is based on the Global Gridded Model of Carbon Footprints (GGMCF). The GGMCF shows an estimate of carbon footprints across the world down to 250m. The interactive map on City Carbon Footprints also includes a layer which shows the GGMCF in per capita terms.

New York's Oral History Map

In the 1950's East New York was populated largely by Jewish and Italian Americans. During the 1960's the area saw a massive change and by the end of the decade was predominately populated by African Americans and Hispanic residents. The East New York Oral History Project is capturing the personal experiences of people who lived in East New York from 1960 - 1970, during this time of rapid change.

The map is made up of a number of sound recordings made by people who lived in East New York from 1960-1970. Using the map you can listen to these East New York residents talk about their memories of the neighborhood during this time of rapid demographic change. The map also includes a layer which allows you to compare the percent of black residents living in each census tract of New York in 1960 and in 1970.

The East New York Oral History Project includes a Brooklyn 'redline' map. This historical map shows how Brooklyn neighborhoods were rated by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation in the 1930's. People who lived in areas that were redlined were denied federal loans. Areas with a large African American population were almost universally redlined.

Check out the Sound Maps tag on Maps Mania for more oral history maps and other maps featuring sound recordings.

China's New Silk Roads

China has already spent more than 25 billion dollars on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The initiative is designed to create the infrastructure to secure China’s trade routes and energy supplies. It is also being used to increase China's influence in the rest of the world.

The Mercator Institute for China Studies Belt and Road Tracker is an interactive map which shows some of the many BRI projects spanning Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. These projects include huge transport and oil & gas pipeline networks. The map sidebar allows you to show or hide different types of infrastructure project on the map. These include the railroads, ports and gas & oil pipelines which China has already constructed as part of its BRI. It also allows you to view railroads, ports and gas & oil pipelines which China plans to construct in the near future.

In One Belt, One Road the Financial Times also explores some of the construction projects being created by China to transport people and goods around the world. In The five main projects of the Belt and Road Initiative the South China Morning Post explores five huge Chinese infrastructure projects. These include a rail route from China to London, Gwadar Port, a rail route to Iran, the Asian gas pipeline and the Khorgas Gateway.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

The Rise & Fall of the Electric Tramway

The tramway network in the Austrian city of Graz has been operation since 1878. The network reached its peak around the middle of the 20th century. However rising car ownership resulted in less passengers on the tramway network and during the 1950's many tram routes in the city were closed down. Since the 1990's however the tramway network has seen a bit of a resurgence and new lines and stops have slowly been added.

You can explore the rise and fall (and resurgence) of Graz's tramway network on the Zeitlinie Graz animated map. This map allows you to watch the growth of the tramway network over time. Press the play button on the map and you can see routes being added and removed from the map by date. You can select an individual line from the map sidebar. This will highlight the route on the map and allow you to observe the history of that individual route from 1878-2018.

Zeitlinie Graz is the second animated map visualizing public transit systems in Austrian cities. You can also view the growth of Vienna's public transit system over time on Zeitlinie Vienna, a timeline driven map which shows when Vienna's many tram, train and U-Bahn lines were first opened.

The first tram line in Vienna was constructed in 1865. This horse driven tram-line ran between Schottentor and Hernals. Vienna's U-Bahn subway system didn't appear until over one hundred years later. You can use the play button at the bottom of Zeitlinie Vienna to watch an animated history of the growth of Vienna's transit system. Alternatively you can use the timeline slide control to explore the extent of the transit system in Vienna for any year from 1865 to 2016.

For some reason I've always imagined that there were a lot more streetcar lines in San Francisco. The good news is that there are actually more routes in the city now than in 1960. However the present coverage is not a patch on the number of streetcar routes that existed in the city back in 1940.

Where the Streetcars Used to Go is a lovely interactive map which allows you to view the streetcar transit network as it existed in 1940 & 1960 and as it exists today. Streetcar fans will be delighted to learn that the map also allows you to view vintage photos of streetcars in San Francisco.

You can actually browse through 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.

With only a few polylines on a custom designed basemap the BC Electric Railway Map has produced a beautiful looking visualization of Vancouver's BC Electric Railway Company transit network, as it looked in the early twentieth century. The BC Electric Railway Map map plots the historical interurban and streetcar lines of the network between 1890 to 1958. It 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.

The emergence of the motorcar as a popular means of transport in the early Twentieth Century led not only to the longtime decline of the railroads but also had a detrimental effect on the tram systems in many American cities.

You can explore how Denver's streetcar network developed in the Nineteenth Century and also observe its later decline on Denver's Streetcar Legacy and its Role in Neighborhood Walkability. A timeline control allows you to view how the city's streetcar network grew in the city from its inception in 1872 through to its end in 1950. As the timeline plays out you can see when the all the different lines were opened and closed.

Despite its demise Denver's streetcar network has had a lasting impact on the city's environment and the walkability of its neighborhoods. This interactive map also explores how the streetcar network effected the city's design and what the author calls 'Pedestrian Oriented Commercial Buildings'.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Should You Rent or Buy?

Noble Datum has worked out whether it is better to rent or buy in every zip-code area in the United States. It has released a series of maps and tools which can help you determine if you should rent or buy in your neighborhood and to find the best place to rent or buy near your current address.

In Should You Rent or Buy in Your Neighborhood? Noble Datum has used the price to rent ratio to work out which neighborhoods it is better to buy in and which neighborhoods it is better to rent in. The price to rent ratio is the median home value in an area divided by (12 x the Median Monthly Rent). Or, in other words, the full median value of a home divided by the annual rent. If the ratio is a 15 or below, Noble Datum believe it is better to buy, above that it is better to rent.

Noble Datum has created a choropleth map which visualizes the price to rent ratio in each U.S. county. On this map the counties colored red are the places where it is best to rent and the counties colored blue are where it is best to buy. The article also includes a map which allows you to find the best neighborhoods in your area for renting and for buying a property.

If you are wondering about whether you should buy or rent a property then SmartAssest also has a series of interactive tools which can help you make the right decision. These tools include a renting vs buying calculator and an interactive map showing where it is better to rent and where it is better to buy.

SmartAsset uses a different methodology than Noble Datum to determine if it is better to rent or buy in an area. SmartAssest's Rent vs Buy Calculator allows you to enter a location in the United States to discover how many years you need to live in that location before buying becomes a better option than renting. If you change the number of years you will stay in that location you can view the total buying and rental costs and the difference between them.

The interactive map shows the counties where buying a home is better than renting based on the number of years you plan to stay in an area. You just need to enter the number of years you might be living in one area and the map changes to show the counties where renting is better (colored yellow) and the counties where buying is better (blue). If you select a state on the map you can view the top ten counties where buying is better than renting in the shortest amount of time.

The Rat Density Map of New York

A new interactive map locates the areas of New York with the biggest rodent problems. The Rodent Density Map shows the locations which have received the most 311 complaints about rodents from 2013 to 2018.

The map ranks areas of New York based on the number and proximity of 311 rodent complaints. Areas are ranked from two to nine, with nine being the worst ranking. The map reveals that rats seem to prefer areas with food-related businesses, older buildings and with parks & recreation areas. GeoBi has also analyzed the 311 rodent complaints data to explore the different types of complaint and to see what types of territory rodents prefer. You can read more about their analysis here.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

San Francisco's Daytime Population

Last month an interactive map was released which allowed you to explore the daytime population of New York. The Manhattan Population Explorer is an impressive mapped visualization which allows you to explore how the population of Manhattan changes block by block for each hour of every day, during an average New York week.

Goeff Boeing has now released an interactive map which visualizes San Francisco's daytime population. San Francisco's Daytime Population Density map shows the daytime population of each San Francisco census tract. The daytime population is estimated by taking the census tract's total population and taking away the number of outbound commuters and then adding the number of inbound commuters.

A neat comparison could be provided by adding a layer to the map to show the normal census population data for each tract. This would allow the user to make a visual comparison between the nighttime and daytime populations in each tract.

Where Murders Go Unsolved

The Washington Post has mapped 52,000 homicides in American cities to determine the areas where murders are common but go unsolved. Murder with Impunity includes maps of a number of cities showing areas where homicides have a high arrest rate and the areas where they have a low arrest rate.

The Washington Post's maps show block by block where murders are going unpunished. In some cities, like Chicago and Baltimore, the areas where murders go unsolved are very large. In other cities, such as Atlanta and Richmond the police have high arrest rates in most areas, even in the most violent neighborhoods.

In most cities the low arrest zones are mainly in areas with a high proportion of low-income black residents. In many of these areas the police blame low arrest rates on the unwillingness of witnesses to cooperate with police. There definitely seems to be a trend for low arrest rates to occur in areas where there is poor communication between the police and the communities that they serve.

As well as mapping the homicide data and arrest rates the Washington Post has sorted the data by the victim’s race, age and gender. You can explore the data further in the Post's Unsolved Homicide Database. The Unsolved Homicide Database allows you to enter any major city to view a map of areas with low and high homicide arrest rates. You can also download the data to use in your own visualizations.

The Map of Ice Age Britain

Around 27,000 years ago, in the last ice age, northern Britain and Ireland was mostly covered by ice. The kilometer thick ice sheets that covered Britain had a lasting impact on much of Britain's subsequent geography. You can now explore the ice corridors and glacial lakes of ice age Britain on Sheffield University's BRITICE interactive map.

The BRITICE Glacial Map is an interactive map created by the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. The map is built on over 100 years of study into the last ice age including over 1,800 scientific publications. The map shows what Britain looked like during the last ice age. It includes over 170,000 landforms, including moraines, crags, ice dammed lakes and subglacial ribs and lineations.

These different geographical features are color-coded on the map. For example large glacial lakes, like the ones covering Manchester, Doncaster and Peterborough, are colored blue on the map. While, subglacial rib areas, like the one stretching across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, are shaded yellow.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

All the World's Coal Power Plants Mapped

Burning coal is the biggest single contributor to global warming. Instead of reducing our use of coal power plants we have decided to double their use and as a species rush headlong into oblivion. According to Carbon Brief "since 2000, the world has doubled its coal-fired power capacity". Plans for new coal power plants around the globe will double that capacity once again.

Carbon Brief has mapped all the coal power plants in the world. The World’s Coal Power Plants interactive map is an effective and shocking visualization of the increasing use of coal around the world. It shows all the coal power plants around the globe operating in each year between 2000 and 2017. It also shows all the locations of planned new coal plants.

The accompanying chart reveals the source of all this new coal power capacity. Asian countries are largely to blame. In particular China is almost single-handedly responsible for the huge increases in coal power in recent years. If we want to stop global warming China needs to stop building more coal power plants. According to Carbon Brief in response to air pollution and climate concerns there is some evidence that China's coal power production may have peaked.

The Great British Railway

Since 1994 the number of passengers traveling on Britain's trains has increased by 135%. However some stations have actually seen decreases in passenger numbers. The Centre for Towns has released an interactive map which shows which stations in Britain have seen an increase in passenger numbers and which have seen a decrease in the last five years.

The Centre for Towns Trains map uses data from the Office for Rail and Road to show passenger numbers at every train station in England, Scotland & Wales. The stations represented by blue markers are those that have seen a decrease in passenger numbers since 2011/2012. The red markers show the stations that have seen an increase in passenger numbers.

Two years ago the Campaign for Better Transport released a similar interactive map showing the huge increase in rail traffic in Great Britain between 1997 and 2015. The Rail Travel Station Usage 1997-2015 map visualizes annual rail passenger traffic for each year from 1997 to 2015. In those 18 years rail traffic in Great Britain increased by 1.45 billion annual passenger journeys.

The Rail Travel Station Usage map shows which stations have seen the biggest increase in traffic and which stations have seen a drop in traffic in the 18 years after 1997. The map uses the CartoDB Torque library to animate through all 18 years of passenger traffic. The circular station map markers are sized to represent the size of the station (amount of passenger traffic). The color of the circles indicates the scale of the increase (or decrease) in passenger traffic over the visualized 18 years.

The Centre for Towns has created a number of other interactive transit maps. These includes maps showing the flow of buses and cars on Britain's road network. The maps can be viewed on the Centre for Towns Maps page.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Urbex - The Art of Urban Exploration

In Japanese the word 'Haikyo' is used to describe a ruin or abandoned building. It is also sometimes used to describe the past-time of urban exploration or 'urbex'. Urbex is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins. Japan seems particularly blessed with numerous abandoned buildings or haikyo, perhaps as a result of its rapid industrialization (and the contribution of world wars and natural disasters).

The Haikyo website is dedicated to finding and documenting Japan's abandoned buildings. The website is run by Jordy Meow, who has spent years exploring and writing about Japan's many abandoned and ruined locations. Haikyo includes a Google Map of 162 haikyo in Japan. These haikyo are all categorized by type (e.g. abandoned schools, theme parks, hospitals etc). You can view individual interactive maps for each of these categories.

All of the locations listed on Haikyo include photographs and notes. The photos provide a fascinating record of Japan's crumbling past and, for those of us who don't live in Japan, are probably the closest we will ever get to exploring these haikyo ...

... unless you visit Hashima Island - The Forgotten World

The abandoned Japanese island of Hashima, in Nagasaki Prefecture, is probably Japan's most famous haikyo. Hashima Island - The Forgotten World is an amazing tour of Google's Street View imagery of the island. The tour includes lots of information into the historical background of the featured locations and the desolate landscape.

The site is a great guide to the island, adding context and the back-story to Google's amazing imagery of Hashima. The Street Views in this tour have been enhanced with some CSS3 filters to create an even spookier atmosphere, which is intensified further by the accompaniment of some suitably spectral background music and sound. The children's voices and school-bells that play when you stand in Hashima Primary School playground made the hairs on the back of my neck stand-up.

Stop & Frisk in New York

The New York Police Department's controversial stop and frisk policy is often criticized. The biggest criticism is that it suffers from obvious racial profiling. For example, 90% of stop and frisk instances in 2017 involved African-American or Latino citizens. Stop and Frisk is a data visualization of NYC stop and Frisk data which has been created to "allow for exploratory data analysis on historical Stop-and-Frisk" records

Stop and Frisk includes heat-map visualizations of stop and frisk use in each New York borough. In truth the heat-map visualization for each borough isn't very helpful. I assume heat-maps have been chosen to show the locations in each borough where the most stops have taken place. In this respect the maps largely fail. A dot density or hex-bin map would provide a much clearer indication of where stop & frisks have most taken place in each borough.

The racial break-down of each borough (under each map) is more effective. These bar charts visualize the number of suspects involved in stop and frisk by race. These charts effectively reveal the extent that racial profiling has in police stopping and searching New York citizens. Or at least it would do if the site provided a little information on the data being used.

Data visualizations really should include information both about where the data comes from and what the data includes. Stop and Frisk doesn't appear to offer any information about where the NYC stop and frisk data comes from or what time period the data covers. Without this context the visualization isn't very usefu.

Buses of Bangalore

Bangalore's Bus Routes is a mapped visualization of over 2,000 bus routes. The map shows the city's extensive bus network, color-coded by route numbers. Series 2 buses (buses whose bus number starts with 2) mainly support the west of the city. Series 1 buses operate in the eastern half of the city.

The interactive visualization allows you to view the individual routes of the city's 6 longest bus routes. Route 600 is the longest route, It makes a 117 km trip around much of the city. You can hover over individual bus-stops on the map to view which bus routes the stop supports. You can also hover individual routes on the map to view its route number. 

I particularly like the small multiples which show the Bangalore bus-stops with the most routes. These four smaller maps show the four bus-stops in the city which have the most bus routes passing through the stop. On each map all the routes a stop supports are highlighted. This results in the bus-stop being lit-up in the middle of its own bus network, with all the routes snaking out in every direction from the stop.

MapKit - Apple's New Mapping API

Apple has launched a new desktop mapping API. MapKit.js allows you to create interactive maps for websites using the Apple Maps base map layers (a road-map, satellite and satellite with labels).

MapKit has been launched in beta with three main services: a geocoder, a search option and directions. It supports GeoJson and map overlays, including map markers, image overlays and polylines & polygons.

Map Overlays

Overlays - MapKit allows you to add polygons and polylines to a map. It also includes a circle overlay which allows you to add a circle to your map.

Annotations - annotations appear to be labels which you can add to markers and/or image overlays. It also looks to me that you use annotations to add a marker to a map (e.g. "new mapkit.MarkerAnnotation").


The beta of MapKit has launched with three main services:

Geocoder - the MapKit geodcoder provides forwards and reverse geocoding. It can also provide the user's current location (if permission is granted).

Search - the MapKit search can locate businesses, locations and other points of interest. It includes an auto-complete option for user input.

Directions - the MapKit directions service can provide step-by-step directions and journey times for different modes of transport (although I can't see in the documentation which modes of transport are supported). Vasile Coțovanu has already posted a quick demo of a MapKit map using the Directions service to GitHub.


A note at the very bottom of this developer page says:

"MapKit JS beta provides a free daily limit of 250,000 map initializations and 25,000 service calls. For additional capacity needs, contact us."

Monday, June 04, 2018

Mapping America's Most Distressed Areas

The Distressed Communities Index ranks the economic well-being of every community in the United States. It uses seven different metrics to assess the economic state of every zip-code area. The 2017 DCI Map allows you to view the well-being score of every zip-code in the United States and to view each of the individual economic metrics for each area.

The seven metrics which are used to determine the Distress Score are:
  • No High School Diploma 
  • Housing Vacancy Rate 
  • Adults Not Working 
  • Poverty Rate 
  • Median Income 
  • Change in Employment 
  • Change in Businesses
If you select an individual zip-code area on the interactive map you can view the scores for each of these individual metrics as well as the overall Distress Score.

The level of family debt is not one of the metrics used in the Distressed Communities Index but it could also be used as an indicator of the economic well-being of different communities. The Urban Institute's Debt in America visualizes debt levels in every county in the USA. The map allows you to view the median debt levels in a county and compare them to debt levels for the state and the country as a whole. The map also allows you to view the average household income in every state.

Using the map sidebar you can select from a number of debt metrics, including the share and value of medical debt in each county. If you then click on a county on the map you can view the debt totals for the county in the map sidebar. The debt totals for the county, the state and for the whole country are also shown beneath the map.

Esri's Predominant Income Range by Households map shows how much money people are earning in each census tract in the United States. The map uses income data from the 5-year American Community Survey in 2016 to show the income range of the most people in each tract. Using the map you can explore the reality of income inequality in every local neighborhood.

While exploring the map you might spot patterns which recur in states, cities and communities across the country. For example you should be able to spot the income divide between many metro and rural areas. In college towns you might see low income student-dominated neighborhoods surrounded by wealthier neighborhoods.

The map reveals that a number of cities, such as Philadelphia, Seattle and Houston have a thriving downtown core. While cities such as Detroit and Cleveland have urban centers which are struggling or dying.

Food Insecurity in the United States is an interactive map which shows the number of people who need food assistance in each county in the United States. The map uses data from Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap project.

There are a number of clusters of counties, especially in the south east, which have high levels of food insecurity. Many of these, for example in the Mississippi Delta, are in areas where agriculture and food production are the biggest industries.

If you select a state on the map you can view a detailed overview of food insecurity in the state. You can also click on individual counties to discover the food insecurity rate and the number of food insecure people in the selected county.

OSM Virtual Reality

You can now explore OpenStreetMap in virtual reality. VR Map displays OpenStreetMap data as a virtual reality environment with 3D buildings and trees. You can move around this demo VR Map using your keyboard's arrow keys (or the W,A,S,D keys) and by using your mouse to pan around the scene.

Currently VR Map allows you to explore only a small area of Vienna, Austria. However if you fork VR Map on GitHub you can change the initial map coordinates to any location in the world. The virtual reality environment uses an OpenStreetMap tile layer as the ground layer. Buildings tagged in OSM are extruded to its height tag, or to 15 metres if the building doesn't have a height defined. Trees are rendered using the OSM tags for height, circumference and diameter_crown.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Maps with New Zealand

You might have heard of the Reddit group Maps without New Zealand. The group's members believe that New Zealand is a real country and exists somewhere in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

If you haven't heard of New Zealand before, it is the fictional country which the fantasy writer J.R. Tolkien invented for his popular stories. The mountainous land of New Zealand is the setting in his fantasy novels The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Unfortunately it doesn't exist.

Over the last year or so I've become fed-up with the constant harassment that I've been getting from these conspiracy theorists every time I post a map which is missing New Zealand. I have therefore decided to release my own plug-in for the Leaflet.js mapping platform. A plug-in that can be used to add the fictional country of New Zealand to any interactive map.

Maps with New Zealand is a very simple plug-in. If you use it with Leaflet you can add New Zealand to your own maps. The plug-in simple adds a small inset map to the bottom right-hand corner of a Leaflet map. This small inset map shows a picture of Tolkien's fictional country which was actually drawn by the artist himself.

Hopefully people will now stop contacting me with their wild theories about an island country, somewhere on the other side of the Earth, which is populated by incredibly strange and unlikely creatures.

Friday, June 01, 2018

The International Geography Bee

Welcome to the 2018 Maps Mania International Geography Bee.

This year's International Geography Bee involves three rounds:

Round 1. National Geographic
Round 2. Historical Maps
Round 3. 1,000 km

Round 1:

The National Geographic quiz is 10 questions long. All of the questions were compiled by National Geographic from the USA's National Geography Bee.

Round 2:

The Historical Maps quiz is a Guardian quiz which simply asks you to identify the correct cities displayed in 10 historical vintage maps.

Round 3:

1,000 km is the deciding round. In this round you need to complete one game of Google's Smarty Pins map game. In this map quiz you have to answer questions by dropping a pin on an interactive map. You start the game with an allowance of 1,000 km. When you get a question wrong the distance you are wrong by is deducted from your kilometer allowance. See how many questions you can answer before you run out of kilometers.

Discover Ukraine

The regions of Ukraine have partnered with Google to release a series of tourist maps which highlight and promote the tourist attractions available in each of the country's different regions. The new custom designed maps have been created to attract and help visitors discover the wonders of Ukraine and to provide visitors with all the tools they need to plan their trips around the country.

So far maps for two regions, Kyiv and Sumy, have been released. You can visit these individual regional maps at Discover Kyiv and Discover Sumy. Other regions maps will be available soon, but you can still find out what the rest of Ukraine has to offer at Discover Ukraine.

Each of the region maps uses a custom designed Google Map, interactive Street View tours, information about important locations and tools to help you plan your trip to the region. If you select one of the building icons on the map you can view detailed information about the chosen point of interest, views photos of the building and (where available) take a virtual tour using Google Street View.

Even if you have no plans to visit Ukraine these new individually designed maps are a great way to learn about the different regions of Ukraine and about each region's most historical buildings and places of interest.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mapping New York Taxi Journeys

The NYC Cab Rides map is an interactive map visualizing Yellow Cab trip data in New York City from July 2015 - June 2016. The map allows you to see where the most New York cab rides begin, the pick-up locations where cab drivers can expect the largest tips, where in the city passengers pay in cash & where they pay by credit, the number of passengers and the length of journeys.

The map uses hexagonal binning to provide a spatial histogram of New York taxi ride data. The hexagons represent the number of rides in each location on the map in two different ways. It uses both a color ramp and the size of the hexagons themselves to indicate the total number of rides at each location on the map.

If you hover over a hexagon on the map you can view the exact number of rides as well as the average length & cost of the rides and the percentage of passengers that paid by cash and credit card. If you click on a hexagon on the map then the map changes to visualizes the taxi rides to or from that location from everywhere else in the city.

The NYC Cab Rides Map was made to partner John Nelson's story map which also explores Yellow Cab trip data in New York City. In Taxi Cab Terrain Nelson examines how different New York boroughs use and pay for taxi cab journeys. He then looks at the underlying socio-economic data in those neighborhoods to see if they help explain the differences in how inhabitants of different New York neighborhoods use and pay for cabs.

In Taxi Cab Terrain Esri has mapped out the locations where the most New York cab rides begin, the pick-up locations where cab drivers can expect the largest tips, where in the city passengers pay in cash & where they pay by credit, the number of passengers and the length of journeys.

Back in 2014 Chris Whong also created an impressive interactive map using New York taxi data. Chris' map provided a great insight into the daily life of one New York taxi driver. Chris' NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life is a MapBox visualization of the journey of one New York taxi over the course of 24 hours.

You can also explore New York taxi journeys in the NYC Taxi Holiday Visualization, which animates taxi journeys from New York's airports over the course of a month and half, and Hubcab, a mapped visualization of 170 million taxi trips over one year in New York.

The Interactive Moll Map Collection

Bernard Pavel Moll was an 18th century German diplomat, cartographer and collector of maps. During his lifetime Moll collected thousands of maps. Thanks to Moll's Map Collection you can browse his collection of vintage maps online. Moll's Map Collection has digitized Moll's original maps and made them available to view as interactive maps.

The maps are organised by location. You can therefore search the maps by location. For example - if you want to see historical, vintage maps of Venice you need to first select Italy and then select the Republic of Venice. You can then choose from the many, many maps of Venice in the Moll Map Collection.

When you select to view an individual vintage map it is displayed as an interactive map, which you can browse at will. If you click on the 'Zobrazit na' button you can view the map overlaid on top of a modern map layer in Georeferencer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Hawaii's Lava Flows from Space

NASA has released a stunning satellite image of the lava flows erupting from Hawaii's Kilaueu Volcano. The Infrared Glow of Kilaueu's Lava Flows was captured on May 23rd 2018.

NASA's satellite image was captured by Landsat 8. It is a false-color infrared and green light bands image, which helps to highlight the active lava flows. The purple color around the lava flows are clouds being lit from below by the lava itself.

Esri's Kīlauea: Fountains of Fire also includes some recent satellite imagery of the volcano's active lava flows. Esri's story map explores this recent satellite imagery and goes on to explain why Kilaueu is so active.

The map showcases some of the recent satellite imagery of the lava flows. This includes both natural color imagery and false color imagery. This false color imagery uses the near infrared band to show the lave flows with greater clarity.

Esri's story map goes on to show the Kilaueu Volcano's position in the circum-Pacific Belt, where 90% of the Earth's seismic activity occurs. It also takes a much closer look at Kilauenu itself. This examination includes an animated map showing where historical lava flows have occurred, in chronological order, since 1790.