Saturday, June 22, 2024

Find Your Future Climate Zone

an animated world map showing climate zones around the world today and in 2070

In fifty years time Los Angeles will no longer be in a temperate climate zone. As a result of climate change the climate in LA in 2070 will closely resemble the climate of New Delhi today. The average temperature will increase from 59.8°F to 65.2°F and LA can expect hot and arid summers.

You can discover if your city will be changing climate zones in the near future (it will) on The Pudding's new interactive Climate Zones map. Climate Zones - How Will Your City Feel in the Future? explains the current climate zones of 70 global cities and the climate zones that they will exist in after global heating. 

The Climate Zones map uses the K√∂ppen climate classification to divide the world into the five main climate zones (Arid, Tropical, Temperate, Cold & Polar) and also into each climate zone's subcategories. If you scroll to the end of the presentation you can view a list of the 70 global cities divided into their current climate zones. If you select a city from this list you can watch it move into its future climate zone and learn how average temperatures in the city will be changed by global heating.

a globe of the Earth with text saying that Boston in 2070 will feel like Kentucky today

National Geographic has also created an impressive interactive visualization which reveals which climate zone your home is likely to be moving into in the next half century. In Your Climate, Changed the National Geographic uses an interactive map to show the future climate analogs of 2,500 cities around the world (for example in the future London will experience a climate similar to the current climate in Sovicille, Italy).

These analogs are based on worst-case climate change scenario assumptions. The map automatically detects your location to show you your nearest future global heating twin. The map also explains what kind of climate zone your city currently experiences and compares that to the likely climate it will have in 2070.

two playing cards overlaid on a world map. The cards compare the climate of Berlin with Mafetang in South Africa

The use of climate analogs is a useful tool for helping to explain how climate change will affect people's own homes. You can also discover your town's future climate twin using the Analog Atlas interactive map. If you type in an address into Analog Atlas it can show you a town which currently experiences a climate similar to the one you can expect in the future due to global heating. The map can even show you your climate twin using two different climate change predictions, for a world which has warmed by 2 degrees centigrade or own warmed by 4 degrees centigrade.

You can discover your 2080 climate twin using The Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm interactive map. If you enter your location or click on your location on this map you can view the town or city in the world which has a climate today which is similar to the climate you can expect in your location in the year 2080. The map uses two different climate models. This allows you to find your climate twin for a global heating scenario of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees centigrade.

Friday, June 21, 2024

The Newest Maps of Mars - in 3D

animated GIF zooming into Olympus Mons on the Gras Mars Map

The National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences has released a 3D interactive map of Mars, using imagery captured from the Tianwen-1 interplanetary mission. The Gras Mars Map allows you to explore Mars using the navigation tools that you are familiar with using from exploring Earth on Google Maps.

The Gras Mars Map uses imagery captured by the 2020 China National Space Administration's mission to Mars. The Tianwen-1 mission included an orbiter, which spent several months scanning and imaging the surface of Mars to refine the target landing zone for the Zhurong rover. I assume that the Gras Mars Map uses the imagery captured from this orbiter (you can view a panorama of the surface of Mars captured by the Zhurong rover here).

an animated GIF panning across a Mars crater in 3D

You can explore Mars in even more detail using the AeroBrowser. The AreoBrowser allows you to explore over 7000 Martian locations in full 3D. The map uses data from the HiRISE camera (on-board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) and the HRSC (on-board ESA’s Mars Express) to create full 3D terrain model of locations visited by NASA's Mars rovers on the red planet.

To explore the 3D terrain models on AreoBrowser select the 3D Models option on the site's home page. You can then browse through and explore in 3D any of the current locations featured on AreoBrowser. While in one of the 3D terrain models you can navigate by using your keyboard arrow keys to move the camera. You can rotate the camera by holding your mouse's right-hand button. Zoom in and out using your '+' or '-' keys or by using a mouse scroll wheel.

an animated GIF zooming down to the surface of Mars using the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars
If the Chinese Martian place-name labels on the Gras Mars Map are a little confusing then you might prefer exploring Mars using the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars interactive map. Caltech's Bruce Murray Laboratory for Planetary Visualization's map has been created using a 5.7 terapixel global image of Mars created from 110,000 individual images. Images which were captured by the Context Camera (CTX) aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The Global CTX Mosaic of Mars contains a number of handy links to help inter-planetary explorers avoid becoming lost on the red planet. Clicking on the provided links will automatically pan and zoom the map to some of the planet's most memorable topographic features and to some of the locations on Mars which have been traversed by NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance Rovers.

Last year NASA called the mosaic "the highest-resolution global image of the Red Planet ever created". NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been capturing imagery of Mars since 2006. This new mosaic of this imagery provides a resolution of around 25 square meters per pixel. The previous highest resolution of Mars at a global scale was 100 meters per pixel.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Worldwide Breaking News Map

a map of the world with labels highlighting breaking news stories

You can now explore breaking global news stories in real-time on a new interactive map. The Global Alerts Map highlights breaking news stories around the world. Using the map you can filter stories by category, and read the latest news updates. From major political developments to natural disasters, with just a few clicks, you can zoom into any region or country of the world, and read the latest news updates as they unfold.

The map works by taking news from the GDELT Project. The "GDELT Project monitors the world's broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages". The Global Alerts Map downloads the latest data from the GDELT Project, translates the stories with Python and then geo-locates each breaking news story. 

On the map breaking news stories are shown using headline text labels. If you click on any of these text headlines an information window will open with media links. Click on these links and you can read more about a story as originally reported in the sourced news outlet. 

From my brief browsing of the map this morning I found links to coverage of yesterday's severe storms in France and Germany and Just Stop Oil's spray painting of Stonehenge. On the negative side the map doesn't seem to report on the extreme heat in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast. The heat map overlay on the map reflects the total number of articles emanating from a location. As you might expect the Global Alerts Map is pretty hot right now in Israel & the Palestinian territories. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mapping the Big Map Index

a world map with countries colored by the cost of a Big Mac
The Economist's Big Mac Index compares the purchasing power parity between the currencies of different countries by examining the price of a Big Mac hamburger sold at McDonalds' restaurants in each country. The Index "is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalize the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries". 

It can also be used to find out the price of a Big Mac in countries around the world. For some reason, however, The Economist has decided not to map the Big Mac Index. A burger shaped hole which has now been filled by Burgernomics. 

The Burgernomics interactive map shows the price of a Big Mac in countries around the world in US dollars and in the local currency. It also provides data on how much a Big Mac should cost in each country based on the exchange rate and therefore whether the value of a Big Mac is currently over- or undervalued in each country.

The cost of a Big Mac in countries around the world is also tracked by Statista's Big Mac Index.

The cost of a Big Mac can differ at different locations within the same country. The McCheapest Map by Pantry & Larder tracks and maps the cost of a Big Mac at every McDonalds in the United States. On this map every McDonalds outlet is represented by a dot which is colored to show the cost of a Big Mac (green=cheaper and red=more expensive). 

The McCheapest Map can therefore be used to explore the purchasing power parity of the dollar in different areas of the United States. It can also show you where in the States you can buy the cheapest Big Mac. You can compare the prices in other popular fast food outlets on the Fast Food Index map. The Fast Food Index maps the differences in the prices of fast food across the United States. The map allows you to compare the prices charged by MacDonald's, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell and Chipotle across the whole of the US (data from 2022).

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Where Mountains Rise From Oceans

an elevation heat map of Iceland showing OceanJut rankings

Last year PeakJut invented the Jut Score in order to rank mountains based on how sharply they rise above their surroundings. Now they have introduced a new OceanJut score - a unique method of measuring where land most dramatically rises from the ocean around the world.

The OceanJut interactive map allows you to see how quickly and dramatically the land rises from the sea all around the globe. In other words the map can help you find the most spectacular mountain-meets-ocean views in the world. The OceanJut rankings work in the same way as PeakJut scores. A location's ranking is determined not just by elevation, but by how steeply it rises from sea-level. 

Exploring the coastlines which I'm most familiar with, in southern England, I can attest that OceanJut works well in identifying the Seven Sisters & the Isle of Wight's Undercliff as locations where the land rises dramatically from the sea (relative to the rest of southern England). Conversely the lack of any significant OceanJut scores in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk is one reason why these English counties are so worried about rising sea-levels.

I don't know which locations around the world have the highest OceanJut scores. Fjords obviously score very highly on the OceanJut algorithm. For example Milford Sound in New Zealand scores an impressive 1317m on the OceanJut rankings. Lots of the Norwegian coastline of Norway also scores very highly on the OceanJut scale, largely thanks to its many fjords. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Guess This City 2.0

a map of New York with much of the city obscured by blue squares

My daily map challenge game Guess This City has now been updated to provide a number of clues which should help you identify each day's new location. At the same time the cities which you have to identify have become a bit more obscure.

Thanks to Map Channels the game now uses a json feed for each day's map. I think Map Channels realized that the daily scores I was posting to X weren't exactly unaided. The fact that I was choosing each day's city meant that I had a huge advantage when playing Guess This City (i.e. I knew the name of the city). 

Map Channels therefore put together a list of 'world capitals and UK and US cities with a population of > 100,000.' He then created a json feed for the game which selects a random city from this list every single day. Guess This City now uses this feed for each day's city (the feed and the game both update a few seconds after midnight GMT). I'm hugely grateful to Map Channels for creating and providing this feed for the game. Not least because it means that I can now play the game myself (and I am no longer posting fake/cheat scores to X). 

Because the Map Channels' list contains a large number of cities which I think are very difficult to guess I have now also added a number of clues to the game. Now on every 10th click of the map a letter of the city name is revealed (in the order that the letters appear in the city name). Only the first ten letters of a city name are revealed (if there are that many). Which means you are on your own after clicking 100 squares.

The other major clue comes on your 20th click of the map. On click twenty the country where the city is located is also displayed over the map.

Today's Global Heating Forecast

world map showing where today's temperatures have been affected by climate change

Global average temperatures in May broke all previous records. It was the 12th consecutive month in which global temperatures reached a record high. Every three months Climate Central publishes a seasonal analysis of how temperatures around the world have been changed by global heating. Their latest report People Exposed to Climate Change: March-May 2024 confirms that from 'March 2024 to May 2024, the effects of human-induced climate change were evident in all regions of the world, particularly in the form of extreme heat.'

Climate Central has also recently updated their Climate Shift Index map to cover the whole globe. The Climate Shift Index shows you how much global heating has influenced each day's weather. Every day the Climate Shift Index map reveals where in the world temperatures have been affected by climate change. The map shows just how much global warming could be affecting the weather where you live on any given day.

The colors on the Climate Shift Index map visualize where in the world today's temperatures are more or less likely a result of climate change. The darkest areas on the map indicate those areas where climate change has had the greatest heating effect on today's weather. For example, an area shaded dark red, with a CSI score of 5, is experiencing weather which climate change and global warming has made five times more likely. In other words the local temperatures being experienced in those locations would be nearly impossible without carbon pollution creating global heating.

The Climate Shift Index is updated daily in order to show the local influence of climate change for every single day. You can learn more about the Climate Shift Index and how it is calculated on Climate Central's Climate Shift Index FAQ.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Some More Maps of Sounds

Yesterday Hacker News featured a thread on Sounds of the Forest, an interactive map of sound recordings made in forests around the world. Also linked in the Hacker News thread was the wonderful Radio Aporee, which, like Sounds of the Forest, has featured on Maps Mania before. Also mentioned in the thread were two interactive sound maps which I haven't seen (or heard) before.


map of the world showing the locations of sound recordings featured on audiomapa
Audiomapa is a sound map which focuses on sound recordings from South America (although many users have contributed recordings from elsewhere in the world). Anyone can add a sound recording to the map simply by clicking on a location and uploading an MP3 file.

As well as browsing the submitted recordings by location on the map it is also possible to filter the sounds by category. This allows you to search for 'urban' or 'rural' recordings, or recordings of 'birds', 'machines', 'markets' or myriad other categories of sound. Just click on a marker on the map to listen to the submitted recording.


map of the world showing sound recordings submitted to Freesound
Freesound, from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, is an interactive map of over half a million sound recordings. The map "aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, and all sorts of bleeps, ... released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse". 

As well as browsing the submitted sounds by location on the interactive map the Freesound homepage features a Random Sound of the Day, the latest sounds submitted, and the top rated and most downloaded sounds recordings. Using Freesound's tags and other search filters in conjunction with the interactive map can provide a wonderful insight into sounds around the world. For example have you ever wondered about how ambulance sirens sound in different countries or how similar church bells sound around the world.

Hundreds of other maps featuring sound recordings can be found under the Maps Mania Sound Maps tag.

Friday, June 14, 2024

The New Medieval Map of London

The new medieval map of London zoomed in on St, Pauls's Cathedral

The Historic Towns Trust has created a modern map of Medieval London. The map depicts London as it existed at the end of the 13th Century using modern mapping techniques. The map is based on archaeological and historical records. 

You can explore an interactive version of the Medieval London map on Layers of London (check the 'Use this overlay' box and then zoom in on the City of London area on the map. You might also want to select the 'Hide Pins' button).

One thing you will notice while browsing the map is that the street name labels are written in Middle English. For example the modern street name of 'Ludgate Hill' is depicted on the Medieval London map as 'Ludgatstrete'. If a Middle English placename confuses you then you can use the 'eye' button in the 'overlay tools' pop-up menu to turn off the Medieval Map and view the modern place-name underneath (presuming the street still exists). You can also use the Grub Street Project website to search for historical London place-names and to discover what those locations are known as now.

The Agas Map of London zoomed in on the area around St. Paul's Cathedral

Of course the Historic Towns Trust's modern map of Medieval London was not how a map of London would have actually looked during the 13th Century. At the time most depictions of London would have presented a panoramic view of the city and not a detailed true map. 

One of the first 'true' map depictions of London can be seen in the Civitas Londinum, more commonly known as the Agas Map of London.  The Agas map dates from the 1560s and provides a bird's eye view of London. It therefore doesn't provide a true overhead plan of the city (London is depicted from a viewpoint somewhere above the south bank of the Thames). However unlike earlier panoramic views of London the buildings on the Agas map don't obscure the streets behind those buildings. So the Agas map does work as a true map of 16th Century London.

You can also buy a print of the Medieval London map from the Historic Towns Trust.

Via: A New Map of Medieval London

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mapping the Census

mapping showing percentage of 0-14 year olds in Toronto, revealing that ther are fewer families with young children in Toronto's city center than in the suburbs
percentage of 0-14 year olds

Jacob Weinbren has released an interactive map which allows you to explore data from the 2021 Canadian census by location. Using the map you can view the demographic and economic make-up of towns and cities across the whole of the country using over 2,500 different census variables. 

The Canadian Census map colors individual building footprints based on the results of the 2021 census, providing you with an incredibly detailed breakdown of the make-up of local communities. Just select a census variable from the drop-down menu to see that data overlaid on the map.

map of Toronto showing a higher percentage of people walking to work in the city center
percentage of the workforce walking to work

For example the screenshot above shows the population of the workforce who walk to work. The results suggest that people who live in the center of Toronto live far closer to their workplace than those who live in the city's suburbs. The screenshot at the top of this post shows the percentage of the population who are aged 0-14. As you can see there are fewer 0-14 year olds in the city center than elsewhere, suggesting that many people tend to move out of the city center to the suburbs once they have kids. 

You can explore the data for yourself in other Canadian towns and cities by simply changing the location on the Canadian Census map. You can also read more about the map and how it was made in the blog post Oh Canada - Census 2021.