Thursday, June 30, 2022

Mapping Vintage Newspapers

The Library of Congress' Chronicaling America project digitizes historic newspapers from across the United States. Using the site anyone can search and read historic newspaper stories published at any time from 1777-1963. A new interactive map now allows you to search these vintage newspapers by location.

The new Exploring Chronicaling America Newspapers interactive map allows you to browse the LOC's collection of digitized newspapers by the location of their publication. Each dot on the map represents a location with one or more digitized newspapers. Click on a dot on the map and you can learn more about the local newspapers at that location, including information on how many issues have been digitized. You can then click through to view the digitized editions of the selected newspaper.

The LOC map includes a timeline control which allows you to filter the newspapers shown on the map by date. 


You can also find and read historical newspaper articles using Ancestry's Ancestry's claims to be the largest online archive of newspapers. The archive includes searchable articles from over 21,000 newspapers dating back to the 1700's (although there seems to be a distinct bias towards English language newspapers).

A similar service exists in the UK at the British Newspaper Archive, which allows you to search archived British newspapers for free but only allows registered users to read actual digitized content from the archived papers.

You can search and read through 129 years of New York Times' back editions on the newspaper's TimesMachine website (again a subscription is needed). Using the TimesMachine's interactive interface you can read the Time's contemporary accounts of historical events, including the shooting of President Lincoln, the sinking of the Titanic and the landing of the first men on the moon. 

Wikipedia also maintains a list of online newspaper archives. This list includes links to both free and paid archives of newspapers around the world. The Wikipedia introduction to its list includes the handy advice that your local library may have subscriptions to newspaper archives which you can access for free if you have a library card.

One other option is to explore the archives of still operating newspapers. The Newspaper Map provides direct links to thousands of newspapers currently operating all around the world.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Introducing Mapbox Globe View

Mapbox's 3D globe view is now available to all developers. The new globe map projection option in Mapbox GL and Mapbox mobile SDKs allows you to turn your 2D maps into fully interactive 3D globes. The new globe view includes a number of styling options which allow developers to "adjust the color of space, (the) visibility of stars, and the color of the atmosphere around a globe".

If you want an idea of what you can do with the new Mapbox globe view then have a look at the Twitter hashtag #mapboxglobe, which Mapbox has been using to share some of the globes that developers have already begun creating with this new projection option. These maps include Steve Attewell's Mapbox Globe from the ISS.

Sam Lerner's impressive River Runner map is also now available with a 3D globe view. Click anywhere in the world on the River Runner map and you can follow the journey that a raindrop might make from that location to the nearest ocean (based on the local terrain).

You can also use the globe view projection with vintage maps. I used an 1845 map from the David Rumsey Map Collection to create this vintage globe. This map overlays William Woodbridge's 'Moral And Political Chart Of the Inhabited World' on top of Mapbox's globe view. 

If you want to try this yourself you can clone my map on its Glitch page. You can then drop in any georeferenced map from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Game of Populations

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today released the latest population and household estimates for England and Wales based on the 2021 census. The population of England & Wales is now 59,597,300. In the previous census (2011) the population of England & Wales was 56,075,912 The UK population as a whole is now almost 67 million.

In celebration of the new population data for England & Wales the ONS has released the Census 2021 Population Game. In this new daily game you have to travel across a map of Great Britain, step by step, until you reach the suggested destination. To move forward across the map you have to guess correctly at each stage whether the next local authority area has a higher or lower population than the local authority area that you are currently located on (on the map). 

Each time you get an answer wrong that local authority area is marked red. Turn too many local authorities red and you will end up blocking all the possible routes to your destination. In which case you lose the game. Winning the game is simple - you just need to reach the stated destination.

The Census 2021 Population Game has taken quite a lot of inspiration from Ahmad Barclay and Sam Cottrell's MapBusters game. MapBusters requires you to travel the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John O'Groats by guessing the population of local authority areas. This game, released last year is very, very similar to ONS's new game but used 2020 mid-year population estimates rather than the newly released England & Wales population data.

They Paved Paradise

USA Parking Lots is an interactive map of the United States which blacks out every single parking lot in the country. Of course because this is America it means that if you zoom in on a major city the map displays a lot of black polygons.

Because the map doesn't have a FAQ page I don't know how the data for the parking lots was obtained. If I was going to make a similar map for the UK I would probably use Overpass Turbo to retrieve the data from OpenStreetMap. 

America is very much still in love with the automobile and as a European it is always shocking to see how much urban space in the United States is devoted to the car.  This is perfectly illustrated by Better Institutions. Back in 2016 Better Institutions created an interactive map to visualize the 200 square miles of Los Angeles parking lots as one huge circle.

Los Angeles has around 200 square miles of parking spaces. This means that there is more space for each car in Los Angeles county than there is for each person. To help illustrate the amount of space given over to parking cars in LA Better Institutions lumped all these parking lots together to create one big imaginary parking space. This parking space is 16 miles in diameter.

You can see how much room all LA's parking spaces take up in Mapped: All 200 Square Miles of Parking in LA County, As One Giant Parking Lot. The actual interactive map itself no longer works but you can still see a screenshot of the map (shown above).

Unfortunately the USA Parking Lots map doesn't include any measurements detailing the amount of space dedicated to car parking spaces in individual American cities. If I had one feature request for this map it would be to show the total area of space in the current map view which is dedicated to car parking (possibly using turf.js to calculate the area inside all the parking lot polygons in the current map view) 

This Percent Built On map from Ordnance Survey has the kind of functionality I'm after. This OS map allows you to define an area by drawing on the map and then calculates the percentage of the selected area covered by buildings.  It would be great to have the same functionality on the USA Parking Lots map in order to show the percentage of the defined area that is covered by parking lots.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Explore the Pyramids of Meroë

Fresh from climbing Mount Everest in 3D today I'm undertaking a tour of the Pyramids of Meroë. If you travel south down the River Nile through Egypt to Sudan, just before you get to Khartoum you will come to Meroë, the ancient capital of the Kushite Kingdom. Here you will discover an ancient city which is home to more than 200 pyramids.

Google Arts and Culture's Pyramids of Meroë is a fascinating virtual tour of the Nubian pyramids located in the Sudanese desert. The Pyramids of Meroë were constructed in the Kingdom of Kush during the Meroitic period (542 BC–4th century AD).

As you scroll through the Pyramids of Meroë you are taken on a virtual tour of a 3D model of the pyramid of King Arkamani the First. This tour explains how these distinctly steep sided structures were built over 2,500 years ago. Keep scrolling and you can dive inside the pyramid, explore the hieroglyphs on the Offering Chapel's walls and view a 3D illustration of the pyramid's underground tomb.

After exploring this 3D model of King Arkamani the First's pyramid you can explore Meroë for yourself  using Google Maps Street View. This Street View tour includes interactive panoramic images of the partially buried pyramid of King Kalka Kaltaly, the pyramid of Queen Amanitore and the pyramid of King Adeqetali.

GoeGuessr for Art

Geo Artwork is a fun game in which you have to guess where individual works of art were created. The game is very similar to the popular Geoguessr game, except instead of trying to work out the location of Google Maps Street View images you have to work out the origins of individual works of art.

In Geo Artwork you are shown a painting (or another type of artwork) and using your knowledge of art history and global art you have to guess where the artwork was created. To do this you just need to point to the location on the Geo Artwork map. You are then awarded points based on how close you guessed to the correct location.

If you need a little help with a painting you can click on the 'Learn More' button. This will reveal the artwork's entry on Google Arts and Culture, which includes information on the title of the artwork, the name of the artist and the museum or gallery where it is exhibited.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Where is Abortion Illegal?

Following Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade the legality of abortion has now been handed over to individual states. This means that a woman's right to choose in the United States depends on a patchwork of laws which range from states with outright bans on abortion to states where the right to choose is enshrined in law.

To help inform women of their local laws Planned Parenthood has created an interactive map which explains the current abortion laws in each state. Where is Abortion Illegal? colors each U.S. state based on the legality of abortion. As you can see from the screenshot of the map above many states have already banned most abortions (states colored black).

You can also find out more about the legality of abortion in individual states on the Guttmacher Institute's interactive map Lay of the Land. If you click on a state on either the Planned Parenthood or Guttmacher Institute maps you can view details of the state's current abortion policies. Both maps have color-coded states using seven different categories from those with the most restrictive abortion rights to those with the most protective abortion rights.

If you want to protest against the overturning of a 49 year constitutional right to an abortion then you can refer to Women's March's interactive map of protests against the Supreme Court ruling. We Won't Go Back shows the location of protests and days of action across the United States.

If you select a marker on this map the details of the protest will be displayed in the map side-panel. You can filter the protests shown on the map by date and by type of event. The map can also be searched by city or zip-code.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Climb Mount Everest in 3D

Mount Everest 3D is an impressive 3D map of the world's tallest mountain and the peaks which surround it in the Himalyayas. The map uses high resolution aerial imagery draped over a 3D digital elevation model to provide a unique view of one of the world's most beautiful and inspiring landscapes.

As wall as being able to pan around and zoom in on the wonders of the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas the Mount Everest 3D map includes overlays showing the two most-travelled routes to the peak of Everest. These route overlays include waypoints showing the locations of camps along the route, and photographs of the Himalayan scenery.

You can get an even closer view of the Everest region of the Himalayas with Google Maps Street View. 

To capture 360 degree panoramic imagery in the Himalayas Google teamed up with Apa Sherpa (a Sherpa mountaineer who holds the world record for reaching the summit of Mount Everest 21 times) and the Nepalese nonprofit organization Story Cycle. During a 10-day trek through the Khumbu region with Apa Sherpa Google managed to capture Street Views of mountain trails and a number of Sherpa villages. The best way to explore this Street View imagery is to visit the Khumba map on Google Treks.

The Khumba site on Google Treks includes some lovely hand-drawn maps of the featured villages. Each of the maps include map markers which lead to Street Views captured on Google's 10-day trek. These include Street View imagery of monasteries, temples, trekker's lodges and of course some wonderful mountainous scenery.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

A Brief History of Time & Space

the shifting borders of the Holy Roman Empire from 1000-1750

Point in History is an interactive map which allows you to explore country and regional borders over time. The map uses historical boundaries data from the Historical Boundaries Project in order to show how the boundaries of countries around the world have developed and changed through history.

If you click anywhere on the map a timeline will be added to the map sidebar. You can then select individual years from this timeline to view the selected country's borders at that point in history. For example the animated GIF above shows the changing borders of the Holy Roman Empire between 1000 and 1750.

Historic Borders is another interactive map which uses the Historical Bounderies Project's data to show changing country borders over 4,000 years of history (2000 BC-1994). Using the Historic Borders' interactive timeline you can view a map of the world at any specific period within this 4,000 years of history.

The main difference between Point in History and Historic Borders is that the later map provides a global view of country borders for the chosen date, whereas Point in History concentrates on just visualizing the borders for your selected location.

A number of other maps also look at how the world map has changed as political boundaries have changed through time. Links to some of these historical border maps can be found in the Maps Mania post Mapping History.

The Drunken Spider Crawl

Today I finally got around to creating my own 'data spider' map, inspired by William Davis's viral Hub and Spoke interactive map.

My Drunken Spider Map can help you find the ten nearest bars to any location in London or New York. If you pan around the map then the 'spider' will walk around the map, so that it is always pointing to the ten nearest bars to the center of the map.

Cloning William's map was very easy. Essentially all it involved was adding my own data and Mapbox account code. I also added a geolocate button. So, if you live in London or New York you can simply press this button to automatically find the ten nearest bars to your current location.

My Drunken Spider Map is hosted on Glitch, which means you can easily clone the map simply by pressing the 'Remix' button on its Glitch page. If you want to create a Drunken Spider Map for your town or city then you can use overpass turbo to quickly get the data for all the local bars.

If you want bar data for a different city then you can use this overpass turbo query. Simply center overpass turbo on a city, press the 'run' button' and then press 'export' and save the data as a geojson file. Then add the data to your Glitch clone of my Drunken Spider Map.

Of course you could always use overpass turbo to download other data. For example this query will give you the locations of all the cafes in the current map view on overpass turbo. Of course if you do use cafe data then you should change the name of your project from the Drunken Spider Map to the Caffinated Spider Map.