Thursday, December 02, 2021

Speaking French in Canada

In 1504 the first French fishing ship arrived in Newfoundland, where it discovered seas very rich in fish. In the next 30 years more and more French fishing ships ventured across the Atlantic and some even set up temporary settlements to dry cod, especially on the coasts of Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. These fishermen were among the first ever French speakers in Canada.

French is now the mother tongue of around 20% of Canadians. It is, with English, one of the two official languages of the country. You can learn more about how the French language arrived and spread in Canada on the interactive map Voyages en Francophonie Canadienne. The map provides a chronological history of the establishment and spread of the French language in Canada from the 16th Century until the present day. 

A timeline runs along the bottom of the map which allows you to explore the historical entries by date. Follow the timeline and you can learn more about the first French colonies established in Canada and the explorations of the country made by French catholic missionaries. The map also explains a little about the establishment of French colonies elsewhere on the continent, for example in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana. 

If you select the period '2000...' you can learn more about the present state of the French language in Canada and its future in the country. This includes sections on what is being done to support the immigration of French speakers, the health of Francophone schools and the efforts to ensure the French language continues to be supported by all Canadian institutions.

You can discover more about the current mother tongues spoken in Canadian homes on the interactive dot map Langues Maternelles 2016. On this map Canadian company Anagraph has plotted the languages spoken by all 34,504,810 Canadians. On the Langues Maternelles 2016 dot map you can see the mother tongue languages spoken in every neighborhood in Canada, according to the 2016 census.

The map reveals how in most Canadian cities people with the same languages often live in the same neighborhoods. For example in Montreal French speakers dominate in the northern districts. English speakers tend to live in southern and south-eastern neighborhoods. Chinese speakers can mostly be found in Brossard and there appears to be a fair number of Italian speakers in north-eastern Montreal.

You can find out the proportion and numbers of Canadians who speak French and English on the Canadian census website. In Update of the 2016 Census Language Data you can view a table showing the percentage of mother tongue speakers of French and English and the total number of the population who speak the two languages. In 2016 there were 19,460,855 people with English as their mother tongue, 7,166,700 with French as their mother tongue and 7,321,060 whose mother tongue was neither French nor English. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Weather Stripes

Ed Hawkins' clever Climate Stripes visualizations of global heating over time have quickly become a data visualization design classic. In 2018 Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, released this new form of data visualization to illustrate how temperatures have risen around the globe over the last century. 

Ed's Climate Stripes visualizations use colored stripes to show the average annual temperatures for every year over the course of a whole century. The result is a very powerful and clear visualization of how temperatures have begun to rise very quickly over the last few years when compared to previous norms.

Weather Spark may well have been influenced by Ed Hawkins' Climate Stripes in their development of city weather plots. You can view the Weather Spark weather plot for your city (and for other cities around the globe) on The Weather Year Round Anywhere on Earth

Like climate stripes these weather plots use the x-axis to show temperature over time - although in this case there are 12 rather than 100 data points to show average temperatures for each month rather than for each year in one century. Weather plots also differ from climate stripes through the addition of a y-axis. The y-axis on Weather Spark's weather plots show average temperature throughout the course of one day (24 hours). Weather Plots can therefore be used to view the average temperatures in a city during the course of a day in any month of the year. 

Weather Plots are particularly good for comparing the average temperatures of different cities. For example the weather plots for London and San Francisco reveal that both cities share a similar mild climate. San Francisco's season of 'comfortable' weather (shown in yellow) lasts for a few more months than the 'comfortable' season in London. However 'comfortable' temperatures in London tend to last longer during the day, resulting in London having warmer summer evenings than those experienced in San Francisco. 


Toronto actually experiences higher average temperatures during the height of summer than both San Francisco and London. However Toronto is much colder in the winter. It experiences 'freezing' temperatures during the winter months, while San Francisco and London both enjoy relatively mild winters.


You can use the Weather Spark interactive map to view the weather plots for other cities around the world. The map also provides an interesting overview of the average monthly and hourly temperatures which can be experienced at different latitude and longitudes around the world. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Violent Conflicts in the Republic of Texas


In the early 19th Century Texas was one of the most diverse regions in the North American continent. It was home to a number of Native American tribes. It was also home to a large Mexican population and a growing number of illegal immigrants from the United States.

After the formation of the independent Republic of Texas in 1836 relations between Native Americans and Euro-Americans was often strained. The nationalist faction in the new republic led by Mirabeau B. Lamar, advocated for the expulsion of all Native Americans from Texas. Conversely some of the Native American tribes, such as the Comanches, opposed the new republic.

The University of Texas' Border Lands interactive map is an attempt to document and map the locations of the many incidents of conflict between Native Americans and Euro-Americans in Texas during the period from the creation of the First Mexican Republic to the outbreak of the U.S.-Mexico War (1821-1846). 

The interactive Border Lands map includes three main views. The Timeline view allows you to explore all the mapped sites of conflict by date. This timeline view includes a date control which allows you to filter the incidents shown on the map by date range. It also includes an animation view which adds all the sites of conflict to the map in chronological order. The Heat Map view provides a a visualization of the density of conflicts by location. This view provides an overview of which locations in Texas witnessed the most violent conflicts during the period 1821-1846. The Fatalities map view uses colored markers to visualize all the violent conflicts between Native Americans and Euro-Americans by the resulting number of deaths. 

You can gain a deeper insight into the indigenous tribes which were native to the area now known as Texas on the Native Land interactive map. Native Land is an interactive map attempting to show the locations of indigenous territories, languages and treaties around the world.If you zoom in on Texas on the Native Land map you can explore which Native American tribes and languages were indigenous to the area before the arrival of Europeans.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Mapping for Christmas

A necklace, earring, ring or brooch from Talia Sari's You Are Here jewelry range would make the perfect Christmas present for any cartophile in your life.Each item of You Are Here jewelry is custom made based on your chosen location. Just enter a location into the Mapbox powered wizard and Talia Sari can make you a custom item of jewlery using the street map of your favorite location.

Prices start at around $149 for a map necklace, ring or brooch and $171 for a pair of earrings.

If you have been wondering what to buy me for Christmas then might I suggest a 3D mini city model of London. MiniCityArt make 3D models of major global cities. Each model is 3D printed on an FDM 3D printer using biodegradable plastic. The models range in size from 8" to 54". Custom city models can also be made on request.

Prices start from $119.

The present of choice for every fashion conscious cartophile this Christmas is a wearable map. Splash Maps make wearable custom maps printed on weatherproof fabrics. The products available in the Splash Maps store include map face masks, scarfs, tablecloths and even shower curtains. Each Splash Maps product can be made from the map location of your choice.

A polyester-cotton London map face mask can be currently bought for just £3.25.

Of course if you are really struggling for Christmas present ideas then you can't go wrong with a printed map. Mapiful create beautiful map posters for any location on Earth. Using Mapiful's interactive map wizard you can select any location in the world, select whether you want a landscape or portrait orientated poster, choose a map size, and even change the map headings. The Mapiful creation tools also includes a number of different map style themes from which to choose.

Prices start from around $40.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sea View

Put on your virtual life-jacket. This weekend we are going kayaking around Puget Sound, exploring the marine waterways and basins of this Pacific Ocean inlet. There is no need to worry about the cold weather either, because you can now explore this beautiful stretch of water through the power of interactive panoramic Sea View.

The Puget Sound Nearshore Mapping Campaign has been busy capturing 360 degree panoramic imagery of the Puget Sound nearshore by kayaking around the 1,200 miles of this north-western inlet of the Pacific Ocean. Using EarthView's new interactive map you can explore Sea View imagery of the Seattle waterfront, the Port of Tacoma, Fish Trap Cove and many other locations from around the sound. 

The beautiful panoramic imagery provided by EarthView is only one result of the Puget Sound Nearshore Mapping Campaign. EarthView is actually mapping Puget Sound by kayak in order to create more accurate maps of the sound nearshore. Maps which they hope can then play an important role in helping to recover and protect the critically important natural habitats of Puget Sound.

The kayak being used to capture this panoramic imagery of Puget Sound is also equipped with a water quality meter that has been used to record water conditions along the nearshore. The kayak has also been used to record animal sightings on the Puget Sound nearshore.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous then you might also consider taking a virtual dive beneath the waves. The Catlin Seaview Survey has been capturing underwater 360 degree panoramic imagery from across the world for a number of years. Their Virtual Dives website allows you to explore some of this submarine Street View imagery from the coast of Indonesia, among the coral reefs of American Samoa, from the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos and from many other beautiful undersea locations from around the globe.

Friday, November 26, 2021

LiDAR Data Reveals Illegal Logging

LiDAR data has been used to suggest that the logging company VicForests has been carrying out illegal logging in the state of Victoria, Australia. ABC News has obtained high resolution LiDAR data of Victoria's state forest which has allowed researchers to map the underlying terrain. Loggers in Victoria are prohibited from logging on hills which are steeper than 30 degrees. Thanks to the new LiDAR data it is now possible to reveal that between 2004-2019 VicForests illegally logged over 65 hectares from slopes exceeding 30 degrees.

The trees in the forests of Victoria play an integral role in filtering the drinking water of the city of Melbourne. As water flows down the mountains of north-east of Melbourne the roots of the forest trees slow the water's progress. When slowed the water seeps into the ground, where it is then naturally filtered by the soil. This is one reason why it is illegal to log trees on the steep mountain slopes in the water catchment area.

ABC News' Lawless Loggers uses 3D maps to explain how the newly obtained LiDAR data has been used to model the Victoria terrain and reveal where VicForests has been logging on slopes with a higher gradient than 30 degrees. Environmental researchers analyzed 332 logged areas in the state. 331 of those areas had a slope of at least 30 degrees. 

Sixty percent of Melbourne's drinking water comes from the catchment area being logged by VicForests. That water is delivered to the city's residents with very little filtration. VicForests deny that they are involved in a widespread breach of Victoria's slope limits. The Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR) is responsible for enforcing the state's logging laws. It has twice found VicForests guilty of illegal logging but on both occasions declined to take any regulatory action against the logging company.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Navigating by Nose

We have all used our nose to navigate by. Like me I'm sure you have used your nose to find the nearest abattoir while taking the pigs to slaughter or in order to find your date's house next to the sewage plant. Which makes it rather odd than no-one has previously thought to use the nose as a way of navigating an interactive map.

The Earth-Nose Direction Game is a new fun map based game which requires you to navigate an interactive globe using your nose.Don't worry - you don't have to wipe your nose across your phone's touch-screen. This Earth-Nose Direction Game uses your device's video camera to read your head movements.

Once you agree to allow the Earth-Nose Direction Game to access your device's video camera a small circle will appear on the interactive globe. Your object is to navigate to that circle using head movements. Moving your head left or right is equivalent to swiping the globe right or left, while moving your head up or down navigates the globe down or up.

Each circle on the map contains a number of friends (the number of friends is determined by the city's population). If you manage to navigate to a circle those friends are added to your total and another circle is added to the map. 

I already have 15 million friends. I wonder how many you can get?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Geography of a Dollar Bill

Every dollar bill in the United States is issued by one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (FRB). These FRB's are located in Boston, Richmond, Minneapolis, New York City, Atlanta, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis and San Francisco. Every single one dollar bill carries a seal which identifies at which one of the twelve FRBs it was issued. 

Excerpt of a note, showing the seal.
 Seal of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank

Using the seal of the issuing bank it is possible to determine where a $1 originates. It is therefore possible to map the geographical journey of a dollar bill. As people travel around the United States they carry money from state to state. In this way a single dollar bill can end up traveling a long way around the country. In February 1976 S. Pignatello took a sample of $1 dollar bills spent in MacDonalds outlets in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Board districts. Using the identifying seal of each dollar he was able to create an origin/destination matrix, showing how many notes issued in each district were discovered in each of the 11 other districts.

Visionscarto has used the origin/destination table created by S. Pignatello to create a flow map showing the movement of dollar bills around the United States. The flow map in Routing Dollars visualizes how dollar bills move between the 12 Federal Reserve Bank regions. The colored circles indicate whether an individual FRB region is a 'source' (prints more money than they use) or a 'sink' (uses more notes than they print). The orange colored FRBs on the map are sources and the blue FRBs are sinks.

You can track the journeys of individual dollar bills on Where's George?. If you enter the serial number of a dollar bill into Where's George? you can begin to track its journey around the United States. By entering a serial number of a dollar bill and then marking the bill with the URL you can find out where the bill travels (if other people who end up owning the bill log on to Where's George to update the note's journey).

For example on Where's George you can view a map of one $1 dollar bill which has traveled over 13,905 Miles in just 7 years. During this journey it has been to France and back. It has also visited Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Las Vegas, South Dakota, Florida, Ohio, New York and Virginia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The North Sea is Very Busy

Delft University of Technology has worked with Microsoft to map the huge amount of marine traffic off the coast of the Netherlands. In Crowds on the North Sea TU Delft takes a detailed look at this new map of North Sea marine traffic. 

As you scroll through Crowds on the North Sea the map zooms and pans to highlight and explore the different  types of shipping traffic active off the coast of the Netherlands. This includes large ferries used for shipping passengers to and from the Netherlands. The map also reveals the main routes taken by the fleets of container ships constantly sailing in and out of the huge Dutch commercial ports. The AIS tracks of dredging ships can also be seen as they work to keep the main shipping routes open for all other shipping traffic.

Of course the North Sea isn't only used for marine traffic. The sea is also home to wind turbine farms, sand extraction sites, communication cables and gas pipelines. The Crowds on the North Sea interactive map also shows where these other key infrastructure assets are housed in the very busy  North Sea. There are also plans to locate storage facilities for CO2 and to build artificial islands for housing & for an airport - in this already crowded and very active area of the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.

The area of the North Sea off the Belgium coast is also one of the busiest seas in the world. In fact Belgian territorial waters are so busy that the North Sea off the Belgian coast sees more marine traffic than both the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. 

To help illustrate the huge amount of marine activity which takes place off the coast of Belgium the financial newspaper De Tijd created an animated map which visualizes 24 hours of marine traffic, using data from marinetraffic. On this animated map different colors are used to show four distinct types of marine vessel. In the story The North Sea is Teeming container ships are shown in yellow, the blue vessels are fishing boats, dredgers are shown in red and other types of ship are shown in gray. 

The North Sea off the Belgian coast is very shallow and contains many sandbanks. As you progress through De Tijd's story the navigable sea routes off the Belgian coast are added to the map. Look out for the red boats on the map which show the dredgers constantly working to keep these sea routes navigable.Keep scrolling and the dredging dumps, where the dredgers tip the sand and silt cleared from the sea routes, are also added to the map.

As well as the animated map showing 24 hours of marine activity 'The North Sea is Teeming' includes maps which show the major wind farms off the Belgian coast, the location of protected nature zones in the North Sea, and the locations of gas, electricity & telecommunication pipes & cables. Towards the end of De Tijd's story another map is used to show that underwater noise pollution in the North Sea is loudest off the Belgian Coast. With all this marine activity it is easy to understand why.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Viewing Vintage Maps in 3D

Palestine 3D allows you to explore 150 vintage maps overlaid on top of modern day elevation data. The maps date from the 1940's and were downloaded from Palestine Open Maps, which allows you to browse and search a detailed set of historic maps of Palestine dating from the period of the British Mandate of Palestine.

The Palestine 3D interactive map allows you to view historical maps of Palestine side-by-side with modern satellite imagery of Palestine. The map includes a height multiplier control which allows you to exaggerate the underlying elevation data to give you a clearer (although exaggerated) idea of the terrain. 

Palestine 3D uses to overlay the vintage maps on top of the modern elevation data. You can explore (& fork) the code on the Palestine 3D GitHub page. 

You can also use Mapbox GL to overlay vintage / historical maps on top of a 3D terrain. Last year I created a little demo map which shows an 1833 map of Vesuvius draped over the terrain of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. Vintage Mapper allows you to view the map "Vesuvius Showing the Direction of the Streams of Lava in the Eruptions from 1631 AD. to 1831 A.D." on top of a 3D map of the volcano. This vintage map was taken from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

I've published my Vintage Mapper demo on Glitch. If you want to clone the map then you can do so on its Glitch page. All you have to do to adapt the map is add a new vintage map layer and change the Vintage Mapper's starting latitude and longitude. If you click on the 'Georeference' button on a vintage map in the David Rumsey Map Collection you can grab the URL for that map's map tiles. When the selected map opens in Georeferencer you need to sign-in and then click on the 'This Map' link. You can then click on the 'Get links' button to copy the URL for the map tiles.

If you open up Vintage Mapper on its Glitch page you will see that I have commented the code to show where the vintage map tiles URL should go. Just delete the URL for the Vesuvius map and paste in your own URL. All you need to do then is to change the latitude and longitude to center the map on your new vintage map tiles.