Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Road Map to Surviving Halloween

Just in case the zombie apocalypse starts tonight you might want to bookmark the Map of the Dead.

Just enter your address into Map the Dead and you are presented with a handy map displaying the zombie danger zones around your home. The map also displays nearby places that are likely to have resources to help you survive once the zombies begin to take control.

It is highly likely that the internet will not survive the rise of the dead so you are advised to print out your personalized Map of the Dead and store it in a secure location.

While you wait for the zombie apocalypse to begin you should get some zombie killing practice in. Class 3 Outbreak is a neat Google Maps based zombie outbreak simulator.

C3O gives players the impossible task of holding back waves of zombies with a hopelessly outnumbered police force. Your job is to stamp out infections as they appear on the map, and try to staunch the zombie threat for as long as possible.

In the game you can protect thousands of civilians over a 1km square area. The game includes thousands of map inhabitants each of whom behave individually and interact with the terrain on Google Maps, meaning that characters move under trees, around walls and into buildings.

Here's the plan, we take the car. Go to Mum's. Kill Phil, grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over ...

Zombies have taken over the world and, unlike in the movies, they seem to be able to run really fast. To survive you will need to outpace the converging hordes of the undead in Google Maps Street View.

As you run around the streets in Street View Zombie Apocalypse you can view the approaching zombies in the inset Google Map. To stay alive you will need to outsmart them and avoid becoming trapped.

Oh, and if you want to pretend you are in Shaun of the Dead, try playing the game outside the location of The Winchester pub in the film (39 Monson Road, New Cross, London, England).

The Geography of Halloween Horror

Transylvania will forever be associated with the ghastly tale of Dracula. If this ESRI map is anything to go by then many other locations around the world may also struggle to shake off their association with the fictional horrors that have taken place there.

The Geography of Horror is a map of the settings of 200 of the top-rated horror films on IMDB. Users can filter the films displayed on the map by the date of release. The posters of the films can be viewed in the map sidebar and if you click on a film's marker on the map you can read a synopsis of its plot.

The First Global Map of Flatland

3d Maps Minus 3d takes the 3d aerial texture maps that are used by online maps to provide 3d imagery and presents them in glorious 2d. The result is a very strange global map that presents the world in a new light.

Google Maps uses two-dimensional texture maps to add photo-realism to the 3d models that can be viewed in the Google Earth browser view. In Google Maps these texture maps are reassembled by your browser to present a navigable 3d view of the world. 3d Maps Minus 3d presents a map of these images without the 3d models.

The result is very strange indeed.

The Street View Horrors of Halloween

Over the last few days there has been a proliferation of Halloween related Street View galleries popping up on the internet. Not to be outdone here is my Spooky Gallery of Street View.

If my gallery doesn't scare you (and frankly it shouldn't) you can check out these other Halloween themed Street View galleries:

The Daily Dot's Scariest Places on Street View
Mashable's Scariest Street View Sightings
Autonet's Frightening Sights of Street View

Free the Arctic 30

It is now over a month since Russia arrested 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists. The 30 are now facing a charge of hooliganism, a charge that could result in up to 7 years in jail.

Greenpeace has released a time-line and map of the events leading up to the illegal boarding of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise by the Russian coast guard and the arrest of all on board. Into the Arctic maps the journey of the Arctic Sunrise from July 1st when it set sail on its mission to expose the dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic.

The map shows the track of the Arctic Sunrise and the time-line explains the ship's mission and also tells the stories of some of the activists now facing trial in Russia.

You can show your support for the Arctic 30 by sending a letter or e-mail to your Russian embassy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Real-Time Map Sharing

GoInstant is an application for building real-time, multi-user applications, that allow one or more users to collaborate and work on the application on different computers at the same time.

To showcase the product GoInstant has built a clever collaborative Google Map that allows you to share and browse Google Maps with one or more friends. Open an instance of the GoInstant Maps Demo and you can share a link to the map with your friends and then browse the map together.

Zoom in on the GoInstant Map in your browser and the map on your friends' browsers will zoom as well to show the exact same view. You can even drop pegman onto the map and browse Street View in real-time with your friends.

If you like the GoInstant Map and can see a use for it in your own site you can view the code behind the project on GitHub.

Mapping Bike Accidents

Berliner Fahrradunfälle nach Ort is a Google Map of Berlin bike accidents in 2011. The map was created using data from the Berlin police.

Users can search the map by location and can filter the results by the number of accidents reported for each location. For example, if you select the  'Über 21 Unfälle' option (over 21 accidents) you can view the six roads in Berlin that were the location for the highest number of bike accidents.

The police data only specifies the location and number of accidents with no indication of the severity of each accident, the cause of the accident or the time and date of each accident.

How Bike Directions Should Be Done

Milano BikeDistrict is a beautifully designed route finder for Milan's cyclists. This is exactly how bike directions should be done!

The application allows cyclists to get mapped directions between any two points in Milan. For each query Milano BikeDistrict provides three suggested routes, the most direct, the safest and the most cycle friendly. Users can quickly view each suggested route on an OpenStreetMap and view the step-by-step directions in the map sidebar.

For each stage in the directions Milano BikeDistrict indicates the road surface (cobblestones, gravel, asphalt etc) the presence of any stairs and informs you if a bike path is available. Each section of the route is also color-coded to indicate how cycle friendly that stage of the journey is.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Social Hiking on Google Maps

Social Hiking is a clever application that creates a map of your walk, auto-magically adds your social media, and provides a number of ways for you to share your map with your friends.

Social Hiking either lets you create a map of your hike in real-time or create the map from your GPS trail when you get home. The application also collects information from your other social sites to include on your map, for example from Twitter , Twitpic, Audioboo, Flickr, Qik and ipadio. What's more this added media doesn't even need to be geo-tagged. Social Hiking adds it to your map using just the time-stamps.

Social Hiking works with a number of location gathering GPS devices and location sharing apps, such as ViewRanger, SPOT Satellitte Messenger, YellowBrick, GPX uploads and geo-tagged social media (currently Twitter and FourSquare).

Your hike is displayed as a polyline on a Google Map, with an elevation chart and all your social media marked on the map. You get a permanent URL for your map, which you can share with your friends, and you can grab the embed code to post the map on your own blog or website.

Minecraft Manhattan

Last month the Ordnance Survey released a Minecraft world of the UK using OS Open Data maps. Now New York is getting in on the act.

SparseWorld is creating a huge Minecraft map of New York. The Minecraft world is created using elevation, landcover and orthography data from USGS, 3d buildings from Google Earth and street mapping from OpenStreetMap.

You don't even have to have Minecraft to view the results as a real-time interactive server map is also available of the New York world.

New York in the Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties wants to transport you back to the sounds of New York in the 1920's. A time when the sound of playing children and noisy radios competed with the noise of street traffic and store peddlers.

The Roaring Twenties uses the Google Maps API with a historical map of New York to map noise complaints submitted by New Yorkers in the the 1920's. The complaints provide a fascinating insight into the types of sounds that were annoying citizens at the beginning of the last century.

Even more fascinating is the inclusion on the map of vintage film shot in New York. This historical film allows the user to listen to the street sounds for themselves and also gain an insight into how New York looked 90 years ago.

Finally a Repository of Google Map Styles

For a while now I've been looking for a good library of Google Maps map styles. Google Maps map style wizards are really useful in helping developers create their own map styles but sometimes you just want to be able to browse through examples of styles and pick and choose an appropriate style for your map.

Thankfully we now have Snazzy Maps. Snazzy Maps is a repository of different color schemes for Google Maps. You can browse through the many example map styles on Snazzy Maps by the 'most popular' and 'most recent'. You can also filter the maps shown by a number of useful tags, such as 'dark', 'light', 'two-tone' etc.

Once you find a map style that you like you can click on its title and grab the style array. Snazzy Maps even provides an option to download a simple example of each style.

Map developers can contribute to the repository by adding map styles that they have created themselves. Developers who regularly use the Google Maps API should definitely bookmark Snazzy Maps as a useful resource.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Street View Tour of the Thames

Google today added Street View imagery captured from a boat sailing down the River Thames in central London. The new Street View imagery allows you view many of the famous landmarks that sit on the banks of the famous river, including Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London and the Tate Modern art gallery.

The new imagery runs from the Thames Barrier in east London to Kew Gardens in the west. Clicking through all this new Street View imagery would probably result in some serious repetitive strain injuries so I have created a scrollable tour of some of the best views in the Street View.

Thames Scroll provides a guided tour of some of my favorite sites along the river. If you get bored of the guided tour at any point and want to wander off on your own just click on the Google logo in the Street View to open Google Maps and you can explore the new imagery at your own pace.

Create a 'How to Find Us' Map

Local Maps is a new, free map creation tool from Map Channels that allows anyone to create a quick map containing a single marker. The tool is perfect for businesses and organizations that need a map for their 'where we are' or 'how to find us' pages.

Local Maps couldn't be simpler to use. All you need to do is enter the location of your business and grab the code to add the map to your website. Users can however customize the size of the map, the font and font size used in the map sidebar and select from a wide range of other features.

The tool allows users to add the option of displaying the Street View of their business or organization, to provide directions for visitors to the business and to view surrounding points of interest (via Google Places). The tool even includes the option to use your own image for the map marker, which means you can use your own logo to show the location of your business on your created map.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Google Maps of the Week

The Swiss Crash Map is a Google Map of all 108,640 Swiss road accidents in 2011 and 2012. The map not only helps users identify accident blackspots by location it also includes filters to explore the data by time of day, by day of the week, by severity and by the type of vehicles involved.

If you zoom in on the map you can click on individual accidents on the map to view details of the accident. An information panel also gives an overview of the total number of casualties in the current map view and a pie chart provides an overview on the percentages of male and female drivers involved in the traffic accidents. As you pan and zoom the map the panel and pie chart automatically updates the data to show the casualty total for the current view.

With Halloween on the horizon I suspect you have already started planning whose house you are going to toilet-paper this year. You can now use Cheetos - Project TP to carry out a practice run on Google Maps Street View.

Just enter an address into the application and you can then fly over the house in the Cheetos' helicopter and bombard the house with toilet paper. You then get to view the result of your toilet paper bombing on Street View and even get a link to share the results of your prank with all your friends.

This week I was also impressed with another Street View based application. This random story generator creates a new story every time the application is run.

EMMA picks random Street View images from Google Maps, applies effect to the images, selects a random text sample from the database and combines the Street View and text to create a random narrative.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

War Games on Google Maps

Given the potential of a game world that encompasses the whole globe I am surprised that no-one has yet managed to create a truly addictive military conquest or RISK type game with the Google Maps API.

In fact the best military themed games developed with the Google Maps API have been more shoot-em-up than strategy based games. The best two examples of shooting games are probably MapsTD, a Google Maps tower defense game and GeoGuns, a tank shooting game.

There is therefore a huge market for the first developers to create a truly compelling strategic game using Google Maps. It is little too early to say whether War2Map is going to be that game. War2Map is currently in an early BETA release and is looking for players to sign-up and start testing this new strategic war game.

The game revolves around expanding your home territory by deploying troops, building infrastructure, collecting taxes and trading with and fighting against other players around the world. If you sign-up as an early BETA release tester you can start building up your home base and interacting with other players. Every day you get extra bonus items and extra coins and additional powerups and experience points can be won by fighting against other players.

The team behind War2Map are also looking at developing AI troops for players to battle against and mission tasks to help players progress in the game and earn experience points.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mapping Millennials

The Washington Post has created a map to show where in Washington DC millennials are living. The Millennials in DC map includes two layers that show the change in populations in each district and the share of population in district. 

The change in populations layer shows the districts with the largest gains in population ages 23-34, from 2000 to 2010 and the share of population layer shows the districts with the largest share of millennials, based on the 2010 census.

The Washington Post article also includes an examination of the working lives of millennials, their incomes and their social lives.

Scroll Across the World in Street View

I've become tired of pressing the forward arrows in Street View to keep moving forward, so I decided to create a little application that allows you to use the scroll-bar or mouse scroll-wheel to move forward and backwards in Street View.

Scroll Around the World is simple to use. Just keep scrolling down the page to take a virtual stroll across some Street View scenes from around the world. If you want to walk backwards just scroll back up the page. Your legs might not get much exercise on your virtual stroll but I've definitely built up the muscles in my scrolling finger while developing this app.

Putting European Start-ups on the Map is a Google Map based guide to the start-up scene in a number of European cities. The map currently has good coverage of the locations of start-up companies and investors in Berlin and is working on creating similar maps for Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Lisbon.

Made in NI is a Google Map of Northern Ireland's start-up's, tech companies and co-working spaces.

Tech Britain is a map of UK new technology companies.
Tech City Map is busy mapping the technology companies and start-ups in east London
Cambridge Cluster Map
 is a map of Cambridge's high-tech sector.

Madri+d Mapa del Conocimiento is a Google Map of Madrid's research, technology and science companies.

StartGenome has created maps of France, Italy and Belgium's developing new technology scene as well as start-up maps for a number of individual European cities.

Swiss Startups is a Google Map of Switzerland's tech start-up community.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Generate Random Stories with Street View

This week has certainly become story mapping week on Google Maps Mania. Continuing with this theme here is an awesome random story generator that creates a new story every time the application is run.

EMMA picks random Street View images from Google Maps, applies effect to the images, selects a random text sample from the database and combines the Street View and text to create a random narrative.

Mapping France's Most Popular Sports

Slate has used data from the French Ministère des Sports to create an interactive map of the most popular sports in France. La Carte de France des Sports is based on the number of members of sports federations throughout the country.

The map reveals some interesting geographical trends. It is well known that rugby is popular in the south-west, that skiing is popular in the Alps and that football is popular everywhere. It is useful however to have this common knowledge confirmed by the map.

The map also reveals some surprising results. Tennis for example seems to be the most popular sport in Paris and in the wealthy areas of the south-east. Golf doesn't seem to be a particularly popular past-time anywhere, except for around some links courses on the north and west coasts.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Street View of the Mary Celeste

Google in partnership with the Catlin Sea Survey has today added undersea Street View imagery of the wreck of the paddle steamer the 'Mary Celeste' to Google Maps.

I've done a little research this evening trying to put together the story of this ship wreck - and it is quite an interesting story. The Mary Celeste was a blockade runner used during the American Civil War on behalf of the Confederacy to smuggle goods in and out of America.

If you want to know more then check out this little biography of the Mary Celeste that I've put together with the help of jQuery Waypoints and the Google Maps API.

The Historical Salem Map Tour

This week seems to be all about telling stories with maps, from telling fictional stories with maps to creating scrolling narrative maps with jQuery WayPoints and Google Maps.

This week also saw the release of the new StoryMapJS library. This new library from Knight Lab helps users create their own mapped stories. Just in time for Halloween has used the library to create an Interactive Tour of Salem Historical Sites.

The tour guides the user through many of Salem's historical locations, including the Salem Witch Museum, the Witch House, the Witch Dungeon Museum and the Witch Trials Memorial.

Pennsylvania Wineries on Google Maps

Pennsylvania Wines has used the Google Maps API to create a smart looking map of the state's wineries

The app has been designed to work on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. The site works particularity well on mobile devices as it uses GPS positioning to recommend nearby wineries and provides other useful information about opening hours, directions and contact information.

While browsing the map you can add any of the wineries to a personal itinerary. Once you have completed your itinerary you can then get the driving directions for your own personal wine tasting tour. Which only leaves you the task of finding someone else to do the driving.    

Create Story Maps with the Google Maps API

Recently I have seen a number of story or narrative maps that use scrolling as the method to progress through the narrative. A really good example of this is Liminal Editions, a rip-roaring fictional tale with an accompanying map.

The New York Times has also recently created a couple of non-fictional maps (Riding the New Silk Road The Russia Left Behind) that use scrolling to progress through a report and to update a map at the same time.

It is possible to use the jQuery Waypoints library to create something similar with Google Maps. Waypoints is a jQuery plugin that makes it easy to execute a function whenever you scroll to an element on a web page.

We can use the plug-in to create event handlers for functions in the Google Maps API, so that as the user scrolls to defined elements on a page we can execute a function in a Google Map. This enables us to create a story map, a sticky map that updates as the user scrolls down the page.

Have a look at this example Story Map to see the concept in action. As you scroll down this page we can move to different locations on the map, we can zoom in on locations, we could add markers to the map, we can change the map type and we can even load a Street View image.

This enables us to create story maps. To tell a story in the text and to move the map to relevant locations as the narrative progresses. We could also use the library to create journey maps. We could provide details, and even add photos and videos to the left hand column on the page and again move the map to the relevant locations when we need to.

It is also possible to use jQuery Waypoints with Google Maps Street View. Using the library with Street View allows us to create an application where we can walk up and down a street using the scroll wheel or scroll bar.

Have a look at this demo to get an idea of what is possible. For the purposes of this example I've added a visible overlay and added a hash '#' for each div element where I am loading a new Street View. If you wanted to replicate this in your own application then you would probably want to set the opacity of this overlay to zero so that the user wouldn't see it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Fun Ways to Decorate your House on Street View

1. Cheetos - Project TP

With Halloween on the horizon I suspect you have already started planning whose house you are going to toilet-paper this year. You can now use Cheetos - Project TP to carry out a practice run on Google Maps Street View.

Just enter an address into the application and you can then fly over the house in the Cheetos helicopter and bombard the house with toilet paper. You then get to view the result of your toilet paper bombing on Street View and even get a link to share the results of your prank with all your friends.

Hat-tip: Google Street View World

2. Trippy

If you are bored with how your house looks on Street View then why not take a look at it through the looking glass? Trippy uses the streetview-stereographic library to create a very hallucinogenic look to Google Maps Street View.

If you like this effect there are few more examples of streetview-stereographic in action on the library's Github page.

3. Graffit Map

Graffit Map is a fun Street View application that allows you to add graffiti to Google's panoramic imagery.

The app allows you to select any location where Street View is available and draw directly on top of the Street View image. Users can select the brush size and color of their spray can and then start adding their tags to the world.

When you are happy with your graffiti you can export an image of your creation. The export consists of a jpeg, which you can then share a link to on Twitter or Facebook, or download for your own use.

4. Here Comes the Sun

If your house looks a little dull on Street View you can use Here Comes the Sun to add a little sun to the view.

Ian Butterworth noticed that the Street View imagery in London on Google Maps looks a little dull and lifeless. He therefore devised Here Comes the Sun so that Londoners can browse their streets on Street View and see what it would look like if the sun ever shone on their grey city.

The application does a little processing of Street View in the browser to adjust the brightness of the imagery. Unfortunately because of the differences in modern browsers you will probably need to use Google Chrome to view Here Comes the Sun.

On the plus side Here Comes the Sun isn't actually restricted to London and you can use the application to brighten up the Street View imagery anywhere in the world.

5. Doodle Street View

Doodle Street View lets you take a virtual tour of the Boulevard Saint-Laurent in Montréal.

The application presents you with a side-on view of one side of the Boulevard using Google Maps Street View. However these are Street View images which have been drawn on by other users of Doodle Street View.

You can scroll left and right to move down the street. At any point in your virtual stroll down the Boulevard you can actually draw on the Street View image yourself and leave your own virtual mark on the Boulevard Saint-Laurent.

If these applications seem a little too creative for your tastes then why not check out 5 Fun Ways to Destroy Your House on Street View.

Telling Stories with Maps

The Northwestern University's Knight Lab has released a new tool, called StoryMapsJS, to help users create mapped stories.

Perhaps the best way to understand a StoryMapJS created map is to look at the provided example. The StoryMapJS site includes a demo map that explores the mean center of the US population from 1790 to the present day. The map presents a series of map markers each of which are associated with an explanatory slide, which is displayed under the map.

Users of the map can progress through the slides chronologically by clicking on forward or back buttons or can load a slide by clicking on any of the map markers. StoryMapsJS therefore appears to be a good creation tool to use for maps that have a chronological progression, for example for mapping a journey, trip or historical development.

StoryMapJS is currently in an early Alpha release. Currently you need to download the framework from GitHub. Eventually however you should be able to just load the library and append the location data via a JSON file.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Introducing Google Maps Engine Pro

Google has today released a new mapping application as part of its Maps Engine series of map creation tools.

Google Maps Engine Pro, appears to be designed to make it as easy as possible for businesses to create their own Google Maps. Comparing the specifications of Google Maps Engine to Maps Engine Pro it appears that the 'Pro' version has slightly less functionality but a higher geocoding rate limit. There are also differences in how you pay for each product. Maps Engine Pro is charged by licence whereas Maps Engine is based on the number of map views.

The good news for potential customers is that you can now also get a free introductory account to Google Maps Engine. The introductory account gives you free access to the full Maps Engine platform but limits the number of map queries per day.

There is more good news as well for users of any of the Google Maps Engine products. A new mobile app allows you to now view your maps created with Google Maps Engine on your Android phone.

NSW Fires Mapped

With fires in New South Wales, Australia still raging a state of emergency has now been declared. Google Crisis Response has released a NSW Bushfires Map.

The map shows the location of NSW fires. The fire map markers indicate whether an emergency warning, a watch and act or an advice warning has been issued in response. The map also visualizes burned areas via black polygons.

The Australian Bushfire Map gathers and displays data from multiple public agencies to give a composite view of fire incidents currently affecting Australia.

The map includes a number of options to refine the fire data displayed on the map. Of particular use is the ability to view today's hotspots based on satellite thermal detection.

Citizen Mapping in New York

The New York Public Library has been blazing a trail in the use of citizen cartography through its wonderful Map Warper tool. The tool utilizes the power of the 'crowd' to help digitize the libraries wonderful collection of historical maps.

Using the tool anyone can help the Library align their historical maps on top of a modern OpenStreetMap of New York. Now that the library has digitized a large number of their maps they need help in identifying building footprints on the maps.

The New York Library's new Building Inspector is another 'citizen science' tool that allows anyone to help the library identify building footprints on the library's maps. The library has developed a Map Vectorizer application which automatically detects building footprints and converts them to machine-readable shape files.

The Map Vectorizer can automatically identify building footprints in an entire borough in a matter of hours. However the data footprints are not always completely accurate. That's where the Building Inspector comes in as it allows users to determine if a building footprint is accurate or whether it needs to be redrawn.

The Live DDoS Attack Map

Google Ideas and Arbor Networks have today launched a live map of distributed denial of service attacks. A DDoS attack is a method of taking down a website by overloading it with unwanted traffic using several computers.

The Digital Attack Map provides both a live visualization of current DDoS attacks around the world and the ability to view historic trends and related news reports of outages happening on a given day. As well as the map view it is possible to view current and historical attacks in table form.

How Your Representatives Voted on the Shutdown

The New York Times has published a map to try and explain the various factions at play in the House of Representatives during the recent government shutdown.

The Factions in the House of Represenatives map allows users to select various factions within both the Democratic and Republican parties, view the districts that they represent on the map and find out how they voted in the compromise to end the shutdown.

For example, the map shows that the Tea Party supporters, that voted heavily against any compromise, largely represent rural or Southern districts. While moderate Republicans who voted against the shutdown in the first place represent districts in populous states, mainly in the Northeast.

Where You Can Get High in the Netherlands

The laws about smoking cannabis in the Netherlands can be quite hard to understand. Cannabis is actually illegal in the country however possession of less than 5 grams of cannabis is decriminalized. A recent smoking ban also means it is illegal to smoke in public places.

Coffeeshops however were able to negotiate an exemption to the smoking ban so, as the situation stands, you can't smoke a cigarette in a cafe but you can smoke a joint in a coffeeshop. At least you can if you are Dutch. If you aren't Dutch things aren't that simple.

As the law stands local governments, if they want, can set local laws stating that only locals can smoke in coffeeshops and that foreigners are banned.

Confused? OK - what you need is a simple map.

The Dutch Coffeeshop Tourist Tolerance Map shows you in which towns tourists are allowed to smoke in coffeeshops and where you will need to become a resident of the town and apply for a 'Weed Pass' before you can get high.

The Internet is Small

This DutchStartUp Map shows that Amsterdam has a thriving industry in new technology. The map portrays a city experiencing a growth in on-line shopping, social communities, web development and an infrastructure of investors, accelerators and start-up funds eager to help promote this growth further.

However Amsterdam's tech industry has some way to go to rival Amsterdam's cultural industry in the 17th Century. Just take a look at the huge number of publishers and printers on this Cultural Industries Map.

The map shows the location of Amsterdam's printers and publishers between 1500 and 1900. It includes a date selection tool that allows you to adjust the results shown by date. Select the 17th Century and you will discover that in that century alone Amsterdam had over 700 printers and publishers.

Now that's a cultural industry.

One Thousand Car Crashes Mapped

When driving in Switzerland it is best to avoid the east entrance to the Gubrist tunnel on the Zurich bypass. According to the Swiss Crash Map the tunnel entrance is the most dangerous location in the country for car drivers, with over 200 accidents.

The Swiss Crash Map is a Google Map of all 108,640 Swiss road accidents in 2011 and 2012. The map not only helps users identify accident blackspots by location it also includes filters to explore the data by time of day, by day of the week, by severity and by the type of vehicles involved.

If you zoom in on the map you can click on individual accidents on the map to view details of the accident. An information panel also gives an overview of the total number of casualties in the current map view and a pie chart provides an overview on the percentages of male and female drivers involved in the traffic accidents. As you pan and zoom the map the panel and pie chart automatically updates the data to show the casualty total for the current view.

The map also makes good use of polygon masking to highlight Switzerland on the map and mask out the rest of the world. If you want to copy this feature you can use Geomask to define an area on a map and create your own polygon mask with the Google Maps API.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Open Steam Punk Mapping

Liminal Editions is the rip-roaring fictional tale of Alfred Ward Swan's attempt to build a Pneumatic Tube Transit System beneath the streets of Queen City in the 1890's.

The story uses OpenStreetMap with historical maps (of Burlington, Vermont), illustrations and photographs. As you scroll down the page the narrative unwinds and the map pans and zooms to the relevant locations in the story.

The tale was developed by Meghan Dewald, Trisha Denton, Bill Morris, Gahlord Dewald and Brett Chalupa for StoryHackVT.

The Google Maps of the Week

Recently we have seen all the buildings in the Netherlands mapped by age of construction. Now we have a live real-time map of all the buses in the Netherlands.

Ovzoeker is a Google Map that shows in real-time the position of buses belonging to a number of Dutch transit companies. The buses on the map are color-coded to indicate which transit company they belong to. If you click on any one of the thousands of buses moving on this map you can view where it is heading and how early or late it is running.

This isn't the first time we've seen a live real-time map of a country's whole transit network. In Switzerland you can view the whole Swiss rail network operating in real-time at SBB Network. In the US you can view all of the Amtrak network on the Amtrak Track a Train map.

This map of the Military Memorial Park in Pákozd, Hungary claims to be "the world's highest spatial resolution aerial orthophoto map produced by aeroplane". I don't know if that is true or not but I do like the map.

Aerial Record use the Google Maps API as a means of presenting the high resolution aerial imagery as a slippy interactive map. This means that users can zoom in and pan around the image as they would do a normal Google Map.

The aerial imagery itself really is of high resolution. If you zoom in on individuals on the map you can almost see the color of their eyes.

The image also contains a number of descriptive overlays. If you turn on 'descriptions' when you zoom in on features in the park you can find out more about them by reading the provided information.