Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Maps of the Week

This week's Maps of the Week features no Google Maps based applications. This may reflect a growing shift in the balance of power in mapping API's away from the Google Maps API and towards other providers - but I'll leave that debate for another time.

For now lets concentrate on some of the best maps of the past week.

This week I was very impressed with two maps that look at the thorny issue of immigration and refugees. Whatever your view on immigration the stories of migrants deserve to be told and I haven't seen the migrant's story better told than in the Global Mail's new mapped interactive report on Hussain's Journey.

Filmmaker Matt Abbott gave Muhammad Hussain, a Hazara Pakistani about to set out on a journey to seek asylum in Australia, a video camera and asked him to film his experiences. The Global Mail's mapped report starts off with Matt Abbot's own recordings of Muhammad Hussain's family and life in Karachi.

When Muhammad set off on his dangerous journey to Australia he took over the filming himself. The mapped report of this journey allows you to view his experiences in safe houses, in smugglers’ homes and the final stretch across the ocean in a rickety boat. 

Since the start of the Syrian civil war at least two million refugees have fled the country and more than five million have been displaced internally. Most of the refugees have fled to neighboring countries. This humanitarian crisis has placed a huge burden on Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.

Al Jazeera has created a mapped visualization to help convey the scale of rehousing seven million people. Where would 7 million displaced Syrians fit? allows you to overlay the area needed to rehouse 7 million people on any location in the United States.

The area of land needed at each US location is based on the current population density as revealed by the 2010 census. Viewing the refugee overlay on top of your own home-town really helps to convey the humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian civil war.

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.

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