Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Maps of the Week

In the 19th Century Govan in Scotland was one of the world's leading ship-building centers. Like many dockland areas Govan became an area popular with immigrants. The number of foreign ships coming into Govan coupled with the area's high employment meant that Govan proved attractive to many immigrants.

Immigrants to Govan came from all around the world. There were Irish emigrants escaping the potato famine, there were Eastern Europeans fleeing the anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia and there were also English immigrants looking for work.

Govan Scotlands's Melting Pot is a fascinating Google Map visualizing the home addresses of foreign born individuals in Govan, using data from the 1881 census. Using the map it is possible to view the areas in Govan where immigrants lived. You can even filter the results by nationality so that you can find out where different nationalities liked to live.

If you select a marker on the map you can view information about the individuals living at an address, with details about their ages and occupations. It is fascinating exploring the map and discovering the types of employment favored by the different nationalities living in Govan in the late 19th Century.

Do you know what lies buried beneath your back yard?

There are nearly one million chemical spill sites in the United States. Who knows what other environmental hazards lies beneath the ground in your neighborhood?

WhatsDown do, that's who.

WhatsDown is a map of the buried environmental and health hazards in the United States. You can search the map by any location and discover what spill sites, groundwater plumes, environmental protections and munitions areas can be found nearby. Click on a marker and you can view detailed information about the spill, its implications for human health, and the efforts made to clean it up.

I have no shame so I'm going to include my own Paintings on Street View in this week's Maps of the Week. This little application superimposes landscape paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on top of Google Maps Street View. The app includes paintings of Paris, Naples, Venice and New York.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has released 394,000 images from its collection into the public domain. These images can now be downloaded for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use. I've taken some of these paintings and superimposed them on top of the Google Maps Street View images of the scenes depicted.

Use the orange 'Menu' button in the app to view the available paintings and click on a painting thumbnail image to see it superimposed on Street View. You can use the slider control to adjust the opacity of the painting and to view the Street View area hidden beneath.

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