Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Maps of the Week

Transitmix is a new tool which allows you to design your own transit system on top of a Mapbox map. Using the map you can draw bus routes on any city’s road system, specify the frequency and times of service and find out the total estimated cost of your new bus system.

Creating your own bus routes with Transitmix couldn't be easier. Just select the 'Add a line' option and start drawing on the map. Your new bus route will automatically snap to your city's road grid. If you want to ignore the road grid just hold down shift when you add a line and you can then bulldoze straight through any pesky buildings that happen to be in the way of your nice new bus route.

Transitmix automatically gives your new bus route a name and sets the bus frequency for the route for different times during the day and week. You can click on the name of your bus line and change it to anything that you you want. You can also change the frequency of buses on your new route. The annual running costs of your transit system will automatically update as you change the frequency of service. is a Google Map of real-time observation data from four wave buoys which are located in the northern Baltic Sea. The map also displays wind and sea level observation data from other sources and wave, wind and sea level forecasts.

The attention to detail on this map is very impressive. With the use of custom map markers, styled information windows and the styling of the base map tiles has created a map that is not only useful for sailors but is visually striking as well.

The map uses the Marker with Label library to create the arrow wind direction markers. It also uses Martin Pearman's Context Menu library to add a menu when the user right-clicks on the map. The custom designed information windows are created with the help of the Infobox library for Google Maps.

The Google Maps API can be a wonderful resource for helping students learn about the world. It can also be used as a tool to help present school projects in a visually appealing and engaging manner. The best example I've seen of a Google Maps aided school project is Geschichtomat.

In Geschichtomat - Explore Hamburg’s Jewish History! Hamburg school students were set the task of exploring the history of Jewish life in Hamburg and exploring the traces of the city's Jewish past in their own districts. The students achieved this by researching Jewish life in their neighborhoods, questioning witnesses and studying historical documents.

The students were then asked to present what they had learned about Hamburg's Jewish history through video, photographs and text. These presentations were then added to the amazing Geschichtomat Google Map. The map not only provides a great mapped record of the students' work but is in itself a great multi-media guide to Hamburg's Jewish past.

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