Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Maps of the Week

This week a couple of news maps really caught my attention. First up is Liveuamap, a Google Map reporting incidents from the crisis in Ukraine. The map is a nonprofit, volunteer run project with a mission to inform the world about the on-going conflict in Ukraine.

The latest events in the country are plotted on the map using categorized map markers and are also listed in a map side-panel. The blue map markers relate to Ukrainian government actions and the red markers show the actions of the pro-Russian rebels.

The map includes a date picker so that you can select to view reported incidents from any date during the conflict. It also includes dynamic URL's so that you directly link to any incident reported on the map.

There have been quite a few news maps over the years and none of them have been better than Breaking News. Breaking News is an impressive website highlighting the latest news stories around the world. The site includes two main elements, a map and a news stream. Users can either read the posted news stories by clicking on the map pins or on the streamed news story headlines.

One of the nicest features of Breaking News is the 'ongoing stories' function. The news stream includes an 'ongoing stories' section and the headlines in the news stream are also tagged with these 'ongoing stories'. If you select an ongoing story from the news stream the map updates to show only the geo-tagged news items related to your chosen news topic.

The site includes a number of other neat features, such as the ability to search for news stories and to save topics.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives is not the most innovative of maps but it has to be included in this week's round-up of the best maps, if only because it has been the most popular map on social media over the last few days.

One of the earliest popular uses of the Google Maps API was Gawker Stalker. The now defunct Gawker Stalker allowed you to track the movements of your favorite celebrities thanks to the detailed stalking carried out by Gawker and their readers.

If there is one thing more popular than celebrities on the internet then that is pictures of cats. It is therefore surprising that we have had to wait seven years for someone to finally get around to releasing I Know Where Your Cat Lives.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives displays pictures of cats on a Google Map. The pictures of the cats come from popular photo sharing websites and the locations are based on the data hidden in cat photo metadata.

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