Sunday, November 09, 2014

Maps of the Week

My favorite map of the past week was this tool to query OpenStreetMap element tags to show land use in Germany.

Flächennutzungstool (Land Use Tool) shows how land is used based on OpenStreetMap data. The map includes three drawing tools (circular, rectangular and polygon) which allows you to select an area on a map of Germany to see the proportion of different land usage.

After you select an area on the map, features are automatically colored by land use. The colors indicate residential, commercial and green space land use in the area selected. When you select an area on the map you can also view a graph in the map sidebar to show the proportion of land use for each classification in the selected area.

One of the most shared maps on Maps Mania this week was this map of surveillance cameras around London's congestion charge border. On Thursday, 30th October 2014 James Bridle set out to walk the perimeter of the London Congestion Charge Zone.

While on the walk James planned to take photos of all the surveillance cameras decorating the route. Unfortunately James was not able to complete a full circuit of the Congestion Charge Zone. During his walk he was placed under citizen arrest by security guards from the Grosvenor House Hotel and then subsequently questioned by the police for the suspicious behavior of carrying a camera in London.

James did manage to complete roughly half of his planned route and was able to take 427 photos of the surveillance cameras. You can view the location and photos of all the surveillance cameras that James documented on this Paranoid Cartography map. The map includes an animated heat-map layer which is drawn on the map chronologically. While the heat-map layer is being drawn a slide-show of all James' photos also plays out on the map.

You can read more about the walk and the project on the Short Term Memory Loss website.

Another popular map this week was Google's 36 Hours paid advertising feature in the The New York Times. The main purpose of this promotion is to support the new Signed-in Maps feature in the Google Maps API.

36 Hours provides a number of interesting weekend guides to cities around the world. Select a city on the map and 36 Hours will take you through a planned weekend tour of the city, with suggestions for places where you can eat, drink and visit. Each of the locations featured in the city weekend guides include the Signed-in Maps feature. Therefore if you are signed-in to a Google account while using 36 Hours you can click on the 'Save to Google Maps' option to add the location to your starred locations on the new look Google Maps.

The map introduction includes an impressive WebGL globe (designed to resemble the zoomed out look of Google Maps). When you click on a marker on the globe video clips provide a subtle and clever transition between the WebGL globe and a map created using the Google Maps API.

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