Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Maps Mania's Top Stories of 2014

This week I've been spending a bit of time going through the back catalog of Maps Mania hunting out my Best Maps of 2014. I thought it might be interesting to also have a quick look at the most popular stories on Maps Mania in 2014.

1. A Game of Thrones Mapped

This year only one subject could beat Pokemon and that was A Game of Thrones. The huge popularity of George Martin's series of fantasy novels and the HBO television series seems to be reflected in the popularity for Westeros maps. This little round-up of A Game of Thrones related maps got the most traffic on Maps Mania in 2014.

2. The Google Maps Pokemon Challenge

Google Map's annual April Fool joke never fails in driving huge traffic to Maps Mania. This year was no different. The fact that Google this year made their April Fool's map into a fun challenge probably ensured that this seemed to be Google's most popular April Fool's joke yet.

3. Where the World Runs

Strava, Runkeeper and Nike all created some great maps this year. This little round-up of jogging & cycling heat-maps seemed to prove popular with Maps Mania readers. It also contained some great looking maps.

4. The Slow Death of the Google Maps API

Over the last couple of years I've become increasingly frustrated by the very slow pace of development of the Google Maps API. In January I finally vented my spleen. It seems I'm not the only one getting frustrated at the Google Maps API Development team, at least judging by the traffic that this post generated.

5. Building the World Cup on Street View

Wow! One of my own maps made it to the top 5. I'm not really sure why. This post looked at how you can hack Google's historic Street View imagery. I guess it was the use of the World Cup in the title that generated most of the traffic.

Unfortunately it looks like my hack has run into some gremlins and some of the historic Street Views seem to have gone missing (my hack depends on using the PanoID for each Street View - which is always dangerous because Google often change the ID's).

6. The London Bike Video Map

Cylodeo's idea of providing cycling directions with video previews is pretty inspired. The launch of new coverage in London this year seemed to attract the attention of Maps Mania readers.

7. The 2014 Tour de France Live Tracking

Real-time maps always seem to be popular on Maps Mania. It looks like pairing a real-time map with the World's greatest cycle race is a guaranteed winner.

I'm stopping there! A list of seven seems a bit arbitrary (a listicle of 10 would probably get more traffic) however these seven posts got far more traffic than any other post on Maps Mania this year. The eight, nine and ten posts on my traffic list got less than 50% of The 2014 Tour de France Live Tracking post. So this seems like the natural cutting-off point.

I'm not sure I can draw any conclusions from the most popular stories on Maps Mania. Although it does seem that sports related maps (& cycling in particular) do generate a lot of traffic.

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