Saturday, January 31, 2015

Maps Styles for Maps

If you are looking to pimp your online maps you could consider using one of the many custom designed map tile sets already in existence. Companies such as Stamen, Mapbox and CartoDB have created many wonderful examples of custom designed map tiles.

Luckily most of the popular map providers use the same tileset URL scheme. So adding a different map tileset to your project is fairly straightforward, as long as you know the URL for the tileset you wish to use.

Map Tiles Viewer is a collection of ten of my favorite map tilesets. Using the map you can browse through some of the best existing custom map tiles. Each of the map styles is accompanied by the map tileset's URL scheme. So if you want to use one of these styles you just need to cut & paste the provided URL.

Before using any of these tilesets you should check the provider's usage conditions and, if you do use one, make sure that you include the correct attribution.

Global Search Trends

The Global Trend Map is a WebGl generated interactive globe showing the top current search trends on Google in countries around the world.

The top 10 hottest Google search trends for each country appear, one after the other, on the globe. You can select an individual country on the globe or from a drop down menu to zoom to that country. When you select an individual country an information window appears showing all the top ten search trends, for the selected country, in one list.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mapping Space & TIme

I love the New York Public Library Digital Collection and its Map Warper project. The library's new project NYC Space/Time Directory sounds even more impressive.

Recently, while spending a lot of time exploring the library's historical map collection and vintage photographs of New York (during the making of New York Vintage Maps) I started thinking about what other historical records I could add to the map. I began formulating the idea of a comprehensive map timeline exploring the history of New York. The only problem is I have neither the time nor the resources to undertake such a huge project.

I was therefore over the moon when I heard today of the launch of the NYC Space / Time Directory. The library are calling the project 'a digital time-travel service for New York City' using historical maps, photographs, newspapers, business directories, literary references, census data, and much more. The library says it will be 'a searchable atlas of New York City's past stitched together from the pages of old maps. (Think Google Maps, with a time slider)'.

The project will start this year. For now the library are asking for anyone who might like to help to get in touch. To create the project they want to hear from interested data partners, developers & data wranglers and advisors.

The launch page for the NYC Space/Time Directory also makes great use of Mauricio Giraldo Arteaga's ScrollNYC. As you scroll down the project's launch page a series of static vintage maps of New York appear in reverse chronological order.

Oil Flares Seen from Space

SkyTruth has updated its map of Global Flaring. This map shows a heatmap of nightly, infrared satellite detections of natural gas flaring across the Earth.

For cost reasons oil producers frequently flare methane and other gases produced by oil wells rather than recover the gases. This flaring adds huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere and the gases themselves can often pollute the air.

The map animates through nightly detections of global flaring. The animation can be controlled using the timeline tool at the bottom of the map. The tool on the right side of the map can be used to choose whether to view individual detections, one day at a time, or a composite of all detections over multiple days. If you select more than one day the map shows all the flares detected on the date displayed and from all the preceding days.

The Global Flaring map requires a WebGL enabled browser.

The satellite measurements used in the Global Flaring map were made by the VIIRS sensor aboard NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite. NOAA has also used data captured by VIIRS to create an interactive map of the Earth's vegetation.

The Green Vegetation map visualizes the world's vegetation. The darkest green areas on the map are the locations with the lushest vegetation. The map uses a pale color for the Earth's oceans. I'm guessing this is because if 75% of the planet was colored blue this would detract from the vegetation being highlighted on the map.

You can read more about the vegetation data and how the map was created on the NOAA website.

Rabbie Burns' Tours of Scotland

The University of Glasgow has created a number of interactive maps to accompany the publication of the first volume of the new Oxford University Press Edition of 'The Works of Robert Burns'. The maps show the routes of Robert Burns’s tours in the Highlands and Borders of Scotland.

The Maps of Robert Burns’s Tours of the Highlands and Borders of Scotland use vintage map tiles of Scotland from the Map Collections division of the National Library of Scotland. Currently three of the interactive maps simply overlay the route of one of Burns's tours over an historic map of Scotland.

However the Robert Burns’s Tour of the Highlands, 25th August – 16th September 1787 map features an interactive route. In this interactive route map you can click on each of the way-points displayed on the map and read what Burns had to say about the places he visited during this tour of the Highlands.

Punk Mapping

London's Burning plots the origins of some of London's finest punk bands. It also allows you to listen to a song by each of the mapped bands.

This map has featured on Maps Mania before, but since then it has switched over to using Mapbox's Wheatpaste map tiles. The Wheatpaste map style was itself inspired by the cut & paste, collage style of music flyers & posters, popular with punk and new wave bands.

I've always liked the London's Burning map and this switch to the Wheatpaste map tiles seems entirely appropriate.

Razibus is a Leaflet.js map of upcoming Punk, Ska and Hardcore concerts and festivals in France. Alternative music fans can use the calendar in the side-bar to view upcoming gigs for any week, simply by clicking on a date on the calendar

If you select a marker on the map you can click through to view the event details and view the concert's flyer or poster. Razibus also contains an archive of alternative music gigs going back to 2007. It is therefore a great resource for anyone interested in alternative music in France or for those who love Punk poster and flyer art.

I have a theory that the makers of the Manchester Music Map set out to map the world's best rock bands. Then, after completing Manchester, realized that the job was done.

The four greatest rock bands of all time, The Buzzcocks, The Stone Roses, Joy Division and The Smiths all started their careers in the city of Manchester. After mapping Manchester the creators of the Manchester Music Map obviously decided that their work was done.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Map Poster Maker

There seems to be a growing movement to turn interactive digital maps back into paper maps. When they look this good it is easy to see why.

Mapiful is a new website which allows you to create and order large prints of your favorite locations around the world. The Mapiful wizard allows you to search for any location on an OpenStreetMap, set the zoom level and define the text of your map print.

When you are happy with your creation you can then purchase your print for the sum of $55.

White Water Street View Ride

You can now go white water rafting on Street View along the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument. My immediate thought was to create a Hyperlapse of the ride. Unfortunately Hyperlapse only seems to work for roads with Street View. So I had to create my own little Street View scroll down the river using the Google Maps API and Waypoints.js.

The result is White Water. Just scroll up and down the page to progress along the river. I added an overlay to the Street View so you can visualize where the next trigger point is, which loads the next Street View image in the sequence.

I quickly got bored of creating this so I gave up after 20 minutes. Therefore the ride is very short. However once you get to the bottom of the page it is worth scrolling back to the top again to see the same route from the other direction. You can also just click on the Google logo and explore the rest of the river on Google Maps.

The OpenToiletMap

The Great British Public Toilet Map is a map of public accessible toilets in the UK. The map shows the location of the nearest public toilets and toilets that the public are free to use. This includes toilets in shops, cafes and other venues, if their proprietors allow their use by non-customers.

If you share your location with the Great British Toilet Map it will show all the nearby public toilets. The five nearest toilets to your current location are indicated on the map by numbered markers. If you select a toilet's marker you can view details on the facilities available, such as baby changing, wheelchair accessibility and whether there is a charge for use.

The Pee to Pee Network Map

On first viewing I must admit that I thought Airpnp was a funny, elaborate joke. The idea of a website pretending to let people hire out their toilets to anyone desperate for a pee had to be a spoof on Airbnb, right?

Well - no. It turns out that Airpnp is deadly serious. You can now sign-up your bathroom to Airpnp and set a fee for its use.

Anyone who has the app can fire up the Airpnp map when they are desperate to relieve themselves, find the nearest Airpnp bathroom, agree to pay the fee and then (if the bathroom's owner happens to be at home) they can knock on the front door and make use of the owner's toilet facilities.

Anyone who signs up their bathroom to Airpnp can set their own charge. You can charge a dollar for the use of your toilet or, if you want to take advantage of the desperate, you could set a fee of $50. Bathroom owners can post photos of their facilities. They can also provide a brief description of their bathroom and the facilities available.

Personally I don't think I'll be using Airpnp. I don't really want to take the risk of entering the houses of random strangers. The fact that Airpnp users have to sign-up with a credit card perhaps provides some level of safety but I still don't think I want to take the risk. Another drawback of Airpnp is that there is probably a fairly good chance that the bathroom owner will be out when you are most desperate to pee.

However not everyone thinks like me and of course Airpnp could prove a huge success. If so they can expect competition. I'm already thinking of buying the domain name for p-Bay - a website that auctions off the right to use my bathroom. I'm thinking that if I get two people who are both desperate to visit the bathroom at the same time I could really make my fortune.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mapping All the Words

Type any word in any language into Wordmap and you can listen to it being translated into every other language in the world.

After you type a word into Wordmap a Google Map is slowly populated with all of the word's translations. As the translated word is added to each country around the world you can also hear the translated word being pronounced in each language.

After the map has finished adding all the translated words to the map, lines are added to the map to connect all the countries with a common language. You can also click on each word on the map to learn a little more about the country's language from the language's Wikipedia entry.

Owning Oakland

Burrtio Justice owns a house in Oakland, California. Of course Burrito Justice's family didn't always own this land. In fact this small piece of Oakland has a long history of ownership.

For many centuries this part of the world was inhabited by the Ohlone people. One day some foreigners arrived and told the Ohlone that this land actually belonged to the Spanish. In 1820 the Spanish gave a land grant to Luis María Peralta. Luis Peralta staked out his claim (which contained nearly all of what is now known as Oakland and Berkeley) and so began his ownership of a large slice of California.

Over the years this large parcel of land has been subdivided into ever smaller plots and sold off. That's how Burrito Justice ended up with his house in Oakland. You can traverse through the history of this ownership of Oakland in a new Leaflet powered map.

The History of a Piece of Oakland is a timeline and map which shows how the ownership of Oakland has changed over the years. Start in the year 1820 and you can view the extent of Luis Peralta's estate. As you progress through the timeline you can follow the ownership trail of the land on which Burrito Justice's home now stands.

The Giant 2015 Parisian Geoglyph

Ready for 2015 celebrated the start of 2015 by creating a giant geoglyph in Paris through the medium of jogging. Using RunKeeper 'Ready for 2015' has tracked out the figures '2015' on the streets of Paris. What's more they have also created a nice video map of the geoglyph's creation.

Press play on the geoglyph map and you can watch a video of the Ready for 2015 joggers as they trace out a route on Paris' streets. As the video plays the route is traced out on a Google Map, eventually tracing out the number '2015'.

You can create and add your own geoglyphs to the map by using the Runkeeper app and uploading the track of your route to Ready for 2015. It seems that someone has already spelled out the word 'Love' on the streets of Paris. Will you be the next one to add a word to the Ready for 2015 map?

Mapping Attacks on Journalists in Afghanistan

Nai is a non-governmental organization working in Afghanistan to help build and promote a strong independent media sector. As part of this project the Nai Media Watch Unit monitors the use of violence against journalists.

The Violence Against Journalists in Afghanistan 2001-2014 map visualizes incidents of violence as recorded in each of the Nai Media Watch Unit's annual reports. As well as showing the number of violent incidents in each Afghanistan province for each year since 2001 the map also includes a number of other heat-map layers. These layers allow you to visualize on the map the number of journalists in each province, the number of media outlets, security incidents and the relative safety of each province.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snowmeggedon Maps

While the UK gets the impressive #uksnow Map I'm afraid the US has to put up with the unfortunate #Snowmeggedon2015 map. As with most of these animated Twitter maps this one doesn't reveal anything much, apart from the fact that a lot of people talk about stuff on Twitter.

The map animates through the locations of Tweets mentioning #Juno, #Snowmageddon2015, #Juno2015, #BlizzardOf2015 and #blizzard over the last few days. The only mildly interesting thing about the map is the number of people in the rest of the world apparently concerned about the weather in the USA.

This Esri Snowfall Forecast Map is more useful. This map visualizes the projected accumulation of snowfall across the US for the next couple of days. If you click on the play button you can watch as the projected accumulation of snow builds up over the next 36 hours.

The data for the map comes from the National Weather Service National Digital Forecast Database.

If you are affected by the blizzards in the US then the best thing to do is to snuggle up on the couch and browse through these pictures of the snow posted to the Boston Globe's Snapshots of the Blizzard map.

The Boston Globe's map is plotting photos and updates from its readers posted to Twitter and Facebook using #BOSnow or #blizzardof2015.

The Boston Globe has also mapped Snowfall Totals in Massachusetts and Power Outages in Massachusetts. The power outages map shows statewide outages caused by the blizzards. also has a map showing the latest power outages in the state, Power Outages in Massachusetts.

Mapping Auschwitz

The Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of German Nazi extermination and concentration camps built in annexed Poland during World War II. The camp consisted of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II – Birkenau and Auschwitz III. This Auschwitz-Birkenau - German Death Camp map overlays 1944 & 1945 aerial photographs of the three camps on a Google Map.

The three historical aerial photos are each labelled with details about the camps showing the locations of gas chambers, crematoriums, bomb craters, execution walls etc. The map includes a transparency control which allows you to compare the historic photos of the camps with the present day Google Maps satellite imagery.

Also see: Mapping the Holocaust - a round-up of maps documenting the Holocaust and commemorating the millions who lost their lives at the hands of the Nazis.

1950's Birds Eye View

I've always really liked the oblique Bird's Eye view available on Bing Maps. I really love these 1950's bird's eye view photos of Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow Aerial Photos is a Leaflet map showing the location and the direction of the view of 159 historical aerial photographs of Glasgow. The photos were taken sometime in the 1950's or 1960's by the Glasgow Corporation Planning Department.

If you click on the link on any of the historical photographs another Leaflet map will open showing just the selected photo. You can then zoom in and pan around the photo to inspect it in greater detail.

Luckily Bing Maps has great Bird's Eye view imagery for Glasgow. So, with a bit of detective work, it is possible to discover the same views depicted in the Glasgow Planning Department photos as shown on Bing Maps and compare the two. The Bing Maps oblique view above shows almost the exact same view of Glasgow city center as the photo at the top of this post (click on the screenshot to visit the view in Bing Maps).

If you want to create your own Leaflet map using images or photos then you should have a look at Bjørn Sandvik's tutorial Showing Zoomify images with Leaflet. In the tutorial Bjørn explains how Zoomify can easily be used to create map tiles from any image. Using Zoomify and Leaflet it is therefore possible to turn any photo into a fully interactive digital map.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Landsat Download Map

Libra is a new map tool from Development Seed and Dauria Geo which allows you to browse, find and download satellite imagery. Using Libra you can search and sort open Landsat data by date, location and cloud cover. Find some satellite imagery that you like and you can download it and use it in your own maps.

Libra provides a really neat and easy to use interface for sorting and downloading from more than 275 Terabytes of open Landsat imagery. There are no restrictions on the use of Landsat open data and it can be used or redistributed as you require. Each circle on the Libra map represents the number of available images at that location. You can filter the available images by date, cloud cover percentage and by sun azimuth angle.

The World Flag Map

World Flags is a CartoDB map in which the shape of every country had been overlaid with the country's flag. This patchwork effect appears to have been made by creating a polygon for each country and then filling the polygon with the correct flag image.

The flag polygons are themselves overlaid on top of Stamen's Watercolor map tiles.

Last year the Van Gogh Map also used images for land areas on a world map. This map was created with Mapbox GL (it therefore needs a WebGL enabled browser to view) and uses a different technique to fill in the land areas on the map.

Feature types on this map, such as water and different types of land cover, are made up of map tiles created with textures taken from Van Gogh paintings. The result is a map style which you probably wouldn't want to use very often but is a neat demo of how easy it is to create interesting map styles with Mapbox GL.

Mapping Traffic Density

Mapbox has created a map visualizing the latest Highway Performance Monitoring System national highway dataset. The Open US Highway Dataset Map shows all the HPMS traffic density measurements for US roads.

Roads on the map with traffic density data are colored yellow. The thickness of the yellow linea on the map relate to the amount of traffic. Thick lines indicate more traffic and thinner lines less traffic. Zoom in on the map and you can view the average number of vehicles per day for different sections of roads.

2004 Tsunami - Then & Now

Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami: Then and Now is an Esri map which allows you to compare satellite imagery taken immediately after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean with satellite imagery taken ten years later.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami caused the deaths of over 230,000 people. This Esri map highlights the redevelopment of five of the worst affected areas using the Esri Story Map Swipe and Spyglass library. The swipe function allows you to directly compare two maps of the same area by dragging either map over the top of the other.

This tsunami map allows you to directly compare 2004 satellite imagery of Indonesia, Sumatra, Sri Lanka and Thailand with imagery captured in 2014.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Maps of the Week

This month Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson became the first climbers to free-climb the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan. The New York Time's The Dawn Wall interactive is an impressive 3d model of their route up the mountain, created by Battista Matasci of the University of Lausanne..

Open The Dawn Wall in a WebGL enabled browser and you can follow Caldwell and Jorgeson's climb on an interactive 3d model of the Dawn Wall. As you scroll down the interactive the model rotates and zooms with impressive speed. Photos and information about the climb can be viewed as you progress along the climbers' route.

Mapbox has released a gorgeous map of all the roads in Japan. OpenStreetMap in Japan only shows Japan's roads and streets and omits all over map features.

The roads on the map are colored by the last date that they were edited on OpenStreetMap. Roads colored blue haven't been edited since 2007. The yellow roads have been edited in the past year. The Mapbox post on the map includes a link to a full-screen map. The map embedded in the post however includes a button to quickly toggle to view close-ups of major cities on the map.

Sailing Seas of Plastic is an interactive mapped visualization of the concentration of plastic in the world's oceans. According to the map there are 5,250 billion pieces of plastic, with a combined weight of 268,940 tonnes, adrift on the seas of the world.

This dot density map shows the estimated concentration of floating plastic in the oceans. Each dot on the map represents 20 kg of floating plastic. The estimations are based on the results of 24 survey expeditions (2007-2013) and on wind and ocean drift models.

You can also overlay the sailing tracks of the 24 survey expeditions on top of the dot map.

The European River Map

Earlier this month Andrew Hill created a beautiful looking map of U.S. Rivers Colored by the Direction they Flow. Europeans now have their own river flow map.

Rivers of Europe is a CartoDB map showing only European rivers. The map uses the same color scheme as Andrews' US rivers map so I assume that the European map also colors each river by its direction of flow. If you click on the 'Datasets used in this map' you see the data used in the map. The data includes a column for 'bearing' so it is likely that that the rivers are colored by their direction of flow.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

How to Create Interactive Vintage Maps

Today I was going to sit down and write a tutorial on how I created the New York Vintage Map using Leaflet.js and old historical map tiles from the New York Public Library. However I saved myself a couple of hours of work when I came across this excellent tutorial From Paper Maps to the Web on the library's own NYPL Labs site.

The tutorial is a step-by-step guide explaining how to create an interactive map from one of the New York Public Library's vintage maps using Leaflet.js. Before looking at the tutorial have a look at the finished map, Mapa. The map is a 1891 map of Bogotá, Colombia overlaid with pop-ups containing information about some of the city's prominent politicians at the time (mapped to their home addresses).

The NYPL tutorial was written by Mauricio Giraldo Arteaga. By some strange coincidence Mauricio has also been playing around with some of the same vintage maps of Lower Manhattan which I used in my New York Vintages Maps collection.

His ScrollNYC is a visualization of vintage New York city maps from 1660 through to 1921. Each of the historical maps has been overlaid on top of a static Mapbox modern map of New York. As you scroll down the page each static map is replaced by an older map in reverse chronological order.

Dynamic Driving Directions with Turf

Turf is now available as a Mapbox.js plugin and can be used to perform many common GIS operations. Over the last few weeks the Mapbox blog has been posting a number of interesting examples of how Turf can be used with the Mapbox platform:

Dynamic walkability estimation with Turf
Find your nearest cup of coffee with Turf
Turf for local gov: potholes and parking meters
Analyzing 60 years of tornadoes with Turf

The posts on the Mapbox blog provide a number of useful use cases of how Turf can be deployed with Mapbox and provide some useful tips for anyone who is looking to develop a Mapbox based map using the Turf plug-in.

On Thursday Mapbox posted a very nice example of using Turf with Mapbox driving directions. Keep on truckin' with Turf.js and Mapbox Directions animates a marker along a route from San Francisco to Oakland.

As the marker follows the driving route all the nearby electric vehicle charging stations are automatically added to the map using Turf's .distance() method. You can test how fast Turf can process data on the fly by dragging the start and end destination markers on the map to create a new route. Change the route and you can see how the nearby electric vehicle charging stations are updated instantly on the map.

As the animated marker follows a route you can also select any of the charging station markers on the map. The route is then automatically updated to take in a stop at the selected charging station.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mapping Olde New York

Having used the New York Public Library's map collection to put together a little Leaflet.js map of New York Vintage Maps I remembered that the library also has a great collection of free and open access vintage photographs. I therefore decided to take advantage of the library's collection of historical photographs of New York to add some vintage photos of Lower Manhattan to the vintage maps of New York.

My New York Vintage Maps site therefore now displays vintage maps which have been georectified by the New York Public Library's Map Warper project overlaid with old photos (and one or two sketches) from the New York Public Library's Digital Collections.

My New York Map is obviously inspired by other great vintage map and photographs sites such as Our Town Stories - Edinburgh and Helsinki Ennen. The Helsinki map includes the option to filter the maps and photos by decade, allowing you to view the historical photos of the city on a map from the same decade. In the future I hope to add a similar filter to the New York Vintage Maps collection.

The Road Less Traveled on Google Maps

The road less traveled is paved with Foursquare venues and plastered with Instagram photos. At least that seems to be the curious message behind Roadless. This new travel map's motto is,

"Don't trust the masses. Start wandering and build your road less travelled".

How should you explore the 'road less travelled'? That's right by exploring the photos and venues crowd-sourced for the world on location sharing and photo sharing websites such as Foursquare, Flickr and Instagram.

I'm not entirely sure that exploring travel destinations in this way is going to lead you to the less traveled areas of the world. However, this quibble aside, Roadless is an interesting way to explore potential places to visit. Zoom to a location on the Roadless map and you can view photos of the destination and potential venues to visit as listed on Foursquare.

The Roadless map is well worth exploring before visiting a location to scope out potential places to visit. If a photo or venue catches your interest on the map you can click on its map marker to view details of the venue, such as its address and opening hours. You can also select the 'Popular Nearby' tab to view other interesting places to visit in the same area.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Polluted Seas

Sailing Seas of Plastic is an interactive mapped visualization of the concentration of plastic in the world's oceans. According to the map there are 5,250 billion pieces of plastic, with a combined weight of 268,940 tonnes, adrift on the seas of the world.

This dot density map shows the estimated concentration of floating plastic in the oceans. Each dot on the map represents 20 kg of floating plastic. The estimations are based on the results of 24 survey expeditions (2007-2013) and on wind and ocean drift models.

You can also overlay the sailing tracks of the 24 survey expeditions on top of the dot map.

Do you want to know where your message in a bottle will turn up or track down the path of local floating pollution? Adrift is a Google Map that can show you how all kinds of objects drift on ocean currents.

The map uses data from observed tracks revealed by buoys in the Global Drifter Program and from other scientific research into ocean currents to predict where an object(s) will end up. Just place your rubber duck anywhere on the map (in the ocean obviously) and the map will animate where your duck is likely to drift.

Despite the whimsical use of the rubber duck this map has a very serious purpose. Plastic litter is one of the biggest problems in the oceans and the map provides a great visualization of how this litter can spread through the oceans and harm sea-life.

Witness Killings Mapped

The Washington Post has mapped the murders of 37 people in D.C. and Maryland who were killed because they were cooperating with law enforcement or because their killers thought that they might cooperate.

Witness Killing Since 2004 uses Mapbox to plot the murder locations of the 37 victims. As you scroll down the page the map sidebar scrolls through the details on each of the 37 victims and highlights their location on the map. You can filter the results by those victims who were offered witness protection, those who weren't and those who refused protection.

A timeline above the map indicates how long after the crimes they witnessed the victims were killed.

Global Anti-Semitism Mapped

The Anti-Defamation League has published the results of research into attitudes and opinions toward Jews in over 100 countries around the world. You can view the results of the survey on a Google Map showing the percentage of individuals in each country harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

Select any country on the ADL Global 100 map and you can view a breakdown of the survey results, including details on the index score for different demographic groups. You can also view the results for each of the questions asked in the ADL's survey.

Battleground Britain

The UK is gearing up for a general election in May. This means of course that there will be a lot of election maps coming out of the country in the next few months. First up is this map from the UK Parliament's own in-house magazine, The House.

The 50 Constituencies to Watch is an Esri Story Map examining the 50 'most interesting' marginal seats. All the UK constituencies are colored on the map using the colors of the political party of the sitting MP. As you scroll through the story map the map zooms to each of the 50 marginal seats in turn.

As each marginal constituency is highlighted on the map the map sidebar updates with information on the area represented, the main candidates and the majority held by the sitting MP / political party.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Maps for Photographers

Pictureprep is an easy to use tool to visualize a camera's field and depth of view on a Google Map. To view the field of view and depth of view on the map you simply need to right-click on the map once to set the camera's position and right-click again to set the subject's position.

The map sidebar includes a number of options to adjust the views based on the camera settings, including sensor size, focal length, aperture and focus distance. The map sidebar also allows you to enter a date and time to view the sunlight direction for the time you plan to shoot.

Once you've chosen the location for your photography session the next thing you might consider is when is the best time to visit. The Photographer's Ephemeris is a free sun and moon planning tool for outdoor photography. The application is available as a free download for the desktop or as an iOS / Android app.

The application uses Google Maps to show sunrise and sunset times and indicates the current direction of the sun based on your location. The application includes some really advanced features, including automatic time zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon.

Photographers can use this invaluable tool to plan the best times that they should visit a location to get the best light for the shot required.

The Golden Hour Calculator is a Google Map that displays sunrise and sunset times, the elevation and azimuth of the sun and shows users when the golden hour occurs for any location.

The Golden Hour Calculator defines the 'golden hour' as "the first and last hour of sunlight in the day when the special quality of light yields particularly beautiful photographs". Using the calculator photographers can enter the location where they are planning to take photos and the calculator will display a graph beneath the map showing when the golden hour occurs.

Users can change the date of their shoot to ensure the calculator displays the correct times for the Golden Hour.