Sunday, May 03, 2015

Maps of the Week

Created for Earth Day 2015 Above the Clouds is billed as a 'real-time interactive cinematic experience celebrating the Earth'. In truth it isn't really real-time (apart from the fact that you actually watch it in real time) and there is very little interactivity.

However Above the Clouds is very cinematic. The site uses a WebGL globe with text from Carl Sagan and music from Sean Beeson to present a tour of this planet we call home. There really isn't much interactivity ...  so you might as well just sit back and enjoy the experience as the 3d globe zooms in on some amazing satellite views of the Earth.

Cameron Booth of Transit Maps has created an interactive version of his popular 'subway map' style atlas of American highways. In truth creating an interactive map version of the map doesn't add a great deal ... it is just a beautiful map.

The Highways Map USA shows every single Interstate Highway and U.S. Highway in the contiguous 48 states. You can buy a print of the map on Cameron's website but this interactive version of the map allows you to pan & drag the map and zoom in on particular junctions.

The map was created using Zoomify to create the map tiles from the static map. Showing Zoomify Images with Leaflet explains how to do this and includes a Leaflet plugin to add the created tiles to a Leaflet map. Cameron's map also uses a dynamic URL scheme so you can link to individual areas & zoom levels on the map. This functionality can easily be added to Leaflet maps using the Leaflet-hash plugin.

The Geotaggers Atlas is a fascinating map showing the paths taken by Flickr photographers between separate photographs, based on the time stamps and locations of the photos. Using the map you can zoom in on any city in the world and discover not only the most popular places photographed by Flickr users but the paths the photographers have taken around those cities.

For five years Eric Fischer of Mapbox has been extracting the data from Flickr photos and mapping not just where those photos are taken but the routes that the photographers have taken between pictures. Using the Flickr search API Eric is able to retrieve the photo geo-tags and draw lines between all the photos in a sequence.

The red lines on the map show where a photographer traveled at a speed between 7 and 19 mph, based on the time stamps and locations of the pictures. As you can see on the map of Paris above the river Seine is full of red lines, as ferry passengers happily travel down the river snapping away at the sights of Paris.

You can take a fully guided tour of the CAOA Hyundai factory in Brazil thanks to a new narrated Street View tour of the factory

Fabrica Hyundaicaoa takes you on a tour of the factory, allowing you to follow the fully automated journey of the cars as they go from the body shop to the paint shop, through trim and finally to the test center. The whole tour is narrated (in Portuguese) and plays automatically, so all you need do is sit back and watch.

If you want you can interrupt the tour at any point and take your own path through the factory by using the arrows on the Google Maps Street View imagery. You can also use the timeline at the bottom of the page to quickly navigate to different parts of the factory.

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