Friday, October 23, 2015

Viral Maps

The Leaflet TimeDimension plug-in allows you to animate layers on a Leaflet map in a number of different ways in order to show changes in data over time. The examples page includes a number of different maps showing how the plug-in can be used in lots of different ways.

A new Oil Spill Simulation provides a neat demonstration of how the plug-in can be used to animate a polygon on a Leaflet map. When you press play on the map the polygon flows and grows on the map, kind of reminiscent of a virus moving around, as seen through a microscope.

In this demo map the plug-in is being used to simulate the trajectory of a hypothetical oil spill over time. There is something wonderfully organic about the resulting animation. The animated polygon feature of the plug-in might have limited use cases, but I can see it being useful, particularly for mapping pollution over time. Not just in the case of oil spills, but also to show the spread of noise or air pollution over the course of 24 hours or a week or any other time period.

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