Sunday, April 24, 2016

Maps of the Week

This week saw the release of two great interactive maps visualizing the world's transportation, communication and energy networks. First up is, an outstanding animated interactive map visualizing the movements of the global merchant shipping fleet over the course of one year.

The map uses AIS shipping data from exactEarth. This data is then presented on a Leaflet powered map using custom designed map tiles. The map tiles include bathymetry and major river data from Natural Earth.

Using the map you can explore the movements of different types of cargo ships over the course of 2012. You can also filter the ships shown on the map by type of cargo vessel.

There is so much to love about this map, from the huge amount of animated data visualized on the map to the design of the map tiles themselves. I also really like the brilliant audio guide to the map and the data displayed. This audio guide takes you on a little tour of the map explaining some of the interesting patterns that emerge from the data and the worldwide merchant shipping trade.

The Connectivity Atlas is a global map constructed from just the man-made infrastructure of roads, pipelines and Internet cables. There is no underlying base map on the Connectivity Atlas. There are no countries, seas or oceans. However, despite this lack of a base map, the geography of Earth is clearly revealed simply by displaying the world's infrastructure.

You can explore all the transportation, energy and communication layers displayed on the map by using the 'Sources' drop-down menu. Using this menu you can turn on or off all the different layers which makes up the infrastructure map of the Connectivity Atlas.

The 'Themes' menu allows you to view separate infrastructure maps of just the communications, energy or transportation layers. It is also possible to select a feature on the map to select to view a global map of just that feature. For example if you select a road on the map you can click-through to view a global map of just all the world's roads.

Geopedia is a new map based application for finding Wikipedia entries about points of interest around any location.

Gepedia uses the Wikipedia API to load all the Wikipedia entries for places around a location on an OpenStreetMap based map. Enter a location into the search bar or right-click on the map and markers will show all the Wikipedia entries near to your selected location.

Click on any of the map markers displayed on the map and the Wikipedia entry describing the point of interest or location is displayed in the map sidebar. Geopedia provides a great way to learn more about all the interesting things to see around any location in the world.

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