Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Interactive Sign Languages Map

Saint Mary's University in Canada has released interactive maps which show you how to sign Atlantic Canadian place names in both American Sign Language (ASL) and the regional dialect Maritime Sign Language (MSL).

The Atlantic Provinces Sign Language Place Names maps are very easy to use. If you click on a location's marker on the map a YouTube video will appear showing you how to sign the selected place name in both Maritime Sign Language and American Sign Language. There are three interactive maps available, for Nova Scotia / Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland / Labrador.

The World's Solar Atlas

The Global Solar Atlas allows you to carry out a simple solar power output calculation for nearly any location in the world. Using the map you can simply click anywhere in the world to view an estimation of the likely electricity output from photovoltaic solar panels at that location.

The Global Solar Atlas also provides a number of different map layers, including photovoltaic electricity output, global horizontal irradiation, direct normal irradiation, diffuse horizontal irradiation and temperature. The 'Downloads' section of the Global Solar Atlas allows you to download map posters for individual countries or regions. Solar resource and PV power potential poster maps are available for over 140 countries.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ban Trump from Britain

An online petition to stop President Trump's planned state visit to the UK has raised almost 1.5 million signatures in two days. The petition, on the UK government website, needed only 100,000 signatures to be considered for debate by the UK parliament. The government claims that "petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated".

You can see where people in the UK have signed the petition to prevent Trump's state visit on this interactive map. If you turn on the 'percentage of constituents' option then you can view a choropleth layer showing where the highest proportion of voters have voted to stop Donald Trump from meeting the Queen. In some parts of London 7% of voters have already signed the petition.

The petition is not actually about stopping the President from visiting the UK. It just wants to stop it being an official state visit and protect the Queen from 'embarrassment'. If the petition does go to parliament then it should be interesting to hear Members of Parliament debating how the President might embarrass the Queen and why she needs protecting from his bigly hands.

The World's First Geological Maps

William Smith was an English geologist who created the first nationwide geological map of the UK. In 1815 Smith's beautiful geological map of Britain visualized geological types using different different colors.

William Smith's Maps allows you to explore William Smith's geological maps of England, Scotland & Wales in close detail. An interactive map interface allows you to view geo-rectified overlays of a number of William Smith's maps including his original 1815 geological map and his 1828 New Geological Map of England and Wales.

The interactive William Smith's Maps also includes a number of 3D fly-through movies of Smith's geological maps. In these fly-throughs William Smith's geological maps have been overlaid on a digital elevation model of the UK. The resulting movies help the user to appreciate even more the detailed beauty of Smith's 200 year old geological maps.

Fun with Japanese Maps

The Japanese certainly like to have fun with their interactive maps. A couple of weeks ago the Kirin Brewery company released the Green Emoji Map, a map of Japan which consists entirely of user submitted emoji symbols.

Toyota have now got in on the act with their own fun interactive map of Japan. Their Wondermap provides details of great places to visit throughout the country. To emphasize how much fun you can have at each of these locations the venues are all shown on the map by hand drawn animated icons.

You can find out about each of the destinations by clicking on its animated marker on the map. The information includes a general description about the location and its address & telephone number. If you need a little more information about how to get to a destination a link to Google Maps is also provided for each of the mapped locations.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Indoor Mapping with Mapbox GL

Mapbox GL's extrude property can be used to extrude polygon shapes to create interesting mapped visualizations of data in 3D. It can be used to extrude and color building footprints, as in this Toronto Zoning Map. It can also be used to represent census data in 3D, like in this Population Density Inspector map, which shows the number of people living in each census block in America in 3D. Vox even recently used the extrude property in their National Snowfall Map to visualize the last 24 hours of snowfall across the whole of the USA.

The extrude property has probably been most used to create 3D maps of building height and use. The University of Michigan for example has used the extrude property to create a 3D map of its campus. However Rooms with Mapbox-gl.js is much more than just a building height map. It actually uses the extrude property to create a useful indoor map of all the university's buildings.

By extruding each floor level separately the university has managed to create a map which the user can use to select and view each floor layer individually. This enables the user to view a floor plan of any floor level of any university building. Rooms on the map have also been colored by function, such as office, lab, classroom and restroom.

Rooms with Mapbox-gl.js is a neat demonstration of how the extrude property can be used to create an indoor map. The next stage would be to use map labels to add room information. The map would also benefit from a room search function or a drop-down menu which allowed you to select and find individual rooms on the map.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has created a series of interactive maps which visualize Satellite Observations of Arctic Change. The maps allow you to see how sea ice, snow cover and frozen ground have all been shrinking during the 21st Century. Other maps plot air temperature changes in the Arctic and the changes to Arctic vegetation.

Global warming is causing observable changes to ecological systems in the Arctic. Air temperatures in the Arctic are rising and sea ice extent is declining. Even Arctic vegetation is changing with tundra being replaced by shrubs.

Each of the NSIDC interactive maps uses NASA satellite data and research to plot changes to the Arctic from 1979 to 2015. The maps allow you to observe the data for each year in this period to observe how global warming has effected the ecological systems of the Arctic.

If you want to create your own interactive maps of the Arctic then you can use the Arctic Web Map service. Arctic Web Map is an Arctic specific web mapping tool, consisting of an Arctic-focused tile server and a Leaflet-based client library.

There are six Arctic projections available, each using a Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area (LAEA) view of the North Pole region. The Arctic Web Map tiles are compatible with Leaflet maps, when used with the Proj4JS and Proj4Leaflet libraries. The map tiles are available to use free of charge for low-traffic users. If you need high-traffic use then you should contact the Arctic Web Map.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Global Urban Footprint

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has released an interactive globe which visualizes human settlements around the world. The Global Urban Footprint map shows the global distribution of the human population on a custom made WebGL globe.

The Global Urban Footprint globe was made by analyzing satellite imagery of the Earth. The globe uses only three colors: black for urban areas, white for land surfaces and grey for water. The result is that urban settlements are much more visible on the interactive globe.

It is possible to zoom in on the map to some extent by using your mouse's scroll wheel. However the map doesn't have a great degree of resolution. You can view higher resolution images of a number of global cities on the Global Urban Footprint about page.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mapping Tall Buildings in 3D

When you need a map that can leap over tall buildings in a single bound you can call on the super OSM Buildings. OSM Buildings is a very impressive JavaScript mapping library that can be used to create 3D models of buildings from Open Street Map data.

For example when DNAInfo wanted to create an interactive map to show the visual impact of new skyscrapers on the New York skyline they used OSM Buildings with Stamen designed map tiles. DNAInfo's New York Skyline map shows New York buildings in 3D. It also shows buildings which have been approved for construction (colored turquoise on the map) and buildings which are still in the proposal stage (colored blue).

You can find out more about the approved for construction buildings and the proposed buildings by clicking on their 3D models on the map. This information includes details on the height of the building and, where available, an image of the building's proposed design.

Berlin's neue Skyline is a similar visualization from the Berliner Morgenpost. This map uses OSM Buildings to create a story map exploring Berlin's growing skyline.

As you scroll down Berlin's neue Skyline you can see how the center of Berlin has changed since 1990. The map spins and zooms into some of Berlin's new skyscrapers. The map sidebar also scrolls down to provide information on the building visualized in the current map view (the text is in German but the map still works if you view the page in Google Translate).

The Webkid blog created a really useful tutorial explaining how the Berliner Morgenpost used OSM Buildings to create their interactive map of the Berlin skyline. If you want to use OSM Buildings to create your own 3D building map then Webkid's Interactive 3D Maps With OSM Buildings is a great place to start.

Stuart MacMillan used Webkid's tutorial to help develop a 3D Map of Glasgow Construction Projects. Stuart's 3D map of Glasgow shows some of the city's current construction plans (highlighted in different colors on the map).

Stuart has added an option for anybody to submit their own GeoJSON building polygons to the map. If you click on the 'Empty GeoJSON' button you will be sent to geojson.io where you can create a building polygon of a Glasgow construction project and then grab the resulting GeoJSON file for the completed building polygon.

Mapping School Ratings & Catchment Areas

There are a number of factors that you might want to consider when choosing the right school for your children. In the UK you might want to consider Ofsted inspection reports, the school's academic record and the teacher to pupil ratio. You will probably also want to view the school's catchment area, especially if you are looking to move house.

This is where AdmissionsDay can help. AdmissionsDay is a new interactive map which shows the Ofsted ratings, exam performance and demographics of UK schools. It also shows you the rough catchment area for each school.

To view local schools you just need to enter an address or postcode into AdmissionsDay. You can then select to view local primary or secondary schools. The locations of the schools are shown with colored markers. The colors of each school's marker indicates its latest Ofsted inspection rating. If you select an individual school's marker you can also view details on the school's academic results, the number of pupils and the teacher to pupil ratio. You can also select to view a rough guide to the school's catchment area on the map.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Shortest Route to Fine Dining

New York has the most Michelin starred restaurants (77) in the USA. San Francisco is not too far behind with 54 Michelin starred restaurants. Elite politicians in Washington DC have to slum it however, as the capital only has 12 starred restaurants.

The prestigious Michelin Guide has been rating U.S. restaurants since 2006. To mark the arrival of the 2017 U.S. Michelin Guide, travel site Orbitz has created an interactive map plotting the location of every Michelin starred restaurant in the United States. They have also calculated the shortest route to take if you want to visit them all.

The Michelin Star Spangled Roadtrip can help you find your nearest Michelin starred restaurant. If you click on a restaurant's marker on the map you can find out its address and click through to visit the restaurant's website. If you want to visit all the Michelin starred restaurants on the map you will need to drive 3,426 miles. If you were to dine out at one restaurant a day, it would take you five months to eat in them all.

This route around all the Michelin starred restaurants is an application of the Travelling Salesman Problem in computer science, a mathematical problem which seeks to find the shortest possible route between a given number of points. There are other great optimal road trips available to American car drivers. For example you can visit every major state landmark or visit every National Park.

If you live in the UK then you might want to try the UK Pub Crawl Map instead, which is a handy guide to the optimal route around 24,727 pubs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Discover Your Global Travel Score?

You probably know which countries around the world that you have visited in your travels. But do you know how much more of the world you have yet to experience and what percentage of the world's population lives in the places that you have been?

Travel Score is an interactive map that can help you work out how many countries you have visited and how many countries around the world that you have still to experience. It can also tell you how much of the world's land surface you have covered and the share of the world's population that live in the places that you have been.

Travel Score divides the world into 2x2 degree squares. To get your travel score you just need to click on the squares around the world that you have visited on your travels. The map then calculates:
  1. How many of the Earth's 197 countries you've visited
  2. The share of the world's population that lives in your selected areas
  3. The share of the Earth's land surface that lies inside your selected cells
You can find out more about how the map was created and the data behind the calculations on the map's about page.

Find Your Political Antipode

American voters seem more polarized now than ever before. The Washington Post has therefore decided to try to foster more understanding between the two sides of the political debate by releasing a tool to find the nearest county that voted the exact opposite to how the people voted in your county.

The Washington Post's Political Polar Opposites map finds the nearest county that voted the most unlike how people voted where you live in the 2016 Presidential election. If you share your location with the Post's map it will drop a pin on the map to show you a nearby county where the people voted almost exactly opposite to the election result in your county.

The map also shows you the nearest county which voted the most like your county. The map is a fun little tool and it is quite interesting to discover which counties near you voted the most like and unlike how your county voted. It would be a lot more interesting if the map also included some demographic information on the wealth, education levels and ages of the identified county populations. This would allow the user to explore a little more some of the potential reasons why voters in the polar opposite counties voted so differently in the 2016 Presidential election.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bigly Hands Make False Maps

Today the unpatriotic Cartonerd released a visualization of the number of people who demonstrated around the world in the so-called Women's March. Cartonerd is one of the most despicable mapographers on Earth. His visualization is intentionally mapped in a way to maximize the enormous support that gathered in marches around the world and to draw attention from the enormous support the President has from ordinary American billionaires.

The President would like to point out some of the errors in the Bigly Hands Women's March 2017 map. Firstly no one can count numbers that big. As you can see from the map the President has the biggest hands. Bigger in fact than the whole crime infested city of Atlanta The biggest hands with the most fingers and even he can't count numbers that high. The President has the biggest numbers.

Thirdly, these attempts to heighten the size of the demonstrations are shameful and wrong. As you know on Saturday the President spent his first night in the White House. There were at least two people present. Far more than those who attended the unfriendly Women's Marches. The President's billionaire friends were ecstatic that he's now in the White House, and he delivered them a powerful and important message. He told them he has their back, and they were grateful for that. They gave him a five-minute standing ovation at the end in a display of their patriotism and their enthusiasm for his presidency.

Tenthly, as you can see from this Carto powered map of the Women's Marches around the world their weren't any bigly hands demonstrating against the President at all. This Carto made map in fact claims that the word was invaded by yuge pink circles. Nobody has more respect for yuge pink circles than President Trump, nobody.

The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger for this incredible movement, the President will take his message directly to American billionaires where his focus will always be. The President has therefore decided to release his own alternative map. The President makes the best maps. And, as you can see from the President't map, there were no Women's Marches anywhere in the world on Saturday. The President promises all American billionaires that during his ten year term of office he will continue to present you with the best alternative maps and the best alternative facts.

From Constantinople to Istanbul

The Istanbul Urban Database allows you to explore a series of historical vintage maps, city plans and photos of the Turkish capital. It aims to provide an archive of Istanbul's urban history and "contribute to the collective memory of Istanbul".

At the heart of the Istanbul Urban Database is an interactive Leaflet powered map, on which you can overlay vintage maps of the city, historical city plans, vintage photographs and some of Istanbul's historical transportation networks. The vintage map options include Pervititch insurance maps (1921 - 1946) and several Ottoman era maps from the Harvard Map Collection.

The vintage map overlays come with an opacity control which allows you to compare the historical maps of the city with a modern(ish) satellite view of the city. It is also possible to compare two different maps side-by-side. This option includes a swipe control which allows you to compare and switch between your two selected maps.

The Istanbul Urban Database has plans to release an API, which will allow developers to use some of the different layers from the database in their own online projects.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Make America Fat Again

For too long Americans have eaten foreign food at the expense of the great American diet, subsidized the chefs of other countries, while allowing the very sad depletion of our own poorly paid fast food workers.

But, that is the past and now we are looking only to the future. From this day forward, it's going to be only American fast food first. Every decision on breakfast, on lunch, on dinner will be made to benefit American fast food workers and American restaurants.

When you open your bellies to American fast food, there is no room for foreign food. We must protect our bellies from the ravages of Mexican burritos, Indian curries and Japanese sushi. We will bring back our burgers. We will bring back our donuts. We will bring back our fried chicken.

We do not seek to impose our diet on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example to the world. We will eat fast food and ignore fresh fruit and vegetables which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

Together we will make American fast food strong again. We will make fast food proud again. And, yes, together, we will make America fat again.

The Great American Fast Food Nation

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Future Price of New York Property

Fast Forward Labs has been using their three psychic precogs to predict the future cost of properties in New York. You can access these predictions using their Probabilistic Real Estate interactive map.

The map allows you to input a housing budget and see how likely it is that you will be able to afford to buy a property in different New York neighborhoods during different future time periods. As well as entering your housing budget you can enter the map's 'Price Mode' to view the amount of money you would need to have a 'high', medium' or 'low' probability of buying a property in each neighborhood.

The map doesn't provide much information about how the future property price predictions were calculated, except to say that 'the predictions for 2016–2018 assume that past trends continue'. The Fast Forward Labs Blog provides a little more information, explaining how it uses a hierarchical model to help make price predictions in neighborhhoods with little data based on data from similar neighborhoods.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Map of US Lynchings

Over the year thousands of black Americans have been killed by white Americans. They are not the only racial group to have suffered at the violent hands of white Americans. During the 1890's mobs of white men killed around 9 people per month. But lynchings didn't only happen in the 19th century they continued in the United States well into the second half of the 20th century.

Monroe Work Today has released a new interactive map of lynchings in the United States from 1835 to 1964. The map plots the locations of incidents of white mob violence across the whole of the country. Different colored markers on the map indicate whether the victims of this violence were black, Chinese, Native American or other groups of Americans.

You can select individual markers on the map to learn more about each individual instance of white mob violence. Each instance also includes links to the sources for the mapped lynching. A timeline at the bottom of the map plots the number of lynchings over time. This timeline is interactive and can be used to filter the lynchings shown on the map by any date range.

The data for the map builds on the research of the black sociologist Monroe Nathan Work, who published biannual lynching reports at the beginning of the 20th century. His reports have been enhanced and referenced with more modern research. As well as the interactive map Monroe Work Today provides a detailed look at the life and work of Monroe Work and the history of white mob violence in the United States.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Emoji Map

The Kirin Brewery company in Japan has created a fun interactive map which consists entirely of user submitted emojis. The map allows users to show how they feel about a place by leaving their own emoji at the location on the map.

Zoom in on the Green Emoji Map of Japan and you can get a sense of how other map users feel about the location by the messages and emojis that they have left on the map. Click on any location on the map and you can leave your own text message and choose your own emoji for the location.

If you dislike what someone has said about a place or you don't like the emoji that someone has left at a location then you can just overwrite their contribution. The map always shows the last message or emoji left by a map user at each location on the map.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mapping the Skyscrapers of New York

Ten and Taller is a new interactive map of all Manhattan buildings, built between 1874 and 1901, which are at least ten stories tall. The map includes information on all the featured buildings, including their construction dates and how they are used.

There are 249 building footprints on the map, each colored by its type of use. The map has a neat timeline feature which allows you to filter the buildings shown on the map by year of construction. An opacity control also allows you to switch between a modern map of New York and a vintage Bromley fire insurance map of the city.

The New York Times' Reshaping New York 3d map looks at how New York changed in the first 12 years of Michael Bloomberg's reign as mayor.

The interactive centers around an impressively large 3d map of the entire city. As the user scrolls down the page the 3d map moves and zooms into the areas of the city that saw the most change during Bloomberg's term of office.

Each of these locations is accompanied by analysis from the New York Times and before and after photographs of the development that took place during the 12 years covered by the map.

National Geographic has created an interactive plan view of New York's skyline. The New York City Skyline shows the view of New York, looking from the direction of Brooklyn. As you scroll down the page the plan of the city skyline moves, giving you a panoramic view of the city from Lower to Midtown Manhattan.

Skyscrapers that were under construction at the time of the map's release (2015) are shown in orange on the panoramic image and proposed skyscrapers are colored yellow, You can mouse-over any of the colored skyscrapers to view its name and its completed height.

Webcams of the World

Today I've viewed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. All before breakfast and all from the comfort of my own home.

igoCam is a Google Map of some of the best live travel webcams from around the world. Which means all you have to do is click on a marker on the map to view a live webcam of the selected location. A handy day / night layer on the map even shows you which webcams are currently in daylight and which ones might be a little dark.

An 'Explore' option allows you to filter and search the available webcams by theme, country and quality of stream. Each of the webcams shown on the map also has a unique web address. This means that if you find a webcam view that you like you can share its URL with your friends.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Animating Wave & Swell Forecasts

The global weather map VentuSky has a new animated wave layer which visualizes the movement of waves in the oceans & seas across the world.

Ventusky's new animated wind layer shows two types of waves: swells and wind waves. Swells are shown on the map in black and wind waves are colored white. Having both swells and wind waves on the map means that it is easy to quickly spot locations where high wind waves are travelling in a different direction to swells. This means that you can identify areas with dangerous sailing conditions. Other dangerous sailing conditions can arise when the wind is blowing against the direction of the waves. Using VentuSky's wind layer with the new wave layer means that you can also quickly identify areas with these conditions on the map.

The data for the VentuSky wave layer comes from the highly precise German ICON model, which has a resolution of approximately 13 km. The German ICON data is used primarily for directing maritime transport.

Why NATO isn't Obsolete

Over the weekend Donald Trump called NATO obsolete. In this regard his views seem eerily similar to Vladimir Putin's. It's almost as if the President-elect's foreign policy was designed to Make Russia Great Again.

Since 1949 NATO has been working to prevent conflicts around the world through political diplomacy and through military operations. It was established after World War II as an alliance of European and North American countries. Its aim was to safeguard the member countries by agreeing to a policy of mutual defense. It was also obviously intended as a safeguard against the Soviet policy of expansionism.

Under Vladimir Putin Russia is once again operating an aggressive expansionist foreign policy. This has led to the Russian invasions of both Georgia and Ukraine. Russia has also sought to undermine NATO and to destabilize relations between the USA and European countries. Policies that Donald Trump incredibly seems keen to support.

To further these aims Russia has expanded its military capabilities from the Arctic down to Syria. It has increased its anti-access area denial (A2AD) capabilities in order to make it more difficult for NATO to protect eastern European countries. You can see how Russia is expanding its military presence in Missile Threat's Russia – NATO A2AD Environment interactive map.

The map shows both NATO's and Russia's military defense operations. The map also shows how NATO is far from 'obsolete'. In fact it seems more important now than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

If you want to learn more about the role of NATO then you should view 'NATO on the Map'. 'NATO's interactive map NATO on the Map also helps to explain how the organization functions and how & where it operates around the world. NATO on the Map allows you to view which countries belong to the alliance, which countries it works in partnership with and its influence on global peacekeeping.

The map allows you to view the locations of NATO's civilian headquarters, military commands and headquarters around the world. It also shows examples of where NATO has sought to "project stability in its neighbourhood and beyond." A 'Security Challenges' layer shows some of the present global threats to peace and security that NATO and its partners currently faces across the globe.

The map includes two main map views a Google Maps aerial view and a Cesium powered 3D view.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

All the Places I've Been - President Obama

America's foreign policy is likely to change significantly over the next four years. Luckily the President-elect has the best advice. When recently asked about who he listens to on foreign policy Donald Trump said,

"I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things."

Just imagine the mess that the United States could be facing if Donald Trump hadn't said a lot of things. Imagine the situation we could be facing if he didn't have such a very good brain. Or, shudder at the thought, imagine what might happen if Trump actually stopped jabbering to himself.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. At least for a few more days President Obama is in charge. During his presidency Barack Obama has taken 151 trips around the world on Air Force One and has clocked-up around 570,000 air miles. You can view all the countries that Barack Obama has visited during his presidency on a new interactive map.

Obama International Travel shows all the flights around the world that Barack Obama took from 2009-2016, The map includes an animated timeline which means that you can see when the president visited each country. You can also click on the destination markers on the map to learn a little more about the purpose of each visit.

President Obama only appears to have made one visit to Russia over the last eight years. No wonder he isn't such good friends with Vladimir Putin as Donald Trump.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mapping the Soviet Gulag Camps

Under Joseph Stalin the Gulag was the government agency that administered the forced labor camp system in the Soviet Union. The camps were used to house political prisoners and other convicts. The prisoners lived in harsh conditions and their slave labor was used in industrialization projects by the Soviet Union. These projects included timber production, mining and large construction projects. It is estimated that at least 1.5 million prisoners died in the forced labor camps under Stalin.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum is an interactive map based portal of archaeological and archival research, oral history and geographical data about the Gulag labor camps. The application maps and provides information about individual Gulag labor camps. However the application is much more than just a simple map of the Soviet Gulag network.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum provides a detailed history of how the Gulag system was introduced and used within the Soviet Union. It also includes information about the lives of individual prisoners in the labor camps, 360 panoramic images from inside labor camps, and vintage Soviet maps and aerial images.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum also includes a 3D model of a Soviet era labor camp. The 3D model allows you to take a virtual tour of a Stalin labor camp and visit the typical buildings that you could find in a Gulag camp.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mapping the Spoken Word

LocalLingual is a new global map which allows you to listen to how people speak around the world. Click on a country on the LocalLingual map and you can hear an audio recording of a local speaking the name of the country and the country's capital. You can even listen to a recording of the country's national anthem.

LocalLingual is also a crowd-sourced map, Which means in many countries you can also listen to user contributions of recordings of other words and phrases spoken in the local language. In many countries on the map you can even drill down to listen to recordings in more localized languages, dialects and accents.

After you select an area on the map you need to select the 'Listen to voices from this region' link. You will then be presented with a list of words and short phrases that are available. To listen to the recordings you just need to click on the little face icon next to each word or phrase. You can add your own recording to the map by selecting the 'Record a voice for this region' link.

It's Snowing!

The UK Met Office has issued a warning that large areas of the country will experience snow today. Which means that it's time for the #uksnow Map.

The #uksnow Map shows the location of tweets that mention snow on a map of the UK. To add snow to the map you just need to include the hashtag '#uksnow' in a Twitter message and a UK postcode. You should also add a score out of ten (where 0/10 = no snow and 10/10 = a blizzard).

Currently the map is showing snow in Scotland and the north of England. If the Met Office forecast proves correct Wales and the whole west & south of England should also light up on the map by the rest of the day.

Readers in the USA might want to check-out the National Snowfall Map, which uses data from 50,000 National Weather Service weather observers to visualize the last 24 hours of snowfall across the whole of the United States. Currently the National Snowfall Map is showing a lot of snow in the very north and down much of the west of the USA.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mapping the Museum

The Sir John Soane's Museum is one of London's most interesting museums. The museum is in the home of the 19th century neo-classical architect John Soane and contains many of his drawings and models. It also contains many examples from his huge collection of paintings and antiquities.

Luckinly, if you can't visit the museum in person, the Sir John Soane's Museum has an outstanding 3D map which allows you to explore two of the museum's rooms in virtual reality. Explore the Soane Museum is an incredible interactive 3D model of the complete home of Sir John Soane. The interactive allows you to fly through the museum in 3D and explore two of the museum's rooms in very close detail.

The 3D model of the Sir John Soane's Museum was created by ScanLab Projects. You can view more of their impressive 3D modelling work on the BBC's Invisible Italy project. Currently the BBC's Invisible Italy website includes links to three 3D models of Italy created by ScanLab Projects. These include 360 degree panoramic videos of 3D models of the Doge's Palace, a Florence street and the Roman ruins of Naples.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How Green is Your City?

MIT Sensable City Lab has used Google Maps Street View images to assess the amount of tree canopy cover that exists in cities around the world. They have then used this data to give each of the assessed cities a 'Green View Index' score.

Of the 12 cities assessed so far Vancouver emerges as the greenest city. Paris currently has the lowest Green View Index score. MIT promises that more cities will be assessed and will be available soon on their Treepedia map.

You can find out how green your city is using the Treepedia interactive map. Using the map's drop-down menu you can zoom in on an individual city to view its overall Green View score. Colored circles on the map also provide an overview of the tree canopy cover that is available at locations across the city. If you select one of the colored circles on the map you can view the 'Green View' score given for that location and view a Street View image of the address.

Mapping the Allied Bombing of Europe

This map of World War II Bombings helps to show how useful map legends can be. It does this by not having a map legend. The result is that the map's developer has created one of my favorite types of map game - 'Guess What is Being Mapped Here'.

The absence of a legend means that the user has to try to work out for themselves what the map visualizes. The first clue is that the map shows no bombs dropped on the UK during World War II. Therefore my guess is that it either shows bombs dropped by the UK, by America or by the Allies during World War II.

The lack of a legend also means that the map user has to guess what the size of the bomb markers represents. My guess is that the circle sizes either represent the number of bombs dropped at each location or the size of the bombs dropped.

Spoiler Alert - the answers to this particular map game are revealed below. If you want to work out for yourself 'what is being mapped here' stop reading now,

Of course the smart map user will notice the GitHub user name of the developer in the URL of the map. They will then do their own detective work and track down the map's GitHub repository. If you want to cheat in this way then you can discover that the source for the bomb data comes from the datamil Theater History of Operations (THOR) Data: World War II. The data actually represents "U.S. and Royal Air Force data, as well as some Australian, New Zealand and South African air force missions" from 1939-1945.

The map's GitHub repository also contains the GeoJSON file for the bomb data shown on the map. This GeoJSON file contains a 'Total Tons' property for each bomb dropped during World War II. Therefore the size of the map markers represents the total tonnage of bombs dropped on each location.

Now that we've worked out that the World War II bombings map shows Allied bombing missions we can move on to look at bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe on London. You can view a map of all the bombs that fell during the Blitz in WWII in London on Bomb Sight. To create the map the original 1940's bomb census maps were scanned, geo-referenced and the geographical locations of all the falling bombs were digitally captured.

You can click on all the individual bomb markers on this map to view details about the bomb and the damage caused and to view nearby photos taken during the Second World War. There's not so much of a guessing game involved in Bomb Sight. I'm going to be a little controversial and say that this map is all the better for including an information panel which tells the user what is actually being mapped.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Mountains of Yellow Snow

Vox has created a daily snowfall map of the United States. The National Snowfall Map uses data from 50,000 National Weather Service weather observers to visualize the last 24 hours of snowfall across the whole country.

The map makes good use of Mapbox GL's extrude property to represent the amount of snowfall by height and color. The height of the extrusions is obviously exaggerated on the map to help visualize the amount of fallen snow at each location.

If you are interested in creating your own data visualizations using Mapbox GL's extrude property then you might also be interested in Ubilab's recent tutorial 3D Map Visualizations with Mapbox GL JS. This tutorial does a good job at explaining how you can add a data layer to a Mapbox GL map and how you can then use the extrude property to create a 3d visualization with that data. The tutorial includes an example map where European unemployment rates are represented by the height and color of countries on a Mapbox GL map.

Day Trip to Mars

There's no better way to start the working week than by taking a little day-trip to Mars. However you don't want to get lost on your journey so I recommend that you take along NASA's definitive map of Mars.

There's no getting lost with NASA's Mars Trek. If you already know your destination on Mars you can use the map's search panel to instantly locate your place of arrival. But don't worry if this is your first trip to Mars. Mars Trek also provides a number of ways for the newcomer to feel instantly at home on the red planet.

The Bookmarks Panel provides a great introduction to the many different wonders of Mars. It provides quick links to places that you will not want to miss on your visit. For example, the Major Features' link will highlight on the map some of Mars' most spectacular geological features, including the biggest volcanoes in the solar systems and the planet's most spectacular rift valleys. The Bookmarks Panel also contains links to NASA's many landing sites on Mars and the path taken by the fictional astronaut Mark Watney in The Martian.

Another great way to start your journey on Mars is by consulting the (Is There) Life on Mars interactive map. This beautiful topographical map of Mars provides a wealth of information about Mars' most important craters and spacecraft landings.

This map also allows you to explore how Mars might look if it had water. The map's Water Layer allows you to view water on the surface of Mars based on the planet's elevation data. Using this layer you can add lakes, seas and oceans to Mars and turn the red planet partly green (read the 'details' for an explanation as to why water on Mars wouldn't appear blue).

Friday, January 06, 2017

Alaska's Shrinking Glaciers

Nearly all of North America's glaciers are in retreat. The rate of retreat has increased rapidly over the last few decades and overall each decade sees greater rates of retreat than the preceding one. The National Park Traveler has released an interactive story map, Glaciers in Alaska's National Parks: Monitoring Change, which examines the loss of Alaska's shrinking glaciers.

The map uses satellite imagery to show the modern reach of each of the featured glaciers. Orange overlays are used on the map to show the glacier's historic extent. U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps were used to determine the glaciers' extent in the mid-20th century. The historical extent of the glaciers is then be compared to the extent of the glaciers in the 21st Century, as calculated from the most recent satellite imagery.

Alaska Ice: Documenting Glaciers on the Move is another Esri Story Map which uses satellite imagery and comparisons of modern & vintage photographs to document Alaska's shrinking glaciers.

The main focus of the map is the U.S. Geological Survey's Repeat Photography initiative. USGS has been comparing modern photographs of Alaskan glaciers with historical photos, both with the same field of view. The photographs are compared to document and understand the changes to glaciers resulting from the changing climate.

The Alaska Ice story map visits 14 glaciers in the U.S. state. Each glacier can be viewed on a satellite map and a modern and historical photograph of each glacier is compared in the map sidebar. Of the 14 mapped Alaskan glaciers only two are still advancing.

Timelapse - aerial imagery of the Mendenhall Glacier in 1991 & 2012

Another interesting way to examine the loss of glaciers is with Google Timelapse. Timelapse allows you to compare aerial imagery over time for any location on Earth. You can therefore enter the name of any glacier into Timelapse and observe the effects of global warming for yourself.

Timelapse provides links to the Shirase Glacier and the Columbia Glacier but you can use the search box to locate any glacier. You can therefore use Timelapse to search for any of Alaska's glaciers and observe the highlighted loss of each glacier for yourself, using Timelapse's historical aerial imagery.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mapbox Terra

Mapbox Terra is a 3D map of the world. The map uses the MapboxGL platform to provide a 3D map which includes satellite imagery draped over an elevated model of the world.

Terra includes a small inset map which provides links to places around the world with some interesting landscape features, such as the Grand Canyon, Ayres Rock and the Pyrenees. It also includes controls to adjust the contrast and brightness of the satellite imagery. Because the map uses WebGL the brightness and contrast of the map can be adjusted on the fly in the browser.

Terra uses the same navigation controls as MapboxGL. This means that you can rotate and zoom the map (drag the map with your right-hand mouse button or use your AWSD keys).

The Great British Drive Time Map

If you live in Great Britain you can drive to just about any other location in the country in under ten hours. If you are planning to take a long drive then you can use farfrom.io to work out how long your drive should actually take.

farfrom.io visualizes the driving time from any location in England, Wales and Scotland to any other location in the country on an interactive Google Map. Just click anywhere in England, Wales or Scotland and you can view an isochrone layer which shows the number of hours it will take to drive anywhere in the rest of the country.

The driving times were calculated using OpenStreetMap data and the GraphHopper routing engine.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Explore the World in 3D

Maps 3D is an impressive interactive mapping tool which you can use to generate a 3d WebGL scene for any location in the world.

Creating your own WebGL scene with Maps 3D is very simple. All you need to do is select an area anywhere in the world on a 2D interactive Google Map. Maps 3D then uses Mapbox terrain data and HERE maps satellite imagery to generate a 3D model of your selected location.

You can use your mouse or keyboard arrow keys to explore your generated 3D scene. Maps 3D works impressively quickly in generating each 3D scene. The generated 3D model also rotates and zooms in and out with impressive speed.

If you like your generated WebGL scene you can share a link to your 3D map. Maps 3D is currently in a BETA release and the developer is working hard to add an option to download completed 3D models to view offline on mobile devices.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The Gentrification of New York City

Last month ProPublica reported on the loss of rent stabilized apartments in New York City and the growing number of tenants being evicted by landlords. The result has been a dramatic decrease in affordable housing and increasing gentrification in many of the city's neighborhoods.

Last year the NYU Furman Center released a report into Gentrification in New York City (PDF). The report examines how increasing rents and stagnating incomes have contributed to the gentrification of nearly two-thirds of the city's previously low-income neighborhoods.

The result of this gentrification of New York is that many residents are paying more in housing than they can easily afford. The Association for Neighborhoods and Housing Development is worried by the increasing loss of affordable housing and has decided to help raise awareness of "where residential tenants may be facing significant displacement pressures and where affordable apartments are most threatened across New York City".

The association's Displacement Project Alert Map provides a building by building assessment of where residential tenants may be facing significant displacement pressures. Individual residential buildings are color coded on the map to show the displacement risk level for residents living there.

The DAP map provides a number of displacement risk level scores for New York residential buildings. These risk scores are based on the loss of rent regulated units, the volume of Department of Buildings work permits and the level of property sales tax. The map also provides a combined score for each building based on these multiple combined risks of displacement.

ProPublica's interactive map Tracking Evictions and Rent Stabilization in NYC shows the number of eviction cases that were made in New York City apartment blocks between January 2013 and June 2015. There may not be a direct correlation between the number of eviction orders in New York and the desire of landlords to drive out rent stabilized tenants, however the ProPublica map certainly shows an incredible number of eviction orders have been made against New York tenants in recent years.

Clicking on the apartment buildings colored on the ProPublica map reveals the number of eviction orders placed on tenants (and the likely rent stabilization status of the building's apartments). It is truly remarkable how many apartment buildings in New York have had over 100 eviction orders served on tenants in such a short space of time.

Monday, January 02, 2017

New York's Real-Time Traffic Map

The Vision Zero initiative in New York plans to end traffic accident deaths and injuries on the city's roads. The City of New York has released its own interactive map, Vision Zero View, to provide detailed information on traffic injury and fatality crashes within New York since 2009. You can also access real-time information about conditions on the city's roads using the Vision Zero Dashboard.

The Vision Zero Dashboard provides a mapped dashboard which allows you to access information in real-time about traffic on the city's roads. The Vision Zero Dashboard interactive map shows real-time traffic, accidents, traffic cameras, air quality and weather conditions in New York City.

You can access the different data views on the map using the menu at the bottom of the map. For example, if you select 'Traffic' you can view a real-time overview of traffic on the city's streets. Roads with heavy traffic are colored red on the map. Sections of roads with heavy traffic are also shown along the bottom of the map with details about the current average speed on these sections of road.