Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Mapping a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Using Mapbox GL to simulate the opening credits of Star Wars is maybe not the most obvious application of an interactive mapping library. It is good fun though.

May the Fourth be With You is an animated map which uses a few of Mapbox GL's capabilities to create an accurate rendition of the scrolling text seen in the opening credits of the Star Wars films. The map simply uses Mapbox GL's pitch function to provide an oblique view of the map and text. The stars have been added to the map in Mapbox Studio by simply adding a star-field image as a fill in the water layer.

Once you've viewed the opening credits I'm sure you'll want to explore the Star Wars universe a little further. You can do that with the Star Wars Galaxy, a huge 3d WebGL map of the entire fictional galaxy from George Lucas' series of Star Wars films.

This 3d map of the Star Wars Galaxy was sketched out in ArcMap and can be viewed using the Esri CityEngine. Using the map you can explore the Star Wars galaxy in 3d, visiting all the major planets and even the Death Star!

When the map loads you should press the play button in the bottom left-hand corner of the map to set out on a tour of the whole galaxy and the major planets. You can also navigate to individual planets using the menu that runs along the bottom of the map. If you get lost in your travels around the galaxy you can use the search option to search for individual planets by name.

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