Monday, April 30, 2018

Adelaide & Melbourne Pedestrian Traffic

The City of Adelaide provides a free Wi-Fi service in the central business district and North Adelaide. provides a dataset that allows you to see when and where the public log-in to this Wi-Fi network. The data includes the number of hourly connections to each of the system's access points.

The Adelaide Traffic Analyzer uses the data to infer the amount of foot traffic on Adelaide's streets at different times of the day and on different days of the week. If you enter a day and time you can view the number of connections made at that time to each Wi-Fi access point. The number of connections are visualized on the map by scaled markers. The bigger the marker then the more Wi-Fi traffic witnessed by that access point.

The same developers, Datab, have created a similar map for Melbourne. The Melbourne Pedestrian Tracker actually uses data from the Melbourne Pedestrian Counting System to show the amount of pedestrian traffic on the city's streets by time of day and by day of the week.

Soviet Military Maps - The Quiz

During the cold war the Soviet Union created detailed maps for thousands of cities around the world. We don't knows exactly how the Russian military completed such detailed maps of the west. Presumably they used freely available maps as the basis for their maps. However the Russian maps often contain military sites left off of western maps (for military secrecy), therefore they must have been based to some extent on knowledge gained from spying and espionage.

The Guardian has created a quiz based on a few of these Russian military maps. In Can you guess the world city from its cold war Soviet spy map? you are shown eleven Soviet maps of western cities. All you have to do is choose the city depicted from a choice of four answers. There are 11 maps in total. The Soviet military map of each city is so detailed that the Guardian quiz is really only testing how well you know the 11 cities shown.

The Guardian quiz includes a link to the website of John Davies' book on the map The Red Atlas. John Davies also wrote an interesting article on the maps for the British Library. Soviet Military Mapping of the Cold War Era includes more information about the composition of the Soviet military maps, the cities mapped and informed speculation on how the maps were made.

Mercator's Globes

The University of Lausanne in Switzerland has released two interactive 3d globes which are digitized versions of two of the University's globes made by Gerard Mercator in the 16th century. The two recently discovered globes exist as a homogeneous pair, one being a terrestrial globe, the other a celestial globe.

The University has used Esri's Scene Viewer to create their two interactive 3d globes from Mercator's original. This allows you to inspect Mercator's Earth Globe and Mercator's Celestial Globe in detail from your own browser.

Each of Mercator's globes has a wooden base and a wooden ring which houses a rotating sphere. The globe spheres themselves have a diameter of 42 cm.

The Earth globe is made from plates engraved by Mercator in Louvain in 1541. Mercator's Earth globe improves significantly on the Ptolemaic view of the world which dominated during the 16th century. For example, the Mediterranean and the representation of Africa are much more accurate than many other contemporary maps based on Ptolemy.

You can read much more about how the globes were authenticated, their importance and composition on the University of Lausanne's website The Mercator Globes at the University of Lausanne (website in French).

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Styling Contour Lines

This contour map of Schiehallion Mountain shows the location in Scotland where Charles Hutton invented contour lines as part of an experiment to work out the density of the Earth. In order to determine the density of the mountain the Schiehallion Experiment needed to accurately survey the mountain. During this survey Hutton hit upon the idea of using a series of lines at set intervals to show points of equal height.

My contour map of Schiehallion Mountain was made using axismaps new Contours map tool. Contours is a fun new tool for making a contour map of any location in the world, style the map and export it in a number of different formats.

A huge amount of fun can be had playing with the styling tools in Contours. Using these tools you can color and weight the mapped contour lines, adjust the line intervals and color or hypsometric tint the background fill. All of these changes to the styles of your mapped contours take place within the map browser.

You can read more about the new Contours tool on the axismaps blog.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The History of the World - Part Three

The Ancient History Encyclopedia's Map of the Ancient World is an interactive map of the world from around 6,000 BCE to 270 BCE. The map plots historical civilizations and places by date. Change the date and the map changes to show the rough borders of the civilizations and people's of your selected time

The map carries a disclaimer that it is "only complete in the Mediterranean until around 270 BCE". However the map isn't limited to this period and location. If you use the back and forward arrows to navigate the map then you might not realize that the map actually does include data for the rest of the world. You can also move forward in time beyond 270 BCE (although the map doesn't continue past the Roman Empire).

Chronas is another interactive map which aims to provide a view of historical events across the globe. This interactive map visualizes Wikipedia entries by date and by location.

Chronas not only maps historical events but also provides a mapped overview of country boundaries for any given date. If you select a year from the time slider, running along the bottom of the map, the map will update to show how the world's borders existed at the chosen time.

If you then click on a country or geographical area on the map a Wikipedia article on the selected historical region will open in the map sidebar. For example, if you select the year 573 AD from the time slider, you can select the Visigoths region on the map to learn more about these nomadic tribes.

The Pelagios Project's Digital Map of the Roman Empire is probably the most detailed and accurate interactive map of the Roman Empire.

The map shows the towns and cities of the ancient world as well as major & minor roads, temples and other structures important to the Roman Empire. The map shows locations from the Pleiades gazetteer and the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations, both of which are based on the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World.

Pleiades is a great resource for anyone interested in the history and geography of the ancient world. The site is a community based and open-sourced gazette of ancient places. It currently has extensive coverage for the Greek and Roman world and is now expanding into other historical periods and civilizations.

Of course the Earth did exist for a little while before Homo sapiens arrived on the scene. You can view what the Earth looked like 600 million years ago on this interactive 3d globe from Dinosaur Pictures. What Did the World Look Like allows you to travel back in time to the dawn of multi-cellular life on Earth.

What Did the World Look Like can show you a 3d map of the world for any period of Earth's history. The map includes two menus which allow you to change the era visualized on the interactive 3d globe. The menu at the top of the page allows you to select an era by age. The menu at the top right allows you to select a view based on the stages of life on Earth and by geologic period.

The UK House Prices Map

If you want to buy a house in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea then you will need to save up your salary for the next forty years. The average house in Kensington & Chelsea costs 40.7 times the average UK salary. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the average house price across the whole of England & Wales is now 7.8 times the average salary.

You can view the Housing Affordability in England & Wales 2017 on the ONS's interactive map. The map provides a choropleth overview of housing affordability in England & Wales. If you click on a region on the map you can view the average property price to earnings ratio in that area. A line chart in the map sidebar shows the property price to earnings ratio for the last ten years and compares the regional housing affordability over that time to the average in the whole of England & Wales.

At the other end of the scale from Kensington & Chelsea is Copeland in the north west of England. Copeland is the most affordable place to buy a house in England & Wales. The average house price in Copeland is just 2.7 times the average salary.

You can read more about the data behind the map and what it reveals about housing affordability in England & Wales on the ONS's Statistical Bulletin.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

North America's Fatal Bear Attacks

KTUU-TV in Alaska has created an interactive map showing all fatal bear attacks in North America. 29.6 percent of all fatal bear attacks in the United States occur in Alaska, which I guess explains KTUU-TV's interest.

The Fatal Bear Attacks Map shows all fatal bear attacks in North America from January 2000 to June 2017. You can filter the results shown on the interactive map by year and by the type of bear involved in the attack. 2005 and 2014 were the worst years for fatal bear attacks, with 6 & 5 fatalities respectively. During the period that the map covers black bears were involved in 25 of the attacks and brown bears were involved in 21.

If you select an incident on the map you can read a summary of the attack and the name of the victim.

In 2016 National Geographic attached cameras and tracking collars to two grizzly bears and two black bears inside Yellowstone National Park. They were then able to map the bears' movements inside the park to observe how they find food and interact with their environment.

A Bear’s-Eye View of Yellowstone allows you to watch footage from the four bear-cams and view the bears' tracks as they move around the park. As you scroll through this special interactive presentation from National Geographic the bears' tracks are updated on the map while the bear-cam footage from the currently displayed location plays on top of the map.

Highlights of A Bear's-Eye View of Yellowstone include a black bear taking a short-cut through some people's backyards, a cannibal bear feasting on another bear and a bear's encounter with a pack of wolves.

The Bear Management Team at Yosemite National Park has a bear tracking map which allows you to follow the progress of some of the park's black bears. In order to hide the bears' locations during hibernation the map isn't actually live at the current time  However it should be live again soon as the bears come out of their winter hibernation around this time of year.

The Yosemite Bear Tracker Map (when working) displays the position of each bear and their tracks over the previous month. If you select a bear's marker on the map you can view details on how far it has traveled during the current day and how far it has traveled over the last 30 days.

How many solar panels could power America?

How much of your country would you need to cover with solar panels in order to power the whole country? Just click on this interactive map and you can discover how much land a country would need to fill with solar panels in order to power itself.

How to Power Every Country with Just Solar Panels takes into account the amount of sun that a country gets and the amount of energy that it uses in order to work out how much of the country would need to be covered with solar panels to meet all the country's energy needs.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Bahrain have such high population densities that even of they covered the whole country with solar panels they still wouldn't be able to generate enough power. On the other hand many large African countries currently have such low energy demands that they wouldn't need to cover much of a percentage of their land to meet their power needs.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Trump's Unclean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made drastic changes to the way it will enforce clean air regulations which means that the air you breathe could be about to get a lot more dangerous. Thousands of factories, power plants and mining smelters are currently forced to use maximum achievable control technologies (MACT) to reduce the amount of toxic pollution that they release. The EPA's new rules will allow these facilities to avoid having to use these MACT, while polluting the air of their local communities.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has created two interactive maps to help explain how the EPA's roll back on clean air protections could effect the air that you breathe. One of the maps shows all of the facilities that could be affected be the EPA's changes. These facilities are shown on the map by red dots. The size of the dots indicates the potential increase in tons of hazardous air pollutants that the facility might produce under the EPA's new rules.

The other interactive map uses a choropleth layer to visualize the potential emissions increases by congressional district. If you select a district on this map you can view the number of facilities in the area currently protected by MACT and the additional tons of hazardous air pollutants per year that these facilities could now get away with polluting.

Mapping the Industrial Revolution

In the second half of the 19th Century Great Britain went through a process of demographic transition as the industrial revolution fundamentally changed the way that people lived. The demographic transition was a theory proposed in 1929 by the American demographer Warren Thompson to explain the movement from high birth and death rates to lower birth and death rates as a country moves from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system.

The University of Cambridge's Populations Past is an interactive atlas of Victorian and Edwardian England & Wales. The map allows you to explore some of the huge social and geographical changes which took place in England & Wales during the second half of the 19th century and the effect that those changes had on the population.

The map includes a number of different demographic measures and socio-economic indicators which allow you to explore for yourself the effect of the demographic transition over time and between different locations. You can view different measures and indicators side-by-side on two different maps to help visualize the different effects of the demographic transition on locations throughout England & Wales.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mapping the Invention of Printing

Most people probably associate the birth of printing with Johannes Gutenberg's invention of mechanical movable type in the 15th century. However a new interactive map from the Library of Congress explores the use of woodblock printing by the Chinese nearly 1,000 years before Gutenberg was even born.

In Incunabula the Library looks at the emergence of printing in Western Europe in the 15th and 16th century, while also acknowledging the production of books and manuscripts before the invention of mechanical moving type. The Library's history of printing includes an interactive map showing the number of the Library's incunabula that were produced in each European city (screenshot above).

As well as this interactive map Incunabula includes a close look at some of the fantastic illustrated manuscripts and early printed books owned by the Library. As you progress through the story map Incunabula takes you on a tour around 15th & 16th century Europe, tracing the spread of printing, and examining some of the earliest printed works in Germany, Italy, France, the Low Countries and England.

Johannes Gutenberg's invention of mechanical movable type printing in the 15th century was probably the most important discovery in the modern age. Gutenberg's invention kick-started the Renaissance and undoubtedly led to the spread of literacy and learning among the general population in Europe.

The Atlas of Early Printing is a Google Map charting the spread of printing, from Gutenberg's first movable type printer in 1452 in Mainz to the rest of Europe by the end of the 15th century. The map includes a timeline that allows you to visualize the rise of printing presses throughout Europe over the course of the 15th century.

The map also includes a number of other layers that allow you to visualize the output of each mapped press, the location of universities in the 15th century, the location of paper mills and European trade routes.

America Powered by Wind

The U.S. Wind Turbine Database (USWTDB) is a new dataset of wind turbine locations and capabilities. The dataset can be visualized on a new interactive map showing the locations of all the USA's wind turbines. The USWTDB Viewer shows both onshore and offshore wind turbines and their technical specifications.

The map visualizes 57,636 turbines, which combined have a total rated capacity of 89,197 MW. Initially the individual turbines are color-coded on the map by their capacity (blue having the least capacity and red the most). However it is possible to change what the turbine color ramp shows to visualize the wind turbines by height or by year of construction.

If you zoom-in on an area of the United States the map sidebar updates to show the total number of wind turbines in the current map view and their combined capacity. The sidebar also updates to list the individual projects in view, with details on the project name, number of turbines and total capacity.

The wind turbine database has been compiled by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The database is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the USGS Energy Resources Program, and AWEA.

You can get a sense of the historical growth of wind power in the United States using the US Department of Energy's Wind Farms Through the Years map. This animated map shows the locations and the dates of when wind farms were constructed in the USA. The map animates through the years 1975 to 2013 adding the wind farms to the map by date of construction.

As the animation plays the map keeps a total of the number of wind farms constructed and the number of homes those wind farms could power. You can also drag the slide control to view the totals for any single year. The map uses different colored markers to indicate the wind farms added in the selected year.

Last year the Technical University of Denmark and the World Bank collaborated to create the Global Wind Atlas. The atlas is designed to visualize the potential for wind power generation across the whole globe. The map uses both mesoscale and microscale modeling in order to help utilize wind energy.

The Global Wind Atlas can provide wind resource information for individual countries & regions or you can use the drawing tools to view wind resource data for a custom defined area. The wind data available on the map includes information on power density, wind direction and wind speed.

Mapping the Worst Bus Stops in London

The worst bus stop in London, according to Kognito, is the Ringway bus stop in zone 4. Only 4% of buses at this stop arrive on time, based on the Transport for London (TfL) timetable.

Data analytic platform Kognito has analysed three month's worth of Transport for London data to determine which are London's best and worst bus stops. For the three months examined Kognito looked at the bus arrival data across approximately seven hundred bus routes to determine which bus stops had the best and worst records for buses arriving at their scheduled times.

The Worst Bus Stop in London presents the results of Kognito's analysis. These results include lists of the worst bus routes for buses starting on time, the worst routes for buses finishing on time and the least & most punctual routes. Each of these lists are connected to an interactive map which can show you the actual route of each of those listed. At the end of Kogntio's data presentation you can enter any London postcode to discover how bus stops in your postcode rank compared to other postcodes. You can also find out how many buses run on time in your postcode area.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Where on Earth?

How well do you know the world? Could you guess the name of a major city purely from its Wikipedia entry and show where it is on a map of the world?

Play this game and you will find out.

WikiWhere is a fun geographical game which is designed to test how well you know the world's major cities and where they are located in the world. The game asks you to pinpoint the location of five major cities on an interactive 3d globe. However before you guess the location of each city you need to guess each one purely from its Wikipedia entry. You will get points for each answer based on how close you get to the city's real location and how many hints you use.

The game uses the CesiumJS interactive 3d globe library for the background map. The three hints for each city come from their entries on Wikipedia.

Urbano Monte’s Planisphere

In November 2017 the David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University obtained one of only two manuscript copies of Urbano Monte's Planisphere. This huge map is one of the earliest large complete maps of the world.

The original manuscript map is in the form of a 60 sheet atlas. Urbano Monte intended for the sheets to be joined together to create one very large 10 foot map. The David Rumsey Map Collection has achieved that goal by digitizing all 60 sheets and creating a digital interactive map of Urbano Monte's Planisphere.

Monte himself suggested that a central pivot be added to the center of the map so that users could rotate the map while exploring the atlas. The digital interactive version of the map does include a rotation button, which mean you can spin the map around its central pivot, as Urbano Monte intended.

Urbano Monte's Planisphere uses a north polar azimuthal projection. This projection places the North Pole at the center of the map. Modern users, more accustomed to Google Maps, are used to north being at the top of the map and might struggle with this projection. Luckily for them Visionscarto has used the map tiles from the David Rumsey interactive map to create a tool for viewing Urbano Monte's Planisphere using different map projections.

Urbano Monte World Map Reprojections. includes 21 different map projections. It even includes everyone's favorite Mercator projection, which means you can make direct comparisons with Google Maps if you so wish.

Damming the Balkans

The Balkans are home to Europe's last great wild rivers. But not for much longer. 3,000 dam projects are about to devastate the natural habitats and surrounding landscapes of Europe's last untamed waterways.

Save the Blue Heart of Europe is a campaign to raise awareness of the ecological damage being done to Balkan rivers and their environments and to petition international banks to stop funding the destruction of Europe's last wild rivers. This campaign includes an interactive map showcasing some of the damage being done by hydropower dams. The interactive map shows the location of the 1,003 dams in the region, the 188 currently being built and the 2,798 proposed new dams.

If you scroll down while viewing the map you will be taken on a tour of the region and its rivers. For example the map zooms-in on the Vjosa river, in Albania, where 38 hydropower dams have been proposed. The map also highlights some of the other natural environments in the region which are now in danger from the construction of new dams.

Around the world more and more rivers are being dammed. Decades of dam building has lead to the global impoverishment in the health of the world's river basins, poor water quality and low biodiversity.

International Rivers has released an interactive map which illustrates the effect of dams on the health of rivers around the world. The State of the World’s Rivers maps nearly 6,000 dams in the world's 50 major river basins, and ranks their ecological health according to indicators of river fragmentation, water quality and biodiversity.

Using the map you can explore how individual river basins rank in terms of fragmentation, biodiversity, and water quality. You can also explore ten of the world's most significant river basins in more depth. Each of these ten detailed explorations examines the threats from dam building on the health of the affected river and the immediate environment.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Where's Napoleon?

That Napoleon can be a tricky little blighter to track down. One day he might be marching on Moscow, while the next he's attacking the British at Waterloo. If you want to know where Napoleon is on any particular then you need Hit the Road with Napoleon.

Hit the Road with Napoleon is a handy little tool for anybody who struggles with working out where Napoleon was on any day in history. To use the tool simply enter in a date and Napoleon's location on that day will be shown on a Google Map.

Of course on some days Napoleon moved around a bit. For example, on 18th June 1815 Napoleon seemed to spend a lot of time running around in the fields outside the town of Waterloo in what is now Belgium. If you look up that day on Hit the Road with Napoleon then the general's movements for the whole day are shown as a track on the interactive map.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Ottawa's Bike Maps

Bike Ottawa has been promoting cycling in the Capital Region since 1984. It advocates for cycling as a safe, fun, and environmentally friendly form of transportation in the city.

As part of its advocacy for cycling Bike Ottawa has released a number of interactive maps. The maps were created by the organization's Data Group and look at the safety of cycling in Ottawa, bike routing and cycling times. Bike Ottawa's Interactive Bike Maps initially consists of four different interactive maps:
  • The Ottawa Cycling Stress Map
  • Ottawa Cycling Directions
  • Ottawa Cycling Isochrones
  • Ottawa Collisions
The Ottawa Cycling Stress Map colors the city's roads based on the level of traffic stress. The map grades each section of road based on how safe cyclists feel cycling there. The Ottawa Cycling Directions uses the data from the Cycling Stress Map to provide you with cycling directions based on your personal levels of comfort when cycling.

The Ottawa Cycling Isochrones map shows you how far you can cycle in the city, from any location, in a given amount of time. The Ottawa Collisions map plots where pedestrians and cyclists have been injured by cars in the city. The map can help you identify and avoid collision hot-spots in the city.

Mapping Every Air Raid on Yemen

In March 2015 a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen. Since then there has been more than more than 16,000 air raids on the country. At least one third of these have been targeted at civilian residential areas. During the air raids on Yemen at least 1,600 schools have been partially or totally destroyed and several UNESCO heritage sites have also been destroyed.

Al Jazeera has mapped all 16,000 of Saudi Arabia's air raids on Yemen. The interactive map in Death From Above shows all air raids carried out by the Saudi led coalition since March 2015. The map includes a timeline control which allows you to see where and when air raids have been targeted in Yemen by month. As you progress through the timeline a running total keeps track of the total number of air raids launched. The bar chart below the map shows the total number of air raids directed at individual cities over the course of the timeline.

The data for the map comes from numerous sources, including official records, local and international news agencies, reports by international human rights groups and reports from national and international NGOs.

Britain from Above

I've spent most of the morning scouring vintage aerial views of the East End of London looking for my house. It isn't easy. Back in the day the East End used to be full of these huge buildings that the locals called factories. The factories have now all gone. So the East End of today looks hugely different from the air than it did 80 years ago.

The aerial photographs that I've been looking at were all taken by Aerofilms Ltd. Aerofilms Ltd was a commercial aerial photography company founded in 1919. The company was established to take photographs of Britain from airplanes for surveying and mapping purposes. One of its clients was the Ordnance Survey, the UK's national mapping agency.

In June 2007 the millions of aerial photographs taken by Aerofilms were sold to English Heritage in partnership with The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Since 2007 this partnership has been busy mapping the locations in all those historical aerial views of Britain.

The result is Britain from Above. Using Britain from Above's interactive map you can search and view Aerofilms' vintage aerial views of Britain by location. Search the map by postcode or name and you can view all the historical photos of a location captured by Aerofilms in the Twentieth Century. You can even buy prints of any of the views that your like.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Solving the Traveling Salesman Problem

Shiny Salesman is a tool for solving the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP). The TSP asks: "What is the shortest possible route taking in a number of specified locations and returning to the starting location?"

The Shiny Salesman tool allows you to choose a number of different locations to include in the TSP. You can then solve the problem using your own simulated annealing parameters. You can even watch as the map runs through the number of iterations that you select. Shiny Salesman also create a graph showing the evolution of the current tour distance so you can see how many iterations it took to find the optimal route.

If you want to see the TSP applied to a real-world problem then you might like Randy Olson's Optimal Road Trip of U.S. National Parks.

The Map of British Rock

In the 1960's the UK invented rock music. To fully appreciate this genre of music you really need a thorough knowledge of British geography. British rock is firmly rooted in the psychogeography of UK towns and cities. To understand the music you have to know the towns and cities mentioned in the lyrics of the Great British rock bands. So let's take a tour of the UK and visit some of the places immortalized by the giants of British rock - such as The Proclaimers.

We begin our musical journey with a 500 mile hike from the lowlands of Scotland. The seminal Scottish rock band The Proclaimers famously sang that they would walk 500 miles. So we start our tour in Leith and from there we will walk 500 miles.

Luckily for us Cartonerd has mapped out a 500 mile radius around Leith so we know how far to walk. In I Would Map 500 Miles Carrtonerd has placed a circle showing where you could get to if you walked 500 miles from Leith. He has also placed another circle 500 miles further out just in case you want to walk 500 more.

About 75 miles out of Leith we arrive at the border of England. This part of England is known as 'The North'. The North is pretty grim and this grimness has had an obvious effect on the rock bands that emanate from this region.

The dourness of the north was famously celebrated by the KLF in their song 'It's Grim Up North'. In the song they recognize the unattractive, forbidding nature of 69 northern towns and cities. CityMetric has thankfully mapped out all 69 locations for us in Literally just a map of every town in the lyrics to ‘It’s Grim Up North’ by the KLF.

One of the northern cities not mentioned in It's Grim Up North is Liverpool, which is of course the home of The Beatles. Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever is an Esri Story Map exploring the important locations which feature in the music of The Beatles. In particular it examines the geography of the 'most important single ever', the double 'A' side record Penny Lane - Strawberry Fields.

As you scroll through this Story Map you will discover the importance of a sense of place to the music of The Beatles and how the band influenced other 60's artists to write about locations important to their lives.The Story Map explores a number of geographical locations mentioned by The Beatles in their music. In particular the map zooms in on two locations in Liverpool, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, and discusses the significance of these two locations to the childhoods of Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

No British music of note has ever been written south of Liverpool. Therefore we really don't need to walk 500 miles and will end our tour of British Rock in the dour north.  Let's now head off to tour north America instead.

Johnny Cash Has Been EVERYWHERE (Man)! - a map of every location mentioned in Johnny Cash's version of the Geoff Mack song 'I've Been Everywhere'
Looking for a Place to Happen - a tour around Canada and the locations mentioned in the songs of the Tragically Hip
Canadian Geographic: On the Coast - a map featuring Canadian locations that are mentioned in song lyrics

If you want a real map of British Rock then the best I can offer you is The Big British Music Map. This word map of famous UK bands and musical artists shows the most famous artists associated with the various regions and towns of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If you select an artist on the map you can listen to their most iconic song. You can also view information about the artist's net worth and charting history.

The association of artists to specific locations on the map can be a little tenuous. The map says that the artists are "attached to specific locations". This attachment seems to be a combination of artists having either been born at a location or having lived there. For example Fatboy Slim is shown on the map in Brighton. He wasn't born in Brighton but does now live there. Sting on the other hand is located on the map in Newcastle. Sting doesn't live there now but he was born near by.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

San Francisco is on Shaky Ground

The New York Times carried a worrying story yesterday about San Francisco's gamble with building skyscrapers on land prone to earthquakes. The city loves to gamble so much that they are even building the tallest skyscrapers in the areas of the city where the ground is most at risk of liquefaction.

As you would expect the Times' story is illustrated with its customary impressive mapped visualizations. I particularly like the image transition near the beginning of the Times' San Francisco's Big Seismic Gamble. In 1906 an airship took a spectacular aerial photo of the city showing the damage caused by the recent earthquake and fire. As you scroll down the page the 1906 image of San Francisco seamlessly transitions into a modern illustration of the city from the exact same position. The modern illustration shows all the skyscrapers now built on top of the areas of the city devastated by the 1906 earthquake.

Another effective visualization in the story is a map of all the buildings in the city more than 240 tall overlaid on top of a choropleth layer showing the areas of the city at risk from liquefaction. A final map shows the areas of San Francisco which are expected to experience strong shaking during a big earthquake.

Mapping LGBTQ+ Memories

Queering the Map is back. Queering the Map is an interactive map which documents queer moments at locations around the world. It allows anyone to drop a pin on a map to leave a memory of a personal queer moment.

Unfortunately Queering the Map was forced offline after a number of Trump supporters defaced the map. But now it is back. And it is more popular than ever. In fact the map is so popular that it will soon need to think about a marker clustering system to manage the huge number of queer memories added to the map.

If you want to know how LGBTQ+ friendly different locations around the world are then you should also have a look at Destination Pride. Destination Pride provides a guide to the possible safety of holiday destinations around the world for LGBTQ+ travelers. Using information on relevant local laws and social attitudes Destination Pride hopes to give a basic safety overview for people traveling to new destinations.

Type a destination into Destination Pride and you can view the location's LGBTQ+ safety ranting on an interactive map. The map sidebar includes a rainbow flag which breaks down the safety ratings for the location into different categories. Each colored bar on the flag represents a different category, including marriage equality, sexual activity laws, anti-discrimination laws and civil rights & liberties (you can click on the individual colors to reveal what they represent).

The Taste Map of the World

This morning I sat down to a pain au chocolat with a bowl of coffee for my breakfast. At lunchtime I didn't have much time so I only had a little Roquefort on a baguette. For dinner I'm looking forward to eating well with a delicious lapin a la cocotte.

Can you guess which country I'm in yet?

One of the greatest joys of traveling the world is being able to explore regional cuisines. Every country in the world has its own favorite foods, regional dishes and local styles of cooking. In fact you could probably map the world using regional foods and dishes. You could then call your map the TasteAtlas.

The TasteAtlas is an interactive map which allows you to explore the local foods, dishes, tastes and cuisine of any location in the world. Using the map you can search different locations to discover the kinds of things the locals like to eat and drink. It is a great way to discover the tastes of different regions of the world and, at the same time, get a little inspiration about what to have for dinner tonight.

A great feature of TasteAtlas is that you can search the map for individual foods. For example here is the cheese map of the world and here is the bread map of the world. Search for a particular type of food and you can zoom-in on the map to discover the local varieties available at different locations. For example, on the cheese map you can zoom-in on France to discover all the local varieties of cheese available in different regions of the country. Or, if you search for the pasta map of the world, you can find out which different types of pasta come from the different regions of Italy.

It was France. I was in France.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mapping Every Power Plant in the World

Resource Watch is a new platform for hosting and sharing data related to the Earth’s resources and how they are used. The data can be used to visualize the challenges facing the planet and its people, from climate change to poverty and from water risk to human migration.

All the data on Resource Watch is free to download and use for your own analysis (precise license details are attached to each set of data). There are currently 207 different data-sets available, all of which can be explored on the Resource Watch interactive map. If you select a data-set from the sidebar you can add it to the interactive map. If you click on the 'details' button attached to a data-set you can explore the data using different visualization tools such as charts and tables.

The many founding partners of Resource Watch include Bloomberg, Carto, Google and Climate Central. The data-sets come from more than 30 trusted organizations around the world. The data is being curated by World Resources Institute experts to ensure that all data is either peer reviewed or based on a transparent established methodology.

Indoor Mapping with OpenStreetMap

OpenLevelUp is an interactive map which uses OpenStreetMap data for indoor mapping. The map allows you to find your way around inside buildings, level by level, by selecting different floor levels. The map is particularly useful for navigating your way around large buildings, laid out on many floors, such as shopping malls or museums.

When you are zoomed out on OpenLevelUp buildings which have level by level mapping available are identified by a heat-map layer. Zoom-in on one of these buildings and the numbered floor levels will appear down the side of the map. You can now explore inside the building, floor by floor, simply by selecting one of these floor levels.

The map of each floor shows the locations of different rooms, stairways, escalators and other amenities (depending on what has been mapped on OpenStreetMap). All of the features which are shown on the map can be clicked on to reveal more details or to click-through so that you can add more details yourself to the feature on OpenStreetMap.

Free To Be in Delhi & Sydney

CrowdSpot is an interactive map based surveying tool. The platform is designed to elicit community feedback about locations in order to help enable better decision making. The platform can be customized to enable users to identify locations or to get them to vote about specific locations.

CrowdSpot has been used to get feedback on a number of different issues, including identifying locations where cyclists feel unsafe, to identify where transportation could be improved and to gain citizen feedback on city transit plans. It has also been used by women's groups to try to identify locations where women feel safe and unsafe.

Free to Be in Melbourne customized the CrowdSpot platform to discover how girls and women feel in Melbourne's public spaces. The interactive map based survey asked girls and women to identify the places they love, the places they avoid, where they feel safe and locations which could be improved in the city. Over 10,000 people visited the website and over 1,300 locations in Melbourne were identified on the map.

Following the success of the Melbourne project Free to Be is now looking for girls and women in Sydney to share their experiences of that city. Free to Be Sydney allows girls and women to identify 'good' or 'bad' spots in Sydney and to add their stories about different Sydney locations to the map. You can also browse the map to view all the good and bad locations added by other users.

Free to Be is also being launched in the capital of India. Free to Be Delhi works in exactly the same way as the Sydney and Melbourne maps. Girls and women can identify places in the city where they fell safe or unsafe by simply dropping pins on the crowd-sourced map. Free to Be hasn't stopped there either. It is now also available in Lima, Madrid and Kampala. In all these locations girls and women can now share how they feel in different locations in their own cities.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mapping the Power of Ten

The Powers of Ten is a famous short film by Charles and Ray Eames. The film starts with a top-down shot of two people having a picnic. The camera then zooms out to ten times the distance every ten seconds, so that the field of view is ten times wider every ten seconds. The film starts from one meter above the Earth and zooms out to show the entire universe.

The Powers Map was inspired by the film the Powers of Ten. This interactive map starts showing a random census tract in the USA and then zooms out to show the whole country. As the map slowly zooms out the map displays data from the American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

The map shows the population currently living on the area shown on the map. It estimates the population based on the land area shown and the density of the population. It also shows some other interesting facts from the census, such as the number of people who did not graduate from high school, the number of women with doctorates, the number of people unemployed or the number of people who work in the public sector.

Truesize for Leaflet

It is very easy to create a country size comparison map like The True Size Of using the Google Maps API. Google's Maps API allows you to define polygon shapes as both draggable and geodesic. This means if you add a country polygon shape to a Google Map the map's users can drag the shape around the map and the size will change size depending on the shape's latitude.

In Leaflet.js there is no simple method in the JavaScript library for making a polygon shape both draggable and responsive to the map projection. Therefore Webkid has created a plug-in for Leaflet which allows you to add draggable polygons that resize automatically depending on the degree of latitude.

Leaflet Truesize includes links to download the plugin and an explanation of how it should be used to create a size comparison map. It also contains an example map which allows you to drag India and Mexico on a map to compare their size with other countries around the world.

Exploring the History of Scotland

Pastmap is an interactive map which can help you explore the historic buildings, archaeology and landscapes of Scotland. The map has been created by Historic Environment Scotland to help the public discover more about Scottish history and to help them visit the country's historic sites and buildings.

The map side-panel includes a number of history layers which can be added to the map. These include the locations of listed buildings, conservation areas, battlefield sites, scheduled monuments and gardens and designed landscapes. The side-panel also includes a number of map layers. These include vintage Ordnance Survey maps and aerial imagery of Scotland, on which you can overlay the historical locations.

If you are interested in vintage maps of Scotland then you should also pay a visit to the online Map Collections division of the National Library of Scotland. The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has digitized thousands of old historical Scottish maps.

Some of the NLS's digitized maps have been used by the University of Glasgow to show the routes of Robert Burns’s tours in the Highlands and Borders of Scotland. The Maps of Robert Burns’s Tours of the Highlands and Borders of Scotland use vintage map tiles of Scotland from the library's map collection.

For example the Robert Burns’s Tour of the Highlands, 25th August – 16th September 1787 map features an interactive route of part of Robert Burns' tour overlaid on a vintage 1815 map of Scotland. In this interactive route map you can click on each of the way-points displayed on the map to read what Burns had to say about the places he visited during this part of his tour of the Highlands.

Big Brother is Watching

The residents of the London Borough of Hackney are probably the most spied upon people on the planet. Hackney has more CCTV cameras than the cities of Bristol, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Chelmsford and Liverpool. Hackney’s 2,246 CCTV cameras means the borough has more cameras than any other local authority in the country - more than any town or city (excluding London itself) in the UK.

Outside of London the leafy Surrey town of Woking is the most spied upon. Woking has more CCTV cameras than the cities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. Bristol is the most watched city in the UK (excluding London), Birmingham comes second despite having over twice the population of Bristol.

If you want to know more about the most spied upon towns and cities in the UK then you can consult the UK's CCTV Hotspot map. This map shows the top 20 towns and the top 20 cities with the most CCTV cameras and the number of cameras in every London borough. The map is based on data from Big Brother Watch and the Office for National Statistics. I suspect this means that the map wildly underestimates the actual number of cameras. For example, it claims that Newham has just 204 CCTV cameras. There must be that many cameras in the Olympic Park alone

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Classified Ad Addressing System

Paaart is a new online classified ad site. Paaart offers a free service that anyone can use anywhere in the world to post or find classified ads. The site works by connecting users to their own local neighborhoods. Users can attach any message to any neighborhood. Therefore a classified ad can be connected to the relevant part of a village, municipality, city or region, depending on the user's preferences.

One of the most interesting things about Paaart for cartographers is that it uses its very own addressing system. The Paaart hierarchical addressing system divides the world into more than 300 thousand areas. Each area polygon in this system is hierarchically divided into 25 further rectangular areas, each one labelled by a single letter. This step by step division leads to a hierarchical structure that makes it possible to specify a location at different levels of precision. For example Oxford in the UK is defined by the 3 letters kbm -

This simple system allows people who are posting classified ads to define their own level of location by choosing the relevant hierarchy in the addressing system. They do this simply by selecting an appropriate zoom level on an interactive map. Another advantage of using a customized addressing system is that Paart can specify precise locations for ads even in regions and countries of the world where the official administrative addressing system is not always accurate.