Tuesday, November 13, 2018

California Wildfire Damage Map

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has released an interactive map showing which buildings have been destroyed or damaged by the Camp Fire. The Camp Fire Structure Status map plots the latest field damage inspection reports for buildings in areas affected by the Camp Fire.

The map uses different colored icons to indicate the scale of fire damage to individual buildings. The red markers indicate buildings which have been over 50% destroyed. The black buildings are those which are lucky enough to have suffered no visible damage. The map is only a preliminary assessment of the fire damage caused by the Camp Fire. The map will be updated as fire inspections continue. Currently Cal Fire estimate that 6,522 residences and 260 commercial properties have been destroyed by the Camp Fire.

You can find a link to the Cal Fire evacuation map and the latest incident reports about the Camp Fire at the Cal Fire Camp Fire Incident website.

This Warming Planet

If you want to know what kind of temperatures you can expect from global warming then you might want to check out this new interactive map. Bread for the World's August 28, 2100 is a map showing the predicted temperatures around the world up to the year 2100.

If you mouse-over any location on the map you can view the near surface air temperature for that location as predicted by NASA. A dynamic graph running along the bottom of the map will also show you the predicted temperatures at your selected location for every year until the end of this century.

The map shows near surface air temperatures around the globe for 1950, 2017 and 2100. The data comes from NASA's Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections which predicts daily temperatures across the globe until the year 2100. If you are interested in how this data was mapped then you should read Visualizing Near Surface Air Temperature, a blog post written by one of the map developers.

August 28, 2100 is just the latest in a number of maps which visualize the environmental conditions we can expect in the year 2100. You might also be interested in:

Air Pollution in 2100 - air pollution predictions for the year 2100
Climate Impact Map - mapping rising temperatures around the world over the rest of this century
Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days - predicted extreme heat events from now until 2100
Sea Level Rise Viewer - NOAA's sea level rise prediction until the year 2100

Shadow Mapping

Septima Skyggekort is an interactive map which visualizes the shadows cast by Denmark's buildings at any hour of the day and for any day of the year.

The map was created using the OpenLayers mapping library using height data from Styrelsen for DataForsyning og Effektivisering, the public data agency of the Danish government. The height data appears to come from a Lidar survey of the whole of Denmark. This means that you can use the map to view the length and positions of shadows for any building and for any tree in the whole country. Just use the two slider controls on the map to select the day of the year and the time of the day you wish to see visualized on the map.

Norway's The Shadow Visualization Demo is another impressive demonstration which shows dynamic shadows on an interactive map. This map uses digital terrain model data and building height data from OpenStreetMap. Because the map knows the height of the terrain this map not only shows the shadows of buildings but the shadows cast by hills and mountains as well.

Again you can use the slide controls to select any time of day and any day of the year.

In New York you can use the New York Times' Mapping the Shadows of New York City interactive map to visualize the shadows cast by the city's famous sky scrapers (and all of its other buildings as well.)

The Times says that most Manhattan neighborhoods will remain in shadow for at least half of all daylight hours. They also claim that the amount of time a location spends in shadow during daylight hours can affect everything from apartment rental prices to the flow of foot traffic on the city's streets.

The map uses building height data provided by the city. With the help of the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University the NYT used this height data to calculate the total number of minutes that a given point spends in shadow over the course of a day.

If you are interested in creating your own shadow map then you might be interested in SunCalc.js, a javascript library for calculating the position of the sun.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mapping California's Wildfires

NASA's Earth Observatory has published two satellite images of the California wildfires captured by its Landsat 8 satellite. Camp Fire Rages in California includes images of the Camp Fire (shown above) captured on November 8th. The article also includes a more zoomed out image which shows the smoke from both the Camp Fire and the Hill & Woolsey fires spreading out into the Pacific.

Yesterday the New York Times mapped out how the Camp Fire and the Woolsey fire have been spreading. The NYT's Tracking Where the Fires Are Spreading includes two mapped visualizations of each fire.

The Times has overlain the fire footprint of each fire on top of a Google Map. These fire footprints are colored to show the new areas that the fires reached yesterday (colored red) and the areas previously burned. For both the Camp fire and the Woolsey fire the Times has also created a footprint comparison visualization. These comparisons place three footprints of each fire in a sequence showing how the fires have grown over the previous three days.

If you want the latest news about California's wildfires then you might be interested in Esri's Smoke from Wildfires map which shows the National Weather Service smoke forecast for the next 48 hours. Esri has also released a special California Wildfires Map which is providing near real-time information about the traffic conditions on the state's major roads. This map also contains the fire perimeters of active fires and fire reports from the National Interagency Fire Center.

The San Francisco Chronicle's California Fire Tracker map provides information on all the wildfires currently burning across California. The map shows fire perimeters and the latest air pollution particulate reading from the smoke. The map also has links to the newspaper's latest news on all the fires and to their fire disaster guide.

The Map of Meaning

Jordan Peterson's Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief explores how humans and culture's construct meaning. Fernando Bresciano has been so inspired by Paterson's ideas that he has attempted to illustrate some of these theories in his own illustrated Land of Meaning. The Land of Meaning is an illustrated map of some of the archetypal meanings which can be found in life, in legends and in myths. It can even be used to explore the spiritual journeys which were undertaken by religious leaders, such as Christ and Buddha.

The Land of Meaning includes a story map feature which takes you on a guided tour of the various mapped archetypal explanations. This is a great way to introduce yourself to the ideas illustrated in this map of meaning. If you use the forward and back arrows you can navigate step-by-step through each of the archetypal meanings shown on the map. An information window opens to provide a brief explanation of the mythical archetype which is illustrated at this point on the map. You can also open these explanations simply by selecting the information markers on the map.

The map also contains a number of journeys or paths through the Land of Meaning which have been taken by historical or religious figures. It also includes the plot paths taken by well known myths or fairy tales. If you open the 'Myths' section in the map menu you can select from a number of individuals (including Jesus and Buddha) or from some well known mythical & nursery tales. Choose one of these individuals or stories and a path will appear on the map. This path attempts to show how the selected individual's life or story's plot follows a path through some of the archetypal meanings illustrated on the Land of Meaning.

The Land of Meaning can also help to explain the world's main political belief systems using Paterson's Maps of Meaning. Open the 'Ideologies' section in the map menu and a map of ideologies will be overlain on top of the Land of Meaning. This overlay maps where different political ideologies sit on the Land of Meaning and attempts to explain each ideology's core beliefs in terms of the archetypal meanings illustrated on the map.

Mapping the Norse World

The Norse World is an interactive map showing the locations mentioned in medieval Norse literature. The map is intended to be a resource for students of medieval Swedish and Danish literature and history. It provides an invaluable insight into what places were written about and how places & countries were perceived and visualized in Old Swedish and Old Danish in the Middle Ages.

If you select a marker on the map an information window opens listing all the known appearances of the selected location in medieval Norse literature. You can select the place-name itself in this list to learn more about the location and what type of locality it is. You can also select from any of the medieval texts in which the place-name appears. This will load a brief introduction to the selected medieval Norse text.

You can also use the search function to map individual works of Norse literature. For example if you search 'Ivan Løveridder' you can view all the locations around the world which appear in this medieval verse romance on the Norse World interactive map.

The medieval Icelandic family sagas are prose histories describing the lives of the first few generations of settlers in Iceland in the late 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. The Icelandic Saga Map allows you to read each of the Icelandic Sagas alongside an interactive map showing the locations of all the places mentioned in these historic tales.

When you select an individual saga from the Icelandic Saga Map homepage you are presented with the text of the story alongside an interactive map. Locations in the saga are hyperlinked to the map. Therefore as you read the saga you can select place-names mentioned in the text to view its location on the interactive map. Alternatively you can click on the locations tagged on the map to jump to the parts in the texts where they are mentioned in the Sagas.

When reading an individual saga you can use the Sagas menu (top right) to also overlay the locations mentioned in any of the other Sagas on the interactive map.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mapping the Fallen of World War I

A Street Near You is an interactive map showing the home addresses of men and women who died while serving in the First World War. There were an estimated 8 million military deaths in the war and the map shows the location records for nearly 410,000 of them.

A Street Near You is a powerful and sober visualization of the numbers of individuals who lost their lives in World War I. If you enter an address into the site you can view the names of all the people from your neighborhood who fell during the war. For example, if you search my neighborhood of West Ham in the East End of London, you will find that nearly every house experienced the loss of at least one family member.

If you click on a person's marker on the map you can view more details on the individual selected. These details include the name, regiment and the date of death.

The Royal British Legion is hoping to commemorate every Commonwealth serviceman and woman who died in World War I. Every Man Remembered allows you to commemorate relatives who died in the First World War or leave a commemoration for someone that hasn't yet been given a tribute.

Every Man Remembered includes a Google Map showing the resting places of Commonwealth soldiers around the world. If you select a cemetery on the map you can view details about the individual servicemen and women from the First World War who are buried or commemorated there. If you select an individual serviceman or woman from the map you can read details about their service and life.

If you have information about a Commonwealth serviceman or woman who died in the war you can add your information and photos of them to the records.

Canada's Global News has mapped the home addresses of the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War. Mapping Canada’s war dead, house by house includes interactive maps for many Canadian cities. This includes maps showing the home addresses of soldiers in Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

California Wildfire Maps

Esri's Smoke from Wildfires map visualizes the National Weather Service smoke forecast. Using the map's slide control you can view the NWS smoke forecast for the next 48 hours. The map also shows the fire perimeters of active fires. Esri has also released a special California Wildfires Map which is providing near real-time information about the traffic conditions on the state's major roads. This map also contains the fire perimeters of active fires and fire reports from the National Interagency Fire Center.

The San Francisco Chronicle's California Fire Tracker map provides information on all the wildfires currently burning across California. Fires are shown on the newspaper's map when they are larger than 500 acres, have caused damage to property, or when people have been injured or killed as a result of the fire.

The fire perimeters and hot spots shown for each wildfire are based on infrared and thermal imaging from Satellite imagery. These perimeters are coarse and not real-time. They should therefore only be used as a rough guide to the extent of a wildfire. The California Fire Tracker also allows you to view current air quality data on the map. This layer is near real-time (it is updated every 30 minutes) and shows concentrations of air pollution particulates.

The map also includes links to the newspaper's latest news on all the fires and to their fire disaster guide.

Mapping Internal Migration

Internal Migration in the City of Barcelona 2016 is a simple but effective visualization of where Barcelona residents moved to and from within the city in 2016. The map provides an overall scale of the numbers of people moving between Barcelona's different neighborhoods without giving the precise figures of how many people moved between each district.

The scaled markers on the map provides a rough overview of how many people moved into or out of each Barcelona neighborhood from elsewhere in the city. If you can switch between the incoming and outgoing internal migration views the markers automatically change to represent the numbers for the selected view. If you then hover over a neighborhood on the map flow-lines show all the other districts where residents moved to or from.

These flow-lines are scaled to show the number of residents who moved between the different neighborhoods. Some of the flow-lines have numbers attached, which presumably represent the number of residents who moved between the two connected neighborhoods. However not all the flow-lines are annotated with the number of residents. The scaled neighborhood markers on the map also don't give the precise numbers of internal migrants. When you hover over the neighborhood markers the neighborhood's name is revealed. It would be nice if the number of internal migrants (incoming or outgoing depending on the view) was also revealed when you hover over a marker.

The Internal Migration in the City of Barcelona 2016 map is therefore an effective visualization of the general size of internal migration between different neighborhoods in the city. However it isn't much use if you want to know the precise number of residents moving between different neighborhoods in Barcelona.

The US Migration Flow Map provides a nice example of how an internal migration flow map can provide the actual numbers of people moving between different areas.

The US Migration Flow Map, like the Barcelona map, uses scaled flow-lines to visualize the numbers of people moving between different states in the USA. The size of the flow-lines on the map is representative of the number of people moving between two states. However, unlike the Barcelona map, you can also hover over the lines to view the total number of people moving between the two states. You can also hover over a state on the map to view the total number of internal and external migrants.

Migration in Latvia is another internal migration map which allows you to hover over the flow-lines on the map to view the precise number of people moving between two regions. Hover over a selected region on the map and you can also view details on the total number of people who moved in and out of the region.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Global Food Security

Around 12% of the Earth’s land surface is being used to grow crops and about 22% is being used for grazing and rearing livestock. As the world's population grows rising demand for food coupled with the environmental strains of global warming is straining our ability to feed ourselves.

The Colors of Food Security is a series of maps visualizing some of the social and environmental issues surrounding the future of global agriculture. The maps visualize a multitude of issues that affect the future stable supply of quality food, such as agricultural productivity, poverty, climate, biodiversity loss, water, and environmental pollution.

You can access each of the Colors of Food Security map visualizations by selecting from the icon buttons running down the side of the map. When a map visualization loads an information window provides a short introduction to the data being shown and its relationship to global food security.

If you are interested in where different crops and livestock are grown and reared then you might also be interested in Esri's The Living Land interactive map. The Living Land is the second installment in Esri's Living in the Age of Humans series and focuses on global agriculture and its environmental impacts. If you want to look more closely at agriculture in the USA then check out The Consolidation of the American Harvest. Bloomberg's The Consolidation of the American Harvest maps where different crops are grown in America.

Mapping Global Causes of Death

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released the results of the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study investigates causes of death in countries around the world. You can explore the results of the study on GBD Compare, an interactive tool which visualizes estimates of the world’s health for 359 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors from 1990 to 2017.

The map is particularly good for identifying anomalous causes of death in different countries. If a country is the only country in the world shown in red for a cause of death then it obviously has a health concern in this area. For example if you visualize opioid deaths on the map you can clearly see that this is a huge problem for the US. In fact the death rate from opioids is twice as high in the USA as it is in Libya, which has the second highest rate of deaths from opioids.

opioid death rates

If you map cardiovascular diseases then you can see how heart diseases are very high in many countries in the former Soviet bloc.
cardiovascular death rates

Deaths from guns is a big problem in a number of South & Central American countries.

firearm death rates

For the examples above I have used the GBD Compare map view to visualize country death rates for three causes of death. The GBD Compare tool has many other ways to interact and visualize health around the globe. As well as the map view you can visualize the data using treemaps, arrow diagrams, and many other types of chart. You can use these tools not only to explore patterns and trends by country but by age and sex as well.

1.4 Million French Dead on the Field of Honor

1.4 million French soldiers died between 1914 and 1918 in the First World War. That is the equivalent of 37 deaths per hour for four and a half years. One hundred years after Armistice day the French newspaper Le Figaro has released an interactive map which visualizes the huge number of French death in World War I.

Fallen on the Field of Honor animates through every single day of the war showing every location where French soldiers died on each day. The data for the map comes from the Ministry for the Armed Forces. The map doesn't show the French soldiers whose date and location of death remains unknown.

The map is accompanied by a bar graph which shows the number of deaths per week for the course of the whole war. This graph is annotated with the dates of important military offensives and campaigns. Fallen on the Field of Honor also has a bar graph which shows the number of soldiers who died by age. The average age of the dead was 27.5 years old.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Mexico's Cocaine Routes

Enter your home address into Cocaine Routes and you can track your drug deliveries in real-time on Google Maps from Mexico all the way to your front door.

Of course - I'm lying. Cocaine Routes is actually a website designed to make you think more closely about the human cost of drug trafficking. Enter your address into Cocaine Routes and it will actually create a personalized video based on your address which is designed to make you think about how drug cartels move illegal drugs around the world. Cocaine Routes mixes together Google Maps, satellite imagery, Google Street View and video to show how illegal drugs might be smuggled to your actual address.

Cocaine Routes has been released to promote the launch of Narcos: Mexico on Netflix. Narcos: Mexico is a dramatization of the true story of the rise of the Guadalajara drug cartel in Mexico.

The Geography Treasure Hunt Game

How good is your knowledge of the world? You can find out by playing Esri's Geography Treasure Hunt game.

During the game you are asked a series of questions. To answer each question you just need to zoom in on the correct location on the map. If you zoom in on the correct location a numbered marker will appear leading you to the next question. In other words you have to find the correct location to progress to the next question in the Treasure Hunt. If you are struggling to find the correct answer you can use the 'hint' option to receive a clue about the location that you are seeking.

If you follow all the questions to the end of the Treasure Hunt you will receive a special GIS Day Treasure Hunt certificate (or if you are me a '500 Internal Server Error' message).

Mapping the Evolution of Brasilia

You can now explore the social and urban evolution of Brasilia on the pilotPlan interactive map. The map allows you to access and view historical photos, aerial imagery and vintage maps of the city since its inauguration as Brazil’s capital in 1960.

At the heart of pilotPlan is a timeline control which allows you to view historical maps, plans and images of the city from  different decades. When you choose a date from the timeline the bottom panel updates to show the media and overlays that you can add to the interactive map. For example, select 1960 on the timeline and you can view historical photos of the city from that decade. If you then select the map icon you can overlay a vintage 1960 map of the city on top of the interactive map. By selecting the hammer icon you can view vintage plans of the city on top of the map.

PilotPlan is the second interactive map exploring the social and urban development of a Brazilian city over time. You can explore the development of Rio de Janeiro since its foundation on the imagineRio interactive map.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Mapping New Zealand Population Growth

All sixteen regions of New Zealand have experienced population growth in the year ending 30 June 2018. In many of these regions international and internal migration was responsible for a large part of this growth. Lots of people want to move to New Zealand. Presumably not all of them are Silicon Valley billionaires preparing for the apocalypse.

You can compare the effect of natural increase and net migration on New Zealand's regional population growth on this Estimated Resident Population Change interactive map from Stats NZ. The map allows you to compare side-by-side the effect of natural increase and net migration on each regional council area. In the Tasman and Gilman regions net migration accounted for as much as 90% of local population growth. While in the Gisborne and Southland regions net migration was responsible for only around 50% of population growth.

You can read more about the data behind the map and the areas of New Zealand which experienced the highest growth in population last year in Stats NZ's report Migration drives local population growth.

US Election Maps

Donald Trump might consider hanging a map of the House midterm elections in the Oval office. Despite losing control of the house the map still appears deceptively rosy for the GOP. Luckily, for the rest of us, both the New York Times and the Washington Post have created cartogram map views of the House results which provide a far more accurate picture of the Democrat Party's success in yesterday's House election.

The NYT's U.S. House Election Results map includes two different map views, a 'map' and 'cartogram' view. The 'cartogram' map view provides an equal size view of each house district. The result is a map which looks far less red.

The Washington Post's interactive map of the House results also includes two map options, a 'geographic' and 'equal size' view. The 'equal size' cartogram view provides a much more accurate visualization of the relative successes of the Republicans and Democrats in yesterday's election than the 'geographic' view. Both map views allow you to hover over a district to view the percentage of votes cast for each candidate. If you have trouble finding a district on the 'equal size' cartogram view you can switch back to the more familiar 'geographic' map view.

The Post also has an interactive map of the Senate results. The NYT's Senate Elections Results also comes with an interactive map.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The United States of Apathy - No More

In the 2016 Presidential Election if absenteeism from voting was counted as a vote for 'nobody', then nobody would have won the election. More counties, more states and more electoral college votes were won by nobody than were won by either presidential candidate.

You can see where nobody won in a new joint interactive map from Esri and cartographer Philip Kearney. The United States of Apathy interactive map visualizes where voter apathy was biggest in the United States and how that affected the 2016 presidential race. The map shows how nobody won 445 out of 538 electoral votes.

As you progress through the United States of Apathy story map the most apathetic states and counties are shown on the map. These are the places where the most people didn't bother to vote. The story map also explores where the apathetic vote benefited Trump and where it benefited Clinton.

Don't let apathy win in the Midterm Elections. Go out and vote!

What Britain Thinks About Brexit

A majority of the British people want to remain in the EU. However the British government is still trying desperately and ineffectually to negotiate the UK's successful withdrawal from the European Union.

Channel 4 has decided that it would be interesting to discover what the British now think about Brexit. It commissioned Survation to carry out the largest survey on how the country would vote if there was a referendum on leaving or remaining in the EU today.

Survations's report on the survey What does the British public now think about Brexit? includes an interactive map which shows how many people in every local authority are estimated to now support leaving the European Union. The map shows that there could be a huge political cost in carrying on with Brexit. Scotland and nearly the whole of Wales is against leaving the EU and these nations might take a long time to forgive what they see as largely an English government forcing the UK out of Europe.

Earlier this week two maps purporting to show Remain Land and Leave Land were published by a number of British newspapers. This interactive map of the Survation survey shows that many areas of Leave Land would now like a Lexit referendum to secede from Leave Land and join Remain Land instead.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Australia's National Map

NationalMap is an interactive map which Australians can use to access spatial data from government agencies. The map allows you to visualize data from many different government agencies via the data catalogue (select 'Add data' from the map).

Spatial data in the data catalogue is organized into different categories, such as health, environment, communications and transport. You can find out which department or agency has provided the data by clicking on the title of a data set in the data catalogue. Clicking on the data set title will also reveal additional information about the selected data, including the URL of the WMS map layer for the data (if available) and the relevant license details for using the data.

As well as providing access to huge amounts of spatial data the NationalMap is Open Source software which is available on GitHub. The core platform of NationalMap is TerriaJS, which itself uses the Cesium and Leaflet mapping libraries.

The Global Solar Heat Map

Solar insolation is determined by a number of different factors. It depends on where you are on the Earth, the time of day & the time of year. It can also be affected by the orientation (or tilt) of your measuring device. The Solar (Sun) Intensity By Location and Time interactive map visualizes solar intensity (or insolation) around the world for any hour of the day or day of the year.

You can adjust the hour of the day and the day of the year using the controls above the map. The default setting is for the current time and day. Using the hour slider you can see how the sun moves east to west around the Earth over the course of the day. If you play with the day slider you can see how the seasons change as the amount of sunlight in the northern and southern hemispheres is affected by which is tilted towards the sun during that time of year.

Faces of the World

Journalist Paul Salopek is currently on a 21,000-mile walk around the world. His Out of Eden walk is roughly tracing the footsteps of the very first human beings who migrated out of Africa in the stone-age to eventually populate the whole world.

During his multiyear walk Paul is documenting his journey and reporting on the stories of the people he meets. You can learn more about Paul's huge trek, view a map of his route and read his account of the journey on National Geographic's Out of Eden. Out of Eden includes video, audio and text about the people and places encountered on the walk. It also features an interactive Journey map, which allows you to access all the stories and media from each stage of the Out of Eden expedition.

The National Geographic has also published another interactive map of the Out of Eden journey. The Out of Eden: Milestone map provides a fascinating insight into the people that Paul encounters on his journey. Every one hundred miles Paul stops the first person he meets and asks them three questions:

Who are you?
Where do you come from?
Where are you going?

The Milestone map introduces us to the people Paul has interviewed every 100 miles. It includes a 360 degree panoramic photo of the milestone location, a photo of the person interviewed and their answers to the three questions.

Brownfield Sites Mapped

In England there are around 17,000 brownfield sites. Brownfield sites are previously developed sites which are currently not being used. If these 17,000 sites were developed they could provide around one million new homes.

The National Housing Federation's Housing Sites interactive map shows the locations of all brownfield sites identified by planning authorities in England. If you click on any of the brownfield sites shown on the map you can view details on the ownership and size of the site. You can also view a local authority estimate of the number of homes that could be built on the site.

If you switch the map layer to the Local Authority overlay then you can discover the number of brownfield sites in individual local authorities. Click on a local authority on the map and you can see the number of hectares in the area which are currently brownfield. You can also discover how many homes could be built on these brownfield sites.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

XKCD Cartography

XKCD #2067 2018 Midterm Challengers is an interactive map of all the challengers in the 2018 midterm election. The size of the politicians' names on the map is determined by the importance of the office and the challenger's chances of success.

If you click on a challenger's name on the map you can visit the candidate's website. You can also click on place-names on the map to view a location's Wikipedia page. The place-name data on the map has been sourced from Wikipedia. This makes for some interesting place-names, for example there is a place called 'Port Chicago Disaster' in Sacramento, a '1951 NFL Championship Game' in Los Angeles and a 'Death of John Lennon' in New York.

Despite these strange results from Wikipedia the map is still a great visualization of the most important races in next week's election.

This isn't Randall Munroe's first venture into mapping on XKCD. In fact XKCD is required reading for all students of cartography. It can teach you about Map Projections

XKCD can teach you why America's Favorite Halloween Candy map is rubbish (XKCD: State Word).

XKCD also has an important lesson on why normalizing your data is very important (XKCD Heatmap).

XKCD #1110 Click & Drag isn't a map but the last frame does resemble an interactive map in so far as you can click & drag the frame around like a slippy map. If you click on the last frame you can discover a very huge world lies beyond the frame's borders. In fact, thanks to dividuum, you can actually explore this frame in a Leaflet powered interactive map.

Where to Buy Food Without Packaging

If you are eager to reduce your carbon footprint and desperate to find local shops which aren't full of foodstuffs and other goods sold in unnecessary packaging then you should bookmark Zero Waste Near Me. Zero Waste Near Me is an interactive map showing the locations of shops where you can buy unpackaged goods.

At the moment Zero Waste Near Me maps shops, markets and fruit & vegetable box schemes where you can buy produce which is free of unnecessary packaging. The map also shows the locations of shops which provide refill services. These may be refill services for laundry cleaning products, for shampoos & conditioners or even for beer refills.

Zero Waste Near Me does have plans to extend the range of zero waste resources that are shown on the interactive map. In the future it hopes to add the locations of community fridges (fridges where individuals and businesses can share surplus food - rather than disposing of it as waste). It also plans to map milk vending machines and repair cafes.

Currently Zero Waste Near Me only shows local zero waste resources in the UK. The quality of the data added to the map is ensured by the developers not allowing crowd-sourced additions. If Zero Waste Near Me wishes to expand across the globe then it will need to think about allowing users to add data to the map and the implications that crowd-sourcing might have on the quality of the data.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Mapping the Great American Novel

Susan Straight has experienced all that America has to offer from the pages of the books in the Riverside Public Library. During a life spent reading she has explored the towns and cities of America. She has run through the woods of Maine, she has ridden across the prairies of Kansas and she has walked in the footsteps of the greatest characters in American literature.

Thanks to Susan Straight's The American Experience in 737 Novels you too can explore America through the pages of some of America's greatest writers. The American Experience in 737 Novels is an interactive map which plots the geographical settings of 737 American novels. You can use Susan's map to discover works of fiction which are set near your home town. Alternatively you can use the map to explore more closely the geographical settings of your favorite novels.

Hopefully you will also use the map to find more American novels and novelists to enjoy.

The UK's Ageing Population

Despite the UK's growing health inequality and stalling life expectancy the average age of the population is still growing. By 2037 it is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK will be aged over 65.

The Office for National Statistics has released an interactive map which visualizes how the population is ageing across the UK over time. The Broad Age Group Percentage map allows you to view the changing percentages of different age groups in each local authority area by year. The data includes population estimates from 1997-2017 and population projections from 2017-2037.

Alongside this interactive map, showing a choropleth view of the percentages of different age groups across the UK, the ONS has also created this interactive population pyramid.

Select a local authority area and you can view an animated visualization showing how the percentage of the different ages of the local population is changing over time. The animated population pyramid for every local authority area provides an effective visualization of how the 1960's baby boomer generation swells successive age groups over time. It also partly shows why, as this group approaches retirement age, the average age of the UK as a whole is going up.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Environment & Weather Layers for Leaflet

If you need some environment or weather related map layers for your Leaflet.js maps then you should have a look at Leaflet Environment Layers. This Leaflet library allows you to add a combination of different environment and weather layers to your interactive maps.

The Leaflet Environment Layers plug-in includes map layers from a number of different sources. The weather layers (including rain, precipitation, wind and temperature) are from OpenWeatherMap. The environmental layers are provided by organizations such as SkyTruth (environmental alerts), the Environmental Protection Agency (toxic releases) and other agencies,

You can view a demo of a map with the Leaflet Environment Layers added here. The Leaflet Environmental Layers library itself is available on GitHub.

Who Hates Daylight Saving?

Daylight Saving ends this Sunday in the United States. You don't need a map to tell you that putting the clocks back by one hour every Fall is a despicable & sadistic form of torture. However Andy Woodruff really wants you to know how much you will suffer. He has therefore created an interactive map which shows you how many sunny evenings you will be losing once the clocks go back.

Obviously the hours of daylight remain the same with or without Daylight Saving or not. However the time you get up in the morning will affect how many hours of daylight you see. If you are an early riser then putting the clocks back in the Fall will probably result in you being awake for all the hours of sunlight. If you are a late riser then the clocks going back means that you are likely to miss some hours of daylight during the winter months.

The Where to Hate Daylight Saving and Where to Love it interactive map allows you to play around with a number of different settings to explore whether Daylight Saving suits your sleeping patterns. Using the map you can explore how the geography of sunrise and sunset is affected by Daylight Saving across the United States.