Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Center for Biological Diversity has created a simple but very effective mapped visualization of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The visualization allows users to drag a polygon shape, representing the physical size of the gyre, over any location on Earth. In this way it is possible to directly compare the size of the garbage patch with familiar locations.

The drag & drop map in Ocean Plastics Pollution may not be entirely scientifically accurate but it is a very powerful visualization tool. Much of this power comes from its simplicity. It is just a huge shape on a map which you can drag around to more clearly understand its vast size. The map was also ridiculously easy to make.

The Google Maps API has a simple function for creating draggable polygons. It also allows you to make the polygons geodesic so that the shape changes size as you drag it north or south. If you want to make a polygon draggable in Google Maps you simply have to set draggable and geodesic to true in the polygon's properties:
draggable: true,
geodesic: true
It really is as simple as that.

Another map which makes great use of draggable polygons is The True Size Of. The True Size Of allows users to compare the size of different countries by dragging any country on top of any other country. Why not see how many countries you can fit inside Russia.

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