Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How Big is Occupied Ukraine?

The New Statesman has released an interactive tool which allows you to view a map showing the area of Ukraine currently occupied by Russia. The map also allows you to drag this territory around the map so that you can easily compare this occupied area to any other location on Earth. 

If you drag the red polygon (representing the territory of Ukraine currently occupied by invading Russian forces) on the How Big is Occupied Ukraine interactive map you can directly compare this huge amount of territory to any other location.  If you use the map's search box you can also see a numerical comparison of the occupied territory with the size of your chosen country. 

According to the New Statesman (as of 14th June 2022) Russia is occupying 126,645 sq km of Ukrainian territory. This amount of land is equivalent to four times the size of Belgium, around half the area of the UK or around a quarter of the size of Spain.

The New Statesman map was made using Leaflet.js. In the Leaflet JavaScript mapping library there is no easy method for making a polygon shape both draggable and responsive to the map projection. To create polygons which automatically resize themselves according to where you drag them on the the map you can use the Leaflet Truesize plugin. This plugin makes it very easy to add draggable polygons to a Leaflet map that will resize automatically depending on the degree of latitude.

Leaflet Truesize includes links to download the plugin and an explanation of how it can 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. 

The Google Maps API does have a simple function for creating geodesic draggable polygons. This function allows you to easily add polygons which change size as you drag them north or south on a Google map. 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.

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