Saturday, June 29, 2024

The 2024 UK General Election Map

a hexmap of UK constituencies

2024 is a year of elections. Next Thursday it is the turn of the UK to go to the polls. Which means next Friday Maps Mania will be featuring a number of interactive maps, visualizing the collapse of the governing Conservative Party's vote.

According to the latest opinion polls the Tories could be heading for a loss that might almost rival the collapse of the Canadian Conservative Party in the 1993 federal election. If, as forecast, the UK Labour Party does win a huge majority in this year's General Election then the data visualization editors of the daily newspapers may have a bit of headache in visualizing the scale of the victory. The support for the Conservative Party in rural areas of the UK means that even if they win a few seats the election maps next Friday may still look very blue.

If you are working on visualizing the results of any of this year's major elections then you should be considering how you can prevent larger rural electoral areas from visually overpowering smaller urban constituencies. One way of doing this is by ensuring that there is an equal representation of electoral areas, for example by using a hexmap layer. 

Hexmaps can represent each electoral district or region with the same size hexagon. This ensures that every district is given equal visual weight, regardless of its geographic size. Luckily, thanks to the work of Philip Brown and Alasdair Rae, of Automatic Knowledge Ltd, if you are working on a UK election map you can download a geojson file providing a hexagonal representation of the UK's new parliamentary constituencies. 

a list and hexmap of current Tory MPs

Automatic Knowledge's UK Constituency Files contains a number of downloadable election resources, including a hexmap of the 2024 General Election constituencies. You can view an interactive demo of the hexmap on Automatic Knowledge's UK Constituency Hex Map 2023.

I've taken the hexmap data for a spin and created a Torygeddon interactive map. Using Automatic Knowledge's hexagon layer I've created a list and map of all the current Conservative MPs. On election night you can click on the name of each Tory MP as their defeat is announced to wipe them off the electoral map forever. The map really has no useful purpose, beyond providing myself with a neat visual guide to the (hopeful) end of fourteen years of spectacular mismanagement.

Cartographer's Note: My Torygeddon map is using two different data sets. The Automatic Knowledge hexmap shows the new UK electoral constituencies. My list shows all the current Conservative MPs - who won their seats in the previous constituencies. Some current Tory MPs' constituencies may therefore not appear on the map. 

Around 80 Conservative MPs are standing down at this election and are not seeking reelection in 2024. My list shows current Conservative MPs, so in around 80 seats the name shown is not the person seeking election in 2024 but the current retiring Conservative MP.

Friday, June 28, 2024

1000+ Streets Called Washington

AI generated image of a street sign saying 'Washington Street on which stands a small figurine of George Washington

George Washington has more streets named after him in America than any other person in history. There are 1,399 streets named for the Founding Father in the United States, including George Washington Memorial Parkway in Washington DC and a number of Washington Streets in the state of Washington.

At the other end of the scale Babe Ruth has only 3 U.S. streets named in his honor. There are 11 other people with only 3 streets bearing their names in the whole of the U.S., including the French author Albert Camus, the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and the French physicist André-Marie Ampère.

I discovered all this on Mihai Olteanu's fascinating Famous people on street names worldwide. Mihai queried Open Street Map data to discover all the roads in the world that are named for people. He then set about calculating the number of streets which are named for each of these individuals across the whole world.

Saint Joseph has streets named after him in 31 different countries. Which makes the 'not-father' of Jesus the person who has streets named after him in the most number of different countries. The next most globally recognized person is Saint George, with streets in 30 different countries. Surprisingly Jesus' mother Mary only has streets named after her in 25 different countries. 

'Famous people on street names worldwide' does not include any maps itself, but it is entirely built on map data and it is an amazing resource for anyone who wants to build a global eponym map. Using Mihai's results you can explore individual countries around the world to learn which individuals are most commemorated in street names or you can explore the 'worldwide' list of all the people commemorated at least once - sorted by the number of different countries they appear in.

If you are interested in the names of streets and who they are named for then you should explore some of the other maps listed under the toponym label on Maps Mania.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Where Immigrants are Settling

a choropleth map of the U.S. with counties colored by the number of post 2014 migrant residents

The Washington Post has used immigrant court records from the last ten years to map out where migrants are settling in the United States. The data comes from immigration courts, which are responsible for adjudicating immigration cases. In 4.1 million migrants: Where they’re from, where they live in the U.S. the Post claims that this is "the most detailed publicly available information showing where migrants have put down roots."

The Washington Post's map shows where migrants who have arrived since 2014 are living. The first thing that struck me on viewing the map was how many migrants have settled outside of the big city centers. Traditionally, because of job opportunities and existing family & social networks urban areas have been the first port of call for the majority of new migrants arriving in America. However according to the Washington Post the court filings "show the newest immigrants are settling across rural and urban America." The Post believes that this might be partly a consequence of the lure of "jobs in meatpacking, agriculture and petroleum".

a series of US maps showing the distribution in America of new migrants from specific countries

The Post article also contains a small multiple visualization, containing a series of U.S. maps showing the distribution of new arrivals from specific countries. These individual maps show some definite patterns in the destinations of migrants from many individual countries. For example it is clear that the majority of new arrivals from Cuba still live in Florida. The North-East seems to be the most common destination for new arrivals from Ecuador and Brazil. New Chinese migrants appear to mostly settle in New York and Los Angeles.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The New Nuclear Arms Race

map of San Francisco with colored circles showing the fireball and radiations ranges of a 5000 kiolton nuclear bomb dropped on the city

As several countries actively expand their arsenals of nuclear weapons, Sweden's SVT has released an investigation into World Nuclear Forces. In recent years, China, Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea have all augmented their nuclear stockpiles. 

In World Nuclear Forces SVT examines the numbers of nuclear weapons owned by countries around the world and the overall and country trends in nuclear weapon numbers over time. SVT's article also includes an interactive map based nuclear weapons 'simulator'. This simulator allows you to select from a menu of actual nuclear weapons and to simulate the effect it would have if dropped on a location of your choice.

As you can see from the screenshot above, showing the effect of a 5,000 kiloton Chinese Landbased ballistic missile dropped on San Francisco, the simulator visualizes the extent of the fireball, radiation, pressure wave and extreme heat zones on a location using concentric colored circles (San Francisco could be in range of a 5,000 kiloton Chinese Landbased missile stationed on China's eastern seaboard).

There are of course other options open to those interested in simulating nuclear Armageddon. Since 2012 Alex Wellerstein's NUKEMAP has been visualizing the effects of different sized nuclear weapons on locations around the globe.

NUKEMAP allows you to explore the fireball, airblast and radiation fallout extents of different nuclear weapons on any location in the world. Alex's map can also calculate the estimated number of casualties of a nuclear weapon dropped at any location. This estimation includes the expected number of fatalities and the expected number of injuries.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Who is Your Closest Team?

map of the contiguous United States colored to show the closest Baseball team to each zipcode area

If you have ever wondered which baseball team you should support then you need Maptitude's Closest Major or Minor League Baseball Stadium by Drive Time map. The map shows you which affiliated major or minor baseball stadium you can drive to in the quickest time in the contiguous United States.

The map is a sort of combination of a voronoi diagram and an isochrone map. However, because the map uses zip-code areas, it doesn't map the driving times from all locations in the contiguous US. Instead (I assume) it uses the drive times from the center of each zip-code area to the nearest baseball stadium. I believe the drive times were calculated at noon on Wednesdays (which seems like a strange time to have a baseball game to me).

Not a fan of baseball? Don't worry Maptitude have mapped other sports as well. For example the Closest 2023-24 Premier League Football Club by Drive Time shows the Premier League clubs which can be reached the quickest by car from any point in England & Wales. The Closest NHL Rink to Where You Live (2019-20) shows 'North America divided into territories based on the shortest drive-time to a National Hockey League rink.'

If you want to view a strict voronoi map of the UK divided into areas based on the nearest football teams then you can refer to Automatic Knowledge's three interactive Voronoi maps which show which football team people in the UK live nearest to: 

  • The Premier League map shows which EPL team you live closest to (2021-21 season)
  • The Top Four Leagues map shows which English top 4 tier football team you live closest to 
  • The Tiers 1-8 map shows which team in the top 8 tiers of the English football leagues you are nearest to

Alasdair Rae has written up an interesting blog post about these three maps. In Which Football Team is Nearest Me Alasdair looks a little more closely at the Voronoi catchment areas of English football teams. In particular he has worked out the total number of people living in each of the Premier League team's Voronoi polygons and in each polygon for the top 8 tiers of English football. 

Monday, June 24, 2024

The Dawn Chorus Map of Birds

map of europe with markers showing the locations of dawn chorus recordings
Each and every morning birds around the world herald the start of a new day by participating in the dawn chorus. While the aural phenomenon of birds singing at dawn is a global one the songs of the dawn chorus can vary greatly depending on where you live and on the make-up of your local avian population. Now, thanks to a new(ish) interactive map, you can tune into this morning serenade at thousands of locations around the globe

Select a marker on the Dawn Chorus map and you can listen to a recording of the morning dawn chorus captured at that location. Dawn Chorus is a citizen science project which aims "to document bird diversity over time using sound recordings through the help of citizen scientists". Using the Dawn Chorus map you can listen to the thousands of dawn chorus recordings already made by these citizen scientists.

The map includes a number of filter controls which allow you to search and listen to the recorded bird songs by location, date, species of bird, and by habitat. If you wish to participate in the project you can record bird song using the Dawn Chorus mobile app, or you can simply upload your own sound recordings directly through the Dawn Chorus website.

Via: weeklyOSM

a map of the world with lots of markers showing the locations of Nature Soundmap sound recordings
From the insect chorus of the Borneo rainforests to the crooning baritone song of an Atlantic humpback whale, the Nature Soundmap can also serenade you with the sounds of nature. Nature Soundmap is a map featuring the sounds of nature captured by professional nature sound recordists around the world. 

Maps have always been a fascinating way to explore the globe. Satellite imagery and Street View imagery have made armchair exploring even more immersive. Add in the sounds of the monsoon in Borneo and the soundscape of the Brazilian rain-forest and you can almost imagine that you really have been transported to the other side of the world.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Find Your Future Climate Zone

an animated world map showing climate zones around the world today and in 2070

In fifty years time Los Angeles will no longer be in a temperate climate zone. As a result of climate change the climate in LA in 2070 will closely resemble the climate of New Delhi today. The average temperature will increase from 59.8°F to 65.2°F and LA can expect hot and arid summers.

You can discover if your city will be changing climate zones in the near future (it will) on The Pudding's new interactive Climate Zones map. Climate Zones - How Will Your City Feel in the Future? explains the current climate zones of 70 global cities and the climate zones that they will exist in after global heating. 

The Climate Zones map uses the Köppen climate classification to divide the world into the five main climate zones (Arid, Tropical, Temperate, Cold & Polar) and also into each climate zone's subcategories. If you scroll to the end of the presentation you can view a list of the 70 global cities divided into their current climate zones. If you select a city from this list you can watch it move into its future climate zone and learn how average temperatures in the city will be changed by global heating.

a globe of the Earth with text saying that Boston in 2070 will feel like Kentucky today

National Geographic has also created an impressive interactive visualization which reveals which climate zone your home is likely to be moving into in the next half century. In Your Climate, Changed the National Geographic uses an interactive map to show the future climate analogs of 2,500 cities around the world (for example in the future London will experience a climate similar to the current climate in Sovicille, Italy).

These analogs are based on worst-case climate change scenario assumptions. The map automatically detects your location to show you your nearest future global heating twin. The map also explains what kind of climate zone your city currently experiences and compares that to the likely climate it will have in 2070.

two playing cards overlaid on a world map. The cards compare the climate of Berlin with Mafetang in South Africa

The use of climate analogs is a useful tool for helping to explain how climate change will affect people's own homes. You can also discover your town's future climate twin using the Analog Atlas interactive map. If you type in an address into Analog Atlas it can show you a town which currently experiences a climate similar to the one you can expect in the future due to global heating. The map can even show you your climate twin using two different climate change predictions, for a world which has warmed by 2 degrees centigrade or own warmed by 4 degrees centigrade.

You can discover your 2080 climate twin using The Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm interactive map. If you enter your location or click on your location on this map you can view the town or city in the world which has a climate today which is similar to the climate you can expect in your location in the year 2080. The map uses two different climate models. This allows you to find your climate twin for a global heating scenario of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees centigrade.

Friday, June 21, 2024

The Newest Maps of Mars - in 3D

animated GIF zooming into Olympus Mons on the Gras Mars Map

The National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences has released a 3D interactive map of Mars, using imagery captured from the Tianwen-1 interplanetary mission. The Gras Mars Map allows you to explore Mars using the navigation tools that you are familiar with using from exploring Earth on Google Maps.

The Gras Mars Map uses imagery captured by the 2020 China National Space Administration's mission to Mars. The Tianwen-1 mission included an orbiter, which spent several months scanning and imaging the surface of Mars to refine the target landing zone for the Zhurong rover. I assume that the Gras Mars Map uses the imagery captured from this orbiter (you can view a panorama of the surface of Mars captured by the Zhurong rover here).

an animated GIF panning across a Mars crater in 3D

You can explore Mars in even more detail using the AeroBrowser. The AreoBrowser allows you to explore over 7000 Martian locations in full 3D. The map uses data from the HiRISE camera (on-board NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) and the HRSC (on-board ESA’s Mars Express) to create full 3D terrain model of locations visited by NASA's Mars rovers on the red planet.

To explore the 3D terrain models on AreoBrowser select the 3D Models option on the site's home page. You can then browse through and explore in 3D any of the current locations featured on AreoBrowser. While in one of the 3D terrain models you can navigate by using your keyboard arrow keys to move the camera. You can rotate the camera by holding your mouse's right-hand button. Zoom in and out using your '+' or '-' keys or by using a mouse scroll wheel.

an animated GIF zooming down to the surface of Mars using the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars
If the Chinese Martian place-name labels on the Gras Mars Map are a little confusing then you might prefer exploring Mars using the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars interactive map. Caltech's Bruce Murray Laboratory for Planetary Visualization's map has been created using a 5.7 terapixel global image of Mars created from 110,000 individual images. Images which were captured by the Context Camera (CTX) aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The Global CTX Mosaic of Mars contains a number of handy links to help inter-planetary explorers avoid becoming lost on the red planet. Clicking on the provided links will automatically pan and zoom the map to some of the planet's most memorable topographic features and to some of the locations on Mars which have been traversed by NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance Rovers.

Last year NASA called the mosaic "the highest-resolution global image of the Red Planet ever created". NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been capturing imagery of Mars since 2006. This new mosaic of this imagery provides a resolution of around 25 square meters per pixel. The previous highest resolution of Mars at a global scale was 100 meters per pixel.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

The Worldwide Breaking News Map

a map of the world with labels highlighting breaking news stories

You can now explore breaking global news stories in real-time on a new interactive map. The Global Alerts Map highlights breaking news stories around the world. Using the map you can filter stories by category, and read the latest news updates. From major political developments to natural disasters, with just a few clicks, you can zoom into any region or country of the world, and read the latest news updates as they unfold.

The map works by taking news from the GDELT Project. The "GDELT Project monitors the world's broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages". The Global Alerts Map downloads the latest data from the GDELT Project, translates the stories with Python and then geo-locates each breaking news story. 

On the map breaking news stories are shown using headline text labels. If you click on any of these text headlines an information window will open with media links. Click on these links and you can read more about a story as originally reported in the sourced news outlet. 

From my brief browsing of the map this morning I found links to coverage of yesterday's severe storms in France and Germany and Just Stop Oil's spray painting of Stonehenge. On the negative side the map doesn't seem to report on the extreme heat in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast. The heat map overlay on the map reflects the total number of articles emanating from a location. As you might expect the Global Alerts Map is pretty hot right now in Israel & the Palestinian territories. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mapping the Big Map Index

a world map with countries colored by the cost of a Big Mac
The Economist's Big Mac Index compares the purchasing power parity between the currencies of different countries by examining the price of a Big Mac hamburger sold at McDonalds' restaurants in each country. The Index "is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalize the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries". 

It can also be used to find out the price of a Big Mac in countries around the world. For some reason, however, The Economist has decided not to map the Big Mac Index. A burger shaped hole which has now been filled by Burgernomics. 

The Burgernomics interactive map shows the price of a Big Mac in countries around the world in US dollars and in the local currency. It also provides data on how much a Big Mac should cost in each country based on the exchange rate and therefore whether the value of a Big Mac is currently over- or undervalued in each country.

The cost of a Big Mac in countries around the world is also tracked by Statista's Big Mac Index.

The cost of a Big Mac can differ at different locations within the same country. The McCheapest Map by Pantry & Larder tracks and maps the cost of a Big Mac at every McDonalds in the United States. On this map every McDonalds outlet is represented by a dot which is colored to show the cost of a Big Mac (green=cheaper and red=more expensive). 

The McCheapest Map can therefore be used to explore the purchasing power parity of the dollar in different areas of the United States. It can also show you where in the States you can buy the cheapest Big Mac. You can compare the prices in other popular fast food outlets on the Fast Food Index map. The Fast Food Index maps the differences in the prices of fast food across the United States. The map allows you to compare the prices charged by MacDonald's, Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell and Chipotle across the whole of the US (data from 2022).

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Where Mountains Rise From Oceans

an elevation heat map of Iceland showing OceanJut rankings

Last year PeakJut invented the Jut Score in order to rank mountains based on how sharply they rise above their surroundings. Now they have introduced a new OceanJut score - a unique method of measuring where land most dramatically rises from the ocean around the world.

The OceanJut interactive map allows you to see how quickly and dramatically the land rises from the sea all around the globe. In other words the map can help you find the most spectacular mountain-meets-ocean views in the world. The OceanJut rankings work in the same way as PeakJut scores. A location's ranking is determined not just by elevation, but by how steeply it rises from sea-level. 

Exploring the coastlines which I'm most familiar with, in southern England, I can attest that OceanJut works well in identifying the Seven Sisters & the Isle of Wight's Undercliff as locations where the land rises dramatically from the sea (relative to the rest of southern England). Conversely the lack of any significant OceanJut scores in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk is one reason why these English counties are so worried about rising sea-levels.

I don't know which locations around the world have the highest OceanJut scores. Fjords obviously score very highly on the OceanJut algorithm. For example Milford Sound in New Zealand scores an impressive 1317m on the OceanJut rankings. Lots of the Norwegian coastline of Norway also scores very highly on the OceanJut scale, largely thanks to its many fjords. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Guess This City 2.0

a map of New York with much of the city obscured by blue squares

My daily map challenge game Guess This City has now been updated to provide a number of clues which should help you identify each day's new location. At the same time the cities which you have to identify have become a bit more obscure.

Thanks to Map Channels the game now uses a json feed for each day's map. I think Map Channels realized that the daily scores I was posting to X weren't exactly unaided. The fact that I was choosing each day's city meant that I had a huge advantage when playing Guess This City (i.e. I knew the name of the city). 

Map Channels therefore put together a list of 'world capitals and UK and US cities with a population of > 100,000.' He then created a json feed for the game which selects a random city from this list every single day. Guess This City now uses this feed for each day's city (the feed and the game both update a few seconds after midnight GMT). I'm hugely grateful to Map Channels for creating and providing this feed for the game. Not least because it means that I can now play the game myself (and I am no longer posting fake/cheat scores to X). 

Because the Map Channels' list contains a large number of cities which I think are very difficult to guess I have now also added a number of clues to the game. Now on every 10th click of the map a letter of the city name is revealed (in the order that the letters appear in the city name). Only the first ten letters of a city name are revealed (if there are that many). Which means you are on your own after clicking 100 squares.

The other major clue comes on your 20th click of the map. On click twenty the country where the city is located is also displayed over the map.

Today's Global Heating Forecast

world map showing where today's temperatures have been affected by climate change

Global average temperatures in May broke all previous records. It was the 12th consecutive month in which global temperatures reached a record high. Every three months Climate Central publishes a seasonal analysis of how temperatures around the world have been changed by global heating. Their latest report People Exposed to Climate Change: March-May 2024 confirms that from 'March 2024 to May 2024, the effects of human-induced climate change were evident in all regions of the world, particularly in the form of extreme heat.'

Climate Central has also recently updated their Climate Shift Index map to cover the whole globe. The Climate Shift Index shows you how much global heating has influenced each day's weather. Every day the Climate Shift Index map reveals where in the world temperatures have been affected by climate change. The map shows just how much global warming could be affecting the weather where you live on any given day.

The colors on the Climate Shift Index map visualize where in the world today's temperatures are more or less likely a result of climate change. The darkest areas on the map indicate those areas where climate change has had the greatest heating effect on today's weather. For example, an area shaded dark red, with a CSI score of 5, is experiencing weather which climate change and global warming has made five times more likely. In other words the local temperatures being experienced in those locations would be nearly impossible without carbon pollution creating global heating.

The Climate Shift Index is updated daily in order to show the local influence of climate change for every single day. You can learn more about the Climate Shift Index and how it is calculated on Climate Central's Climate Shift Index FAQ.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Some More Maps of Sounds

Yesterday Hacker News featured a thread on Sounds of the Forest, an interactive map of sound recordings made in forests around the world. Also linked in the Hacker News thread was the wonderful Radio Aporee, which, like Sounds of the Forest, has featured on Maps Mania before. Also mentioned in the thread were two interactive sound maps which I haven't seen (or heard) before.


map of the world showing the locations of sound recordings featured on audiomapa
Audiomapa is a sound map which focuses on sound recordings from South America (although many users have contributed recordings from elsewhere in the world). Anyone can add a sound recording to the map simply by clicking on a location and uploading an MP3 file.

As well as browsing the submitted recordings by location on the map it is also possible to filter the sounds by category. This allows you to search for 'urban' or 'rural' recordings, or recordings of 'birds', 'machines', 'markets' or myriad other categories of sound. Just click on a marker on the map to listen to the submitted recording.


map of the world showing sound recordings submitted to Freesound
Freesound, from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, is an interactive map of over half a million sound recordings. The map "aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, and all sorts of bleeps, ... released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse". 

As well as browsing the submitted sounds by location on the interactive map the Freesound homepage features a Random Sound of the Day, the latest sounds submitted, and the top rated and most downloaded sounds recordings. Using Freesound's tags and other search filters in conjunction with the interactive map can provide a wonderful insight into sounds around the world. For example have you ever wondered about how ambulance sirens sound in different countries or how similar church bells sound around the world.

Hundreds of other maps featuring sound recordings can be found under the Maps Mania Sound Maps tag.

Friday, June 14, 2024

The New Medieval Map of London

The new medieval map of London zoomed in on St, Pauls's Cathedral

The Historic Towns Trust has created a modern map of Medieval London. The map depicts London as it existed at the end of the 13th Century using modern mapping techniques. The map is based on archaeological and historical records. 

You can explore an interactive version of the Medieval London map on Layers of London (check the 'Use this overlay' box and then zoom in on the City of London area on the map. You might also want to select the 'Hide Pins' button).

One thing you will notice while browsing the map is that the street name labels are written in Middle English. For example the modern street name of 'Ludgate Hill' is depicted on the Medieval London map as 'Ludgatstrete'. If a Middle English placename confuses you then you can use the 'eye' button in the 'overlay tools' pop-up menu to turn off the Medieval Map and view the modern place-name underneath (presuming the street still exists). You can also use the Grub Street Project website to search for historical London place-names and to discover what those locations are known as now.

The Agas Map of London zoomed in on the area around St. Paul's Cathedral

Of course the Historic Towns Trust's modern map of Medieval London was not how a map of London would have actually looked during the 13th Century. At the time most depictions of London would have presented a panoramic view of the city and not a detailed true map. 

One of the first 'true' map depictions of London can be seen in the Civitas Londinum, more commonly known as the Agas Map of London.  The Agas map dates from the 1560s and provides a bird's eye view of London. It therefore doesn't provide a true overhead plan of the city (London is depicted from a viewpoint somewhere above the south bank of the Thames). However unlike earlier panoramic views of London the buildings on the Agas map don't obscure the streets behind those buildings. So the Agas map does work as a true map of 16th Century London.

You can also buy a print of the Medieval London map from the Historic Towns Trust.

Via: A New Map of Medieval London

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mapping the Census

mapping showing percentage of 0-14 year olds in Toronto, revealing that ther are fewer families with young children in Toronto's city center than in the suburbs
percentage of 0-14 year olds

Jacob Weinbren has released an interactive map which allows you to explore data from the 2021 Canadian census by location. Using the map you can view the demographic and economic make-up of towns and cities across the whole of the country using over 2,500 different census variables. 

The Canadian Census map colors individual building footprints based on the results of the 2021 census, providing you with an incredibly detailed breakdown of the make-up of local communities. Just select a census variable from the drop-down menu to see that data overlaid on the map.

map of Toronto showing a higher percentage of people walking to work in the city center
percentage of the workforce walking to work

For example the screenshot above shows the population of the workforce who walk to work. The results suggest that people who live in the center of Toronto live far closer to their workplace than those who live in the city's suburbs. The screenshot at the top of this post shows the percentage of the population who are aged 0-14. As you can see there are fewer 0-14 year olds in the city center than elsewhere, suggesting that many people tend to move out of the city center to the suburbs once they have kids. 

You can explore the data for yourself in other Canadian towns and cities by simply changing the location on the Canadian Census map. You can also read more about the map and how it was made in the blog post Oh Canada - Census 2021.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Treats of San Francisco

Illustrated map of San Francisco's immigrant inspired food spots. A sidebar lists the places shown on the map

The California Migration Museum is celebrating one of the wonderful benefits of living in a multi-cultural city with a new interactive map of San Francisco’s food scene. Melting Spots: An Immigrant Map of San Francisco Food showcases some of the many immigrant-inspired dishes in the city which have added richer flavors to the city's food scene.

Did you know, for example, that the Mai Tai, the Tiki inspired classic cocktail, was originally invented by Bay Area bartenders in the 1940s? The Mai Tai is just one of the many immigrant inspired dishes to feature on the Melting Spots map. The map actually features 38 'bite-sized' stories celebrating the immigrant chefs, restaurants, and dishes of San Francisco. Select one of the markers on the map or in the map side-panel and you can watch a short video exploring that dish, chef or restaurant's history.

Map of North America from TasteAtlas showing popular regional foods, with images of burgers, sandwiches, seafood, traditional dishes, and desserts placed over their respective geographic locations.

If the Melting Spots map has whetted your appetite to learn more about the geography of your favorite foods then you might also enjoy 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. By using this map you can discover the foods and dishes that people enjoy eating and drinking at different places around the globe. 

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 types of pasta can be found in the different regions of Italy.

If you need a little help washing down all those amazing dishes then you can explore the TasteAtlas wine map of the world, or enjoy a tipple or two from the global beer map.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Out of Africa - The Story of Human Migration

map showing where the earliest human fossils have been discovered
History Maps has created an interactive map showing the locations of the earliest human fossils found around the world. Early Homo Sapiens Fossil Sites uses data from Wikipedia's List of human evolution fossils to show the locations of the earliest 'notable finds of hominin fossils and remains relating to human evolution'.

The fossil sites shown on the map can be filtered using the timeline control in the map menu. The oldest fossils found on the map were discovered at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. The fossils have been dated to 'roughly 300,000 years ago'. The next earliest human fossils shown on the map date from around 260,000 years ago. These were found in Florisbad, South Africa.

If you want to learn more about any of individual fossil sites shown on the map you have to follow the links in the map menu, where the fossil discoveries are shown in chronological order.

animated map showing the journey of early humans out of Africa to the rest of the world
In Africa, between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, archaic Homo sapiens evolved into anatomically modern humans. Around 60,000 years ago humans started to spread to the rest of the world, possibly by crossing the Red Sea into the Arabian Peninsula. You can follow that journey for yourself on the Human Odyssey Map.

The California Academy of Science's Human Odyssey Map plots the possible paths taken by humans out of Africa and the role that the climate played in those migratory routes. The map includes a timeline control which allows you to trace the routes that the human race took over thousands of years to populate the rest of the world. As you progress through the timeline flow-lines show the routes taken by the human race, while the map itself shows the climate conditions which existed at the time and which impacted on the routes that humans took in traveling to the rest of the world.

The Lost Pathfinder Game

screenshot of The Lost Pathfinder showing a partially completed road

The Lost Pathfinder is a new online game which requires players to connect a path from one side of map to the other.

At the beginning of each round of The Lost Pathfinder you are presented with an isometric grid on which all the road tiles have been mixed up. All you have to do is to rearrange the road tiles in order to complete a path from one side of the map to the other. To help you restore the correct path you can rotate individual roads by clicking on the individual tiles on the map.

In truth The Lost Pathfinder isn't the most exciting game in the world. However for me it is the first step in creating an isometric game engine for the Leaflet.js mapping library. Isometric tiles are widely used in computer games to create a pseudo-3D effect while maintaining the simplicity of 2D graphics. By creating an interactive isometric grid map in Leaflet I hope to be able to go on to create more complicated games - for example simulation games like Theme Park, Sim City, or Transport Manager.

To create this new isometric game engine for Leaflet I have devised two initial maps: the Isometric Tile Creator and the Isometric Level Editor.

The Isometric Tile Creator

screenshot of an isometric tile being drawn on the Isometric Tile Creaotr
The Isometric Tile Creator allows me to draw and create the graphics for a game in the form of individual isometric tiles. The tile creator consists of a 10x10 grid of empty isometric tiles. Users can color each of these tiles individually to create their own isometric map tiles. When completed the map tile can then be downloaded as a PNG image and used in an isometric game.

By default the Isometric Tile Creator can only be used to create low resolution isometric map tiles (there are only 100 isometric polygons in the 10x10 grid). But it can be adjusted (in Glitch) to contain more polygons. Or it is possible to add isometric images instead of colors to the individual tiles on the editor to create higher resolution isometric map tiles. However if you do want more polygons or to add images then you will need to edit the Isometric Tile Creator yourself by cloning its Glitch page.

I have also created an Isometric Level Editor. This is a 10x10 isometric grid on which you can add isometric map tiles to create a map for an isometric game. When you have completed designing a map level for your game you can download the results as a GeoJSON file.

At the moment the level editor allows you to add various road tiles to the map (in order for me to create levels for The Lost Pathfinder game). However you can change these options to any isometric map tile image by cloning and editing the level editor's Glitch page.

For example if I want to create a Tower Defence game I could use the Isometric Tile Creator to create weapon and road graphics for the game. I could then use the Isometric Level Editor with these images to design the individual level maps to be used in the game. 

BTW - I do want to create a Tower Defence game. Here is my work in progress (I only started today so this is very basic. You can click on the map to add weapons - but they haven't been armed yet so the towers can't fire missiles)

Saturday, June 08, 2024

The Vespa Map of Rome

animated GIF of a Vespa driving around the Dolce Activation map

This is yet another map I discovered via the ever fascinating Web Curios, which is a weekly roundup of interesting things found online (very often with an AI bent). This week Web Curios reviewed Dolce Activation, 'a very content-lite website' but one in which you get to drive 'A TINY VESPA AROUND ROME!!!'

In truth Dolce Activation is little more than a marketing campaign for Dolce and Gabbana perfumes. However the campaign does feature this beautifully rendered post-medieval map of Rome, complete with 3D buildings. In order to discover some of Dolce and Gabbana's hidden perfumes your objective is to drive around the map on a moped and find four of Rome's most famous landmarks.   

BTW, you don't have to drive the moped around. You can also use your mouse to explore Rome by dragging the map around.

I don't know Rome well enough to be certain but I think Dolce Activation is not a real map of Rome. It looks like Dolce and Gabbana may have just taken four well-known Roman landmarks and placed them on an imaginary map of the city (although I could be wrong). If you do want to explore a real post-medieval map of Rome then you can visit the Interactive Nolli Map Website.

the Colosseum as seen on the Nolli map of Rome

The Italian architect and surveyor Giambattista Nolli's ichnographic 'Great Plan of Rome' is an astounding 1748 map of Rome. At the time it was easily the most accurately surveyed and drawn map of the city to have ever been published. It was also one of the first ichnographic maps of Rome. 

The Interactive Nolli Map allows you to explore Giambattista Nolli's exceptional map for yourself in close detail. The original Nolli map includes around two thousand numbered locations around the city. These numbers refer to the map index which names each of the numbered sites. On the Interactive Nolli Map these numbers have been made interactive. When you click on one of these numbers on the map a small window opens providing you with information on the selected feature.

Friday, June 07, 2024

Every Ship Sunk in WWII

animated world map showing the number of Allied and Axis ship sunk in each year of the war

Over the course of the Second World War more than 20,000 ships were sunk around the world. Esri's Paul Heersink has spent the last ten years scouring historical records to create and map the 'most comprehensive dataset' of ships sunk in WWII.

Resurfacing the Past is a fascinating story map which not only visualizes where Allied and Axis ships were lost in WWII, it also explores the WWII sunken data by year, by size and by type. For example the animated GIF above shows the number of Allied and Axis ships sunken in each year of the war. It clearly shows how the Allies "suffered devastating losses in the first years of the war." However by 1943 it was the Axis who were losing the battle for the seas. The map reveals that from March 1943 "the Allied forces sank more ships every month than they lost."

Mapping the sinks sunk in WWII by type reveals that most of the ships that were sunk in the war were not designed to be combat ships. Non-combat ships such as tankers, tugs, cargo ships and floating hospitals suffered the most losses.

The Resurfacing the Past story map guides you through the huge scope of Paul Heersink's sunken ship data, highlighting some of the important stories that the data reveals. You can also explore the data for yourself on the Esri dashboard map Sunken Ships of the Second World War. This dashboard allows you to map the sunken ships of WWII by country, by year, by the 'country that did the sinking' and by belligerent (Axis, Allies or Neutrals). 

Thursday, June 06, 2024

The Sound of the City

Every city in the world has a unique sound. On Sonicity that unique sound is generated by each city's map. Select a city on Sonicity (currently limited to 10 global cities) and you can listen to its map being played by various instruments. 

To be honest I have no idea what is going on here. The only info that Sonicity provides is that 'Each city has its own unique geographical data. These datasets create distinct sounds and patterns that offer a new way to experience the data.'

When you 'play' a city's song on Sonicity parts of the map are highlighted each time a note sounds. My guess is that the latitude and longitude coordinates are being used somehow to determine the note and pitch being played for each section of the map. Without any more detailed explanation the sounds and patterns may very well 'offer a new way to experience the data' but they really don't help us understand that data in any meaningful way.

I much prefer Ohio is a Piano, which not only comes with a detailed explanation but also allows you to create tunes from different datasets on the same map. Ohio is a Piano is even capable of playing a recognizable tune.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

The Warlord Map Game

screenshot of The Warlord map of Europe

Are you ready to conquer Europe in a battle of Computer Classic Warlord? In this game of military conquest only the strongest survive. So get ready to engage in a thrilling battle of supremacy to take over the entire map of Europe.

Readers of a certain age may remember the board-game The Warlord. The Warlord is a 1970's game of nuclear conquest, in which players attempt to conquer countries on a map of Europe. A computer version of the game was also released in the 1980's, entitled 'Apocalypse: The Game of Nuclear Devastation'.

You can now play an online version of the classic The Warlord board-game developed by Map Channels. Computer Classic Warlord allows you to play against 2 - 6 computer opponents as you attempt to conquer countries and defeat your opponents on a map of Europe.

While playing the game you might find the Quick Start Guide to The Warlord handy. You can also read the full original published rules of the game. If you have ever played the board-game Risk then a lot of the game-play of The Warlord will appear very similar. In the game you are required to build armies, attack neighboring countries and move your armies into the defeated countries. It is important to remember, however, that in The Warlord you also have nuclear weapons (which if used can remove countries from the map permanently for the rest of the game).

The original game The Warlord was invented by Mike Hayes of Classic Warlord

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Indian Election Maps

2024 Times of India election map showing the leading alliance in each constituency

Counting is now underway of the votes in the world's largest election. Over 642 million people are expected to have voted in the 2024 Indian General Election, the result of which will be declared today (June 4th). Based on the earliest results it appears that current prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to keep his job, but that his party, the BJP, will win less seats than in 2019.

The Times of India's interactive Live Elections Map colors each constituency based on whether the NDA or India alliance is currently leading. If you hover over a constituency on the map you can view the name and party of the leading candidate and the name and party of the incumbent. You can also click through to view a more detailed breakdown of the results (when declared) and a map of all the results in the constituency's state.

The Times of India map also allows you to view the election results of all Indian elections dating back to 1980.

NDTV 2024 Indian election map

The Indian news broadcaster NDTV's India Results 2024 election map colors each constituency to show the current leading party. If you hover over a constituency you can view the name of the leading candidate and click through to read their entry on the NDTV's list of candidates. 

The NDTV election dashboard currently shows the NDA alliance on 296 seats. 272 seats are needed for a majority so the NDA will remain in power but probably with a large reduction in Members of Parliament compared to the results of the 2019 election.

Fans of hexagon grids should check out Al Jazeera's India Elections Results map, which represents each seat as a hexagon in a hexgrid map. Each hexagon is colored by the party of the leading candidate. If you hover over a hexagon you can view the name of the constituency and the leading party. With 543 hexagons it can be a little hard to find individual constituencies on the hexgrid, however the map does use state borders to help aid navigation.  

Monday, June 03, 2024

Find Your Nearest Hurricane

map showing historical hurricane tracks over Miami, Florida

As this year's hurricane season gets underway StarNews has released an interactive map which allows you to see how many tropical storms have passed near your home since 1851. Enter your address into the Hurricanes that passed near me map and you can view the tracks of all the hurricanes and tropical storms that have occurred near your home since the middle of the 19th Century. 

The StarNews map uses data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to show historical storm paths over your entered address. If you click on any of the red tracks shown on the map you can learn the name of the storm. Click on the radius points along a storm path and you can view data about the recorded strength of the storm at the selected location.

NOAA's interactive map also showing historical hurricane tracks over Miami, Florida

NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks map also allows you to view global hurricane data dating back as far as 1842. Using the map you can search and visualize hurricane data by storm name, location and by date. If you enter the name of a hurricane (for example 2012's Hurricane Sandy) you can view the hurricane's track on the map. Points along each hurricane's track allow you to view details about the wind speed and pressure for each day.

The NOAA database has over 13,000 storm tracks on record. If you click on the track of an individual storm on the map you can view more details about that storm. This information includes data on the storm’s maximum wind speed and minimum pressure. The storm's track will now also be colored on the map to show the storm's recorded wind speed along its complete path.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

The 46 States of America & Each State Flower

close up of the flying donkey map game
Close-up of the Flying Donkey map game

Yesterday I had a lot of fun browsing through the Osher Map Library. The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education, at the University of Southern Maine has a wonderful collection of vintage maps. Many of which you can view online.

There are lots of curiosities in the collection, including the Flying Donkey Game, Yaggy's Nature in Descending Order visualization and the Our National Bouquet map.
the national bouquet map of the United States

Unfortunately the Osher Map Library's interactive Our National Bouquet map doesn't include the map key. This means that you only guess each state's flower from its hand-drawn picture. Alternatively you can refer to my Annotated Our National Bouquet map. If you click on a state on my version of the map you can discover the actual name of the state flower.

The map was originally published by the United States Flower Company in 1911. The map shows 46 states (in 1911, Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico were still territories, and Hawaii didn't become a state until 1959). Interestingly many of the state flowers have changed since 1911. For example the state flower of North Carolina is no longer tobacco. Who knows why tobacco North Carolina now wants to be associated more with the flowering dogwood than with the tobacco plant?

I created my annotated version of the map using the iiif manifest of the map from the Osher Map Library. To create the annotations for my map I used my own Leaflet-IIIF-GeoJSON wizard, which can be used to view and add annotations to any IIIF image using the popular Leaflet mapping library.