Monday, November 29, 2021

Mapping for Christmas

A necklace, earring, ring or brooch from Talia Sari's You Are Here jewelry range would make the perfect Christmas present for any cartophile in your life.Each item of You Are Here jewelry is custom made based on your chosen location. Just enter a location into the Mapbox powered wizard and Talia Sari can make you a custom item of jewlery using the street map of your favorite location.

Prices start at around $149 for a map necklace, ring or brooch and $171 for a pair of earrings.

If you have been wondering what to buy me for Christmas then might I suggest a 3D mini city model of London. MiniCityArt make 3D models of major global cities. Each model is 3D printed on an FDM 3D printer using biodegradable plastic. The models range in size from 8" to 54". Custom city models can also be made on request.

Prices start from $119.

The present of choice for every fashion conscious cartophile this Christmas is a wearable map. Splash Maps make wearable custom maps printed on weatherproof fabrics. The products available in the Splash Maps store include map face masks, scarfs, tablecloths and even shower curtains. Each Splash Maps product can be made from the map location of your choice.

A polyester-cotton London map face mask can be currently bought for just £3.25.

Of course if you are really struggling for Christmas present ideas then you can't go wrong with a printed map. Mapiful create beautiful map posters for any location on Earth. Using Mapiful's interactive map wizard you can select any location in the world, select whether you want a landscape or portrait orientated poster, choose a map size, and even change the map headings. The Mapiful creation tools also includes a number of different map style themes from which to choose.

Prices start from around $40.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sea View

Put on your virtual life-jacket. This weekend we are going kayaking around Puget Sound, exploring the marine waterways and basins of this Pacific Ocean inlet. There is no need to worry about the cold weather either, because you can now explore this beautiful stretch of water through the power of interactive panoramic Sea View.

The Puget Sound Nearshore Mapping Campaign has been busy capturing 360 degree panoramic imagery of the Puget Sound nearshore by kayaking around the 1,200 miles of this north-western inlet of the Pacific Ocean. Using EarthView's new interactive map you can explore Sea View imagery of the Seattle waterfront, the Port of Tacoma, Fish Trap Cove and many other locations from around the sound. 

The beautiful panoramic imagery provided by EarthView is only one result of the Puget Sound Nearshore Mapping Campaign. EarthView is actually mapping Puget Sound by kayak in order to create more accurate maps of the sound nearshore. Maps which they hope can then play an important role in helping to recover and protect the critically important natural habitats of Puget Sound.

The kayak being used to capture this panoramic imagery of Puget Sound is also equipped with a water quality meter that has been used to record water conditions along the nearshore. The kayak has also been used to record animal sightings on the Puget Sound nearshore.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous then you might also consider taking a virtual dive beneath the waves. The Catlin Seaview Survey has been capturing underwater 360 degree panoramic imagery from across the world for a number of years. Their Virtual Dives website allows you to explore some of this submarine Street View imagery from the coast of Indonesia, among the coral reefs of American Samoa, from the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos and from many other beautiful undersea locations from around the globe.

Friday, November 26, 2021

LiDAR Data Reveals Illegal Logging

LiDAR data has been used to suggest that the logging company VicForests has been carrying out illegal logging in the state of Victoria, Australia. ABC News has obtained high resolution LiDAR data of Victoria's state forest which has allowed researchers to map the underlying terrain. Loggers in Victoria are prohibited from logging on hills which are steeper than 30 degrees. Thanks to the new LiDAR data it is now possible to reveal that between 2004-2019 VicForests illegally logged over 65 hectares from slopes exceeding 30 degrees.

The trees in the forests of Victoria play an integral role in filtering the drinking water of the city of Melbourne. As water flows down the mountains of north-east of Melbourne the roots of the forest trees slow the water's progress. When slowed the water seeps into the ground, where it is then naturally filtered by the soil. This is one reason why it is illegal to log trees on the steep mountain slopes in the water catchment area.

ABC News' Lawless Loggers uses 3D maps to explain how the newly obtained LiDAR data has been used to model the Victoria terrain and reveal where VicForests has been logging on slopes with a higher gradient than 30 degrees. Environmental researchers analyzed 332 logged areas in the state. 331 of those areas had a slope of at least 30 degrees. 

Sixty percent of Melbourne's drinking water comes from the catchment area being logged by VicForests. That water is delivered to the city's residents with very little filtration. VicForests deny that they are involved in a widespread breach of Victoria's slope limits. The Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR) is responsible for enforcing the state's logging laws. It has twice found VicForests guilty of illegal logging but on both occasions declined to take any regulatory action against the logging company.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Navigating by Nose

We have all used our nose to navigate by. Like me I'm sure you have used your nose to find the nearest abattoir while taking the pigs to slaughter or in order to find your date's house next to the sewage plant. Which makes it rather odd than no-one has previously thought to use the nose as a way of navigating an interactive map.

The Earth-Nose Direction Game is a new fun map based game which requires you to navigate an interactive globe using your nose.Don't worry - you don't have to wipe your nose across your phone's touch-screen. This Earth-Nose Direction Game uses your device's video camera to read your head movements.

Once you agree to allow the Earth-Nose Direction Game to access your device's video camera a small circle will appear on the interactive globe. Your object is to navigate to that circle using head movements. Moving your head left or right is equivalent to swiping the globe right or left, while moving your head up or down navigates the globe down or up.

Each circle on the map contains a number of friends (the number of friends is determined by the city's population). If you manage to navigate to a circle those friends are added to your total and another circle is added to the map. 

I already have 15 million friends. I wonder how many you can get?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Geography of a Dollar Bill

Every dollar bill in the United States is issued by one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (FRB). These FRB's are located in Boston, Richmond, Minneapolis, New York City, Atlanta, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland, St. Louis and San Francisco. Every single one dollar bill carries a seal which identifies at which one of the twelve FRBs it was issued. 

Excerpt of a note, showing the seal.
 Seal of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank

Using the seal of the issuing bank it is possible to determine where a $1 originates. It is therefore possible to map the geographical journey of a dollar bill. As people travel around the United States they carry money from state to state. In this way a single dollar bill can end up traveling a long way around the country. In February 1976 S. Pignatello took a sample of $1 dollar bills spent in MacDonalds outlets in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Board districts. Using the identifying seal of each dollar he was able to create an origin/destination matrix, showing how many notes issued in each district were discovered in each of the 11 other districts.

Visionscarto has used the origin/destination table created by S. Pignatello to create a flow map showing the movement of dollar bills around the United States. The flow map in Routing Dollars visualizes how dollar bills move between the 12 Federal Reserve Bank regions. The colored circles indicate whether an individual FRB region is a 'source' (prints more money than they use) or a 'sink' (uses more notes than they print). The orange colored FRBs on the map are sources and the blue FRBs are sinks.

You can track the journeys of individual dollar bills on Where's George?. If you enter the serial number of a dollar bill into Where's George? you can begin to track its journey around the United States. By entering a serial number of a dollar bill and then marking the bill with the URL you can find out where the bill travels (if other people who end up owning the bill log on to Where's George to update the note's journey).

For example on Where's George you can view a map of one $1 dollar bill which has traveled over 13,905 Miles in just 7 years. During this journey it has been to France and back. It has also visited Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Las Vegas, South Dakota, Florida, Ohio, New York and Virginia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The North Sea is Very Busy

Delft University of Technology has worked with Microsoft to map the huge amount of marine traffic off the coast of the Netherlands. In Crowds on the North Sea TU Delft takes a detailed look at this new map of North Sea marine traffic. 

As you scroll through Crowds on the North Sea the map zooms and pans to highlight and explore the different  types of shipping traffic active off the coast of the Netherlands. This includes large ferries used for shipping passengers to and from the Netherlands. The map also reveals the main routes taken by the fleets of container ships constantly sailing in and out of the huge Dutch commercial ports. The AIS tracks of dredging ships can also be seen as they work to keep the main shipping routes open for all other shipping traffic.

Of course the North Sea isn't only used for marine traffic. The sea is also home to wind turbine farms, sand extraction sites, communication cables and gas pipelines. The Crowds on the North Sea interactive map also shows where these other key infrastructure assets are housed in the very busy  North Sea. There are also plans to locate storage facilities for CO2 and to build artificial islands for housing & for an airport - in this already crowded and very active area of the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands.

The area of the North Sea off the Belgium coast is also one of the busiest seas in the world. In fact Belgian territorial waters are so busy that the North Sea off the Belgian coast sees more marine traffic than both the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. 

To help illustrate the huge amount of marine activity which takes place off the coast of Belgium the financial newspaper De Tijd created an animated map which visualizes 24 hours of marine traffic, using data from marinetraffic. On this animated map different colors are used to show four distinct types of marine vessel. In the story The North Sea is Teeming container ships are shown in yellow, the blue vessels are fishing boats, dredgers are shown in red and other types of ship are shown in gray. 

The North Sea off the Belgian coast is very shallow and contains many sandbanks. As you progress through De Tijd's story the navigable sea routes off the Belgian coast are added to the map. Look out for the red boats on the map which show the dredgers constantly working to keep these sea routes navigable.Keep scrolling and the dredging dumps, where the dredgers tip the sand and silt cleared from the sea routes, are also added to the map.

As well as the animated map showing 24 hours of marine activity 'The North Sea is Teeming' includes maps which show the major wind farms off the Belgian coast, the location of protected nature zones in the North Sea, and the locations of gas, electricity & telecommunication pipes & cables. Towards the end of De Tijd's story another map is used to show that underwater noise pollution in the North Sea is loudest off the Belgian Coast. With all this marine activity it is easy to understand why.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Viewing Vintage Maps in 3D

Palestine 3D allows you to explore 150 vintage maps overlaid on top of modern day elevation data. The maps date from the 1940's and were downloaded from Palestine Open Maps, which allows you to browse and search a detailed set of historic maps of Palestine dating from the period of the British Mandate of Palestine.

The Palestine 3D interactive map allows you to view historical maps of Palestine side-by-side with modern satellite imagery of Palestine. The map includes a height multiplier control which allows you to exaggerate the underlying elevation data to give you a clearer (although exaggerated) idea of the terrain. 

Palestine 3D uses to overlay the vintage maps on top of the modern elevation data. You can explore (& fork) the code on the Palestine 3D GitHub page. 

You can also use Mapbox GL to overlay vintage / historical maps on top of a 3D terrain. Last year I created a little demo map which shows an 1833 map of Vesuvius draped over the terrain of Mount Vesuvius in Italy. Vintage Mapper allows you to view the map "Vesuvius Showing the Direction of the Streams of Lava in the Eruptions from 1631 AD. to 1831 A.D." on top of a 3D map of the volcano. This vintage map was taken from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

I've published my Vintage Mapper demo on Glitch. If you want to clone the map then you can do so on its Glitch page. All you have to do to adapt the map is add a new vintage map layer and change the Vintage Mapper's starting latitude and longitude. If you click on the 'Georeference' button on a vintage map in the David Rumsey Map Collection you can grab the URL for that map's map tiles. When the selected map opens in Georeferencer you need to sign-in and then click on the 'This Map' link. You can then click on the 'Get links' button to copy the URL for the map tiles.

If you open up Vintage Mapper on its Glitch page you will see that I have commented the code to show where the vintage map tiles URL should go. Just delete the URL for the Vesuvius map and paste in your own URL. All you need to do then is to change the latitude and longitude to center the map on your new vintage map tiles.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Population Growth in Africa

Recent population studies have suggested that Africa will be the only continent experiencing population growth by the end of this century. Currently most of the world's most populated cities are in Asia. However by the end of this century it is predicted that over half of the world's largest cities will be in Africa.

The Washington Post has mapped out predictions of the world's 100 most populated cities in 2025 and in 2100. The 2025 map of the 100 most populated cities in Africa's Rising Cities shows that the largest urban populations are currently mostly concentrated in Asia, particularly in India and China. However the Post's map of the predicted 100 most populated cities in 2100 shows that Africa is set to become home to the world's largest metropolises. 

The Washington Post predicts that Lagos, Nigeria will become the most populated city in the world by the end of this century. It predicts that the city will have a population of 80m by 2100 (in comparison Tokyo currently has a population of nearly 14 million). The Post suggests that among other African cities expected to see explosive population growths over the course of this century are Khartoum (Sudan), Kinshasa (Congo), Mombasa (Kenya) and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The article accompanying the map in Africa's Rising Cities goes on to explore some of the infrastructure challenges already being faced by these five African cities and the huge challenges that they will face in the coming years from their predicted population explosions.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The PDF Map Maker

This morning I created a printable map of a short Seattle walking route, taking in some of my favorite record shops and cafes.

I created the map using the excellent PDF Map Maker.Which means my map is now a handy PDF file, which I can e-mail to my friends, and which we can all print-out whenever we want to use it. 

PDF Map Maker is a handy tool for making PDF maps. The creation tools allows you to make maps using any of 9 different base map styles (including road maps, satellite, and light & dark styles). To create a PDF map all you have to do is zoom-in on the area you wish to map and press the 'Download Map' button. The PDF Map Maker will then create a PDF Map of the area you selected. It is that simple.

You can also add features to your map if your want. For example in my Seattle Walking Tour map I have added a route line and 6 lettered points (indicating the locations of record shops and cafes along the route). To add lines, points or polygons to your map you just need to upload a GeoJSON file containing your geographical data to PDF Map Maker.

To create my Seattle Walking Tour PDF map I used the online Vector GeoJSON creation tool to create a GeoJSON file of 6 points (showing record shops & cafes) in Seattle. I then used to create the GeoJSON file for the walking route line.It was then just a simple matter of uploading the two GeoJSON files into the PDF Map Maker.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Mapping Population Growth in America

Between 2010 and 2020 the number of people living in the U.S. grew by 22,703,743. Around half of that growth was provided by the rise in the Hispanic population, which grew by 23% during that decade. In the same ten year period the number of White Americans fell by over 5 million. The total number of White Americans dropping from 196,817,552 to 191,697,647.

You can explore how the population and the racial make-up of the population has changed in the last decade on Census Mapper 2020. The Census Mapper interactive map uses colored arrows to show population change down to the census tract level. Green arrows pointing up show where a local population has risen and brown arrows pointing down indicate a local fall in the population. 

Hispanic population change 2010-2020

The map sidebar allows you to explore national and local population changes for different racial groups. For example the map above shows how the Hispanic population had seen a nearly nationwide rise. Interestingly among the few counties to actually see a fall in the Hispanic population are a large number of counties in southern Texas, close to the border with Mexico.

White population change 2010-2020

Between 2010 and 2020 the White population of America was the only racial group to experience a significant fall in numbers. The Census Mapper interactive map shows that this is also a national trend, with the majority of counties across the U.S. seeing drops in the local White population.


You can also explore the racial mix of individual census tracts using maps created by CNN and Ben Schmidt. In August CNN used the 2020 census data to create a racial dot map of America. The interactive map in Race and ethnicity across the nation uses colored dots to visualize the population density and racial mix of every neighborhood in the country. Ben Schmidt's All of US is another interactive dot map which allows you to compare population data from the 2010 and 2020 US censuses.Ben's 'dot' map actually uses Wee People rather than dots to represent the U.S. population at the neighborhood level.