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.