BYOD to GeoNext
When maps and atlases work well, it’s because they let us see the big picture. The big picture might be big because it is comprehensive or detailed. But of course it also helps if the big picture is, well…big! It’s no surprise that the best atlases are thick and that many maps are printed on sheets of paper that are large.
Or should we say were printed on large sheets. Can we still see the big picture when the screens attached to the powerful computers we carry around in our pockets are so small? Here are some very compelling maps that manage to show the big picture on small screens.
This year’s GeoNext map exhibit focuses on a dozen maps that work well on portable devices. So bring your own device to the conference because the map gallery canvas will be in your pocket or handbag.
Earth: A Visualization Of Global Weather Conditions
by Cameron Beccario
earth is an open-source application that reveals near-real-time global air and water temperatures, current direction and velocity. The application draws data from the Global Forecast System Model of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with updates for most of the parameters every three hours.
The canvas for the moving flow arrows and attractive colours are spare open-source base maps from Natural Earth. The map redraws very quickly and is easy to manipulate even when the user zooms and pans or switches between the eight possible map projections.
The Geotaggers’ World Atlas
by Eric Fischer
Using the Flickr API as a source of data, Mapbox “data artist” and software developer Eric Fischer maps what gets photographed. Over a base map of the transportation network from Open Street Map, Fischer has drawn the lines that connect the places from which photographs were added to Flickr. The lines’ colours are determined by the amount of elapsed time between photo time stamps from the same user.
Flickr was designed as a platform for sharing photographs, but here the map author uses the photos’ metadata, collected over a period of ten years, to reveal something about movement through cities.
Sunrise Around the World
Just as the sun rises and sets every day as the Earth rotates on its axis, so, too, do observations ebb and flow through the Twittersphere. Comments may be intelligent or inane, but as this animated map illustrates, the peak in tweets that mention “sunrise” does, in fact, occur as the sun rises.
Since the CartoDB platform is a dynamic map-based platform, the map viewer is able to change the map scale between greater detail and a broader view. Rather than a canned animation, the map renders tweets based on the associated time stamp. Torque is the name CartoDB gives to this function that shows the third dimension of time. Another layer of information, the line that divides night and day, also circles Earth, confirming the sighting of sunrise.
by Nathaniel Jeffrey
Melbourne 1945 is endlessly fascinating despite its simplicity. It’s simple in that it only features two layers of information, a georeferenced aerial photograph from 1945 and a recent orthophotograph. And the interface is simple because the functionality is simple: the only thing to do is change the scale, pan, and move the slider to compare then with now.
And that’s all a geographer needs.
Windyty is an interactive digital globe that shows the current and forecast wind patterns around the world. The application is built on earth: a visualization of global weather conditions (also represented in this gallery) which relies primarily on data from the Global Forecast System Model of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This implementation of the open-source earth application allows the user to zoom in to a place, access live images and detailed meteorological details about the place and add one of ten different overlays such as humidity and wind gust strength.
Did you ride to the MCG today? Did you make it in one piece because you plotted your route carefully?
Using crash statistics from VicRoads covering a five-year period, geocoding from Nokia and route calculations from MapQuest, the Trip Risk website delivers a handsome, responsive, interactive map using Mapbox tiles and the CartoDB mapping platform. The mobile version requires just a few taps to calculate the most direct route. The desktop browser version gives further insight through charts that explore the richness of the VicRoads data revealing what age groups are affected, the types of collisions, and what times and days of the week are safest.
by Strava Labs
Strava is a popular smart phone and GPS device application that allows sports enthusiasts to track their runs and bicycle rides and thereby log their activity regimen. The global heatmap is an exercise by their software engineers to understand and explore what can be done with their data.
The map shows where people pursue physical fitness or self-quantification—compare the Netherlands with France—and, at larger scale, where you can find popular nearby paths.
Note that the very detailed Strava Metro package gives access to data about individual rides and runs, the participant’s age and gender and so on. The sample data set, downloadable for evaluation purposes, happens to be of Melbourne.
NYC Rat Map
by Meredith Myers
A positive outcome of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 was the acknowledgement of the value of government data. Since then the city of New York has been a leader in the publication of information on its Open Data portal through which city agencies must publish data in accordance with New York City’s Open Data Law from 2012.
This map is not a part of the portal’s sophisticated desktop browser application but a programmer’s light-weight map. The application accesses data through the SODA API of one of the more than one hundred datasets in the portal.
City of Melbourne Interactive Map
by the City of Melbourne
The City of Melbourne presents over forty layers of information from its corporate GIS on its website. There are four possible base maps and seven aerial photographs dating from 70 years ago to 3 months ago. Maps of amenities for tourists and residents alike include drinking fountains, bike share stations, wheelchair limits and cool public places. Another focus is on property development with information such as anticipated construction date, planning permits and planning and heritage controls.
Three layers of information are expressed in the image at left. The red lines are part of the accessibility map and show a steep gradient with a rise over run of more than 1:14. Pink lines are bicycle routes. The MCG is rendered using the city’s detailed 3D model, but for the purpose of the mobile application only the most iconic buildings are included. Although the site is typical of GIS mapping sites from the last decade in its long list of mapping layers, the site is included here because it works beautifully even on a smartphone.
How Loud: Mapping the World of Sound
by Brendan Farrell
A mathematician from Caltech in California, US, has developed a system to map sound and noise pollution in four dimensions. With his algorithm the entrepreneur claims to be able to predict the noise levels depending on which floor and from which side of the building you’re listening and depending on what times of the day noise is a problem. The site makes sounds and noise pollution easy to understand, discuss and, of course, market by ascribing user-friendly terms such as “peaceful” and “severe”.
The application is an interesting proposition considering the experiential and temporal dimensions of sound. How quiet is it really at 2 Quiet Village Street, Santa Ana? How rude are the studios of Noisy Neighbors Productions, 15047 Rayneta Dr, Sherman Oaks? What’s it like to live under the airport flight path at 10514 Condon Ave, Lennox?
Victoria reimagined: see the state resized by the statistics that matter
by The Guardian
Population cartograms were popularised twenty years ago by a British geographer, Daniel Dorling, who extolled their ability to represent social data in a meaningful way. Electoral or administrative areas, he argued, should be sized according to their populations since showing their true areas would overemphasise sparsely-populated regions.
With recent increases in server-side computational power, interactive cartograms have become possible. This example from the Guardian uses statistics from the 2011 Australian census and outcomes of the 2010 Victorian election. It’s possible to make over a hundred different cartograms, of which the state is visually recognisable in only a handful. But the elegant, dynamic reshaping of the state keeps the viewer oriented and a simple tap on a district brings up all the details about its demographics and political tendencies.