Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mapping the Histories


Herodotus, the Father of History, was a fifth century Greek historian. The Histories of Herodotus recounts the origins of the Great War between the Greeks and Persians and the rise of the Persian Empire.

The Hestia Project was set-up to carry out geospatial analysis of Herodotus's Histories. Part of that project includes this Herodotus Timemap. The Timemap connects the text of the Histories with a Simile timeline to allow users to visualize geographical references in the Histories on a Google Map.

As you progress through the chapters of the Histories the markers automatically update on the map to show the referenced locations. You can also progress through the text and the map by using the Simile timeline.


GapVis has also created a very similar text, Simile timeline and Google Map of Herodotus' Histories. GapVis is an interface for exploring locations referenced in a number of historical texts. The project aims to geo-tag and show the locations of ancient places mentioned in some of the key books from and about the ancient world.

Currently the interface allows you to explore texts such as Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, The Works of Flavius Josephus, The First and Thirty-third Books of Pliny's Natural History as well as Herodotus' Histories.

The GapVis Map of the Histories also includes an interesting breakdown of the most mentioned places in the text and the number of times that they are mentioned.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

T-Shirt Mapping


SourceMap has being mapping product supply chains for a number of years. Sourcemap is a crowd-sourced directory of supply chain and environmental footprint maps for thousands of different well known and lesser known products.

SourceMap can be a great resource for businesses, providing them with an easy way to create an OpenStreetMap showing where all their core materials are sourced. For consumers SourceMap provides a great way to research the supply chains of products to help them make more informed purchasing decisions.


Businesses that want to create a supply chain map can also make their own maps or use a narrative mapping platform, such as Esri's Story Maps or CartoDB's Odyessey.js. That is the route taken by T-shirt manufacturers Loomstate.

Loomstate has used Odyssey.js to create The Loomstate Difference, a narrative map which guides potential consumers through the manufacture of a Loomstate T-shirt, from the sourcing of materials to the finished product.

From cotton farm to cotton mill, from cotton to garment, from dying to printing the map takes you on a journey through each process of the manufacturing of a Loomstate T-shirt.

The Future Weather Map


I estimate that I have reviewed over a 100 weather forecasting maps on Google Maps Mania over the last few years. This is definitely the first weather map I've reviewed which attempts to forecast the weather 86 years from now.

Climate Central has created an interesting interactive map which can show you what the summer temperatures will be like, where you live, in the year 2100. Future Summers allows you to enter a city or town name and then reveals what the temperature should be like in 2100. The map also shows you a town or city which currently has similar summer temperatures. For example, summer in Chicago in the year 2100 will be similar to the current summer temperatures in Texas.

The 2100 temperatures are based on current climate change predictions. Climate Central say that on average summer temperatures are projected to raise by 7-10°F.

Mapping the Fallen of the First World War


The Royal British Legion is hoping to commemorate every Commonwealth serviceman and woman who died in World War I. Every Man Remembered allows you to commemorate relatives who died in the First World War or leave a commemoration for someone that hasn't yet been given a tribute.

Every Man Remembered includes a Google Map showing the resting places of Commonwealth soldiers around the world. If you select a cemetery on the map you can view details about the individual servicemen and women from the First World War who are buried or commemorated there. If you select an individual serviceman or woman from the map you can read details about their service and life.

If you have information about a Commonwealth serviceman or woman who died in the war you can add your information and photos of them to the records.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Create a Customized Trip Map


The KLM Must See application is a pretty cool tool to create a nice customized map for an upcoming trip. Using the application you can choose a city which you plan to visit soon and create a map of places you want to visit.

Using the application you can easily add places to the map which you want to visit on your trip. The map uses the Google Places API, so that as you type in a venue it should automatically appear beneath the search box. You just need to select the correct suggestion and a map pin is automatically added to the map. This also means that you can type in generic terms, such as 'museum' or 'gallery' to view a list of these venues in your chosen city.

The application also allows you to connect with your friends, via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail invite, so that they can recommend places on the map for you to visit.

The KLM map also makes good use of the Styled Maps feature in the Google Maps API to create a map in the KLM livery colors. The folded paper effect on the KLM map uses a well established image masking trick.

Mapping Buildings by Tax Revenue


Harvesting Our Cities' Land for Dollars is a map which shows the tax revenue per hectare of every building in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Building plots on the map are colored by the amount of tax revenue per hectare generated by each building. If you select a building on the map you can view the tax revenue per hectare of the building for 2011 and 2014. Another map shows the median change in the tax revenues of each building between the two years.

The maps are accompanied by a an interesting article explaining how the map was created with TileMill and Mapbox.

Mapping the Growth of OpenStreetMap


OSM Then and Now allows you to view OpenStreetMap coverage around the world in 2007 side-by-side with today's OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMap was started in the UK in 2004. OSM Then and Now shows that by 2007 OpenStreetMap was still a largely European project. By 2007 European cities, such as London, Amsterdam and Berlin had been comprehensively mapped. Conversely coverage in the rest of the world was very patchy and practically non-existent in most countries.

Even in many European cities OSM in 2007 was nowhere near as comprehensive as it is now. The screenshot above shows the map of Paris. You can clearly see that in 2007 (on the left) although the road map was fairly detailed the map was largely free of points of interest, building plots and other map features.


However Paris in 2007 was still mapped in far more detail than say Washington D.C.. In 2007 Washington D.C. did have a few major roads mapped but the sparse coverage meant that OSM in 2007 could never really have been used to navigate the US capital.


Because OSM is a crowd-sourced project its growth depends on its ability to attract active members. The Stats page on the OpenStreetMap Wiki has some useful information on the rising popularity of OSM. Back in 2007 OSM had less than 50,000 members. It is now quickly approaching 2 million registered users.


In 2011 Skobbler created this nice timelapse video showing the growth of OpenStreetMap coverage in Europe. The video shows the growth of OSM in Europe between 2006 and 2011.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Maps of the Week


This week a couple of news maps really caught my attention. First up is Liveuamap, a Google Map reporting incidents from the crisis in Ukraine. The map is a nonprofit, volunteer run project with a mission to inform the world about the on-going conflict in Ukraine.

The latest events in the country are plotted on the map using categorized map markers and are also listed in a map side-panel. The blue map markers relate to Ukrainian government actions and the red markers show the actions of the pro-Russian rebels.

The map includes a date picker so that you can select to view reported incidents from any date during the conflict. It also includes dynamic URL's so that you directly link to any incident reported on the map.


There have been quite a few news maps over the years and none of them have been better than Breaking News. Breaking News is an impressive website highlighting the latest news stories around the world. The site includes two main elements, a map and a news stream. Users can either read the posted news stories by clicking on the map pins or on the streamed news story headlines.

One of the nicest features of Breaking News is the 'ongoing stories' function. The news stream includes an 'ongoing stories' section and the headlines in the news stream are also tagged with these 'ongoing stories'. If you select an ongoing story from the news stream the map updates to show only the geo-tagged news items related to your chosen news topic.

The site includes a number of other neat features, such as the ability to search for news stories and to save topics.


I Know Where Your Cat Lives is not the most innovative of maps but it has to be included in this week's round-up of the best maps, if only because it has been the most popular map on social media over the last few days.

One of the earliest popular uses of the Google Maps API was Gawker Stalker. The now defunct Gawker Stalker allowed you to track the movements of your favorite celebrities thanks to the detailed stalking carried out by Gawker and their readers.

If there is one thing more popular than celebrities on the internet then that is pictures of cats. It is therefore surprising that we have had to wait seven years for someone to finally get around to releasing I Know Where Your Cat Lives.

I Know Where Your Cat Lives displays pictures of cats on a Google Map. The pictures of the cats come from popular photo sharing websites and the locations are based on the data hidden in cat photo metadata.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Namesake Towns on Street View


While searching for Street View of Camden, North London this morning I accidentally ended up taking a virtual stroll around the derelict streets of Camden, New Jersey instead. I was struck by the obvious differences in fortunes of the trendy London neighborhood and its run-down namesake in America.

This got me interested in exploring some other towns and their namesakes on Street View. I've put together a few juxtapositions of these Street View images from towns with common names.

Twin Cities places two Street View images from two towns which share a name side-by-side. Among the more interesting comparisons is the hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York with the quaint Shambles in York.

Putting News on the Map


There have been quite a few news maps over the years and none of them have been better than Breaking News. Breaking News is an impressive website highlighting the latest news stories around the world. The site includes two main elements, a map and a news stream. Users can either read the posted news stories by clicking on the map pins or on the streamed news story headlines.

One of the nicest features of Breaking News is the 'ongoing stories' function. The news stream includes an 'ongoing stories' section and the headlines in the news stream are also tagged with these 'ongoing stories'. If you select an ongoing story from the news stream the map updates to show only the geo-tagged news items related to your chosen news topic.

The site includes a number of other neat features, such as the ability to search for news stories and to save topics.