Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Mapping Vincent Van Gogh


The Center for Open Data in the Humanities has created a very impressive Leaflet.js based tool for browsing historical manuscripts, paintings and other documents. The IIIF Curation Viewer is an open-source image viewer that allows you to view any image that has an IIIF Manifest (a common standard used by many museums, galleries and universities around the world).

In this demo of the IIIF Curation Viewer the application is being used to allow you to explore an ancient Japanese manuscript. Using the document viewer you can move backwards and forwards through the different pages of the manuscript (or select any page from the drop down menu). Selecting the black square button from the map menu allows you to draw around individual text characters in the document. When you select a character in this way an information window opens with the modern Japanese translation of the character.


You can use the IIIF Curation Viewer to view any document, painting or image that has an IIIF Manifest. For example here is Van Gogh's Self Portrait (Dedicated to Gauguin).  If you look at the URL for the Van Gogh painting in the viewer you should be able to see where I added the URL for the painting's IIIF Manifest (I got the manifest from the Harvard Art Museum website). Here is another example where I simply added the URL for Rossetti's A Sea Spell.


If you are more interested in seeing how the IIIF Curation Viewer handles text then here is a letter from Francis Crick to Michael Crick, where Crick discusses the discovery of something he calls DNA. The drawing tool in the map allows you to select any part of the document to create an image of your selection (you can see the image I saved above of Crick's mention of 'Deoxyribonucleic acid' in the letter.

If the play's the thing for you then you might prefer this Leaflet map of the complete works of Shakespeare. Of course the IIIF Curation Viewer can also be used to look at maps. Here's the Gough Map from around 1360.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Do You Live Near a Freeway?


The Los Angeles Times can tell you how close you live to a freeway. Just enter your address and the LA Times will show you your house and the nearest freeway on an interactive map. It will also tell you if you are within the 500 foot zone where air pollution is highest or if you are within the 1,000 foot zone (where scientists advise that you shouldn't live).

The map is part of the newspaper's report into why L.A. keeps building homes within 500 feet of freeways. If you zoom in on a freeway on the interactive map you can see the most polluted 500 and 1,000 feet zones - shown in red and yellow respectively on the map. If you zoom out a little the zones will disappear and instead dots will show you how many people live within 1,000 feet of the freeway.

Later on in the LA Times report another interactive map shows you how many building permits the city has issued within 1,000 feet of a freeway since 2005. This map includes a slider control which allow you to change the year to see how these permits have accumulated over the years.

Real-Time Satellite Movies


The Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch has released a new mapping tool which allows you to create short animated movies of the Earth using the latest satellite imagery from GOES-16 and Himawari-8.

The RAMMB Slider uses the latest available imagery from both satellites to allow you to create small animated movies of the Earth. Slider includes the option to select archived imagery if you want to animate imagery from an earlier date. The application also includes options to select different types of imagery from the two satellites and a range of controls to adjust the speed and type of animated movie.

GOES-16 is in geostationary orbit over the Earth’s Western Hemisphere. It therefore provides great satellite imagery of the Americas. Himawari-8 is in geostationary orbit at 140.7 degrees East. It provides near real-time imagery of Australia, Japan and eastern China.

Mapping the UK's Falling House Prices


If you account for inflation then a majority of UK residential properties are selling less now than they were ten years ago. In fact house prices have fallen in real terms in more than half of UK neighborhoods since 2007.

The BBC has created an interactive map which shows where house prices have gone up and where they have gone down. The House prices: Have they actually gone up? map clearly shows that outside of London and the south-east most of the UK has seen in real terms a fall in house prices. This fall in house prices may also be coming to London. In the year to August the smallest increases in residential property were in the capital.


Of course knowing whether house prices have gone up or not doesn't really help you if you want to buy a house. What house hunters need to know is the cost of property in UK neighborhoods. In which case they need Anna Powell-Smith's House Prices Per Square Metre in England and Wales interactive map. This map shows the average price per square metre of properties in each postcode area. It is therefore a very handy way to find areas where you might be able to afford to buy a property.

The map includes a filter tool which allows you to filter the results shown on the map by the cost per square metre. If you know the range that you can afford or are willing to pay you can therefore use this filter tool to identify the areas within your comfort zone.

Monday, October 16, 2017

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Range


ABC News has mapped the worldwide risk from North Korea's nuclear weapons. In Where can North Korea’s missiles reach? ABC shows which countries are in range of Kim Jong-un’s inferiority complex.

This scrolling interactive uses a faux 3d globe to show the ranges of North Korea's different missile types. As you progress through the story map the ranges of North Korea's short-range, medium-range, intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missile are each shown in turn on the interactive map. New York and Washington DC might be safe but Los Angeles could now be in range of an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from North Korea.

The use of a faux interactive globe is a good choice for this mapped visualization of the world. The Economist and the BBC have both learnt that drawing circles on 2d maps can be misleading. It appears that ABC knows that the Earth isn't flat. They also know how to develop interactive maps for mobile users. I don't normally comment on how maps work on browsers. But Where can North Korea’s missiles reach? is a joy to read on mobile (well actually it's really worrying - but you know what I mean).

Who Owns Your Water?


17% of water systems in the United States are privately owned. On average these private water companies charge customers 59% more for their water than publicly run water systems. This is bad news for customers, especially because unhappy customers can't switch to another water company.

Who Owns Your Water shows the percentage of the population served by private water utilities in each state. The darker the color of the state on the map then the more of the population are forced to buy their water from private companies. If you mouse-over a state on the map you can view details on the number of different water systems in the state and the percentage of the population served by private utilities.

The map also shows the location of the 500 largest water systems. The markers for these water systems are scaled by the number of customers. The markers are also color-coded to show if the water systems are privately or publicly owned. You can mouse-over these markers to view the number of customers and the average annual water bill form the utility.

You might also like:

The PFC Contamination Map - the level of PFC's found in water supplies at county level
Chemical Taints in Tap Water - average levels of contamination found in each county's water supply

Google Outer Space


Google Maps can now help you navigate the solar system. As well as its aerial imagery, Street View and maps of Earth Google Maps can now take you to Mercury, Venus, Mars and Pluto. It can also show you maps of our moon and the moons Ceres, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Mimas, Enceladus, Dione, Rhea, Titan and Iapetus.

All of these new planets and moons on Google Maps have place-labels so you won't get lost. Click on any of these planetary features on Google Maps and you can learn more about the location. For example clicking on a place-label can reveal the name and size of a crater. If you want to share a view of one of the planets or moons you can just copy and share the map URL.

Animated Markers in Mapbox


Arden de Raaij, a developer from Lisbon, has released a nicely designed Mapbox map for geotagged photos. The map shows where photographs were taken and allows you to view them directly from the map. It also has some very impressive animations and transitions which are fired when the user interacts with a map marker.

There are two main animation effects used for each map marker, which are triggered by mousing over a marker and clicking on a marker.  When you mouse over a marker the marker grows bigger on the map (it shrinks back to normal size when you move the mouse off the marker). When you click on the marker the photo thumbnail, embedded in the marker, expands to fill the whole map.

Mapbox Map with Animated Marker Icons would make a great template for anyone who wants to create a map based photo gallery. The expanding and shrinking markers is an impressive effect that could be used with any interactive map which uses map markers. Mapbox Map with Animated Marker Icons is available on CodePen. So, if you like the marker animations, it is possible to easily view the code and/or fork Arden's CodePen.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Santa Rosa Fire Satellite Imagery


Satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe shows some of the devastating damage done by the wildfires in Northern California. Robin Kraft, a developer originally from Santa Clara, has created a before and after map which allows you to compare DigitalGlobe's latest satellite imagery with aerial imagery taken before the fires.

The Satellite Map of NorCal Fires includes satellite imagery taken after the fire for the Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Napa areas. The red areas on the map are vegetation and not fire. The map includes a swipe control so that you can directly compare the before & after satellite imagery. Robin says he will be updating the map all weekend until the fire is contained.

If you need to keep abreast of the current situation on the ground Esri's Waze Alerts and Wildfires interactive map uses live data from USGS and Waze, to show the locations of active wildfires and traffic alerts for Northern California.

London Sucks You In & Spits You Out


This week Election Data published an interactive map to visualize the net migration data for areas of the UK to & from London. The map shows whether more people in each local authority area in England move to London or have moved from London into the area. The map also provides a rather neat visualization of why the Conservative Party could be in trouble in its traditional heartland of the south east.

Moving in to and out of London, 2013-2016 is a choropleth map of data from the Office for National Statistics. The darker colors show local authority areas where there is a net population gain from London. Where more people are moving into the area from London than are moving to the capital. The lightest colored areas show local authorities where more people are moving to London than emigrating from London.

In essence the map seems to show that the south east has had a net increase in people moving from London while some areas of the Midlands and the north have seen a net decrease, as more people have moved from these areas to the capital. It is also provides a rather neat visualization of an Election Data article published this week in the Guardian newspaper, How the Conservatives lost their home counties heartland.

In the Guardian article Election Data's Ian Warren argues that the exodus of people in their 30s and 40s from London to the south east is bad news for the Conservative Party, because young people tend to vote more for the Labour Party. According to the Economist "Conservatives overtake Labour as the party of choice from around the age of 50 in most polls". An influx of young families into the traditional Tory heartland could therefore prove disastrous for the Conservative Party.