Saturday, November 28, 2015

Exploring Namibia by Satellite

A Little Landsat Tour is an interesting story map which uses Landsat 8 imagery to explore some of the geological and man-made features which can be found in Namibia.

As you scroll through the tour the map flies across Namibia to highlight a number of geologically interesting locations, such as river valleys, deserts, dry lakes and volcanoes. The tour also explores how man has impacted on the environment, zooming in on diamond mines, ranches, center-pivot irrigated farms and evidence of slash and burn farming.

The map was made by Charlie Loyd, who works on satellite imagery for Mapbox. Judging by the URL I'm guessing that the map was made in 2013 from Landsat imagery captured that same year. The story map format of the tour is based on Mapbox's Scroll Driven Navigation template.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Mapping Global Road Fatalities

According to the World Health Organization the USA has poor road safety laws. It fails to meet the WHO's requirements for good drink driving laws, for speed limit laws, for helmet laws and for seat belt and child seat belt laws. This might be why the United States has almost twice as many road fatalities per population as nearly every Western European country.

Death on the Roads is an interactive map showing the number of road deaths and the status of road laws in countries around the world. The map uses data from the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 to present a choropleth view of global road deaths and road safety laws.

If you select a country on the map you can view the number of road deaths per 100,000 people. Using the tabs at the top of the map you can also view how well each country meets the WHO's requirements for different road safety laws.

Dublin Story Maps

Storymap Ltd have created two interactive maps of Dublin, in which local people tell their stories about the city and their own lives. Dubline - Storymap presents a route across Dublin, from College Green to Kilmainham. Along & around the route are a number of map markers representing the interesting stories of Dublin and its people.

By clicking on the markers you can watch videos in which Dubliners will regale you with fascinating stories about some of the locations along the route. For example you can hear about Dutch Billy, the most abused statue in Dublin, a gunfight between students and a fellow of Trinity College, and how an elephant came to die on Essex Street.

Storymap is a charming Google Map that captures the personality of Dublin city through Ireland’s age-old tradition of storytelling, presenting a vision of Dublin as told through its stories and storytellers.

If you are ever lucky enough to visit Dublin you can be sure that the locals will talk your ear off. Storymap takes advantage of the Dubliners' love of telling a good tale by presenting the city through the stories of the local people. 

The map itself is a collection of videos in which Dubliners tell the stories of locations around the city. The stories include the strange tale of the first cat to fly across the Irish Sea.

The Terrorism Timelapse Map

The Oregonian has used CartoDB's Torque library to create an animated map of terrorism deaths around the world from 2001-2014. Deaths by Terrorism, 2001-2014 shows worldwide fatal terrorist attacks by month.

On its own the animated map layer might have been a little crass, reducing thousands of deaths to little flashing dots on a map. However the Oregonian has also added a couple of other data layers to the map to provide some much needed context.

The 'Deaths by Country' option adds a choropleth layer to the map, showing the number of terrorism deaths by country around the world. The 'Narrative' option allows you to select each individual terrorist attacks on the map to view a summary about the attack and the original news source for the data.

Via: Visualoop

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Thanksgiving Flight Map

Google Trends has published an animated map showing people traveling across the USA to get to their Thanksgiving Day dinners. US Thanksgiving on Google Flights uses CartoDB's Torque library to animate domestic and international air travel on the eve of Thanksgiving booked through Google Flights.

You can use the playback control to navigate through the whole of yesterday's plane journeys. As the day plays out you can see a clear pattern of flights starting on the east coast in the early hours, spreading to the whole country, until the latter hours of the day when flights emanating from the east of the country die down, while flights from the west coast carry on until the early hours of today.

The flight markers on the map are colored to represent the different airlines.

The Battles of Narvik

Germany invaded Norway in April 1940. The northern city of Narvik quickly became an important strategic target for both the Allies and the Nazi. Narvik's ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic provided perfect access by rail to the iron ore mines in Kiruna, Sweden. Both sides were keen to secure this iron supply for themselves and, by doing so, denying it to the enemy.

The Battles of Narvik is a web-documentary commemorating the 75th anniversary of the German invasion of Norway and the battle over the Norwegian town of Narvik. The documentary explores both the land and sea battles between the Nazis and the Allies in their struggle to secure Narvik.

Evidence of the sea battles can still be found deep in the Ofotfjord. On April 10th, 1940 the British Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine both lost two destroyers each. Three days later the British managed to sink another three German destroyers. Most of these shipwrecks remain at the bottom of the Ofotfjord to this day.

Narvik is a popular destination for scuba divers as it provides a unique opportunity to explore these German and British wrecks from World War II. To help divers locate the wrecks The Battles of Narvik includes a Google Map showing the locations of both the British and German destroyers now lying at the bottom of the Ofotfjord.

You can learn more about the invasion of Norway and the Allies resistance on Invasjonen av Norge. Norway and its allies managed to continue the fight against the German invasion in April 1940 for 62 days. However Germany's invasion of France in May caused Norway's allies to withdraw and the Norwegian government was forced to seek exile in London.

Invasjonen av Norge is a really nicely designed story map recounting the Norwegian War in 1940. The history of the campaign is told in chronological order. As you scroll through the chronology in the map side-panel the map automatically updates to show the relevant location.

Meet the Elephants

Let me introduce you to Pilipili. Pilipili is a member of the Spice family of elephants in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. Elephant families in the park are given thematic family names and then each member of the family is given a first name on that theme.

Google's latest Street View Trek is a wonderful tour around Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, in which we get to meet the park's elephant families. The tour also explains the work of Save the Elephants, who are working hard to protect and save Africa's elephants.

The tour explains how Save the Elephants monitors elephants on the ground, from the air and via GPS tracking. The organisation also patrols the park, protecting the elephants from poachers and works to rehabilitate injured and orphaned elephants.

You can explore more of the world on Street View with Google's other Street View Treks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Piss & Crap Maps of San Francisco

Apparently people defecating on the streets is a thing in San Francisco. At least it is a big enough problem for Jennifer Wong to think it warrants its own interactive map.

Last year Jennifer used San Francisco Department of Public Works data of sidewalk cleanings for 'human waste or urine' to create the (Human) Wasteland map. The map includes a steaming heat-map view of human waste in San Francisco. This map just might help you avoid wading through human excrement on your next trip around town.

Jennifer made the stylistic choice to color San Francisco's human street waste a fetching shade of crap on her map. The new Piss Map of San Francisco however has gone for a lighter urine shade of yellow.

The Piss Map of San Francisco visualizes the last 2,000 reports of human waste on the streets of San Francisco. That's 164,168 average ounces of urine spayed upon the Streets of San Francisco every year. A line graph of the number of monthly reports of human waste discovered on the city's streets is also overlaid on top of the map.

The Disputed Territories of the World

123 countries around the world are currently involved in territorial disputes. For example, the USA is currently involved in territorial disputes with Cuba, the Bahamas, Haiti, Colombia, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Honduras, the Marshall Islands and Tokelau.

A World of Disputed Territories is an interactive map of all the territories around the world whose ownership is contested by more than one country. By clicking on a country on the map you can view all the territorial disputes it is involved in and who those disputes are with.

After you select a country on the map all the that country's currently disputed territories are colored yellow on the map and all the other countries involved in the dispute(s) are colored blue. Select one of the disputed territories (colored yellow) and you can read a brief report on the nature of the dispute and the countries involved.

Mapping the Icelandic Sagas

The medieval Icelandic family sagas are prose histories describing the lives of the first few generations of settlers in Iceland in the late 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries. The Icelandic Saga Map allows you to read each of the Icelandic Sagas alongside an interactive map showing the locations of all the places mentioned in these historic tales.

When you select an individual saga from the Icelandic Saga Map homepage you are presented with the text of the story alongside an interactive map. Locations in the saga are hyperlinked to the map. Therefore as you read the saga you can select place-names mentioned in the text to view their location on the interactive map. Alternatively you can click on the locations tagged on the map to jump to the parts in the texts where they are mentioned in the Sagas.

When reading an individual saga you can use the Sagas menu (top right) to also overlay the locations mentioned in any of the other Sagas on the interactive map.