Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mapping Black Friday Hashtags


Black Friday 2014 by Social Bakers is a series of maps visualizing the social sharing taking place around Black Friday on Twitter and Instagram.

The visualization includes maps of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin and Miami showing the location of Twitter and Instagram posts which include Black Friday related hashtags. Social Bakers began gathering data for the maps on the 22nd November and will continue until the 30th November.

The map sidebar includes running totals of the number of times particular brands have been mentioned. You can also view recent photos posted to Instagram using the same Black Friday related hashtags by selecting the 'Photos' tab in the sidebar.

The Race Gap in U.S. Police Departments


In Ferguson, Mo, 67% of the population is black. However only 11% of the Ferguson police department is black. According to a 2007 survey the situation is little better in most police departments around the country, where on average minorities only make up around 25% of police forces. In The Race Gap in America's Police Departments the New York Times has mapped the racial composition of local police departments in 16 metropolitan areas, including St, Louis.

In each of the 16 maps the local police departments are represented on the map by circular map markers. The size of each circle on the map is scaled to represent the size of each police department. The color of each circular marker is shaded to reflect the racial composition of each department. The lighter colors indicate that the racial composition of the department is closer to the racial mix of the area it serves. The darker shaded markers indicate that the composition of the police department is markedly different to the general population.

You can also mouse-over each police department on the map to view the racial composition of local residents and of the local police department.

How to Make a Rent Map


Last year the Financial Times created a nice interactive map visualizing the cost of renting in London. The London Renting Crisis map allows Londoners to view a heat map of where they can afford to rent in the capital based on their annual salary.

The map includes a slide control which allows you to adjust the annual salary level. As you adjust the salary the map automatically updates to show where you can and can't afford to rent a room in a London flat.


The Berliner Morgenpost has now released the source code of a similar map for Berlin. Titel der Anwendung recreates the rent map of London but for Berlin, using the Leaflet mapping platform.

The Berlin map uses random data as it is just a demo of an interactive heat map using Leaflet and TopoJSON. The source code for the map is available on GitHub on an MIT license. You can therefore use the Berliner Morgenpost's map library to create your own adjustable heat map for anywhere in the world, using your own TopoJSON for the shaded polygon areas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Solar Eclipse Map


The Solar Eclipse Finder is an Esri map that displays the path of past and future solar eclipses for any location on Earth.

The tool couldn't be simpler to use. Just click on the map and past solar eclipses at the selected location are shown on the map in green and future eclipse are shown in blue. If you mouse-over the path of a solar eclipse you can view details in the map side-bar.

The details on each eclipse include the date, time and the duration of the solar eclipse. The Solar Eclipse Finder includes the paths of 905 solar eclipses from 1601 to 2200.

The Rand McNally Trip Planner


Rand McNally Trip Maker is a new interactive road trip planning tool. Using the map you can get turn-by-turn driving directions for your trip with the option to find interesting places to visit along the route.

To create a road trip with Trip Maker you just need to enter a starting location and your destination. You can add extra stops to your trip simply by selecting the 'Add Stop' button. Your new stop will then be added to your to a trip automatically, in the location that best minimizes your total driving distance.

You can adjust the route of your trip simply by dragging the route line around on the map. If you want to add a waypoint to a route you can therefore just drag and drop the line on your desired location and the the route will automatically update.

If you want to make some pit-stops along your route you can use the 'Search on My Way' option. This allows you to search for rest-stops and points of interest along your route. You can even define how far you are prepared to deviate from your route for interesting places to visit by entering the number of miles.

When you are happy with your planned road trip you can email and export your trips to any Rand McNally GPS device.

The Google Maps Virtual Post Office


The French national mail service, La Poste, is using Google Maps and Street View in its latest online marketing campaign. La Poste - Ca Envoie is a fun little postal delivery simulator which allows you to virtually post a number of silly objects to any address.

Using Ca Envoie you can virtually drop a Sumo wrestler, a mermaid, a unicorn, a lumberjack, or some goose pâté onto any address in the world which has Street View imagery. Just enter an address and pick one of the five objects and you can watch a short animation of your object falling onto your address using Google Maps satellite imagery.


Your chosen object will then be shown landing at your selected address using the Street View imagery from that location. If you are vegetarian you might want to skip the pâté animation. This little movie features a goose crashing into your street before being transformed into the goose pâté.

If you sign into Ca Envoie with your Facebook account you can post your created Google Maps postal animation to your Facebook wall.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Super Mario World


If you've ever wondered how Mario and Luigi manage to navigate so effortlessly around the Mushroom Kingdom and Dinosaur Land then you need to check out this Super Mario map from Duncan Graham. This interactive map reimagines the world as an 8-bit map in the style of Nintendo's classic game, complete with golden coins and mushrooms.

Accompanying the map is a great 'how-to' guide on how the map was created with Mapbox Studio. It's worth reading the article if you want to learn about importing land or water source files into Mapbox Studio, how to add custom elements to your map and how to order layers.


If vintage computer games don't float your boat then you might prefer this Dot Map by Saman Bemel Benrud.

You've probably seen dot maps before which visualize data on a map using differently sized or differently colored dots. This map takes that concept to the next stage by representing the underlying map features data as dots.

The result might not be much use as a map. But as a beautifully abstract interactive dot painting it works just fine.

The Rapid Beating Heart of LA


LA Metro Movement is an animated map of LA's Metro Rapid buses. The map shows the routes of LA's Rapid bus lines with the recorded locations of the city's buses being animated as they transport passengers across the city.

I don't know anything about the creation of this map so I'm guessing that the map is using the location data from one or two hours out of a single day. If you follow a single animated dot on the map it doesn't seem to travel very far in each step of the animation. So unless it takes 24 hours to cross LA by bus this map is providing a snapshot in time of the city's bus network in action.

It's still a great mapped visualization of transit data and a great demo of CartoDB's Torque library in action.

Mapping New York Taxi Data


This year there has been a number of really great mapped visualizations of New York taxi data. This latest map visualizes taxi traffic from JFK and LGA airports during the 2013 holiday season (Nov 15th to December 31st).

The NYC Taxi Holiday Visualization animates taxi journeys from New York's airports over the course of a month and half. As the animation plays you can view the animated tracks of thousands of individual cab journeys taken from JFK and LGA airports to all parts of the city.

While the animation plays out on the map the side-panel keeps a running total of the number of taxi trips taken from each of the airports' terminals. A bar graph at the bottom of the map also reveals the number of taxi journeys taken on each day. The graph reveals the drop in flights during Thanksgiving and a distinct rise in traffic after the holiday weekend as people fly back into NYC, presumably after visiting family outside of the city.


NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life is a MapBox visualization of the journey of one New York taxi over the course of 24 hours.

The map animates one New York taxi's route over the course of one day. As the animation plays the taxi's position is shown by a yellow circle map marker. All the passenger journeys are added to the map with a blue polyline. While the animation plays the map also keeps a running total of the cab's total number of passengers, fares and tips received.

Once you have viewed a day in the life of this New York taxi you can choose from another one of thirty cab journeys mapped over 24 hours.


Hubcab is a mapped visualization of 170 million taxi trips over one year in New York City. Using the map it is possible to view all pickup and drop-off points in the city and to view the number of trips taken between two separate locations.

Locations that were used as taxi pickup points in the city are shown as yellow dots on the map and drop-off points are shown as blue dots. It is also possible to refine the results displayed on the map by time of day.

You can view the number of taxi journeys between two different locations  by dropping two markers on the map. After you place the markers on the map you can see the number of taxi journeys taken in one year in both directions between the two locations. You can even refine the results by time of day to explore when the most journeys between the two points are made at different times of the day.

Wikipedia Heat Maps


Frankenplace is a 'thematic map search engine.' Which means that you can use the map to create instant heat-maps for a range of words based on the words' frequency in over 1.6 million articles on Wikipedia and online travel blog entries.

For example the heat map above is the result of typing 'mosque' into Frankenplace. If you enter 'mountain' instead then you will get a heat map that roughly resembles the location of mountain ranges around the world.

Frankenplace can therefore be used to get an understanding of the spatial dynamics of a topic by providing a heat map of the topic as featured in Wikipedia and travel blogs. The site can also be used as a search engine to find relevant documents that march your search query.

For example, in my search for 'mosques' I might only be interested in French mosques. I can therefore use the map to zoom in on France. If I then mouse-over Paris on the map the side-panel shows me a link to the Grand Mosque of Évry. I can even read the Wikipedia for the Grand Mosque of Évry directly from the map.