Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Street View Stadium Booking System


A couple of years ago a restaurant called GOSP introduced a Street View booking system. The system uses Google Business Photos (otherwise known as indoor Street View) to showcase the restaurant to potential customers.

Not only does GOSP use indoor Street View to provide a preview of the restaurant it also allows you to book a table. If you like the look of a particular table you can click on the overlaid marker in the Street View image and book that table for lunch or dinner. The Google Business Photos Booking System was developed by Big-e, an e-business online development team.


Back in 2013 I remarked that the system would be great for booking seats in sports stadiums. It's taken a while but the Dallas Mavericks now have a Street View seat booking system for the American Airlines Center.

Visit the Mavs website and you can tour the American Airlines Center on Google Maps Street View. Use the onscreen arena map to pick a seat in the stadium and you can preview the view with Google' panoramic imagery.

What's more if you like the view from the seat you can simply click-through to book your Mavs' season ticket.

Introducing Elastic Maps


A screenshot of the Elastic Terrain Map really doesn't do this map justice. The map is billed as a new way to visualize terrain data that uses animation and really needs to be experienced first-hand.

The magic of the Elastic Terrain Map happens when you pan the map. Wiggle the map and watch it wobble. As you pan and move around the map different parts of the map move at different speeds based on the elevation data.

The effect is a little disorientating at first and can make you feel a little queasy. However as you get used to the effect it provides an interesting way to view elevation - as the valleys and peaks become much more apparent on Elastic Terrain Map than on a map with static map tiles.

Use the back and forward arrows to view Elastic Terrain map work with different map layers. You can learn more about how the map works on the project's GitHub page.

The UK Pub Map


You can create a recognizable map of the Unites States by mapping only the country's rivers. If you want a recognizable map of Japan you could plot all the country's roads. If you want a recognizable atlas of the world then you can restrict yourself to mapping just the world's railways. However, if you want a recognizable map of Great Britain and Ireland, then you need pubs.

That's right - it's possible to create a recognizable map of the UK just by plotting all of the country's pubs. Drawing a Map from Pub Locations with the Matplotlib Basemap Toolkit is a nice tutorial on how to plot OpenStreetMap derived data with Matplotlib - but forget Mapplotlib we're here for the beer.

There are roughly 29,000 pubs in Great Britain and Ireland on OpenStreetMap. The result of plotting only these pubs and no other map data is an easily identifiable map of Great Britain and Ireland. It also seems to closely resemble a population density map of Great Britain and Ireland.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Harvard Historical Sea Chart Collection


The Harvard Map Collection has released a new interactive map showcasing some of the fabulous historical sea charts in its collection of vintage maps. Sea Atlases allows you to explore these historical sea charts overlaid on a modern interactive map.

Ten atlas volumes were digitized by the Harvard Map Collection, and then georeferenced in order to be able to view them on top of modern day maps. Being able to explore these fantastic vintage sea charts is of course the main attraction of Sea Atlases, but this is only made possible by the beautifully intuitive and well designed interface.


The home page of Sea Atlases consists of a time-line which allows you to explore the collection by the age of the vintage sea charts. Once you open the map interface you can search for the sea charts by location. Pan and zoom the map and the locations of the available sea charts are indicated on the map by map markers. Click on a marker and you can select the 'view chart' option to view the vintage sea chart overlaid on top of the modern map.

Mapping Spanish Debt - Part Two


Last week Spanish newspaper El Pais released an interactive map showing which Spanish municipalities have increased or lowered their level of debt since 2011. The Variation of Municipal Debt in the Last Legislature map colors each Spanish municipality by whether they have reduced or increased their level of debt.

El Pais has now published another interactive map of the debt levels held by Spanish municipalities. Municipal Debt per Capita in 2014 uses scaled map markers to visualize how much money is owed be person in each Spanish municipality. The larger the marker the larger the per capita debt.

You can click on each municipality on the map to view its per capita debt level and its total level of debt. In total there are 561 municipalities in Spain which owe more than 1,000 euros per inhabitant.

Ukraine's Soviet Streets


Twenty Four years after gaining independence from Russia the cities of Ukraine still bear the scars of Russia's cultural and political imperialistic rule. The cultural hegemony of Russia over Ukraine can be seen in the country's maps, particularly in the preponderance of Soviet street names.

How to Find Lenin Square is a detailed analysis of the frequency and preponderance of Soviet street names in Ukraine. The article includes a number of maps of Ukrainian cities, in which the streets with Soviet era names are colored red. Some of the most popular Russian street names include 'Lenin', 'Felix Dzerzhinsky' (founder of the Russian secret police) and references to the Soviet space program.

The article also contains an analysis of the preponderance of Soviet influenced street names in Ukraine by longitude. This includes a bar chart showing the frequency on Russian street names by each 0.5 degree of longitude (moving from west to east). This bar chart shows that only in the very west of Ukraine is the Soviet era not still commemorated in the street names of Ukraine.

Maps from the Berliner Morgenpost


Over the last few years the Berliner Morgenpost has created an impressive number of mapped data visualizations. I'd say that at the moment only the New York Times matches the consistency and quality of the interactive maps being published by the Berliner Morgenpost.

You can view and learn more about some of the best of the Morgenpost's maps on Maps at the Berliner Morgenpost, an interactive slideshow highlighting some of the paper's amazing maps. The slideshow actually contains working embedded examples of each of the maps. The slideshow also contains a brief overview of the libraries used in some of the maps, links to GitHub, a mapping tutorial and links to view the maps in full on the Berliner Morgenpost website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Everybody's Gone Dot Map Crazy


Where the Renters Are is a dot map visualizing where renters and owner occupiers live in the United States.

Zoom-in on a city on the map and you can get a great overview of which areas are dominated by owner occupiers and which areas are dominated by renters. In most cites the general pattern appears to be that city centers are dominated by renters and the suburbs by owner occupiers.

Where the Renters Are also wins the prize for being the first map I've seen to use Mapbox GL's new perspective view. Click on the 'tilt' button and you can view the map from an oblique view.


If you like dot maps then you should also have a look at Where are the Jobs. Where Are the Jobs uses data from the 2010 census to map every job in the USA. Each dot on the map represents one job.

The dots are colored on the map by four different industries and sectors. The colors reveal some interesting patterns in the spatial distribution of jobs and types of jobs. Zoom in on a city on the map and you can not only see where jobs are concentrated but where the different sectors are located in the city.


The Where Are the Jobs map was inspired by Cooper Center's Racial Dot Map. The Racial Dot Map uses a similar methodology to map every person in the United States.

The map uses data from the 2010 US census, with each of the 308,745,538 dots on the map representing the location of one American. The Cooper Center's dot map however goes beyond being just a visualization of geographic distribution as it also visualizes the distribution of race and ethnicity in the United States.

Mapping the Health of Canada's Rivers


The World Wildlife Fund has been assessing the health and threats to Canadian rivers. A new interactive map has been released, WWF Watershed Reports, which allows you to view the health and threat level to Canada's watersheds.

The zoomed out map view on WWF Watersheds Reports provides a choropleth view of the health and threat level to twelve Canadian watersheds. You can select any of the twelve watersheds to view a more detailed overview of the selected watershed, its current health and the threats it faces. When you select an individual watershed the map also zooms in and provides a more detailed choropleth view of the health and threat level in the whole watershed area.

Currently the WWF has assessed the health of twelve watersheds. More watersheds will be added to the map when their assessments are completed.

The World's Drunkest Countries


A few weeks ago the travel section of The Telegraph newspaper discovered CartoDB. Ever since they have gone made mapping the world's data.

Their latest map shows the World's Most Soused States. The map uses data from the World Health Organisation (2014) to show the amount of alcohol consumption in each of the world's countries. Countries in the former Eastern Bloc are among the world's top drinkers. Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia make up nine of the top ten countries.

Andorra is the only non ex-Eastern Bloc country to make the top ten, sneaking in at number 7 on the list.

The Telegraph's other recent maps rank countries based on population density, the threat from terror and the risk of natural disaster.