Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Maps of the Week


On April 9th, 1948 in Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala, the Liberal leader and presidential candidate, was assassinated. In response to his assassination massive riots broke out in the city. The riots of April 9th left 3,000 to 5,000 dead and thousands injured, with much of downtown Bogotá destroyed.

The History of Bogatazo is a story map which recounts the assassination of Gaitán and the resulting uprising in Bogotá. The impressive visual aesthetic of this map is created through the use of custom vintage style map tiles, a careful attention to detail in the map markers & timeline icons and in the decorative corner images.

As you progress through the timeline the map automatically updates to show the important events of the day, with photos and text explaining each mapped event. The map is available in both English and Spanish versions.


Washington DC's ShotSpotter system is a network of over 300 acoustic sensors that are used to detect the sound of gunfire in the city and triangulate the location of each shooting. The Urban Institute has used the data from the ShotSpotter system to map gunfire incidents which took place near Washington DC schools during the 2011–12 school year.

Mapping Gunshots Near DC Schools plots schools in Washington DC and incidents of gunfire on the same map. The school map markers are color-coded to show schools that were within 500 feet of a gunshot, 1,000 feet and those that were further than 1,000 feet from a shooting incident. The map also allows you to turn off gunshot incidents which took place outside the time of normal school hours.


The Berliner Morgenpost's Fußballkarte shows where the registered supporters of 8 of the 18 Bundesliga football clubs live.

Fußballkarte (BETA) shades each neighborhood in Germany based on the club with the most registered supporters in that neighborhood. If you mouse-over a neighborhood you can view the number of registered supporters for each of the 8 clubs.

As well as the Bundesliga Fußballkarte there are also localized Berlin and Hamburg versions of the map. Hamburger Fußballkarte is a map of Hamburg showing where HSV and St. Pauli have the most fans in the city. The Berliner Fußballkarte shows the registered supporters of Berlin's top two football clubs, Hertha Berlin and FC Union Berlin.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mapping the Life of George Washington


George Washington spent a lot of time in Washington DC. I guess he liked the name.1

Washington's World is a biographical map of George Washington's life created by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (Mount Vernon being Washington's plantation home). The map allows you to explore the places which Washington visited in his life, from his birth in Westmoreland County, Virginia to his death at Mount Vernon.

The map includes the option to display various journeys undertaken by Washington during his life, including, his presidential tours and his trip to Barbados. The map also includes a timeline, which allows you to explore the plotted locations by date. If you select a location on the map you can view details about the chosen location in the map sidebar.

1. Yes, I know.

The Russian Doll of Maps


Displayce is a series of visual map experiments created using the Google Maps API. Each of the experimental views in Displayce uses a number of Google Map instances on one page to create an experimental map pattern.

For example, 'foci' (pictured above) overlays a number of Google Maps on top of each other. Each map instance shows a view of the same location but each map has a consecutively lower zoom level.

Displayce includes four different map experiments all creating a different visual effect from stitching together different map instances to create different patterns. You can enter any location in the world into each of the experiments and, if you like the resulting experimental map, you can grab the URL for the view and share it with your friends.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Street View Your House


Creepy Polaroid is a fun little app which creates a quick little Street View snapshot of your house. Just share your address with Creepy Polaroid and it provides a Street View picture of your house, with your address printed along the bottom.

The application uses HTML5 geolocation to determine your current position. You can find how out how to do this with the Google Maps API in the JavaScript API documentation, Geolocation example. Once the application has your location it then uses the Street View Image API to provide a static Street View image of your current location.

Mapping Russia's Courts


Over the years Maps Mania has covered a lot of crime maps created all around the world. This is the first time that I've seen a map which covers the number of cases and sentencing records of judicial courts in one country.

The Russian Criminal Justice Atlas is an interactive map of the cases heard and the sentencing decisions made in 2,000 courts in the Russian Federation in the year 2009. Using the map it is possible to access data about the number of cases and the types of sentences passed at each of the mapped courts.

The size of the markers on the map represent the number of cases heard at each court. If you select a court's marker you can access the data from the respective court. This data includes information on the number of cases, the average age of defendants, the number of people given jail sentences and the average length of sentences.

The map also includes a large number of filtering tools which allow you to adjust the courts shown on the map by a range of factors. These filtering tools are grouped under the headings of Court, Convict, Status, Outcome, Sentence and Electoral.

The FOSS4G Maps of the Year

The annual free and open source software for geospatial conference, FOSS4G has announced the winners of the best open source maps of the past year. I've already featured a few of the maps from the FOSS4G Map Gallery during the past week, now here are the winners in each category.

Best Open Source Software Integration

Denmark National Lidar Showcase

Best Open Source Data Integration


Best Web Map Application
PDX Transit Map

Best Overall Cartographic Display
Wind Farms of the German Bight

Best Anti-Map Map

Beyond Close

People’s Choice
Plan Oblique Relief Europe

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Voronoi Temperature Mapping


MesoWest's VoroWeather Map is an interesting Voronoi tessellated weather map of the US.

The map uses weather observations from around 2500 weather stations across the United States. Each station is marked on the map with black dots. Every area of the country is then shaded on the map based on the weather readings of the closest station. The Voronoi Tessellation for each station has been calculated and the shapes are colored based on the temperature, relative humidity, or wind gust observation.

You can change the weather data shown on the map using the 'variables' button. Click on a tessellated shape on the map and you can find out the closest weather station's name, elevation, and observed values for temperature, relative humidity, and wind gust.


If you are interested in using Voronoi tessellations on an interactive map then you should check-out Chris Zetter's tutorial on how you can go about Building a Voronoi Map with D3 and Leaflet. The tutorial is accompanied by a demo map of UK supermarkets.

The Supermarket Voronoi Map is a map which divides the UK into a number of regions. Each region contains one supermarket, where all the locations within each region are closer to that supermarket than any other.

Using supermarkets for the demonstration map is a great idea, as it really helps to convey the usefulness of Voronoi maps. Shoppers can use the map to find their nearest supermarket. You can even select an individual chain of supermarket to find the nearest branch. For example you could use the map to find your nearest Waitrose.


Biking from Place to Place is a neat visualization of Chicago's bike share network. The map uses a very clever Voronoi heat map technique which allows you to find out the number of bike trips from any bike station and view the most popular destinations from each station.

Select a bike station on the map and you can view a heat map showing the most popular destinations from that station. The map provides some interesting insights into the travel patterns of Divvy bike users. For example, if you select a bike station along Lake Michigan you quickly notice that most Divvy users borrow bikes here to cycle to other bike stations along the lake shore.

The heat map overlay uses an interesting Voronoi map technique which allows you to find the nearest bike station to any location. If you point to any location on the map the nearest bike station is automatically selected for you and the Voronoi heat map overlay also shows you the areas around the destination stations. This provides an insight into the likely final destinations of the bikes' users.

The Mapped History of Bogatazo


On April 9th, 1948 in Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Ayala, the Liberal leader and presidential candidate, was assassinated in Bogotá. In response to the assassination massive riots broke out in the city. The riots of April 9th left 3,000 to 5,000 dead and thousands injured, with much of downtown Bogotá destroyed.

The History of Bogatazo is a story map which recounts the assassination of Gaitán and the resulting uprising in Bogotá. To progress through the mapped narrative you can click on the timeline control running along the bottom of the map. The buttons on the timeline show the time of each mapped event.

The impressive visual aesthetic of this map is created through the use of the custom vintage styling of the map tiles and the careful attention to detail in the map markers, timeline icons and the decorative corner images.

As you progress through the timeline the map automatically updates to show the important events of the day, with photos and text explaining each mapped event. The map is available in both English and Spanish versions.

Welcome to North Korea


The Welcoming Face of North Korea is a multi-media interactive documentary exploring tourism in one of the most difficult to visit countries in the world.

The site uses parallax scrolling, video, photographs and maps to take you on a journey through North Korea from the perspective of a tourist on an organised group tour to the country. The interactive documentary is a fascinating insight into the stage-managed experience of tourism in North Korea and includes some great multi-media content of the places visited on the tour.

As you progress through the tour a map occasionally appears with an animated line showing the progress of the tourism group as it travels through the country. In the capital, Pyongyang, a map icon also appears on the screen. If you click in the map icon a Google Map slides into view, which highlights the places visited in the city and also provides links to Wikipedia articles of the mapped locations.

The Welcoming Face of North Korea is a wonderful example of the possibilities of this new form of parallax scrolling interactive documentary. It also provides an interesting insight into the stage-managed experience of tourism in North Korea.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Which is the Largest Country Subdivision?


The Regional World is a simple map of the world which shows the first sub-national administrative regions of every country in the world.

The map uses data from Natural Earth to show only the first level of administrative boundaries for each country. There's nothing particularly innovative about the map or that surprising really. Larger countries tend to have large sub-national administrative divisions and smaller countries tend to have much smaller first level administrative boundaries.

However the map is a great example of two of the biggest problems in mapping; map projections and administrative boundaries.

The Regional World map suffers from the usual problems caused by using a Web Mercator projection. Looking at the map NationalParken in Greenland seems to be the largest administrative region in the world. However the Mercator distortions at the poles means that it actually appears to be a lot bigger than it really is, in comparison to regions nearer the equator.

Wikipedia says NationalParken is the world's largest National Park but doesn't mention whether it is the largest administrative region. It is 375,000 sq miles, so it is huge. Looking at the map, outside of Greenland, Chukot in Russia appears to me to be the second largest admin region. Wikipedia says that 'Chukotka' is 284,827 sq miles in area.

Down in the Southern Hemisphere Western Australia doesn't look anywhere as big as NationalParken or Chukotka. Surely it can't be the biggest first level admin region in the world. Well Wikipedia says that Western Australia measures in at 976,790 sq miles. I think we have a winner.

Or do we? Wikipedia has a handy List of Country Subdivisions By Area, sorted by size. In this list Western Australia is in second place. At the top of the list is the Sakha Republic in Russia, with an area of 1,190,555 sq miles. So where is the Republic of Sakha on our Regional World map? It actually doesn't appear to exist. The map of Sakha on Wikipedia looks suspiciously like the area labelled Chukot on the Regional World map.

So the real winner is the Republic of Sakha or the area labelled Chukot on the map.