Monday, October 20, 2014

The Art History of Zero


'ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s' is a Guggenheim exhibition showcasing the art of the ZERO group of artists. The ZERO art movement started in Germany in the 1950's but soon became influential throughout Europe and Japan.

As part of the new ZERO exhibition (October 10, 2014–January 7, 2015) the Guggenheim has released an interactive map exploring the history of the ZERO group, the group's network of artists and the locations of some of their most important exhibitions.

The ZERO Countdown to Tomorrow Network map includes a circular 'clock' navigation tool, which allows you to explore the growth of the movement chronologically. Alternatively you can explore the entries geographically by simply selecting the markers on the map.


The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative aims to connect artists and art institutions across South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. As part of the project the Initiative has released an interactive map showcasing artists from each region through video, audio, and background information.

The Map Navigator allows you to navigate the UBS MAP’s library of digital content by location, artist, artwork and exhibition. The map includes a range of information, including audio and video clips of the featured artists. If you want to learn more about any of the artists taking part in the initiative you can click through to view their dedicated page, which features biographical information and photos of the artist's work.

Mapping Real-Time Buses in 3d


Over the years Maps Mania has reported on a huge number of real-time transit maps around the world. Transit maps which allow you to view the live movements of buses, trams and trains live on a map. Seetys is the first one that I've seen which allows you to follow vehicles in 3d.

The Seetys Transport website provides real-time simulated maps of bus networks in a number of Spanish cities. The maps allow you to view each of the featured city's bus routes on a Google Map. The maps include the option to follow individual buses as they move in real-time. If you select the '3d simulation' option you can even follow individual buses in 3d using the Google Earth browser plug-in.

The maps were created using Vasile's Transit-Map library. The library allows you to animate vehicles on a map using public transport timetables (GTFS) to interpolate vehicle positions along transit routes. The Seetys Transport website has used the website to create real-time simulated bus transit maps for Madrid, Barcelona, Vitoria, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Malaga and Grenada.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Maps of the Week


The most beautiful maps of the past week come from this collection of road orientation maps. Crayon the Grids is a series of maps where all the streets have been colored based on their orientation. The results, I think you will agree are absolutely stunning.

This series of city road orientation visualizations includes maps of San Francisco, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, London, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and Boston.


Flickr and Panoramaio data has been used in the past to create some truly beautiful heat maps visualizing the areas where people have taken the most photographs. It is always amazing to zoom in on these visualizations to see how maps of towns and cities can emerge simply from geo-tagged photo data.

There is now a new application which helps you build a map of a location yourself simply by using the tags in geo-tagged Flickr photos.  Mapr from Pimpampum.net allows you to dynamically load Flickr photo data by geographical tags. You can therefore create your own map of a location simply by loading more and more geolocated Flickr data (using the photos' tags).


If you enter your zip code into the Commute Map you can view a mapped visualization of where people in your area commute to for work. You can also use the map to compare the length and time of your daily journey to work with the average commuter journeys of your neighbors.

The red circles on the map show the center of each zip code area. If you click on the red circles you can view the percentage of people who commute from your entered zip code area to the zip code area represented by the circular marker. You can also view details about how far the commute journey is, how long it is likely to take and how that compares to the average commute journey length and time from your zip code area.


Recently a number of developers have been adding sound to Google Maps Street View. The combination of 360 degree panoramas with recorded sound enables developers to help recreate both the audio and visual experience of locations around the world.

The Sound City Project has taken this concept one step further by producing their own interactive panoramas and combining these with high quality 3D sound recordings. Using the application you can explore locations, such as Times Square in New York and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, with custom Street View imagery while listening to the sounds recorded at the same locations.

A styled Google Map allows you to navigate between the different locations featured in the project, including a number of locations in New York, San Francisco and also in Sweden & Norway.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The View of Earth Live from Space


ISS Live is a beautiful WebGL Earth visualization of the position of the International Space Station, which also includes NASA's High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) live video stream of the Earth as seen from the ISS.

There are a number of other maps of NASA's live stream of Earth but the use of a 3d globe in ISS Live makes this the most beautiful. The visualization uses Kloken Technolgies' WebGL Earth with Mapbox's satellite imagery,

You can use the shift key on your keyboard to rotate the orientation of the WebGL Earth globe and zoom in and out by right-clicking your mouse.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mapping Jimmy John's Exclusions Zones


The Jimmy John’s franchised sandwich restaurant chain requires their employees to sign non-compete agreements. These non-compete contracts ensure that employees can not work for any other sandwich business within three miles of any Jimmy John’s location for two years after they leave their job with Jimmy John's.

This means that there is now a 6,000 square mile 'employment exclusion zone' in the United States for any ex-Jimmy John’s employee. SigActs.com has created an interactive map for Jimmy John's employees, showing them where they will be barred from working after they leave their current job.

The map shows the three mile 'employment exclusion zone' around each of Jimmy John’s 2,000 U.S. restaurants. The situation is particularly bleak for anyone who works for Jimmy John's in Chicago. If you want to work for another sandwich business in Chicago after leaving Jimmy John's you will have to pray that someone opens up a restaurant under the Tri-State Highway at the junction with the Irving Park Road.

Mapping Global Competitiveness


The World Economic Forum has released the Global Competitiveness Index 2014-2015. The Index assesses and ranks the economic competitiveness of countries around the world based on a "set of institutions, policies, and factors that determine the level of productivity of a country".

Switzerland, Singapore and the United States (in that order) are ranked the top three countries for competitiveness. Yemen, Chad and Guinea rank bottom of the countries assessed by the Index. You can check out the Global Competitiveness Index Map to view all 144 countries assessed by the Index.

Countries shaded green are those which are deemed more competitive and those shaded red are the least competitive. You can also click on individual countries to view the county's rank in the Index and a breakdown of its rank under each competitiveness criteria.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mapping Bike Crashes in Melbourne


The Melbourne Bike Crash Map plots five years of Melbourne cycling accidents on a Leaflet powered map. You can use the map to see where bike crashes are most prevalent on Melbourne's streets.

You can filter the results shown on the map by 'all crashes', 'fatal crashes' and 'serious injury crashes'. You can also filter the results by time of a day. In addition the map provides a rough visualization of the amount of cycling traffic on each street based on Strava cycling data.

The intensity of the blue lines indicate the density of Strava recorded traffic. This should help cyclists assess the relevant safety of Melbourne's roads. For example a large section of Footscray Road seems to get heavy cycling traffic but has no recorded bike accidents. A quick check on Google Maps Street View shows that the road has a dedicated off-street bike path.

The Uber Surge Price Map


During the busiest periods the car ride-sharing specialists Uber increase their fare rates. Uber call this 'Surge Pricing' and claim it is designed to encourage more Uber drivers to be on the road at the busiest times.

You can use the Up Hail Google Map to check out the current pricing level in a number of cities. Up Hail provides a heat map for each city which compares the current Uber fare rate to the normal rate. If you see any red colored areas on the map this indicates that Surge pricing is in effect. You can also click on the map to view at which level fares are currently being applied in the selected area.

Up Hail also allows you to enter a starting point and destination for your planned journey to view the cost of the ride on Uber and Lyft. At the moment Up Hail is available in nine US cities, with plans to add coverage soon in Canada, Europe, South America, and Australia.

The World's Rivers Are Dammed


Around the world more and more rivers are being dammed. Decades of dam building is leading to the global impoverishment in the health of the world's river basins. poor water quality and low biodiversity.

International Rivers has released an interactive map which illustrates the effect of dams on the health of rivers around the world. The State of the World’s Rivers maps nearly 6,000 dams in the world's 50 major river basins, and ranks their ecological health according to indicators of river fragmentation, water quality and biodiversity.

Using the map you can explore how individual river basins rank in terms of fragmentation, biodiversity, and water quality. You can also explore ten of the world's most significant river basins in more depth. Each of these ten detailed explorations examines the threats from dam building on the health of the affected river and the immediate environment.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This Beautiful Map


I think I'm in love with this map of San Francisco. Every time I see its rainbow colored streets I become all weak at the knees.

Crayon the Grids is a series of maps in which the streets have been colored based on their orientation. The results, I think you will agree are absolutely stunning. This series of gorgeous visualizations includes maps of San Francisco, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, London, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Paris, Berlin and Boston.

There is also a detailed explanation of how the maps were made,

"... to render each point on the map, we use Proximatic, my custom high-performance k-NN engine, to calculate the length-weighted average of the colors assigned to the nearest 500 meters of street, keying render weight to the local degree of parallelism/orthogonality (derived in a similar mod-90° vector space), with rolloffs for outlying roads and territory".

To be honest I didn't take much of that explanation in. I just stared, drooling at the map and replied, 'You're pretty'.


Crayon the Grids reminded me of some visualizations by Visual Statistix, comparing the road orientation patterns in American and European cities. These static maps with accompanying rose diagrams are a great visualization of urban road patterns. They are particularly illuminating in illustrating the differences between the planned grid-patterns of American cities and the more organic sprawl found in European cities.


VeloViewer has also released an interactive map that allows you to view the road orientation for any district or city in the world. Using the map you can zoom in on any area of the world and a rose diagram displays the road orientation distribution of the current map bounds.

The map uses the underlying data for roads in OpenStreetMap to calculate the road direction patterns on the fly. This means that you can move the map around and zoom in or out on any location and the rose diagram will update to show the road direction distribution within the current map view.