Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Animated Wind Forecast Map


Earth.nullschool.net's gorgeous animated globe, visualizing weather conditions around the world, has become the inspiration for many maps. For example Esri took the same weather data from the Global Forecast System used in the earth.nullschool.net map and created Windy-JS.


Windy-JS re-purposes the weather data so that it can be overlaid in a canvas element on top of a variety of mapping APIs. Esri has even created a demo map with Windy-JS, Wind Animation, which allows you to view global wind conditions animated on a slippy map.


Now Windyty has taken the same approach to create an animated wind forecast map based on NOAA wind data. The Windyty Wind Forecast map is very similar to the Windy-JS map. Like Windy-JS the Windyty map beautifully animates wind patterns on top of a global map.

However Windyty also allows you to view forecast wind patterns for the next five day. The map includes a number of other weather layers (including cloud cover and temperature) and allows you to view animated wind patterns at a number of different altitudes.

Mapping Your Thanksgiving Dinner


This Thanksgiving America will consume around 250 million turkeys, millions of barrels of cranberries and hundreds of thousands of acres worth of green beans. Smithsonian has created this map to show you where your Thanksgiving dinner comes from.

Where Did Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From? shows the location of the U.S.'s turkey farms and also where sweet potatoes, cranberries and green beans are grown. You can click on either of the four food groups on the Thanksgiving plate to view their production areas on the map. You can then select any of the dots on the map to view details about the farms in each selected county.

Where the Rich Live


The Daily Telegraph has released a map showing the average weekly salary across the UK. The Where the Highest Earners Live map uses new data from the Office for National Statistics.

You can click on the map or enter an address to find out the average weekly salary for any area in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland). The UK's highest earners all live London, in Wandsworth, Westminster, and Richmond upon Thames. The lowest weekly earners live in West Somerset.

The Telegraph has also released a map, using the same ONS data, which shows where the richest people live in each local authority area. The Richest Places in England and Wales allows you to see where the highest earners are concentrated in each area.

Not that The Telegraph is obsessed with wealth or anything but the map does not show where the poorest live in each local authority. In fact The Telegraph claim that the "map gives an indication of the places most likely to be hit hard by a proposed mansion tax". This is of course completely erroneous and a blatant attempt by the newspaper to try and paint a misleading picture of how many people would be affected by the proposed policy.

For example in London the map shows a large percentage of Waltham Forest in red. This would lead you to expect that the proposed mansion tax would affect a large number of people living in this local authority. In fact the proposed tax would affect no-one in the borough. This is of course true of most of the red areas shaded on the map.

Diamond Geezer has created a heat map of the number of people who would be affected by the mansion tax in London. Using data from the last census he found that in London that less than 3% will be affected by the tax. When you take into account that the highest earners live in London you can assume that this figure is much lower outside of London.

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.