Friday, April 17, 2015

Transforming a Video into an Interactive Map

The Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University has created an amazing interactive map from NASA's video of A Year In The Life Of Earth’s CO2

The group's Interactive Map of A Year In The Life Of Earth's CO2 wraps an HTML5 version of NASA's narrated video of a year's Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide concentrations around an interactive globe. This mean that you can zoom in and out and pan the video just as you could an interactive globe.

That's right - the Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University has managed to turn a video into an interactive map.

I've no idea how this was achieved but it possibly works by applying CSS transformations and transitions to the HTML5 video. Have a look at these example video effects to get an idea of how CSS can be applied to HTML5 video. Now all you need to do is work out how you can skew a flat portrait video into a globe.

On Broadway - The Street View Interactive

In 1966 American artist Ed Ruscha created a 25 foot long panoramic photograph showing both sides of the Sunset Strip. His 'Every Building on the Sunset Strip' is a continuous photographic view of the iconic mile and half stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Inspired by Ruscha's photo Daniel Goddemeyer, Moritz Stefaner, Dominikus Baur and Lev Manovich decided to create an interactive installation of the 13 miles of Broadway that span Manhattan. The result is On Broadway, a new type of city view which allows you to explore Broadway through Google Street View and Instagram photographs.

On Broadway is a continuous side view of Broadway created from placing Google Maps Street View images of the street side-by-side. The interactive includes Google Street View images of the facades of buildings along Broadway, a color palette of the facade colors, social media and taxi statistics, Instagram photographs and a color palette of the Instagram photographs.

Each layer in the interactive is a separate canvas layer. You can zoom in and out of each image in the interactive. You can also navigate to neighborhoods along Broadway by using the neighborhoods links running along the bottom of the interactive.

The Phonographic Records of Paris

The history of the phonographic record dates back to the late 19th century. As early as 1894 Parisians were able to visit their local record store and pick-up the latest tunes rocking the city.

Disquaires de Paris is celebrating the long history of Parisian record shops with an interactive map showing the location of all Paris' music stores and purveyors of phonographic cylinders since the 19th century. Disquaires de Paris were able to trawl through the Archives de Paris, historical trade directories and the archives of the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris to discover the opening and closing date of Paris' historical music and record stores.

You can navigate this history using the map timeline. Adjust the dates on the timeline and you can view the music and record stores open in Paris during any period since 1894. Click on a store shown on the map and you can view the selected store's opening and closing dates. You can also view a huge selection of historical images taken from record discs as you browse the map.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mapping a Better Melbourne

Last year the Public Transport Not Traffic (PTNT) organisation in Melbourne asked the local community to help improve Melbourne's public transport network by mapping how the city's public transit system could be made better. You can view the results of all the suggestions received on the PTNT CrowdSpot Visualisation map. This map visualizes all the mapped improvements suggested to the campaign.

The Melbourne City Council obviously took some notice of this campaign because this year they have released their own CrowdSpot powered mapping project. Help Us Build a Better Cycling City is a map which local citizens can use to make suggestions about how cycling in Melbourne can be improved.

Users can click on the map to highlight locations where they experience 'issues & challenges when cycling', where cycling is enjoyable or where cycling could be improved. Each suggestion which has been made by users so far is shown on the map with a color-coded marker. You can also browse through the suggestions by scrolling down in the map sidebar.

The suggestions made to the map will be used by the City of Melbourne to help inform the draft of the city's Bicycle Plan 2016-2020. Hopefully when drafting the plan the city will also make use of the Melbourne Bike Crash Map.

The Melbourne Bike Crash Map plots five years of Melbourne cycling accidents on a Leaflet powered map.The map highlights the locations 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 Most Popular Names in B.C.

The most popular boy's name in the whole of British Colombia is Ethan. For girls the most popular name is Emma.

The Vancouver Sun has mapped the most popular boy's and girl's names in British Colombia by postal code area. The two maps show the most popular names given on birth certificates in each area from 2003 to 2013.

The Most Popular Names by Postal Code maps labels each postal code area with the most popular boy's or girl's name. If you mouse-over an area on the map you can view a list of the top 5 most popular names and the number of children given each name.

The UK Election - Battleground Map

The Daily Telegraph has released a Google Map of the marginal seats in the UK election. The Telegraph's map divides the country into safe constituencies (seats that are likely to vote for the incumbent political party in the seat) and marginal constituencies (seats that might change hands).

Unfortunately The Telegraph has not explained the methodology they used (they say the map is based on Research by the Electoral Reform Society) to determine which are safe seats and which are marginals. The accompanying article mentions seats which have a long history of voting for a particular political party but I would be surprised if that is the criteria they used for determining marginal seats.

The map must be based either on opinion polls or on the votes cast in the 2010 general election (or on some combination of the two). My guess is that it is based on opinion polls, which is why Labour seats in Scotland and Liberal Democrat seats in the South West are being shown as marginal on the map (many of these seats wouldn't be marginal based on the 2010 election). In either case the Electoral Reform Party has to have made an arbitrary judgement call as to what point a seat swings from being a safe seat to being a marginal (there have been some big outliers in recent polls so it would be useful to know which polls have been used as well).

However the map is still useful as a general guide to which UK seats are most likely to determine the outcome of the UK general election in three weeks time. The large number of seats in Scotland (many of which look likely moving from Labour to SNP) and in the South West (some of which look like moving from Lib Dem to Conservative) are likely to have a big impact on the UK election and what look like being interesting discussions after the election about which political parties will form a coalition.

Via: Visual Loop - Digital Cartography (93)

The Street View Driving Test

Romanian driving school ACR has devised an ingenious way for learner drivers to revise for their driving test theory exam using Google Maps Street View. Street View Test is a practice test for the theory exam which uses Street View images to contextualize each question in the practice test.

During the practice test learner drivers are asked a series of questions which they might be asked in the real theory exam. For each question the learner driver is presented with a Street View image of a situation that they might experience on the road. Overlaid on the Street View scene is a question with four possible answers.

For example, the Street View image might show a number of cars waiting at an intersection. The learner driver might then be asked which of the cars in the Street View image has priority and must choose the correct answer from the four answers provided.

Hat-tip: Google Street View World

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do You Live Near a Hazardous Waste Site?

In 1980 the United States passed a federal law to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances. National Geographic has created an interactive map that allows you to see how close you live to one of the 1,700 hazardous waste sites across the USA.

Enter your location into How Close Are You to a Superfund Site? and you can view the closest hazard waste sites to your home. The sites marked on the map are color-coded to show whether the cleanup is still in progress, completed or if the location is a proposed clean-up site.

The map sidebar informs you of how many miles separate your home from the nearest Superfund hazardous waste site.

The Abbey Road Magical Street View Tour

You can now see inside the famous Abbey Roads music studios in London on Google Maps Street View. You can even lay down a few tracks yourself during your virtual tour, using the embedded virtual mixing decks.

Inside Abbey Road allows you to explore around Abbey Road's four main studios using Google's panoramic imagery. During your virtual stroll around Abbey Road you will encounter a number of map markers which let you view videos of famous musicians performing and recording in the studios.

Take up a position behind one of the mixing decks in a studio control room and you can even play around with the mixing deck. Here you can practice your mixing skills by adjusting the volumes of the different instruments and vocal tracks.

Walk into the Mastering room and you get to experience a video Street View, a panoramic video featuring a sound engineer in action. The Mastering room also includes a number of information map markers which explain some of the secrets of sound recording and production, such as the invention of stereo and the making of vinyl records.

The Leaflet.js Site Map

This German sitemap is very clever. has created a Leaflet.js powered map from a hierarchical organisational chart of their website. The result is an interactive sitemap of the website.

Zoom in on the map and text site links are added to the markers lower in the hierarchical chain. You can also mouse-over each marker to see where the link leads to on the website.

When you click on a marker link the website content for that page is dynamically loaded beneath the map. The map also includes a filter which highlights the links on the map for specific categories. It is also possible to switch from the mapped sitemap to a tabulated view of the site links.