Saturday, July 22, 2017

Where the UK is Getting Old

The UK is getting old. Although some areas of the country are managing to stay relatively young. In 2016 18% of the population were aged 65 and over. 2.4% were aged 85 and over. As lifestyles & healthcare improve and people continue to have children later in life the percentage of the elderly is expected to increase. You can see how and where on a new map from the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS's UK Population Age map shows the percentage of the UK population over 65, over 85 and the old age dependency ratio at local authority level. The map allows you to view the percentage of the aged population by year for 1996, 2006 and 2016. It also allows you to view the projected growth in the percentage of the population over 65 and 85 for the years 2026 and 2036.

The map reveals that there are geographical differences in the proportion of the local population with high percentages of older or younger people. The bigger cities tend to have a higher proportion of younger people than more rural locations. This presumably reflects a tendency for people to live in cities for work and then move to more rural areas when they retire. Many local authorities in the south have the highest proportions of elderly people, indicating that these are popular areas to retire.

If you want to know how your local authority compares to the rest of the country you can select it on the map. You can then view charts showing how your authority compares to the national average for the percentage of the population over 65 and over 85.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Animated Race Maps

Back in 2013 the New York Times created an impressive animated mapped visualization of the America's Cup Finale between the USA and New Zealand. The America’s Cup Finale: Oracle’s Path to Victory showed the progress of the race between the two yachts from start to finish.

The America's Cup 2013 Finale: An Animated Map is a lovingly created and accurate reproduction of the NYT's map using Leaflet.js. The map allows you to replay the whole finale between the two sailing teams. The map even includes the wind speed and wind direction for the whole race.

If you like this animated map visualization and are interested in creating a similar animated race map then you can view the entire America's Cup project on GitHub.

Over 35,000 people competed in last year's Berlin Marathon. You can see how every one of those competitors fared in an animated map of the race, created by the Berliner Morgenpost.

The Berlin Marathon 2016 map animates every single runner in the Berlin Marathon on top of a map of the race's route. As the animation plays out you can watch all 35,827 of the athletes as they complete the course.

The animated map of the Berlin Marathon 2016 was created using the PixiJS HTML5 engine.

If you are interested in mapped visualizations of sports then you might also like The New Age of Sports Visualization.

Detroit's Deadliest Days

50 years ago, in July 1967, a riot broke out in Detroit which lasted five days. By the time the riot ended 43 people were dead, 1,189 were injured, over 7,200 people had been arrested and more than 2,000 buildings had been destroyed.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit Riot the Detroit News has released a map exploring every single one of the 43 deaths that occurred during the riot. The map doesn't attempt to explain the causes of the riot or how it progressed. It just attempts to explain who died, where they died and how.

Five Deadly Days in Detroit uses Carto's Odyssey.js story map format to provide a simple chronological account of what happened in Detroit. The basemap used for the story map is a United States Geological Survey map from 1968. As you scroll through Five Deadly Days in Detroit the map pans to the location where one of the 43 people were killed. The text beneath the map provides an account of who died and how they were killed. This text is illustrated with vintage images from the Detroit News coverage of the riot in 1967.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Street View in Space

This is ground control to major Pegman. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on. Can you hear us major Pegman? Commencing countdown. Engines on .....

You can now see inside the International Space Station on Google Maps. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet got a part-time job over the winter capturing panoramic Street View imagery from outer space for Google Maps. That imagery is now live.

If this is your first trip to space aboard the ISS you might find these quick links helpful while you get familiar with weightlessness:

the Cupola Observation Module
the US Laboratory Module
Node 1 (Unity)
Node 2 (Harmony) Crew Quarters
Joint Airlock (Quest)

Google's Street View images from the ISS include links which provide useful information about some of the unfamiliar out-of-this-world equipment that you will find on your journey around the space station. Just click on the links to learn more about life in space.

The Emoji Weather Map

Dark Sky provide hyper-local weather information with its iOS and Android apps. It also provides a desktop weather map which includes a seven day forecast of weather conditions around the world.

The Dark Sky Weather Map has for a while included the option to view global weather conditions on an interactive 3d globe. It now also has an option to view a weather forecast on an emoji map of the world. If you select 'emoji' from the drop-down menu at the top of the Dark Sky Map you can now view your weather predictions represented by thousands of emoji symbols.

The Dark Sky Weather Map includes a number of different weather layers which allow you to view a seven day forecast of temperature, precipitation and wind speed around the world. The 3d weather visualization uses OpenLayers with the Cesium WebGL 3d globe engine.

You can also share your location using the universal language of the emoji. What3Emojis is a revolutionary method of addressing the entire world using the only common language of the entire human race, the emoji.

With What3Emojis the Earth is divided into millions of 4m x 4m squares, each of which is randomly assigned a unique three-emoji combination. If you want to share your location with someone else all you need to do is share the three emojis assigned to that 4m x 4m square. Any similarity to What3Words is entirely intentional.

The Manhattan Skyscraper Explorer

New York is a city of amazing tall buildings. But what do you actually know about Manhattan's tallest buildings? Do you know how tall they are or when they were built? Do you know what each building is used for? To find out the answer to these questions you need the Manhattan Skyscraper Explorer

The Manhattan Skyscraper Explorer is your guide to Manhattan's tallest building. This 3d Esri map allows you to explore the amazing New York skyline and find out everything you would ever need to know about the city's buildings. The 3d map is accompanied by a timeline - height chart, which allows you to explore Manhattan's skyscrapers by year of construction and by building height.

If you select an individual building on the map you can learn more about the chosen skyscraper, such as its height and the year it was built. You can even view an image gallery of the building and (where available) click through to learn more about the building on Wikipedia.

A Game of Thrones Street View

What could be better than exploring A Game of Thrones on the Five Maps of Westeros?

How about a world tour of some of the amazing real-life filming locations where the television series was made?

One reason for the huge success of HBO's series of George R.R. Martin's best-selling 'A Song of Ice and Fire' is the amazing set locations. HBO scoured the planet to find suitable locations to represent King's Landing, Winterfell and Essos. Google has put together a collection of filming locations from A Game of Thrones which appear on Google Maps Street View. The collection takes you on a tour of beautiful locations in Ireland, Croatia, Iceland, Spain and elsewhere around the world.

Game of Thrones: The Old Views and the New allows you to explore the filming locations for King's Landing, Winterfell and the mysterious continent of Essos. Google's collection is split into three main Houses, the Starks, Lannisters and the Mother of Dragons.

The Google Earth Blog has used Google's collection of Street Views to put together a Game Of Thrones kml file which allows you to explore these filming locations in 3d on Google Earth.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The 3D Globe of Google Trends

The Global Trend Tracker is a 3D globe which shows you what subjects people are currently searching for in different countries around the world. As you browse and watch the globe the top Google search trends will appear over each country.

You can zoom in on individual countries. Alternatively you can select a country from a drop-down menu. If you select an individual country on the map then you can view the current top ten search trends in that country. You can even click through to view the links to the trend on

If you are interested in mapping Google Trends then you might be interested in the Google Trends Datastore, which provides a great source of data for anyone interested in mapping search trends from Google. Key datasets from Google Trends are added to the Datastore all the time and can be downloaded by anyone, in CSV format.

Many of the datasets have a geographically element to them. For example, at the moment you can download a CSV file of the 'Champions League final: Search interest in Real Madrid and Juventus by country'.

How Hot Will Your City Get?

In the year 2100 summers in New York will be as hot as Juarez, Mexico is today. Los Angeles can look forward to summers that are as hot as they now get in Belize City.

Climate Central has released a new interactive map which tells you how hot your city will be in the year 2100 if carbon emissions continue as currently predicted. Shifting Cities allows you to choose from a large number of major cities around the world to find out how hot they will get in 2100. When you select a city on the map you are shown the current summer temperature in your city and a city which now has a temperature that your city can expect in the year 2100.

Climate Central's Shifting Cities map is part of a growing trend to map the future impact of climate change around the world. For example Climate Impact Lab's Climate Impact Map also visualizes how global warming will effect temperatures around the world over the rest of this century.

Using the drop-down menu on the Climate Impact Map you can choose to view predicted global temperatures for each quarter of the year or for the whole year. You can also choose to view the number of days which will be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The timeline below the map allows you to view a choropleth view of any of these selected temperature predictions for the years 2020-2039, 2040-2059 and 2080-2100.

The map includes two choropleth views. The 'absolute level' shows the predicted temperatures around the world for the year selected. The 'change from historical' view shows how much the temperature will increase above the 1986-2005 averages around the globe.

The University of Hawaii has released a similar interactive map which uses expected temperature increases to predict the number of deadly days we can expect from extreme heat around the world for each year up to 2100. Heatwaves: Number of deadly heat days provides a timeline control which allows you to select any year from 1950-2100. The blue dots on the map show historic extreme heat events that have occurred around the world before 2014.

If you click on the map you can view two charts for the selected location. One chart visualizes the number of annual deadly days over time and the other shows the humidity vs. temperature for the current year.

Thanks to NOAA's Sea Level Rise Viewer we can observe how these increases in temperature will effect sea levels.

By the end of this century the National Climate Assessment estimates that sea levels may rise by up to 6.6 feet. NOAA's interactive map uses the most accurate elevation data available to model how different extents of sea level rise will impact coastal areas in the USA. You can adjust the sea level displayed on the map by adjusting the water level tool from 0-6 feet.

If you select the 'Local Scenarios' tab you can view the potential impact of different sea level rise scenarios on different areas of the country. The Local Scenarios option allows you to adjust the map to view the impact of sea level rise of different orders of severity. It also allows you to see how this impacts the local area by decade (up to the year 2100).

The London Crash Map

Visualizing TFL Accident Data is an interactive mapped visualization of 2015 London traffic accidents. The map uses data from Transport for London and is color coded on the map by the severity of the injury involved.

You can filter the results displayed on the map by the severity of the injuries. When you filter the results the summary statistics in the side panel update to show the type of vehicles involved and the ages of the injured. The London cartogram also updates to show the number of causalities in each borough.

If you select a marker then details of the accidents at that location are displayed on the map. The details include the type of vehicle involved, who was involved (driver or passenger) and their age.

The map itself was created with the Google Maps API with D3.js used to create the scaled map markers and side panel graphs and cartogram.

Brighton's Interactive Cycle Map

Brighton and Hove Council has released an interactive Brighton Cycle Map. It would be churlish to ask why cyclists would need a map to know where the city's two bike lanes are. Instead I'd like to applaud the city for their efforts in creating the map, which at least highlights how much effort the city needs to put in to make Brighton a cycling friendly city.

The map does include important locations for cyclists in Brighton, such as bike carrying bus stops, cycle parking and bike shops. I also like the landmark icons on the map, which become much more apparent as you zoom-in on the map.

Overall however I think the design of the map is a little confusing. The use of two different shades of blue for showing roads and building footprints makes it more difficult than it should be to read the map. I also think that using a dashed line to show off-road cycle tracks is a huge mistake, especially when the city's provision of off-road cycle tracks is so patchy. It is hard to tell if the breaks in the dashed lines are just the breaks in the dashed line or locations in the city where there are gaps in the cycle track.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Help Geotag New York's History

You can now help the New York Public Library geotag its collection of vintage photographs of New York City. The NYPL's new Surveyor map is a citizen science project designed to hep the library index its collections of historical photographs by location.

Visit the new Surveyor website and you will be shown a vintage photograph from the NYPL collection. All you have to do is show the location depicted in the photo by clicking on the interactive map. Luckily many of the photographs have an address in the photo's title or associated data. This makes the task relatively easy, even if you don't know New York very well.

You also don't need to worry about not knowing the location shown in a photo. If this is the case you just need to press the 'skip' button to move on to the next photo.

Many of the photos in the NYPL's Digital Collections are in the public domain. This means that you will be able to use many of the photos that you geotag in your own interactive maps. Just like OldNYC has done with its interactive map of 40,000 vintage photos of New York from the NYPL’s photo collections.

The Five Maps of Westeros

Interactive maps of Westeros seem to get cut down and eviscerated as often as the Hands of the King. As yet another new season of a Game of Thrones begins it is time once again to take stock of our favorite interactive maps of George R. R. Martin's fantasy world.

Web of Allegiances is an interactive map of Game of Thrones which shows you where the Great Houses reside and the many entangled pacts and allegiances between them. You can select any of the characters on the map to view their name and the Houses that they are allied to. You can also click through to learn more about the character on the Games of Thrones wiki.

Last year A Song of Ice and Data emerged from Beyond the Wall to shed new light on Westeros & Essos. A Song of Ice and Data is a new REST API, interactive map and data store created by students at the Technical University of Munich. Most of the data for the project has been scraped from the Wiki of Ice and Fire.

The Song of Ice and Data interactive map shows the lands, borders and cities of the Known World. It also includes travel paths of all the major characters. If you select any of the marked locations on the map you can learn more about the location from the Wiki of Ice and Fire. If you want to view a character's travel path on the map just search for the character using the map's search box.

The Interactive Game of Thrones Map is another map of the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos from George Martin's series of fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire.

The map features all the locations from the television series and books. The map also allows you to follow the journeys of all the main characters through the different seasons. To view a character's path select their name from the map sidebar and use the timeline slider control.

The Westeros Map is another Google Map of the fictional continent of Westeros from George Raymond Richard Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels. This map shows important locations on the continent of Westeros. Clicking on the locations on the map will take you to that location's wiki entry.

Game of Thrones is an Esri StoryMap of Westeros and Essos. The map sidebar includes links to important locations on the two continents. If you zoom in on the map the sidebar updates to show links to important locations in the current map view. A drop-down menu also provides quick links to view important regions on the map.

The reason for all these maps is undoubtedly the popularity of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels and HBO's popular Game of Thrones dramatization of this series. However these interactive maps also owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jonathan Roberts' official maps of Westeros and Essos, based on George R. R. Martin own hand-drawn maps.

When compiling a list of interactive maps of fictional worlds it would be remiss not to add a quick link to the LOTR Project's interactive Map of Middle Earth. This interactive map of J.R.R. Tolkein's fantasy world is the original interactive fictional map and still takes some beating.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Musical Map of New Orleans

New Orleans is well known for its incredibly rich musical history. You can now explore this history by taking one of a number of guided mapped tours of the city. The maps were created by New Orleans community radio station WWOZ.

A Closer Walk currently includes nine interactive mapped walks of New Orleans, each one exploring a different aspect of the city's musical history. The tours themselves are simple interactive maps with numbered markers indicating places in the city on the tour. Behind these simple maps however is a rich and detailed database of New Orleans' music venues and locations important to the city's musical heritage and history.

Click through on the interactive maps and you can discover all about these venues and locations around New Orleans. This includes a detailed introduction to the selected venue / location, links to websites, videos from the location, photos and audio clips. Music fans in particular will enjoy the associated video and audio clips provided for each location featured in A Closer Walk.

You can view a map of all the curated venues and locations by switching to the 'View Map' in the Places section of A Closer Walk.

Pollen & Pollution Mapping

The Natural Resources Defense Council has released an interactive Air Quality map of the United States. The map shows the number of days when the concentration of ozone exceeds safe levels. The map also shows areas which suffer from high levels of ragweed pollen.

You can use the map to see the historical tendency for both high ozone and pollen levels at your location. The map also includes a layer which shows areas which suffer from both high levels of smog and high levels of pollen. The combined effect of high ozone and pollen levels can be particularly dangerous for asthma sufferers

If you select a state on the map you can view the percentage of the population living in counties reported to have ragweed and unhealthy smog days. You can also view the number of adults and children who suffer from asthma in the state.

Mapping Marine Metals

The Royal Society has been exploring the future possible exploitation of the world's oceans. The Royal Society's 'Future of Oceans' project in particular examines two ocean based resources - "metals from the deep ocean floor and the application of the genetics and chemicals produced by marine life".

The Future Oceans Resources Map is used to visualize where these marine resources exist in the world's oceans. The map includes a a guided tour which introduces the possibilities for the sustainable exploitation of minerals and chemicals from the oceans. The Royal Society argues that the exploitation of chemicals is likely to have a minimal impact on marine environments while exploiting marine metals could have a much larger impact on marine environments.

The tour explores where these resources exist in the oceans, who owns these resources and how their exploitation can be regulated. The tour also explores the variety of different marine environments around the world. It highlights how the exploitation of mineral resources could effect these environments & marine life and therefore the potential for the genetic and chemical exploitation of the oceans.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Botox for Street View

Does your neighborhood look run-down and neglected? Then you need Google's new Botox for Street View.

Google's machine learning 'Creatism' system is able to enhance and improve the appearance of Street View images from Google Maps. You can judge for yourself how good Creatism is at improving Street View images on this showcase of photos. The showcase provides examples of Street View images improved by Creatism which you can compare to the original Street Views from Google Maps.

Creatism is actually programmed to search Google Maps looking for landscape panoramas with the best compositions. It then enhances the selected compositions by adjusting saturation/HDR levels and by adding things like more dramatic lighting. You can learn more about how it works at Using Deep Learning to Create Professional-Level Photographs.

You might also be interested in this History of Machine Learning and Street View post, whick looks at MIT's work with machine learning & Google Maps Street View.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

20 Ways to Map an Election

Donald Trump, according to the New York Times, keeps a collection of printed election maps in the dining room next to the Oval Office. He likes to hand out copies of this election maps to White House visitors when they leave. President Trump's election map is a choropleth map, which shows all the counties of the United States colored by the party which won the 2016 election. Donald Trump likes this map so much that he also hung a large version of the map from a wall in the West Wing.

Any huge fan of election maps like the POTUS will love Esri's collection of election maps, Thematic Mapping. Thematic Mapping is a collection of 2012 Presidential Election maps, providing examples of a range of different thematic mapping approaches that can be used to map election results.

President Trump likes his choropleth map so much because it shows a majority of the country colored red. Even though Hilary Clinton won the popular vote Trump won the most counties. A choropleth map is therefore good at showing how Trump won the election but isn't necessarily a great way to show the percentage of votes each candidate won.

There are many other ways to map election results. Esri's Thematic Mapping collection includes choropleth maps, dasymetric dot density, cartograms, isopleth contours, proportional symbols, proportional text and other thematic approaches to election mapping. Hopefully President Trump will see Thematic Mapping and hang an example map of each of these thematic approaches to the 2016 Presidential election to the walls of the West Wing.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Age of Agglomerations

The Age of Agglomerations is a new study and data visualization exploring some of the major urban agglomerations around the world. The research and visualization was completed by Urbica for the Moscow Urban Forum 2017.

The data visualization tool at the heart of the Age of Agglomerations allows you to explore demographic, commuting and other data about the featured cities displayed on interactive maps. The Age of Agglomerations includes a comparison tool which allows you to view the same data for two different cities side by side on two different maps.

You can read more about the definition of agglomerations, how the boundaries were determined for the selected cities and how you can use the tools to explore the interactive maps on this Urbica blog post. The interactive maps have been created using Mapbox and make liberal use of Mapbox GL's extrude property for the 3d data visualizations.

The outer zones of the agglomerations in the Age of Agglomerations were determined by areas where at least 15% of the population commute to work into the inner zone of the agglomeration. Garrett Dash Nelson and Alasdair Rae also used 'commuting zones' to help identify 50 regions of the United States based on distinct separate labor markets. Their identified megaregions of the United States were determined by analyzing over 4,000,000 commuter journeys.

You can view the results of Nelson & Rae's analysis of commuter journeys in the USA on the Megaregions of the United States interactive map. The map shows the borders of the identified megaregions. It also shows the commuter journeys which determined the shape of each of these new megaregions. If you hover over any of the megaregions on the map you can view the name that Nelson & Rae has given the megaregion and the name of the major city at the center of its distinct interconnected labor market.

The map is powered by the Leaflet.js mapping library. The data itself was made into slippy map tiles by using QTiles, a QGIS plugin for creating raster map tiles for interactive maps.

House Prices Per Square Metre

I'm currently thinking about buying a larger house than my small place in east London. To do this I need to find an area where house prices are cheaper than east London. Unfortunately the cost of property in my search area (south east England) is very expensive and there aren't many places where I can afford to move.

That's why I've been using Anna Powell-Smith's House Prices Per Square Metre in England and Wales interactive map quite a lot recently. The map shows the average price per square metre of properties in each postcode area. It is therefore a very handy way to find areas where you might be able to afford a property.

The map includes a filter tool which allows you to filter the results shown on the map by the cost per square metre. Therefore if you know the range that you can afford or are willing to pay you can use this filter tool to identify the areas within your comfort zone.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Map Your Trips Around the World

Lim Chee Aun has spent a huge amount of time and effort creating an interactive map which will probably interest nobody except for Lim Chee Aun. Actually that's not true. It interests me and it will interest anyone else who loves beautifully designed interactive maps.

Cheeaun Earth is a map of Lim Chee Aun's Forsquare check-ins around the world. There is a lot to admire in this map. It includes a great marker clustering solution. It allows you to turn the map journey lines on & off (which allows you to follow the chronology & geography of Lim's movements). It also has a muted map style, which allows the data to stand out clearly on the map.

I particularly like the small inset country maps which run along the bottom of the map. These inset maps show how many check-ins Lim has made in different countries around the world. They also serve as buttons which when clicked moves the map to the selected country.

The country map icons come from Sn3b/mapsicon. If you want to create your own Foursquare check-in map all the code for Cheeaun Earth is on GitHub.

Styling Maps the Easy Way

Esri UK's mapstyler is a fun little tool that can help you create a new map style from the colors found in an image.

To create a new map style with mapstyler you just need to drag & drop an image onto the map (either from another browser window of from your saved images). The map is then automatically restyled using the colors from your image. You can press the 'shuffle' button to experiment with which map features use which colors from your image.

When you are happy with your map style you can click the heart button to save a copy of your new styled map to your ArcGIS Online account.

Disclaimer: any similarity or resemblance to Mapbox' Cartogram is purely intentional 
(just kidding! Esri were working on mapstyler long before the release of Cartogram).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Mapping Climate Science

There have been a lot of interactive maps released this year which show how global warming is likely to effect sea levelsglobal temperatures and the number of deadly heat days that we can expect in the future. All these maps are based on our present knowledge of climate change.

Most climate change deniers appear to now accept that the evidence for global warming is beyond debate. Instead many climate change deniers have moved on to now claim that the global warming, that they used to deny the existence of, is not caused by man but is just part of the natural changes to the planet's climate. You know that natural climate change which normally takes place over thousands of years.

A new interactive map from Carbon Brief has plotted scientific studies which have looked at whether extreme climate events around the world have been influenced by human activity or not. The Attributing Extreme Weather to Climate Change map plots 144 extreme weather events for which scientists have published peer-reviewed studies. The studies on the map have been color-coded to show which ones found evidence of human influence, those that found no evidence of human influence and those that proved inconclusive.

Carbon Brief's analysis of these 144 studies suggests that "63% of all extreme weather events studied to date were made more likely or more severe by human-caused climate change".

OpenStreetMap Around the World

OpenStreetMap user Martin Raifer has released his annual visualization of OpenStreetMap Node Density. The map shows the number of OSM-nodes per square metre on the ground. In other words it provides a visual guide to the amount of OSM data around the world.

The node density is worked out at the end of June each year and the OpenStreetMap Node Density map includes layers to show the node density for previous years. You can switch between the different years to get a sense of where in the world the most editing of OSM has taken place. Alternatively you can view the 'difference' layers to see where major editing of OSM has happened in the past year.

OpenStreetMap is of course an ongoing project to map the world. The world is always changing and OSM needs to constantly update to reflect those changes. Therefore dedicated volunteers around the world are always working to improve the map.

OSMlab's Show Me The Way provides a real-time view of OpenStreetMap's contributors in action. Using satellite imagery from Bing Maps 'Show Me The Way' provides a captivating visualization of the ever improving OSM project, as it actually happens.

You can get a great sense of how all these individual edits to OpenStreetMap has slowly built an incredibly detailed map of the world on Mapbox's Ten Years of OpenStreetMap. Mapbox created this animated map back in 2015 to mark the tenth anniversary of OSM.

The map shows how OpenStreetMap grew in its first ten years from a map of a few London streets to one of the most detailed maps of the world. The animated map reveals how OSM developed from what was at first largely a map of the United States and Europe into a truly global map.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pride Comes Before a Ball

Carto has completed an interesting geo-data investigation into where people go after taking part in New York's Pride parade. A Map of Where People Went After the NYC Pride Parade uses pick-up and drop-off data from New York's yellow taxis to determine what people do after Pride.

Using data from Sunday June 26th, 2016 (the data of last year's Pride in New York) Carto isolated all the taxi pick-ups in the Pride parade area between 4-8pm (when the parade was winding down). They then created a map of all the drop-off points from these pick-ups, to see where people were going after Pride. Carto used a DBSCAN clustering algorithm to identify locations with a high density of drop-offs.

Major transit hubs feature quite prominently, presumably for people heading home, Areas with popular gay bars also appeared to be popular destinations. Locations around hotels is another take out from the mapped data.

If you enjoyed this visualization of NYC taxi data then you will probably also like NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life. Chris Whong's NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life is a must for anyone interested in the visualization of transit data.

A Lifetime of Solar Eclipses

If you have been feeling upset because you will not be able to see this year's total solar eclipse then don't be. You can now tell the Washington Post your year of birth and they will show you the path of every solar eclipse happening in your lifetime on an interactive globe.

Here’s Every Total Solar Eclipse Happening in Your Lifetime tells you how many solar eclipses are going to happen around the world between now and your 100th birthday. More importantly the path of each of these eclipses is shown on an interactive globe. The darker the color of the path then the sooner it is going to happen. You can hover over the individual paths to view the date of that solar eclipse.

If you can attend the US solar eclipse on August 21st then you might want to consult NOAA's Cloudiness Map of the Eclipse. This map not only shows you where you can see a total eclipse (the umbral path) but also tells you the chance of avoiding clouds along the eclipse's path (based on historical weather data).

NASA's Total Solar Eclipse Interactive Map also shows the path of the eclipse across the United States. NASA's map doesn't include information about the likelihood of cloud cover but it does allow you to find out the duration of totality (how long the sun will be obscured) anywhere along the eclipse's path.

Your Town's Pride Route Map

Google has released a Pride search engine which can help you find the nearest upcoming Pride events happening near you. #ShowUp not only lists the dates of your nearest Pride events it can also show you a map of each march's route.

If you enter your location then #ShowUp will show you the nearest upcoming Pride events and the dates that they are happening. If you select an event you can even view the event's route on a Google Map. The route is of course displayed with an appropriately rainbow colored line.

If you missed your city's Pride event this year then you might be able to review the event from the #ShowUp home page. The home page features a number of 'Stories of Pride in America'. This allows you to select a Pride march that has already taken place. You can then view a Google Map of the Pride march which features videos and stories from people who took part in this year's event.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Has Your House Price Recovered?

Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies has released an interactive map which reveals where house prices in the United States have recovered to their turn of the century levels and where the housing market has yet to recover. How Much Have Home Prices Changed provides two map views. One compares current house prices to house prices in the year 2000. The other compares house prices now to their mid-2000's peak.

Much of the west coast has seen the best recovery in the housing market since 2000. For example properties in LA and San Francisco have both seen more than a 40% increase in value over their 2000 levels. However while real-estate in San Francisco has shown an increase above their prior peaks in the mid-2000's the property market in LA is still down on its peak level.

Across the whole USA only 15 percent of metro areas have recovered to pass their mid-2000's peak. For example, in much of Florida house prices are at least 26% down on their peak levels.

You can click on individual metro area on the map to view details on the price change since 2000 and the area's peak. You can also discover when the peak month was in the selected metro area.

The History of Machine Learning & Street View

MIT is using machine learning & Google Maps Street View to automatically detect which areas of a city are evolving faster than other neighborhoods in the same city. Google Maps now includes historical Street View imagery for a number of cities around the world. MIT is able to compare this historical imagery to the most recent Street View imagery of the same location to 'quantify urban change'. MIT's Streetchange project has so far assessed 1.5 million blocks in five different American cities.

This isn't the first time that MIT has used Google Street View imagery and machine learning to carry out remote analysis of the urban environment. MIT's Place Pulse project is a crowd-sourced experiment using Street View to rate the perceived safety of city streets. The project aims to quantitatively recognize which areas of a city are perceived as wealthy, modern, safe, lively, active, unique, central, adaptable or family-friendly based on how people respond to Street View images of the city.

From this project MIT then took the crowd-sourced safety rankings for 3,000 street images from New York and Boston to create an algorithm to automatically score city streets for safety based on their Street View images. Using the Place Pulse scores MIT assigned attributes to features present in the images, associated with the image's textures, colors and shapes. They then used machine learning to associate image features with scores of perceived safety. MIT can then use the resulting algorithm to predict the perceived safety of a new image. They can therefore give any Street View image a 'StreetScore' based on the results of the Place Pulse survey.

StreetScore includes a number of maps showing areas of perceived safety in New York, Boston, Chicago and Detroit. Using Street View images of the city StreetScore assesses the perceived safety of locations throughout the city. Green dots on the map represent the areas which StreetScore has assigned as having a high perceived safety rating and the red dots are the locations with a low perceived rating score.

MIT's new Streetchange project has compared historic Street View imagery of Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York and Washington DC with the most recent Google Street View imagery from the same locations.

The Streetchange maps of each city rate each census tract in the city by the amount of urban change found in the district. Each city map also shows individual locations with high Streetchange rankings with white map markers. If you mouse-over these individual markers you can actually compare the historic and most recent Street View images for yourself to see how much the location has changed.

The Streetchange website has more information about how they have used computer vision to assess changes in the urban environment.This includes individual examples from the featured cities. You can also read the team's academic paper (PDF) to learn more.

Tag Your Town

When visiting a town or city for the first time it can be difficult to know which parts are hip, touristy or boring. Hoodmaps wants to solve this problem with its crowdsourced city maps which have been annotated and labeled by locals.

Hoodmaps has two main ways to show you what the locals think about different parts of a city. One way is by coloring the map by its dominant characteristic. Different colors are used to paint neighborhood as being either Uni, Hipsters, Tourists, Rich, Suits or Normies. The color that you see is the dominant color from all the user inputs. Users can also provide more individual assessments of individual locations by adding a custom label to the map. For example, in LA users have tagged locations as 'gay, hookup area' and 'upper class white folk'.

At the moment Hoodmaps is very difficult to search. Links to only six cities around the world are actually provided on the map. I've found that adding a city or town name to the URL works for some locations, e.g. or

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Cesium 3D Mapping Explodes

Cesium 1.35 has been released. The latest version of the popular 3d mapping platform has two big additions. The most eye catching improvement to Cesium is a new particle system for 3d effects (such as smoke, fire, and sparks). Equally impressive is the inclusion of support for 3d tiles. This enables users to map 3d models much more efficiently in Cesium.

You can play with the new ParticleSystem in action in this sandbox demo. This demo uses the particle system to add an on-board fire to a 3d model of an aircraft. The sandbox demo allows you to play with the rate, size and speed of the particles. The demo should give you some good ideas about the sort of effects that are now possible in Cesium's 3d maps.

The Cesium demos page has a number of examples using 3d tiles. The demos page is also a great place to browse to see what other kinds of applications and visualizations are possible with Cesium's open-source JavaScript library for 3d globes and maps.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Mapping the Mayflower Passengers

Nearly 400 years ago 102 passengers and about 30 crew members set sail from Plymouth, on a ship called the Mayflower, to begin a new life in the new world.

The Mayflower 400 map shows the places of origin (where known) of the Mayflower's passengers and crew. You can click on the markers on the map to learn more about each individual, including the place & date of their birth & death. The colors of the markers indicate whether the individual shown was a religious Pilgrim, a paying passenger or a member of the crew.

There doesn't seem to be anything particularly interesting in the geographical distribution of the birthplaces of the passengers and crew. One thing noticeable is that none of them were from the far north or the south-west of England.

It would also be really interesting to view a map showing where the descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims now live. According to Wikipedia 31 of the passengers are known to have descendants. The Mayflower Society claim that those 31 now they have over ten million descendants.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Geographical Psychology

A new interactive map claims to show the psychological well-being of Americans. Using the map you can explore how individual county's rank in terms of their psychological well-being and in terms of a number of different personality traits.

The Well-Being Map is based on the language analysis of geo-located Twitter messages. The University of Pennsylvania’s World Well-Being Project presumably believe that this small subset of Twitter users in each US county is reliably representative of the county population as a whole. They also believe that they have a language model which can accurately assess psychological states and traits of individuals from the words that they use in Tweets.

Obviously the Well-Being Project used some controls to validate their model. You can read more about the methodology used in the project in the paper Characterizing Geographic Variation in Well-Being Using Tweets. If you trust the methodology and the results then you might find the top ten lists interesting. For example - the most depressed Americans, according to the Well-Being Project, can be found in Jim Wells and Wilson Counties in Texas.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Mapping Planetary Change with Leaflet

Why not use Leaflet maps to show a location changing over time? The latest version of Leaflet's mapping library includes the L.VideoOverlay class which allows you to add videos as an overlay to your maps. One use of this new video overlay class could be to show places changing over time.

Planet Video on OSM has used the L.VideoOverlay class to show an area changing over time using a series of satellite imagery captured on different dates. Once downloaded the series of satellite images were made into a video file. The satellite imagery was downloaded from Planet Labs and turned into a video with FFmpeg.

Once you have created a video it is fairly simple to overlay the video on top of a map using the new L.VideoOverlay class in Leaflet.js. To get started adding videos to your Leaflet maps you should have a look at the L.VideoOverlay Tutorial.

The US HIV Map

AIDSVu is an interactive map illustrating the prevalence of HIV in the United States. The map shows the overall prevalence of HIV down to the county level in U.S. states. The data for the map comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national HIV surveillance database and from state, county and city health departments.

The AIDSVu interactive map shows the prevalence of HIV at the county level. The data can be explored to view maps of HIV prevalence in different age ranges and by race and sex. It also includes the option to compare HIV prevalence side-by-side with maps of poverty levels, high school education, median household income, income inequality and numbers of people without health insurance.

As well as visualizing trends in the prevalence of HIV in the United States AIDSVu can also show you the location of critical resources. These include HIV testing centers, HIV treatment centers, and NIH-Funded HIV Prevention & Vaccine Trials Sites.