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.