Posts Tagged ‘map’

The Tube Map To End All Tube Maps That’s Made Of Tube Maps

Despite Transport for London owning the copyright (and enforcing it) on Harry Beck’s iconic map of the London Underground network, people just won’t stop creating variants of the map. I may have written about these once, twice, three or even more times. But now, there’s a reworking of the Tube map to possibly end all Tube maps reworks.

At first sight, surely it’s yet another Tube map rework? Quirky and amusing line names in the right colours? Check. Station names that aren’t the current station names? Check. Faithfully reproducing the line layout? Check.

But then you dig deeper and discover that this isn’t just another Tube map rework, it’s a Tube map of Tube map reworks. Each station is assigned one of the other Tube map reworks that today’s Interwebs seem to be full of. Each line tries to categorise the Tube map reworks into some, albeit subjective, categorisation.

tube-map-pastiche

Thus Maxwell Robert’s curvy Tube map rework sits on a station in Edgware’s place called Curvy and on a line called Reworked, while the early pre-Beck era map sits where Ealing Broadway should be and at the interchange of the Metaphor and Official lines.

tube-map-pastiche-detail

This is verging dangerously close to genius in my book and Esri’s Ken Field deserves some form of award for taking the time and effort to put this together. My one minor and extremely subjective niggle is that the explanatory text in the sidebar says click the stations to go to further details. My first exploratory foray into this map, clicking on the station names, yielded multiple popup dialog boxes saying No information available. Luckily Barry Rowlingson helpfully pointed out that what I should have been clicking on was the station interchange circles and the little offset lugs from each line and not the name itself.

tube-map-pastiche-twitter

Will this be the last word in Tube map pastiches? Probably not. Does it take a certain sort of mad cartographical endeavour to bring this all together? Probably. Has it wasted far too much of my time digging into the Tube maps I already know and showing me ones I didn’t? Maybe. Have I had masses of almost educational fun playing with this map? Absolutely.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

From Wasserklo to Grashügel by way of Königskreuz St. Pankraz; The London U-Bahn Map

Yesterday I took the S-Bahn from my local train station in the suburbs of London. At the terminus at Wasserklo I took the Nördlich U-Bahn Linie to Königskreuz St. Pankraz, changing onto the Städtich Linie and finally alighted at Grashügel. No. Wait. That’s not right.

What I actually did was take the South West Trains suburban line into London Waterloo, hopped on the Northern Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then changed onto the Metropolitan Line and got off at Farringdon. What’s going on here?

london-u-bahn

This is the London Underground map, but not as we know it. Horst Prillinger has taken all the station names and translated them, sometimes literally, sometimes using the underlying etymology of the name. As Horst says in his accompanying blog post, back in 2004 when this first surfaced …

The results range from sensibly boring to downright absurd, and the weird thing is that some of the funniest translations are in fact not made up, but the actual etymological meaning of the place name.

Obviously, you need to have a pretty good command of German to find this funny.

I have only a cursory command of the German language but I was still able to find this clever and funny in equal measures.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Mapniture

You’re a fully fledged map geek and cartography nerd. Your house is plastered with maps. You even have your map room as a place on Foursquare. What could you possibly add to your household?

The answer, spotted by Tim Waters, is naturally, map furniture.

map-chair

Where better to sit in comfort with a glass of your favourite tipple and plot your next mapping endeavour?

Naturally, I want one.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

I Am Not At State Of The Map 2013 But There Is A Viral Map

Today is the 7th. of Maptember 2013 and that means I should be in Birmingham for the OpenStreetMap State Of The Map conference. But I’m not; I’m still at home in the suburbs of South West London. But I will still be appearing at SOTM. Virtually.

Due to the age old cliche of circumstances beyond my control, I can’t be in Birmingham this weekend, despite submitting How To Make A Map Go Viral (In 8 Easy Steps) as a talk for the SOTM conference. But thanks to the wonders of modern digital technology, in other words, a screencast, my talk is still on the conference schedule, even if I’m not.

The talk is an update to one of the same title that I gave at London’s GeoMob back in April of this year and was submitted to the SOTM committee with this abstract …

In February of 2013 I mashed up a geocoded list of global place names and made a map of them using nothing more than Stamen’s OSM based Toner tile-set and the Leaflet maps API. I then promptly forgot about it. But Twitter had other ideas and the Vaguely Rude Place Names map went viral resulting in a month’s worth of media madness. This is the story of how the map came to be and what happened when traditional media met social media … on a map. It’s also the story of how the combination of rude names, innuendo and maps briefly appealed to people the world over.

When I learned that I wouldn’t be able to go to Birmingham, the conference organisers kindly suggested that maybe I might want to pre-record my talk instead. Which is just what I’ve done. You’ll see it embedded below.

State Of The Map 2013 – How A Map Can Go Viral (In 8 Simple Steps) from Gary Gale on Vimeo.

Apart from a few cosmetic changes and updates, it’s the same talk as I gave in April and if you’re interested in my notes and slides, you’ll find them in my write up from April.

If you were lucky enough to have been at SOTM this year, I hope you enjoyed the conference and I hope you enjoyed my talk and that my disembodied voice wasn’t too off putting. This is the first screencast I’ve put together, so be gentle. See you all at SOTM next year. Hopefully.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Bad Cartography – Stansted, Essex (Airport) vs. Stansted, Kent (Not An Airport)

If there’s one thing that stands out more than a map that says “you are here”, it’s a map that says “you are here” and seems to get the map wrong.

It has to be said, short haul European flights are a bit on the boring side. Once you’ve read the day’s newspaper, had a drink and a snack and read a few chapters of a book there’s not much else to do. Most airlines that hop between European destinations don’t have inflight wifi yet and there’s no inflight entertainment to be had, except to watch your progress towards your destination on the map that appears on the screen over your head.

So it was with this map, which was snapped on a flight a few days ago from Rome’s Fiumicino airport to London’s Heathrow was coming to a close. But there’s something wrong with this map.

stansted

London has three major airports, of which Heathrow is the only one that’s anywhere near Central London. The other two, Gatwick and Stansted, are out in the so called Home Counties, in Sussex and in Essex respectively. But that’s not what the inflight map seems to show. Or does it? The map seems to show that we were flying directly over Stansted but that somehow London’s third airport had mysteriously been moved from the north east of London to south of the River Thames, somewhere south of Gravesend.

My gut reaction was that the inflight map was just wrong. But the clue to this in all in the name Stansted (and not Stanstead as it’s commonly misspelt). There is indeed a Stansted (a small village notable for a lack of airport) in Kent as well as a Stansted (and an airport) in Essex.

All of which makes me wonder just what the map’s cartographers were thinking when they thought to put the village of Stansted, with a population of around 200, on an inflight map and with seemingly equal billing with some of the UK’s major cities and manage to confuse it with a major UK airport. This isn’t a recent map slip up either, as Wikipedia reports that this has been in place since 2007.

In early 2007, British Airways mistakenly used inflight ‘skymaps’ that relocated Stanstead Airport, Essex to Stansted in Kent. Skymaps show passengers their location, but the mistake was luckily not replicated on the pilots’ navigation system. BA blamed outside contractors hired to make the map. “It was the mistake of the independent company that produced the software,” said a spokeswoman. “The cartographer appears to have confused the vast Essex airport, which handles 25 million passengers a year, with this tiny Kent village, also called Stansted, which has a population of around 200″.

Time for a refresh of British Airway’s inflight maps I think.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

The Rise And Fall Of Empires. On A Map Of Course

One of the things we loose in today’s up to date maps on the web and on our mobiles is how things used to be; the temporal problem of digital maps for want of a better phrase. It’s not that there’s no data on the past, it just doesn’t surface very often.

But sometimes the data does surface and then people make maps of what used to be. Take the British Empire for example. When I went to school in the early 1970′s there were maps of the world in almost every class room and they were old maps. Whether down to a lack of funding or as a reminder of what Britain used to be, these maps still showed the extent of the empire, in a pale shade of reddish-pink.

british-empire

Or there’s the growing and then shrinking extent of the Roman Empire, spanning 27 BC through to 1453 AD.

roman-empire

There’s a whole load more Empire maps over at io9.com. However nice it is to see maps of the past, I have the same problems with these maps as I did of the maps of the changing boundaries of Europe. A static map or an animated GIF cry out for the modern interactivity of a web map. Looking at the maps above I just want to pan and zoom them and run the timeline forwards and backwards. But finding the geospatial data to do this is no easy thing.

But as a comment on my post on the maps of Europe pointed out, there is some data out there. Maybe when I get back from my summer vacation I’ll make the empire maps that I want to see.

Photo Credits: Roman Empire map and British Empire map on Wikimedia.
Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Just Because You Can Put Things On A Map Doesn’t Always Mean You Should Allow Anyone To Put Things On A Map

Crowd sourcing data is a laudable approach. Crowd sourcing data and putting it one a map seems like a good idea. Crowd sourcing data and putting it on a map without any verification or checks? You might not end up with what you originally intended.

This is a lesson that Benadryl, the hay fever medication, has sadly learned the hard way. At first sight it seems innocuous enough; a hay fever relief brand teams up with the UK’s Met Office to crowd source areas where there’s a high pollen count.

social-pollen-count

You take that crowd sourced information and put it on a map so fellow hay fever sufferers know what to expect in their neighbourhood and with the presumed side effect that if you are a hay fever sufferer then maybe you might want to pop out and buy some Benadryl to help cope with the symptoms.

But people are … creative and whilst you might get an accurate map of high pollen count areas you might also find that people want to be … well let’s just call it artistic.

First of all a series of map markers across Westminster, on the bank of London’s River Thames seemed to spell out a word that rhymes with duck. Note that for those of you with a sensitive disposition or who are reading this at work, the screen shots below have been pixellated out for your comfort and convenience; you can click through for the NSFW versions if you so choose.

social-pollen-count-1

This was followed in quick succession by another word, this time rhyming with bit, appearing across London’s Docklands area.

social-pollen-count-2

Who knows how far the creative hay fever sufferers of the United Kingdom would have taken this but it wasn’t to last. Benadryl noticed this new form of map art and quickly took the social pollen count site down and it has since reappeared, though this time there seems to be some checks in place so that users can report high pollen count areas and only high pollen count areas. But whilst their developers were frantically trying to put some safeguards in place, it has to be said that Benadryl put up a temporary replacement that shows a certain sense of style and a whole lot of class.

social-pollen-count-thanks

Screen shot credits: Us vs. Them.
Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

How To Order Your First Holiday Beer? With A Map Of Course

Finally Summer has arrived in London just in time to coincide with the annual population exodus known as the summer holidays. But wait. When you arrive at your holiday destination, how do you order a beer? If you’re lucky, you’ll remember some rudimentary French or Spanish from your school days. But what about other languages? Surely there’s a map for this essential information?

Luckily and to paraphrase the mantra of there’s an app for that, there’s also a map for that. Whether it’s beer, bier, cerveza, pivo, birra or øl, this handy guide to beer throughout Europe and its environs will help you get that first cold beer of the holiday into your hands.

beer-map

A tip of the hat and a cheers on Untappd is due to Sitaram Shashri for sending yet another mapping gem my way.

Written and posted from the Nokia UK Office, Paddington, London (51.51939, -0.18160)

Mapping Posh London vs. Hipster London

If you live in a city for any period of time, you form a mental image of what quantifies certain areas or neighbourhoods. If someone mentions, say, posh London, I instantly think of the area around Mayfair and Knightsbridge. But you could put this personal and biased view on a map?

It turns out Yelp has done just that, producing a heat map of my home city of all the reviews that mention posh. It looks pretty much as I’d imagine.

london-yelp-map-posh

The same applies for the term hipster. I’d immediately associate the area around Hoxton and Old Street (AKA Silicon Roundabout) with all things hipsterish. As it turns out, so do Yelp’s reviewers.

london-yelp-map-hipster

All of which is oddly comforting. Maybe my mental map of a city isn’t so personal and subjective after all.

A tip of the hat is due to Chris Osborne for pointing out these mapping gems.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

150 Years Of The London Underground Map. In Lego.

On the way through South Kensington Tube station this morning, I spied a new Underground map. That’s nothing new, the Underground map seems to be changing frequently these days. But this map was very noticeably different.

There was no Victoria or Jubilee lines at all. The Piccadilly line terminated at Hammersmith and Finsbury Park and had stations that have been closed for years; Brompton Road, Down Street and York Road. The Central Line stopped at Liverpool Street.

south-kensington-lego-tube-map

Did I mention the entire map was made of Lego?

It’s all part of the celebrations marking 150 years of the London Underground network. In addition to the South Kensington map, which shows the tube network circa 1927 and which also explains the closed stations and missing lines, there’s another 4 maps scattered across the network, if you know where to look.

kings-cross-lego-tube-map

At Piccadilly Circus there’s a map from 1933, the first of Harry Beck’s iconic designs. At Green Park there’s a 1969 map. At Stratford there’s an up-to-date 2013 map. Finally at King’s Cross St. Pancras there’s a view of how the map might look in 2020, with Crossrail up and running.

Photo Credits: picolin and vicchi on Flickr.
Written and posted from the Royal Geographical Society (51.50127, -0.17476)