Posts tagged as "map"

After The Missing Manual For OpenStreetMap, Here's The Google Map Maker Version

The growth and uptake of today's internet and web allows us to do a lot of things that were previously the preserve of the professional. You can see this in the rise of words which now have citizen prepended to them. We don't just write blog posts, we're citizen journalists. We don't just take photographs, we're citizen photographers. To this list, we can now add citizen cartographer as well.

With the help of OpenStreetMap, HERE's Map Creator (which I work on) and Google's Map Maker, anyone with a modern web browser and an internet connection can now help to make maps where previously there were none and to improve and keep maps up to date, which still remains one of the biggest challenges to map making.

There's already been a book about OpenStreetMap, which I wrote about in April of 2011. As far as I know, no-one's written about HERE's Map Creator but for Google's Map Maker there's Limoke Oscar's Instant Google Map Maker Starter.

Mapping Heavy Metal With A Little Help From The CIA

If there's an unwritten law of digital map making it is this: given a data set with a geographical element, someone, somewhere, will probably make a map out of it.

A prime example of this law is mining data from Encyclopedia Metallum detailing the Heavy Metal bands per country and mashing it up with population data from the CIA World Factbook (yes, this really exists) to make a map of Heavy Metal bands, by country, per capita.

Pigs On A Map

Each time I find a new map I always end up learning something, sometimes directly from the map, sometimes from the content of what the map is trying to show. But I always end up learning something. In the case of this map, from H. W. Hill and Co from Decatur, Illinois circa 1884, I learnt that ...

  • That you really can put pigs on a map.
  • That in the 1880s each US state (apparently) had a nickname for a pig. Or is it that the States have nicknames that are best represented by pigs? Or maybe something else entirely.
  • What a hog ringer is. Apparently it's a device for putting rings in the noses of pigs. Ouch.

Map Push Pins vs. Dots? Google Map Engine vs. Dotspotting?

Yesterday, Google launched their Maps Engine Lite beta; a way of quickly and easily visualising small scale geographic data sets on (unsurprisingly) a Google map. The service allows you to upload a CSV file containing geographic information and style the resulting map with the data added to it. I thought I'd give it a try.

I turned to my tried and trusted data set for things like this; a data set I derived from a Flickr set of geotagged photos I'd taken of the London Elephant Parade in 2010. It's a known data source and I know what the results of this data set will give me; it lets me do a reasonably meaningful visual comparison of how a particular product or service interprets and displays the data.

Re-imagining Berlin's U-Bahn And S-Bahn System

This is another mass transit map, but this time it's not of the London Underground system, but the U-Bahn and S-Bahn system in Berlin. The name U-Bahn derives from Untergrundbahn, or underground railway whilst S-Bahn comes from Stadtschnellbahn, or fast city train.

As a general rule of thumb, the London Underground is, as the name suggests, underground in the centre of the city and surfaces as you move into the suburbs. The same can't be said of the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, which is underground and overground in pretty much equal measures over a lot of the network.

But this post is not about the official map of Berlin's transport, it's about this, unofficial, map of Berlin's underground and not so underground trains.

Are You A Map Maker, A Map Builder, A Map Scripter Or A Map Creator?

These days there's so many ways that you can make a map. You can use a Javascript Maps API and put push pins on a slippy map. You can take vector data, transform it into JSON and use a different Javascript API to make an SVG map. You can load data from pretty much any source into either a desktop GIS or a visualisation tool. The possibilities are endless; maybe more endless than you might first assume.

Thierry Gregorius has helpfully put together a cut out and keep guide to which type of mapper you are.

The Great British Map; Or Great Britain vs. The United Kingdom vs. The British Isles

Last night I made another map. It tries to answer some of more perplexing and confusing facets of the geography surrounding the world's 9th largest island. I mean of course Great Britain. No, wait. I mean the United Kingdom. No, wait. I mean Britain. Or do I mean England? See, it's confusing.

  • So if the ISO 3166-2 code is GBR, how come the country is called the United Kingdom?
  • But if England is a country and the United Kingdom is a country, how come England is part of the United Kingdom?
  • What about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

This isn't the first time I've covered this topic. The first time was for a post on the now defunct Yahoo! Geo Technologies blog entitled UK Addressing, The Non Golden Rules Of Geo Or Help! My Country Doesn't Exist. The domain is now long gone and redirects to the Yahoo! corporate blog but I was able to reproduce this post here and it's also captured in the Internet Archive's WayBackMachine. The second time was when I made a variation of The Great British Venn Diagram. But this is the first time (though probably not the last) that I've used a map, which is odd as this is something that's tailor-made for a map.