Geog 104 - Daily Maps - Fall 2013
An inspirational story about SkyTruth
here , and a link to
SkyTruth.org . Maybe this is why we
are doing this course.
One place with lots of examples to talk about...
The OCSI Map Gallery website
The Maps posted by The Atlantic
Michael Friendly's "Milestones in the history of thematic
cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization"
NYTimes - New Hampshire primary results. Choropleth and graduated
point symbols. (link) .
for some contention on "earliest" and
for some other images.)
Note the range of symbology: Pictographic, iconic, conventional,
NY Times Top 1% map. Interactive. Set an income level by
typing. Map unit symbolized changes with mouse over.
Legend changes with click. Examples are plotted, moused-over
added. Scale/zoom slider.
Is the logic of this symbology clear?
Do you get a sense of the pattern of level of income needed to be
in the top 1% of incomes across the country?
NY Times Stop and Frisk Map
Graduated point symbols or continuous tone? look what happens as you change
scale ('zoom'). The transparency "adding up" makes the color
(value) work with some redundance to symbolize the number of
Chicago Boundaries .
From the wall maps section of projects...
This is another dot map where the symbology seems to change with
scale (continuous to point), but it also shows blending of
Zhao Yu Tu "map of the area of the mausoleum".
2,300 years old. 37" x 19" engraved on 1/4 inch thick copper plate.
John Noble Wilford (2001) The Mapmakers
Sources hedge on the significance and other aspects:
"oldest map found in China",
"oldest map with clearly marked distances",
"oldest extant Chinese map",
"oldest number-bearing map in the world".
But we've seen other claims of oldest map as much as 14,000 years
Another color dot distribution map from the NYTimes.
(Here.) This one maps census data on race at a county level
with dots placed (randomly) within the counties.
People per Dot changes with scale, and seems often to leave
empty space. Some of the county borders standout even when not drawn.
Robinson (Elements of Cartography, 1969) and Mackay
("Dotting the Dot Map" in Surveying and Mapping v9 pp3-10 1969)
wrote about dot size and value to get "coalescence"
and a visually appealing map.
This interactive map updates but draws upon such writing.
Maps of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. There are lots
of maps of OWS on-line. See the range of visual impressions
some of their various symbologies tell?
eg 1 ,
eg 2 ,
eg 3 , and
eg 4 .
This is a bit different... Senator Al Frankin drawing maps of the
USA by hand and from memory.
(2 min, MPR, 2009) ,
(5 min, 2007) ,
(2 min, CNN, 2009) .
- Here's one from a few years ago that may remian timely.
Plate carre is not equidistant, and
it is way too easy to do silly things when you are not thinking!
ths. Projections do matter. His 'better' map is still
perhaps not the one I'd go with.
- USDA Cropland Data Layer.
nassgeodata.gmu.edu/CropScape Probably beats a statistical
table for getting a sense of where various crops are grown in the
US. Pointilist dasymetric sub-county level detail.
How about an animated flow map with near real-time data
This one show wind speed
and direction on the US mainland. The data are forecasts
downloaded once per hour from the National Digital Forecast
Google plays with 8-bit graphics of the Nintendo Entertainment
System for April Fool's Day.
This came from Tracey P. Lauriault via the Canadian Cartographic
Association's mail list.
"Normally Telegeography has the monopoly on Internet Cable Maps,
but looks there there are a few other's making these:
- http://www.cablemap.info/ (mashup)
- my real fave - Neal Stephenson
An image noted by a colleague with interests in water and
NYT's Interactive Electoral Map.
Shake, Rattle and Roll: maps of existential risk from...
The Burning Platform
A design firm Stamen Design
with some interesting maps.
David Rumsey Collection in Google...
Map of US interventions in Latin America... spatially indexed
- An example of the National Park Service's attractive and
Cumberland Gap NP .
This one seems to have a lot of zoom-ability... how are they
Maps of craft breweries, comparing absolute numbers and numbers
normalized by population. The text also reports correlations
with income, education and happiness (at the state level).
from The Atlantic Cities
Hawaii 2012 Primary Election Mashup.
Point symbols using hue
rather than value to indicate ranges of a quantitative variable
for spatially extensive units may make sense if one considers
these as qualitative differences at polling places.
I think that the "turnout" percentage is of registered voters
rather than of eligible voters. Precinct variation in population
(vote) is not shown.
Kickstarter project for... Food, an Altas . Interesting way
to put together an atlas. Personnally, I think the guerrilla
cartography moniker is a bit strange. Drawing on a war metaphor
rather than one grounded in writing, informing, or educating,
while at the same time not indicating what is being fought for
or against seems a red herring. It also seems to signal a more
confrontational than useful take. Perhaps I need to see who
these folks are. Someone might want to see
whether this is a good kickstarter marketing strategy.
The Alaska State Ferry
I think this shows in (almost?) real-time where the vessels are.
The plate carree projection is a bit of a distraction but easy to
use in a mashup. The ship symbols sizes stay constant;
at smaller scales ("zoomed out") they are monsterously large and
at large scales they are tiny. The wake makes them look like
speed boats. Pointing at the vessels or the terminals gives
identifying text. The ferry trip from Bellingham to Juneau or Haines
is worth doing.
Some election mapping comments in an email from D. R. Fraser Taylor:
Re: [CCA-list] Nuanced map view of the US Elections
From: Fraser Taylor
Choropleth maps are probably one of the worst ways of showing US
election results.This visualisation is better but although much
more accurate it still has problems in terms of how the uninformed
user may perceive it. The granularity of the date is a distinct advantage.
On 15/11/2012 10:22 AM, X wrote:
> Imagine if we could get these data at that level
> of granularity in Canada!
The SGI Twitter Heat map, via the Huffington Post
here. Spectral color scheme. Spatial aggregation?
Here's another one from XKCD pointed out by Duane Marble.
"Pet Peeve #208".
Heat maps and population maps.
Unmapping an island in 2012?
Sandy Island. Now, this is a place that
some map geneology might be in order. Why is this place in the
datasets that it is? When did it start? In what source?
Interactive map of The Rolling Stones' live show history.
I am not sure why the cartographer chose the projection(s?) that
are used, would like to have seen time and the sequence more easily
(which show was first? which last? how much time between shows?),
and are straight lines on this projection realistic (i.e., do you
think 1989's Steel Wheels tour really went like that?).
I thought that we had a few pointers to the Apple Maps debacle
in September 2012 (what a mess!).
Here's (another) one on the consequences of bad data, via the BBC.
"Apple Maps 'is life-threatening' to motorists lost in Australia
Jenni Sparks - hand drawn map.
I'm not sure what to call this type of symbology.
The texture results from hand drawing landmark features in orthographic
projection, (keeping major roads open?), integrating neighborhood
names, and using color to set off parks and water --- all to fill
the planimetric map. An interesting effect. I have not tried
to test the map simplification, and displacements of location and scale
of the features that are drawn. Analyzing them might make a good term project.
Brookings Institute Global MetroMonitor interactive map.
here . The authors were: Emilia Istrate and Carey Anne
Nadeau. The 'mouse over' to retrieve statistical reports for
individual metropolitan areas is straightforward and common
enough, but note the "Plot" vs "Map" toggle and the movement of dots
between them to relate places in the geographic and economic spaces.
That seems interesting. Does it work? What limitations would
you expect with this? On the "comparisons with counrty growth
2011-2012" map, what do you make of the symbol color scheme?
Here's a dot map that shows one person per dot.
It is interesting for raises questions about the design of dot
maps... should the number of dots per person interact with the
map scale? the display resolution? should the cartographer try
to ease the effects of statistical borders?
An animation of US weather for 2012.
Maybe it is still here:
http://www.wunderground.com/video/ or there abouts.
NYTimes story (8Jan2013) on
Indeed, these are becoming more affordable. When can we get one?
What would we do with it?
Best and worst countries in which to be born.
here . Classic choropleth map.
Hows the color scheme?
Can you distinguish all the categories?
Is that a good map projection for this?
What do you make of the lines connecting parts of multi-part
polygons, more colloquially, "islands"?
Here's another case that raises issues about making public
record information more easily accessible.
and via a 'blog' that includes some more context
here . Hmmm. Information wars? Setting information "free"?
Privacy? There is some complextiy to sort-out here.
Here is a story in images...
What's all the light in
An interactivce timeline graphic on milestones in data
I'm not sure that I buy that this is really...
the-saddest-map-in-america/, but it might be useful information.
- Not a map per se, but a BBC News piece by Duncan Walker on
"Has street view changed the way we behave?". It sure is handy
in Geog 340.
A physicist maps "Where's George" data
Here's one showing economic contrasts along transit line
transects in New York City.
Inequality and New York's Subway
That economic surface is quite a terrain. Does this show the
gradients well? The locations of maxima and minima?
This NY Times story on NYC putting street maps on the streets,
raises many questions but most deeply harkens back to the debate
about whether educating map users or improving map design is the
better way to improve map use performance. I like both, but education
seems more key. What do you think?
Colorful, and maybe pithier than shallow, but
inadvertantly shows the way a conceptual (data?) model's inertia can swamp
and maybe sink the intended message. Why would the borders remain fixed
so under corporate feudalism? What would you envison?
A bit tongue in cheek, but this look at the printed map does
show some real advantages to the technology.
Maybe we should look at ESRI's GeoCommons
site both to see the maps and
to see whether it offers a useful tool/introduction to web-based cartography.
Here's another set of maps and commentary from MapBrief dealing
with 'first impressions' of maps. On the LA election map, I'm
wondering how, if it is one dot per voter, not about privacy but
about how many pixels it takes to display the map, or how few
voters it takes to elect a mayor there. Does the map fit on
screen if each voter gets even a single pixel?
Another case of a place gone missing in Google's databases:
An area cartogram from the Atlantic showing US electricity use
Beyond the area, each state's rank is printed in green.
Note also the hand-drawn generalization and the several ways that
visual hierarchy is achieved.
A test of pattern recognition... a demonstration of maps
as sources of distibutive pattern... and a quiz show, all
wrapped in one.
Name the city from the pattern of Starbucks.
A trace of a person's cell phone, twitter, etc locations for six
months, turned into a google maps mashup.
Another dot density map from the Atlantic Cities place matters site,
where non-English speakers are in the US.
But did they leave-out Hawaii?
40 maps to make sense of the world
Big data, some maps, some system intelligence, some
ubiquitous spatial information... like maps of waste streams
and getting health services in your neighborhood...
and some questions:
'The Human Face of Big Data' .
(5:08 minutes video)
Indeed, who owns our data? Who says what's shared?
Maybe more about people than maps exactly but...
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show via Daily KOS
had to get on this list sometime.
Another one that a couple of cartographers emailed each other
about... how about garrish and indistinguishable colors?
Congressionial Religions .
How about some more choropleth maps? This time showing
the geography (distribution) of STEM employment in the US.
Looks like the "small multiples" or "micromaps" approach; or
is this an atlas? Is that the best projection choice and
consequent use of map space they could make? Does the
interactive widget help? Cranky cartographic critique aside,
likely location of career opportunities is something worth
Another BBC story on Apple's cartographic mess,
this one on
driving directions across a runway!
Gee, this live "database and navigation provision" world
seems even more perilous than the old map in the glovebox.
Keep your eyes on the terrain.
- Lincoln and an early "Infographic" ...
from the New Yorker and the LOC .
NYTimes aerial photos
Interactive map of carbon sinks and sources in British Columbia, from
The Tyee .
And here is one that was intended and works as a joke...
a map of gun owners in Montana . The humor highlights some
limitations of choropleth mapping. (And maybe a sly way to resist
a requirement to 'map' something.) Would a point pattern map of
households have been as effective comedically or cartographically?
Another cautionary note on who gets your phone's location data.
It seems more widely distributed than you might have imagined.
See spatial reserves.
And yes, plate carree is easy, but is it really the best choice here?
Where am I? trailer seems perhaps a bit provocative.
(I have not seen the film.)
Here's a nice essay that highlights the problems that
can come of the overly simplistic drawing of lines on maps
and then expecting reality to follow them.
Why border lines drawn with a ruler in WW1 still rock the Middle East.
By Tarek Osman.
Graduated point symbols for Most Walkable Cities in the US, from
Governing Mag . A classic looking
thing... contrasting lines casing the circles allowing overlap.
(Do those clusters suggest a diffusion process at work?)
Why blue rather than green? Why this projection? Where are HI
This one is for the more location information promiscuous...
a story from TechCrunch on Google's Location History Browser .
maps.google.com/locationhistory requires a login.
NYT story on online atlas of amaerica, ca. 1935.
The NY TImes "learning network" writer picked-up on the US dialect map
Perhaps its content is more interesting in Geog340, but the graded boundaries
here seem a good idea. The interactive version allows one to
zoom in to the point where one can see points.
The NY Times again! Interactive choropleth map of poverty
in America at the census tract level.
NPR story on a contender for the title "world's oldest map".
A mural at Catalhoyk in central Turkey, a neolithic town site
9,000 years ago. Features Keith Clarke.
Microsoft Power Map is now more generally available in excel...
US states labled with names of countries having similar GDP-sized
Where is the internet? Schematically,
The scale seems to change from map to map and the projection(s?)
probably distort both distance and direction, and the lines
representing cables are probably displaced to fit on the map
rather than showing actual placements on the globe,
but we get some idea of the infrastructure.
ESRI's Women in...
Map . Volunteered geographic information to produce
dot distribution maps. Diamonds, circles, stars,
squares, colors --- any meaning intended? What do you think of
the point symbol size - scale change interaction?
Is that an equal-area projection?
Traps. Agloe, NY, then, then again, and now...
from NPR . And picked up
in the NYTimes here . The NYT story is a bit breathless
(what enigma?) and it's quoting nine digits to the right of the decimal
point in degrees of latitude and longitude (the last two being 00
in each case) in specifying a location suggests
weak understandings of digital number systems, conventions on implied
precision, graphic limits on cartography, and hamlet sizes.
It suggests why people should study cartography.
Google's Nicaraguan Affair .
Is the real question here about the ontological status of maps,
whether _you_ should trust Google Maps, whether Google or the
State Department are culpable, or whether Commander Pastora should
have taken a broadly-cast course on cartography?
Vemeo animation of 24 hours of European air traffic.
NASA -- Earth from orbit 2013
from Slate magazine decrying the dangers
of viral (toss-off? / entertainment? / undocumented?) maps.
They get to plant notions in your mind, even when those notions
are mistaken, silly, purposefully misleading, etc. One of the
reasons we are doing this course is to make us better, more
informed, even skeptical, map readers.
Beyond that, one might ask and hope that map makers are
competent and diligent in trying to communicate truthfully.
That shouldn't be too much to ask, should it?
Aaron Koblin (Google Creative Labs)
CAT 2009 presentation.
23:48. Several data-stream visualizations: airline traffic, IP traffic,
SMS messaging, website access, etc.
At about 00:50, "The sexy job of the next ten years is going to be
By Camron Beccario. Visualization of global air and ocean circulation.
of John Snyder's Space Oblique Mercator Projection
Largest companies by revenue in each state.
Uses corporate logos as nominal symbols in a choropleth map.
Is anyone suprised that this is effective? (How much has been
spent to train the users?) Is there a distance decay -
information field effect with the logo recognition?
Not a map but an audio file...
"Is GIS a profession?"
a podcast discussion from Directions Magazine.
Landsat 8 Year Book.
Some "before and after" images showing changes in Earth's landcover.
Not a map, but arbitrary color space naming, part of the arguement against
using spectral color schemes,
from The Atlantic .
How would you project the solid surfaces of the solar system
onto a map? Here is a 'take' from
Consider a map of
"Average Household Income by US Counties" .
What questions does that raise?
An application rather than a map...
an article on Motor City Mapping and a
link to the
motorcitymapping.org website itself.
This seems to be a system to collect and disseminate user contributed
or volunteered geographic data about properties.
Does it work when users can add and delete such data?
Is there a qualtiy assurance mechanism? Is one needed?
Directions magazine audio discussion of appropriateness of
maps of the ebola virus. (19:02, with adverts).
(Audio on maps?) Open the "show notes" links in a new tab.
What are the maps for? Locator maps? Showing spread?
What is the communication goal; audience and message?
Then, what about the data and the graphic presentation?
What levels of accuracy, aggregation, and generalization?
What pieces of information will support the readers' understanding
Basically, What is the communication objective and how best to
NYTimes Quentin Hardy story on seeing earth change in satelite images
(here) and an
accompanying story about
Planet Labs and
their plan for 100 small satelites giving very frequent images of
earth. See the "Gallery" (pretty) and the "Saltellites" (for a
little tech info) links.
OpenStreetMap at ten years old... a
link to a video showing its grow-out.
Changing shape of Louisiana...
Brett Anderson on medium This seems a bit of a long way
around to saying that reality and maps (and databases) can get out
of synch. The Mississippi has been re-working the place since
long before the Corps of Engineers or the oil and gas industries
ever thought about it.
< a href=http://edition.cnn.com/2014/09/09/world/gallery/london-maps/index.html?hpt=hp_c5> from CNN... 9 maps of London
Not enough detail here to really support the title, but some ideas to
consider... locations of cases, bat habitat, density of bats,
etc ... but then a choropleth map of country boundaries?
"Mapping could help stop ebola's spread."
Maybe Marco Polo knew about North America before Columbus...
(story) via The Daily Mail.
- Thanks to Carl Thompson for the pointer.
Another entry from DFM and The Atlantic...
Bill Rankin's Five Favorite Maps. The theme of
mapping something that is bigger than the sheet shows up several
CDC Ebola map, 1 Oct 2014.
Choropleth (area symbols) and nominal data. (Or are those ordinal
categories? How does "Not Active" differ from the several shades
of non-categorized places?
Not a map, but at the core of how they work in our brains...
"place cells" and "grid cells"
Worthy of the Nobel Prize for O'Keefe and Moser and Moser.
Here's one with a Honolulu connection...the designer.
Weatehr Map integrates mapping, information graphics, and
interactive data subsetting/selection to present US weather data.
A Wired story on the New York Times's cartographers.
This one gets at the deeper connections between statistical
techniques and visualization in information presentation.
NYTimes link about presenting the
2014 mid-term election.
This probably is the work we should be doing...
Amy Lobben, Amy Griffin, and Sara Fabrikant on
neuroscience for better mapping.
Mix of choropleth and graduated circles. US unauthorized immigration.
(Here) . Do the progressions of value and saturation work
together? Is red the right color?
Where do the runners run?
Here's a site that shows crowd sourced routes.
Another case of something falling off the map?
NASA map of bolidee in Earth's atmosphere, 1994-2013.
Does the projection matter/help?
Here's a fun one. Cessna Aircraft Co. has an online
aircraft range tool
for comparing the ranges of their aircraft. It plots the ranges
using great circle distances on a web mercator projection.
Notice how the shape of the range changes with its radius?
Two maps explaining food production in the US, brought to my
attention by a Canadian colleague...
American Ag .
Do you think the colors are effective or distracting?
How about the labels?
Here's someone's collection of
coolest maps of 2014 . Some are more interesting than others.
I was surprised how few were 'quantitiative'. How well do words
work for 'nominal' symbols?
A population cartogram...
Another from The Atlantic
Chicago, the Last Great Capital of Cartography
Let's call it a map, but the integration of simulation and
the ability to examine the consequences of the 'rules' driving
the simulaiton is the point. Here we have
Thomas Shelling's "tipping point" notion in a simulation. The
The Atlantic story is here and
the game by Vi Hart and Nicky
Case, Parable of the Polygons is here.
Dave Imus has some shaded relief to show...
Hurricane Creek Valley, OR is a good choice. Look at the detail version.
Try closing one eye to test out the impression of 3D terrain.
Does shaded relief work better with one eye rather than two?
NASA images of deforestation via Nation of Change
We have a mix of sensors and false and true color here, and the
resolution is low, but you can see the patterns. Some seem
to be about different strategies for harvesting resources or
building infrastructure. Do you see any "classic" patterns
from economic geography? Do any of them remind you of the
"Chicago School" thoughts on urban form?
Even the BBC now has a soundscape interactive google map mashup...
Clips from four BBC segments on the beauty of maps
(Cartoon Maps-Politics and Satire; Atlas Maps-Thinking Big;
City Maps-Order out of Chaos; Medieval Maps-Mapping the Medieval Mind)
here . Hereford Mappa Mundi in that last one.
NPR map of most common job in each state for the past several
Here's an interactive map illustrating a grim Civil Beat
story on homelessness
on Oahu. The situation is a disgrace. Does this
interactive locator - data pairing map really help convey this data and story?
Could the story be told better with a static graphic?
Does the interaction make up for the misuse of the graphic?
And a website about the technology on which that map was done...
Using GIF animation to build stereo alternator-like
views of Chicago from images taken flying over the
city. Does the technique/illusion work for you?
Assuming the camera is moving but trained on a building (rather than
successive nadir points), how is parallax and/or depth from motion
suggests why some specific folks might want to build
the Keystone XL Pipeline.
This one (pointed out by graduate student Brandon Genco) combines
static images into animations, captured by satelite remote
(Via BBC, here.)
World Debt, another CartoDB based intercative map. This one from
Jack Dangermond wins award from the Audubon Society, a
from Forbes, with some data on ESRI, and hints at future
connections with Google.
Another map piece from The Atlantic.
This one on Daniel Huffman's maps... in this case
river systems styled as subway maps, states generalized as
for earlier video games, and produced by tessellation with
geometric tiles. Interesting. Provocative.
Does the familiarity with the iconic subway map
interfere with understanding these as drainage basins?
Does the level of generalization in the video game like
maps impact place recognition? Authority?
An interactive map on "How Your Hometown Affects Your Chances
of Marriage", by David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy, from the
Mouse around, look around. Probably several useful ideas can be gained.
Bee population collapse, an update on the continuing crisis...
Nation of Change .
It's nota fancy map, but what associations might it suggest?
Especially if one knew about US crops and agricultural practices?
(Why don't we do 340 anymore?)