Monday, October 16, 2017

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Range


ABC News has mapped the worldwide risk from North Korea's nuclear weapons. In Where can North Korea’s missiles reach? ABC shows which countries are in range of Kim Jong-un’s inferiority complex.

This scrolling interactive uses a faux 3d globe to show the ranges of North Korea's different missile types. As you progress through the story map the ranges of North Korea's short-range, medium-range, intermediate-range and intercontinental ballistic missile are each shown in turn on the interactive map. New York and Washington DC might be safe but Los Angeles could now be in range of an intercontinental ballistic missile fired from North Korea.

The use of a faux interactive globe is a good choice for this mapped visualization of the world. The Economist and the BBC have both learnt that drawing circles on 2d maps can be misleading. It appears that ABC knows that the Earth isn't flat. They also know how to develop interactive maps for mobile users. I don't normally comment on how maps work on browsers. But Where can North Korea’s missiles reach? is a joy to read on mobile (well actually it's really worrying - but you know what I mean).

Who Owns Your Water?


17% of water systems in the United States are privately owned. On average these private water companies charge customers 59% more for their water than publicly run water systems. This is bad news for customers, especially because unhappy customers can't switch to another water company.

Who Owns Your Water shows the percentage of the population served by private water utilities in each state. The darker the color of the state on the map then the more of the population are forced to buy their water from private companies. If you mouse-over a state on the map you can view details on the number of different water systems in the state and the percentage of the population served by private utilities.

The map also shows the location of the 500 largest water systems. The markers for these water systems are scaled by the number of customers. The markers are also color-coded to show if the water systems are privately or publicly owned. You can mouse-over these markers to view the number of customers and the average annual water bill form the utility.

You might also like:

The PFC Contamination Map - the level of PFC's found in water supplies at county level
Chemical Taints in Tap Water - average levels of contamination found in each county's water supply

Google Outer Space


Google Maps can now help you navigate the solar system. As well as its aerial imagery, Street View and maps of Earth Google Maps can now take you to Mercury, Venus, Mars and Pluto. It can also show you maps of our moon and the moons Ceres, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Mimas, Enceladus, Dione, Rhea, Titan and Iapetus.

All of these new planets and moons on Google Maps have place-labels so you won't get lost. Click on any of these planetary features on Google Maps and you can learn more about the location. For example clicking on a place-label can reveal the name and size of a crater. If you want to share a view of one of the planets or moons you can just copy and share the map URL.

Animated Markers in Mapbox


Arden de Raaij, a developer from Lisbon, has released a nicely designed Mapbox map for geotagged photos. The map shows where photographs were taken and allows you to view them directly from the map. It also has some very impressive animations and transitions which are fired when the user interacts with a map marker.

There are two main animation effects used for each map marker, which are triggered by mousing over a marker and clicking on a marker.  When you mouse over a marker the marker grows bigger on the map (it shrinks back to normal size when you move the mouse off the marker). When you click on the marker the photo thumbnail, embedded in the marker, expands to fill the whole map.

Mapbox Map with Animated Marker Icons would make a great template for anyone who wants to create a map based photo gallery. The expanding and shrinking markers is an impressive effect that could be used with any interactive map which uses map markers. Mapbox Map with Animated Marker Icons is available on CodePen. So, if you like the marker animations, it is possible to easily view the code and/or fork Arden's CodePen.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Santa Rosa Fire Satellite Imagery


Satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe shows some of the devastating damage done by the wildfires in Northern California. Robin Kraft, a developer originally from Santa Clara, has created a before and after map which allows you to compare DigitalGlobe's latest satellite imagery with aerial imagery taken before the fires.

The Satellite Map of NorCal Fires includes satellite imagery taken after the fire for the Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Napa areas. The red areas on the map are vegetation and not fire. The map includes a swipe control so that you can directly compare the before & after satellite imagery. Robin says he will be updating the map all weekend until the fire is contained.

If you need to keep abreast of the current situation on the ground Esri's Waze Alerts and Wildfires interactive map uses live data from USGS and Waze, to show the locations of active wildfires and traffic alerts for Northern California.

London Sucks You In & Spits You Out


This week Election Data published an interactive map to visualize the net migration data for areas of the UK to & from London. The map shows whether more people in each local authority area in England move to London or have moved from London into the area. The map also provides a rather neat visualization of why the Conservative Party could be in trouble in its traditional heartland of the south east.

Moving in to and out of London, 2013-2016 is a choropleth map of data from the Office for National Statistics. The darker colors show local authority areas where there is a net population gain from London. Where more people are moving into the area from London than are moving to the capital. The lightest colored areas show local authorities where more people are moving to London than emigrating from London.

In essence the map seems to show that the south east has had a net increase in people moving from London while some areas of the Midlands and the north have seen a net decrease, as more people have moved from these areas to the capital. It is also provides a rather neat visualization of an Election Data article published this week in the Guardian newspaper, How the Conservatives lost their home counties heartland.

In the Guardian article Election Data's Ian Warren argues that the exodus of people in their 30s and 40s from London to the south east is bad news for the Conservative Party, because young people tend to vote more for the Labour Party. According to the Economist "Conservatives overtake Labour as the party of choice from around the age of 50 in most polls". An influx of young families into the traditional Tory heartland could therefore prove disastrous for the Conservative Party.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Arrows Swoop on Berlin Airport


On the same date as Germany's recent general election Berliners also got to vote on whether to go ahead with the planned closure of the city's Tegel Airport. The Berliner Morgenpost's interactive map of the referendum results got swamped a little by all the German Election maps.

The Tegel Volksentscheid 2017 interactive map shows you how many people voted 'yes' or 'no' in each electoral ward. The map includes an overlay which shows you the areas which lie under the main flight-paths for planes landing and taking off from Tegel Airport. That overlay is annotated on the map with a neat 'swoopy arrow'.

Of course you really don't care about the future of Berlin's airports. All you want to know is how the Berliner Morgenpost created that swoopy arrow pointing from the 'Tegel-Einflugschneise' label to the flight-path overlay on the map. Luckily for you the newspaper has released the code for Leaflet-swoopy as a plugin for Leaflet.js. You can find the plugin and documentation on Webkid's blog.

Minard's March on Moscow


Charles Minard was a pioneer of the use of graphics in engineering and statistics. His most famous visualization was his flow-map of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign. During his March on Moscow Napoleon faced freezing temperatures and starving conditions (the Russian army burnt anything that might feed or shelter Napoleon's army as it retreated). Minard's flow map visualizes this eastward march of Napoleon's army, showing where units split off and rejoined, the freezing temperatures and the declining size of his army.

The Russian news agency TASS has created a great story map which uses data from Minard's flow-map to retell the story of Napoleon's 1812 March on Moscow. This interactive story map explains some of the key events in Napoleon's campaign and compares Minard’s data with the current historical understanding of the conflict.

1812 - When Napoleon Ventured East uses MapboGL's oblique view and an extruded polygon to create a 3d version of Minard's flow-map on top of a modern map of eastern Europe. The shrinking height of the polygon as it moves eastwards visualizes the dwindling size of Napoleon's army. As you progress through 1812 this 3d flow-map is drawn on to the modern interactive map while the accompanying text provides an historical account of Napoleon's campaign.

1812 - When Napoleon Ventured East is therefore far more than just a modern reworking of Minard's flow-map. It is also an in-depth history map of Napoleon's campaign. The map explores the background to Napoleon's March on Moscow and provides a detailed account of the campaign and the reasons for its failure.


Napoleon's March is a Leaflet reworking of Minard's flow map. This map is an interesting attempt at replicating Minard's flow map on a real atlas. It allows us to more clearly see the geography of Napoleon's march. Unfortunately this map lacks Minard's temperature chart which visualized the freezing temperatures faced by Napoleon's army as they pushed eastwards.


Minard + Napoleon overlays Minard's original flow-map on top of an interactive Mapbox map.  Interactive polygons have then been added on top of Minard's flow-map to make it interactive. If you click on the flow-map you can view the date and the number of troops Napolean had left at that location.

You can also click on the French text on Minard's original flow-map for an English translation. A line graph also plots Napoleon's army size by date, providing a neat visualization of the dramatic loss of men as the army marched eastwards.

Charles Joseph Minard also created a flow map of British coal exports in the year 1864. This Esri map is a faithful interactive reproduction of this lesser known Minard flow map. English Coal Exports 1864 shows the countries where Britain exported coal to and the quantities exported to each country. The width of the lines on the map represent the quantities of coal exports for each part of the trade-route.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Northern California Wildfire Map


There are currently sixteen active wildfires burning in Northern California. Esri's Waze Alerts and Wildfires interactive map uses live data from USGS and Waze, to show the locations of active wildfires and traffic alerts for Northern California.

The active fire data displayed on the map comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group. This data provides a near real-time understanding of the situation on the ground. The location and status of the active fires is updated throughout the day as new information is gathered by first responders.

The traffic alerts, which comes from data generated from Waze users, is updated every two minutes. This information includes the locations of Waze's system-generated traffic jam alerts and user-reported traffic incidents (including jams, accidents, hazards, construction, potholes, roadkill, stopped vehicles, objects on road, and missing signs). The traffic alerts are shown using clustered markers. Zoom-in on the larger markers to reveal the individual traffic alerts on the map.

Big Planes & Little Planes in Real-Time


Real-time flight tracking maps have been around for a number of years now. Flightradar24 is a great example of a website which allows you to search and view airplanes moving in real-time on an interactive map.

Aviation Tracker down't have all the amazing options available in Flightradar24 but it does have an interesting approach to visualizing planes live on a map. The aircraft on Aviation Tracker are displayed on the map using scaled markers to reflect the altitude of each plane. The larger the aircraft marker then the higher the altitude of the plane.

In other words Aviation Tracker simulates a top down view. It is almost as if you were in space looking down at the Earth - so that the planes flying at the lowest altitude are further away and therefore appear smaller. It's a shame Aviation Tracker doesn't include a satellite view to help enhance this sense of looking down at the world's air traffic from outer space.