Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Meander Maps of the Mississippi


In 1944 Harold Fisk published a series of beautiful looking maps of the Mississippi River. In his 'Geological Investigation of the Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River', commissioned by the Army Corp of Engineers, Fisk not only mapped the flow of the Mississippi but also tried to represent how the river's course has meandered and changed over time.

Fisk's maps use a number of different colors to show the different courses of the river over the centuries. You can view static images of all fifteen of Fisk's maps for the Army Corp of Engineers on this radicalcartography post.

Some of the Army Corp of Engineers' later meander maps of the Mississippi River can also be viewed on Meiotic's Meander Maps. Meiotic has geo-referenced a few of the Army Corp's maps and placed them on top of modern maps and aerial imagery of the river's course. These maps include a slider control which allow you to compare the Army Corp's original maps with a modern map of the river.

Luckily Somebits has also geo-referenced all 15 of Fisk's original maps. The 1944 Map Of Former Courses of the Mississippi stitches all 15 maps together. Unfortunately the modern aerial imagery seem to be broken on this interactive map. However you can still compare Fisk's map to a modern map of the Mississippi and you can use the interactive map controls to zoom-in and study Fisk's beautiful maps in loving detail.

The Dot Density Map of Europe


The European Population Density map is a dot density map of Europe. Each dot on the map represents 50 people. In total there are are over 500 million people represented on the map by over 10 million dots.

You can clearly make out the densely populated capitals of Europe on the map. London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Rome are all clearly visible as densely populated urban centers. If you are looking to get away from the crowds in Europe then you'll probably have to look a little harder. You could try the Scottish Highlands or the far north of Sweden, Norway or Finland. The Alps can also be made out on the map as a slightly less densely populated area in the mostly densely populated countries of southern Europe.

If you want to know how the map was made then you should read the Spatial.ly article 10 Million Dots: Mapping European Population.

Other Dot Maps

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mapping the History of Glasgow


In the 1860's the city of Glasgow commissioned the Scottish photographer Thomas Annan to photograph the city centre. In 1866 the decision was made to clear the slums in the centre of Glasgow. Annan was employed to photograph the Old Town of Glasgow before it was destroyed.

Thanks to the National Library of Scotland you can view Annan's wonderful collection of photos of Nineteenth Century Glasgow centre. Thomas Annan's Glasgow includes an interactive map which allows you to browse the collection of historical photos by location. The map even includes a vintage 1850's Ordnance Survey map of the city so that you can view how the city looked before the slum clearances.


A slightly different view of historical Glasgow is available in this Glasgow Aerial Photos map. This Leaflet map shows the location (and direction of view) of 159 historical aerial photographs of Glasgow.

The photos on this map were taken sometime in the 1950's to 1960's by the Glasgow Corporation Planning Department. They provide a great bird's eye view of mid-Twentieth Century Glasgow. If you click on the link on any of the historical photographs another Leaflet map will open showing just the selected photo. You can then zoom in and pan around the photo to inspect it in greater detail.


In the 19th Century the Govan area of Glasgow was one of the world's leading ship-building centers. Like many dockland areas Govan became an area popular with immigrants. The number of foreign ships coming into Govan coupled with the area's high employment meant that Govan became an attractive destination for many immigrants to Scotland.

Immigrants to Govan came from all around the world. There were Irish emigrants escaping the potato famine, there were Eastern Europeans fleeing the anti-Jewish pogroms in Russia and there were also English immigrants looking for work.

Govan Scotlands's Melting Pot is a fascinating Google Map visualizing the home addresses of foreign born individuals in Govan, using data from the 1881 census.The map shows where immigrants to Govan chose to live in the area. You can even filter the results by nationality so that you can find out where different nationalities grouped together in distinct immigrant communities.

If you select a marker on the map you can view information about the individuals living at an address, with details about their ages and occupations. It is fascinating exploring the map and discovering the types of employment favored by the different nationalities living in Govan in the late 19th Century.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie Tracking Map

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is expected to reach North Eastern Australia about 8:00 am Tuesday. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) are warning that the storm will be the worst since Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

The BOM Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map shows the predicted path of Cyclone Debbie and the cyclone's predicted intensity along its path. The Bureau of Meteorology also maintains the Tropical Cyclone Advice service, which provides information on which areas are in the warning and watch zones for Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The advice page also provides information on the cyclone's position, strength and potential impact.


The Bureau of Meteorology's Satellite Viewer provides an animated view of nearly four hours worth of satellite imagery of Australia. At the moment Tropical Cyclone Debbie can clearly be seen to the north east of the country. The Satellite Viewer uses imagery from the Himawari-8 satellite operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency. You can also watch time-lapse animations of the latest Himawari-8 satellite imagery on Himawari-8 Real-time Web.


You can also track Tropical Cyclone Debbie on a number of different animated wind forecast maps. Windytv and earth both clearly show Tropical Cyclone Debbie closing in on Queensland.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Alpine Ski Resorts in Danger


Climate scientists at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Switzerland estimate that the Alps are likely to see a huge drop in snow levels by the end of this century. They suggest that snowfall in the Alps could drop by between 30 and 70 percent by the year 2100. This could have serious consequences for many of Europe's most popular ski resorts.

Der Spiegel has mapped out the effect of global warming on European ski resorts based on the Institute's findings. Their interactive map Snow in Ski Resorts shows how 988 ski resorts in the Alpine region could be effected by falling levels of snowfall. The Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research predict that by the end of the century heights below 1200 meters will see very little snow. Under this scenario around one-fifth of Alpine ski resorts will have to survive with no natural snow in the very near future.

The Alpine resorts below 1200 meters are marked in red on Der Spiegel's map. The yellow markers on the map show ski resorts which have ski runs both above and below 1200 meters. This means that some parts of these resorts may still get some natural snowfall by the end of the century. The ski resorts shown in green are those which are entirely above 1200 meters. These are the resorts which should be least effected by falling levels of snowfall.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mapping Global Warming


Every year the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issues a report on the state of the global climate. The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2016 (PDF) reports that 2016 was the warmest year on record. The statement also reports that globally averaged sea-surface temperatures were also the warmest on record; global sea levels continued to rise; and Arctic sea-ice extent was well below average for most of the year.

This year the WMO has released a summary of some of the annual statement's findings on the global climate in the form of an Esri Story Map. The Highlights of Global Climate 2016 map not only provides a summary of some of the annual statement's main findings it also visualizes global warming anomalies around the world using an interactive map.

If you click on the map you can view how much temperatures rose at that location in 2016. As you scroll through the Highlights of Global Climate 2016 the story map also takes you on a tour, providing a summary, of the temperature anomalies in each of the major regions of the world.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A World Map Without Highways


During the 2012 London Olympics the streets around my home were closed to traffic. For over a month I got a wonderful glimpse of a world without noisy, polluting combustion engines. As I walked around the car free streets I would often imagine what the neighborhood would look like if all the tarmacked roads could be replaced with green grass and flower beds. Unfortunately once the Olympics were over the streets were reopened and I never got the chance to replace all those ugly roads.

If the idea of a world without highways appeals to you then you will probably like No Highways NYC. Jeff Sisson's new site allows you to see what your local map would look like without all those ugly highways. The name of the map is a bit of a misnomer as it actually works for any location in the world (not just New York!).

Use the map's search facility and you can view the map for any location in the world with the 'highway' layer removed. This is possible thanks to Mapzen's ability to add or remove different map elements. This allows No Highways NYC to provide a handy little button which allows you to view the map with or without highways.


If the thought of a world without cars and highways makes you uncontrollably angry then ignore Jeff's map and head over to the Connectivity Atlas instead. Here you can view a world map which consists only of roads.

Street View in the Year 2050


Select a location on the Earth 2050 3D globe and you can get a little glimpse into the future. Kaspersky Lab has brought together some of the world's top scientists and futurologists to provide an insight into how the world might look in the year 2050.

Using the Earth 2050 futuristic looking 3D globe you can explore how various locations around the world might look in the future. Many of the locations featured on the globe even have Street View scenes providing 360 degree panoramas predicting the location in the year 2050.

If you have your own prediction about the world in 2050 you can add it to the map. Kaspersky Lab even provide instructions on how you can create your own future Street View panoramas. If you don't have your own predictions about the future you can still contribute to Earth 2050 by voting on whether you agree or disagree with the individual predictions shown on the map.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Noisy America Map


Nearly one in ten Americans live with road and aviation noise that is as loud as a noisy garbage disposal (80 decibels or more). You can find out what noise levels are like where you live on the Department of Transportation’s new National Transportation Noise Map.

Using the National Transportation Noise Map you can view a heat map of road and aviation noise levels for your town or city. The map essentially visualizes the likely exposure of locations to aviation and highway noise. Therefore the map clearly reveals the location of the busiest roads and the location of noisy airports.

I bet you can easily pinpoint the location of  Los Angeles International Airport on the screenshot above. I bet you can even spot where the runways are and in what direction they run. If you want to check your guess you can turn off the noise layer on the National Transportation Noise Map and view the area on the map's satellite imagery layer.

The Building Age Story Map


I really like building age maps. Multi-colored building footprints nearly always make really beautiful looking maps. But building age maps don't just look good. They also have interesting stories to tell about where a city's oldest buildings still exist in the city's streets.

Most building age maps leave the users themselves to find these stories in the patterns of the colored building footprints on the city map. One way to improve a building age map therefore would be to pick out some of the implicit stories in the history of a city's buildings in the map itself. You could do this by creating a story map from a city's building age map.

This is exactly what CBC has done with their Montreal Building Age map. Using the Montreal is 375 years old, but how old are its buildings? interactive map you can view the age of all Montreal's buildings. However the map is also used to explore the architecture and history of thirty of Montreal's most emblematic buildings.

As you scroll through the Montreal Building Age story map CBC pick out some of Montreal's most interesting buildings on the city's map. The text panel is then used to show photos of the highlighted buildings and to explain each building's historical & architectural importance.

The result is that CBC's map is much more than just an aesthetically pleasing building age map of Montreal. It is also an interesting introduction to the history of Montreal itself and a guide to where you can still find that history on the city's streets.