Nautical Overlay

This website from GeoGarage layers nautical maps geo-rectified to fit Google’s brand of Mercator. The slider control allows you to adjust the transparency. First you must acknowledge that you can’t trust these maps for actual navigation! They are designed for planning and analyzing. Nice little routing tool allows you to plot a course including distances, and export to a Garmin GPS devise. Seems like huge potential here.

Amsterdam Dutch Elm City

On the subject of trees, here’s another reason to love Amsterdam. A green city, it is. This interactive map is in development, along with others like this one showing green roofs. The inspiring collection is here.

North American Environment on the Map

A nice site for easily and intuitively viewing environmental data, perhaps aimed mostly at children, but with a nice feature for integrating with Google Earth, and for downloading the data. (The US and Canada are still far ahead in making it all free!) The site was created by another interesting organization, Greeninfo Network.  Among other US and California-oriented projects, they have a nicely-designed online  crowdsourcing tool, MapCollaborator.

Tree Maps now Open

This open source software is designed to help cities catalog their trees through crowdsourcing. The San Diego version has more than 331,000 trees shown on the map with details about their species, size, and economic impact. The Grand Rapids treemap has over 17,000 trees pinpointed. Clearly these were cities with extensive tree databases in the first place who have brought this data into the opentreemap system so that it can be updated and maintained, and most importantly shared with the citizens. Very interesting concept! The Opentreemap software is available from an innovative GIS application and software design company Azavea.

Sandy Missed My House

It was amazing to sit on the sofa on October 30th, watching the weather reports on TV and following the storm on the internet with Wundermaps, as it astonishingly went right around my house in Beacon NY. Tragic consequences in the New York boroughs, and especially New Jersey. An article in the Architectural Record interviews participants in the precient MOMA exhibition two years ago, Rising Currents, about ideas which might be revisited in the wake of the storm. The weight of the evidence, however, seems to be in favor of barriers. Expect to see some experienced Dutch engineers migrating to NYC.

TeleGeography Tells a Story

An interactive map of Submarine cables by Telegeography lets you explore the huge underwater infrastructure of communication cables. The first transatlantic cable laid in in 1858, and the rest is Wikipedia history. We tend to think ofsatellites and wireless communication as being dominant, but actually 99% of global Internet traffic depends on submarine cables. Telegeography made this maps by drawing routes and points with Adobe Illustrator, importing into Avenza’s MapPublisher, exporting to KML, creating Google Fusion tables, and publishing using the GoogleMaps API. (Here is their helpful explanation.)
Interactivity allows you to select and isolate cities, or cable systems to get more details. For example, this images shows the Atlantic Crossingcable which connects Beverwijk and Brooklyn. And this is the famous (and longest at 39,000 kms) system, the SeaMeWe system.

The Ring of Fire

The website Our Amazing Planet, pointed out a beautiful map depicting earthquakes since 1989 around the world, using intensities of color to indicated the frequency. The map’s creator is John Nelson of Michigan-based IDV Solutions, a data visualization company which provides products and solutions including Visual Fusion.

Ends of the Earth at MOCA

The current exhibition at MOCA (the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Ends of the Earth, Land Art to 1974, includes an interactive Google map which geo-locates the various works of some of the artists represented and documented at the exhibition. Over eighty artists and projects from United Kingdom, Japan, Israel, Iceland, Eastern and Northern Europe, as well as North and South Americas are included in the show. Clicking on an artist’s name zooms to the location and a pop-up window describes the work of art… like this one by Joseph Bueys in a Scottish moor in 1970.

Update 8/1/2019: The MOCA site no longer has the map, but here it is on Google Earth – however it appears you must view this with Chrome. Link to Landart in Google Maps.

Pixel Mania

Reminded by Google Maps Mania about this remarkable and entertaining website created in 2009 by Australia firm, Pixelcase. I saw it then, but it seems they have added a lot of new tours, and some new, cool controls, including the ability to view images in Normal, Fish-eye, Architectural, Stereographic and Planet views. It is great to see the images in all these different perspectives, clear as a bell. Check out this image of Central Park in Stereographic. Is that the sun?

Update 8/1/2019: It seems that in 10 years, the aerial tour is no longer available, and Pixelcase has morphed into an Augmented Realty (AR) company.  More on this some other time.

Biking in L.A.

Want to save time in L.A.? Ride from Griffith Point Observatory to Venice Beach in about an hour and a half. Or take the bus and get there in two hours, according to Google Maps bike directions. Seems to be considerable progress in Los Angeles, with the 2010 Bike Plan being rolled out and more routes added monthly. The LA DOT Bike Blog tells the story, at least the DOT version.