Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Emoji Map

The Kirin Brewery company in Japan has created a fun interactive map which consists entirely of user submitted emojis. The map allows users to show how they feel about a place by leaving their own emoji at the location on the map.

Zoom in on the Green Emoji Map of Japan and you can get a sense of how other map users feel about the location by the messages and emojis that they have left on the map. Click on any location on the map and you can leave your own text message and choose your own emoji for the location.

If you dislike what someone has said about a place or you don't like the emoji that someone has left at a location then you can just overwrite their contribution. The map always shows the last message or emoji left by a map user at each location on the map.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mapping the Skyscrapers of New York

Ten and Taller is a new interactive map of all Manhattan buildings, built between 1874 and 1901, which are at least ten stories tall. The map includes information on all the featured buildings, including their construction dates and how they are used.

There are 249 building footprints on the map, each colored by its type of use. The map has a neat timeline feature which allows you to filter the buildings shown on the map by year of construction. An opacity control also allows you to switch between a modern map of New York and a vintage Bromley fire insurance map of the city.

The New York Times' Reshaping New York 3d map looks at how New York changed in the first 12 years of Michael Bloomberg's reign as mayor.

The interactive centers around an impressively large 3d map of the entire city. As the user scrolls down the page the 3d map moves and zooms into the areas of the city that saw the most change during Bloomberg's term of office.

Each of these locations is accompanied by analysis from the New York Times and before and after photographs of the development that took place during the 12 years covered by the map.

National Geographic has created an interactive plan view of New York's skyline. The New York City Skyline shows the view of New York, looking from the direction of Brooklyn. As you scroll down the page the plan of the city skyline moves, giving you a panoramic view of the city from Lower to Midtown Manhattan.

Skyscrapers that were under construction at the time of the map's release (2015) are shown in orange on the panoramic image and proposed skyscrapers are colored yellow, You can mouse-over any of the colored skyscrapers to view its name and its completed height.

Webcams of the World

Today I've viewed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. All before breakfast and all from the comfort of my own home.

igoCam is a Google Map of some of the best live travel webcams from around the world. Which means all you have to do is click on a marker on the map to view a live webcam of the selected location. A handy day / night layer on the map even shows you which webcams are currently in daylight and which ones might be a little dark.

An 'Explore' option allows you to filter and search the available webcams by theme, country and quality of stream. Each of the webcams shown on the map also has a unique web address. This means that if you find a webcam view that you like you can share its URL with your friends.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Animating Wave & Swell Forecasts

The global weather map VentuSky has a new animated wave layer which visualizes the movement of waves in the oceans & seas across the world.

Ventusky's new animated wind layer shows two types of waves: swells and wind waves. Swells are shown on the map in black and wind waves are colored white. Having both swells and wind waves on the map means that it is easy to quickly spot locations where high wind waves are travelling in a different direction to swells. This means that you can identify areas with dangerous sailing conditions. Other dangerous sailing conditions can arise when the wind is blowing against the direction of the waves. Using VentuSky's wind layer with the new wave layer means that you can also quickly identify areas with these conditions on the map.

The data for the VentuSky wave layer comes from the highly precise German ICON model, which has a resolution of approximately 13 km. The German ICON data is used primarily for directing maritime transport.

Why NATO isn't Obsolete

Over the weekend Donald Trump called NATO obsolete. In this regard his views seem eerily similar to Vladimir Putin's. It's almost as if the President-elect's foreign policy was designed to Make Russia Great Again.

Since 1949 NATO has been working to prevent conflicts around the world through political diplomacy and through military operations. It was established after World War II as an alliance of European and North American countries. Its aim was to safeguard the member countries by agreeing to a policy of mutual defense. It was also obviously intended as a safeguard against the Soviet policy of expansionism.

Under Vladimir Putin Russia is once again operating an aggressive expansionist foreign policy. This has led to the Russian invasions of both Georgia and Ukraine. Russia has also sought to undermine NATO and to destabilize relations between the USA and European countries. Policies that Donald Trump incredibly seems keen to support.

To further these aims Russia has expanded its military capabilities from the Arctic down to Syria. It has increased its anti-access area denial (A2AD) capabilities in order to make it more difficult for NATO to protect eastern European countries. You can see how Russia is expanding its military presence in Missile Threat's Russia – NATO A2AD Environment interactive map.

The map shows both NATO's and Russia's military defense operations. The map also shows how NATO is far from 'obsolete'. In fact it seems more important now than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet bloc.

If you want to learn more about the role of NATO then you should view 'NATO on the Map'. 'NATO's interactive map NATO on the Map also helps to explain how the organization functions and how & where it operates around the world. NATO on the Map allows you to view which countries belong to the alliance, which countries it works in partnership with and its influence on global peacekeeping.

The map allows you to view the locations of NATO's civilian headquarters, military commands and headquarters around the world. It also shows examples of where NATO has sought to "project stability in its neighbourhood and beyond." A 'Security Challenges' layer shows some of the present global threats to peace and security that NATO and its partners currently faces across the globe.

The map includes two main map views a Google Maps aerial view and a Cesium powered 3D view.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

All the Places I've Been - President Obama

America's foreign policy is likely to change significantly over the next four years. Luckily the President-elect has the best advice. When recently asked about who he listens to on foreign policy Donald Trump said,

"I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things."

Just imagine the mess that the United States could be facing if Donald Trump hadn't said a lot of things. Imagine the situation we could be facing if he didn't have such a very good brain. Or, shudder at the thought, imagine what might happen if Trump actually stopped jabbering to himself.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. At least for a few more days President Obama is in charge. During his presidency Barack Obama has taken 151 trips around the world on Air Force One and has clocked-up around 570,000 air miles. You can view all the countries that Barack Obama has visited during his presidency on a new interactive map.

Obama International Travel shows all the flights around the world that Barack Obama took from 2009-2016, The map includes an animated timeline which means that you can see when the president visited each country. You can also click on the destination markers on the map to learn a little more about the purpose of each visit.

President Obama only appears to have made one visit to Russia over the last eight years. No wonder he isn't such good friends with Vladimir Putin as Donald Trump.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mapping the Soviet Gulag Camps

Under Joseph Stalin the Gulag was the government agency that administered the forced labor camp system in the Soviet Union. The camps were used to house political prisoners and other convicts. The prisoners lived in harsh conditions and their slave labor was used in industrialization projects by the Soviet Union. These projects included timber production, mining and large construction projects. It is estimated that at least 1.5 million prisoners died in the forced labor camps under Stalin.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum is an interactive map based portal of archaeological and archival research, oral history and geographical data about the Gulag labor camps. The application maps and provides information about individual Gulag labor camps. However the application is much more than just a simple map of the Soviet Gulag network.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum provides a detailed history of how the Gulag system was introduced and used within the Soviet Union. It also includes information about the lives of individual prisoners in the labor camps, 360 panoramic images from inside labor camps, and vintage Soviet maps and aerial images.

The Gulag Online Virtual Museum also includes a 3D model of a Soviet era labor camp. The 3D model allows you to take a virtual tour of a Stalin labor camp and visit the typical buildings that you could find in a Gulag camp.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mapping the Spoken Word

LocalLingual is a new global map which allows you to listen to how people speak around the world. Click on a country on the LocalLingual map and you can hear an audio recording of a local speaking the name of the country and the country's capital. You can even listen to a recording of the country's national anthem.

LocalLingual is also a crowd-sourced map, Which means in many countries you can also listen to user contributions of recordings of other words and phrases spoken in the local language. In many countries on the map you can even drill down to listen to recordings in more localized languages, dialects and accents.

After you select an area on the map you need to select the 'Listen to voices from this region' link. You will then be presented with a list of words and short phrases that are available. To listen to the recordings you just need to click on the little face icon next to each word or phrase. You can add your own recording to the map by selecting the 'Record a voice for this region' link.

It's Snowing!

The UK Met Office has issued a warning that large areas of the country will experience snow today. Which means that it's time for the #uksnow Map.

The #uksnow Map shows the location of tweets that mention snow on a map of the UK. To add snow to the map you just need to include the hashtag '#uksnow' in a Twitter message and a UK postcode. You should also add a score out of ten (where 0/10 = no snow and 10/10 = a blizzard).

Currently the map is showing snow in Scotland and the north of England. If the Met Office forecast proves correct Wales and the whole west & south of England should also light up on the map by the rest of the day.

Readers in the USA might want to check-out the National Snowfall Map, which uses data from 50,000 National Weather Service weather observers to visualize the last 24 hours of snowfall across the whole of the United States. Currently the National Snowfall Map is showing a lot of snow in the very north and down much of the west of the USA.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mapping the Museum

The Sir John Soane's Museum is one of London's most interesting museums. The museum is in the home of the 19th century neo-classical architect John Soane and contains many of his drawings and models. It also contains many examples from his huge collection of paintings and antiquities.

Luckinly, if you can't visit the museum in person, the Sir John Soane's Museum has an outstanding 3D map which allows you to explore two of the museum's rooms in virtual reality. Explore the Soane Museum is an incredible interactive 3D model of the complete home of Sir John Soane. The interactive allows you to fly through the museum in 3D and explore two of the museum's rooms in very close detail.

The 3D model of the Sir John Soane's Museum was created by ScanLab Projects. You can view more of their impressive 3D modelling work on the BBC's Invisible Italy project. Currently the BBC's Invisible Italy website includes links to three 3D models of Italy created by ScanLab Projects. These include 360 degree panoramic videos of 3D models of the Doge's Palace, a Florence street and the Roman ruins of Naples.