Saturday, June 22, 2013

All About the MapBox

This week MapBox released a series of dot map visualisations of Twitter data. The maps explore every geotagged Tweet since September 2011 "revealing demographic, cultural, and social patterns down to city level detail, across the entire world."

My personal favorite visualisation is Mobile Devices, a dot map displaying the brand of phone used when people use an official Twitter application.

The map reveals a really interesting pattern across American cities that seems to suggest that the iPhone is more popular in higher socio-economic neighborhoods, while Android phones predominate in areas with lower socio-economic residents. In business neighborhoods the Blackberry seems to be the device of choice.

Across the rest of the world there doesn't seem to be such a split in the economic level of Apple and Android device owners, while the Blackberry seems to be popular in business areas across the globe.

The Locals and Tourists map highlight areas of cities popular with locals and places where tourists visit. The map shows the locations of Tweets sent by locals (those who post in one city for one consecutive month) and tourists (whose tweets are centered in another city).

This map provides a fascinating insight into locations that are popular with tourists. For example, in this screenshot (above) of my neighborhood in London you can clearly make out the 2012 London Olympics stadium.

Languages of Twitter is a map that displays where different languages are used in Tweets. Different languages have been given a distinct color on the map. One obvious use for this map is to visualise areas with large immigrant communities.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Share Your World with Google Maps

Ujoolt is a smartphone app (Android & iPhone) that allows users to share short messages (140 characters or less), photos or short video clips with the rest of the world.

Users can post a message, photo or video directly from their phone and their post will appear on the Ujoolt website's Google Map. All 'jolts' appear to be time-stamped as well and it looks like that they disappear from the map after a set time. A countdown timer appears next to each jolt in the map sidebar indicating how long until the jolt will disappear from the map.

Users can 'rejolt' posts submitted by other users and search for jolts nearby by using the search option or by simply browsing the map.

What Movies Were Filmed Near You?

Travelex has created a Google Map to help film lovers and avid travelers find where in the world the best and most prominent blockbusters in history were filmed.

The Travelex Movie Lover's Guide to the World app allows users to explore the filming locations of the top 250 movies of all time (according to IMDB). The map features red markers pinned in locations all over the world.

Users can click a location marker to find out what was filmed there or they can click one of the movies listed to see all of the various locations where it was filmed.

Late Polls & then the Results on Google Maps

The Google US Election Results Map is now live. The map is updating as results are called.

The map shows states that have gone to Obama in blue and those states won by Romney are shown in red. A running tally is also displayed in the map sidebar.
Reuters has created two Google Maps for the U.S. Presidential Election. 

The Reuters/Ipsos Electoral Map shows the latest results of their national poll of likely voters. The map was last updated yesterday and predicts a 201 to 190 lead to Obama with 147 votes still considered to be a 'toss up'. States on the map are colored to reflect who the polls say is most likely to win in the state.

The Presidential Election Results Map like the Google Map is updating in real-time as results are called.The map also follows the same design with states shaded to show which candidate has won and a running total for each candidate shown above the map.

Create Longboard Runs with Google Maps is a utility for longboarders to discover new runs to bomb, get data on hills, and share their runs with friends.

The tool is very simple to use. Users can use the search box to find a specific address. Then it is possible to click on the map twice to set a starting point and destination. The map markers can be dragged and dropped on the map to refine their exact location.

As soon as two markers are placed on the map a route is generated using Google Maps driving, bike or walking directions. The Google Maps API ElevationService is then used to show the highest and lowest point, the elevation change and the steepest point on the run. An elevation chart of the map is also created.

If you want to share a created run you can grab the URL of the search and even shorten the link with the built in link shortener.

The Silk Road on Google Maps

Die Seidenstrasse is an interactive tour of the Silk Road using Google Maps satellite imagery, photos and audio. The tour was created by Swiss broadcasters SRF to accompany a televised documentary series that is currently airing on Friday nights in Switzerland.

The tour animates along the Silk Road from Venice to China and includes an audio commentary with accompanying music, photos and 360 degree panoramas of interesting locations along the route. It is possibly to listen and watch the tour in chronological order or you can jump to a specific section by picking a country from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. 

The tour is entirely in German

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Maps of Amsterdam

The Planning Department of the City of Amsterdam has created a number of interesting Google Maps, all of which can be found in the Interactieve Kaarten section of their website.

The maps cover a range of subjects that will be of interest to local citizens, including housing, green spaces, climate and building use. For example the Woningwaarde Map plots the cost of housing in the city. Using a heat map overlay this map shows the average cost of housing throughout the city.

Another interesting map is the Niet-Woonfuncties Map which shows the blueprint of all non-residential properties in the city. On the map each non-residential property is shaded to show whether the property is used for business, retail, leisure etc.

There are a lot of other maps to explore on the site and all the data used in the maps is also available at Open GEO-Data

Where Do I Vote?

If you want to know where to vote then you should check out the Voter Information section of the Google Politics and Elections website. 

Here you can find a Polling Place Lookup tool that will tell where you should vote. If you enter your address your polling place will be shown on a small Google Map alongside the full postal address and the hours of opening. You can also click on the 'get directions' link to get the full directions from your home to your polling place.

#NYCGAS on Google Maps has created a crowd-sourced Google Map to help New Yorkers and Long Islanders find gas stations that are currently selling gas.

The map shows the latest Twitter messages that include #NYCGAS. The messages can contain information about whether a gas station currently has gas and the length and duration of queues.

Gas Station is a crowd-sourced Google Map showing operating gas stations and gas availability in New York and New Jersey.

The map uses red markers to indicate gas stations that have sold out of gas and green markers to show those that are open. If you click on a marker you can get more information, where available, on likely waiting times and when gas might be available.

To contribute information to the map post a Tweet with information about a gas station including '@IMSOCIO2012' in the message.

The Google Crisis Map for NYC now includes a public transit map showing open subway lines, MTA replacement shuttle buses and road work and traffic advisories.The map also shows open and closed gas stations, pharmacies and restaurants. The map also includes a layer that shows open and closed food stores in New Jersey. 

Can Twitter Predict the Election?

In this presidential election voters have taken to social media like never before. Is it possible then to try and analyse social media engagement to predict the winner of tomorrow's election?

The Twitter Political Engagement Map is a real-time guide to the current political temperature, state by state. The map shows Tweets from @BarackObama and @MittRomney organized by engagement on Twitter.

The Tweets from each candidate are represented by a bar and the size indicates engagement on that Tweet. If you select a Tweet's bar you can view a heat map of engagement state by state on the accompanying map.

Whilst Twitter's own map shows how people are responding to the candidate's own Tweets theObama vs Romney Tweet Battle shows how many people are Tweeting "Obama" or "Romney".

The map includes a real-time count of Tweets mentioning each candidate. It is also possible to view a heat map showing where each candidate is being Tweeted about the most.

The Bing Elections Center has taken another approach to analysing social media political messages. Their social media analysis attempts to actually gauge the positive and negative feelings about each candidate in social media posts.

Bing have asked a number of questions, such as 'How do people feel about the candidates?', and analysed Tweets to gauge the current mood of the electorate.