1906 Earthquake & Present Day Photo Mashup

Shawn Clover recently released part 2 of his “1906 + Today: The Earthquake Blend” series which is a mashup of 1906 earthquake aftermath photos in San Francisco with present day photos at the same location. The photos are blended creating a seamless image of the past superimposed on the present.

View part 1 of the series here from 2010 and part 2 of the series here from 2012.

Credit: shawnclover.com

Tim De Chant explains why you should be excited about vector-based maps in iOS 6

Former kellylabber Tim De Chant has a nice piece on the upcoming apple mapping software for mobile devices:

Apple announced today that it’s revamping the Maps application on iOS devices—iPhone, iPad, iPod touch—introducing a lot of showy new features like turn-by-turn directions and 3D flyovers. While those make for sexy commercials, they won’t be as impactful as the switch from raster- to vector-based map data. If you’re not sure why you should be excited about the change—and you should be—read on.

Check out his blog post here.


Jonathan Crowe (formerly of The Map Room, now of "My Correct Views on Everything") has a comprehensive post on the subject here.

Apple mobile mapping software? coming soon!

We mac users are all a-twitter about the news of an impending Apple mapping software. Here is a sample from NPR:

There's been speculation for months that Apple will try to elbow Google's popular Maps app aside on the iPhone and unveil its own map app, and some of the best evidence yet comes from Tuesday's Wall Street Journal.  The paper looked into the reasons for the impending switch and the broader implications it would have for the smartphone market.  The article continues...

The new software is rumored to be leaner, meaner, and packing a rad 3D visualization capability. It will be unveiled as soon as next week at the annual Apple developer conference in San Francisco.

The structure of a city via Twitter

From Mashable Tech.

Check out this gorgeous visualization of NY City's tweetopolis from Oakland-based programmer Eric Fischer.

He plots out the motion of New Yorkers using public tweets on Twitter with geotags from May 2011 until January.

The project lays out around 10,000 geotagged tweets and 30,000 point-to-point trips in cities like New York City to plot the flow of people in terms of favored paths. In his map of NYC, seen above, there is a huge ink blot lining Broadway; as we’ve long suspected, it looks like the busy avenue is the backbone of the city.

Using a base map from OpenStreetMap, he drew out transit paths using Tweets. Movements are indicated on the geolocation of a Tweet, with an individual’s start point marked with one geotagged Tweet and ending with the next geotagged Tweet. This is what creates a mass of traffic routes.

Similar viz of the east bay“If you just draw lines from the beginning to the ending of each trip, you get a big mess, so the challenge is to come up with more plausible routes in between,” Fischer told Mashable. “That is where the 10,000 individual geotags come in, the most plausible routes are ones that pass closely through places that other people have been known to go.”

Fischer used Dijkstra’s Algorithm to calculate what exactly to map out. For those of who haven’t thought about math since high school algebra, that’s an equation that maps out the shortest path between two points on a graph. For this project, the equation pointed to the relevant paths to map out a city’s most dense corridors.

This might be of use for our mobility project with our space.

More here.

Transit & Trails: Go hiking without a car in the Bay Area

Ryan Branciforte at the Bay Area Open Space Council reports on their new web tool: Transit and Trails. The new interactive website identifies more than 500 trailheads and 150 campgrounds in our region’s 1.2 million acres of preserved lands. Just enter your starting location at Transit and Trails’ Google Maps-powered site, and select the radius. Once you’ve picked your ideal trail from the results, Transit and Trails will open a new link in 511 Transit Trip Planner, where you’ll find a detailed trip itinerary, complete with a map, transit times, fares, and walking directions to and from the transit stop. Very cool.

Related news: from the SF Chron, SF Hostels, mother nature network, & triple pundit.

Some favorite ecology-related mashups

From Ken-ichi Ueda and friends: iNaturalist.org.

  • Where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. Colorful, well-designed and useful, this site is a must for all you explorers of the natural world, or those of you who just ponder the wildlife in your backyard.

From GreenInfo Network and CalLands:

  • The new California Protected Areas Database (CPAD 1.3) has just been released in geodatabase and shape file formats, and is available through google maps overlay here.

From UC Davis' Road Ecology Center and the Information Center for the Environment: California Roadkill Observation System.

  • You can report roadkills you observe anywhere in the state, helping all of us to understand the causes of roadkill and how we can reduce the conflict between animals and vehicles. Roadkill is a major cause of mortality for many animals in California, but designing appropriate management responses takes political support, money, and knowledge of where and how to act. Roadkill data are an important part of that equation and we invite you, our expert colleagues, to join us in collecting these data on a public site.

From my lab: the OakMapper.

  • OakMapper is designed to let users explore the locations of confirmed P. ramorum sites, and contribute to our database by reporting trees that might have the disease. And it is now mobile! Speaking of mobile:

From Imperial College London: EpiCollect.

  • A mobile phone application will help professional and "citizen" scientists collect and analyse data from "in the field", anywhere in the world. The EpiCollect software collates data from certain mobiles - on topics such as disease spread or the occurrence of rare species - in a web-based database. Uses Android. The BBC article.



OakMapper has gone mobile!

Not be mistaken with OatsMapper.com (mapping Hall and Oats reunion concerts), the OakMapper has gone mobile!

If you have an iPhone with OS 3.0, you can now download and install the mobile version of OakMapper on iTune's App Store for free. The mobile version of OakMapper allows you to do the same thing as the web version: view submitted Sudden Oak Death cases and report a SOD occurrence. However, the OakMapper makes those two actions much easier by taking advantage of the GPS unit onboard the iPhone. The GPS coordinates provided by the iPhone will allow you to quickly report an SOD case and will allow you to find out all the submitted SODs within a 20 miles radius around you. We hope that the ease of reporting SOD cases using the OakMapper iPhone application will encourage more submissions from the general public who own an iPhone. 

New Interface for the Manhatta Project. Check it.

We talked about this before here; and the Manhatta project has a nice new interface for exploring the 1609 map of the island of Manhatta(n), block by block, through time.  I love this project! The combination of mashup, history, design and art are breathtaking.  (And our own Tim Bean worked on reconstructing the early topography! - see his comment below.) Go Fullscreen on your 30"-monitor. I dare you.

“The goal of the Mannahatta Project has never been to return Manhattan to its primeval state. The goal of the project is discover something new about a place we all know so well, whether we live in New York or see it on television, and, through that discovery, to alter our way of life. New York does not lack for dystopian visions of the future…. But what is the vision of the future that works? Might it lie in Mannahatta, the green heart of New York, and with a new start to history, a few hours before Hudson arrived that sunny afternoon four hundred years ago?”

- from Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City

Awesome (and useful) Mashup Example

We've all seen numerous examples of "mashups", or webmaps containing information from multiple resources, in the past year. Of course, I'm a big fan of the mashup... I'm also a big fan of finding a great mix between form and function, as anyone who's involved with cartographic design can attest to. This mashup appears to have captured this essence quite well, combining simplicity, good cartographic design and decent ergonomics. It's also open source! Oh, and did I mention that it's highly useful?


...and for you East Bay-ers


Ghost Maps

There are over 35 million geotagged, time-stamped photos on flickr now. That's enough to start doing some pretty interesting analyses, including this one from Crandall, et al., at Cornell (presented at the WWW 2009 conference, "Mapping the World's Photos" [PDF]).  Not only is it possible to map hot spots of world tourism, but by incorporating the time stamps to map the routes people are taking, you can make out individual streets. As suggested by the Information Aesthetics blog, you could even design popular walking tours.

Once GPS-enabled cameras represent a larger share of the market, flickr may provide data for all sorts of important analyses: tracking SOD, the migration of an endangered song bird, or estimating the "desolation" of a place: the world heat map that the Cornell group presents looks shockingly like the lights at night. The machine... it's ALIVE!!!

OakMapper 2.0 released

Hi y'all. The new OakMapper 2.0 is up and running, and we'd like your help in mapping areas of oak mortality around the state. Version 2.0 improves upon the website's prior version with increased functionality and additional tools within an easily navigated interface.  Launched by the UC Berkeley Kelly lab in October, OakMapper 2.0 makes it easier for users to explore data, download maps, look at images of oak mortality, and submit suspected locations of oak mortality that may be associated with SOD.  The new interface utilizes the familiar background layers and navigation tools from Google Maps.  Users are able to draw points and polygons directly on the map as well as attach photos to specific points.  The Kelly lab encourages the public to use this site to map suspected cases of SOD and to track their submission by signing up for an account with OakMapper.  Registered users of the site can update their information and make comments on other users' points.  Official confirmations of P. ramorum are clearly separated from community-submitted points and either set of points can be filtered out.The new OakMapper is found at oakmapper.org.  Please consider signing up to be an OakMapper user! The OakMapper was recently featured in the recent journal of the Bay Area Automated Mapping Association


Global disease alert map

healthmap.JPG Here is yet another exciting use of the GoolgeMaps API.... HealthMap aggregates outbreak data by disease from numerous sources (news, personal accounts, and official alerts) and displays them by location in real-time. It's a collaborative project brought together by the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. If you're not a germaphobe now, you may become one after taking a look at the map; be sure to check it out before your next international trip or even if you stay around here. For example, did you know that the West Nile Virus has infected 78 people in California this year? Even closer to home, there was a TB scare at Kaiser in SF last week.

GPS on a Mac

I have been doing some GIS noodling on my Mac recently, since it is an Air and very nice. So, what can you do without parallels on a Mac? Lots. The new QGIS with Grass plugins is great, but if you want to just get your hiking points in and overlaid on an image, you can use GPSbabel. Also free (with suggested donations though, and it is a good thing). You can download your waypoints, tracks and routes from your Garmin (I used a GPSMap 60CSx) with GPSbabel (use the GPX format) and use the GPS plugin in QGIS to easily map them. But, going the other way? that is more difficult. I used GPSbabel with csv format (x, y, id) and uploaded an important route to my Garmin. I was feeling all adventurous until a colleague sent me this link: ben sinclair's site: how to use a garmin with your mac which sorts it all out for you.

Spreadsheet Mapper 2.0

John Deck was way ahead of Google when he created Berkeley Mapper. His service includes a feature that allows users to input point data into a Google Documents spreadsheet. The data is then added to a database and displayed in Google Maps. Well, Google has just released its second version of its spreadsheet mapper. Similar to Berkeley Mapper, users simply enter their data into a spreadsheet and the appropriate KML and Google Map are generated. There are still many differences between the two tools and Berkeley mapper is more tailored to the needs of collaborative research. Nonetheless, Spreadsheet Mapper offers yet another option for compiling and mapping tabular data.