Create Beautiful, Custom Maps in Minutes with MapJam

MapJam is an interesting collaboration tool for anyone, the novice to the developer. The idea here is essentially this, MapJam is a map publishing platform that allows businesses, organizations, and people to create useful, personalized maps that are easy to share. Account creation is fast and simple (just connect via a social network) then create your own map collection to share. I created the map below in less than a minute, and sharing is a breeze! Easily add descriptions, custom elements like photos and vide, then embed or share with just a click… an idea way to share a static or interactive map via a blog, newsletter or ?? – well done!

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Coloring for the GeoGeek! City Maps a Coloring Book for Adults

It seems that coloring books have become all the rage lately, I see adult coloring books on display in book stores, curio shops, even the grocery store. A nice idea for those who need practice staying inside the lines or for anyone needing a little mind relaxing chill out time. But what about a cool coloring book for the GeoGeek, I mean after all, most GeoGeeks were likely teased endlessly in college for spending so much time coloring all those maps and graphics that go along with the required courses to get that degree in Geography or GIS.

city maps

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Mapping PowerBall Winners and Lucky Places

Well, here we go again, PowerBall fever is sweeping the US. With a record pot of more than $650,000,000 expected for the January 9, 2016 draw there’s no wonder that the excitement is building! For those of us with some background in statistics, we all know that the odds of actually winning this pot are down-right rediculous, truth be told, you could likely expect to be struck by lightning multiple times before you hit this jackpot! Note, the actual odds of winning the jackpot are 1: 292,201,338

map of powerball winners

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Map Design Gone Wrong – Do People Even Care Anymore?

Cartographers take pride in their work, typically applying all the rules and principles of good cartographic design to their work, all in an effort to make people want to look at and appreciate their work (See Esri, Make Maps People Want to Look at).  However, in this new era of social sharing it seems that the map has been replaced by the Infographic and the data visualization, a mashup of data, graphics, and maps presented in an effort to tell a story.  Now us geographers are well aware of story telling via map, however, to this new breed of data visualists the focus has sadly been on quantity rather than quality. Bloggers, publishers, newspapers, etc… run to the web, download data and mashup the results in creative and not so creative ways, the end result is often a map but sadly, the product is also something your GEOG 101 Prof would likely slap you if you called it a map!

ugly map
The Ugly Map – Source: ObliviousAT

Yep, gone are the days of cartographic principles, map design standards, scale, composition, and elements of good map design.

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Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights pedestrian safety with Fatalities Map

From Smart Growth America… In 2012, pedestrians accounted for nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths, up 6 percent from 2011 and representing a five-year high. More than half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on arterials, and over 60 percent of these tragedies occur on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher. These roads were not planned or designed for more than speeding traffic – Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights the issue of pedestrian safety and the factors that make walking dangerous—and identifies the tools and practices available to put an end to the decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety.

Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights pedestrian safety with Fatalities Map

In addition to a fatalities map, the group has also made available National spotlights and detailed State and regional Data – the full PDF report is also available

Search the Dangerous by Design fatalities map, 2014


Make Tweets not War – NATO Canada Schools Mr. Putin on Russia / Ukraine Boundary Map

LOL, I love this one… it seems NATO Canada via Twitter was trying to set Mr. Putin and all of Russia straight by giving them a bit of a geography lesson! Using Twitter as the platform of war (make Tweets not War right!) a map was shared that clearly revealed what was Russia and What was NOT Russia – take note Mr. Putin!

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Top 10 New Features in MAPublisher 9.4 for Illustrator

What do the USGS, Bloomberg, USA Today, the United Nations, the National Park Service, the FBI and others have in common? All of these well known orgs rely on  MAPublisher software from Avenza systems to help them create and author awesome maps for their clients, customers, and the public. At R. 9.4 MAPublisher boasts loads of new functionality to support your cartographic and map publishing  needs. In addition to supporting pretty much ALL of the most common GIS and mapping data formats, MAPublisher works seamlessly with all common GIS and mapping platforms.

MAPublisher 9.4 for illustrator
MAPublisher 9.4 for illustrator

And so, the following are 10 New Features in MAPublisher 9.4 (for Illustrator):

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2,500 American Breweries on one Giant Map

More brewery awesomeness, this time from deadspin – enter the big map of American Breweries – 2500 of them! From the source…

2,500 American Breweries on one Giant Map

Continuing its excellent graphic beer coverage, Pop Chart Lab has put together a wall map of over 2,500 breweries across the United States. There are plenty of pockets of intense brewing activity—which are exactly where you’d expect them to be—but what’s more fascinating are the lone outposts of production: Big Bend in southwestern Texas, Souris River in northern North Dakota, Ruby Mountain in northeastern Nevada. Anyone tried any of these?

The actual print is five feet wide, so if you actually want to see the names and locations of the breweries you can click here to view a much larger version