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  However, in this new era of social sharing it seems that the map has been replaced by the Infographic and the data visualization, a mashup of data, graphics, and maps presented in an effort to tell a story.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.

Continue Reading -Have Infographics and Data Visualizations Ruined Good Map Design?


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

Kickstarter Project Launches Map of 350 types of Zombies

Now here’s an interesting new effort, a project that maps Zombies! Yes indeed, this kickstarter project does just that and you can be the proud owner of the map if you elect to back the project!  And those of you sitting back and making cool maps every day, take note that this project has already scored more than $11K in funding!

From Laughing Squid… Comic artist and author Jason Thompson has created “The Map of Zombies,” a highly detailed classification chart of over 350 different types of zombies. Prints of the map, which is still being refined by Jason, are currently available to purchase online through his Kickstarter campaign – This map includes EVERY important (and almost every unimportant) zombie genre work, from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” to the movies of George Romero and Lucio Fulci, to Kengo Hanazawa’s “I Am a Hero.”

Zombie map

Zombie map

Awesome Maps and Data Visualizations from 2013

I’m not calling this a “best” list as that’s pretty tough to call, however, it is a fine list of sweet maps and data visualizations that we enjoyed and shared with the community during the first half of 2013 – enjoy these visualizations mapping music, sports, Cardinals, and even hate! Do you have a favorite Map or DataViz from 2013? Please ping me @gletham

Moore, Oklahoma, before and after the tornado, seen by Astrium Satellite
Satellites, operated and built by Astrium, number three company in the world for space technologies, have captured this image of Moore, Oklahoma, which clearly shows the devastation caused by the massive tornado that swept through the region on May 20, 2013.

NFL Fan Map (FandomMap) Data Visualization created from Facebook data
Super Bowl week is here so that means more cool data visualizations.. best BBQ, tail gate hot spots, and those awesome NFL fan maps!

TweetPing Maps The World’s Twitter Activity in Real Time
I simply had to share details of this awesome real-time map of the world’s Twitter activity so you could enjoy the awesomeness of it – Enter TweetPing.

Read more HERE

Data Tip – NOAA Digital Coast Data Access Viewer adds LiDAR

Here’s details of a pretty sweet data access tool from the NOAA Coastal Service Center– the Data Access Viewer. In a recent update from NOAA we learn that Many new LiDAR data sets recently have been added to the resource. More details available in this announcement.

Stay informed of NOAA activities and data tips via the NOAA GeoZone blog

Search almost 1000 data layers for data from NOAA