Illustreets

No sooner had I picked up on one new online mapping framework, the OS Open Zoomstack, than another appears! Illustreets follows the usual formula, but with each new framework that gets released, mapping and visualising (big) data becomes ever easier and ever more spectacular — apparently. That is a admirable way forward, so long as users really understand what they are creating if it has been made so easy for them.

Gaining knowledge of data, statistics, mapping, visual communication, etc., are all very important to the creation of meaningful maps. Being able to create a ‘spectacular’ looking map is not in itself useful. Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) and all that type of commentary still applies. It is so easy to mis-represent information on a map. I’ve gone off-piste a little here as the benefits of new and improving mapping frameworks is only to be commended in increasing accessibility and understanding of maps and geospatial data among a wider audience.

Illustreets seems a little confusing at first glance, as their are odd references to CARTO (another mapping framework) and with data referenced to both the OS and Google sprinkled around the case study apps. This makes you wonder what sort of mash up this really is — perhaps just a connecting app between other apps and data sources? Anyway, still worth checking out.

Keep bringing them on.

August, 2018

Illustreets

No sooner had I picked up on one new online mapping framework, the OS Open Zoomstack, than another appears! Illustreets follows the usual formula, but with each new framework that gets released

OS Open Zoomstack

The world of online mapping frameworks moves apace! Now, even the monolithic mapping organisation, the Ordnance Survey, is involved. In July, they launched OS Open Zoomstack, providing vector tiles of their open data themes.

Visual Thinking

Having been embedded within graphic design and cartography for 30 years now, one recurring disappointment for me is the amount of ‘new’ conceptual and theoretical thinking, and object creation, that really is not new.

kepler.gl

Uber—who would thought—have released kepler.gl, an open-source geospatial toolbox. It’s designed to provide the easiest way of visualising geospatial data and gaining useful insights.

Cartograms

Not to be confused with Mapbox’s nonsensical hijacking of the term for creating colour styles, cartograms are extraordinary map types. The relaunch of Worldmapper in April 2018 celebrates this form of mapping.

Google Earth

When it was first released 16 years ago, it was an incredible virtual experience to be able to travel around the globe and look at anywhere in a level of detail previously not seen, and it still is today!

National Geographic

Since the very first issue in 1888, the National Geographic magazine has been the benchmark for quality researched articles supported by well-crafted graphics.

Heightfields

There is always an aspect of work that emerges out of error, experimentation and/or serendipity.

Big Data Visualisation

Visualisations of ‘big data’ have been commonplace over the last few years, though their is still much debate to be had about the value of many of them beyond their visually interesting presentation.

A Monitor for a Cartographer?

Screen estate and colour are very important to a cartographer. Maps can be any size from A6 to more than 5m×5m square.

An Open-source World

Over the last few years we have seen the release of numerous mapping platforms/frameworks to allow the manipulation and representation of open-source mapping and other spatial data.

OS Maps – the App

Recently, the Ordnance Survey (OS) updated an app for both mobile and desktop devices that utilises their 1:25,000 Explorer and 1:50,000 Landranger maps—classic OS mapping at it’s best.

Swiss National Mapping

Swiss topography has long been regarded as the epitome of this form of mapping, often characterised by the iconic hill shading techniques of the late Eduard Imhof, professor of cartography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Relief Shading, Part I

As we seem to be moving in to presentational modes where 3D (mapping) is becoming ever more commonplace, enabled by software and hardware advances, it is relevant to look back

Mac Pro 5,1 resurrected?

I decided to raise the bar on my workstation and go for something with a little more grunt, and that would be up to the job for the next 2–3 years.