Uber—who would thought—have released, an open-source geospatial toolbox. It’s designed to provide the easiest way of visualising geospatial data and gaining useful insights. Perhaps it’s not really a surprise as Uber is a ‘geospatial’ service, so gaining an understanding of cities, movement and people is fairly fundamental to how it works.

We are starting to get a confluence of the range of frameworks and digital tools, demonstrated by leveraging Mapbox as a base data source. However, professes to be the next stage in geospatial data visualisation by combining all steps (data collection; data processing; visual exploration; and visualisation) in one ‘data-agnostic’, high-performance web-based application that can handle very large data sets on the fly. All layer geometry calculations are GPU-based, which Uber claims makes this much faster and more powerful than traditional tools… graphics card permitting.

“Showing geospatial data in a single web interface, helps users quickly validate ideas and glean insights from these visualizations.”

The idea of the single interface for all steps in the process enables a user to drag-and-drop a CSV or GeoJSON file into the app window, and then filter, explore and visualise immediately. The application has launched with a number of common visualisation techniques. The layering encompasses points, arcs, paths, polygons, grids and hexbins, in both 2D and 3D. In fact, there are quite a few interesting and new approaches that uses that enable both static and animated outputs, some echoing tools from traditional design and art software. It is, already, a powerful geo-analytics and visualisation framework that promises much more to come. More visualisation techniques are to be introduced, together with charting and dashboard creation, linking interactions between maps and charts. Further GIS operations will also be introduced, such as buffering, boolean operations such as union and intersection, and more. Overall, this is a very welcome and interesting new tool adding to a growing catalogue of tools and frameworks for exploring and visualising geospatial data.

June, 2018

Map Communication

Map communication model

Cartography is an art and a science, and has strong links to many fields, from geography to graphic arts. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that a map may imbue the character of the authoring cartographer. [ … ]

Elements of a Map

Elements of a map

When discussing the fundamental elements of a map we are more often than not referring to the visual presentation, or composition, of the map. [ … ]

Writing a Mapping Brief

CARTOGRAPHERS (map designers) work like many others engaged in design fields—they need clear briefs. Not only does a clear brief help the cartographer, but more importantly, it helps you structure your thoughts and clarify objectives. [ … ]


I’ve posted this article for no more reason than to demonstrate one of the best and easiest to use browser-based 3D viewers available, not to mention an excellent resource of 3D models—Sketchfab. [ … ]


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. [ … ]

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


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. [ … ]

Heightfield 3D Model

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

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