Vote for your Favourite Map!
August for me has gone far too quickly, and Map of the Month has also come round again very quickly! Fortunately, as was the case last month, there’s been some great maps to explore over the dry summer spell. To follow up on last month, congratulations to Craig Taylor on winning the inaugural Map of the Month with his awesome #PlotmyPaws doggy themed data viz. From looking at recent activity, #plotmypaws is going from strength to strength.
Back working on my #plotmypaws project this weekend, lots of #dog tracks coming in now! I want to believe they are somehow coordinating and will eventually spell something out in the GPS trace… #map #dataviz 🐶 pic.twitter.com/5HckMmoU7N
— Craig Taylor (@CraigTaylorGIS) August 19, 2018
So let’s see the contenders for this month, you should know the drill now – vote below and Twitter for your favourite.
Taiwan – The Water Starved Island – Commonwealth Magazine (Taiwan/Chinese Taipei)
The island of Taiwan is one which often encounters water shortages, despite a relatively high level of precipitation and infrastructure. A large factor in this issue is illegal land use in reservoir catchment areas. This important issue is one which explored in this fantastic story map with accompanying report. What is special with this map is its unique and smart interactivity which gives a sense of journey through the region and the issues facing water supply infrastructure and environment, from landslides and typhoons. Using a simple scroll of your mouse, you follow the river as it worms its way through the catchment, highlighting key case studies with popups including vegetation analysis. The innovative user interaction to give focus and attention to local issue is particularly notable.
The Age of Borders – PisseGuri82 (Reddit User)
Looking at a world map, it is easy to think borders a relatively old and static – when’s the last time you last heard your country’s border change? But of course, this is all relative to time – as this neat, simple but super-informative and enlightening map from Norwegian Reddit User PisseGuri82 proves. Indeed, it is a fascinating fact that more than half of the total length of the world’s borders have been drawn after 1900; less than 1% before 16th Century. This clear and cartographically well presented map reveals something deeper about the world we live in today – the borders we live in are relatively young, as is the idea of the modern nation-state. Furthermore, it reveals much about history and how it shapes today. Compare the relatively old borders in Europe which evolved over time, to Africa which has the youngest average borders (after Antarctica) which had its borders imposed on it by colonialists. The atlas of the world is likely to be change for future generations.
Live London Underground Map – Matthew Somerville
Just Another Day on Aerosol Earth – NASA Earth Observatory
NASA’s Earth Observatory is a treasure trove of aerial imagery and earth observation data of human and physical geographical events/processes, and is a must for any geography geeks. A particular noteworthy example however, is this striking map of global aerosols, using data from satellite and ground sensed data, such as MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), to produce an eye-catching data visualisation. This is just a one day snapshot of the air around the world, and how what is seemingly clear is actually full of solid particulates and water droplets. While exaggerated for visual impact, this map is special in highlighting the patterns of human activity with black carbon from wildfires, deforestation and industry; as well as natural processes, with dust from Arabian Gulf and Sahara, and cyclones transporting sea salt. Both scientifically and cartographically it is very impressively engaging.
As you can see there’s been lots of awesome geographical happenings over the last month. I can’t decide my favourite, so it’s up to you! Deadline for voting is 12 noon on 8th September (GMT).