Featured Maps Articles


Mapping U.S. Oil Basins

I read an interesting article on Bloomberg.com about a "Giant" oil discovery made recently by U.S. Oil Giant BP in the Gulf of Mexico. One estimate in the article is that the newest find is somewhere in the area of one billion barrels of oil. The article mentions that Oil companies are going to greater lengths to reach oil once thought to be impossible to obtain. The reasons mentioned for this are dwindling supplies of domestically produced oil, and reluctance of other counties in the Middle East and South America to allow U.S. oil producers to tap …

Mapping Wildfires

There have been numerous reports coming out of California about problems the state is facing in dealing with wildfires. An article on CNN mentioned that hundreds have been evacuated from their homes because of threats from the fires . Unfortunately, officials are unsure as to what has caused the fire, but high winds have contributed to the fire's growth. Reading this article sparked my interest in trying to find out where wildfires are currently burning in the United States. I searched out data about fires and came across latitude and longitude data for fires that are currently burning in the United …

Public Housing and Crime

I recently completed a paper on the relationship between a governmental program known as HOPE VI and changing crime patterns in Lexington, Kentucky. I discovered some very interesting patterns that occurred as large numbers of public housing residents were relocated throughout the city. The methodology for this study was somewhat more complex than simply comparing a few maps over several years. I employed various statistical techniques to determine if the presence of HOPE VI residents could significantly predict higher rates of crime and social disorganization. For this post I am including the maps that show a significant growth away from …

Mapping Marine Traffic Around the World

I found a really interesting website earlier this week that is used for tracking marine vessels around the world. The website, MarineTraffic.com provides a look at most (but not all) coastal areas around the world that have large ports and heavy sea traffic. The website gives the location of a ship on a map by providing a symbol that corresponds to the type of ship that is being represented. The user can click on the symbol and learn a lot of information about the ship, like where it is from, where it is going, what its job is (i …

Mapping Earthquakes

The recent news of the earthquake in China inspired me to find websites that provide spatial information about earthquakes. Basically, I wanted to find out if there are websites out there that describe where earthquakes are occurring, and at what magnitude. Naturally, the first organization I found that provides such a service is the United States Geological Survey, which has a number of maps that provide not only the location of earthquakes, but also other important information like magnitude and coordinates. The USGS provides global maps as well as more regionalized maps that provide a more detailed look at Earthquakes …

Crime Mapping in the News

Today, I ran into an article in the Wall Street Journal that discusses several new websites that promote information sharing between the police and the public. These websites focus on providing up to date information about crime incidents within cities by allowing the public to view various aspects related to the occurrence of a crime. The public is able to search for crimes at specific addresses and times, and they are able to focus on certain types of crime. Personally, this article is very exciting for a number of reasons... First, any time crime mapping makes it into a national …

Mapping H1N1

We have all heard about the outbreak of swine flu across the globe and how it has affected a great number of people as nearly 14,000 cases have been reported so far (WHO, 2009). If you are like me, then you likely have no clue where the Swine Flu has been popping up most frequently There have been many reports coming from Mexico, the U.S. and other countries around the world, but to be honest, it is very difficult to keep up with all of the reports, and to know exactly what the outbreak looks like. Naturally, I …

Big welcome to Rick Jones

Fresh from his master's degree, all of us here at ClueTrust would like to welcome Rick Jones to the team. He's going to be posting on this blog (more often than I do) and doing a lot of other work here, now that we've got Cartographica 1.0 out the door. Welcome to the team, Rick!

Naval Observatory visible in Google Maps

For those in the DC region looking at maps of DC, there has been (since Google Maps came out) a large blurry hole between Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues NW. It was circular and pretty darned large. In fact, for the short period in time when the White House was somewhat blurred out, the Naval Observatory was a much larger "missing piece." The White House was made visible years ago, but the Naval Observatory had been blurred until just recently. Looking at some maps for the area yesterday, I noticed that you can now see the home of the Vice President …


A map of roads

A very interesting map from Ben Fry's website, including detail on the meaning and origin in this article. The map itself is made only of roads, no terrain features, no boundaries, just roads... all of the roads in the US. Best use of the TIGER/Line data set I've seen in years. A thumbnail of the real map is used by gracious permission of the author. Thanks!

Seeing [maps] is not always believing

With all of the recent move to put cartography and GIS data on the internet, it should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that there are a lot of web sites out there with nice looking maps and data that everyone expects to be real. This is where people should stop to think about the source of the data. A beautiful map is a beautiful thing. And, once upon a time, a nice looking map with data on it was a sign that some dedicated organization had paid a lot of money to create it. Nowadays, that …

Worldmapper distorts to communicate

Worldmapper is a site that uses Cartograms (maps that have been distorted to show non-geographical data in interesting ways. Public Health Spending, as an example, shows how much of the world's health care dollars are spent in the US. Compare that with Population, and you get an idea how distorted spending is relative to population. It's an interesting way to view information, using maps as a reference point instead of an accurate rendition, like so much of online mapping. There are some 227 cartograms and they can be looked at online or downloaded in PDF form. Further, they provide extensive …

Rare map store online

In Boulder, CO this weekend, Carol and I happened upon a store called Art Source International. They specialize in prints and maps, but really in maps. They have about 25,000 in their online listing and will frame and ship, and in some cases provided high-resolution (OK, they're medium resolution, because 1600x1200 stopped being high resolution a few years ago) images of the maps. Ask for George, he knows what he's doing!

Casio GPR-100 GPS watch

According to an article on Mobilewhack Casio is going to release a new GPS enabled watch. The specs indicate that the watch "comes equipped with a built in speedometer and a GPS radio! " As is apparent from the previous quote there is not a lot of information known just yet about the new watch. However, from the looks of the picture accompanying the article, the watch looks smaller than other GPS watches from Suunto or Garmin. More information as it become available.

Mapping the Yankees Red Sox Rivalry

The NY Times (Registration Required) has a fun article today about the "fiercest rivalry in all sports" and how the rivalry plays out geographically. The article details the methodology used to obtain a dividing line between Yanks and Sox fans similar to the famous Mason-Dixon line separating uncouth Yankees from Genteel Southerners. The article states that the slightly un-scientific methods used were to "use a company-issued 2002 Pontiac Grand Am to traverse the highways and back roads of Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Roll into towns unannounced. Choose a person or group of people — preferably those with a bead on …

Tom Tom ONE announced

Tom Tom announced the release of their new pockety GPS unit the One. In appearance and size it is similar to the Garmin Nuvi, yet it differs in cost and in some of the feature set. As for features, the ONE has a 3.5 inch touch screen Bluetooth for hands-free calling, SiRF Star III chip, and pre-installed maps all for around $500 (about $400 less than the Nuvi). The maps come loaded on SD cards and from what I can tell, they can be swapped out easily for other maps. Moreover, users have access to all of the TomTom …

Use the Garmin Forunner 305 indoors

According to GPS Tracklog Garmin is releasing a new footpod that will allow users of the Forunner 305 to use the gadget indoors. Apparently the footpod works like footpods from Nike or Suunto. According to the Garmin press release the footpod will cost $99.00 and be released sometime in October. As we find out more we will bring it to you.

London tube map archive

For those of you who have ever been in London (England not KY) and ridden the Tube you realize it is the best subway system in the world. The tube is great not only because it runs on time, is fairly clean, and friendly, but because the tube is well organized and has great pocket ride maps. Well for those of you who are fans of those maps you can now go to "A History of the London Tube Maps" and view the evolution of these maps. In addition to nice scans of old tube maps there are short descriptions …

Flickr Old Maps group

Is there anything you cannot find on Flickr? There is a new group on Flickr that has lots of scans of old maps from all over the U.S. I looked through several the maps and they are indeed quite interesting. In particular there is an image from "mdoeff" that compares San Francisco in 1849 and present day. Keep the maps coming.