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Fukushima, two years on

On my birthday 2 years ago, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami – both the kind of natural disaster …

What the maps miss

Anya Beaumont – see ‘How maps inspire us’ – talked about the little details of place and local landmarks. I was preparing another post on Google imagery but her attention to detail with scuplting little trees and suchlike got me thinking. Map specification often forces us to omit information that perhaps is relevant. If Ordnance Survey were to map the crater lakes of Flores in Indonesia, we would have to show them all in 15% cyan!

A pep talk

Kid President’s pep talk works on so many levels. I originally shared this on facebook several months ago. But I am reposting here in the hope it inspires some of you to create something that will make the World awesome!

How maps inspire us

Last Thursday I spent the day at SteerDaviesGleave in London, where the Design Group of the British Cartographic Society has arranged a programme of talks by people who have taken maps into their artistic fields.

I admit to being slightly sceptical. I guessed that the event would either be some organic-munching, slightly new age, overly arty types banging on about how they love walking with OS Explorer Maps, or it would be some brilliant artists that have taken their passion for art, mixed it with a mapping slant and come up with something slightly outside of the box and probably outside of the limits of my imagination. Thankfully, I am very pleased to report that it was far closer to the latter.

Heat maps expand into the mainstream

In cartography there has been almost a revival of heat maps in recent years. I should start by clarifying what I refer to by the term ‘heat map’.

Across different disciplines, heat maps mean different things from isotherms in meteorology to pixel matrix displays in graphics and computing. In cartography and GIS, the term is used to represent location weighting or densities. Caitlin Dempsey gives a very good description on GIS Lounge:

‘Heat mapping, from a geographic perspective, is a method of showing the geographic clustering of a phenomenon. Also known as hot spot mapping, heat maps show locations of higher densities of geographic entities.’

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