Chris Mueller – Visualmotive

Thoughts on maps and visualization

A Map with a Purpose: Bruges in 1562

The 1562 map of Bruges by Marcus Gerards

Cartography is subjective. This is a well-known fact borne out year after year, map after map. The early Christian church sponsored T-O maps that showed the world as a metaphorical “body” of Christ. Automotive companies funded city maps from the mid-20th century that plainly showed highways and boulevards with rail and tram lines in diminished […]

Continue reading »   Feb 18, 2013Comments Off on A Map with a Purpose: Bruges in 1562

Rotary Maps – Realtime mapping in Google Maps

Rotary Maps powering the Thumbtack realtime dashboard

Cross-posted from the Thumbtack engineering blog. I recently released an open-source mapping toolkit called Rotary Maps that helps you make realtime maps on top of Google Maps v2 or v3. It also supports making maps in a simple DOM element if you don’t care for Google Maps. Check out the full post at the Thumbtack […]

Continue reading »   May 26, 2011Comments Off on Rotary Maps – Realtime mapping in Google Maps

Mapping Britain with Telephone Calls

Telephone calls and regional connections in Great Britain

These maps are fascinating. Have you ever wondered why state or county or city boundaries are drawn where they are? It turns out that administrative and government boundaries are consistent with trends in human relationships; that is, people associate most with others in the same government-defined region. To investigate the geography of human relationships, a […]

Continue reading »   Dec 15, 2010Comments Off on Mapping Britain with Telephone Calls

Mapping US Counties with Cartographer.js

Map of California County Populations produced with Cartographer.js

The most recent release of Cartographer.js supports county-level choropleth maps. This was the number one requested feature for Cartographer and I am delighted to finally be able to offer it in an official package. Counties are stored with efficient polygon encoding, and are easily referenced by name.

Continue reading »   May 4, 20104 Comments

Notes on Color

Munsell Color Space. Image created with POV-Ray, CC license via Wikimedia Commons

Choosing colors for maps, charts, and infographics can be a difficult task. Standard software packages like Excel and Matlab have tended to offer substandard color schemes (though this is getting better) so it’s up to the designer to learn about color and apply the appropriate techniques. This post will focus on understanding color schemes for maps.

Continue reading »   Dec 7, 2009Comments Off on Notes on Color

Tweemap – Mapping Twitter Followers

A tool to map your Twitter followers. Tweemap shows up to 10,000 followers for any given user. The Google Maps Javascript API provides core mapping utilities, and the Twittervision API was used for geocoding.

Continue reading »   Apr 2, 2009Comments Off on Tweemap – Mapping Twitter Followers

Ten Examples of the Subway Map Metaphor

The Milky Way Galaxy

The visual components of a subway map make it a great metaphor for grouping and linking ideas or things across many different conceptual realms. We’ve collected here ten excellent examples of the subway map metaphor. 1. Milky Way The Milky Way Transit Authority shows the spiral of the galaxy, with major constellations and nebula appearing […]

Continue reading »   Mar 23, 20096 Comments

Subway Map of the Web

Web Trends Startpage shows websites as if they were the Tokyo subway

Following up on our earlier post about the Tokyo subway map, the Information Architects Web Trends Startpage is a clever mashup of the subway map metaphor with the standard start-page. Authors of this map have manually categorized and located some of the web’s most popular sites into color-coded lines and stations. Especially interesting is the […]

Continue reading »   Mar 17, 2009Comments Off on Subway Map of the Web

Feltron Annual Reports

Map and timeline from the Feltron 2008 Annual Report

The Feltron Annual Reports are brilliant personal visualizations that describe, one year at a time, the life of Nicholas Felton. He uses an elegant combination of textual manipulation, charts, and diagrams to convey interesting and sometimes trivial facts about his life. We learn that the subway fees are 93 cents on the mile, compared with […]

Continue reading »   Mar 7, 2009Comments Off on Feltron Annual Reports

Tokyo Subway Map

Tokyo subway map

The very elegant Tokyo subway map. Cities are inherently complex, and transit-map publishers face a dizzying set of challenges if they wish to produce a readable but accurate representation of a transit system. The designers of this map deserve particular credit for organizing and clarifying what is necessarily a sprawling collection of subway lines and […]

Continue reading »   Mar 6, 2009Comments Off on Tokyo Subway Map