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

Introducing Cartographer.js

Cartographer.js screenshots: chloropleth, area-scaled circles, and pie charts

Cartographer.js is a thematic mapping library for Google Maps that simplifies the development process and provides instant access to proven visualization techniques. Developers are freed from worrying about how to tweak the Google Maps API to build the thematic elements they need, and can focus on more important problems like data collection and normalization. Cartographer.js supports custom styling so it can integrate seamlessly into existing web applications.

Continue reading »   Oct 21, 20094 Comments

The Ebstorf Mappamundi – map of the 13th c. Christian World

The Ebstorfer mappamundi, map of the Christian World in the 13th century overlaid with an image of Christ. (click for high resolution)

The Ebstorf mappamundi was drawn in 13th century Saxony and depicts the Christian worldview within the body of a crucified Christ. The map illustrates both the “known world” as well as significant landmarks and points of interest for the curious pilgrim.

Continue reading »   Sep 24, 2009One Comment

Area Scaled Map from 1930 – Markets are People

Markets are People, published 1930 by Printer

“Markets are People” is a beautifully drawn map. It uses area-distortion to show population at both the state and city level. This is the first map we have seen that uses the area-distortion method at two resolutions. The effect is visually accurate, highly readable, and offers deeper insight into the data than similar maps that offer only one level of detail.

Continue reading »   Sep 16, 2009Comments Off on Area Scaled Map from 1930 – Markets are People

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