A weblog for members of the Canadian Cartographic Association and other individuals interested in all things cartographic

BBC World Cup Map

With the World Cup now narrowed down to 8 competitors and drawing closer to its grand finale, there’s still time to take a look at another World Cup related map. This one is produced by the BBC and is interactive and very much focused on England (of course). The map, powered by Map24, can be panned and zoomed and features shown on the map can identified. The host of icons on the map are not the most cartographically friendly. Items on the map include World Cup venues, photos, team news and BBC big screen locations.

See previous entry on World Cup maps.

Thanks Ian.


Animated Flight Atlas

Michael Peterson presented his flight atlas at last week’s Geotec / CCA conference. The atlas is collection of animated maps that show the movement of commercial aircraft across the United States and Canada in a 24 hour time span. The atlas is not available online - the 3.4 GB of animation makes that difficult to do - but it does have a website where some of its features are highlighted. Included is a sample animation (avi format, 13.2 MB; you might need to download the latest DivX codec for it to play properly) showing flights in and out of Atlanta. Data for the project was collected using the FlyteTrax program from FlyteComm. Users can select aircraft by type, airport or airline. A great tool for seeing air traffic patterns.

The DVD atlas is not available for sale yet; Peterson is still looking for a distributor.


Hi-Res Imagery Added to Yahoo! Maps

Yahoo! Maps has added high resolution imagery for selected cities to its usual offering of Landsat imagery. The list of cities is very limited at this point but are scattered around the globe. Compared to Google Maps imagery offering (from DigitalGlobe), Yahoo! Maps imagery (from GeoEye) is not are sharp though it appears brighter. Yahoo! Maps also provides a better, seamless image at smaller scales than Google Maps but the maps and imagery take longer to appear. Compare the two images (Google Maps - top, Yahoo! Maps - bottom) of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa:


Lazy Person's Google Mashup

The above Google Map mashup was created using quikmaps.com. The website allows users to create their own Google Map mashup by dragging pins and scribbling lines on to the map. Once completed, it generates some code that can be pasted into any html page. Perfect for sharing sketched out directions or map notations. Not so convenient if you are looking at mapping a large dataset.

By way of Map and GIS News for UK, Europe and World


Else/Where: Mapping

Else/Where: Mapping
New Cartographies of Networks and Territories

Janet Abrams & Peter Hall, editors
Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Design Institute, 2006

ISBN: 0-9729696-2-4
20 cm x 24.8 cm
320 pp, paperback
$49.95 U.S.

Else/Where: Mapping is an unusual collection of essays on the topic of mapping. It is not a book on cartography; in fact, none of the 60 contributors to the book are trained cartographers. In this way, the book is a very timely reflection of the current state of mapping in the world. With the explosion in accessible, digital technology, mapping has moved into the hands of non-technically minded people. The release of Google Maps and the subsequent torrent of mashups – data of an often idiosyncratic nature placed on top of a Google Maps street map or satellite image – and other similar technologies have moved the business of mapping out of the realm of trained and specialized cartographers. The golden age of cartography is long past.

But what an explosion of mapping! Else/Where: Mapping looks at the great variety and expanse of mapping technologies and mapping subjects—for the world of maps is no longer constrained to physical or geospatial features. Social networks, genomes, email conversations, and the structures and inter-relationships of government services or corporations are all being mapped, plotted, and analyzed. Every day something new is being mapped, skewing the world in a slightly different way. The question becomes not what is being mapped but what isn’t. The golden age of mapping is upon us.

Janet Abrams and Peter Hall introduce the book by saying that “mapping has emerged in the information age as a means to make the complex accessible, the hidden visible, the unmappable mappable . . . . Mapping has become a way of making sense of things.” The book, they are quick to point out, is about mapping – that creative impulse that seeks to process data and covert it to information by means of some sort of reference point – not maps. The book itself exemplifies mapping. The table of contents is not a list but a diagram with each page in the book represented with a thumbnail image. The book’s end pages contain an oval shaped diagram that displays all of the book’s text around its edges. In its centre are all the words of the book: the larger the font size, the more frequently the word appears (see pdf), much like how tags are used in flickr. At the beginning of each of the book’s four colour-coded sections, the section is again mapped out and broken down by essay. It is as if the editors wanted to say that anything can be mapped, in any number of ways. The result is an intricately and well thought out book on mapping that is a map to itself.

The essays contained in the book are divided into sections entitled Mapping Networks, Mapping Conversations, Mapping Territories and Mapping Mapping. Like issues of an academic journal (though without being academic) each section focuses on a particular topics but the essays themselves are very loosely related and the quality and style differ greatly from one to the next. One “essay” on mapping conversation is a conversation among four individuals; that conversation is itself mapped in a number of different ways. This is followed by an essay entitled “Conversations with Maps” in which a number of mapping projects are highlighted in short summaries, none related in any direct way to any of the others but all looking to solve similar problems. This is followed by an interview with a designer of wayfinding systems for airports. The result is an unpredictable collection of material, reflective of the unpredictable nature of mapping as it is today.

And reflective it is. Much of what is happening in the mapping world happens on or through or because of the Internet. This book has many Internet references that it is almost a requirement to have an Internet connection to fully appreciate the book. The book, however, does stand on its own and is abundantly illustrated with photos and, of course, maps (however loosely that term is defined). However, rather than displaying the photos and illustrations next to the text that discusses them, the editors have chosen to place most at the end of sections or essays, requiring the reader to flip back and forth between pages. This seems a fault but perhaps it is the intent with this book to have the reader flip back and forth within the book and over to the Internet—where such flipping back and forth is so commonplace that hardly a thought is given to it.

A topical book such as Else/Where: Mapping runs the risk of being quickly outdated but I suspect the book’s editors would not be surprised if that happened and enjoy whatever came along that was new and remarkable to replace it.

Visit the Else/Where: Mapping website.


Mapping the Blogosphere (2)

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a short story, accompanied with an audio-visual presentation, on mapping the blogosphere. The story refers to a posting on Matthew Hurst’s blog Data Mining. Hurst has posted a couple of maps of the blogosphere. The approach he takes is that those blogs that are more popular (i.e. are linked to more often) will be closer to the core. In the map shown on the left “the larger, denser area of the graph is that part of the blogosphere generally characterised by socio-political discussion (the periphery contains some topical groupings). Above and to the left is that area of the blogosphere concerned with technical discussion and gadgetry.”

“‘We are still waiting for the Mercator map to emerge’ of cyberspace said Martin Dodge, a lecturer in human geography at the University of Manchester, in England.”

See also the previous posting on Mapping the Blogosphere.


National Air Photo Library

Natural Resources Canada has a browseable, searchable map that lists air photos going back to 1920. Coverage is very spotty and images of the photos are, unfortunately, not provided online but the site is potentially a great source for locating old air photos. You must register to be able to access the online map but registration is free. Air photos that meet the search criteria are listed along with their metadata. The site only seems to work with IE6 or Netscape 7.1. Prices for air photos start at $14.99.


3D Map of British Columbia

An impressive real life three dmensional map of British Columbia will soon be on display at Victoria’s Crystal Garden as a main attraction at an exhibit called BC Experience. The map is 40 feet by 74 feet and represents the province at a scale of 1:99,000. The map is cut from high density plastic, then satellite imagery is printed on the cut model. The map even takes into consideration the curvature of the earth. Solid Terrain Modeling, the creators of the map, have also produced numerous other three dimensional relief models, some of which are viewable on their site.

More images and details on the process for creating the map are available on the Solid Terrain Modeling site or on the BC Experience site.


Chicago's Newberry Expands its Collection

The Newberry Library in Chicago has recently acquired a collection of about 400 old maps from the nearby Chicago History Museum. The collection had been identified in 1982 as not fitting in with the museum’s collection policy. These were set aside then forgotten until 1994 when workers rediscovered them. The Newberry paid $120,000 for the collection which includes a Quaker map of what would become Ohio, drawn in the 1790s and a 1675 map of Newfoundland. The maps are searchable online via the Newberry’s own catalog (no images though, just metadata).

The Newberry is open to the public at no charge and includes the Hermon Dunlop Smith Center for the History of Cartography which provides a number of online exhibits including the mapping of the French Empire in North America.

Read the Chicago Tribune story on the purchase or the Newberry’s own press release.

By way of PhiloBiblos


Geotec / CCA Conference Day 3

And the conference is over. Above - the vendors dismantle their displays.

The day - the conference, in fact - seemed to go by quickly. Today - breakfast with Tom Koch, followed by a panel discussion on mapping technologies (with your truly) followed by the CCA annual general meeting.

It was informative and exciting to hear and see what others are doing in the mapping world, some of which I will post about in the coming days. It was also good to see familiar colleagues and to hear much encouragement and positive reinforcement about this blog. Thank you all very much.

And on the drive home I came across this:
Already more than 6 years old and looking worse for wear, this map of Canada was painted on the side of a highway restaurant. It is intended to depict the route of the Trans-Canada Trail which passes nearby but it is already getting hard to read. This is what I call the Kaladar projection (I see that Google Maps is using new icons).


CCA AGM 2006

The CCA's annual general meeting was held today and was well attended (no surprise, considering that lunch was served during the meeting). Reports were provided by various executive members and interest group chairs. Rick Gray reported that CCA dues have increased this year to $90 - still a bargain. Finances are still in the black overall, though an increase in travel costs last year to the conference in St. John's has resulted in a deficit for 2005. Membership for 2005 increased by about 17% over the previous year. This is obviously an improvement but we are still not back to the levels we had about 5 or 6 years ago.

New executive members include James Boxall as Vice President, Edith Punt as Chair of the History of Cartography IG, Elise Pietroniro as Chair of Map Design and Use IG, Penny Hutton as Chair of the Analytical Cartography and GIS IG and Alberta Wood as Secretary.


Cartographies of Disease

Tom Koch, author of Cartographies of Diesease: Maps, Mapping and Medicine, spoke at a breakfast gathering at the conference this morning. He spoke a little about the history of mapping as it relates to medicine and it did not start with John Snow's famous map of the Broad Street cholera outbreak. He suggested that the map created for showing medical phenomena (e.g. the spread of cholera or AIDS) is not the end but only the beginning of the process of thinking about its spatial dimensions. More details and illustrations in his book, available from ESRI Press who kindly have provided me with a review copy.


Conference Photos

A few photos from yesterday's events . . .
Above: the CCA's booth, manned by John Fowler, the CCA treasurer, and Rick Gray, the outgoing CCA president.

Below, photos from the book launch of Terra Nostra . . .


Geotec / CCA Conference Day 2

(I apoligize for the lack of postings. A lack of access to a reliable Internet connection will do that.)

Before getting on to Day 2, a recap of the final events of Day 1 is in order. The day finished off with a dinner in the comfortable confines of the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec. Rex Murphy, familiar to many Canadians for hosting a weekly phone-in show on CBC Radio, entertained the crowd with an hour long speech only loosely related to the geospatial industry. What would he know anyway, about what we do? He even admitted so himself. He delivered his theme of people in Canada have a strong sense of place which generally devolved into a talk on how wonderful it is to be Canadian and, in his case, a Newfoundlander. His message was delivered with many asides and turnings along the way. Never concise but mostly entertaining.

As for the rest of the festivities that followed, I cannot recount as we departed early to catch what remained of the hockey game (that ended disappointingly).

On to Day 2 . . .

There were a couple of interesting sessions on mountain cartography, including a couple of presentations by Tom Patterson of the U. S. National Park Service (see more of his work at his site) and Martin Gamache of the Alpine Mapping Guild. Aileen Buckley of ESRI presented some investigations of annotating physiographic features (more available on the ESRI site - apparently they've produced a white paper on the topic which I will find later), something that is really only of interest to cartographers.

The afternoon discussion panel on the future of topographic maps in Canada was certainly interesting and well attended. Representatives of NRCan were there to explain their plans for paper topographic maps and answer the many questions and heated comments from audience members. Essentially nothing has changed. Paper maps will still be discontinued. Raster files of the sheets will be made available to distributors - although none have appeared yet. Eventually all the topographic data will be replaced by a set of vector data layers collectively to be called CanVec - but don't hold your breath as this won't occur for another 3 years. There will be one set of data, ideally suited for 1:50,000 from which other generalized datasets will be driven.

More reports to come.


NRCan to Release Topo Data?

Rumour has it that Natural Resources Canada was all set to make a big announcement at the show this week regarding its topographic data. According to inside sources, brochures had be printed up and were ready to be distributed, hearlding the announcement that the data used to make the 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 topographic maps for the entire country was going to be made freely available to the public in shapefile format. This would have made much sense in light of a recent decision by NRCan to get out of the business of printing topographic maps sheets. Unforntunately, the new Conservative minister of Natural Resources put a hold on this initiative and wishes to re-assess the situation.

In response to the comment below, that would be to give away the data.


Geotec / CCA Conference Day 1

Geotec opens with bagpiper leading in the important folks. I don’t think I’ll be needing any coffee now. Matt Ball, of Geoplace, is the first to speak and quotes Roger Tomlinson days. A few housekeeping items follow – buses will be available to get to the gala dinner in Hull – but wil we be able to watch game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals tonight?

Pierre Lemieux, MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, gets up to say a few words. Looks like he’s filling in for the absent Minister of Natural Resources Canada. I don’t know French but I do know that his isn’t too good. He talks a bit about the Atlas of Canada, and says a little bit about how wonderful it is. 7.5 million user sessions this year – expected to increase to 10.5 million by the end of the year.

Ian Wilson, of Library and Archives Canada, gets up to speak. He’s coming out with a book to be launched tomorrow at Geotec called Terra Nostra (which I am getting a review copy, thanks to the foresight of my wife when she was attending BookExpo in Toronto last week). More words about the Atlas of Canada, this time the old versions starting in 1906. He retells a humourous anecdote that reflects the optimsm of the time. He came across a map of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan from 1902 which set out planned suburb plans for the growing town. These were named the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn. These suburbs, apparently, are still good farmland. And then Ian gives Pierre a special copy of the book. Smiles all around.

Next up is Elizabeth Wong from Canada Post. What’s the connection of Canada Post and the geospatial world? A new stamp, of course. How about showing an example Elizabeth? Okay – there is. Looks nice. More presentations to Pierre. More smiles all around.

Ambient Findability
Opening Keynote
Peter Morville

Peter begins with a definition of information architecture abd how most people who are designing information architecture are not information architects. The information search process is usually iterative – queries evolve and are refined as the process goes along. Useability includes: useful, desirable, accessible, credible, findable and valuable. The Internet version of “location, location, location” is showing up in the top ten of a Google search. High rankings in the results listing of a Google search also increases users trust in the displayed links. “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” (Herbert Simon) In an age where we can select our sources and coose our news, how is this going to affect our decision-making? Objects such as wheelchairs are being tracked. People can track their kids. Is this something we want to get into? The Internet will turn everyone into a librarian. (podzinger.com, semapedia.com

Mashups – now he is talking about geospatial ideas for the first time.


Geotec / CCA Conference Day 0

The annual CCA Orienteering Event kicked this year's CCA conference off. Inspite of the hot and humid weather, a few hardy souls took up the challenge as put forth by intrepid orienteering organizer Diana Hocking. This year's event was an urban one and took place on the campus of he University of Ottawa. Yours truly won this year's "coveted" bouncy globe.

The orienteering event was followed up by a well attended icebreaker when CCA members reacquainted themselves with one another.


Journey of Mankind

The Bradshaw Foundation has an animated world map that displays the movement of the human race from its beginnings in the heart of Africa 160,000 years ago. As well as showing the movement of various groups it also shows the various climate changes over the years, some very dramatic and sudden.

From the website: “We are the descendants of a few small groups of tropical Africans who united in the face of adversity, not only to the point of survival but to the development of a sophisticated social interaction and culture expressed through many forms. Based on a synthesis of the mtDNA and Y chromosome evidence with archaeology, climatology and fossil study, Stephen Oppenheimer has tracked the routes and timing of migration, placing it in context with ancient rock art around the world.”

And to think that recorded history is but a few thousand years in length . . . .

By way of Great Map.


Social Capital

The Oil Drum: New York City has an interesting map of the United States that displays the amount of social capital per state. Social capital is a bit of an ill-defined term but simply indicates the sense of community and interconnectedness people feel. Or as Robert Putnam, author of a book on social capital called Bowling Alone says, “The central premise of social capital is that social networks have value. Social capital refers to the collective value of all ‘social networks’ [who people know] and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other [‘norms of reciprocity’].” The map is based on the results of a survey, presumably by Putnam and suggests that states such as Vermont and North Dakota have higher levels of social capital than Nevada or Alabama.


Off to GeoTec / CCA Conference

I will be off to the Canadian Cartographic Association’s annual conference, this time to be held in Ottawa in conjunction with GeoTec. It looks like a good program, starting with the always fun orienteering event on Sunday afternoon (perhaps I can improve on last year’s performance). I will provide regular updates and photos of the events during the course of the event which runs from June 18 to 21. Hope to see you there.

Check out the postings for last year’s gathering in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


Mural Mapping

The Murals of Winnipeg is a self-proclaimed hobby and labour of love of three individuals. It maps the locations of 522 murals in the city of Winnipeg, using open-source software, including PHP, MySQL, MapServer and fGIS - unusual for such an endeavour in the age of Google Maps mashups. Each mural location is symbolized on the zoomable, pannable street map of Winnipeg and is hotlinked to a larger image and description of the mural.

Bob Bruce talks a bit about the technical challenges in putting the mapping interface together - which were substantial considering that the three partners and had money.

Thanks Bob.


ESA Gallery of Satellite Imagery

The European Space Agency has opened up its collection of satellite imagery and made some of the higher resolution images available on line. Previously, available images from ESA were scaled down and of a low resolution. More than 1,000 are currently online. The coverage is very spotty - don’t look for a collection that seamlessly covers the earth - but you may luck out in finding your area of interest. Some of the files are very large - up to 200 MB in size - and all come in a tif format (no world file). The collection is quite spectacular and provides a good alternative to NASA’s collections at Visible Earth and Earth Observatory.

Read ESA’s own press release on the collection.

By way of La Cartoteca


Old London Maps

There are a number of sites hosting high resolution jpegs of old London maps. MAPCO has about 12 of them dating from 1560 to the end of the nineteenth century. MAPCO’s self-proclaimed intention is “to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views.” Maps are sliced up into smaller image pieces but each image is clear and easily readable. Also included in the MAPCO collectiion is a map of England dating from 1840 (“5 miles to the inch”), a few Australian maps dating from the same time period and a map of Scotland. Worth looking at if only for the fine details.

Old London Maps has a similar but smaller collection of maps, focusing on London and dating from 1658 to 1872. These maps are also sliced up into smaller, high resolution pieces.

By way of the Victorian Dictionary, which also has a few links to a number of other Victorian-era maps.

All of this by way of atlas(t)


The latest version of the Google Maps API, released on Sunday, allows developers to include geocoding in their online Google Maps applications. The geocoding covers Canada, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. Geocoding requests are limited to 50,000 per day per API key. The API will even return a “cleaned up” version of the address a user types.

Read more details about it on the Google Maps API Official Blog.


Get Ready to Change Those Maps!

Okay - so there is a little time yet before the surface of the earth changes. But, according to Steven Dutch of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the earth’s surface will change dramatically over the next million years. He is not considering the effects of climate change necessarily but looks at the earth from a geologic persepective. Niagara Falls, not surprisingly, will move upstream during the next 14,000 years (see oversized animated gif of its progress). Hudson Bay, still rebounding from the weight of the last ice age, will continue to shrink, Hawaii will have moved and New Orleans will still be sinking even though the mouth of the Mississippi River will have long since changed.

Read Dutch’s paper in Geosphere (complete with some large not necessarily pretty animated maps) or read about the paper in Discovery or in the Star-Phoenix.

By way of BLDGBLOG


CNET has a review of a number of online mapping sites, including Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Windows Live Local, Mapquest and Ask Maps 2.0. There is a table that lists features in all five sites that allows for some quick comparisons. In short, according to CNET, Yahoo! Maps comes out on top for ease of use and directions while Windows Live Local makes the most of the interactive nature of the web. There are also links from the table to reviews of individual mapping sites.

Catholicgauze, a blog on geography and related things, is planning a set of reviews on 10 different online mapping sites over the next few days, inspired by our own set of reviews back in October / November of last year.


Terra Nostra

Library and Archives Canada cordially invites all ACMLA and CCA members to the official launch of the new publication, Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada’s Maps, 1550–1950, published by les éditions du Septentrion in co-operation with Library and Archives Canada. The book launch is being held in the context of the GeoTec Event, and will take place at the Congress Centre Terrace in Ottawa, on Tuesday, June 20, 2006 at 6:00 p.m.

Written by Senior Archivist Jeffrey S. Murray, this new volume reveals the stories behind 400 years of mapmaking in Canada. Backed by extensive historical research and drawing on the world’s largest and most important collection of early maps relating to Canada, Terra Nostra is the first history of Canadian cartography to come out in the last 30 years. Come meet the author and have your book signed. Terra Nostra is currently available online at www.septentrion.qc.ca or www.mqup.mcgill.ca, and will also be sold during the GeoTec Event.

Bibliothèque et Archives Canada invite cordialement les membres de l’ACACC et de l’ACC au lancement officiel de Terra Nostra. Les cartes du Canada et leurs secrets, 1550-1950, publié récemment par les éditions du Septentrion en collaboration avec Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. Ce lancement aura lieu pendant la conférence GeoTec et se tiendra à la terrasse du Centre des congrès d’Ottawa, le mardi 20 juin 2006 à 18 h.

L’archiviste principal Jeffrey S. Murray a assuré la recherche et la rédaction de ce livre qui nous révèle les secrets enfouis dans quatre cents ans d’histoire de cartographie canadienne. Fruit de recherches exhaustives dans la plus imposante et la plus importante collection au monde de cartes anciennes du Canada, Terra Nostra est le premier ouvrage sur l’histoire de la cartographie canadienne à paraître depuis trente ans. Venez rencontrer l’auteur, qui se fera un plaisir de signer votre exemplaire. Vous pouvez vous procurer Terra Nostra soit sur place à la conférence GeoTec, soit en ligne à www.septentrion.qc.ca ou à www.mqup.cmgill.ca.


Macau in Maps

The American Library of Congress has a collection of maps of Macau dating from 1655 to 1991. Images are in a Zoomify format but can be downloaded as MrSID files. Also available on the site is an introduction to the collection:
The Eastern mapping tradition is characterized by the idea of place. It emphasizes idealizing or expressing the essence of a place–showing it pictorially and poetically. One map, an undated scroll map probably drawn in the late eighteenth century, represents the Chinese tradition. The scroll itself is approximately twenty-five feet long, although less than two feet need to be unrolled to show Macau and the adjacent coastline of China. That this map emphasizes the importance of Macau is obvious. The island is drawn out of proportion to its true geographical area. Buildings are drawn on the island, suggesting an image of urban activity in this port city. A textual notation warns that the “region is heavily infested with inner river bandits and sea pirates who can sail in and out freely. It also shares borders with Macau, where foreign boats and ships visit frequently. Those foreign vessels are always to be guarded against.”
By way of Plep


Fuzzy Gazetteer

The Fuzzy Gazetteer allows users to find geographic features without knowing the correct spelling. Typing in a name will list a number of similarly spelled names with latitude and longitude values. The names database it searches is world wide and includes more than 7,000,000 names. The user can specify the level of fuzziness allowed in the search. Each name is hotlinked to a map from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Digital Atlas.

Sadly, the map doesn’t seem to zoom to the point of interest but the atlas is interesting enough on its own. The atlas seems to function better in IE than in Firefox. A number of thematic layers are available for viewing and includes in the functions are a couple of buttons that will take the user to the same location in NASA’s World Wind and Google Earth (provided that they are installed).

By way of Connotea


CIA in Europe

Back in December, I posted about a couple of maps of secret CIA detention centres in Europe. Another map has come out, this one produced by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights showing a more extensive netowork of detention centres and interconnecting flights. Read the extensive 67 page pdf document on the invesitgation or a shorter news story in USA Today.


Historic USGC Topo Maps

MapTech, a creator and seller of mapping software and maps, has a collection of historic USGS topographic sheets, mostly dating from the first half of the 2oth century. Chris Marshall toured around to a number of libraries armed with a scanner and laptop and proceeded to put this digital collection together of topographic maps from the northeastern United States. These maps are beauties and come in approximately 2 MB jpeg files. Users can access the collection via quad or town index and by clicking on a state map. In some locations, maps from more than one date are available.

By way of Here Be Dragons


World Cup Maps

With the biggest international sporting event around the corner, it is time to take a look at what one can do with maps and football/soccer. The answer is, not surprisingly, not much, except, perhaps by way of metaphors. The Washington Post has a map of the world map to look like a football pitch with little pushpins representing each participating country. Hovering over a pushpin brings up information about that country (population, population under 15, world football ranking and appearances in the World Cup final). MSN/FoxSports also has a world map of participating World Cup nations. Clicking on a country brings up an information sheet about that nation’s team and another about the country itself that includes some odd-ball facts (“Duelling is legal is Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.”).


Collaborative Online Mapping

Ever since Google Maps appeared on the scene with its accessible API, people have been creating their own maps. Platial is a collaborative mapping site where users can select a location and annotate it as they see fit, allowing users to create and view very personal and idiosyncratic maps. Such a system can rapidly get disorganized and difficult to navigate. Accessing features through tags is certainly helpful but depends primarily on users having a fairly similar definition of how things should be tagged.

MapHub works in a similar fashion but appears to be more focussed than Platial and does not use a Google Maps base. MapHub allows for user input, just like Platial but also allows the person setting up the map to customize its appearance. MapHub’s biggest limitation is that it only features a map for the city of Pittsburgh. No wonder if there are any planned expansions to other cities or if this is strictly a Pittsburgh-based project.

By way of Great Map



GISWiki is a collabrative GIS site that seeks to bring together news, data sources, definitions, job postings and GIS related events. The site is mostly in German and a little slow to respond at times but looks like a worthwhile resource.


CCA Ottawa Conference 2006

The Ottawa conference organization is into its final stages of planning and the program looks very diverse and interesting. Don’t miss it. There is still time and opportunity to register and participate in this special event marking the 100th anniversary of the Atlas of Canada. The
GeoTec final program has been completed and is at the printshop. Please check the website for program and registration information. There is a pdf of the CCA sessions available for download.

All members of the CCA are invited to the official launch of the new publication, Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada’s Maps, 1550–1950, by CCA member Jeffrey Murray, on Tuesday, June 20th, at 6:00 p.m. on the Congress Centre Terrace. The printed invitations will be available for members at the CCA booth in the Exhibit Hall, booth 225.

The CCA special events which are being catered need accurate counts and therefore, if you did not indicate that you will attend them when you registered, and you do want to come, please take a moment to update your registration by sending a note to geotec@microspec.com. We have access to registration counts and this would be very helpful. The catered events are the CCA/ACMLA Icebreaker, the book launch hosted by Library and Archives Canada, and the CCA AGM and Awards Luncheon. Your registration invoice will indicate whether or not you have already said you will attend these events. There are no additional charges to members
for these three catered events. If you want to add something for which there is an additional charge, they’ll need to know how you want to pay for it, whether with the existing payment method or something else.

The Icebreaker on Sunday night is being held at the University of Ottawa in Arts Hall, 509, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. It follows the Orienteering Event which is a short course on the campus of U of O. If you want to be included in the O-event, add it to your registration or send a note to
Diana Hocking (dhocking@uvic.ca).

There is still space available in the CCA workshops. These two workshops will be excellent and worthwhile presentations by our members David Raymond ("Managing Geographic Names in a GIS"), and Peter Kasianchuk and Rob Jensen ("Planning for and Implementing Cartographic Representation in ArcGIS 9.2"). The venue has moved to Carleton University, the Loeb Building, rooms A237 and A220, and transportation will be arranged for the participants. For those who have their own car, parking is free on campus on the weekend, including parking in the parking garages.

The Gala Dinner at the Museum of Civilization is an event not to be missed. This special occasion, subsidized by Natural Resources Canada, will celebrate the anniversary of the Atlas of Canada in style with a splendid dinner, an after-dinner address by Rex Murphy, and dancing to
Eddie and the Stingrays. CCA members who attended the ICA in Ottawa in 1999 will remember Eddie and the Stingrays with delight and anticipation. Transportation will be provided to the Gala. As with the CCA catered events above, the Gala organizers need an accurate count of
the number of attendees at the earliest possible date. For further information about the Gala, or to purchase a ticket directly, please contact Cameron Wilson at 613-996-6377 or cawilson@ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca.

There is space available on the post-conference tours to the Gatineau Preservation Centre where the National Archives of Canada houses its huge collection, and to the Gatineau Satellite Receiving Station on Thursday, June 22nd. These tours are a great opportunity. I am looking
forward to them, myself. That evening, there is an opportunity to go horseback riding in the Gatineau Hills as an antidote to sitting in lecture theatres and on the tour bus earlier in the day.

So far, more than 50 CCA members have registered for the conference and we look forward to meeting and networking, renewing friendships, and exchanging ideas. Thanks to members for supporting this event and please get in touch if you have any questions we can help with.

Christine Earl
CCA 2006 Organizing Committee


Indonesian Earthquake Maps Update

Last weekend’s earthquake has almost dropped out of the headline news of most western news organizations even though relief workers are still scrambling to assist those most affected. According to the Globe and Mail, more than 600,000 are homeless and more than 6,000 have died as a result of the May 27th quake.

Getting access to some of the more remote areas is a challenge and up to date maps, of course are essential for being able to do so. Declan at Connotea has posted a number of links to satellite images and maps. The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has posted a number of satellite image maps at scales of 1:3,000 and 1:7,500. Higher resolution versions are also available.The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information has the same maps but also has world files for each available for download. Most, if not all, of the images are Ikonos or Quickbird. Global Connection has posted a kmz file that enables viewing of many of the same maps in Google Earth.

The U. N.’s ReliefWeb has a number of maps, the latest showing the number of people affected by area. UNOSAT has also updated its offerings but includes many of the satellite images mentioned earlier.

A wiki-like page has been set up in the hopes of coordinating many of these maps and images.

It is something that we perhaps already take for granted but the Internet and the ready access to satellite imagery have made such things possible in such short times. Detailed mapping is often not available for remote areas (and not just in Third World countries); commercial satellite imagery can provide some of that detail on demand at relatively low cost.

By way of Connotea.

See also previous posting on Indonesian Earthquake Maps.


A Trinity of Online Mapping Sites

Idelix has set an up an internet map site that draws on three different online mapping sites: Live Local, Google Maps and Yahoo! Maps. With a click on a radio button, users can switch from one to the other while retaining location. The usual street maps, satellite imagery and hybrid maps that each provides is still there. The site also features a lens that the user can move about the map that enlarges what lies underneath. The zoom level for the lens can be set or the lens can be turned off altogether. The site also allows the user to find directions, although the Yahoo! Maps version is not currently working. The maps are a bit slow to come up but this is a great way to compare the three internet mapping sites.


U.S. Map of Reproductive Rights and Access

Ipas, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective have joined forces and produced a Flash map showing the ratings of the 50 U. S. states in terms of reproductive rights and access. Each state takes a colour somewhere between red and blue, depending on its rating (red = less access, blue = more access). The colours may have intentionally been selected to mimic the popular red-blue U. S. election maps. Clicking on a state brings up reproductive related information on that state. Though the colour scheme is simple, the way the ratings are determined seems complex.



Gapminder World is a mapping / graphing tool that uses Flash to plot various development factors. The map is a world map with proportional circles representing countries’ populations. A dropdown box allows the user to specify what the colours sohuld indicate (indebetedness, geographic region or income group). A timeline at the bottom of the map can be played or paused at 5 year increments between 1960 and 2004.

The graph is probably the more useful feature of the tool and plots the same proportional circles used in the map. Both x and y axis of the graph can be changed, allowing the user to compare different variables such as Internet users, life expectancy and contraceptive use. The timeline is also available for this graph.

The tool uses World Development Indicators from the World Bank.

By way of La Cartoteca.


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