Above is a small extract of an interesting roadmap (also printable PDF version) from the Art & Science Factory, produced by Dr Brian Castellani. It was first posted back in early 2009, this is the fifth edition published earlier this month. It shows connections between the different strands of the Complexity Sciences and how they are linked to related disciplines. UCL CASA’s Prof Michael Batty makes an appearance – in the future section (2015) on the far right hand side, linking to his Cities and Complexity work – the Science of Cities.
The chart goes right back to Isaac Newton (the 1940s-1950s caption here perhaps not quite right!) and also references John Conway’s seminal Game of Life, as a feed into Cellular Automata models.
Castellani, Brian 2013. Complexity Map Version 5. Sociology and Complexity Science Blog. http://sacswebsite.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-complexity-map-version-5.html.
Compendium of not-great maps produced by the media showing the alleged route that data leaker Edward Snowden may or may not have taken around the world. Thanks to Spatial Analysis for tipping me off with the Guardian’s effort and seeding the idea for this blog post.
Apparently the route from Hawaii to Hong Kong goes via Brazil and Madagascar. The map’s filename includes “v2-final” indicating this is not a first draft. The labels variously show the city, the state, the country, or sometimes a combination.
So Google has released an invitation-based beta of their new Google Maps version for 2013, at their developer conference (I/O) last week. I’ve been trying it out over the last few days. Compare the new version above, with the old version at the bottom of this post.
The new fonts used look great.
Covering the whole page with the map is great.
The cartography has improved a lot. I particularly like the slighty text buffering, and the subtle shading effects at the edge of areas of water. The world looks a lot more beautiful.
Fewer red pins – now, selected features show up in a bold, dark red font.
The old green and orange road major road colours have just been replaced with yellow and light orange. Much more soothing to the eye.
All vector based, so generally is more responsive (snappier) to use. Zooming in and out is very smooth.
Public transport display is much improved, both with timetables and route option itineraries, and the display of metro/rail networks and “sign” labels along the routes you take for journeys.
Selecting bicycle mode is much more obvious.
I cannot specify a specific point on the map any more for a pin – it tends to jump to.
I cannot switch off display of my “home” and “work” points on the map.
I cannot view the (large) map and Street View at the same time, or navigate around the map and have Street View move at the same time.
No Pegman any more! I cannot see what streets are on Street View, except by navigating around Street View itself.
The image carousel at the bottom seems unnecessary and a waste of bandwidth – although it’s easy enough to switch off.
When selecting a POI quite near where I live, Google automatically draws a recommended road route from my home to it, and there seems to be no way to switch this off.
“My Maps” seems to have disappeared.
Terrain view seems to have gone.
Little explanation of symbology or colour meanings – I think this is deliberate, to reduce clutter, but it can be annoying. However key colours do have keys that pop up when needed, e.g. cycle route type, congestion scale.
The internal maps for major buildings (stations, shopping centres) seem to have gone.
You cannot zoom into the aerial imagery as far as before.
There are two few area/district names appearing at many zoom levels, e.g. in central London.
Overall feeling is that Google has stripped away too many features, and made doing anything more than a basic look at the map (or finding directions) a bit harder, requiring long mouse clicks or options that are hidden away.
So it looks prettier, and it’s easier to use. But some key features for me (such as the split screen between map and Street View) have disappeared – hopefully only temporarily – so for day-to-day use I find my self using the old map.
Here is an animation I created a couple of years ago, one of a number I created for the “Sense and the City” exhibition at the London Transport Museum, which ran from Summer 2011 to Spring 2012. A version of this animation was branded appropriately for the exhibition and shown upstairs in the interactive section. I also created a similar animation of the Barclays Cycle Hire, and colleagues created other map-based visualisations of the moving city.
The animated map shows the touch-ins (going into the network) and touch-outs (leaving the network) of Oyster cards at London’s tube and train stations, including a few beyond the Greater London boundary which still accept Oyster cards. Oyster cards are London’s travel smartcards. As the animation moves forwards in 10-minute intervals during the typical weekday, the balance between touch-ins and touch-outs is shown by a colour scale. Red indicates the great majority of taps are touch-ins, and green indicates mainly touch-outs. White is the “neutral” colour, indicating that roughly as many people are entering the network as leaving it, at that period in time.
Here is a webpage that uses my own CityDashboard API*, to build a Periodic-Table inspired “data artwork” of live London information, as a series of coloured square panels on a website. The squares update regularly with fresh information, and throb red (or blue) if there are particularly extreme values present.
As an artwork, it’s deliberately not 100% clear what it shows. A key on the bottom right will help a bit, but a degree of guesswork will be needed for some of the panels. With a bit of thought, almost all of the panels should be decipherable.
As the page is so simple, it displays well on mobile browsers – on my iPhone, the webpage shows four panels on each row. On larger displays, it will rearrange appropriately. See the acknowledgements link on the page to see where the data’s coming from – the same sources as CityDashboard, including TfL, DEFRA, Yahoo! Finance and Mappiness, as well as CASA’s own sensors.
I created the piece for the ODI’s recent Data as Art installation competition – I didn’t win, but decided to do it anyway.