National Geographic Cooperates with Google Maps Engine to Shares Rich Map Content

Last week, Google Maps has announced that we can now view some amazing paper maps from the National Geographic Society using Google Maps. Google Map Engine has newly launched public data program that organizations can distribute their map content to Google’s cloud infrastructure users. And this time is National Geographic, who aims to share the amazing paper maps with public by utilizing this public data program using Google Maps Engine to ”to overlay our maps with interactive editorial content, so the maps can ‘tell stories’ and raise awareness about environmental issues and historic events,” representative of National Geographic said. Currently, everyone is able to access several free public maps, and some high-resolution maps and print versions may need license for to access in order to raise funds for the nonprofit mission of National Geographic.

Here is a sample map image that search for “Oxford Street, London, UK” in 1979: national-geographic-google-maps-medieval-england-1979

Further information:
Image maps can be converted into interactive image maps using iMapBuilder Online or iiCreator that interactive overlays (e.g. popup infobox with images & videos, external links, labels, lines, polygons) can be added on the image maps.
More sample maps can be found at:

Create Your own Google Maps Street View using Photo Sphere

Google Maps users can now create their own Street View map using photos taken from either Google’s Photo Sphere or a DSLR camera.

First, the users  can upload photos to Google’s Views service, and then select photo spheres from user’s profile and use the new tool to connect the photos with the map. All created Street View maps can be embedded to any websites and applications that using Google Maps API.

Photo Spheres is different from other image viewers as users can freely look up, down, and all around to explore the photos with various angles. If the users are using Android phone, photos can be automatically turned into a seamless 360º experience after capturing.

In the past, we have to waited for the new Street View maps from Google but now we can take a more active role by creating the custom Street View maps by ourselves. Check out more information in Google Maps Street View page below:

Heat Map: Unemployment in California

Last week, we have introduced an interactive map about unemployment in Oregon, today we found another heat map showcases unemployment status in California.


Form the above heat map, we can see that unemployment issue is quite serious in interior areas while the situation is more optimistic in coastal areas that mainly due to the uneven distribution of economy activities. Check out the map and see if you agree with the saying or not.

Interactive NYC Crime Map

Sunday, the New York City Police Departmentand NYC’s Information Technology and Telecommunications Department have created a new online crime map for displaying locations of major crimes(e.g. murder, robbery, rape, burglary) have occurred that users can search locations by ZIP code, address or police precinct. It is believed that this crime map system can help New Yorkers and other map users to better understand locations of major crimes that are consistent.

This map can be viewed in several levels: Precinct Map, Graduated Point Map, and Heat Map.

Precinct Map

Graduated Point Map

Heat Map

The heat map shows the concentration of crimes, which are measured by how many occurrences there are per 1000 residents, with least to most depicted ranging in a pale orange to a rust color in a given area.

Users can always search data by the current year, the prior year, and by month within the current year, that currently we can find information from January 2012 to October 2013. This NYC Crime Map will regularly update by week.

U.S. Heat Map: Gender Population Ratios by State


Many people may think that there are more women than men in the United States, and actually it is quite true that there are only ten states have more men than women in United States.

The heat map, based on 2010 U.S. Census data, shows the ratio of men to women in each state that darker blue refers to higher men population. Overall, there are about 97 men to 100 women, and only following ten states have more men than female:

  • Alaska (108.5:100)
  • Wyoming (104.1:100)
  • North Dakota (102.1:100)
  • Nevada (102:100)
  • Utah (100.9:100)
  • Montana (100.8:100)
  • Colorado(100.5:100)
  • Idaho (100.4:100)
  • Hawaii (100.3:100)
  • South Dakota (100.1:100)

u.s. states by sex men blue

Map Reviews: 3/5 Stars
There is one thing that I think can greatly improved the map design with map legend for indicating the countries’ colors. Furthermore, interactive effects (e.g. infobox, group highlight) can be added for enriching the map design.

Source: Business Insider

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Heat Map: Average Scores for PISA tests around the world


Today, the score report of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests 15-year-olds around the world on reading, math and science is released that the report is released every three years. Washington Post has then created following heat map for presenting the average scores across the world by countries that countries with bluer colors obtain higher scores.

According to the report, regions with highest scores are Shanghai(China), Singapore, and Hong Kong while the Peru gains the lowest score in this test. The United States ranks 25th with an average score of 1476, which is behind most of Western European countries.

However, according to Washington Post, this report is not really fair as urban areas tend to outperform non-urban areas in education, and developing/poorer countries do not have as much public education programs as developed/richer countries.

Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars

Clear heat map with map legend for indicating the countries’ colors for various score levels. Here are some suggestions to enrich the map content in interactive format:

  • adding abbreviations for each countries
  • insert infobox for listing the score changing from previous reports

Updated H7N9 Map: First Confirmed H7N9 Bird Flu Virus Case in Hong Kong

The deadly H7N9 birl flu virus has come to Hong Kong as the 1st case has been confirmed on Monday morning. The 1st H7N9 case has first been found in China back to February and has killed 45 people in China, and here we have updated the H7N9 Google Maps for your information:

A 36-year-old Indonesian domestic worker was found to have contracted the H7N9 bird flu virus after travelling to Shenzhen recently, and had killed and cooked a live chicken, and is now in a critical condition in Queen Mary Hospital. Secretary of the Food and Health Bureau Dr Ko Wing-man believed the case was imported from Mainland China. Dr Ko added that the risk of human-to-human transmission could not be ascertained yet but the city’s three-level response system has been activated to deal with a potential flu pandemic.

Interactive World Map: Player Transfers

Transfer soccer players across the globe is just a normal phenomenon. Here is an interactive map tracks the international migrations of professional soccer players since 1990.

This interactive world map is created by Australian designer Mac Bryla. Map users related data by selecting country and season, and then total transfer fee and number of players will be displayed on the top right corner of the map.


Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars

User-friendly interface that users can select category by country and seasons, and the map is created by the rich data-base source that map users can find many data results from the map. Though I expected that there would be extra information when I mouse click the lines or countries.

Heat Map: Average Marriage Age across the Globe


According to the data from the UN, it seems that getting married in a later age is a tend across the globe. Here is a heat map shows the average marriage age by country.


According to the map, it reflects the main cause for later marriage age is based on country’s income as people in developed countries (e.g. Western Europe) get marry in a much later age(over 30) than those in developing countries (e.g. Afghanistan in age 20). Women in some developing countries remains getting married in a younger age that 20% of them married by age 18.

According to the data, there are also fewer people getting married, for example in the United States, less than half of American are married and most of babies are born out of wedlock as to married couples.

Though the average marriage is higher and fewer people are married when compare to the past, marriage is still the preferred lifestyle worldwide that 80% of people were married by age 49. People just have to be more patience for forming a new family unit.

Map Reviews: 3/5 Stars

This heat map can presents the data in dynamic ways as well. After enabling heat map feature and adding map legend, info boxes can be added to specific regions for enriching the map content with detailed information (e.g.  bar chart in United States, images in Westerna Europe, external links for the UN).