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:

Interactive World Map: Global Forest Change

Environmental issues, especially global warming is always discussed and concerned by the public, but actually not all of us are familiar the forest distribution and current status, which are actually very important to the climate changes and  our daily lives. Here we just found an interactive world map, Global Forest Change, which is created by researchers at the University of Maryland for displaying changes in global forests between 2000 and 2012.

According to the map, 2.3 million square kilometres of the Earth’s forest was lost between 2000 and 2012 while 800,000 square kilometres is growing. Indonesia’s deforestation rate doubled from 10,000 square kilometres per year to more than 20,0000 during this time, which reminds us the Indonesia Forest Fire earlier this year.

Click the below image to see the interactive world map

Trees are defined as all vegetation taller than 5m in height and are expressed as a percentage per output grid cell as ‘2000 Percent Tree Cover’.
‘Forest Loss’ is defined as a stand-replacement disturbance, or a change from a forest to non-forest state.
‘Forest Gain’ is defined as the inverse of loss, or a non-forest to forest change entirely within the study period.
‘Forest Loss Year’ is a disaggregation of total ‘Forest Loss’ to annual time scales.

There are 3 dropdown boxes for filtering use that you can see results according to data products, background imagery, and example locations. You can also search location using the search box on the top left corner.

The research team was helped in its analysis by Google Earth team on crunching the numbers in its cloud computing facilities. Actually, Google Earth Engine is going to launch a comparison program, which shows yearly forest position of the area, next year. This program will be added to engine for determining green areas that are increasing and decreasing.



Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars

It is a comprehensive choropleth world map for presenting research results between 2010-2012, however, not much details have been provided. Popup information box or inserted external links to those example areas can enrich the map content.

Map Legend can be created for annotating various colors on the map for users’ better understanding without guessing or searching information form the paragraph.

Last but not the least, we appreciate the user-friendly “Reset to default view” button, which allows users to rest the filtering and restart a new search in just a click.