Interactive Heat Map: Global Slavery Index 2013

According to the Walk Free Foundation’s Global Dlacery Index 2013, there are nearly 30 million slaves in the world, and almost 60,000 of them are living in the U.S. Here is an interactive world map about the index.

According to the Walk Free, slavery defines as one of the following: human trafficking, forced labor, debt bondage, forced or servile marriage, and the sale or exploitation of children including in armed conflict.

The index ranks 162 countries based on a combined measure of three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country.

The index is mapped into two maps: an interactive heat map & an interactive bubble chart. In the heat map, country with higher slavery prevalence is highlighted with darker red while country with lower slavery prevalence is highlighted with yellow. Map users could see details of each country by mouse clicking the region, or select specific category in the category legends.

In the bubble chart, countries are being plotted on the chart according to their prevalence rank vs human development index/financial service index/corruption index. However, there is no popup box of each bubble for detailed information, and no map legend to indicate various bubble sizes that a bit confuse the map users.

interactive heat map the global slavery index 2013

According to the index, 10 countries with the highest prevalence of slavery are Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Moldova, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Gabon. Among all the above mentioned countries, India has the most slaves in the world, with an approximated 14 million. 

However, even countries like Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom rank 160 in the index, it does not mean these countries are slavery free, for example, it is estimated there are between 4200 to 4600 “slaves” in the UK.

Map Review: 4.5/5 Stars
We love this map as the map design is simple but informative with clear instruction and indications for users to filter related information in seconds.
There are just minor suggestions to the bubble chart:

  • add a map legend to indicate the bubble sizes
  • insert infobox for each bubble for detailed information

Alternatively, showing data of each country with bubble can be presented on the world map rather than on the chart. Bubble chart map can be easily created in mapping software that you may take following video for reference:

Interactive World Map About Deforestation

According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), it’s estimated 500 soccer fields of forests are lost every minute. WRI cooperated with about 40 organizations, and has created the following Global Forest Watch (GFW), an online forest monitoring system, to see where are we losing the forests in real-time.

interactive world map global forest watch

You can see related data by selecting specific items in the category legends, for example see the forest changes, forest cover (heat maps), forest use (e.g. logging/mining/oil palm). Using this map, we could track the effects of using forest illegally, for example the illegal gold mining in Peru’s Amazon.

Related article: Global Forest Change

Interactive Bubble Chart: Where France Lost their Children in Holocaust


During the Second World War, there were around 76,000 Jews sent to Nazi extermination camps, and there were more than 11,400 children among them. Check out this French map to see the where did France lost the children in Holocaust.

This interactive French map is created by French historian Jean-Luc Pinol, based on data collected by Holocaust documenter and former Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, to show locations that every child departed from France between July 1942 and August 1944 that you can see series of red bubbles, depends on the number of children, scattered across the country.

interactive bubble map where france lost their children in holocaust

You can zoom in the map or enter address to search for the location, and then mouse click the infobox to see the children’s names and ages.

We understand it is a sensitive issue to mention about the fate of France’s Jews in World War II, this map is an important tool for better understand the history, which we have to face.

Map Reviews: 3/5 Stars
You cannot see how “interactive” this map is until you zoom in to each point and mouse click for the details. In the popup box, you have to mouse click the inserted URL in order to read detailed information in the information column that on the right side of the map. This process is a bit unnecessary as popup infobox with detailed information can be directly shown once the map users mouse click the bubble. Here is a video for reference:

Please note the map supports French currently, and let see if versions in other languages would be released in the future as this map is an informative tool for related research and educational use.

Interactive Global Map: Human Genetic History

Maybe you are the one who always dozing in history lecture, you may find “history” can be presented in a more vivid way by using interactive maps / graphics. Here we have found an interactive world map about human genetic history, and let’s start our history lecture now!

interactive google map human genetic history

The genetic map is created by researchers from Oxford University and UCL that lists detailed genetic history of 95 different populations across the world that we can see genetic impacts of European colonialism, the Arab slave trade, how Silk Road mixing population, and more. Simon Myers of Oxford’s Department of Statistics stated that DNA tells stories of humanity’s past, and most of the their genetic observations match with historical events, for example Hazara people of Pakistan are partially descended from Mongol warriors, which matches with the finding that Mongol DNA  entering the population during the Mongol Empire.

There are category legends for you to find information by historical event or population, or you can mouse click the icons on the map to see detailed information in the popup information column.

There is a minor design that we like, the scale line acts like a time line that it will indicate the time frame of the selected historical event.
time line

Interactive US Map: Onshore Wind Turbines

Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle joined the U.S. Geological Survey to release an interactive Wind Turbines Map on February 11, responses to the President’s Climate Action Plan, that shows more than 47,000 onshore wind turbine locations.

According to the saying from Secretary, the map is used to improve the siting of future wind energy projects as well as aid land managers in devising more up-to-date land-use and multiple-use plans.

In the map, we can see basic information of each site in mouse click infobox. There is a zooming icon inside the infobox that map users can zoom in to the map for specific site in a second.

interactive us map wind farm

U.S. Energy Mapping System

Last summer, we have shared an interactive U.S. map about how green each state is. After a half year, we find another U.S. map about energy, U.S. Energy Mapping System, that pinpoints various power plants across the States.

Since the map displays all the data in default, it may takes time for loading, and it is also messy for searching related information. Fortunately, the map provides category legend for filtering that you can make the map more simple and neatly by disabling unrelated layers. Though category legend is provided, you may still be confused by the long list of legend items. We suggest you to remove all the layers first, and then check specific items in the checkbox for better filtering.

Similar to majority of interactive maps, additional information of each power plant (e.g. plant name, plant code, utility name, summer capacity) can be seen in the mouse click boxes.

Click the following image to see the interactive map:
interactive us map energy mapping system

Interactive World Map: NSA Interception

Last year, Edward Snowden leaked National Security Agency documents that remind us the insecure of our privacy. Here is an interactive world map, taking reference from the Snowden reports on surveillance by NSA, shows which countries are being intercepted by the spy services from the Western World (Five Eyes group – the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).

The map is created by Sniffmap, which has run random tests on international internet traffic originating from a country for checking how many routes are intercepted by Five Eyes.

The concept of this map is checking if an internet route between two IP addresses would pass by an NSA controlled country. If yes, the route will be considered as intercepted that you can see around 80% of the routes are captured by Five Eyes in the map.

Limitations of the map:
Sniffmap admits that the map fails to take account data captured by non-Five Eyes countries.
The map depends on geographic IP to determine location of routers, which is not 100% accurate.
This map is lacking most of the data from African countries that you could improve it by contributing traceroute results.

world heat map nsa interception

Interactive Globe Map for Sea Currents

Last month, we have shared an interactive earth wind map, which aroused interested about live animated maps among our readers. Here we have found another live animated earth map about ocean currents.

This animated map, created by Tokyo-based Cameron Beccario that based on data by NOAA’s Global Forecast System, shows the live ocean currents across the globe that users can drag and zoom in to find out an ocean current in all its grandeur.
live earth map ocean current

Related Post: Live American Wind Map

Interactive US Map: The Most “Pleasant” Days in a Year

Have you ever counted how many pleasant days or sunny days you can enjoy in the U.S. per year? Here is an interactive map that presents the analysed result for your reference, and it is unsurprising that South California is the best state to enjoy pleasant days.

This interactive map is created by Kelly Norton, a designer and software engineer in Atlanta, using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the past 23 years. According to the criteria of Norton, a “pleasant” day should be:

  • mean temperature between (55° F and 75° F)
  • temperature between 45-85 ° F
  • no significant precipitation or snow depth

us map pleasant days per year

According to the map, the top five pleasant places in America are Los Angeles, San Diego, Oxnard, Simi Valley, and San Francisco, which are all in California that residents there can enjoy over 150 pleasant days per year. Conversely, residents in MC Allister, Northeast of Reno, Clancy, and Douglas can only enjoy around 15 pleasant days per year.

Please note that the criteria of Norton is subjective and based on his own experience. Let’s check out the map and see if you agree with him or not.

Map Reviews: 4/5 Stars
This map presents an interesting survey result on a neat and simple interface that all cities are being represented by circles, and further information with a bar chart can be found in the mouseover box.
The map is user-friendly enough with a search box for searching places using zip code, though it will be better if it also support searching by addresses.
There is also a little suggestion for the map that a key legend can be created for indicating the circles’ colors as darker blue represents city with more pleasant days while lighter blue represents fewer pleasant days.
Overall the map is interesting and quite informative, though not very objective, with nice design. More similar maps can be created using custom images by utilizing some image editors.

Interactive London Tube Map that Allow You to Hear the Sound of Each Station

We have previously created and shared a London Tube Maps about attractions along the underground, and today we found another interesting interactive sound map for listening various audio tracks of different London Underground stations.

The following Interactive Sound Map is a part of London Sound Survey, an online collection of field recordings, sound maps, early BBC radio actuality, and more that created by archivist Ian Rawes.

interactive london tube sound map
Map users can hear the recording of a specific station by clicking the station name on the tube map, and the file details(e.g. the length of the clip, that date and time when it was recorded, the location, brief description) would be shown above the map while the recording playing.

It is amazing that a tube map can be created with sound, furthermore, more interactive features (e.g. video, mouseover boxes) can be added on the map by utilizing some image editors. If you are thinking to create a similar project like the above one, take action now and share it with us.