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 Heat Map: Gender Inequality in the World


Here is an interactive heat map showing gender inequality across the world based on each country’s Gender Inequality Index (GII), which according to the number of factors (e.g. maternal mortality rate, the number of seats women hold in government bodies, the labor force participation rate). The lower the GII number, the better gender equality in the country.

According to the map, we can see that gender equality in European countries are higher than countries in other areas as all the top ten are European countries, while the top three are the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark. We may be surprised that the U.S. ranks while Canada and U.K. ranks 18 and 34 respectively.

Women in Yemen, Afghanistan, Niger, Saudi Arabia, and Congo are living in the least gender equal society.

Map users can mouseover the countries to see the actual GII in the tooltips and see if you agree with the map. GII is just an index for giving us basic concept about the gender equality in various countries while realistic situation can be various depends on regions (rural areas and cities), how the media treats women, women status in family (e.g. role in parenting and marriage).

Map Reviews: 4/5 Stars
This heat map is simple and net enough for showing the GII report with tooltips however, this map can be more informative by providing detailed information for specific countries (e.g. external links to related news, videos, background information of the country).

Interactive Map: Flu Near You

Previously we have shared the interactive HealthMap about outbreak of various diseases across the globe, and here is another interactive map, Flu Near You, administered by for displaying flu activities.


Various dot colors refer to different categories that map users can refer to the map legend below the map. There is also a timeline below the map that users can click the “play” button to see the heat map about the flu activity from late 2011 to present.

Similar to the HealthMap, charts are provided to show the flu trends and weekly reports.

Different from the HealthMap, this flu map is mainly focus on America and Canada, and the data is mainly from the subscribed map users.

Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars
Since there are so many dots on the map, clustering or category legend for the dots are needed to keep the map looks neat and clean.

World Map of Social Networks

Facebook is always the most popular social network platform across the world, even there is rising popularity of Instagram. Here is a world map that showcasing the most popular social networking sites by county in Dec 2013. The map is created using Alextraffic data and is updated every 6 months.
world-map-of-social-networks-2013According to the map, Facebook has already become the most popular social network platform across the world, except those countries that has closed the door for Facebook (e.g. China).

Currently, there are 1189 billion active users in Facebook per month, though the growing rate is comparatively lower than before, that there are 351 million users in Asia, 276 million users in Europe, 199 million users in US & Canada, and 362 million users in other countries.

It is quite surprising that there are more active users in Asia rather than in US, the origin of Facebook.

In Russia, V Kontakte and Odnoklassniki are still competing to conquer the leader place in the market, and currently V Kontakte is placing the position.

In China, QZone still dominates the Asian market with 623 million users, however, it’s growth is being slowed down by the rising popularity of Weixin recently.

Here is another image shows the changing of popular social networks across the world since June 2009.

Interactive Google Maps: The Vancouver Sun’s Map for Seeing Road Conditions in Major Routes

Snow season has arrived Vancouver that it is time for people to pay attention to road conditions when they are going out, especially to those major routes. The Vancouver Sun has then created an interactive map for Metro Vancouver snow report.

In the interactive map, users can mouse click an icon for further information (locations, road condition, comments, and reported time), or enter address to zoom to the neighbourhood for checking the road conditions.


This map is still updating by collecting updates from citizens that map users can report the location of traffic jams, notoriously slippery slopes and other commuter commotions by filling the form here. The map will be active all through the winter season that please keep an eye on it for any updated status.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Map Reviews: 3.5/5 Stars
Simple and user-friendly maps with following features:

Though, there is still a suggestion for this map – enable crowdsourcing function, which allows map users immediately adding icons with information and photos/external links to the map by themselves. This function can encourage people providing information to enrich the map content as they can  instantly see their imported data on the map. Furthermore, it reduces time for map administrator to manually add the pin one by one, and they can easily mass manage the imported pins in the admin panel.

Canada Heat Map: Not Many Torontonians Live With Cars

A conference organized by Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat unveiled that 60%t of people living in Toronto do not have driver licenses. The following heat map is then created for showing the population that having a driver license within Toronto, and surprisingly, some areas with the least access to cars are also the farthest from subway lines.

According to a report,

  • people with driver license do not own cars
  • people with driver license and cars do not regularly drive or use the cars to commute
  • people without driver license do not won cars

From the map, we can see that the transit system cannot meet the demand in Toronto as not many people can access to high quality transit. Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat also told the conference audience, “A tremendous number of them walk even when walking conditions aren’t that good.”


Map Reviews: 4/5 Stars

This heat map is user-friendly and informative enough with map legend for indicating region colors and mouse click boxes for individual statics.
There is only one item confuses me that the drop down box above the map is extra without value and usage.

Heat Map: Gender Gap in Science across the Globe

A heat map from UNESCO about the gender gap in science around the globe shows relative equality in parts of South America and Central Asia, and relatively higher inequality in countries like India, France, Germany, and Japan, which is quite surprising that women make up less than a third of researchers in some of these world’s science leading countries.

Meanwhile, the map only presents portion of the situation as it does not reflect the women status in science field in countries like United States, Australia, China.

In conclusion, the map does reflect that the world is not all the same.


World Map: Internet Freedom

A world map about the internet freedom in 2013, which based on the report from Freedom House, has been created and published online.


Form the map, we can see that Middle East remain significantly not free, with Iran and Syria leading that list, while the United States, Australia, several European countries are marked as free. See if you are agree with the data and share your idea to us.

World Map: Road Kills across the Globe

Deaths caused by road accidents has already reached 1.24 million per year across the globe, and it will triple to 3.6 million per year by 2030, and road accidents will become the fifth leading cause of death in the developing countries, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) most recent Global Burden of Disease study. Here is an interactive world map that annotating roads kill percentage in each country, and detailed statistic chart can be seen when mouseover the regions, and full story can be seen when mouse click the markers.


Here are some highlights from the report and the map:

  • New York City, U.S., has made great strides in reducing traffic fatalities with its streets among the safest in the road.
  • Sweden is the industrialized country with the lowest roads kill.
  • Dramatically increased numbers of new drivers and vehicles on the road is the main course for the high road fatalities rate in Russia.
  • In Egypt, people died in road traffic crashes every year exceed the toll of those who died in the revolution.
  • In Liberia, 66% road fatalities were among pedestrians, which was the worst record among African countries.
  • The Dominican Republic is the most dangerous place to drive in the Americas, with nearly 42 fatalities per 100,000 in population.
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran has the worst driving record in the Middle East, with 34 deaths per 100,000 in population.
  • In the past, people in Nigeria can buy a driving license even you have not taken driving lessons and passed a test, so it is not surprising with the high roads kill percentage.
  • Philippines has just passed a new drunk driving law earlier in 2013, but fails to establish a legal blood alcohol content level for intoxication, and let’s see if roads kill can be reduced.


By the way, we find this world map very informative, which is not complicated to create.  First, you can easily find a world map template with all regions on the website, and then add mouseover information box, which text content, table and images, and external links can be inserted, to related regions. Finally, you can create heat map with map legend to indicate the road kills percentage in various countries.

Here is a video tutorial about creating heat map, and you can also create an informative world map that similar to the above one in few steps:

Create Interactive Image Maps by Using Custom Images

We have introduced creating various interactive maps by using HTML5 map templates or Google Maps before, and there are continuous inquiries about creating editable image maps by using own images recently. And here are some examples for creating custom image maps with the assistance of mapping software.

Mapping software supports importing JPG, PNG, and GIF images, and you can easily start adding overlays on the image after importing it into the mapping tool. You can pin markers or draw clickable regions on the image, and then insert info box for adding description. Custom image maps are mostly used for creating floor plan for office, convention map, campus map and more. According to the theme or usage of the image maps, you can import custom marker icons for indicating different locations, for example icon for churches, hospitals or colleagues. Categories map legends can be added for indicating the markers and you can filter specific markers according to your needs.

By using the map editor, you can also create maps similar to the following Interactive Tri-Cities Community Resource Map, which showcases community resources in Canada:


There is HTML5 custom map builder can create custom HTML5 image maps, and we are going to launch the video tutorial for it very soon. Stay tuned for the latest news!