The Excitement of Tangible Maps


I recall a recent blog post where Gary Gale labelled 2013 as the year of tangible maps. Whilst considering myself a digital map aficionado mainly due to digital’s customisable feature richness I cannot agree more with Gary in that a digital map is alive on a gadget’s screen only as long your battery juice fuels it. As soon as those handful seconds elapse and your screen goes black the map is gone. It no longer exists.

Fuelled by the desire to fill some of my blank new walls I got in contact with Wellingtons Travel. Whilst attending a recent geomob event they showcased a beautifully crafted hand drawn London wall map printed on canvas and I fell in love with it. A modern map given a vintage feel, the carefully chosen colour tones challenging perfection, the right amount of detail all topped with the exciting experience of touching and feeling the texture of the canvas. 

(c) Wellingtons Travel

(c) Wellingtons Travel


Here is a happier wall:



I am told there’s more coming down the line. So watch the Wellingtons Travel space.



3D Station Maps


If you are a London Underground commuter it is often intriguing to estimate the time spent changing trains. Getting from platform X to platform Y can take anything from 10 seconds to 15 minutes and is not obvious at all by looking at any of the well known Tube maps.

Andrew Goldwin started to model some of the stations and published them on his site. The models are highly interactive, they work on any browser as the rendering is pure JS based. More on the project and technology here. The code is also public.

Here is the model of Kings Cross station:


LiquiData: Sharing Smartphone Itineraries on a Multitouch Table – information aesthetics


The era of “InfoKiosks” is over?

LiquiData [], developed by several students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, is an application for a multitouch table which reveals one’s movement data through a city on a map, as captured by a smartphone.



Visualisation: The Cost of the Afghanistan War


Below is a short film using remarkable visualisation techniques produced by the Stop The War Coalition. The film added compelling support to the Antiwar Mass Assembly taken place in Trafalgar Square on October the 8th, 2011.

Demo: Self-hosted map server


The first demo of the self-hosted TileStream map server The server hosts the map in MBTiles format. The client then is using the JSON description of the map (tileset) which describes how to interact with it. The map controls are supported by Wax and Leaflet.




Data: Geodata referenced by MapBox


The MapBox GeoData Library is a collection of free datasets that have been optimized to work well with TileMill. The library is browsable from the TileMill interface through the Add Layer dialog – click on the ‘browse’ button next to the file field, then click the ‘MapBox’ button with the cloud icon.



  • Cultural Themes
    • Administrative Level 0
    • Administrative Level 1
    • Populated Places
    • Transportation
    • Urban Areas:
    • US Parks
  • Physical Themes
    • Antarctic Ice Shelves:
    • Bathymetry
    • Land & Coastline
    • Minor Islands & Reefs
    • Geographic Regions
    • Glaciated areas
    • Geographic Lines & Graticules
    • Lakes
    • Rivers

MapBox geodata | MapBox.

Webcast: Designing Data Visualizations


There is an increasing abundance of tools, languages, and frameworks for data visualization. But success is built upon having a good design to implement, and that requires a linear process of encoding information for visual transmission and subsequent decoding by wetware (the reader’s brain). Join us as we introduce you to this process, including some basic concepts and best practices, so that your message may be transmitted without interference.

About Julie Steele

Julie is an editor at O’Reilly Media interested in connecting people and ideas. She finds beauty in discovering new ways to understand complex systems, and so enjoys topics related to gathering, storing, analyzing, and visualizing data. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science (International Relations) from Rutgers University.

Julie also works with topics related to the languages Python, PHP and SQL, and is co-founder of a group of non-programmers learning Python. Julie lives in NYC where she eats, reads, codes, and practices yoga.

About Noah Iliinsky

Noah has spent the last several years thinking about effective approaches to creating diagrams and other types of information visualization. He also works in interface and interaction design, all from a functional and user-centered perspective. Before becoming a designer he was a programmer for several years. He has a master’s in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Physics from Reed College.

Source: Webcast: Designing Data Visualizations





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