Thursday, February 25, 2010

Afghan Offensive Mapped by Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has developed an interactive map that shows the locations of military clashes, shootings, and other related violence on a daily basis. Tool tips provide the details of each incident and the viewer can navigate by a calendar. The recent offensive on the city of Marjah begins on February 13th and the reports from that area become more detailed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mapping Cuts in Early Childhood Education...Chicago Style

Budget cuts in Illinois funding for early childhood education played out geographically in an article published by Catalyst Chicago, an independent publication reporting on school reform. The article mapped the schools that had a waiting list for children wanting to enter the "Preschool for All" program. Budget deficits in Illinois meant that programs like Preschool for All could not be adequately funded. In the same article, a map was used to show schools that were denied funding statewide and displayed information such as the number of students affected and the amount of money requested for the program.

It's maps such as these that help both citizens and politicians understand the impact, severity, and repercussions of government policy actions.

New York Times Embraces 3D for Mapping the Olympic Games

Yesterday, in All Points Blog, I surveyed some of the websites offering maps of the Olympic games in Vancouver and the the New York Times came out on top in my opinion in terms of total coverage. But more than the coverage, the Times has embraced 3D visualization technology that is not just fun to play with, but reflects both the hottest topic among geospatial professionals and the needs of the "prosumer." I say "prosumer" because navigating the 3D views of the alpine skiing venues are akin to working with 3D computer aided drafting models and takes a bit of proficiency with the mouse. Nonetheless, the use of digital terrain models and the integration with satellite imagery brings the viewer right into the venue almost as if they were there. My only criticism is that I wanted to get closer to the action. I had hoped to fully zoom into the ski trails themselves so that I could simulate a ski run myself. The use of Intermap's data was a good choice but again I know they have higher resolution data that perhaps could have been  used to zoom closer. However, overall the Times fully exploited 3D data so that the average viewer could get a taste of what is really booming in the geospatial profession.