Boing Boing 

Maps reveal San Francisco's streams and springs

Bernal-for-Kickstarter-932x593Even locals don't know they're there, but Seep City reveals the groundwater diverted or otherwise concealed by development—which may yet be useful to parched inhabitants.

Map shows where world's oldest and youngest populations live

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Using data from the CIA Factbook, Global Post created graphics to visualize the median age of every country in the world. The world’s 15 youngest countries are all in Africa.

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Fascinating guide to antique space maps (Also, the Earth is square)

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Above, a map of the "Square and Stationary Earth" (1893) by a Professor Orlando Ferguson of Hot Springs, South Dakota.

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Europe, China, India & US comfortably fit into Africa's landmass


The most common way of representing Africa on maps and globes dramatically understates the size of the continent.

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Obesity map of Europe (Update: and America)

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If Turkey and Britain are the happiest nations in Europe, maybe this is why!

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Amazing sea floor maps reveal California's offshore depths

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Offshore and Onshore Geology and Geomorphology Offshore of San Francisco

The California Seafloor Mapping Program is the most extensive of its kind, initiated in 2008 and bearing fruit in a series of beautiful maps.

The CSMP has collected bathymetry (underwater topography) and backscatter data (providing insight into the geologic makeup of the seafloor) that are being turned into habitat and geologic base maps for all of California's State Waters (mean high water line out to three nautical miles). Although the CSMP was originally developed to support the design and monitoring of marine reserves through the Marine Life Protection Act, accurate statewide mapping of the seafloor has also contributed significantly to these efforts

Betsy Mason reports on the sensational underwater geography that the maps reveal. It's not just pretty: it will save lives.

This kind of information is critical because the magnitude of an earthquake is determined by the length of a fault that ruptures. Longer faults are capable of bigger quakes. If two smaller faults that were thought to be separate are actually connected, they could potentially rupture together to cause a bigger earthquake than previously thought. Discoveries of that sort could even change the USGS’s seismic hazard forecast for California.

cData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map.

dartnellData Integration and Visualization, Offshore of San Francisco Map (detail)

detailAcoustic Backscatter, Offshore of San Francisco Map Area

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Benthic Habitats

tomalesMassive granitic seafloor outcrop extends north and west from Tomales Point.

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Benthic Habitats off Tomales Point

Check out California Seafloor Mapping Programthe rest of the maps, though be warned they are USDA Grade A CPU-roasting epic multilayer PDFs.

Google Maps promises to stop racist trolls messing with maps—but how?

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Struck by a succession of abusive scrawlings going live on its popular maps service, Google has apologized and promised to retool the service to prevent it from happening in future.

"This week, we had some problems with Google Maps, which was displaying results for certain offensive search queries," wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, a Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, explaining how Google's system slurped up the offensive terms because of how it incorporates "online discussions" of particular places. "… This surfaced inappropriate results that users likely weren’t looking for."

Earlier this week, it was found that when given offensive search terms, Google would return inappropriate locations. Queried with "nigga house," for example, Google would offer the White House.

Howard University, reported one internet user, "shows up as ‘N***er University’ on Google Maps."

The benefits of algorithmic changes will be seen soon, Fitzpatrick promised, and Google will continue to refine its software over time: "Simply put, you shouldn’t see these kinds of results in Google Maps, and we’re taking steps to make sure you don't."

Maps, like much in the Googleverse, is comprised significantly of information added by users or algorithmically incorporated into its dataset—unvetted and often dependent on community reporting when something goes awry.

Google recently shuttered another crowdsourced component of Google Maps due to repeated addition of naughty and offensive landscape features that were not, in fact, there.

Google mothballs map-making feature

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Does U.S. President Obama share office space with an outfit called "Edwards Snow Den"? No, he does not, which—among many similar instances of "vandalism"—is why Google Maps is mothballing its Map Maker feature.

Google's Pavithra Kanakarajan writes:

As some of you know already, we have been experiencing escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months. The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate - a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map. As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.

"It's going to take longer than a few days" to figure out something better than manual approval of edits, she added. [via]

Minimalist landscape maps

1423761014191 Michael Pecirno created a set of "minimalist maps" each showing the density of just one thing in the U.S. [via FlowingData]

Age of Discovery-style map of modern submarine cables


You can explore it interactively for free and download a jumbo wallpaper JPEG, but the print edition is $250.

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Map pins pop songs that mention cities

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Map maker Javier Arce created a world map locating 212 cities referenced in 7,681 pop songs. Click on a city and you can instantly play the related songs through Spotify.

To create this map Javier extracted a list of the cities with their respective countries and created a table. Then he geocoded that table to get the position of each city on the map.

Next, he extracted all the song information in the main article using regular expressions and infinite amounts of patience. It generated a CSV file that he imported into his CartoDB account. Javier ended up having a table that contained the name of the song, the author, and the city.

Music Map Mashup [CartoDB Blog]

Meet Daniel Reeve, calligrapher for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings

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Artist Daniel Reeve created and re-created calligraphy and maps for Peter Jackson's films of the Tolkein adventures in Middle-earth. His gallery of images includes maps and illustrations as well as calligraphy and lettering. Some examples below:

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Daniel Reeve website (h/t TMarizzle)

Interactive map: World population by latitude and longitude

population-latitude-longitude André Christoffer Andersen created this nifty interactive map that estimates world population at any coordinate.

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The dirty secret of Google's self-driving cars


They've 700,000 miles, but mostly the same few thousand miles, over and over again -- because the cars only work if every single light, piece of street furniture, and other detail is mapped and verified by armies of human and computer analysts, and when anything changes, the mapping needs to be re-created.

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Map: Which states' governors are climate deniers?


Thinking of moving and wondering whether your new state's chief executive is a climate-denier?

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Google Street View now lets you 'go back in time' to view previous captures of a place


"If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image," explain the Googles, "click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons."

This is kind of neat. From the Official Google Blog: "Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world."

Universal subway map design rules

Designer Jug Cerovic proposes a standardized approach to subway mapping, encompassed by 7 simple rules:

1. The city center sits at the center (because, duh).
2. The center is a basic shape, like a circle or square (for visual simplicity).
3. The center is zoomed in (because that area is always congested with lines).
4. All lines must run vertical, horizontal, or at 45-degree angles (again, for visual simplicity).
5. Their angles should be smooth (to feel more familiar, city to city).
6. Their colors and connection iconography are standardized (duh again).
7. All text must be listed in local and Latin lettering (for the tourists, aka all of us).

The subtext to subway remapping projects is often "London basically got this right 80 years ago, deal with it."— so his version of The Underground, above, is interesting food for thought.

Previously.