Hello. My name is Andy. I make maps.

My company is Axis Maps. We are three cartographers who create interactive web maps. Our craft, first learned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, brings together data, design, and code.

I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts and also enjoy mapping all kinds of Boston stuff. You can find much of that at Bostonography. Natively, home is in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Elsewhere, I'm @awoodruff on Twitter, and I have a mostly quiet blog on this site. A bit of my work is on GitHub, with more to come.

See some of my projects below, and let's talk maps together sometime, friend!

Some things I've done

Interactive NBA charts

(Grantland)

NBA shot charts

For Kirk Goldsberry's Grantland article on top NBA shooters and scorers of the 2013-14 season, I made some splashy D3 animation and interaction with his chart data and Aaron Dana's illustrations.

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Illinois Public Health Map

(Axis Maps)

Illinois Public Health Community Map

Axis Maps collaborated with IPRO to produce this interactive map of Illinois public health data. The map contains a variety of health indicators that can be shown in a choropleth map by counties and regions, along with histograms, bar charts, pie charts, and proportional symbols to show additional data. Originally made with Flash, the map was rebuilt from the ground up in 2013 using D3 and other modern, faster technology.

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Climate Commons

(Axis Maps)

ClimateCommons map

The Climate Commons map, built for the Earth Journalism Network, aggregates news stories relate to climate change in the US and displays them alongside some pertinent geographic data. I built a custom hex grid layer—challenging in the relatively opaque Google Maps API! The hexagons show the thematic data underneath geocoded points for news stories, and they either use basic binning or IDW interpolation, depending on the nature of the data.

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Jamaican Slave Revolt

(Axis Maps)

Jamaican Slave Revolt

This animated interactive map shows the events of the slave rebellion in Jamaica in 1760–1761, known as Tacky's War, as a narrative constructed by Harvard's Vincent Brown using primary sources. The map was built with Leaflet and employs the AnimatedMarker plugin along with a similar one for Polylines, as well as a lot of custom design, as usual. The source code is on GitHub; see also the main site for Professor Brown's project.

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ColorBrewer

(Axis Maps)

ColorBrewer

No, I had nothing to do with Cynthia Brewer's research and development of color schemes for cartography, but Axis Maps made an updated version of the online tool for her in 2009 (using Flex), and I revisited it again in 2012 to rebuild it using JavaScript and SVG. We made a few small updates in this non-Flash version to better suit modern web development needs.

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MBTA bus speed maps

(Bostonography)

MBTA bus speed map

These are two maps of bus locations and speeds in the Boston area over time: one frequently-updated interactive map, and an archive of daily maps representing 24 hours each. The maps use live bus locations from NextBus and are drawn automatically at regular intervals. They are inspired by some of Eric Fischer's maps. I also did an earlier one-off map in 2011.

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Global Commodity Prices

(Axis Maps)

Global Commodities Prices

For Adam Matthew Digital's Global Commodities collection we created a visualization of prices for 400 commodities across 245 different markets and some 1000 years of history. Linked displays of bar charts, a map, and a time series graph allow users to compare across commodities, markets, and time. I worked largely with D3 to build the front-end map and charts. (This was for a subscription service so unfortunately I have no link to the real thing.)

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Crowdsourced neighborhoods

(Bostonography)

Crowdsourced neighborhood boundaries

Boston has well-established neighborhoods but no single set of official boundaries between them, leading to recurring disputes. People seem to be so certain of their own beliefs (and certain that everyone else is wrong), so we set up an online survey where people can draw boundaries as they see them. So far I've mapped some of the data to see the different degrees of consensus in each neighborhood.

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Hubway Trip Explorer

 

Hubway trip explorer

Built for the Hubway Data Visualization Challenge and winner of the "best data exploration tool," this interactive map allows a user to view trip patterns to and from stations in Boston's Hubway bicycle-sharing program based on a combination of filters related to time, demographics, weather, and more.

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"Why Not The Best?" Map

(Axis Maps)

Why Not The Best?

A collaboration with IPRO for the Commonwealth Fund, this interactive map shows quality of health care data across various measures and scales in the US. This is the second incarnation of the map (I led development on both), the first having been built in Flash. The map uses TileStache to serve GeoJSON vector tiles, retrieves data from IPRO's databases, and draws the maps on canvas tiles along with other overlays in Leaflet on the front end.

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Typographic maps

(Axis Maps)

typographic maps

In 2010 I began a side project of mapping Boston entirely with type, and soon my Axis Maps coworkers joined in and it became a series of several cities. My work is mostly the Boston, Manhattan, and Madison maps. We sell posters and letterpress prints. A few more details about the first maps are on my blog and the Axis Maps blog.

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Boston Globe Features

(Boston Globe)

ideas

Over the past few years I've done five map features for the wonderful Ideas section of the Boston Sunday Globe. All have been adaptations, more or less, of blog posts on Bostonography or this site, and all but one were based on original work. (There was another article and map done jointly with Tim Wallace, but I wasn't thrilled with it. Do see the one Tim adapted for the Globe himself, though!)

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Boston's Summer Colors

(Bostonography)

Boston's summer colors

After first toying with mapping colors of geotagged Flickr photos two years earlier, I made this map for a Boston Globe feature in September 2011. The map shows the dominant hues of some 50,000 geotagged photos in the central Boston area during summer months, giving some idea of the colors that people are looking at in the city.

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NY Times September 11 Map

(New York Times/Axis Maps)

nyt sept 11 map

I worked with the New York Times graphics department to build this interactive map for their coverage of the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. The map allowed users to indicate where they were on that day, specify their mood after reflection on the decade, and leave a short comment.

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MAPC basemap

(Axis Maps)

MAPC basemap

We worked with the Boston area's Metropolitan Area Planning Council to develop a Massachusetts basemap for use in their various web maps. I used TileMill to create a basemap design using state GIS data and some design specifications from Ben Sheesley.

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Talks and lectures

 

talks

Okay, nothing to show here, but some places I've given talks and guest lectures:

AAG Meeting (2008)
NACIS Meetings (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
Middlebury College (2011)
Ignite Spatial Boston (2012)
Harvard University (2012, 2013)
University of Wisconsin-Madison (2012, 2013)
Boston Indicators Project (2012, 2013)
Creative Mornings Boston (2013)

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Hubway Snapshots

 

Hubway trip explorer

For a companion to the interactive Hubway map, I tried my hand at a few infographics to pluck out some interesting bits of information from the data. There are five graphics (and five flavors of color) on different themes: an overview, origins and destinations, time of day, revenue, and demographics.

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indiemapper

(Axis Maps)

indiemapper

This web-based thematic cartography application was originally conceived and developed by Zach Johnson and me in 2007 while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With Axis Maps it's grown to become a capable thematic mapping tool intended as an alternative to GIS for thematic mapping. More screenshots and such are in my blog post about its release.

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Self-mapping

 

Self-mapping

In 2009 and 2010 I kept track everywhere I went (and by what mode of transportation) within the local Boston area and recorded it on a map, but without the aid of GPS. Instead I diligently kept a mental note of where I was at all times. The project forced me to be very geographically aware and encouraged me to explore new places. See the resultant maps for 2009 and 2010 in blog posts.

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Flickr as a paintbrush

 

Flickr as a paintbrush

This was my first experiment with mapping dominant colors of geotagged Flickr photos. I produced a few fuzzy maps to try to go beyond the systematic top-down view that an aerial photo provides and map the landscape based on what people in a place are seeing (or what they find interesting). Sometimes that corresponds to the colors you see from above, and sometimes it doesn't.

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Boston Squared

 

Boston Squared

This is a celebration of the unique shapes of Boston's so-called "squares," which in actuality are usually complicated intersections and often entire neighborhoods. It's a square poster showing simple silhouette-like maps of 32 squares in the immediate Boston area, each depicting the often weird shape of the central intersection. Prints are available.

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Ohio is a Piano

 

Ohio is a Piano

Little more than an amusing interactive map, or maybe something artistic, this musical map exploits the coincidence that the state of Ohio has the same number of counties as a standard piano has keys. Counties are mapped to piano notes according to demographic data, and there are a few different options for "playing" the counties.

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2008 election map

(Axis Maps)

2008 election map

We turned a concept of mine into a novel map of the 2008 U.S. presidental election. It was an attempt to avoid some of the drawbacks of the cartograms that are often used to show weighted election results, here modifying transparency instead of size. The concept was subsequently developed by Robert Roth, Zachary Johnson, and me into the "value-by-alpha" map, outlined in a Cartographic Journal paper.

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Lakeshore Nature Preserve Map

(UW-Madison Cartography Lab)

Lakeshore Nature Preserve

The Lakeshore Nature Preserve map is part of a web promotion of the natural areas on UW-Madison's campus in 2006. The map is full of information and tools for all types of visitors to explore the place. I worked with Rob Roth on the bulk of this, alongside Joel Przybylowski. The map won Best Interactive Map in the ACSM 2007 Design Competition.

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UW Online Campus Map

(UW-Madison Cartography Lab)

UW Online Campus Map

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's online campus map was entirely rebuilt in 2005-2006. Under its lead developer Aaron Erkenswick, I worked with Eve McGlynn and Jamon Van Den Hoek on the graphic design and interactivity. The map was named Runner-up Interactive Map in the ACSM 2007 Design Competition. It has since been replaced by a modern JavaScript-based map.

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UW Print Campus Map

(UW-Madison Cartography Lab)

UW Print Campus Map

This an award-winning map, which spawned a new cartographic identity for the campus, was mostly made by my Cartography Lab predecessors, but I like to get my name in there. In the 2007-2008 academic year I was responsible for maintaining the map. I made a series of edits and updates, and also created several special versions of the map tailored to more specific purposes.

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AAG Party Invitation

 

AAG Party Invitation

This map, which gave birth to the whole Axis Maps typographic maps line, was a small flier I created to announce a party thrown in Boston by the University of Wisconsin Geography Department during the 2008 conference of the Association of American Geographers. The map shows the party / hotel locations, streets, walking routes, and subway stops / lines using nothing but varying typography.

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AsthMap

(UW-Madison Cartography Lab)

AsthMap

AsthMap is a prototype map and visualization interface for viewing asthma exacerbations over time and space as indicated by data sent from inhalers outfitted with GPS transmitters. The map was part of a study led by David Van Sickle in UW's Department of Population Health Sciences. I worked on this alongside Zach Johnson, with initial contributions by Eve McGlynn and Rob Roth.

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Cincinnati Roads

 

Cincinnati Roads

Before the days of Google Street View, this map of Cincinnati was an interface to videos recorded while driving on city streets. I completed this map for my final project in the Animated and Web-Based Maps class at UW-Madison, in conjunction with Ethan Hahn, who originally came up with the idea and recorded all the videos. The map won first place in the 2006 NACIS Student Web Mapping Competition.

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Cincinnati Subway

 

Cincinnati Subway

I designed this Cincinnati Subway map as my final project in the Graphic Design in Cartography course at UW-Madison. It presents the history of Cincinnati's doomed attempt at constructing a rapid transit system nearly 100 years ago, an effort which leaves the city today with a section of abandoned subway tunnels. The challenge of ths was depicting a century of history in a single, static image.

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Molokai shaded relief

 

Molokai

This was just for fun: a map of the Hawaii. I applied some lessons from Tom Patterson's how-to articles on Photoshop shaded relief. Sorry for using the Papyrus typeface (or something that looks like it, anyway)! I have also taken a crack at rendering a similar map in ActionScript.

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