Silence breaker, 2012 edition

I don’t use this blog much at all these days. As far as blogs go, more of my efforts have gone toward the Axis Maps blog and Bostonography. But in the interest of this site having any purpose at all, I figured I’d jot down some of the things I’ve been up to lately.

  • Hubway trip explorer map: An exploratory tool to see where trips occur in Boston’s bike sharing system. It’s a fairly simple map done in Leaflet that connects to a database of some 550,000 trips and allows the user to filter by a variety of factors of time, demographics, and weather. This was for a contest run by Hubway and MAPC and it won the “Best Data Exploration Tool” award. (Be sure to see the other winners and all the rest!) Finally actually used one of the bikes the other day; pretty convenient!
  • Hubway infographics: For the same contest I also put together a few infographics. There are some pretty bogus charts in there, but I wanted to try my hand and infographicky things, and it was kind of fun.
  • “Why Not The Best” map: We (Axis Maps) completely rebuilt a map we had done with IPRO in Flash a year or two before. Kind of an enjoyable project because I learned a lot of JavaScript mapping techniques; it was only my second real js map project. It’s done with Leaflet and does a bunch of canvas and tile stuff: read all about it.
  • New typographic maps: I didn’t really work on these except for proofreading, but we put out four new typographic map posters this summer: London, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. One that I did work on is a letterpress print of the Boston typographic map.
  • Crowdsourced neighborhood boundaries: A pretty fascinating project looking at the ill-defined boundaries of Boston’s neighborhoods. We made a simple online survey tool in which people can draw neighborhood boundaries as they see them. I mapped some of the data earlier this year, finding where there is consensus (and how much) in each neighborhood.
  • NACIS Practical Cartography Day: At the NACIS conference in Portland in October, I gave a Practical Cartography Day presentation with some tips and thoughts on user interface design for interactive maps, a topic not often addressed there for some reason. The link here goes to the accompanying examples and also has the presentation slides. (Also, I’ll be a co-chair of PCD next year; looking forward to working on that!)
  • “The Aesthetician and the Cartographer”: A rant, sort of, about the superficial view of cartography, and an encouragement to speak more about the why of our maps, not just the how.
  • Newspaper: I had one essay sort of thing for the Boston Globe this summer. Tim Wallace and I occasionally do little features for the Ideas section, but usually one of us has made a map. This time it was about some old-timey satire. That link may require a subscription; I’m not sure. Here’s the blog post that it’s based on.
  • On the nature of web cartography: This link is already a year old, but it’s a recurring topic. Last year I spoke to cartography students at Middlebury College about the processes and philosophies we have at Axis Maps, along with a few practical tidbits. This spring I spoke about similar things to cartography students back in good old Science Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Send me your high-tech mapping tutorials! I am the section editor for “On the Horizon” in Cartographic Perspectives. We’re still looking for tutorial submissions to this section, so hook us up!
  • Atlas of Design plug: This is not my work, but it deserves many plugs! The Atlas of Design, edited by Daniel Huffman and Tim Wallace, came together quite nicely and was launched at the NACIS conference. It features 27 awesome maps selected from the many submissions they received. Actually, you can’t get it now because it’s sold out, but put yourself on a waitlist to encourage a second printing.

1 Comment

  1. Love the hubway leaflet map. How did you get the nice curved lines between start/end points? I made a series of maps connecting eviction sites and relocation sites for residents of urban poor communities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We also made and animation of it. It was all fairly rudimentary, but we used straight lines instead of curved ones. Would be interested to know how you did it.


    22 December 2013 @ 3:11pm