Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

1. Locate the Zombie Hordes

Even the most well prepared survivalist sometimes has to leave the safety of the base-camp and venture out on a food run. What you need on these dangerous occasions is a zombie locator map.

If you live in the US then you can use Trulia's Unnatural Hazards Map. This map provides a handy heat-map of areas infested by the zombie hordes. You can use the map to find the areas with the highest and lowest risk of zombies and to find out the location of official evacuation zones.

The Unnatural Hazards Map also includes options to view heat-maps of ghost sightings and vampire bites.

You might also want to bookmark the Map of the Dead. Just enter your address into Map of the Dead and you are presented with a handy map displaying the zombie danger zones around your home. The map also displays nearby places that are likely to have resources to help you survive once the zombies begin to take control.

If you live in the UK then you need the Zombie Invasion Map. This heat-map of the UK allows you to track the latest extent of the zombie invasion in the UK.

2. Zombie Fight Training

Before facing up to to the zombie hordes you should get in some zombie killing practice. Class 3 Outbreak is a neat Google Maps based zombie outbreak simulator that will help prepare you for the dangers of the road.

C3O gives players the impossible task of holding back waves of zombies with a hopelessly outnumbered police force. Your job is to stamp out infections as they appear on the map, and try to staunch the zombie threat for as long as possible.

Sometimes running from the zombie hordes is the only option. To survive on the streets you might just need to outpace the converging hordes of the undead. To practice your zombie avoidance skills you should use this Google Maps Street View application.

As you run around the streets in Street View Zombie Apocalypse you can view the approaching zombies in the inset Google Map. To stay alive you will need to outsmart them and avoid becoming trapped.

3. Zombie Induction

You may be able to protect your children from the zombie hordes for a while but eventually they will have to learn how to protect themselves. Nothing can prepare a zombie killing virgin for the frightening experience of face to face zombie combat quite like the Zombie Sound Experienz.

Zombie Sound Experienz uses the Business Photos Street View tour from the Zombie Manor in Drayton to create a creepy virtual tour, with full 3d sound. As you visit the different rooms in the Zombie Manor you will hear a variety of creepy sounds. Different zombies and rooms have different sounds attached to them, which get louder or quieter as you approach or travel away from them.

The Little Maps of Horror

Where are the Bodies? is a special Halloween mapped tour of cemeteries and graveyards around the world. So on this Halloween, if you fancy tracking down the ghost of a celebrity, this Esri Story Map can show you where the famous and infamous are buried.

The map shows the final resting place of a number of gangsters and criminals around the world. If the thought of running into the ghost of such dangerous individuals is a little too frightening you can also use the map to track down the graves of other famous individuals, including a number of actors, writers and artists.

Transylvania will forever be associated with the ghastly tale of Dracula. If this Esri map is anything to go by then there are many other locations around the world which may also struggle to shake off their association with fictional horrors.

The Geography of Horror is a map of the settings of 200 of the top-rated horror films on IMDB. Users can filter the films displayed on the map by the date of release. The posters of the films can be viewed in the map sidebar and if you click on a film's marker on the map you can read a synopsis of its plot.

The Horror Map is a Google Map showing the locations of 500 horror movies from all over the world.

You can use the map to zoom in on your location and find out the horror movies that have been set closest to you. The map sidebar also includes an index of entries on the map. If you select the 'See more mapped locations' link a menu appears which allows you to find out the locations of individual horror movies alphabetically.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Crowdsourced Bike Accident Map

Only about 30% of biking accidents are ever reported. This makes it difficult to accurately identify accident hot-spots for cyclists. BikeMaps want to help overcome this problem by providing a centralized reporting system, where cyclists can map the location of cycling incidents.

BikeMaps consists of a Leaflet map of cycling traffic and user submitted cycling incidents. The rider volume layer shows where there is the most cycling traffic, using data provided by Strava. Cycling incidents are shown on the map using colored map markers. The colors of the markers show whether the incident was a collision, near miss or a bike theft.

The map also includes a heat-map option which allows you to visualize the most dangerous biking locations based on the submitted incident reports.

The Crowd-Sourced Weather Map

The Netatmo Weather Station for Smartphone is a clever weather monitoring system which measures temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and noise levels. The monitor connects with your computer or smartphone via WiFi so that you can access all the data recorded via the Netatmo app.

The Netatmo Weather Map allows you to view all the data from Netatmo weather monitoring stations throughout the world. Open up the Netamo Weather Map and you can view at a glance the current temperature around the world. You can also switch the map to display rainfall data by selecting the raindrop icon at the bottom-left of the map.

If you select an individual weather station on the map you can view a graph of the temperature, humidity, air pressure and rainfall recorded by the station. You can also view a three day weather forecast for the selected location, as provided by WeatherPro.

Story Mapping Spatial Analysis

This Story Map from Esri is a really interesting introduction to spatial analysis. The map guides you through some of the spatial analysis that you might undertake if you were planning to open up a new retail store, examining factors such as population, income distribution and travel time which might effect the store's location.

An Example of Spatial Analysis runs through some of the spatial analysis which you might undertake if you wanted to open a new store in St. Louis. As you progress through the story map a number of map overlays are added to the map to help explain whether opening a new store in St. Louis would be a good idea.

The story map examines St. Louis' travel times from city blocks to the location of the new store, the population distribution in the city and the median household income levels in the city. An Example of Spatial Analysis also examines how you might use exploratory regression and ordinary regression to determine which of these factors are the most important in predicting potential sales in the new store.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Joined-Up Maps

I've been very critical lately about the lack of development of the Google Maps JavaScript API. We've had to wait a long time for any new features to be added to the API. Today, however, Google has announced a new feature and it's a good one!

Signed-in Maps allows your users to sign-in to your Google Maps API applications with a Google account. Once signed-in users will be able to see their Google Maps saved places (for example their home and work addresses) on your Google Maps application. They will also be able to save locations from your location, which will then display on the official Google Maps website.

Save a location on a Google Maps API app & it will then show up on the Google Maps website or phone app

The simplest example of this in action might be a store locator or a 'where we are' map. You could use the Google Maps API to create a simple map to show potential customers the location of your business. If you use the new Signed-in Maps feature on your map your users will be able to save the location of your business through their Google account. Then, when the user wants to find your business, they can open Google Maps on their mobile phone and see your business starred on their map.

As you can see in the screenshot above the saved location not only displays on the main Google Maps website it also shows which Google Maps API application it was saved on.

The new Signed-in Maps feature has a number of great potential uses. For example, if you now create a map of local restaurants you can allow your users to save the restaurants that they fancy visiting. They can then view all their saved restaurants on any Google Maps site.

The Signed-in Maps feature has two main methods for signed-in users to save locations. You can allow users of your map to save a location by adding a simple 'save' option to an information window.  Alternatively you can add a Save Widget, which allows you to place the save option outside of an information window.

The Continents of Reddit

The Internet Map is one of my all time favorite maps created with the Google Maps API. The map visualizes the 350,000 largest websites in the world.

The circles on this map represent individual websites on the Internet. The size of the circle being determined by the amount of traffic on the website, The larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. The location of websites on the map is determined by the links between sites. The more traffic that is generated from links between different websites then the closer the websites are displayed on the map.

This geographical grouping by the strength of links between the different websites creates an interesting map where it is possible to distinguish distinct communities on the Internet.

The Reddit World Map is a similar interactive map, this time visualizing the communities of the 'front page of the Internet'. The Reddit World Map represents every subreddit as a dot. Subreddits are located close to each other on the map when many users comment or post on both subreddits.

The subreddits with many connections are mapped in red and those with few connections are mapped in blue. By grouping the subreddits by user activity clear communities of Reddit users emerge on the map. In fact the blog post introducing the map includes an interesting static version of the map where the continents of Reddit are picked out on the map.

Sentiment Mapping

Twitter is a great resource for researching language use and people's moods. The Geography of Hate, by Dr. Monica Stephens of Humboldt State University, is one of the best examples of a map which analyses Twitter messages to identify specific sentiments.

The Geography of Hate map shows the rough location of every geocoded tweet in the United States, from June 2012 - April 2013, which contained one or more of ten 'hate words'. Users of the map can view three different heat maps, one for homophobic tweets, one for racist tweets and one for anti-diasablity tweets. The user can also view individual heat maps for any one of the ten offensive words.

London Feels is a map visualizing how Londoners feel based on their Twitter messages. The map shows the location of Twitter messages inside the M25 which contain a number of key words indicating some kind of sentiment (e.g. 'terrible', 'bad', 'good', 'awesome' etc).

Positive tweets are shown on the map in blue, negative tweets shown in red and average feeling tweets are shown in purple. Unlike The Geography of Hate map there is no human analysis of the Twitter messages. Therefore the map obviously shows a lot of messages where people are expressing a judgement upon something rather than a sentiment about their own state of being (e.g. 'that movie is terrible').

A more scientific approach is taken by Mappiness. Two academics at the London School of Economics are carrying out research into how the environment affects people's happiness. To help them gather the data for this research they launched an iPhone app to track how people are feeling.

If you download the app you will receive a notification between one and five times a day. The notification will ask you to open the app, briefly report how you're feeling and who you're with, where you are, and what you're doing. If you're outdoors and you're happy, you'll also be asked to take a photo of your surroundings.

Anyone can keep an eye on the research being gathered by checking out the Mappiness Google Map. The map shows the outdoor places where Mappiness users have most recently reported feeling happy. If you click on an information window you can also view the photograph taken at that happy moment.

Weather Sentiment Prediction is a clever Google Maps based application that can tell you how people feel about the weather at any location.

You can select a location on the application by dragging the map marker and adjusting the radius of the search area. Once you hit the 'search' button the application begins to analyse Tweets from that area which mention the weather. Each message is machine analysed to determine whether it is a positive or negative response to the weather.

A smiley face and an unsmiley face at the top of the Twitter stream give an indication of the overall response to the current weather.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The New Zealand Dot Map

Mapping the Young Adults of New Zealand is a density dot map visualizing the population change of young Kiwis between 2001 and 2013. Each dot on the map signifies the increase or decrease of one person aged between 20-34 in a census unit. The map also allows you to view the population growth and decreases of all ages.

Looking at the 'all ages' data the map reveals that both in urban areas and many rural areas the total population mostly increased between 2001 and 2013. However the map tells a different story when you look only at the population changes among young people. The areas where young people increased in population are mainly in New Zealand's urban areas.

Mapping the Hills of San Francisco

This San Francisco Streets by Slope map shows you the location of San Francisco's steepest streets and also shows you how you can route around them. The map can therefore be used as a quick guide to avoiding the city's biggest hills.

Roads on the map are colored by the gradient of the climb. Red indicates the steepest streets and the flattest streets are shown in green. If you click on two locations on the map you can view a route which avoids the steepest climbs.

You might not love climbing hills but you just might love travelling downhill. In that case you might want to use the Hill Mapper San Francisco, which makes great use of the Google Maps API Elevation Service to show the direction of slopes on San Francisco's streets.

The uphill streets are colored red and the blue streets go downhill. The darker the color of the street, the steeper the hill. If you move your location on the map the colors of the streets dynamically update to reflect the new directions of the slopes, relevant to your new position.

If you really hate hills you can also use the Flat Route Finder to find cycling routes that avoid the steepest slopes. The Flat Route Finder uses the Google Maps elevation service to suggest the flattest possible cycling route. Two elevation graphs are also provided to show you the steepest parts of the route and the route itself is color-coded to show you the easiest and most difficult stages of your journey.

If you don't like the look of the suggested route (or perversely you want to find the steepest route) you can drag the route around to view the elevation and the difficulty of alternative routes.

Bikesy is another great bike routing application that can help you find the flattest, safest or fastest routes anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bikesy can provide you with bike routes that may be slightly longer than the quickest route but include less steep climbs. Each route comes with an elevation profile for your ride, so you can tell in advance where and when you will face the toughest climbs.

For each request Bikesy suggests a number of different routes. You can choose from the flattest route, a route that takes in reasonable climbs or routes that take in the steepest hills. You can also choose the 'safe', safer' or 'safest' route, which takes into account bike lanes and paths.  

Mapping the End of Slavery

Visualizing Emancipation is an interactive map exploring the emancipation of four million slaves during the American Civil War. The map allows users to explore and discover patterns in the end of southern slavery through the use of contemporary documents and primary sources.

The map calls these patterns of emancipation 'event types' and Visualizing Emancipation allows you to view these patterns in any combination or on their own. The patterns include emancipation event types leading from the destruction of slavery in law, through military action and through the impetus and actions of enslaved people throughout the U.S. South.

As well as exploring the map by the patterns of emancipation you can explore the mapped events using a time-line. The time-line allows you to filter the events displayed on the map by any month between 1860 and 1865.

To mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Great Britain the BBC created this Abolition of British Slavery - Interactive Map. The map explores how the slave trade was organized, the history of resistance to slavery and accounts of the number of people taken into slavery. The map also includes a mapped account of one man's capture by slave dealers, his life as a slave and his eventual release from slavery.

Tacky's Rebellion, was an uprising of black African slaves that occurred in Jamaica in May, June and July 1760. The Jamaican Slave Revolt Map tells the story of the revolt, and its brutal suppression by the British Army.

Using contemporary accounts the map animates through the important events and locations in the rebellion and subsequent suppression. A number of eighteenth-century maps were used to create the terrain map and the places map, which form the base maps for the narration.

The Jamaican Slave Revolt map was created by Vincent Brown, Professor of History and African and African-American Studies at Harvard University. Brown says that "the map suggests an argument about the strategies of the rebels and the tactics of counterinsurgency, about the importance of the landscape to the course of the uprising".

Tube Tongues

Oliver O'Brien's London Tube Stats map is a fascinating analysis of traffic at all of London's Underground stations. Using the map you can view a wealth of data on the number of customers and journeys made from each station on the London Underground for different times and days of the week.

The London Tube Stats map also includes a spoken languages overlay, which allows you to view the second most spoken language (after English) of people living near each of the London Underground Stations. In most of East London you are most likely to hear Bengali spoken on the tube. In West London you are likely to hear Arabic and in much of Central London you might hear a lot of French speakers.

If you select individual stations on the map you can view a breakdown on the percentages of all the primary languages spoken in the area.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fracking California

Faces of Fracking is an investigation into how the impacts of fracking are being felt in California.

This story map visualization, built using d3.js, plots the locations of the 532 oil & gas wells in the LA Basin. As you scroll through the investigation the map also plots the number of pounds of toxic chemicals released at each fracking site.

Continue scrolling and the map zooms out to show the 3,014 wells across California, where high–intensity production is either planned or already taking place, and the 1,105 wells where waste is being injected into the ground. You can also view the proximity of each of these wells to California's groundwater aquifers.

The Global Hot News Map

Heatmap News is a heat map showing the concentration of global news stories indexed by Google News. The map is a great way to determine where major news events are currently taking place around the world.

The map uses the Google Maps API Heatmap Layer to visualize current news hot-spots. For example, at the time of writing, the map shows news hot-spots for the Ukraine elections, for news related to the attack on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and news surrounding the shooting of the captain of the South African football team.

You can also use Heatmap News to view heat maps for any date (18/08/2014 onward).

You could use the Heatmap News map to find breaking stories and then use the Newspaper Map to find local newspapers which are covering these breaking stories. Newspaper map is a Google Map providing links to nearly 10,000 newspapers around the world.

The newspapers are categorized on the map by language. You can select markers on the map to follow links to the individual local newspapers. Each information window contains not only links to the website of the listed newspapers but also links to view the newspaper website through Google Translate.

The Global Flight Map

This Air Traffic map is a beautiful visualization of aircraft routes around the world. The map simply plots all international and domestic passenger air routes across the globe using green lines on a black background.

Simply by plotting international and domestic flights a fairly clear map of the world emerges. Africa and North & South America can be distinctly seen in the air traffic data. The intense traffic in Europe leads to a fuzzier picture but it is still possible to make out individual countries. If you zoom in on the map you can even identify individual airports on the map.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The South Australian Road Trip

South Australia Road Trips consists of five mapped tours of the stunning coastline and wonderful outback of South Australia.

This series of mapped guides, from the South Australian Tourism Commission, uses the Google Maps API to provide tours of the Murray River, Explorer’s Way, the South Australian Coast, South Australia's wine region and the Southern Ocean Drive.

 Each of the five guides include a map of the route and the option to view the location of places to stay, places to eat and things to see and do on your tour of South Australia.

The Maps of the Week

Last year there were over 6,000 earthquakes with a magnitude of over 4.5. A Year of Earthquakes is an interactive map plotting all the earthquakes around the world in 2013.

Not only does the map plot every earthquake that occurred last year it also includes population density and mortality risk layers. Using these layers it is possible to view where earthquakes are most likely to cause high levels of death.

The time-line control beneath the map allows you to animate through the whole year's earthquake activity. You can adjust the control to show different time intervals during the animation (for example 10, 20, or 30 days). The marker for each earthquake displayed on the map is scaled by magnitude. You can also use the map controls to filter the magnitude of quakes you want visualized on the map.

Over the years Maps Mania has reported on a huge number of real-time transit maps around the world. These are transit maps which allow you to view the live movements of buses, trams and trains live on a map. Seetys is the first one that I've seen which allows you to follow the vehicles in 3d.

The Seetys Transport website provides real-time simulated maps of bus networks in a number of Spanish cities. The maps allow you to view each of the featured city's bus routes on a Google Map. The maps include the option to follow individual buses as they move in real-time. If you select the '3d simulation' option you can even follow individual buses in 3d using the Google Earth browser plug-in.

Sharing vs. Affordability is a Google Map which can help you find the areas in London where you can afford to rent a property. The map uses data from Find Property to visualize where you can afford to live on your own in London and where you would have to house-share.

Just use the slide control to enter how much rent you can afford to pay and the map shows the areas of London which are too expensive, where you can afford to rent on your own and where you would have to share with one, two or three other people.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The 17th Century Guide to Pomerania

The Seventeenth Century mathematician and philosopher Eilhard Lubinus was commissioned in 1610 to create a map of Pomerania. has made the inspired decision to use Lubinus' beautiful Pomerania map as the basis for a guided tour of the region.

Mapy Lubinusa uses the Google Maps API to turn Lubinus' Seventeenth Century map into an interactive guide for visitors to modern day Pomerania. The border of Lubinus' map is decorated with portraits of the 49 towns of Pomerania. Mapy Lubinusa has created nine guided tours, which you can follow on the interactive version of the map, taking in all of the 49 towns featured in the map border.

You can therefore use Mapy Lubinusa not only to explore the Lubinus Pomeranian map in detail but as a modern tourist guide to the region. The map itself is augmented with an animated cloud layer and a number of animated map features.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Seattle Coffee Map

Apparently there are one or two places to get a good cup of coffee in Seattle. If too much choice confuses then you might want to check out Seattle Eater's maps.

Seattle Eater has a huge range of Google Maps which can help you find not only the best coffee shop but also (huge breath) .... the best restaurants for cheap eats, the best vegetarian restaurants, the best pizza restaurants, the best bars for craft beer, the best Chinese restaurants, the best Mexican restaurants ...

... and the list goes on. In fact if you have a favorite type of food then Seattle Eater probably has a map to help you find the best specialty restaurants in Seattle.

Map Out the Trash

I've always liked the potential of the Google Maps API for creating applications to help citizens report local problems to local government. For example, in the UK allows anyone to report, view, or discuss local problems and will pass on the reported problems to the relevant local council.

TrashOut is another Google Maps based application with a similar aim to allow anyone to report local fly-tipping problems. Using the application anyone can report the location of an illegal dump anywhere in the world. The red markers on the map indicate reports of illegal dumps. The green markers show the locations of illegal dumps that have been cleared and cleaned.

Mapping the New London

Whereabouts London is an experiment in redefining the boundaries of London neighborhoods based on how people live and not on the physical geography of where they live. Using data from a wide range of sources, including demographics, house prices and the availability of different amenities Whereabouts London creates neighborhoods from the similarities and distinctions between Londoners and their environments.

The new map of London which emerges using this taxonomy is a city of radial neighbourhoods. In the outer ring of London are the elderly, multi-car owning, house owners. In the centre we find the non-car owning, apartment renting young. In between we find those condemned to the hell of London for the sins of gluttony, lust and greed (I kid - although this new map of London does bear more than a passing resemblance to Dante's nine circles of Hell).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

700 Red Dots & 4,000 Holes

Clickhole has created a static map of 700 Red Dots in the USA. The map is an effective visualization of a remarkable number of red dots throughout the US. However the use of a static map does mean that the exact location of each red dot is a little hard to read. The map would be a lot more effective if you were able to zoom in and pan the map.

The 700 Red Dots map is a great example of a map which would be far more effective if it was interactive. Clickhole could have used Leaflet.js, Mapbox or the Google Maps API to create a fully interactive map.

For example here is a map I created of Four Thousand Holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. The ability to zoom in and out of the map and to be able to pan around makes the map much more useful. In fact, I'm sure you'll agree, the map would be pretty pointless without it.

Mapping the Ebola Response

The OpenStreetMap of Guéckédou before HOT mapping

The current Ebola outbreak started in Guéckédou, in southeastern Guinea. The disease soon spread to other nearby Guinea towns and then to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

One of the biggest problems for aid agencies and health organizations in responding to the crisis was the lack of good maps in the areas where Ebola has been most prevalent. This is why the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) started the 2014 West Africa Ebola Response.

HOT works to improve OpenStreetMap coverage to assist responses to disasters and crisis around the world. In West Africa HOT has been working hard to improve OpenStreetMap data in order to help aid agencies plan and co-ordinate their disaster response teams.

The OpenStreetMap of Guéckédou after the HOT 2014 West Africa Ebola Response

The result has been a huge improvement of OpenStreetMap coverage in West Africa, particularly in the areas most affected by the current Ebola outbreak. You can check out the improvements in OpenStreetMap in West Africa yourself by using Harry' Wood's Before and After OpenStreetMap tool. This tool uses a slider control which allows you to compare the current OpenStreetMap coverage to the OpenStreetMap coverage before the start of the HOT 2014 West Africa Ebola Response.

Here are links to the maps of  Guéckédou, Kissidougou and Macenta, three of the first towns to be hit by the current Ebola outbreak. You can use the Before and After OpenStreetMap tool in all three towns to view how OpenStreetMap had next to no coverage before the HOT response. Now all three towns have extensive road maps and medical and health facilitates are also mapped.

You can learn more about HOT by visiting the Ebola response wiki page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Housing Density in Melbourne

Last week Maps Mania posted about the The Melbourne Bike Crash Map from the City Science Group at Monash University. The City Science Group has also created an interesting map of Melbourne House Density.

This map visualizes the distribution of dwelling density in Melbourne. Building plots on the map are colored by the number of dwellings per square kilometer. You can mouse-over the individual building plots to view the number of dwellings.

The map reveals that housing density is highest in the city center, presumably because of higher building density and more high-rise dwellings. Housing density becomes lower as you move out from the city center to the suburbs, where there is more low-rise housing and more space between dwellings.

A Year of Earthquakes Mapped

Last year there were over 6,000 earthquakes with a magnitude of over 4.5. A Year of Earthquakes is an interactive map plotting all the earthquakes around the world in 2013.

Not only does the map plot every earthquake that occurred last year it also includes population density and mortality risk layers. Using these layers it is possible to view where earthquakes are most likely to cause high levels of death.

The time-line control beneath the map allows you to animate through the whole year's earthquake activity. You can adjust the control to show different time intervals during the animation (for example 10, 20, or 30 days). The marker for each earthquake displayed on the map is scaled by magnitude. You can also use the map controls to filter the magnitude of quakes you want visualized on the map.

The Global Soil Map

The International Soil Reference and Information Centre has released the first in a series of global soil maps. The Centre plans to release world-wide soil maps at increasing levels of resolution. The first of these maps, the SoilGrids 1km map, uses the Leaflet map library to provide a global soil map at the relatively course resolution of 1 km.

SoilGrids 1km consists of a number of different soil layers created using 3D predictions for basic soil properties. These layers include overlays for organic carbon, pH, depth to bedrock and predictions for soil types based on the FAO's World Reference Base groups and USDA's Soil Taxonomy suborders.

Anyone can download the data in (GeoTiff format) directly from the map (limited to a maximum of 5 tiles) or by FTP (no limits).

The 10 Best Sound Maps

Recently there has been a trend to marry Google Maps Street View with sound recordings. The combination of 360 degree panoramas with recorded sound is an effective way for developers to represent both the aural and visual experience of locations around the world.  The Sound City ProjectNight Walk in Marseilles and Sounds of Street View are three good examples of websites which combine sound and imagery.

While the combination of Street View and sound recordings can be particularly evocative sometimes developers just want to represent the aural landscape of locations. Here then are some of the best Sound Maps from around the world:

From the insect chorus of the Borneo to the crooning baritone song of an Atlantic humpback whale, this map wants to serenade you with the sounds of nature. The Nature Soundmap is a map featuring the sounds of nature captured by professional nature recordists around the world.

Maps have always been a fascinating way to explore the globe. Satellite imagery and Street View imagery have made armchair exploring even more immersive. Add in the sounds of the monsoon in Borneo and the soundscape of the Brazilian rain-forest and you can almost imagine that you really have been transported to the other side of the world.

One of the most popular uses of interactive maps is to show how locations have changed over time. The wonderful Historypin has been mapping old vintage photographs for a few years and I've even had a go myself at mapping vintage films on my There and Then map.

The Historical London Sounds map is the first attempt I've seen at mapping vintage sound recordings. Using original BBC Radio actuality recordings the Historical London Sounds map allows you to listen to life on the street in London in the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's and 1950's.

The Audio and Acoustic Engineering Research Centre at the University of Salford wants to build a sound map of the world. To achieve this the Centre is crowd-sourcing the process of mapping the aural landscape.

Sound Around You allows users to upload sound clips to a Google Map either from the Sound Around You iPhone app or from a recording stored on your computer. One really nice feature of the Sound Around You map is the use of Google Street View. When you select a marker on the map, to listen to a submitted sound clip, where available a Street View window also opens.

Radio Aporee is another crowd-sourced map of sound recordings. Since 2006 the project has been creating a sound map allowing you to listen to sound recordings from locations around the world.

Soundcities is yet another crowd-sourced database of sounds and sound maps from around the world, using found sounds and field recordings. It is possible to browse the submitted sounds by location on a Google Map. It is also possible to browse by mood. The Google Map includes a number of sound recordings made in lots of cities around the world and all the sounds can be listened to directly from the map.

The British Library Sound Maps is a nice collection of Google Maps featuring audio recordings in a number of different categories.

Users can explore traditional music on the Music from India and Traditional English Music maps. The Jewish Survivors of the Holocaust map features a number of first hand oral accounts from survivors of the Holocaust.

The British Library collection also includes sound maps of wildlife recordings and British regional accents and dialects.

If all this noise is giving you a headache then you might want to listen to the sound of silence recorded at locations around the world. The Museum of Modern Art, New York created a sound map to accompany an exhibition celebrating John Cage’s 4’33” ( commonly known as Cage's 'silent' piece).

MoMa's Share Your Silence map is a sound map of user contributed recordings of 'silence' around the world. If you want to hear how silence sounds in different locations around the world you can simply click on the map markers and listen to the submitted recordings directly from the map.