Posts Tagged ‘natural earth’

Announcing Natural Earth v2.0.0, release candidate 3

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Just in time for NACIS 2012 in Portland, Oregon!

This is a followup to the earlier version 2.0.0 release candidate 2. Read more about RC2 »

Downloads:

Please submit bugs or other oddness found release candidate 3 to myself nathaniel@kelsocartography.com ASAP. The plan is to cut a final 2.0.0 release by the end of October. View full combo change log for 2.0.0 »

What’s new in 2.0.0 release candidate 3:
  1. Added explicit labelrank in the admin-0 XLS doc. Also added homepart (map units, map subunits, brkaway) and tiny (country) to better deal with labeling awkwardness and adds consistency between themes and scalesets.
  2. Updated sr_label_i, sr_label_o  on tiny_countries for better labeling.
  3. Added 3 new “mapcolors” for 7-up, 8-up, and 9-up into details doc and onto the admin-0 and admin-1 themes. This adds to the 13-up original. The 9-up is optimal, the others are useful in their own ways. 
  4. Renamed the “note” in the admin-0 files to “note_adm0” and added details for Korea and Japan parts (just the exterior bits). Added AUZ note for CSI, Cayman Islands, Turks, etc.
  5. Added the disputed areas note directly to the admin-0 details, named “note_brk“.
  6. Fixed admin-0 coding with Georgia to fix map units bug. Added new Caribbean Netherlands and metropolitan Netherlands codes to reflect rejigger there.
  7. Added continent codes for admin-0 countries and their various parts. Stubbed out region and subregion fields, values to come later release. Thanks SmugMug!
  8. Removed “County” admin-0 feature class, remapping it to “Country” (Finland only).
  9. Removed parenthetical () from notes, see Faulkland Is. etc. Removed all claim notes except from the BRK bits in admin-0 details. Add that while labeling now (consistent with other app logic now).
  10. Add admin-0 diffs for sov, adm0, map units, map subunits, and disputed areas are now calculated on the a3 code, not the name. This can be used for progressive labeling, fixing problems in Tanzania and elsewhere. You still need logic in your app to determine if the labeling name is different, but now it’s consistent.
  11. Added Taiwan to disputed areas. Renamed Congos (eg Democratic Republic of Congo instead of Congo (Kinshasa)).
  12. Modified the scalerank of Venezuala claim into Guyana boundary line fix 10m theme. Similar for the Saichen Glacier.
  13. Changed the scaleranks on all 10m claim polys. Most now appear at scalerank 6 and in.
  14. For labeling, added name_len to the admin 1 and admin 0 details and themes.
  15. Changed several scaleranks of marine label areas in 10m and 50m themes.
  16. Added continent code for roads (partial) so North America and Europe can be separated out easier. Might build topology for roads in final release to make future cleanup easier.
  17. Updated, added new Airports by rerunning export from Mile High Club, with better field names.
  18. Updated, added new Ports by rerunning export from High Seas, with better field names. This added inland ports especially along the North American Great Lakes.
  19. Promoted a few populated places up to scalerank 1 and 2 to give better balance to compilation. Many cities have more accurate pop_max values (partial, more due in final release). Thanks for the nudge Craig!
  20. National park (protected areas) points were missing “name”. Some reranking for park points in urban centers (to scaleranks 7, 8, 9). A couple park areas reranked around scalerank 3. Added Cesar Chavez NM and added missing unit_codes for Clinton Birthplace NHS and River Raisin NBP. Thanks Tom!
  21. Add admin_0 alpha3 codes to boundary lines to allow better selection (grab the boundaries of USA only, for instance). Also added left and right names to allow better admin-0 line labeling on zoom in.
  22. Parts of Chile and Cyprus were missing in derived admin-0 themes (were present in scale rank masters) so modified some label points so their scalerank is now <= 6 for admin-0 selection. These had been 7 and 8.
  23. Removed old versions of admin-1 lines from the ZIPs.
  24. Added left and right names for admin_1 boundary lines for better labeling once zoomed in. Because native names are in UTF8 (from the polygons), also added a “master” lines version in GeoDB format along with the SHP version, sidestepping character encoding problems. Thanks Mamata and Mike!
  25. The admin-1 boundary between Tasmania and mainland Australia is now straight (thanks Craig!). Adjusted admin-1 boundaries in Bhutan to match new admin-0 disputed areas and boundaries.
  26. Added Australia and Brazil admin-1 lines and polys to 50m. Redid the 50m and 110m admin-1 attributes (lines, polys) to match the 10m. Added scale_rank version of the polys at 50m and 110m to allow for easier updates. Recut a lakes erase version of the 50m admin-1, but now using lakes with scalerank <= 0 instead of 1 (North America’s Great Lakes, but not Florida or Utah lakes) at Mike Bostock’s suggestion.
  27. Modified scaleranks on the 10m urban areas and copied those over to the 50m urban areas. Deleted a bit of 10m urban on Mt. Hood, Oregon snowfield.
  28. Redid marine label area scale ranks.
  29. Removed duplicate Laccadive Is. from 10m-geography-regions.
  30. Fixed river scalerank bug in 10m theme in Canada for the Nelson River leading out of Lake Winnipeg, thanks Gregor!

Still to do for final release:

  • Rebuild the 10m, 50m, and 110m admin 0 themes using the new details. Add area_sqkm to all themes after build.
  • Merge in modified 10m China, Taiwan admin-1 from a fork, thanks Chunshek!
  • Merge in modified cities in China, Taiwan from a fork, thanks Chunshek!
  • Merge in modified 10m lakes from a fork, thanks Craig!
  • Resolve ne_10m_railroads_beta1_north_america_original.shp
  • Finish adding continent codes on 10m roads, this might involve adding topology to crack geoms.
  • Include PRJ files with each GeoTIFF, for Jody and the uDig app on OSGeo disk.
  • Update quickstart MXD, QGIS docs with new file names, paths, field names / values.

Natural Earth version 1.3 released

Monday, January 31st, 2011

When Natural Earth relaunched in December 2009 with updated raster and new vector data our aim was two fold: First, to give cartographers an off-the-shelf solution for creating small-scale world, regional and country maps from scratch. Second, we included a wealth of features both large and small in hopes of improving the overall geographic literacy of map readers. Since then, we’ve taken Natural Earth on an around-the-world road show and January 2011 saw our 150,000th direct download and 500,000th pageview. We even made it into Wikipedia, were featured in PrettyMaps, and power some of the goodness behind Google Fusion Tables. With today’s 1.3 release, we add a couple newly independent countries, better delineate the world’s states and provinces, and make a whole host of corrections and additions to the original dataset, detailed below. Please continue to use these fine map ingredients to make great web and print geo mashups. Bon appetit.

Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso and Tom Patterson

Continue reading and download the updated files at NaturalEarthData.com »

    New Flickr shapefile public dataset 2.0 (find the esri type .shp here)

    Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

    2971287541_27e6a06a21

    An updated version of the Flickr shapefile public dataset (2.0) was released last week. From nils official post:

    … We haven’t completely forgotten about shapefiles and have finally gotten around to generating a new batch (read about Alpha Shapes to find out how it’s done). When Aaron did the first run we had somewhere around ninety million (90M) geotagged photos. Today we have over one hundred and ninety million (190M) and that number is growing rapidly. Of course lots of those will fall within the boundaries of the existing shapes and won’t give us any new information, but some of them will improve the boundaries of old shapes, and others will help create new shapes where there weren’t any before. Version 1 of the dataset had shapes for around one hundred and eighty thousand (180K) WOE IDs, and now we have shapes for roughly two hundred and seventy thousand (270K) WOE IDs. Woo. The dataset is available for download today, available for use under the Creative Commons Zero Waiver.

    True to it’s claim, the version 2.0 release brings added fidelity on existing shapes (they are becoming more conformal to the features’ true geographic shape as more human sensors perambulate) and surveys some more cities and significantly more neighborhoods. From a data analytics perspective, I wish the new version had the summary photo count and centroid XY per feature of the 1.0 version. But very excited to see a new version released! Image above by Aaron Straup CopeMore coverage of things Flickr on Kelso’s Corner »

    While the dataset is distributed in GeoJSON format, that isn’t accessible to everyone so I’ve mirrored an ESRI Shapefile version of the Flickr Shapefile Public Dataset 2.0 with this blog post (~60 mb). Details on how I did the conversion after the jump.

    (more…)

    My WhereCampPDX keynote presentation (Kelso)

    Friday, October 8th, 2010

    I presented the keynote last month at WhereCampPDX, a fun, free “unconference” in Portland, Oregon focusing on all things geospatial. Lots of discussions and met great people. The PDF of my presentation can be downloaded at kelso.it/x/pdx.

    I talked about “cities and the people that live them” with particular focus on how do we count people, how grouping thematic and enumeration unit size changes with map scale and has specific impact on geofencing and choosing which cities to show at different web map zoom levels. The biggest hole in GeoNames.org and other gazetteers is the 3rd world, primarily in India and China but also Africa, also where most population growth will occur the next generation.

    Here are some preview slides:

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111135-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111154-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111212-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111224-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111251-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111312-am

    screen-shot-2010-10-08-at-111326-am

    Review of Essential Geography of the United States of America wall map

    Friday, August 27th, 2010

    screen-shot-2010-08-26-at-120625-am

    Will print maps survive Google Maps and the iPad? If Dave Imus’s new Essential Geography of the U.S. is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes!

    Wall maps are large, physical artifacts that evoke our love of place. Indeed, they are the trophy mounts of the mapping world. They offer fond remembrance of the thrill of adventure, help dream up new trips, and effect a sirens call over friends and family with their proud display of  geography. Custom cartography reminds us place is not the sum of a street network but a overlay of cultural story and physiographic pattern. As OpenStreetMap, NavTeq, TeleAtlas, and the like duke it out in the PND and 1:10,000 scale road-map-as-a-service space, this map shows our discipline at it’s best.

    Now for the specs. This beautiful wall map is drawn at 1:4 million scale (36″ tall by 48″ wide, ~65 miles to the inch). That’s twice the detail you get from Natural Earth’s raw GIS data. I was sent a preliminary copy for review and several attentions to detail catch my eye:

    • Major airports are located and labeled with their 3-character code (SFO, LAX, LGA, etc).
    • Attractions are listed for most metropolitan cities (Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, fisherman’s warf in San Francisco).
    • A compilation of small, mid, and large size cities nestle between named mountain ridges, settle the green forests, and line the coast. Some even have their elevation noted (“mile high” Denver at 5280 feet).
    • This human geography is connected by a road network with shields indicating relative lane widths, but still showing small rural routes when they are the only access thru town.
    • National parks and other sites are outlined and named.

    The map is fittingly dedicated to William Loy, long time geography professor and coauthor of the award winning Atlas of Oregon (University of Oregon Press, 2001) who passed over in 2003. The map goes on sale this fall, perfect for the gifting season. Available soon at Imus Geographics »

    Here’s another preview:

    screen-shot-2010-08-27-at-102446-pm

    Natural Earth updated to version 1.2

    Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

    This update introduces supplementary hydrography features in North America and Europe that quadruple (4x) the number of lakes and rivers there. Many thanks to Tom P. for generalizing the vectors and Preston M. for adding tapering to North America (absent in Europe). In some cases the basic 10m rivers and lakes were modified to fit the new information and that’s been refreshed, as well. The North America data comes from the CEC North America Environmental Atlas. The Europe data extract is kindly provided into the public domain by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), thanks Alfred J! Check out their original, higher resolution Europe data.

    On the cultural front, North America gets roads and rails. General 10m detail roads and railroads come from the CEC North America Environmental Atlas. The supplementary roads are donated by XNR Productions and are at 1m scale, thanks Laura M. and Rob!

    If you have data or time to contribute, especially to flesh out the new transportation and hydro themes, please contact me at nathaniel@naturalearthdata.com.

    Note: We are not committing to building out supplementary level of detail in the rest of the world (we’re not THAT crazy!), but will incorporate such data if you contribute it. As always, we edit these data files but you should too before you publish maps using them. Feed us back corrections.

    Download new or updated files »
    (54.11 MB) version 1.2.0

    (below) Rivers and lakes in North America. On the left the version 1.1 hydro features. On the right in color are the new, supplemental version 1.2 hydro features, 4x the density of features at the same 10m linework generalization.

    northamerica_extra_10m_hydro

    (below) Rivers and lakes in Europe. On the left the version 1.1 hydro features. On the right in color are the new, supplemental version 1.2 hydro features, 4x the density of features at the same 10m linework generalization.

    europe_hydro_extra_10m

    (below) Highways (red and blue) and ferry routes in North America.

    northamerica_10m_roads_base

    (below) Supplemental road detail in North America. Slightly different feature class scheme and data vintage.

    northamerica_10m_roads_extra

    (below) Railroads in North America.

    northamerica_10m_railroads_base

    Socotra, South Sudan, and the Netherlands Antilles (Economist)

    Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

    [Editor’s note: Grab bag of Natural Earth admin-2 and admin-0 map units in last week’s Economist magazine.]

    Republished from the Economist.

    Socotra: A still-enchanted island
    Will Yemen’s magical island manage to stay aloof?

    MAROONED in pirate-infested waters off the Horn of Africa but tied to unruly Yemen 400km (250 miles) away, the archipelago of Socotra has a forbidding look. Scorching summer winds strand ships. So fierce is the constant gale that it has whipped beachfuls of blinding white sand into dunes hundreds of metres high that ride up the cliffs. Even in winter it is blisteringly hot. Rats, the sole occupants of one rocky islet, are so ravenous that seasonal fishermen sleep in their skiffs, afraid to languish ashore.

    Yet Socotra, whose main island is the size of Majorca or Long Island, is one of the world’s last enchanted places. The 50,000 native Socotris, speaking four dialects of a singsong ancient language unintelligible to other Yemenis, subsist on fish, goats and not much else. But they inhabit a wildly varied landscape of surreal beauty. The sea teems with giant lobsters, turtles and leaping dolphins. A unique breed of civet cat roams the limestone plateaus that are seamed with gorges carved by rushing streams, and spiked by finger-like granite towers rising to 1,500 metres. The cats are just one among 700 native species of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth.

    Continue reading at the Economist . . .

    South Sudan’s biggest ethnic group: On your tractor, if you can
    The Dinka will decide whether Africa’s latest state-in-waiting fails or prospers

    THE Anglican Bishop of Bor, Nathaniel Garang, sits under the little shade afforded by a thorn tree. His dusty compound has a few mud and straw huts, some plastic chairs, and goats reaching up to bare branches on their hind legs. The bishop is around 70, he guesses, and in reflective mood. He wears a small brass cross given to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Entering Canterbury cathedral, he remarks, was a special moment in his life.

    Mr Garang is a Dinka, the largest of south Sudan’s tribes. Specifically, he is a Bor Dinka (see map), the first of the Dinka groups to become Christian and be educated. Their historic missionary post, founded just upriver on the Nile in 1905, was burnt down during Sudan’s long civil war between the Arab and Muslim north and the Christian and animist south that ended only five years ago. The cathedral in Bor was also shot up, but still attracts several thousand worshippers.

    Continue reading at the Economist . . .

    The Netherlands Antilles: The joy of six
    Curaçao savours the prospect of autonomy

    AS independence struggles go, the process of dismantling the federation of the Netherlands Antilles is about as orderly and peaceful as it gets. On 10-10-10 (October 10th 2010) Curaçao, St Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius will go their separate ways—but only up to a point. Curaçao and St Maarten will become self-governing territories, following the example of Aruba, a sixth Dutch-speaking island in the Caribbean which broke away in 1986. But all will remain under the Dutch crown. The tiniest three islands—Saba, Bonaire and St Eustatius—will become overseas municipalities, with a similar status to towns in the Netherlands.

    The attractions of autonomy are obvious in Curaçao (population: 142,000), the most populous island. It will take over government assets such as a large oil refinery and one of the Caribbean’s biggest dry docks, both in Willemstad, the capital, and the taxes from thriving tourist and offshore-banking industries. Generously, the Dutch will pay off 70% of the federation’s $3.3 billion debt. Local leaders have ambitious plans to develop new port facilities and hotels, and to modernise the dry dock.

    Continue reading at the Economist . . .

    Preview of Natural Earth version 1.2 populated places

    Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

    Version 1.1 brought Natural Earth up to ~7,000 populated places (purple hollow circle icons with labels). Version 1.2 will increase that by 25 times to about 175,000 populated places. It will be available as a supplement to the 1.1 version selection. What does this get you? A 1:1 million scale map of cities around the world and a 1:250,000 scale map of the United States and other select countries. There’s still basic selection work to be accomplished (Santiago Chile has duplicate points now, as does London) and scale ranks need refining (boosting blue 10 million, 5 million and 2 million selections from the 1:1 million black dots on these preview maps).

    Because the world’s geo infrastructure sucks, not all the new features will have population counts in the 1.2 version. But most should have areal extent bounds and nesting to indicate if the town is part of a larger metro area. At the 1:250,000 scale (gmaps zoom 11), we start to see actual incorporated towns and unincorporated suburbs, but at the 1:1m scale we’re still dealing primarily in metropolitan and micropolitan features (urban areas that host multiple “cities”).

    The names of the feature will also need work, but that will occur after the 1.2 release (India, China, and Central Asia mostly). The version 1.1 locations will be shifted over to use the more accurate geoNames lngLats for about 6,000 features (note Oakland below). Locations were fine at 1:10,000,000 scale but don’t always hold up on zoom in. A later update will incorporate an additional 100,000 places to flesh out the 1:1m scale and maybe a few extra for closer in. Combine these populated places with roads and they start looking like atlas plates :)

    More preview images after the jump.

    sfbayarea

    haiti

    iraq

    More preview maps after the jump.

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    Name Change in Pakistan, North-West Frontier Prov. No More (Wash Post)

    Friday, April 9th, 2010

    [Editor’s note: The NWFP colonial-era name in Pakistan has been discarded with this week’s constitutional reforms in favor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The new name reflects the dominant ethnic group and strategic Khyber pass. Changing Up Pakistan has a good backgrounder. Time to update Natural Earth’s 1st order admin!]

    Republished from The Washington Post.
    By Griff Witte Thursday, April 8, 2010; 1:26 PM

    ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s National Assembly on Thursday passed sweeping constitutional reforms that sharply curtail the president’s power and have at least the potential to stabilize the nation’s habitually turbulent political system.

    The changes wipe away a host of measures introduced by military dictators in recent decades that had eroded the power of parliament and centralized authority in the hands of the president. Under the reforms, Pakistan’s prime minister and its provincial governments are expected to have greater latitude in running the country, which has become a central battleground for the United States in the fight against religious extremist groups. [...]

    One of the most contentious elements of the reform package will give a new name to the North-West Frontier Province, which has been at the center of militancy in Pakistan in recent years. The old name — a relic of colonial times — was despised by many Pashtuns, who thought it did not reflect their status as the province’s dominant ethnic group. The new name, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is intended to solve that problem, but it has sparked demonstrations in recent days by the area’s ethnic minorities, who say it makes them feel unwelcome in their home province.

    Read the full article at The Washington Post . . .

    Natural Earth 1.1 update + 1.2 preview

    Friday, March 26th, 2010

    The 60+ individual themes that received edits in the 1.1 update of Natural Earth are now available for ala cart downloading on the NaturalEarthData.com site. The 110m country boundary lines theme is now available in 1.1 (somehow it was left out of the original release). The combo 110m-cultural download has been updated to include that missing file. In case you’re wondering, there is no 50m country boundary lines update, even though the 50m admin-0 polygons were updated as their boundaries did not change, only the attribute tables were updated to version 1.1.

    Jill finished editing ~1,900 or half of the 10m admin-1 polygon data attributes for name and thematic codes for the larger, more populous countries. We’ll start merging that with the new, topologically valid linework in April.

    Tom got a cache of old hand drawn relief and is busy nudging it in Photoshop to align to Natural Earth drains.

    Preston finished adding tapers to the North America drains. Those will go live on the site in early April and will quadruple (4x) the amount of hydrological data there. We’re about 50% done with Europe.

    If you have a few hours to help out, please drop me a line at nathaniel@kelsocartography.com.