Posts Tagged ‘region’

Flickr Shapefiles browser (MapToPixel)

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010


[Editor's note: Also check out Aaron's WOE ID browser (the geography behind Flickr). The Flickr API returns both ESRI format shapefiles and XML / JSON. The monster dump of all Flickr shapes is just XML, however. Thanks GeoPDX!]

Republished from MapToPixel.

Flickr Shapefiles are a set of polygons generated from the geo-tags of photos on Flickr. Using the names assigned by people to their own images the dataset offers boundaries of loads of places around the world. The blog has more info and details of their generation. The idea is that using people’s tags of locations to form boundaries gives a large dataset of where people think particular places are.

The Boundaries project uses Flick Shapefiles to show neighbourhoods and their neighbouring places. Other than that there isn’t a huge amount of examples on the web.  I’ve put together an example that uses ModestMaps and the Flickr API to display the Shapefiles in Flash. The polygons are retrieved using a bounding box query to the Flickr API, decoded from JSON, drawn and may be identified with a mouse hover.

Continue reading at MapToPixel . . .

Greenland Gains Self-Government from the Kingdom of Denmark, Kinda (Economist)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

2609ww2[Editor's note: What is a country? A nation? A nation-state? By some counts, there are about 195 "countries" or 194 (US State Department) in the world, but by others like the ISO and United Nations, about 245 which includes extra "regions" for statistical reasons or FIPS code assignments. The World Bank (2) says 186 or 210. How can there be such a wide spectrum of valid answers? The issue is complicated by historic colonial relationships with overseas dependencies and affiliated political administrative units, and by the non-uniform way different "countries" sub-divide themselves.

For instance, France considers all it's "dependencies" unitary parts of France, while the U.S. does not view it's own territories equal to states vis-a-vis constitutional rights. But some unitary parts of France outside mainland Europe get treated differently from Metropolitan France by the European Union (they don't necessarily get an E.U. passport).

This week, Greenland steps closer to becoming one of the club of 195 "countries" in the world, but really it's just getting more quasi-self-government (sticking in the 245 bracket) within the Kingdom of Denmark's administrative umbrella (which is and is not the same as the "country" of Denmark) for defense and foreign policy.

The higher number doesn't even address sub-national semi-autonomous entities like the United Kingdom's England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland which fall somewhere between what we in the U.S. think of as "states" and "provinces" (1st order admin units) and those top level countries and nations. Nor does it address disputed or break away regions like Abkhazia.

For Natural Earth Vector, we will include groupings at both "top-level" views (about 195 and 245), and at the 1st order admin (state, province, over 3,000). We will also include a sample of sub-national areas and disputed, breakaway areas.]

Republished from the Economist.

Two tonnes of rare whale meat were distributed in Greenland as part of celebrations to mark the start of an era of self-government. After nearly three centuries of rule by Denmark, Greenland’s 56,000 people will gradually take control of most domestic affairs, although defence and foreign policy remain in Danish hands. Greenlandic is now the official language. Photo by: Adam Roberts.

Continue reading related story, “Greenland’s future: Divorce up north?” from Nov. 27, 2008 . . .

Visualization: Geomap (Google)

Friday, June 19th, 2009


[Editor's note: Google has made freely available the curious choropleth (colors by country) and graduated symbol (bubble) maps found in their Google Analytics tools as part of their charting - visualization kit. You set-up a HTML JavaScript object with the map parameters (country-value pairs or city-value pairs) and the colors and Google will make you an interactive Flash map (data brushing reveals country value on mouseOver) color coded via uninformative class breaks and terrible cartography linework (look at the US, Canada border) and a terrible world map projection (cylindrical with gross distortions in the higher latitudes). But it is free and fast and several regional base map are also available. There is certainly an oportunity for someone else to come up with a better API that uses the same function calls but draws better maps with meaningful data classes. Screenshot above is static, click on it to go to interactive version.]

Republished from Google Visualization.

Overview: A geomap is a map of a country, continent, or region map, with colors and values assigned to specific regions. Values are displayed as a color scale, and you can specify optional hovertext for regions. The map is rendered in the browser using an embedded Flash player. Note that the map is not scrollable or draggable, but can be configured to allow zooming.

We have two examples here: one that uses the regions display style, and another that uses the markers display style.

Regions Example

The regions style fills entire regions (typically countries) with colors corresponding to the values that you assign. Specify the regions style by assigning options['dataMode'] = ‘regions’ in your code.

Markers Example

The “markers” style displays a circle, sized and colored to indicate a value, over the regions that you specify. To use markers, you must include the following Google Maps API script with a key, unless you specify locations using latitude and longitude values.

Continue reading at Google . . .