Posts Tagged ‘sacramento’

All Aboard For NACIS Sacramento in October!

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

sacramentoThe program for the 2009 NACIS annual conference has been announced. The location this year is Sacramento, Calif., from Wednesday, October 7th to Saturday the 10th. I will be presenting Natural Earth Vector with Tom Patterson and crew at the Practical Cartography Day event before the main conference.

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

Opening session speaker will be Michal Migurski, Stamen Design in San Francisco. Michal is Partner and Director of Technology Stamen, and maintains an active blog about mapping and design. Several Saturday field trips are available.

See the nation’s most spectacular scenery on the way to this year’s NACIS conference. Join Dennis McClendon and the rolling Geodweeb party train as it heads from Chicago to Sacramento. More info is available via the CartoTalk forum posting.


First Look at Natural Earth Vector

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Tom Patterson and I collaborated on the precursor to his first Natural Earth Raster project several years ago and we now preview Natural Earth Raster + Vector, a new free product due Fall 2009 that complements and expands on the previous work by providing detailed GIS linework at the 1:15,000,000 (1:15 million) scale and new versions of the raster product (including cross-blended hyspometric tints). The Washington Post, where I work, is contributing 2 more vector GIS base maps at the 1:50m and 1:110m scales and new versions of Natural Earth Raster will be released for those scales. This is a NACIS and mapgiving co-branded product with assistance from the University of Wisconson-Madison cartography lab, Florida State University, and others.

Please attend the October NACIS 2009 map conference in Sacramento, California for the unveiling.

More description and preview images after the jump.


Ocean Dots: The Island Encyclopedia

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009


[Editor's note: I've enjoyed using this photo-based encyclopedia the last couple weeks working on the Natural Earth Vector island features, which includes many small specs of land out in the deep blue. Natural Earth Vector will be released at the 2009 NACIS map conference in Sacramento, Calif. Related posts: 1, 2, 3, and 4)] is an image-based encyclopedia of the world’s islands and reefs, using a mix of satellite imagery and user-contributed images.

You can now upload you own island photographs to share with other visitors to the site. If you’d like to upload images, visit the image upload page.

Continue exploring at OceanDots . . .

SpatialKey: insanely good geovisualization (indiemaps)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

[Editor's note: More on commercial Spatial Key visualization system for Flash from Zach Johson via Universal Mind.]

Reprinted from indiemaps blog on 13 Aug. 2008.

I’m [ed-Zach Johnson] a little late on this, so I hope it’s old news to most readers that Universal Mind, where I’ve worked for the past 2 months, just launched a technology preview of theSpatialKey visualization system.  This is a big deal.

Andrew PowellDoug McCune, and Brandon Purcell have already posted great introductions to SpatialKey, so I won’t go through all that here. But just so’s you know: SpatialKey is a visualization system for geotemporal (location + time) data, developed primarily in Flex, that lets you filter and render thousands of points very quickly, all client-side in your browser.

This is not a formal release. We’re in a technology preview for now, which means you just get to see some sweet examples, but soon we’ll release a version, SpatialKey Personal, into which you can load and visualize your own data. Here are links to three of my favorite examples (for more, check out our Gallery page, or this post on the SpatialKey blog).

As I said, other better introductions have been written on SpatialKey; I just want to focus on a few of my favorite features or attributes.

not a single, do-it-all application

SpatialKey is based around a collection of visualization templates. Each offers a unique view of the data, with specialized visualizations, filters, and UI controls. Since the templates are specialized, each one is pretty easy to learn and begin using.

The examples linked above demonstrate the animationmap comparison, and drill down templates. The fourth template we’re showing off now is the temporal heat index template (here’s an example of that: Sacramento residential burglaries).

chorodot symbolization

You don’t see these much, but I think they’re really effective. The “heat grid” symbolization in SpatialKey is a modern implementation of a technique put forth by Alan MacEachren and David DiBiase in 1991.

Aggregating points to arbitrary but regularly-shaped polygons, or binning, was an extant graphical practice at the time, but the geographic application and their particular methods created an effective cartographic symbology. Other than SpatialKey, I haven’t seen this symbolization in a geographic visualization context, but I think it’s very effective at presenting large datasets that require aggregation. The heat grid symbolization in SpatialKey extends the approach by allowing grid renderings of attributes of the data (like house prices or temperature) in addition to aggregation of the count of points.

chorodot of AIDS cases in Pennsylvania

MacEachran and DiBiase’s example chorodot map of AIDS in Pennsylvania (image from J.B. Krygier’s lecture notes)

grid symbology in SpatialKey, implementation of the chorodot cartographic symbology

SpatialKey grid symbolization showing a data attribute (average home prices) in Sacramento county

small multiples / map comparison

I’ve always been a fan of the small multiples depiction of change, illustrated so well by Edward Tufte in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Envisioning Information. Though the SpatialKey Map Comparison template shows two multiples, it qualifies (and we can easily plug in more maps for specialized templates).

D.C. construction in the SpatialKey Map Comparison template

Both the maps and the time charts are live-linked. Mousing over an area on one of the maps or a bar on one of the time charts reveals the tooltip for both displays, allowing you to easily retrieve specifics for different time periods or areas.

complex temporal filtering and focusing via the heat index chart

The time chart, shown in the first screenshot above, is great for revealing linear temporal trends in a dataset, and for enabling linear filtering. But some datasets evince more complex temporal trends — for example, some crimes may be more common on a certain day of the week and at a certain time of day. Such trends are lost when data is aggregated in a linear fashion to, say, days or weeks.

sex crime arrests in Sacramento

The temporal heat index chart reveals such complex trends and allows filtering by multiple temporal aspects simultaneously (for example, showing only prostitution arrests on Tuesdays between 3 and 4 am).

in closing

I was late to the game on this one, joining Universal Mind in June. SpatialKey was developed by the brilliant team of Doug McCune, Ben Stucki, and Andrew Powell, led by Brandon Purcell and Tom Link, with product manager Mike Connor. It’s a privilege working with such a talented crew.

Our goals for this technology preview are modest (blowing minds, getting feedback), but we’re excited to continue developing SpatialKey and SpatialKey Law Enforcement. And we’ll be releasing updates, new examples, and SpatialKey Personal in the near future. So stay tuned to the SpatialKey blog, and please contact us if you have any feedback on our technology preview.