Geospatial Redux: Creative Users for Street View, Esri’s Service Credit Estimator, USAToday Goes with MapBox

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Google Maps and Data News

The largest Street View release by Google was recently announced.  Over 250,000 miles of street level imagery was released in the latest update and includes increased street coverage for  Macau, Singapore, Sweden, the U.S., Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Google’s litigation front got a little bit easier with the news that German prosecutors are dropping their probe of illegal data gathering as part of Google’s Street View program.

The staff at LifeHacker.com brainstormed and came up with this list of Seven Creative Uses for Google Street View.

Esri’s Service Credit Estimator

Figuring out how many service credits your ArcGIS Online subscription will use can be a bit confusing.  ArcGIS Online is Esri’s collaboration environment for sharing and mapping GIS data and requires a tiered annual subscription fee along with what the company calls service credits: “Service credits are the currency for ArcGIS Online and are used in exchange for any of the hosted services an ArcGIS Online subscriber uses.”  Esri has now made available a Service Credit Estimator which will allow organizations the ability to calculate an educated guess about how many service credits it will use over the course of a year by inputting information about the number of users, data transfer, and data storage needs.


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United States of Starbucks

Citing Stephen Von Worley’s influence (he visualized all the McDonald’s in the United States), James Davenport mapped out the locations of all the Starbucks in the U.S.  By connecting all the points, Davenport came up with two maps (the first using a Delaunay triangulation, the second (below) uses a Voronoi diagram), with the end results echoing the population centers of the United States when mapped out.  Davenport concluded his analysis by graphing out the proximity of a mapped Starbucks location to residents and found that 80% of the country’s population lives within 20 miles of a standalone Starbucks (the analysis did not factor in Starbucks locations found within another store).

Voronoi diagram for every Starbucks location. Map by James Davenport.

MapBox News

USAToday.com has launched a resdesign of its site that incorporates MapBox (the makers of the popular cartographic design open software TileMill).  The move by USA Today uses MapBox and OpenStreetMap to drive its online mapping application such as the USAtoday.com/weather main radar maps and the new site’s employment profile entitled, “Where the Jobs Are: Visualizing change in employment across the US .”

Where the jobs are in the United States. USA Today.

Modern Maps and The Way We Are

Simon Garfield, a journalist and the author of On The Map: Why the World Looks The Way It Does, has an article on BBC about how the decline of paper maps and the reliance on navigation devices is affecting our lives.  Read: Why modern maps put everyone at the centre of the world.

How Maps are Deceptive

Juliet Jacobs has an article on Matt Rosenberg’s About Geography about how maps can be deceptive and why looking at maps critically is important to understanding the spatial distortion inherent in all maps.  Read: How Maps Can Deceive Us.


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