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History and Applications of Online Mapping


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A brief overview of mapping and some examples of where its headed.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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History and Applications of Online Mapping

  2. 2. Lascaux Cave Map 16,500 years old
  3. 3. 44I-70
  4. 4. 1996
  5. 5. 2012
  6. 6. Its been a fun ride. When I launched thesite, Google Maps hadnt yet released themapping API thats so common — evenpassé? — today. I cant help but feel likean old-timer: "Back in my day, we had toreverse-engineer Googles obfuscatedJavaScript just to get maps embedded onour own sites!" Now it seems like everyother Web site finds an excuse to use thosefamiliar, bubbly, yellow-white-blue-pastelmap wasnt the first GoogleMaps mashup. That honor belongs to PaulRademachers HousingMaps, which, at thattime, was modestly titled "Craigslist +Google Maps." The straightforwardness ofthat original title illustrates the excitementof it all: just the mere fact that somebodyhad mixed Craigslist data with Googlesmaps was new and remarkable. - AdrianHolovaty
  7. 7. NEWSMAPSMaps have become a familiar part of the newslanguage online due to a number ofadvantages: • They provide an easy way to grasp a story at a glance • They allow users to drill down to relevant information local to them very quickly • Maps can be created very easily, and added to relatively easily by non- journalists • Maps draw on structured data, making them a very useful way to present data such as schools tables, crime statistics or petrol prices • They can be automated, updating in response to real-time information
  8. 8. I designed the Map of the Market while at The goal was to give a quick answer to the question,"whats happening in the market?"The Map used a variant of the "treemap" technique pioneered by Ben Shneiderman. The screen is divided intorectangular tiles that represent publicly traded companies. The area of a rectangle corresponds to the marketcapitalization of the company, and the color tells you how the stock price has changed since the previous marketclose. Unlike a traditional treemap, however, the Map of the Market introduced a new algorithm designed tocreate tiles that were close to square, making for a display that is more legible and easier to interact with. -Martin Wattenberg