Small data

‘Big data’ is a current technology trend. It is a new industry in itself and concerns the capture, storage,search, sharing, transfer, analysis,and visualisation of large and complex datasets.

“90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.” – IBM

One of the challenges with big data is visualisation – how do you visualise such vast amounts of data and make it legible and useful? The geospatial industry has an obvious role to play here and lots of companies have been set up to answer such questions with CartoDB being one good example.

Maps showing large datasets are getting a lot of publicity (I have posted quite a few in previous posts) so I wanted to just showcase a few great maps which depict either a single theme or  a small amount of data…

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You can see more maps that I pin here

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Maptember is fast approaching

Maptember is fast approaching…

Consisting of 15 map-related events, September is crammed full of great geo and carto events all taking place in Great Britain. Geo professionals from every corner of the globe will converge to our shores to share knowledge about many map related topics.

I’ll be missing it all as baby Glynn number 2 is imminent but my CartoDesign colleagues are participating in 3 of the events, including 2 of the ‘headliners’  – AGI Geocommunity ’13, FOSS4G 2013 and the British Cartographic Society’s Annual Symposium.

We have entered a few maps of our own into the various galleries and awards. Here are a few of mine:

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If you are attending any of the Maptember events then I hope you have a fantastic time. It’s a really exciting time to be involved with mapping!

Dark maps trending

Have you noticed the amount of maps with black or dark backgrounds that you see online these days!? It is a common trend to use light-on-dark to create a striking visual hierarchy and most of the maps that go viral tend to have adopted this style. I’m sure that has something to do with the aesthetic appeal and the initial impact of these maps. Using a dark background leaves room for many light colours which can create great contrast for any overlays that immediately become the maps focal feature as they often appear to glow.

Here are some examples:

The majority of traditional maps use white (or similar) as the background colour and this can be largely attributed to the distribution mechanism which would usually be paper. The majority of paper is white and it also brings cost savings with regard to ink usage – it wouldn’t be wise to smother a sheet of white paper with dark ink!

With modern mapping technologies and the internet as the main method for sharing maps, any print concerns that restricted design decisions in the past are no longer an issue. Many maps these days will never be printed, just pored over on PC screens and mobile devices.

There is something cool, aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching about dark maps.

It may just be that this bold technique portrays a certain element of rebellion – a refreshing break from tradition.

Rewarding excellence in cartographic design

Ordnance Survey are proud members of The British Cartographic Society (BCS) and have been sponsoring the society’s annual symposium for many years. Every year the CartoDesign team ensure that OS has a strong presence at the event, from providing an exhibition stand to presenting and hosting workshops.

OS have also provided an award since 2005 which until last year was titled ‘The Ordnance Survey MasterMap Award for Better Mapping’ and aimed to “encourage innovative and stimulating map products derived from, and composed mainly of, Ordnance Survey’s MasterMap data.”

This award ran for 8 successful years in which time a diverse range of entries were rewarded.

This year welcomes a change to the format of the Ordnance Survey Award. 2013 is the debut year for ‘ The OS OpenData Award‘ that seeks “to encourage excellence in cartographic design and the innovative and exciting use of OS OpenData.”

Enter HERE before the end of July.

This award is open to anyone, anywhere, whether or not you are a member of BCS. All you need to do is enter a map that is comprised of at least one OS OpenData product and there is an obvious focus on cartographic design.

As an extra incentive the winner will receive an Apple iPad! So…what are you waiting for? Go HERE to grab your free-to-use data and make a cool mapsterpiece!

To see examples of OS OpenData in use take a look at the showcase HERE

I am a big fan of the iCoast basemap which is made using OS VectorMap District and a unique colour palette…

iCoast - Explore the Dorset coast
iCoast – Explore the Dorset coast

maps, maps, maps

In essence this is a blog about maps…so here are some maps…

These are some of my favourite maps from fellow cartographers:

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…and these are some of my own maps:

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Hope you like these maps and if you have any great examples of cartography then please link to them in the comments section below, cheers.