prettymaps from Stamen Design
August 13, 2010 3:38 AM   Subscribe

prettymaps from Stamen (requires safari/firefox and patience)

New York - London - Paris - Munich - More

"prettymaps is an experimental map from Stamen Design. It is an interactive map composed of multiple freely available, community-generated data sources: 1) All the Flickr shapefiles rendered as a semi-transparent white ground on top of which all the other layers are displayed. 2) Urban areas from Natural Earth both as a standalone layer and combined with Flickr shapefiles for cities and neighbourhoods. 3) Road, highway and path data collected by the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project. In all there are four different raster layers and six data layers (that means all the map data is sent in its raw form and rendered as visual elements by the browser) that may be visible depending on the bounding box and zoom level of the map."
posted by shoepal (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I typed in the name of the town where I live and waited. Now I have an impressionistic jumble of pink something. When I move the mouse over the pink something, it highlights bits and flashes up the names of places near where I live. I can't seem to zoom in, get it to do anything else or find out what the pink something represents.

I can't help but feel that I'm not getting the best out of this...
posted by him at 4:16 AM on August 13, 2010

New York - London - Paris - Munich

...everybody talk about pop music?
posted by phunniemee at 4:23 AM on August 13, 2010 [5 favorites]

It looks like a jumble here too, but at least I learned about Natural Earth which is nice.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on August 13, 2010

Oh, okay. To zoom in and out, you click on the muppet at the bottom right. And having read a bit more, it seems like the pink something is a representation of where people on flickr have taken photos. Except people have taken photos everywhere, so it's all pink. Am I getting close?
posted by him at 4:29 AM on August 13, 2010

Ah, from now on I will refer to where I live as Untitled Urban Area #2719 - it is a much better way to refer to urban sprawl.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:50 AM on August 13, 2010

Pretty + Useless = Pretty useless!
posted by kcds at 6:37 AM on August 13, 2010

(requires safari/firefox and patience)

(requires hallucinatory substance abuse)
posted by Fizz at 7:00 AM on August 13, 2010

What's interesting is this is demo of overlaying vector data in SVG on top of a typical tiled raster map. The data layers presented are a bit impressionistic for me, but the underlying technique is quite powerful. (One small tip; if scroll wheel zooming is too slow, click on Grover to zoom in and out instead.)

The core library allowing vector map data is PolyMaps. That's a recent open source release from SimpleGeo and Stamen available on GitHub.
posted by Nelson at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2010

SimpleGeo and Stamen officially launched Polymaps. It has a site with docs.
Polymaps provides speedy display of multi-zoom datasets over maps, and supports a variety of visual presentations for tiled vector data, in addition to the usual cartography from OpenStreetMap, CloudMade, Bing, and other providers of image-based web maps.
posted by Nelson at 10:32 AM on August 20, 2010

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