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Weekliii Round-Up: News on Google Web Maps, Geovisualization Tools, and More

To help ease out of this long week, we have compiled an overview of our #DailyBrainCandiii posts from this week. There seems to be a theme to this week's posts - a little Google-heavy with a side of web maps. Regardless though, there are fun details in all that may be worth checking out if you have a few minutes to kill...which we know you do!

In the seemingly never-ending race between Google and Apple, this article details the latest addition to the Google Maps repertoire - the ability to save a parking location. Although this is a feature in Google Now and Apple iOS 10, it differs from its competitors based on its manual loading and targeted use case. It is a neat idea even if you are not in the mapping or software development world. I mean, who hasn't spent a hot afternoon wandering around a parking lot trying to find the car they thought had been in Lot B? Just me? Additionally - since I cannot take everything at face value - this idea has the added benefit of allowing a glimpse into how competitors play off one another, including how they view their target audience and tailor their products accordingly.

Piggy-backing on the Google versus Apple showdown above, this article shows another side technological advancement - the evolution of tech within the company itself. The Mapping/Search Engine/Master of All Things giant recently unveiled a feature in its mobile maps to share your location with friend on-the-go. The best part? This is not a new idea. Originally released years ago as Latitude, the feature never gained enough traction to stick around for the long haul. But now? Living in a time when everyone and their great-grandmother has a cell phone or smart watch - and the owners of such seem to be growing younger and younger - now makes it ideal to have a way to let your friends and family know where you might at a given time.

A listicle - or in non-internet terms, a list-based article - from this week, this article details 19 resources for both creating and sprucing up web maps. Other than wishing they would have added just one more to the list to round it out to an even 20, it is a great cheat sheet for apps and libraries to explore on your next web mapping mission. We have used a handful ourselves here at Integrated, like Esri and Tableau. We are also big fans of D3.js library - big enough to note that one of our Integrated Marco Studio apps will be getting the D3 treatment later this year. It will be mystifying to say the least.

There are few things I love more than unprofessionally writing professional blog posts. Two of these happen to include Tableau-specific blogs and seeing ways in which people manage to combine their passions. This post by Tableau Zen Master Yvan Fornes covers both those loves, detailing what values used within photography could be repurposed for better visualizing your data. These include aspects like properly setting a stage and ensuring you lead with intent. What does that mean exactly and how can it be applied to your Tableau dashboard, map, or graph? Well, you will just have to read to find out.

Looking to bulk up your geoliteracy and geospatial skills all while enjoying your leisure time? This article lists several Google Maps-based games you can play to accomplish both tasks. Many of them involve answering questions to move to the next step or even pinpointing locations from your own knowledge. Whether finding a way to pass the time or trying to encourage newer learners of the power of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, a few of these may be worth a glance.

One of our favorite maps this week is entertainingly entitled "Nobody Lives Here." Created by the mastermind behind mapsmynik (Nik, I'm assuming), this is a visualization of nearly 5 million US Census Blocks with zero population. Zero, zilch, nada. A Census Block is the smallest area unit used by the US Census Bureau, with the 2010 census totaling a little over 11 million blocks.

Based on this 2010 Census data, 47% of the United States remains unoccupied despite its robust population of 310 million people.

The green shading indicates unoccupied blocks, keeping in mind that a single inhabitant is enough to omit a block from sharing.

Article on Map of the Day post about a map depicting US Census population density.

I think the idea behind this is interesting. It is strange to see so many empty regions when many think of nearby areas as hustling and bustling. I also think the shading is a refreshing choice. Darker colors are typically used within maps to show the presence or high-concentration of something - rarely the absence of an asset or value. It is unclear if 'ole Nik intended this, but I enjoy the visual ruse.

And Then There Were...

In addition to the above articles, we also made a few more posts around the interweb.

In this week's #MarcoMonday post, we shared a number of handy features found in Integrated Marco Mystic. These include everything from Analytical Smorgasbords to Easter Eggs.

For those who prefer their learning on the visual side, our #MeetTheProduct post from this week showcases Integrated Geomancy in a fun way...well, more fun than reading all of these words. The Optimization Exploration infographic allows you to explore the product's scenario functionality through a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style.


#DailyBrainCandiii and #WeekliiiRoundUp are inspired by brain candiii, a division of Integrated Informatics that develops Geographic Information System (GIS) training for Energy and Natural Resources professionals.


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