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Weekliii Round-Up: News on Interactive Hiking Maps, Topographic Basemap Comparisons, and More

If you are catching up on last minute tasks to close out your week at the office, we encourage you to add this one to your list. It may be a bit more fun than sending out memos about your Monday morning meeting. We promise. Per usual, below is a round-up of our #DailyBrainCandiii posts throughout this week. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of both data visualization as well as history, this article is for you. Centered around Charles Joseph Minard, it details the innovative work of a man many of us have likely never heard of. Although he is most prominently known for his visualization of “Napoleon’s March”, he was truly innovative in many of the techniques we have come to love and use in the visualization of data – especially spatial data.

Have you ever been curious what exactly is over the horizon as your stare longingly across the ocean? Even better, ever wondered how best to represent that on a map? This article by Andy Woodruff shows off a few good and not-so-good examples of mapping cross-coastal views, including methodology to consider.

Thanks to the UCL Energy Institute, there lives on the internet an interactive map of shipping routes across the globe. As you might believe, it is a massive amount of data and has the potential to insight that “needle in a haystack” feeling of panic. This article breaks down pieces of data acquired via this map, detailing trends and highlights that we might have otherwise missed.

Although this article is not exactly on the Geographic Information System (GIS) topic, I thought it may be beneficial to throw it out there for our #DailyBrainCandiii posts. In the age of Big Data where we have a multitude of data points at our disposal and are encouraged to use them all, we may sometimes find that this in itself is detrimental rather than conducive to our successes. The author outlines tips for making the most with less data – as well as ensuring your have your game-plan in mind when selecting data – in order to free yourself from the dreaded “analysis paralysis” condition.

I don’t know about you, but in these parts, we are suckers for a good interactive map. This story from National Geographic shows off the beauty of the Grand Canyon, illustrating the hike from end to end taken by two hikers. The path through the map includes the route taken, geological details, and pictures/videos taken by the hikers. It is perfect for those of us who may be more up for scrolling instead of trekking 800 miles in the heat and nature.

View of interactive web map that shows a comparison of old and new Swiss topography base maps.

This week’s pick comes from the Federal Office of Topography swisstopo. Switzerland’s larger official map series is being overhauled, replaced with an updated, modern approach to cartography. To ease into these coming changes, swisstopo has provided a comparative map view of the old and new topographic basemaps. It is interesting to see the approach they have taken, especially since many of our own maps here in the United States tend to favor their old style. This is just another reminder that cartography typically goes hand in hand with design, rather than relying completely on spatial information.

Not Over Yet

Did you catch our #MarcoMonday post? This week, we covered how to identify geographic transformations from your data with the help of Integrated Marco Commander.

We also made a quick announcement – We will see you at this year’s Esri User Conference in San Diego! Our Integrated team will be in the Expo area this year at Booth #408, and would love to see you if you are around.


#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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