Map Of The Day
Not every day. Just some days. And only the days where I find a map worth writing about. And only the days I have the time to do so.

Willamette River Historical Stream Channels Poster

Don : May 9, 2013 10:45 PM : MOTD

Willamette Stream Channels Poster

Willamette Stream Channels Poster

Today’s MOTD is something that was going around the Twitter-sphere a few weeks ago. I put a link to it on my desktop, and re-found it tonight while organizing my files. Even though it’s not brand new, it is special enough to be noted here.

It is a spectacular piece of cartographic artwork. It’s so unique it almost doesn’t look like a map, but that is exactly what is is.

As the publication website says, this is a lidar derived digital elevation model of the Willamette River. Lidar (light-radar) is a technology that uses light to measure distances, and can be used to produce 3D images of the earths surface (i.e. a digital elevation model)

Basically, this is a topographic map. The brightest white areas are the lowest elevations, which are the existing stream channels. Older, historic stream channels show up as depressions in the landscape, shown in various shades of light-blue.

For more information about how this map was made, and to purchase a 17″ x 38″ poster, visit the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Resources website.


Delhi Kiosk Map

Don : April 11, 2013 5:42 PM : MOTD

One of the projects I’m working on involves an economic redevelopment plan for a five town – two village area in the Central Catskills. One of our recommendations to them involoves developing a unified way-finding and mapping system that will help visitors find their way around and through the area. While doing some research on the subject, one of our team members found this cool map recently displayed in the Town of Delhi, NY. Delhi (pronounced “Dell-high”) is also a Catskill Mountain region town, but outside our study area.


Instead of going into detail about how the map was made, I’ll just point you to the bovinabrownbats website and their post titled: A new map for Delhi!

I will tell you, it was not done in ArcGIS, nor was it done using any opensource GIS tools. However, I do think someone proficient in Photoshop might be able to come up with a 2-dimensional version, if they tried really hard.

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Grateful Dead Archive Online – Map

Don : April 9, 2013 4:40 PM : MOTD

This is how my day went today:

  1.  A friend on Facebook (John Baumbach) posted a link to a page listing the 20 Essential Grateful Dead Shows. He mentioned how he had been to two of them.
  2. This got me thinking about one of my most memorable concerts. I did some searching, and found an archive page with a recording of the Bob Weir concert during my freshman year at Franklin Pierce College on March 4, 1978.
  3. Surprised to find this online, I thought: “Maybe there’s an archive of old Grateful Dead concerts, too”.
  4. A little more searching led me to the Grateful Dead Archive Online website.
  5. …where I then found this cool map, showing many or most of the venues and concerts the Dead played from 1965 to 1995. (I don’t think it’s possible to map them all, is it? I could be wrong.)
  6. I wound up listening to old Grateful Dead tunes the rest of the day.

Now I’ve never been much of a Dead Head. One of the reasons is, the college I attended during my undergrad years had a student body that was probably 75% Dead Head. I’ve got nothing against the Dead. I’ve actually grown to like their music more in recent years. The problem at that time was, most of the students at FPC were Dead fans because they liked the idea of being a Dead Head more than they really liked their music. Somehow, that just turned me off to the whole Grateful Dead scene.

I was talked into going to one Dead concert during my time at FPC, mainly because my friends needed a ride, I had a car with gas, and they offered to pay for my ticket. To the best of my recollection, this is the only Grateful Dead concert I ever attended.

I like this map for a few reasons.

  • It’s simple
  • It looks like it’s all done with JavaScript, jQuery, Google API. Again, simple
  • I like how the pop-ups work, leading to off-map webpages with more information (something I want to incorporate into another project I’m working on)
  • The content is mostly crowd-sourced. There are tons of fan-submitted recordings of the concerts, posters, pictures, and other paraphernalia.
  • Thanks to Michael Terner (@MT_AppGeo) for pointing me to this 2010 article in the Atlantic, describing how The Dead were early innovators in social networking and open-sourcing their music as a way to promote themselves.

Map of Grateful Dead Shows:

(Courtesy, Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz. Grateful Dead Archive Online Collection.)

From the GDAO Help page: GDAO is built upon open-source software including the Omeka web-publishing platform, the SOLR search server, the Djatoka Java based image server, and the Seadragon image viewer.

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