Mapping the money for the 2008 election

The Federal Election Commission has released its own series of interactive maps on its website that shows the current status of campaign contributions for the 2008 US presidential election (although the plan is apparently to add House and Senate candidates in the near future), and breaks down the numbers by party and candidate. If you click on the circle for a given state, you can also see the breakdown by ZIP code. Interestingly, the Democrats have actually received more money in campaign contributions so far, $95.2 million to the Republicans’ $62 million. While I was browsing the site, I didn’t see an indication as to how often they will update the map, but I may have missed it.

Via The Hotline (National Journal)

Geographies of Insecurity

In another example of developing new ways to map and explore our experiences, New Media artist kanarinka has started a project called “It Takes 154,000 Breaths to Evacuate Boston.”

From the website: “In Spring 2007, kanarinka will run the entire evacuation route system in Boston and measure its distance in breaths. The project is an attempt to measure our post-9/11 collective fear in the individual breaths that it takes to traverse these new geographies of insecurity.”

Five runs have been competed so far, beginning on April 18th, and you can view each run on a Google Maps mashup on the project website (just click on Runs). There is also a podcast for each run. An exhibit from the project was part of the 2007 Boston Cyberarts Festival, and runs for the project will continue until 2008.

This project is an example of a growing number of projects and initiatives, like the BioMapping Project or SoundTransit, that are working to expand our understanding of how we experience the landscapes we inhabit by trying to map and record how other phenomena that we can perceive vary across space and time.

Via Digg

BioMapping Project heads to San Francisco

Christian Nold, the creator of the BioMapping Project (which made the blog rounds back in November for the Greenwich Emotion Map), is spending 5 weeks in San Francisco in his latest emotion map project. Using volunteers equipped with GPS receivers and polygraph devices, Nold maps their paths through various areas and records biomechanical data such as elevated heart rate or blood pressure. By combining these data with each volunteer’s personal account of what they experienced, Nold generates maps that show the changes in volunteers’ bio responses, as a way of gauging their emotional reactions as they experience various parts of an urban environment. One interesting point in the news article, is that Nold receives almost daily inquiries about the practical applications of his project for business and marketing.

We will be in the San Francisco area for ISDE5 at the beginning of June, so maybe we will be able to catch up with Christian for an interview if he is still in town.

Via The Map Room and CNN.com

Listening to the world…cool and funny

A little sonic cartography for your Friday listening pleasure. Ever wanted to know what the elevation of a trip from Tokyo to Rome sounds like, curious as to what satellite paths sound like…head over to g-turns.com to get an idea. The site takes elevation data and uses it like a vinyl record, so that the hills and valleys represent the grooves in a record creating the sound. You can subscribe to their podcast to listen to daily samples. Really cool. The other part of the site is the great ‘hardware’ that they offer and the numbers sold…you have to love the tongue in cheek hullabaloo. My favorite so far, the podcast based on SPOT flight path, would be a great bass track for an electronic song.

BRAND – WE PLAY THE WORLD

LIMA – Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

I’m not sure when this actually was actually first made available, but today I saw the press release about the USGS’ Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA), which was generated from over 1000 Landsat scenes of the continent. In addition, if you head to the LIMA website, you will also find links to other mapping and remote sensing data resources for Antarctica, including the Interactive Atlas of Antarctica, a web mapping platform that displays available GIS layers for Antarctica, including satellite and orthoimagery.

International Map Exhibit in August

I you are interested in showing off your cartographic products you might be interested in the upcoming 23rd International Cartographic Conference which will convene in Moscow, Russia the week of 4-10 August, 2007. You can submit hard copy or digital cartographic products to the Conference. Interested parties in the US must submit an entry form to Max Baber of Samford Univ no later than March 24. For those of you in other countries you can probably find your contact on the International Cartographic Association website.

Via a post on the AAG’s GIS Specialty Group listserv

Beijing to introduce computer generated driving maps for visitors

According to ChinaDaily, the city of Beijing will soon be offering free customized maps for out-of-town drivers entering the city from certain entry and exit points. The maps will be computer-generated and will provide a best route based on a number of factors, including vehicle model, distance, and real-time traffic conditions. The maps can also show restricted access areas for large vehicles or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. A trial program has been in place for about a month at one entry point, and the full program is supposed to be implemented next month. Although it’s not clear from the article, it seems that they will probably have a selection of maps based on general vehicle types, time of day, levels of traffic congestion, etc. and then they will give the driver the appropriate map. If they were individually generated, though, that would be even cooler.

The article doesn’t give too many details, but this seems like a good idea to help drivers navigate through a congested, unfamiliar city. I know there are cities here in the US and elsewhere that could really use a system like this.

Digitized Russian Military Maps of the UK go on sale

A couple of news outlets in the UK are reporting on Landmark Information Group’s recently completed project to digitize Soviet military maps of the UK, which include 16,000 square kilometres and 103 UK town and cities, which have just gone on sale. The maps were mostly done between 1950 and 1990 and, in some cases are available at a 1:10,000 scale. Also included with the maps are a street index, descriptions, and lists of important buildings, such as military complexes.

The UK maps were part of a secretive effort by the Russian military and KGB to map countries around the world, and the maps only came to light really by accident. When the Soviet Union began to crumble in 1991, the Russian military was forced to withdraw quickly from many of the USSR’s satellite states. Following the withdrawal, thousands of paper maps covering the whole world were found in abandoned train carriages in Latvia and Estonia. Whether abandoned on purpose of by accident, the maps were seized by locals and sold to various private companies. The Register article has a link to another article by John Davies, which gives more information about the Soviet maps. Although the existence of these maps has been discussed before, this is the first time the UK collection has been offered for sale in digital form.

A US company, East View Carographics, bought the UK maps and in turn sold them to Landmark Information Group, which has just completed the task of digitizing the maps and is now offering them for sale online at Landmark’s Envirocheck website.

Via The Register and Swindon Advertiser

Negations – Mapping NYC’s radical history

I always like to see mapping projects that focus on topics and issues that are unexpected, but informative. That’s why I was intrigued by a project featured over at the Negations blog called the Radical Apple. Although only a small portion of Manhattan has been mapped so far, the project is essentially to map the radical history of New York City, by pinpointing location that were important to social struggle in the city. The map is a static image of streets and building outlines, with sites indicated by yellow dots. As the user mouses over each point, an info window pops up with details about the site and an accompanying image.

I think it’s a great project that is trying to offer another, perhaps little-known aspect of New York City’s history, and hopefully the project will be able to expand its database to include more sites throughout the city.

Via NYC Independent Media Center