Maps

Maybe a little dull to some, but do not be fooled. Maps can be very interesting. Particularly colourful, interactive and FREE maps.

This week, Ritchie Somerville swung by the Urban Room to teach Council planners about maps and freely accessible information – things that could help us to better understand places in Edinburgh. Ritchie is the Council’s Innovation and Futures Manager, and during his demonstration, we were introduced to several different maps. So here are some potentially interesting interactive maps for your perusal and enjoyment.

Google Maps

So I know we’ve all used Google Maps before, but there are some features that you might not know about. Like live traffic information to see which routes are busiest.

live-traffic

This is what the traffic looks like in Edinburgh right now, in case you wanted to see how busy the streets are at 15.53 on a Wednesday afternoon

Click on the three lines (the burger!) in the top left of Google Maps, then select “traffic”. If you click the key at the bottom, you can see what the traffic is usually like at different times and on different days, too.

There are also loads of other useful things Google Maps can do, like give satellite images, and 3D images of major cities. Also street view.

You probably already knew all these, but worth a mention anyway.

Bing Maps

Maybe not as commonly used as Google, but Bing does have an Ordnance Survey map linked up. So if you’re interested in that, Bing’s the interactive map for you!

bing maps.jpg

Hover over “Road” in the top right corner (shown as “ordnance survey” on this screenshot). A drop down list will appear. Click on Ordnance Survey for all your OS needs

Consumer Data Research Centre Maps

This one is more interesting. More complicated, but more interesting. CDRC maps show census data in a more visual way than just numbers on a spreadsheet. The maps colour code all sorts of information, from population density to top method of travel to work. Even central heating type, if that sort of info floats your boat.

cdrc maps.png

A drop down list on the left lets you choose your data set, and hovering over the map gives you specific data for wherever your curser is

DataShine Scotland Commute

This one shows the method of travel people take to and from work. The heavier the line, the higher the number of people who travel that way. You can switch from travelling to the selected location for work, or from the selected location to work. Useful to see how far people commute, and by what means. There’s also a ‘Region Commute’ version, showing travel from longer distances.

datashine

You can select which form of travel is shown from the drop down list in the top left

The One Million Tweet Map

A bit different, but still interesting. This map shows the most recent million tweets worldwide. And it’s live. The tweets are happening right now.

I know people tweet about all sorts, so you do get some random stuff. But if you did want to see where someone complained about their disappointing ham sandwich (or, you know, where they bought a good lunch from), it’s worth having a gander at this map.

onemilliontweets.png

It gives non biased representations of what people do and think, and where

Edinburgh Council Atlas Map

And the Council has its own interactive map! The map has loads of different layers that you can put on one map at the same time. Useful for making connections between different data sets.  It’s kind of information heavy, but can give you a LOT of useful info all at once… Or you could just select every layer and see what Edinburgh looks like with all the data available mapped onto it.

atlas map.png

There are a whole host of layers to choose from. Shown is listed buildings and conservation areas

As Ritchie explained to us this week, maps can be used to help us see a place in a different way. Making your own maps can also be handy to see a place differently – you don’t need to be a cartographer or a tech wizard to make a map that works.

abstract-map

This map in the National Library of Scotland is almost completely obscured by visitors’ memories of their favourite places

ratho-primary

And this hand made map submitted to us on twitter (@planningedin) from Ratho Primary shows maps don’t have to be just 2 dimensional

So try a few links and see if any of them make you think about Edinburgh any differently… It’s a way to kill a few minutes when you’re bored, if nothing else.

I hope you’ve found at least some of these maps at least vaguely interesting. And if not, I hope you find something you are interested in elsewhere on the blog.

Emma

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4 Responses to Maps

  1. Did you notice that 2 of these maps are using OpenStreetMap -http://osm.org/go/evfLhavP–?layers=N as a backdrop. We have a lot more details than google, we generally track most new development as well as shop/pubs/restaurants, and all the data is open and available. Do let us know if you would like to know more.

  2. Alan McIntosh says:

    Dear Emma

    My boat is floated. Thank you. Excellent.

    Alan >

  3. Shame the council website map is so damn difficult to use, unlike the old one which was a dawdle, I’ve been trying to use the new one for several years now and still can’t find planning applications using it

    • cecplanning says:

      Hi, Lindsay!

      The Atlas map is not the proposals map! It wasn’t made specifically for planning, so finding what will affect planning applications is not what that map was designed for!

      If you’re looking for specific planning applications, you can find them (and comment on them) on the dedicated portal:
      http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20067/planning_applications/288/view_and_comment_on_planning_applications

      Also, an interactive proposals map for the LDP is to come soon, and that’ll be able to show land allocations and which policies affect what areas. We hope this will make the application of the planning system easier for everyone to understand…

      We’re working on it, Lindsay! Watch this space.

      Emma

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