Continuing three years of exploration and development at the intersection of mapping and time; a quick post about two new things I've been working on at Stamen.
Last week we released a Historical Hurricane map for msnbc.com, a follow up to our forecast tracker from last year which was recently accepted into the SIGGRAPH Information Aesthetics showcase. You can read more about the historical map on the Stamen site, or just go ahead and explore the finished thing:
Further to our updates earlier last month, we just released another round of improvements to Oakland Crimespotting. Mike and Eric have full details. I'm particularly pleased that we're able to open up our archive of around two years worth of data, but also that we're able to try something new with an interface for filtering by time of day.
We jokingly started calling this a time pie, and now we're stuck with it... in a good way. I'm still not 100% sure it's intuitive, but I think that working the real sunrise and sunset times in there should help. The only comparable interface I could find was this:
If you know of any other similar ways of selecting/filtering 24 hours, let me know in the comments!
We've been working on some updates to Oakland Crimespotting recently and Mike released the first iteration today. The most significant change is a switch to base maps using OpenStreetMap data. We're using the Pale Dawn cartography that we (Stamen) designed for CloudMade exactly as it's intended: a subtle backdrop for data that still includes the richer local information that OpenStreetMap contributors (like Mike) cover best.
Other changes we've made include numerous small performance optimisations, new sliders in the marker info-bubbles, date labels on the timeline and the crime-type filters now double as a full legend. The whole thing has had a design overhaul too thanks to Geraldine.
We've got a few more features planned for release soon, and we've started a blog to keep track of new developments. Now is a great time to let us know if you have suggestions or feature requests! Feel free to leave a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer.
Liz Goodman recently invited Mike and I to speak at the UC Berkeley School of Information. We took the opportunity to give a full length talk about a single project, Oakland Crimespotting, which is something of a rarity since we normally try talk about lots of things a little bit, rather than one thing in depth.
Mike started and finished the talk with an in-depth look at the motivations, technical details and social issues surrounding the site, which you can read about on his blog. In the middle I gave a brief overview of related projects and talked about the how the site sits alongside our other mapping work at Stamen. Mike suggested I use a reverse-chronological narrative structure that he liked from a book about Polish history, so I started with the stuff we've finished recently and working back to Stamen's early work with MoveOn and Mappr.
Mike has since reprised the talk for the journalism school, and the whole hour is up on Youtube (part 2 here) if you have time to watch it. Alternatively, you can attempt to simultaneously read the full version of this post and Mike's post together to get a wordier overview of what we talked about.
[At this point Mike has briefly introduced the Oakland Crime site and flash map, and hands over to me for related projects and studio context]
Mike and I have been working on this all week, and it's time to let people see it.
Hopefully the site is self-explanatory, because now I have to work on all the things I wasn't working on so we could get it out there!