Looking through a very old copy of Martin Gardner’s Mathematical Games, I stumbled upon his article about Flexagons and thought “what would these look like with maps on them?”. This is what they look like (at a really low resolution), but it is much more fun to make your own…

Video of hexaflexamap flexing.

November 12th, 2008 - Posted by Matt Amos in technologies

Where’s interesting?

Visualising geographic statistics usually means drawing a coloured map (called a choropleth), but this can be confusing as the human brain tends to associate importance with the area covered. For example, first impressions of the choropleth for the U.S. presidential elections would give the misleading impression that the Republicans won, as 56% of the map pixels are red. However, there is a different style of maps (called cartograms) in which the map is warped such that the area is proportional to the data being visualised.

We can use cartograms of OpenStreetMap data to present a more visually striking and interesting view of the world. For example, here is a cartogram of the distribution of Points of Interest (POIs). It is immediately obvious that most of the POIs in the world are either in the United Kingdom or Germany, but there are other interesting POI-rich pockets; the Philippines, Brasil, South Africa and Eastern Australia. Many thanks to all the contributors in these areas for their fantastic work!

Derived from OpenStreetMap data, CC-BY-SA OpenStreetMap and contributors


November 7th, 2008 - Posted by Matt Amos in openstreetmap