The Most Amazing, Beautiful and Viral Maps of the Year
Great maps were everywhere in 2013. Some seemed destined to go viral. Some were stunning to see. Others had noble intentions and interesting stories to tell. Lots were made by people who aren’t professional mappers.
Here are some our favorites. It’s by no means an exhaustive list (and we were paying closer attention to new maps after we launched Map Lab in July), so if we missed one you think we were crazy to leave off this list, let us know in the comments.
Map one: The million-plus amateur cartographers who volunteer their time to plot roads, streets, and even shrubbery for Open Street Map were busier than ever this year. The beautiful map above, created by MapBox, shows how the database has grown since its inception in 2004. Hot pink areas are newly mapped, blue and green areas are older. (There’s a zoomable version on Mapbox’s website). OSM’s database of more than 21 million miles of roads and 78 million buildings, keeps finding new uses, such as helping first responders to disasters like this year’s typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Map two: This map shows the paths of every hurricane and cyclone detected since 1842 — nearly 12,000. NOAA keeps the track info in a single database, and made this map which shows the frequency of the storms. You can clearly see that more storm tracks have overlapped in the western Pacific ocean and northern Indian ocean. This is largely because of the length of the typhoon season, which basically never stops in the warmer waters there. NOAA also mapped the storm intensities.
Map three: Iceland’s interesting topography can be seen beautifully on this map made up of elevation contours, or isolines made by Aitor Garcia Rey. You can explore and zoom in on the map hosted on CartoDB and read all the gory details of how it was made.
Map five: Twice a year, the setting sun lines up with the street grid of New York City’s Manhattan, creating an incredible show and a free-for-all for amateur photographers. The phenomenon is known as Manhattanhenge, but the map above, dubbed NYCHenge and made by Javier Santana shows when and where the show can be caught all across New York City, any day of the year.
those were my favourites but see the rest