Awesome Maps and Data Visualizations from 2013

 I’m not calling this a “best” list as that’s pretty tough to call, however, it is a fine list of sweet maps and data visualizations that we enjoyed and shared with the community during the first half of 2013 – enjoy these favorite visualizations from 2013 showing mapping of music, sports, Cardinals, and even hate maps! Do you have a favorite Map or DataViz from 2013?

Mapping Wal-Mart and sam’s Club Growth Over Time
An interesting data visualization got my attention recently and I noticed it also got some nice traction on twitter via mentions and re-tweets. enter the Wal-Mart data visualization and growth video. This map shows the viral-like spread of Wal-Mart store locations over time, starting in the early 1960’s in Kansas and up to [almost] present day.

Extreme Weather Map 10 Worst States
Some new numbers crunched by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and 2012 tallies reveal even more monthly weather records set than the 3,251 records smashed in 2011, with record-breaking heat, rainfall and snow events catalogued by State – Top Ten States – CO, IL, IN, MD, ME, MN, NV, TN, WI, WV – to be Highlighted in the findings

Weekly US Census Data Visualizations
I’m a HUGE fan of data visualizations and I’m always glad to see when awesome companies are working hard to create beautiful, meaningful data visualisations to generate a buzz or tell a story – case in point, just check out what Jon and the gang at IDV have been doing in order to show off the skills and technology that the IDV team have (check out their latest map showing commuting patterns of people in Seattle – it’s amazing! And then there’s now the Weekly Census Bureau Visualizations…

Moore, Oklahoma, before and after the tornado, seen by Astrium Satellite
Satellites, operated and built by Astrium, number three company in the world for space technologies, have captured this image of Moore, Oklahoma, which clearly shows the devastation caused by the massive tornado that swept through the region on May 20, 2013. By comparing today’s image with an image acquired on April 29, 2013, it is very easy to see that buildings, trees, cars and virtually everything else has been completed destroyed along the tornado’s path.

NFL Fan Map (FandomMap) Data Visualization created from Facebook data
Super Bowl week is here so that means more cool data visualizations.. best BBQ, tail gate hot spots, and those awesome NFL fan maps! Here’s details of a cool fan map – I’m not sure I can agree that its the best fan map “ever”, however, given that its been created by mashing up data scraped from facebook it is pretty cool…

TweetPing Maps The World’s Twitter Activity in Real Time
I simply had to share details of this awesome real-time map of the world’s Twitter activity so you could enjoy the awesomeness of it – Enter TweetPing. Users view the service on a map of the world while real-time tweets stream by at lightning speed, lighting up on the map where the tweet activity originated from. The result is a “World at night” effect on the map with hotspots of tweeting lighting up like the fourth of July!

Mapping the Cardinals
The College of Cardinals Statistics and Composition of Pope Selection according to Geographic Region. Some interesting statistics being shared by The Vatican via this latest release outlining the Geographical distribution of Cardinals (Source: Vatican)


The smartphone, past, present and future Visualized
It’s always enjoyable viewing the history of cool technology, in particular via some awesome graphics and infographics. Here’s a nice visualization (with some glaring omissions though!) that reveals the history of the smartphone, from the creation of AT&T wireless, the introduction of the Blackberry smartphone, the rise of Symbian OS

March madness mapped, a new Esri story map reveals who plays where during the NCAA tournament. Who says geeks can’t get in on the fun with March Madness? This sweet map from Esri shows all the teams, where they will be playing and who they will match up against… Try the map for yourself

New online map allows students to plot goose nest-free routes through campus – This is simply awesome.. at the U of Waterloo (that’s in Ontario Canada) they have an open API and have recently come out with a pretty awesome map service that enables students to quickly create a map that routes you between buildings in a way that avoids goose droppings!

Map of Stout Month and Stout Beer Consumption at Vine Street Pub in Denver CO
The folks at American Sentinel University share with us that Geospatial technologies and beer share something powerful in common: innovation. American Sentinel University’s Dr. Stephen McElroy, GIS program chair, participated in Mountain Sun’s Stout Month to find out. He developed an interpolated map using GIS technology that depicts the Denver metropolitan area and shows an IDW interpolation of predicted stout consumption based on the actual stouts that he consumed during Stout Month at Vine Street Pub in Denver. More info

Creative Cartography Meets Music in The Song Map
Oh yes, I love art. I also love music too, heck, who doesn’t right? Well, I know you GeoGeeks and music lovers will really dig this one as we stumble onto yet another amazing cartographic product that quite simply will make you say WOW – enter this awesome Music Map.


The Geography of Hate, hate maps and hateful tweets –  The map from Humboldt State U shows what they have termed the Geography of Hate, an interesting look at data from Twitter (scraping geotagged tweets) that report to tweet out racist, homophobic and other terms that one may include in a group of “hate tweets”. The map is very red and apparently the entire US east of the Mississippi seems to be full of “haters”…