Digital Geography

10. July 2015

Spatial Big-Data: 10 stunning services

In the last month the German website Spiegel-Online showed some nice examples of big-data combined with geodata. Geodata get’s more important with every GPS-enabled device that is sold, form that will store your address, IP that is monitored, customer in a global market. Let me Introduce you some stunning examples of geo-enabled web applications. Maybe you get some inspiration to power your business with some spatial data too.

Big-Data: Twitter Visuals

Welcome to the firehose. Every second around 5000 tweets are written all over the world (okay, we can discuss the spatial coverage…) and what could be better as to see the spatial patterns, movement of day and night, the relevance of topics and so on a map? Damn right! Tweetping allows to watch the firehose. The creators of Tweetping also offer the tracking of events. So if you plan an advertisement or other sorts of campaigns: they can follow. A comparable possibility is the usage of the QGIS plugin geotweet to collect tweets for a defined region or for special hashtags.
Tweetping example
As we have mentioned: there are trends and so-called trending topics on twitter. Let them treat them as headlines. Sometimes funny, sometimes important. And as we all know: different regions different interests. Trendmap treats this in an easy way: Word clouds for different regions. In Germany we talk about the refugees from the middle-Eastern regions and other regions as the people in London show more awareness regarding the current tubestrike:

Twitter Trendmap

But unfortunately the service is not for free and using it requires at least a registration or even a paid subscription. Another way to deal with trends is to look at Google Trends and to plot them on a map with borders. They are not as detailed as in the Trendmap from Twitter but you get a nice chart of trending topics. But you get a nice spinning globe with trending topics for each country:

  • See more at: http://neomam.com/interactive/trendmap/#sthash.jL3Hf0Ub.dpuf

Big-Data: Mother Earth

Well let us have look on the natural surrounding of our Twitter and Google users: Mother Earth is monitored heavily and the data is made available using different APIs. Working with those APIs Cameron Beccario from Japan has created a stunning visualization of wind speeds, temperatures, total precipitable water, waves and current ocean streams and many other factors at a global scale. Change different parameters to see jet-streams, Monsoon, Thunderstorms/Hurricanes. Or explore the projection capabilities of D3 (which works behind the vizz)…

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Windyty does not care about the projection and sticks to good old Mercator but concentrates more on the forecast. Furthermore you can embed a custom version of his webmap in your own web page:

Big-Data: Transport

Knowing current winds is important for modern travelling especially when using an airplane. So it’s no surprise, that there are fewer flights around the above mentioned Typhoons at the moment? How do I know? Well, check flightradar24.com:

flightradar with current “hole” due to Typhoons

There is a comparable map for boats, tankers and all other kinds of vessels: marinetraffic.com

marinetraffic.com

A bit crowded with boxes and information (looks a bit like ‘1998’ to me…). There is a subscription model behind starting at 9$ per month. The interface is based on the Automatic information System (AIS).

Also busses, trains and other ways of public transport are either equipped with GPS and a transponder or there are other ways to monitor their current locations. If you have it, you can map it, right? And so does travic.com developed by the University of Heidelberg and geOps. You get information about the routes of each line, current position and next stops:

If you want top know how this is done, you should check the page of MTA New York and their GTFS API.

Big-Data: Images/Photos

Current cameras offer the possibility of adding GPS coordinates to images like mobile devices (smart phones) do already. The result is the emerge of millions of geotagged photos all around the world. And one of the most photographed event is probably the sunrise and sunset. Synchronicity uses hashtags #sunset and #sunrise and geotagged images from instagram to map them on three cartodb backuped maps:

1) The location/time of #sunset and #sunrise images:

2) The #sunrise images:

3) the #sunset images:



If you’re interested in how a place looks like, whatsthere.co might be a better choice then google maps…Choose your location and get images from instagram that are tagged around this place. Check out Tsetserleg in Mongolia:

Forgotten any?

If you know some other great examples, leave us a comment!