A big thank you to all of our readers. It’s been a challenging year for everyone in the world and we know it’s been hard to think of anything other than Covid-19, so we hope our content has offered you some form of distraction even if for only a few minutes.
Publishing the content you want to read is important to us, so every December we find out the most read blogs from the past 12 months. This enables us to understand what we should focus more on and it will help inform many of 2021’s projects.
In terms of news, 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. We have seen a lot of maps, charts and data visualisations to support these news stories and, as you’d expect, the most common topics covered have been Covid-19 and the US Presidential race.
Here in the OS GeoDataViz team, we love how maps can draw you into a news story and keep you engaged as you scroll through the narrative. For the second year in a row, we’ve compiled our favourite geo data visualisations of 2020 (please note this list is not exhaustive!).
The first 3 entries to this year’s list include maps and visualisations that have been made to report on a news item. Each story is important, but they are not related to Covid-19 or the Presidential race. We think it’s fair to say these have been covered enough already this year, so for this reason we have chosen not to include any in today’s list.
Time is running out to save the last of the world’s rainforest, Bloomberg
This news story from the team at Bloomberg uses a range of maps to support its narrative. It’s a chilling tale that charts tree loss in Brazil between 2000 and 2019 and the animated maps that are used to highlight the problem work magnificently. They are subtle and impactful with some beautiful labelling and annotation.
Hosted by the Royal Geographical Society, on 11 November 2020 the second Geography in Government (GiG) awards took place. Here, our outstanding graduate Jessica Baker details the work that won her the Contribution to the Profession award…
The GiG awards aim to celebrate and recognise the work of members of the geography profession across the civil, crown, and public sector. In January 2020 I submitted my work on colour blind accessible mapping for the Contribution to the Profession category and I was delighted to be shortlisted and go on to win.
As a full-time cartographer with previous experience as an ecologist, our guest blogger Dan Bell is a huge advocate of the outdoors. In his spare time, he enjoys fell/long distance running and is currently training to become a Mountain Leader in the Lake District! If that wasn’t enough, he also runs Middle Earth’s Maps. Here, he tells us how he has used (Ordnance Survey) OS data in his Tolkien-inspired mapping…
Why are maps useful?
Maps are a window into an unknown landscape. They are simplifications of an increasingly complex world, affording us the opportunity to plan our adventures, make memories, and inspire our curiosities. It is these three attributes of maps and map making that continually motivate my work, in my endeavour to explore the realms of fantasy map creation within a real-world setting.
In the months since lockdown restrictions around Great Britain began to be relaxed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Britons valued the chance to GetOutside. During that time, subscribers to OS Maps have logged almost 700,000 routes in the app, showing whereabouts in the country they’ve been outdoors.
Do you know what an AONB is? Or an NSA? Most of us have heard of Britain’s National Parks (see all 15 here), but did you know that England and Wales also have 38 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Scotland has 40 National Scenic Areas (NSAs)?
These scenic areas cover over 34,000 km2 of Great Britain (larger than the 23,000 km2 covered by our National Parks) and cover a huge variety of mountain, coastal and countryside landscapes. Our GeoDataViz team have been virtually exploring and comparing the landscapes with OS data and created a poster to showcase the AONB and NSAs.
What might the *London City Region look like 20 years from now? Working alongside the (AONB) Director of Surrey Hills Rob Fairbanks and our own Strategic Development Manager Kitty Rose, OS GetOutside Champion Dan Raven-Ellison is asking you to imagine what it could and should look like…
In a world where we have access to an abundance of information, good data visualisation is more important now than ever before. Our GeoDataViz team here at OS know this better than anyone. Here they talk us through their thematic mapping techniques and explain when and how these techniques should be used…
Following her blog on the release of two new colour vision deficiency (CVD) friendly styles for OS Open Zoomstack last December, Graduate Technical Consultant Jessica Baker talks through the feedback we’ve had, where our CVD mapping is going next, and new ways you can access these styles.
The initial release of the two new CVD friendly stylesheets in December 2019 was met with a keen interest, and you can find these stylesheets in a variety of file types on Github. Since then, we have been working hard to make more people aware of the benefits it could have for them. We’ve had lots of feedback from people and are excited to share with you the new direction we are taking this accessible mapping.
Mappy New Year! 2019 was a great year for cartography, especially geo data visualisation. We loved seeing such amazing maps and visuals being produced by some very talented people, and the standard just seems to be getting better and better. Inspired by all the brilliant work we’ve seen, we thought we’d pull together some of our favourites. There are too many to include so this list is by no means exhaustive, but we hope you enjoy our picks.
Surfing Saco Bay, Margot Carpenter
Created by independent cartographer Margot Carpenter, this stunning map depicts Maine’s Saco Bay. The detail is incredible, and we love how the map focuses on the bay’s underwater topography and wave dynamics and how they fuel the bays amazing surfing conditions. There is also a beautiful compass rose that illustrates wave height and a visualisation depicting how bathymetry and waves create surf!