Best of the Blogs – 18 January 2017

Each week, Spatial Source finds the best that the internet has to offer.

This week marks the end of Barack Obama’s presidency. During his 8 years as President, he took no less than 151 trips around the world on Air Force One and has clocked-up around 570,000 air miles. You can view all the countries that Barack Obama has visited during his presidency on a new interactive map. [Maps Mania]


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Archie’s Press publishes minimalist “mental” maps that are built from circles. “The circle, our Universe’s softest shape, clearly conveys size and connections,” Archie says. He has created a “Map from the Mind” for dozens of cities, simplifying structures and districts in the simplest terms. Why not apply this method of simplification to things as alien to us as the Moon, Mars or the solar system? [PlanetCarto]



Location technology has allowed researchers to learn more about vulnerable wild animals and ecosystems. The maps and data that result are just as impressive. A new book called Where the Animals Go collates 50 such maps that shows a secret life of wild animals captured by GPS trackers, satellites, camera traps, drones, and other tools. Geoawesomeness selected their pick of the bunch, including one jaguar’s enormous journey shown above. [Geoawesomeness]



While the average temperature of the planet is slowly creeping up, the Arctic is warming far more quickly—as much as two to three times faster. And recent research suggests that the average summer temperature in the region over the last century is higher than in any other century for at least 44,000 years. These 11 maps and visualisations of the resulting changes in the Arctic make it clear that climate change is no hoax. [National Geographic]



In 1785, a man named Thomas Baldwin lived out an 18th-century dream: he floated over Chester, England in a hot air balloon. When he came back down, he puzzled over how to share this rare experience in an age where maps were not easily understood. He settled on illustrated plates, for which he had specific viewing instructions: put it on a table, roll up a piece of paper into a little telescope, and look through it while moving it slowly over the drawing, so you can have your very own balloon experience. Thus were born Baldwin’s so-called “balloon maps.” [Atlas Obscura]

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