Saturday, 14 June 2014

From static to dynamic maps, my travel so far

I tell people "I know just enough java to be dangerous", and it has served my well in my prior attempts logged in my old web page. These were all Google Maps API v.2 I built about 5 years ago. This blog as well as my new map catalog showed how I built maps in QGIS then ArcGIS, and then posted them on and AWS via Mapcentia GeoCloud2. I recently posted maps on on desktop and smartphone, static results of 'traveling salesman' geoprocessing on the desktop or online.

Time-aware maps are a very handy way to boil down complex data sets that involve time component. I did this on the desktop a while ago - to reduce the CLIWOC maps of ships captains logs from 1650 to 1850 into dynamic layers, rather than arbitrary decade time slices - and posted them more recently on as map packages and mashed them on AWS with golbal vector shorelines.

Now we can post time-aware maps directly to, and I thought I'd try it first on my popular Where in the World is Andrew map - I related my peregrinations so often ("do you want the short or the long version?") that I made a simple map using a text file and Java script on Google Maps. My new catalog blog relates why and how I tried in on ArcGIS Online, and how I found an unexpected benefit: to explain an arcane mapping concept of Great Circles to my family, as illustrated below.

click image to enlarge.
This first step to create a time-stamped web map will be chronicled in my companion  catalog blog and is posted here:

Footnote: tools I used list in a catalog here and specifically for my blogs:
  1. ArcGIS Home Use, ArcGIS Online and Amazon Web Services have modest fees
  2. QGIS is free, wheras ArcGIS Online and Amazon Web Services had free tiers
  3. beta testing gave me free access to GeoCloud2, and 1SpatialCloud 
  4. part of Volunteered Geography are free data such as Wilson's list and UN Data