Category: maps

Vital Apps for the Outdoorsman

The great outdoors can be very dangerous for the unprepared, whether you like to bike or hike through the woods or camp out for weekends. Thankfully, there are a lot of smartphone apps that can help adventurers in their journey into the wild. Before going on your next adventure, you may want to consider downloading these on your phone for a hassle-free and safe journey into the unknown.

MotionX GPS

The first rule of staying safe outdoors is to avoid getting lost in places you are unfamiliar with. When your phone has the , you will be able to view your location wherever you are in the world. The best thing about MotionX GPS is that users can save maps so you won’t ever have to worry about losing your way in case the phone’s Internet connection gets cut off. You may also find your way back easily if you’ve set up a starting point, since the app will update your location with each step.

Knot Guide

One of the most useful techniques in camping is knowing how to tie knots. Knots can help build tents, help construct tools, and aid users in climbing. is a simple app that has over 100 instructions in forming knots for different situations. The app has pictures with its instructions so even complete beginners can follow the steps.

SAS Survival Guide

Ultimate SAS Survival Guide
Ultimate SAS Survival Guide

The is the adventurer’s bible. It contains a lot of tips on how you can survive perilous situations while traveling. The app was designed by a former member of Britain’s toughest fighting force so the techniques that you can learn are very practical and useful. It has over 400 pages of survival tips, 15 instructional videos, pictures of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants, a digital compass, and quizzes to test a user’s knowledge on survival.

Mobile phones in the present days continue to amaze us. They’re not only tools for browsing or gaming, but now, an instrument for survival as well. In fact, perhaps mobile phones are the most practical device for survival we have. According to , software developer for , the mobile market continues to grow and is expected to become a $42 billion industry by 2015. The predicted figures show that smartphones are becoming essential to daily life, and therefore the most perfect tool for survival in the great outdoors.

You should totally order the 2015 GeoHipster calendar

Why order the ? Because, for one, you need a 2015 calendar. But also because the calendar features the work of thirteen amazing cartographers from all over the world, like this map below from the month of April. The calendar is packed with cartographic art, which will brighten your room year-long. Finally, because your purchase will help keep running ad-free.

So order one for yourself, and several more for holiday gifts.

2015 GeoHipster calendar - April - Map by Bill Morris
2015 GeoHipster calendar – April – Map by Bill Morris
GeoHipster 2015 Calendar cover layout

IMPORTANT! The screenshot below is intended ONLY to give an overview of the overall layout — which map goes on which page, etc. When you order the 2015 calendar, you will get the 2015 calendar. You can verify this by reviewing each individual page online before you order.

GeoHipster 2015 Calendar 12-month layout

Modular bike routes

[UPDATE June 14, 2014] I created a composite map of all five modules (loops). All loops are displayed with the same line symbol (red semi-transparent). Since some route segments are part of more than one loop, some segments appear darker than others. I hope this makes sense.

All routes begin and end at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park (blue point marker). Click on the map below for a higher-resolution image. I will add route descriptions soon.

All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point
All five loops bike route module map Start-Finish point

Some tech info for the geonerds: I collected the route data using my Google Nexus 4 phone and the Google My Tracks app (thanks to for the app recommendation). The app’s KMZ files proved to be somewhat unyielding to work with (thanks to for helping with that), so I ended up exporting the data as GPX (another Terry Stigers suggestion).

Next I used QGIS 2.2.0-Valmiera (64-bit) with the OpenLayers plugin to display the “tracks” segments of my GPX files over a Google Physical layer base map.

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[UPDATE June 08, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Johnson Park (Loop 5) is 4.88 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, .

In the next few days I will publish a composite map of all five modules along with general description of each.

Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map
Johnson Park (Loop 5) bike route module map

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[UPDATE June 01, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) is 5.84 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch - Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch – Golf Course (Loop 4) bike route module map

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[UPDATE May 31, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) is 3.86 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map
Rutgers Busch (Loop 3) bike route module map

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[UPDATE May 26, 2014] Another bike route module has been mapped. Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) is 4.11 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map
Rutgers Golf Course (Loop 2) bike route module map

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Inspired by , who designs modular software and cooks modular meals, I decided to design a modular bike route and share it with my fellow cyclists in the New Brunswick/Highland Park area. The idea is to compile a number of short bike routes that begin and end at the same point, which will allow cyclists to combine different modules into a composite ride of their choice.

I just completed the first module — Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1). The route is 6.02 miles long, and begins and ends at “The Base” — the three flagpoles in Johnson Park. Map below, . More modules, detailed route descriptions, and a composite map to follow in the next few days.

Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map
Rutgers Livingston (Loop 1) bike route module map

 

Amazing art or ugly map?

[UPDATE April 24, 2014] This “ugly” map bears a striking visual resemblance to the . So yeah.

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As a map geek I have been looking at all kinds of maps for 20 years. No map can surprise me, or so I thought until today. I just saw the amazingest map ever, reproduced below with permission ().

Imagine my shock when I found out that this map was the winner of an “Ugliest map” contest, conducted by at the University of Minnesota. Do you agree? Do you think this is an ugly map, or amazing art? Vote in the poll below the map.

[UPDATE April 01, 2014 (no joke)] The map creator is Daniel Taylor — “a very successful undergrad” at the University of Minnesota (via Prof. Hecht).

Amazing art or ugly map?
Amazing art or ugly map?

 

Map: 24 countries where Windows Phone outsells the iPhone

Windows Phone is not dead. The maps below show the countries where Windows Phone outsells the iPhone. Those countries are: Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ecuador, Finland, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The top map is a static (image) map; the bottom map is interactive. Data source: . Maps by me.

Map: 24 countries where Windows Phone outsells the iPhone
Map: 24 countries where Windows Phone outsells the iPhone

Walter White’s house on Google Maps (Breaking Bad)

I give you two Google Maps views of Walter White’s house in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as seen on the hit TV show Breaking Bad.

Google Maps (aerial view):


Google Street View:


Google Maps user has put together a full map tour of Breaking Bad’s Albuquerque, complete with “Los Pollos Hermanos”, Walt and Skyler’s car wash, and Gus Fring’s House:


View in a larger map

Top ten tennis countries in the world in 2013

Which are the top ten tennis countries in the world in 2013? The answer depends on the definition of “top tennis country”. Is it the country with the most tennis players? Is it the country with the most professional players? Is it the country with the most champions?

I rated “tennis countries” according to two sets of criteria:

  1. The country with the most professional tennis players in the top 100
  2. #1 above, normalized by country population

A tale of two maps

I mapped the data separately for both criteria — #1 (total number of players in the top 100) and #2 (players in the top 100 per million residents). You can see that the two maps (below) look starkly different.

The tabular data below each map shows that Spain ranks #1 by total number of players, while Slovakia ranks tops by players per population. So, which is the top tennis country in the world? You be the judge.

Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100
Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100

 

Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100 normalized by population
Top ten tennis countries ranked by number of players in the top 100 normalized by population

 

See also maps for the top 100 ATP (men) and WTA (women) professional tennis players for 2013, and a similar set of maps for 2012.

Top professional tennis players by country — 2013 edition (WTA — women)

Below is a map of the top 100 WTA (female) professional tennis players by country as of May 28, 2013. The map shows that the United States and Russia are a hotbed for women’s professional tennis, with 10 players in the top 100 each.

This map is an update of a similar map I published last year, with a few minor tweaks. I used source data from the , and Google’s mapping technology. Below the map is the source data in a Google spreadsheet.

I published a similar updated map for the ATP (men’s tennis pro tour) yesterday.

Number of top 100 professional tennis players per country, WTA tennis rankings as of May 28, 2013
Number of top 100 professional tennis players per country, WTA tennis rankings as of May 28, 2013

 

See also maps for the top ten tennis countries in the world for 2013.

Top professional tennis players by country — 2013 edition (ATP — men)

Below is a map of the top 100 ATP (male) professional tennis players by country as of May 28, 2013. The map shows that Spain and France are a hotbed for men’s professional tennis, with 13 and 12 players in the top 100, respectively.

This map is an update of a similar map I published last year, with a few minor tweaks. I used source data from the , and Google’s mapping technology. Below the map is the source data in a Google spreadsheet.

I will publish an updated map for the WTA (women’s tennis pro tour) tomorrow. [UPDATE: posted]

Number of top 100 professional tennis players per country, ATP tennis rankings as of May 28, 2013
Number of top 100 professional tennis players per country, ATP tennis rankings as of May 28, 2013

See also maps for the top ten tennis countries in the world for 2013.