In the 16th century, Gerardus Mercator, a Flemish cartographer devised a new way of depicting the world on a flat plane. We set off to explore his map in order to illustrate his biggest blunders, unearth curious facts and explain the advantages that make this representation of the globe still relevant today.
I especially like the fact that the several parts of the map get highlighted as you scroll, thanks to the use of ScrollMagic
📜 If you’d want to venture into your own “animate as you scroll” adventure, I’d recommend a more modern library such as the aforementioned Scrollama(which uses IntersectionObserver)
🗺 In case you want to see for yourself how much Mercator distorts our view of the world, go play The Mercator Puzzle. In case you’re really into projections you might want to check out the contents of my talk Geoshizzle(from a long long time ago)
🌍 If you’re new to mapping & projections, or don’t want to read the lengthy article, this video from Vox sums it up quite nicely what’s wrong with the Mercator projection:
At the City Intelligence unit at City Hall almost anyone can create a data visualisation. To keep everyone in line they created Data Design Guidelines:
Effective communication of evidence and data through information design and data visualisation, is obviously important to help inform policy internally, but it is also just as important to help boroughs and individual Londoners better understand their city.
With this in mind, over the past year, we have been thinking more about how we can improve the clarity, consistency and accessibility of our data visualisation output.
The guidelines, which focus principally on chart design, cover the following areas:
The Population Estimation Service is a Web-based service for estimating population totals and related statistics within a user-defined region. It enables users of a wide variety of map clients and tools to quickly obtain estimates of the number of people residing in specific areas without having to download and analyze large amounts of spatial data.
Tested it by drawing a (rough) polygon around Belgium and it yielded a number of nearly 12 million which is quite correct 🙂