The Future of Maps – A Talk by Aaron Jordan (LINZ)

Aaron will talk about the future of maps in an age of satnavs and map apps. Land Information New Zealand has been making maps of New Zealand for over a century, but more and more it’s looking at what new technology means for maps.

events-futureofmapsAaron and his team are responsible for producing authoritative maps of New Zealand and its off shore territories. These are sold as paper maps, but the team has also embraced open data and making the data that it uses to create maps, freely available for others to reuse and innovate.


Incredible Visualization of the World’s Shipping Routes

About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships.
Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go ’round.
And now there’s a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute:

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There’s a huge cost to all this shipping. The ships have to burn a lot of bunker fuel, and in 2012, they ended up emitting some 796 million tons of carbon dioxide. The researchers note that that’s more than “the whole of the UK, Canada or Brazil emit in a year.” Or, put another way, shipping is responsible for some 3 to 4 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, this is still much more efficient than shipping all that stuff by land or air. Still, researchers have been looking into ways to shrink the shipping industry’s carbon footprint. Nate Berg ran through some of the best ideas here: “From technological improvements such as retrofitted rudders and propellers to enhanced weather routing, shipping companies are eyeing many ways to improve their efficiency.”

Student Turns NZ into London Tube Map

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The Christchurch student created a London tube-style map to showcase NZ.

A Christchurch student has created a London tube-style map to showcase New Zealand’s state highway network.
Andrew Douglas-Clifford, 22, is doing a Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS) at University of Canterbury “hence the love for cool maps”.
After always having a fascination for metro network maps, he spent five weeks in several European cities last year, including time travelling on the London underground.
It inspired him to think how those metro networks might look in New Zealand.

Read more:

Quake-induced Geohazards

Published: April 24, 2016 11:23 am On: Nepal

KATHMANDU: The April 25 earthquake and its powerful May 12 aftershock not only damaged the man-made structures and buildings but also induced geohazards including landslides and avalanches in the affected region. The Gorkha earthquake sequence affected sources of water and blocked streams and rivers at many places. Several valley-blocking landslides were reported from Myagdi to Dolakha.

The main shock triggered a massive debris avalanche in the Langtang Valley of Rasuwa district, wiping out entire Langtang village and killing at least 300 people. Likewise, it caused avalanche in Mt Pumori and hit the Mount Everest base camp, where hundreds of climbers and their guides had gathered.

Read more here:



Fracking Added to Government Map of Earthquake Risks

Mar 31, 2016 08:40 AM ET // by Patrick J. Kiger

For the first time, the U.S. Geological Survey is including potential man-made seismic hazards — in particular, those caused by Hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, on its maps that show earthquake risks.

Read more here:


The latest USGS Survey map shows the potential for Americans to experience damage from natural or human-induced earthquakes in 2016. Source: USGS

Livingmaps Review: A Journal for Theory and Practice in Critical Cartography and Participatory Social Mapping

Access to some interesting papers, for example:

How do you lose a river?
Jonathan William Gardner

In this paper I explore the concept of the ‘lost river’ and the implications this term has for our understanding of the history of changing urban environments. In taking a voyage down one of the London 2012 Olympic Park’s now-filled waterways, the Pudding Mill River, charting it and its surrounding area’s diverse history, I explore how rivers end up becoming ‘losable’.

Drawing on diverse methodologies from archaeology and geography and with a particular emphasis on mapping, I argue that a literal and metaphorical exploration of such a rapidly changing environment reveals a multitude of buried narratives and fluid histories. This research suggests that the labeling of a river as ‘lost’ is not a politically neutral act and that, with its romantic connotations, the term may actually serve to legitimize insensitive and contentious changes to our environment.

DIY Cartographers Are Putting Slums on the Literal Map

When a community makes its way onto a map, it’s that much harder to deny, say activists.

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Zacharia Muinde of Map Kibera Trust shows teachers and students their school’s page on Open Schools Kenya, a mapping project that helps residents find information on local schools. (Courtesy Map Kibera)

But being on the map is important—and not just for symbolic reasons. Communities that are on maps can gain access to things like emergency services (after all, it’s hard for an ambulance or fire truck to reach a location that can’t be found). Neighborhoods that know how big and populous they are can agitate for better public services like electricity and streetlights, gain political representation, or keep other groups from encroaching on their territory. When a community makes its way onto the map, it becomes that much harder to deny.

Cartography, Map-related Talks at National Library

Victoria University of Wellington and the National Library are partnering  in a series of map-related talks on how mapping can be applied to the study of people, geography, the weather, and even literary works.

21 April 2016: ‘Mapping Forced Migration; and Humanity on the Move’ with Kate McMillan and Simone Gigliotti

5 May 2016: ‘The Changing Face of Aotearoa’ with Kevin Norton, Senior lecturer physical geography

11 May 2016: ‘The Future of Maps’ with Aaron Jordan, Topography Group Manager at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

17 May 2016: ‘How to Find a Storm: Maps of the Weather’ with Professor James Renwick and Erick Brenstrum.

26 May 2016: ‘Telling new stories with old maps’ with Dr Sydney Shep, Wai-te-Ata Press

All talks are at the National Library and you can find more information on their website

Points, Lines and Polygons – The Art of Making Maps

By: Alison Ballance
Maps tell the story of our ever-changing Earth.
The length and breadth of New Zealand is charted, at a scale of 1:50,000, across 451 topographic maps produced with technical skill, art and patience by a team of map makers at Land Information New Zealand.
The map makers are witness to several stories unfolding in the country.
The most dramatic is the impact of Christchurch earthquakes. The strong black block that was the city’s CBD has been shattered into a mosaic, while the red zone is a ghostly snake of deserted roads that echo the shape of the Avon River.

Read full article here:

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Satellite image of the Marlborough Sounds (left) and how that is represented on a map (right). Photo: Land Information New Zealand