Mapping 5,000 Years of City Growth

I recently stumbled upon a great dataset. It’s the first to provide comprehensive data for world city sizes as far back as 3700BC. The authors (Meredith Reba, Femke Reitsma & Karen Seto) write: How were cities distributed globally in the p...


Big Data and Design

I recently had the pleasure of giving a Creative Mornings talk. Each month there is a new theme that the presenters need to refer to – mine was “fantasy” so I chose to open with one of my favourite fantasy creatures: the unicorn. It...


Illustrations of Chartography

I discovered this on ebay last week and had to buy it. Entitled “Illustrations in Chartography” it shows a series of different cartographic (or chartographic?) techniques used in the “School anti fungal Atlas of Physical Geography&#...


My Year in Maps

Lots happened in 2016 to keep cartographers busy…here are some of my highlights (in no particular order).   Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line at the British Library is an absolutely extraordinary exhibition at the British Librar...


Mapping (historic) tracks in ggplot2

This tutorial was first published in “Geocomputation a Practical Primer“. Here is a more complex example showing how to produce a map of 18th Century Shipping flows. The data have been obtained from the CLIWOC project and they represent a...


Datashine: Mapping the UK Population

All the DataShine websites (except DataShine Election) are derived from a common codebase and use the OpenLayers 3 mapping platform to display a full-window slippy map, with user controls and key overlaid. DataShine Census DataShine ScotlandCommissio...


The Power of Print

*Cross-posted from London: The Information Capital’s website* London’s maps are special. They were drawn by pioneers such as Charles Booth, who revealed the full extent of the city’s poverty, Jon Snow, who deployed maps to determine the cause o...


The Coder and the Designer

*Cross-posted from London: The Information Capital’s website* Whenever I teach an R class, I usually start by saying how the software is now used by the likes of The New York Times graphics department or Facebook to manipulate their data and pr...



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