The London Underground commemorated its 150th anniversary with a quintet of maps made of Lego. But the creative display was built for more than fun and games. It shows how the network—the world’s first underground passenger railway—has evolved in a century and a half.
After Apple booted Google Maps from iOS last year, Daniel Graf led the development of a beautiful, refreshed mapping experience that shot to number one in the iTunes store and kicked Apple’s ass on its own turf. Here’s how Graf made it happen—in his own words:
“We have a very successful Android version of Google Maps, so the easiest thing to do was to say, this is super-successful, users love it, so why don’t we just port it over to iOS? But I wanted to challenge the team. While the Android version is a great product, you can also tell it’s been around for a while. You have to access everything via menus—it’s not really best-use-case driven anymore. I said, let’s take a step back—what if we could start from scratch and forget anything we’ve ever done? We have the foundation—the Google data, the mapping data, the local business data, the imagery, the navigation algorithms—it’s a dream to start with.”
This spring, bellicose nation North Korea has gotten the world’s attention with its amped-up aggression toward the United States and South Korea. The government said that “powerful striking means” have been readied for action, and the U.S. and South Korean governments anticipate more missile tests soon. And the New York Times just reported “with ‘moderate confidence,’ that the country has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile.”
For South Korea, it’s a near throwback to the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the threat of a nuclear-armed neighbor inspired widespread panic. For the U.S., the threat feels a bit more distant and ambiguous: Are they posturing? Do they just want attention? Or do we need to take them seriously?
Google Maps traffic displays can be handy in a pinch. But what if you’re less interested in the commute on a particular street than getting around in a particular area? It can take months to get a temporal lay of the land when driving around a new city. Could technology fill the gaps until instincts take over?
Ingenious Infographic: U.S. Highways, Mapped Like A Subway System
The graphic language of the London Underground map is so iconic that “[insert any network or process here] visualized as a London Underground map” has become a design cliché. So why are we writing about the latest iteration, a Tube-style map of U.S. interstate highways, created by Cameron Booth? Because, clichéd or not, visualizing this particular system in this way is actually damned useful.
DigitalGlobe, the firm that provides much of the imagery for Google Earth, is launching a next-generation satellite in 2014. However, the super-sharp images of the WorldView-3 aren’t for Google and Bing Maps: They’re going straight to the military and intelligence agencies.