Monthly Archives: July 2008

Water Watch

Eye on Earth Water Watch is a new interactive map viewer which is part of a five year partnership by The European Environmental Agency (EEA) and Microsoft. It includes more than 21,000 bathing sites across Europe, each site given a rating by both the EEA and by users.

The EEA water quality ratings come from the 1990 – 2007 coastal  and inland water quality analysis carried out by the European Commission.

It’s great to see the display of which years are included in the EEA rating when clicking on a site along side the number of user ratings, and a section for user comments.

Although I do like this site, it’s nice to see the datasets used are available for download so someone could potentially do other types of analysis. There’s also a data viewer and map viewer for looking at the data in a different way.

Meiji era Kantō region web map

Historical Agricultural Environment Search System (rough translation of 歴史的農業環境閲覧システム)

For those of you who are interested, there is a new web mapping service up showing seamless georeferenced maps of the Kantō region in Japan during the early to mid Meiji era. Overlayed on top of this are current road, river, and land use to view change. And as a added plus, a KMZ file is also available to view the full Meiji era maps in Google Earth,which ran a little slow when I tried it but was worth the wait.

Although the site is entirely in Japanese, it’s still easy enough to navigate around if you can’t read the characters.

Either choosing a location from the right hand side or just clicking on one of the places (marked by red circles) on the map opens up the mapping application – all the components are open source. If you overlay the 1997 land use data (it’s a little coarse compared to the 1880 data) you can see some of the changes.

The legend for the 1997 land use data on the map is in the FAQ – here’s a rough translation.

Left column – rice field (水田), other agriculture (その地農用地), forest (森林),  waste or unused land (荒地), built up area (建物用地)

Right column – transportation (幹線交通用地), other land (その地の用地), water bodies (河川および湖沼), beach (海浜), golf course (ゴルフ場)

If anyone has a better translation let me know and I’ll update the English categories.


onegeology The OneGeology Portal is relatively new and is the product of a 2007 accord calling for the creation of 1:1 million scale (or better) global, regional, and national geologic map data.

There are several participants and currently there are data for a handful of countries and regions but a fully operational version is scheduled for release in August 2008.

A nice feature is the ability to export to either a KML for Google Earth or a WMC which you can load back into OneGeology at a later time and will return you to the same scale as and remember which layers you loaded.

Ride the City

Looking for a safe route for a bike ride through New York City? Ride the City helps find the safest bike route between two points by either entering in address locations or by placing points on a map. Emphasis is places on use of bike lanes and greenways and excludes roads not meant for bikes at all.

The base data mostly comes from the NYC Dept. of City Planning DCPLION Street data, the base map comes from Google Maps, and OpenLayers is used for the markers, vector lines, and pop-ups. More info on what was used can be found in the Ride the City FAQ.

Scanned Maps in the CU Spatial Data Catalog

bytes nyc facilities '08You can now find records for electronic versions of select maps from the Lehman collection in the CU Spatial Catalog. Currently we have records for almost 200 maps, all of which have been scanned at 300 dpi. A minority of the scanned maps in the public domain are available for download, others are accessible to current Columbia affiliates in the EDS lab in 215 Lehman Library. A list of all current map records can be found here, additional records will be added as the collection grows.