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New map highlights global problem of light pollution

Posted by Vanessa Hrvatin on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A map of the world’s artificial sky brightness as a ratio to the natural sky brightness. Black indicates the smallest recorded divergence from natural brightness and white indicates the largest divergence from natural brightness. Click to enlarge. (Map: Falchi et al/Science Advances)

You can't smell it, you can't feel it, but it's there — and it's a problem.

A recent study published in the journal Science Advances shows that light pollution—excessive artificial light which alters natural lighting levels—is endemic around the globe. A series of maps produced by the researchers estimates that more than 80 per cent of the world lives under light-polluted skies, with 99 per cent of people living in Europe and the United States directly affected by this form of environmental ...

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Video of the week: The history of urbanization in under four minutes

Posted by Alexandra Pope on Friday, June 17, 2016

More than 50 per cent of the world's current population lives in cities and rapid urbanization is expected to continue throughout the mid-21st century. How did we get here?

Created by Max Galka of the urban cartography blog Metrocosm, the animated map above uses data from a new report out of Yale University to plot some 6,000 years of urbanization, starting with the founding of Eridu by the Sumerians in 3700 BC, through the expansion and decline of the Roman Empire, the colonization of North ...

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New mapping tool finds patterns in satellite imagery

Posted by Vanessa Hrvatin on Monday, June 13, 2016

A new mapping tool called Terrapattern uses pattern recognition to identify similar visual features of an area — for example, all the golf course sand traps in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Map: Levin, G., Newbury, D., McDonald, K., Alvarado, I., Tiwari, A., and Zaheer, M./Terrapattern)

Chances are we've all used a digital satellite map to search for a building, a park or a body of water. But what if you’re curious about more esoteric data, such as the number of homes and businesses with solar panels in your city, or the number of traffic roundabouts?

It turns out there’s a map for that.

Terrapattern uses satellite imagery and pattern recognition to locate specific visual features of an area. Once you’ve identified a feature by clicking on an area of the map, Terrapattern ...

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How Jeff's Maps are improving backcountry travel in Ontario parks

Posted by Thomas Hall on Monday, June 6, 2016

A portion of the Jeff's Map of Algonquin provincial park. (Map: Jeff's Map)

I love unfolding one of my family’s old canoe trip maps and reading the notes my parents made along their frayed, water-stained edges.

Their chronicles about the length of a portage in minutes, the condition of a favourite campsite, or about how to run a set of rapids in high water, added a personal dimension to the standard topographic maps of the Allagash River and the lakes of the Adirondacks. Not only did they tell stories about the trip (“this site turns to mud in the rain”), they provided ...

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Timelapse map shows growth of Fort McMurray fire

Posted by Vanessa Hrvatin on Friday, June 3, 2016

A timelapse of the growth of the Fort McMurray fire between May 1 and May 26, 2016. (Maps courtesy: Natural Resources Canada)

There’s no place like home.

The time has finally come for Fort McMurray residents to return home after being evacuated nearly a month ago as a devastating forest fire ripped through the city. The process of re-entry, which began June 2 and is expected to continue through the middle of the month, has been accompanied by countless warm welcomes and words of encouragement as residents come to terms with damage that has rendered their city unrecognizable and in many ways unsafe.

The above timelapse ...

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