In this digital age of interactive maps and mapping software, there is still much to learn from what’s gone before…
1. The Treasure Island map – revealing the importance of location data mapping
Plot your key location data and then arrange all the other data around it. In this case, the key data is “X” (where the treasure is buried). Secondary data is the information that surrounds the primary data. Mapping this data will allow you to work out what resources you need to get to “X”.
2. Map from Dora the Exlorer – showing that interactivity leads to insight and shared goals
In every episode, the character Map plots the course of Dora’s adventure. As Dora carries out her quest, she interacts with viewers, reminding them of Map’s instructions. This interactivity imparts knowledge, which moves the story along and allows us to share a common goal. And we sing a song too (please note: eSpatial has no plans to introduce singing maps in its next upgrade).
3. D-Day Landings – allocating resources according to ability and territory size
There are countless maps of the D-Day landings, but we felt the one on the left clearly demonstrated the power of data mapping – in particular, data visualization and territory mapping. There were five territories (beaches) in the Normandy landings and each one was uniquely labeled (code-named) to suit the client (i.e. The Allies). The Allies used known data (the numbers of German soldiers and infantry) to successfully achieve their goals i.e., the invasion of Europe.
4. The London Underground Map – only presenting the data that’s important
The London Underground Map is possibly the most famous map in the world. But here’s the thing: unlike most other maps, it’s a false representation: the distances between stations are not scaled to reality. However, the creator of the map had no wish to do this (the map would have been impossibly large otherwise). Instead, they wanted to give the viewer the data that’s the most important piece of data: where each station is in the network and how it relates to the other stations – not how far it is from other stations.
5. The first map of the United States – revealing data’s value by its context
Also known as the Abel Buell map, the first map of the US was created in 1784. In 2011, it was sold for a whopping $1.8 million. How did it attain such high value?
Ed Redmond, the Library of Congress vault curator explained at the time: “It fills a huge gap…It covers the territory of the 13 colonies and an area east of the Mississippi River.”
In other words… The map contained data not available elsewhere, which is why it fetched such a high price.