- Internet & the Web
Unusual Map Websites
When we think of maps we think about directions, streets, cities, states or countries. We refer to them when we are lost or trying to get there from here. Maps are visual representations of areas and space. They can depict in symbols not only regions but objects, weather, themes and so much more. Cartographers are craftsmen and women who see things according to scale and context. Following are 10 unusual map websites to explore.
UFO HUNTERS MAP -
This cool interactive map is sponsored by History.com. Different color cones over areas on the world map represent everything from Roswell data to abductions, sightings, investigations, hoaxes and secret aircraft. There's a section that explores the unexplained as well as information about worldwide UFO conferences. By hovering and clicking over areas of the map, details pop up which can include videos and photos. UFO Hunters Map is well worth checking out whether you are a believer or not.
MUSIC MAP -
Called "The Landscape of Music", this music map explores the relations between musicians or groups. Everyone from Snoop Dogg to The Beatles to Beethoven is there, By clicking on a name, a map comes up showing the relationship. By further clicking, a music video of the artist opens in another window. I haven't quite figured it all out yet but managed to listen to some good music while trying. This map is interactive and has zooming capabilities. It is worth a visit even if only to reminisce.
MAP OF ONLINE COMMUNITIES
This map has been around for awhile but it's fun. Originally the brainchild of XKCD, this map looks like a treasure map at first glance. But there's more to it than that. Size and location on the map indicate use and popularity of different online communities like Facebook, Xanga and others. The north seems to represent more practical communities and the south more technical and intellectual sites. Randall Munroe, owner of this webcomic site, updates regularly and follows trends and movements in the online community world.
LIVE EXPEDITION TRACKER MAP -
This interactive map is sponsored by National Geographic and tracks ongoing ocean projects. Here you can find out what scientists and explorers are up to all over the world. By hovering your cursor over a blinking icon on the map, you can open a window giving specific information on a current ocean project. If you are interested in marine life and what is being done to protect it this map may be for you. Several other informative links are provided all with the usual National Geographic style.
This database of city sounds from around the world is awesome. It is a very comprehensive site. Soundcities is a 12 year collection of recorded sounds from world cities. Easy to navigate links bring you to your choice of city. From there you can listen to everything from industrial sounds, to trains to birds. You can choose to listen by city or by mood. They even encourage visitors to contribute their own found sounds. You won't want to miss this site.
FLIGHT AWARE -
Whether you are a traveler or just interested in aviation around the world, the Live Flight Tracker at Flight Aware keeps you in the know. This site makes it easy to track flights, monitor airport activity and check for delays. You can browse by aircraft type, carrier or airport. The live interactive map is buzzing with color. Links are easy to find and include a real time airspace map, an animated airspace movie and time lapse images. They have over 119 million flights in their database.
SKY MAP -
Even if you are only a little interested in astronomy, Sky-Map.org is a fascinating site. The universe becomes all the more vast but is broken down into understandable chunks. The up-to-date views from the Hubble make you feel as if you are there. Besides wandering through nebulae and galaxies, Sky-Map offers news, press releases, a blog and forums. This colorful site takes space seriously and propels the visitor to other worlds. Photos are clear and enthralling. This site is well worth a visit.
NEWS MAP -
News Map combines Google Maps with Yahoo news. Clicking on a region or particular country will retrieve news from there. You can zoom in to get state or provincial headlines and yet another zoom will display the news in larger cities. This site has over 3000 larger cities in its database and growing. Links include most world regions and the map has both satellite and hybrid options. This is a pretty cool website for the news junkie.
METEOR IMPACT MAP -
Did you ever wonder where on earth those meteors and asteroids land? Geology.com offers an interactive world map where exploring earth's more obvious meteor craters and asteroid impact sites is easy. Just click on the red flag and zoom in - it's as simple as that. You can drag the map to check out other areas. This site also features interesting links to all kinds of meteor information, You can choose to view the map in satellite or hybrid mode.
THE MOVIE MAP -
For film buffs everywhere, The Movie Map.com is a great source of information. In conjunction with Google Maps, finding worldwide film locations is a snap. You can search by location or find a movie by name using an alphabetized link above the map. You can check out the house Rocky lived in or the Burger King featured in Back to the Future. By clicking on film icons, a window opens with tabs for information, photos and links. The Movie Map encourages contributions to their database. It's a really fun place to explore.