is a Source of Big and Open Map Databases

My son turned me on to the website as a result of some research he is doing for his masters degree at the University of New Hampshire. One of the examples is a spinning globe using only open source R code – see below.

Photo of Founder Dr. James Cheshire Founder Dr. James Cheshire

Dr. James Cheshire is a geographer with a passion for mapping data. His award-winning maps draw from his research as a Senior Lecturer at University College London. He is co-author of the critically acclaimed books London: The Information Capital and Where the Animals Go.

His research focuses on the use of “big” and open datasets for the study of social science. He has published in a range of journals on a variety of topics including the use of cycle hire schemes, the spatial analysis of surnames and new ways to visualise population data.

James is the recipient of a number of major awards from the Royal Geographical Society, The North American Cartographic Information Society and British Cartographic Society. He is President of the Society of Cartographers.

James completed a BSc (1st Class Hons.) in Physical Geography at the University of Southampton before undertaking a Ph.D. in GIScience at the UCL Department of Geography. His topic was the spatial analysis and visualisation of large surname databases.

After completing his Ph.D. he was appointed Lecturer in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation at CASA before moving to the UCL Department of Geography where he a Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography. James is also Deputy Director of both the ESRC Consumer Data Research Centre and the UCL Q-Step Centre.

For the R code spinning globe click here.

For more information click here.


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