Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A THOUSAND WAYS ONLINE TO PUT LONDON ON THE MAP; TECH KNOW MARK PRIGG the Internet Has Revolutionised Maps -- and Now We're All Drawing Them

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A THOUSAND WAYS ONLINE TO PUT LONDON ON THE MAP; TECH KNOW MARK PRIGG the Internet Has Revolutionised Maps -- and Now We're All Drawing Them

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK PRIGG

MORE than almost any other printed product, the map has been revolutionised and reimagined thanks to technology -- and London is at the forefront.

The advent of Google maps, and more recently the London Datastore, which release stats about the capital for public consumption, has led to an explosion in online maps showing everything from how Boris Bikes are moving through London to exactly where Tube trains are.

"Everyone and their dog is creating maps online now," says Oliver O'Brien, a researcher and software developer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London.

"The London Datastore has made a huge difference, as there is so much data to work with. It's really impressive."

Many maps are also beautiful, almost art pieces as well as imparting useful information. For instance, there is the London Surname map, an example of digital typography at its best. Created by UCL student James Cheshire in conjunction with O'Brien, it's a fascinating look at the diversity of London, as well as showing just how many Smiths there are.

Overall 2,379 surnames are included, taken from the 2001 Electoral Roll, and all are shown in different sizes depending on their frequency.

"Obviously to get these maps noticed they need to look like more than just a Google map -- we're all used to seeing those with pins in," said O'Brien.

"The more different from a standard map you can make it, the more likely people will notice it. We take quite a lot of time thinking about how we can create a map that looks great. …

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