10 Awesome Maps and Map Resources Discovered on GIS Day & #GeographyAwarenessWeek

GIS Day has come and gone (well actually, there’s GIS Day events all week long) and Geography Awareness Week introduced us all to more amazing maps, webmaps, and apps that are powered by location and geography. We stumbled onto loads of great maps this week and there’s no sign of the great Map tips slowing down. Since lists of awesome maps are always a popular read we’d like to share our list of just 10 of the amazing, awesome, and fun maps and webmaps that we enjoyed this week. Note, you can find more maps and GIS Day events here

ArcGIS Open Data

Looking for ArcGIS Open Data ? Here you go. On this handy resource you’ll find a map (naturally) that lists TONS of OpenData portals around the World. Browse to an area of interest on the map, then click on an icon to learn more about a fine, opendata portal where you can access, download, and mashup some amazing Open Data. A goldmine of information created and shared via ArcGIS Hub.

open data

Historical Topo Maps (the HMC)

Everyone loves maps, however, when it comes to old maps most of us simply can’t get enough. The maps shown through topoView are from the USGS’s Historical Topographic Map Collection (HTMC). The goal of this scanning, which started in 2011, is to provide a digital repository of USGS 1:250,000 scale and larger (more detailed) maps printed between 1884 (the inception of the topographic mapping program), and 2006. Currently, there are more than 178,000 maps in the HTMC. Data are available in a number of formats including KML, GeoTIFF, JPEG

historical topographic maps

Global Shipping Map

An incredible visualisation of global shipping traffic, created by Kiln.digital and the UCL Energy Institute. You’ll be mesmerized by this awesome data visualization as you watch the movements of ships and vessels all over the World. Watch the video and get a descriptive story of the shipping industry. Watch the top screen to view data on cargo and number of containers.


Norse Attack Map

This interesting data visualization (aka threat intelligence network) displays malware and cyber attacks going on around the World. See where these attacks originate and where they are targetting. Tabular data updates in a dashboard to display the attacks, where they are from and what kind of attack they are. Very interesting and a wake up call as well!

cyber attack map

US Breweries Map – 7000+ and growing!

This is an important map. It shows the location of Breweries, Microbreweries, and Brewpubs in North America. You can also turn on geo-enabled social media to found out what is going on near you in the ‘Layers’ tab. Currently the map boasts some 7308 items. POIs have been derived from the POI factory (available to all to mashup). By default, the map opens up as a heat map, however, when you zoom into an area you’ll soon see all the individual points of interest, including breweries, taprooms, and more. the data is pretty current although some updates are missing. Overall it really is a great database though! This would be a super starting point for a regional brewery map where you could then expand on the data by providing more product specific data, weblinks, contact information and more.

USA brewery map


Looking for somewhere to meet friends halfway for lunch? Hitting the road and need to find a place to stop for the night? Perhaps a spot of golf on the way? This cool site lets you and a colleague or friend find a half way meeting place. Find the exact halfway point by time or distance and then choose a venue to meet or stop at. Interesting, when I tested to find halfway between Victoria BC and Fort Collins Colorado, it suggested Glen’s Ferry – a place that I’ve stopped at before as a halfway rest place!


National Inventory of Protected Areas – GAP Analysis

Here’s a fabulous data tip and resource you may wish to leverage in your next map or mapping project. The Gap Analysis Program produces data and tools that help meet critical national challenges such as biodiversity conservation, renewable energy development, climate change adaptation, and infrastructure investment. The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is the official inventory of protected open space in the United States. With over 715 million acres in thousands of holdings, the spatial data in PAD-US include public lands held in trust by national, State, and some local governments, and by some nonprofit conservation organizations. Get the data HERE

Map Galleria

Who doesn’t enjoy maps, particularly old maps… really old maps! Enter the Galleria delle Carte Geographiche, a collection of of breathtaking and huge 430 year old maps from the Vatican City. At the time, cartography was undergoing its own renaissance. The age of exploration had brought new knowledge of distant lands, and technical innovations like the magnetic compass, sextant, and telescope improved accuracy. A truly awesome find!

Breathtaking and huge 430 year old maps of Italy

Forest Service visitor Map

Explore your National Forests and Grasslands with the new and improved Visitor Map 2.0. A fabulous resource that enables you to explore the National Park system and grasslands.  Locate riding trails, fishing spots, camping, hiking and much more.

US forest service

Beer or Wine? This map can help

Wondering what to get that someone special for the holidays? Perhaps beer or wine? This clever map explains just where in America per capita spending tops out on beer or wine. Obviously, the left coast, ripe with wine country and grapes, people tend to prefer wine. In the heartland beer seems to be the beverage of choice while most other coastal areas seem to favor vino!  Enjoy this clever map to identify regional preferences. More info in this Esri blog post.  Note, data for this mapping effort were derived from this valuable resource, demographic data from Esri – what a score!!

beer vs wine map

Did you create and share an awesome map for #GISDay or #geographyawarenessweek? Please do tell us about it or send us a tweet to @geojobegis

If you enjoyed these map tips then we’re sure you’ll appreciate our short, monthly newsletter for more GIS, geotech, mapping, UAV, ArcGIS and technology tips and tricks!

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