Cool Maps: ESRI Interactive Map Gallery
ESRI, the world’s leading supplier of Geographic Information System (GIS) software, Web GIS, and geodatabase management applications, has created an online maps gallery, Cool Maps. The gallery contains 15 interactive mapping applications. From ESRI, Cool Maps is a “collection of creative maps that use the ESRI Mapping Platform to demonstrate how solutions can be enriched with the power of location. …They are designed to stimulate ideas and for demonstration purposes only.”
The gallery includes a mapping application called “Love Thy Neighborhood” where users enter in a zip code to search for various lifestyle characteristics existing in different zip codes. For example, the City Dimensions (above, click to enlarge) lifestyle is described as a mixed race/ethnicity with a median age of 29.2 with lower middle income who have overdraft protection. The map indicates the location of this group in the chosen zip code. The application serves as a different way to search for housing areas.
The “Sale of Two Cities” application compares the cost of living between two cities. “Crime Time” maps crime in San Francisco by neighborhood, time of day, and other factors. “Socially Awkward” is a mapping application that tracks different companies’ social media presence by the number of mentions—positive and negative—and factors the percentage of male or female users. “World Happiness” maps the happiest countries of the world based on the 2013 World Happiness Report. “Top and Bottom of the World” maps the top and bottom three countries in the world in categories like inflation, power consumption, life expectancy, and children with HIV.
Students studying cartography can utilize the site to acquire ideas for new maps. Teachers can use the maps for various topics of current events and classroom activities or to stimulate students to think in spatial terms.
The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) on the second floor of Bracken Library offers access to ESRI GIS software and online GIS tutorials, datasets, online mapping applications, in-house GIS data, and one-on-one assistance from the GIS Specialist. The GIS Research Area is equipped with 28 high-end Lenovo ThinkCentre N58 computers, and faculty may reserve the area for instructional or working lab sessions.
For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.