Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Partner: Louisville.com Dining Map

Metro Mapper has teamed up with Louisville.com to put their Louisville eatery database on a searchable Metro Mapper map and in their online Dining Guide. Check it out at Louisville.com!

"It's no secret - Louisville has developed a reputation for great food. From white table cloth and crystal fine dining to lick-your-fingers Kentucky barbecue, if it's food, it's in Louisville. We've partnered up with Louisville Magazine to amass the most complete database of Louisville eateries on the web to help you make your dining out choice easier. We've included a complete picture of the dining scene in Louisville - all cuisines, geographical locations, kid friendly places - so dig in and bear down!"

- Louisville.com

Friday, August 10, 2007

Featured Map: Kentucky Bridge Safety

Many people are interested in knowing how safe their bridges are after the tragic Minneapolis I-35W collapse. We've put together a Bridge Safety map for the state of Kentucky, with the most recent status of over 15,000 bridges.

This map shows the status of every bridge or overpass in Kentucky and inlcudes when it was inspected, year built, and daily vehicle traffic. The status can be Structurally Deficient, Functionally Obsolete, Not Deficient or Not Applicable, and each bridge is also given an overall rating by FHWA from 1-100%, with 100 being the best.

This map plots information from the National Bridge Inventory from the Federal Highway Administration site.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New Maps: 100 Most Recent and Most Popular

Take a peek at what other people are searching for on Metro Mapper with two new maps. One map shows you in real-time the last 100 searches made, and another shows you the most popular locations of all time. The top 20 get their own black marker (labeled 1 to 20).

If something is going on right now in Louisville related to housing, crime, sex offenders, or restaurants, watch as everyone's searches cluster around that area!

A great feature of the maps are the icons across the bottom. Hover your mouse over them to see what they do. Here's a breakdown:

Make Map Larger: If this map is on another website, click this to see larger version on Metro Mapper

Link to Map: Create a link to this map, which you can bookmark, or send to others. The markers will keep getting updated when you revisit this link.

Email this Map: Creates an email with a link to this map inside. Send it to your friends so they can see what you see.

Open in Google Earth: This opens the markers in the 3D program, Google Earth. You can save this so you see it everytime you open it later. This links to the KML data file, so you can use that in other programs if you are a developer.

Initial View: Return to the initial view of this map, in case you've been panning and zooming the map around and got lost.

Refresh Map Data: Grabs the most recent data quickly and on-the-fly, so you don't have to refresh the whole page to see the newest results.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Louisville Metro Police Department: MetroWatch Map

The LMPD launched a new service yesterday called MetroWatch. It's an interactive online crime mapping tool that maps neighborhood crimes reported during the last 30 days. It's an okay first stab at a public mapping service, but I think there are a number of issues with the implementation.

What Metro Mapper does better:
  1. More Data. Has 2-4 years of data available, instead of 30 days.
  2. More Crimes. Shows all crimes reported, instead of just some.
    1. MetroWatch: Assault, Auto Theft, Burglary, Homicide, Robbery, Theft, Vandalism
    2. Metro Mapper: Arson, Homicide, Assault, Kidnapping, Bribery, Larceny/Theft, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, Vandalism, Pornography, Drugs/Narcotics, Prostitution, Embezzlement, Robbery, Blackmail, Sex: Forcible, Forgery, Sex: Nonforcible, Fraud, Stolen Property, Gambling, Weapon Violations, Miscellaneous
  3. Faster. Shows results immediately, and once loaded allows instantaneous panning and zooming on the maps, instead of waiting for each map change to load.
  4. More Information. MetroWatch only shows the address of the report, where Metro Mapper shows address, location type, date and time, offender info (sex, race, age), sub-category of crime, counts of crime, and distance from your address.
  5. Search Options. Metro Mapper lets you see only the types of crime you want to see. You filter your search with start and end date, types of crime, offender info, crime severity, and locations of the crime. For example, you could get a map of only crimes reported in the last year relating to sexual abuse at bars or restaurants where the offender is a white male.
  6. Extra Overlays. With our Mapplets, you can overlay the crime reports with the location of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. Or if you are looking for a home, see the most recent homes for sale, then show the crimes that occurred around that home. And then you can email the map to your friends, or view it in Google Earth.
What MetroWatch does better:
  1. Quicker Updates. Until the LMPD puts their publicly available crime data on their public website (like other US cities do) for all to use (instead of just sending it privately to LOJIC), my data will be a few days/weeks/months out of date. Requests for data can take a long time due to the LMPD process and paperwork.
  2. Street Names. Since LOJIC's maps are city run, they can update their street names quickly, so if a name changes, it's reflected right away. Names don't change that much, so I'm really grasping at straws here. Google's maps are from a national database, so their updates are a bit slower.
So now, a year and a half after my first crime map was live, LOJIC and the LMPD have a chance to show off theirs.

What do you think?