Tom MacWright

Longitude Over Time - The End of 2011

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Longitude over time is a travel map that replaces latitude with time. Here I’m using it with my own travel data in order to see where I’ve been traveling, at what frequency and for how long.

It’s been a continuing fascination to experiment with the few dimensions we have in order to represent hidden information in a natural way. Travel maps are typically disconnected with the experience of traveling because positions are equally weighted - I spent a long time in Colorado, but it’s just another dot on a typical map.

I first tried an ‘orthographic 3D time cube’, but realized that it was rather hard to understand, since the line extending out in space had no good reference point and was only geographically understandable from one position: looking straight down.

With a few months of data collected by Track Me and converted into GeoJSON with ogr2ogr, there was plenty of raw material. The graphic came together quickly with a dash of d3, the visualization library to rule them all.

From there, a bit of Modest Maps, Wax and Easey with the beautiful World Bright tileset from MapBox do the trick for showing where, geographically, I was.