Some new mapping possibilities have been added by the geoweb mapping company CartoDB.
Both offer exciting possibilities that I’ve not seen before. Most amazing to me is the capability now to use near real-time NASA imagery as your base map, and to choose any day in the last two years. The imagery is 5-9 hours old, and you can choose daytime or night-time views.
Because of the ability to choose any particular date, you can go back to a season (for eg observing glacier extension) or event (Hurricane Sandy, late October 2012).
The imagery comes from GIBS, or Global Imagery Browse Services at NASA, and includes a selection of different products. Here’s yesterday’s “dust scores” for example (click for interactive map):
You can combine from hundreds of other layers (eg sea ice + sea surface temp + chlorophyll). (At least at NASA you can, I haven’t checked this in CartoDB.)
Second, there was an interesting tidbit showing how to dynamically pull Google Streetview into your point data. So the idea is that if you have collected data at various points, and uploaded these as a table to CartoDB, you can create a new column in the table which will pull form the Google Streetview API and provide you with a picture of that location.
Like this (click for interactive map):
Personally I think that’s cool!
There is a slight bug for me–once I get the SV imagery, I can’t add other fields, but their blog shows this is possible. I’m missing something somewhere.
Finally, just as I was writing this, Fulcrumapp announced they’ve got sharing of their maps up and running! Not only does this make sharing (ie, feeding the data into a visualization capability such as Mapbox or CartoDB) but it’s live!