Flowing city maps can depict a number of different aspects of a city. They can tell us about the quantity of traffic, the amount of water being used, and the direction of trade goods or people moving from point A to point B. However, the most interesting aspect of these maps is their ability to provide a graphical representation of a range of spatial and numerical data, making it useful for a variety of research purposes. In fact, they are often the most impressive map types, allowing us to visualize and examine land use and development in a whole new light.
Flowing city maps may be the most practical of all the different types of spatial data visualization. Using GIS technology and graphics software, it has become possible to create a highly accurate, highly useful visual representation of a wide variety of data, and in many cases to do so at scale. By using such techniques, it is now possible to display aerial imagery and even subdivision activity. It is also possible to perform an intelligent search and sort by clicking and dragging the various data points to create a custom map of a particular location.
Although there are many different ways to represent the flow of a substance, the simplest and most straightforward approach is to draw a line or a lane from the source to the destination. This can be done using any type of linear network, from a road to a railway, or a simple arrow. For example, the flow of water can be illustrated by a series of circles, or a network of arrows. The simplest example is a single path with a width that is proportional to the number of destinations served. Of course, the more complex the flow of water, the more sophisticated the data and computation required.
Flowing city maps have been around for quite some time. Although they have been primarily applied to physical geography topics like traffic and wind, some cartographers have used them to represent the flow of people, ideas, and telecommunications data. One of the most well known examples of this technology was produced by Minard, who published forty-two flow maps in the 1850s and 1860s. Some cartographers have since expanded the concept to include other linear networks. Others have even proposed a general term for point-based flow symbols, the unit vector. These vectors are generated by computer algorithms.
Using the right kind of GIS data, we can now generate more advanced and sophisticated versions of this nifty little chart, and the results can be compared with a wide variety of other visualization options. Our interactive maps can allow us to view a wide range of data, from a gps map to aerial imagery, and to interact with the maps on a number of different platforms, including desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.