December 14, 2010

Scribble Map

I was looking for possible visualizations using maps on the Internet; thinking as to how people would be using lat/long details to present information. One obvious example would be use maps to show the sales/revenue spread across the various LoBs of an organization. Many enterprises capture the spatial information and display along with the 'regular' data(sales/revenue..etc etc). By the way, spatial maps, however simple they might sound are very important to bring a breath of fresh air into an otherwise uninspiring presentation of Enterprise data - you no longer work with tables, but directly on the map-region wherein the action is taking place.

But was there more that can be done with maps? Anything more funny and hackworthy? And then i stumbled on ZIPScribbleMaps - i found this extremely interesting; especially for a country like India which is huge and diverse, some visualization w.r.t Pin codes (or Zip codes) would be neat.

I quickly searched the web for a complete list of India Pin Codes, but it was quiet funny that i was not able to find it anywhere. You have to pay to get this information - especially if you want the zipcodes along with the lat/long information. (I think Govt should opensource this).

The following shows the ZIPScribble map for the state of Andhra Pradesh (I will do this for the rest of the Indian States soon - probably this weekend).I used the Google Maps API v2 and plotted the polylines between the pin codes, and this is what you have :

The first map shows the scribble, when all the pincodes are arranged in ascending order and lines are drawn between two consecutive postal codes.

The Second map shows the scribble, when we remove the duplicate lat-long pair and arrange them in ascending order (So that a PIN is not repeated).

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