If you recall from a few months back, I had concluded that Google Maps was the best option for creating mobile and interactive maps for my long-term mapping project as an intern at Framework. However, after creating several sample maps, we re-evaluated its capabilities as we realized that Google Maps cannot visualize different layers on a single base map; hence my project was put on hold until we found a more robust software.
Click here to view on of my early maps.
After a little more market research, we were able to find an alternative mapping software named Rhiza Labs to carry out my project. The Rhiza Insight GIS mapping software enable users, like myself, with no prior GIS experience, to collect data and create maps to tell a story. For my project, I am using Calgary’s 2010 Vital Signs data and information set as a template to visualize some of the emerging trends and causes happening in the city. In particular, the Calgary Vital Signs shows measures of quality of life in 12 key issue areas such as food, and environment. My task is to visualize these key issue areas to see emerging trends in the city. For example, I’ve collected the locations of all the community gardens in Calgary to show the growth of local food gardens in different communities.
There are four main reasons why we decided to use Rhiza Insight to carry out my project. First, Rhiza Insight enables users to map out data quickly. The multiple layers over a single base map create an effective visualization capacity for presentations. Second, it is easy to import data from spreadsheets, shape files and other file formats. Third, this mapping software allows users to customize their maps in order to make them more visually appealing. Last but not least, the finished maps can be previewed using the Google Earth application, which creates the opportunity to create an engaging presentation for the audiences. Hopefully my Calgary Vital Signs presentation will be shown at the 6th Calgary Timeraiser in June.