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7 Unique and innovative maps

Throwing a few markers on an interactive map? That’s so last year. The next generation of online maps or bigger, bolder and incredibly detailed. They provide a unique service to the viewer and push the envelope of data visualization and the distribution of information.

1. Away We Go

This map created to commemorate the 2009 movie asked music fans to plot their music-related memories on an interactive map. Submissions can be browsed by artist, track or location and when individually selected, an audio clip of the mentioned song appears adjacent to the map.


This Google maps mashup plots recent 911 calls on an interactive map with color-coded markers to differentiate between active and closed calls. The map is currently available for the Seattle area only, but plans are in the works to create maps for other cities.

3. FluTracker

The FluTracker map uses clustered markers to indicate cases of swine flu around the world. Users can zoom in for incredibly detailed information on each case. Various charts that detail the daily and cumulative growth of swine flu cases appear below the map.

4. Where is the Money Going?

The latest trend in online mapping is visualizing government data on a map. This offering from, an official website of the US government, indicates where money intended to stimulate the economy and create jobs is going. There are a number of custom controls and clicking any point on the interactive map gives more detailed data for the area.

5. The Geography of Jobs

We all know the global economy and job market has been in the toilet for awhile. This Flash-animated map makes that point much clearer by illustrating jobs gained and lost since 2004 with big, scary red circles.

6. BillMaps

Find out who voted for what U.S. Congressional bill using this site that plots votes or the bill’s sponsors on a map. Maps are available for a long list of current and past bills.

7. Trendsmap

Twitter’s trending topics are a great way to find out the most discussed topics on the entire site, but Trendsmap lets anyone find the the most talked about topics from any area all over the world. Users can click on the mapped topics to view recent tweets on the subject from a particular area and a chart indicates the topics growth in popularity over time.

Also on 10,000 Words:

10 Mind-blowing maps (and 3 ways to create them)
5 Ways to take your map mashups to the next level
5 Ways to create a Google Map in minutes
Visual and interactive guides to the economic crisis
7 Innovative ways of visualizing the news

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