Thursday, October 22, 2009

Canadian Economic Recovery Google Map

Canada's Economic Action Plan

The GoogleMapsDev team have used the Google Maps for Flash API to map over 7,000 projects funded by the Canadian Government as part of its $61 billion dollar economic stimulus package.

The map has filters, positioned at its right edge, that let you control which projects appear on the map. You can also click "Go Full Screen" to make the map bigger, or "Export CSV" to export the markers in view to an Excel spreadsheet.

The versatility of the Flash platform allows large sets of markers to be grouped into "clusters" and sized and coloured to reflect the number of markers contained within. Together the filters and the cluster-based visualization provide a simple analytic tool that let you explore "what-if" scenarios.

The Canadian Government also constructed a JavaScript-based Google Map of the projects, which we reviewed on Google Maps Mania a few months back. One issue with this map is that it's JavaScript based, which takes considerably longer (on IE6 and IE7, in particular) to process and display the 7,000 markers.

Also, each fixed-sized marker cluster provides no visual clue as to how many markers it represents. For example, it is much easier to see on the GoogleMapsDev map than on the government map, that almost half of the projects have been allocated to Southern Ontario, a small region (geographically speaking) relative to the size of the country.

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