Fifteen million people take Uber rides every day, and they generate a lot of data. advertisement advertisement In fact, two years ago Uber began building its own mapping tool to process all of it. Called Kepler.gl, the software maps location data and runs entirely in your web browser, processing up to a million data points to create beautiful map-based visualizations. Uber recently made Kepler.gl open source and available to the public, and now other companies–like Mapbox, Airbnb, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, and scooter company Limebike–are all using it to work with their own data. It’s no wonder: Typical data visualization mapping tools require a lot of know-how or long tutorials. But Kepler.gl’s interface is designed to be easy to use for anyone, even people without experience in cartography or data management. All you have to do is upload a CSV or GeoJSON file and it creates a map for you, no coding necessary. From there, you … [Read more...] about Anyone can use Uber’s new map-making tool
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You may not know the term “parallax scrolling,” but you’ve probably seen it in action. In the past couple years, parallax has become perhaps the most popular site design tool out there, embraced by commercial products and (largely thanks to “Snow Fall” from the New York Times) mainstream media alike. The effect occurs when various page elements move at different speeds, creating a sense of animation and a heightened interactive experience (examples below). It’s a step away from pragmatism and functionality toward novelty and visual appeal. advertisement advertisement Whether that step takes web design in the right or wrong direction has become a topic of considerable debate. The parallax style has excited web developers and inspired any number of hype lists. It’s also triggered a backlash among critics who feel its bells-and-whistles approach detracts from actual content. Pitchfork creative director Michael Renaud recently told the … [Read more...] about Snow Fail: Do Readers Really Prefer Parallax Web Design?
Asteroid 2005-YU55 whizzed past us on November 8 and is now zipping back into the depths of space. Measuring more than a thousand feet in diameter, it passed within 200,000 miles of Earth, a bit closer to us than the moon and just a hair’s breadth in astronomical terms. What if it had slammed into us? advertisement advertisement If you find this sort of potentially real-life horror story as morbidly fascinating as I do, then you’d probably enjoy using the virtual “Catastrophe Calculator” to explore it in dark detail. More formally known as the Earth Impact Effects Program, it’s a free web-based tool for estimating the havoc that would be wrought by a theoretical asteroid or comet impact. Hosted by Imperial College London and Purdue University, the Calculator asks you to enter information about key features such as speed, composition, and angle of attack, and then it tells you what would happen if the object struck within a given distance of you. … [Read more...] about Armageddon Time: What Happens When An Asteroid Slams Into Earth
Andrew Mason is the unlikely CEO of last year’s unlikeliest breakout business. The 30-year-old Midwestern music grad has transformed the bottom-feeding coupon trade into a billion-dollar force that even sexy Google lusted after. A savior for small businesses, Groupon is the most exciting thing to happen to retail since eBay. Mason himself is a person of uncommon candor. “I feel like a lot of companies invest a lot of energy and money in trying to figure out who their customer is and how to be just like that, and it never comes across as genuine,” Mason told Fast Company from Groupon’s offices in Chicago (as rumors of an IPO swirled). “The companies that I like to do business with are–even if you find them a bit strange–genuine and real.” Groupon’s culture is an unusual amalgam of Second City humor, traditional newsroom (a few hundred employees have done time at one or the other), and good old-fashioned salesmanship. In a … [Read more...] about 05_Groupon
Its name derives from the phrase “yet another indexer,” but the web-search firm Yandex is much more. One of the few search engines to fend off Google, Yandex holds a 65% share of Russian search. It ousted Google as Firefox’s default search engine in Russia and launched an English-language service last May, winning praise for its results’ neatness. (The complexity of Russian, with its Lego set of prefixes and roots, forces Yandex to create more nuanced algorithms.) It’s growing Google-style too, recently unveiling portrait search to find the face you seek in a photo, real-time traffic maps of Russian cities, and predictive search that “reads users’ minds,” says spokesman Alexander Amzin. Just a bit more evidence that Yandex is more than yet another indexer. advertisement advertisement advertisement … [Read more...] about 26_Yandex