Strictly Spatial #33

3 July 2017


Time to take a break and check out Strictly Spatial 33! In this issue, we go on a global music tour thanks to Spotify, we look at how 19th century cartography is being used to discover what happened to the famous pink and white terraces, and we observe the increasing occurrence of deadly heatwaves. Lastly, we look at the creative way that national brewery counts have been mapped. Enjoy!

In an increasingly connected world, it is easy for people to lose the sense of culture that helps to define them and where they come from. Spotify has taken the opportunity to exploit global differences in music taste by displaying them spatially in this web map. Users can simply click on a location and discover the generic playlists of what is popular, emerging, distinctive and the most viral at the time in that area. Now you can effectively go on a global music tour without leaving the comfort of your own home!


131 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption at Mt Tarawera (near Rotorua) resulted in the destruction of one of New Zealand’s most famous natural treasures. The pink and white terraces (a large cascade of silica sinter rock) were often regarded as the eighth wonder of the world, only to be buried by substantial amounts of volcanic rock and submerged in the neighboring lake. Previous studies into the current location of the pink and white terraces have suggested that the terraces were probably destroyed in the eruption. However recently, a team of scientists have used the 1859 cartographic notes of Ferdinand von Hochstetter to come up with a new probable location of the terraces by locating cartographic bearings that would have existed in the 19th century. You can read more about this great application of using historic cartography here.

It is a commonly known fact that climate change is having a detrimental effect on the number of severe weather events being recorded each year (for most people at least anyway). This interactive web map allows users to view the number of ‘deadly heat days’ both recorded and expected between the years 1950 and 2100. The ‘heat’ map shows a consistent increase in the number of heatwaves experienced, accompanied by points that represent documented heat events for each year. Users can simply click on their location to get a break down of the relationship between temperature and humidity and the risk that the combination pose to health for the specific year that the map is currently showing.

Ever wondered which countries make the most beer? This awesome cartogram has the answer! The map authors use bottle caps to represent the number of breweries in a country, as well as grouping them into their global regions to create an easy comparison. Unsurprisingly, the USA has the most breweries with just over 7000, with Germany and the UK taking out second and third place. New Zealand has 117 breweries, representing a substantial chunk of the Asia and Oceania region considering our size (per capita we have even more than the USA!).

That’s all for this fortnight’s Strictly Spatial, make sure you keep in touch through Facebook, @InterpretGS, LinkedIn or email!