Strictly Spatial #7

28 January 2016

Strictly Spatial 7


 Hope you’re all getting back into the swing of things after Christmas break. Here at Interpret we are full steam ahead and powering through work. In this edition of Strictly Spatial we give you a break from work and take a glance at how Ebola and chocolate are effecting the African Great Ape populations, how three words (or emojis) can be used to give you your location anywhere in the world and look at the global distribution of Submarine Cables.

How do Ebola and Chocolate work together to effect the African Great Ape population? Well, they take a two prong approach. Since the 1990’s one third of the African Great Ape population has been killed by Ebola and every year, we (humans) cut down their native habitat. This cleared land is making way for agriculture to produce cocoa (chocolate), coffee and palm oil. Have a look at this Esri story map by the African Wildlife Foundation. It’s a great example of how story maps can be used to convey information.

Do you know where ‘Youth.Paused.Vote’ is? How about ‘Plants.Trap.Spins’? Well, these three word combinations can be used to find Interprets’ Office, and The ChristChurch Cathedral – much easier to remember than 43° 32' 29.4504'' S 172° 38' 17.8152'' E and 43° 31' 51.8160'' S 172° 38' 12.3648'' E! These are generated by the What3Words which divides the world into 3m x 3m squares; 57 trillion of them. Each of these squares are identified by a combination of three unique words. There are other sites where you can use emojis or pictures to state your location. Whoever thought emojis could be useful?

Recently, you might have heard about plans for a new submarine communications cable to connect New Zealand to Australia. With that in mind have a look at the history of the ‘Underwater Internet’ – not very spatial, but interesting none the less. However, to bring us back to our cartographic routes, Telegeography has created a medieval and renaissance inspired map of submarine cables. Even Esri has jumped on the bandwagon and have produced an interactive 3D map show casing (what appears to be) their still-to-be-released 3D JavaScript API.

The development of high capacity, high speed motorway and highway networks help to support the movement of people and goods in and out of cities. Often, the construction of these roads require people to leave their homes and cause communities to be split apart. Using Areal imagery, Tim Kovach looks at how the construction of freeways have torn apart Cleveland’s (USA) neighbourhoods. Check it out here.

Interpret are Esri partners and make use of their wide variety of tools and software. As we all know, there are plenty of other options out there. This article maps out (excuse the pun) the ‘GIS Software Landscape’ and takes a look at the different software options available. I’ve only ever heard of a handful of these, most of which are in the top 15!

That’s it for this edition of Strictly Spatial. If you have any cool GIS, Geography or Spatial stories you want to share with us, find us on Twitter and Facebook, or email us at