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Insights & Trends 4 min read

World GIS Day: 5 maps and what they tell us about the world

An illustration of Europe from space at night.

Maps can help us understand and even change the world. To celebrate World GIS Day, we've compiled a few of the best examples from HERE.

Geographic information systems (GIS) create a positive impact on the world by helping us to analyze information and visualize it.

People can use maps to tell stories and make better decisions based on what they show us. Despite that, many are unaware of the power and pervasiveness of GIS.

To showcase what it can do, we have compiled these five maps, using HERE data along with other data sources in some cases, and explained some of what these visualizations reveal to us.

The map visualization above show the distribution of electric vehicles per charging point in each state, based on data from the HERE EV Charge Points API and the U.S. Department of Energy. The charging infrastructure data is pulled from December 31st of 2020, 2021 and 2022.


How many EVs per charging point in the United States?

The interactive map above shows all 52 U.S. states and Washington D.C. according to how many electric vehicles (EVs) there are per charge point.

According to the International Energy Agency, American EV sales could grow by 60% to 1.6 million this year. With anxieties about range still a significant obstacle to uptake, the map shows there is huge geographic variation in charger availability.

With a large federal funding package in place — the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) — it remains to be seen if coverage will improve enough to boost the share of EVs in the overall carpool in the next few years.

HERE Probe Data analysis around Chicago's Soldier Field Stadium this summer.


The Taylor Swift takeover

The Taylor Swift Eras tour this year did not only have an impact on her fans. Traffic congestion increased by around 300% in many regions, leaving motorists stuck in traffic delays. Getting home was far from swift for them.

However, not every town and city that hosted a show was snarled up. Delays around the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey actually decreased, thanks to planning ahead by the local authority who boosted public transport.

The video above shows the value of understanding traffic patterns to allow authorities to plan ahead.

Implicit speed limits that cannot be picked up by cameras are common in the EU.


Getting ready for ISA

Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) is mandatory in the European Union and some other countries including Norway on all new-model cars, vans, trucks and buses.

Sometimes the speed limit is clear to the driver or can be picked up by cameras. But 60% of speed limits are not shown in this way. They include road signs that do not show a numerical value – administrative areas, for example – but which are based on existing rules and regulations. Fresh map data is required.

Above, this map visualization is based on the data available in the HERE ISA Map and shows the number of monthly map updates in km by length of the road network across 27 European Union country members, Switzerland and Norway between August 2019 and March 2022. The darker the color, the more changes in the map the vehicle needs to register.

Keep on truckin'

Routing is complicated for even small vehicles, since the sheer number of possible routes, especially when there are numerous stops to include, can be so vast.

Tall trucks are restricted from some bridges and tunnels and drivers must stick to certain routes if they are carrying hazardous loads.

Use the map above to calculate the best route, allowing for tall trucks or hazardous loads, anywhere in the U.S.

Do you live in a 15-minute city?

The simple idea behind 15-minute cities is that you should be able to reach everything you need within a 15-minute walk or cycle.

Essential amenities include healthcare and work as well as leisure and shopping opportunities.

The picture in the U.S. however is far from uniform. If you live in the U.S., enter your zip code into our map above to find out if you can walk or cycle to access the services you need. There is also an option to see if you can drive there within 15 minutes.

Beth McLoughlin 2023

Beth McLoughlin

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