Flex/Flash/Actionscript, Maps

Not Your Mamma’s Maps

My most recent work at Universal Mind has been focused on developing data analysis tools for geospatial and temporal data. Basically that means making sweet Flex mapping apps. Our current project has been dubbed LaunchPAD, and you can read more on the Universal Mind website.

Analysis through space and time
The time element of a dataset is an important piece that we’re focusing on. In nearly all mapping applications I see on the web the time aspect is completely ignored. There are some exceptions to this (the Oakland Crimespotting site being a great example), but overall time gets the shaft. We’re trying to expose time as a powerful method to drill down into a dataset. About halfway through the video below I talk about what we’re doing with the timeline in LaunchPAD.

Data Analysis Framework
We’re building a framework to analyze data in space and time. We’re not building an application to analyze police data (although the tools we’re developing work really well to analyze police data). The demo video mostly focuses on the police scenario because that’s one that we’re most actively pursuing, but the idea is that LaunchPAD can apply to any dataset that has spatial and temporal aspects. Near the end of the video I show an example of pulling in current earthquake data from a GeoRSS feed and using the same toolset to analyze that data.

AS3 Mapping APIs
I’ve been working with a few of the AS3 mapping APIs, in my previous post about MapMyPix I mention working with the MapQuest API. I’ve also been working heavily with the ESRI API, and this is what we’ve used to create LaunchPAD.

Video Demonstration
I did a video demo walking through some of the features we’ve been working on. It’s kind of long, close to 6 minutes, so feel free to skim it and jump around if your ADD kicks in (I added some bookmarks to the video so you can jump to specific parts). And yes, I know I had the mic too close to my mouth, I was going for the sensual phone-sex operator voice, but I don’t think that turned out quite right.

Live Demo
You can play with a live demo version of the software. So if you’re too cool for school to watch explanatory videos, just pull up the demo app and start playing around. You’ll figure it out. Make sure to turn on the heatmap option 🙂