Hi I'm Andrew Douglas-Clifford, and until recently I was a Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS) student at the University of Canterbury. I am passionate about maps, cartography and GIS, and enjoy creating maps as a hobby. Find posts and updates on maps and cartography.
Recently I was working to update my Te Reo Maori Map of New Zealand with a new background. I learnt a couple of things while making it, so I thought it might be interesting to quickly share the process.
The map uses the wonderful NZ wide 10m cloud-free Sentinel imagery provided by LINZ under CC-BY-4.0. Unfortunately, while the imagery looks great on land, it doesn’t extend very far off the coastline as you can see below, which doesn’t make it so useful for a nationwide scale map. Therefore we need to do some work to smooth/fill out out the look of the ocean.
Clip the bathymetry raster using the coastline as a mask to remove areas of land. This allows the bathymetry to cover the ocean edges of the satellite imagery but not the land.
Create a custom continuous colour ramp for the bathymetry layer. I sampled a lighter blue and a dark blue colour from the sea in the imagery to approximate how water depth looks.
Create a subtle gradient along the coastline, to emulate the shallow water along the coastline. To do this, symbolize the coastline layer using an inverted shapeburst two colour fill, I sampled the turquoise colour from the imagery close to the shore and faded it out to transparent using a set distance. It’s worth experimenting with transparencies and distances to get the effect that you want – I used a 3 mm distance.
Since the Chatham Islands aren’t part of the Sentinel dataset, I used Landsat 8 imagery from the USGS instead and repeated the above steps.
Lastly, I added some OpenStreetMap highways to add some context.
This is the end result (before labels):
If you’re interested, the new basemap is available as an option for the Te Reo Maori print on the store.
The Muslim and wider communities of Christchurch and New Zealand were left reeling in the wake of the Mosque shootings that took place on March 15th, leaving 50 people dead. While much has already been said about the atrocities that took place in my city, the huge outpouring of love and support that’s been shown have been nothing short of inspiring since.
For me, maps are my way of getting to know a place better. If you’ve been following for a while, you might have noticed that a lot of my maps are of Christchurch. Despite having lived here nearly 15 years, each map that I’ve made has brought me closer to the place I call home. Likewise, maps are a way to communicate the connections that people have to a place – for me, what better means was there to contribute my small piece of support for Christchurch?
These decals are available in packs of two and are 30cm in size – your purchase also lets you show your support for Christchurch at the same time. Other sizes may also be available if there is interest.
Many thanks to HappyMoose for their support in helping to make these available!
Much of the year has passed since my last update, so I thought I’d catch you up on all that’s been happening here at The Map Kiwi!
The biggest change for me has been entering full time work as a Geospatial Analyst back in April. This was quite a different pace and type of work to my freelance stuff, but it’s been really rewarding working with others and learning new skills. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m still an ‘after hours’ cartographer which I don’t plan on giving up on any time soon – it does mean that I’ve started to think a lot more about how to use this time as effectively as possible however!
Website and Te Reo Map Interview
In addition to map projects, I also spent some time rebuilding the website and store and doing a full redesign in July. Despite a few early bumps, it seems to be performing well so far. Luckily, it managed to hold itself together when it received well over 5,000 hits in a single day after my radio interview with Wallace Chapman on the RNZ Sunday Program during Maori Language Week! There has been a lot of interested around my Te Reo Map and associated web map; it was on display at the GeoCart Cartography Conference map exhibition (a highly recommended conference by the way!) and a lot of interest was generated by the RNZ interview continues to keep me busy. Thanks to everybody who liked and shared the maps, and an even greater thanks to those who bought a copy! I hope they are useful.
For the second time (the last time was in 2016), I’ve been nominated as a finalist in the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards! Again, I’ve been nominated in the student category, but this time for my research thesis I completed during my Masters Degree in GIS last year, entitled ‘Gaining Insights into Passenger Satisfaction Using Crowdsourced Information’. The winners get announced in Wellington in two weeks time, but in the meantime, you can watch this short video which summarises my research (be warned – my video editing skills aren’t quite as exciting as my cartography ones!)
Student of the Year Finalist - Andrew Douglas Clifford - YouTube
This week marks the annual Māori Language Week (10-16th September 2018), so to get people interested in Te Reo I thought I’d revisit the maps I’ve made of the Māori place names of New Zealand/Aotearoa!
I first became interested in mapping Māori names last year, when I did some quick fire maps for the 7 Day Cartography Challenge. These first draft versions were done in 48 hours and left a lot of detail to be added and corrections made. There was plenty of interest around it though, so it was something I always intended to revisit and improve at a later date.
Earlier this year I spent some time doing some extensive research into correct spellings an macron usage, and turning it into a more useful map resource for learning more about our country’s Te Reo place names. It was a fascinating process that taught me a lot about the meanings and stories behind these names, as they often had a close connection to the geography of the place.
While the print map is a really useful resource, there was a lot of detail that couldn’t be shown at the national scale. The names of natural features such as mountain peaks, rivers and lakes couldn’t be seen, yet these are very important features in the landscape to Māori.
As a follow up project, I created an interactive version by collating an even more detailed database of place names at the local level; it also included many natural features, as well as feature like marae and the names of other countries. Check it out below or read more about it here (please don’t embed this elsewhere without permission, thanks):
These maps have previously made the rounds online, and were also on display during the recent Map Exhibition at the NZ Cartographic Society’s GeoCart Cartography Conference in Wellington last week. It’s been awesome to get the feedback on these, so keep it coming!
In the meantime, I hope that these maps can contribute to this year’s Māori Language Week and the support of Te Reo in general, so feel free to share!