Testimonials

"Every now and again a web based service comes along that takes our breath away, Bjørn Sandvik's Thematic Mapping Engine is one of those services. (…) His Thematic Mapping Engine enables you to visualise global statistics on Google Earth in a way that only a few years ago would have been a showstopper using high end tools such as ESRI's ArcGlobe."

Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith, Digital Urban


"Periodically during the last three years since Google Earth was released, some talented developer gets the Google Earth bug and develops a wave of cool stuff. Right now, the guy with the most momentum is Bjørn Sandvik at the United Nations Association (UNA) of Norway. He's written a flood of blog posts in the last few weeks at his Thematic Mapping Blog with really innovative visualizations and applications of GIS technology for Google Earth."

Frank Taylor – Google Earth Blog


"I always considered Google Earth to be a bit of a dead fish as far as cartographic elements go, but Bjørn’s work shows that some truly amazing representations are possible with a bit of work. If you haven’t checked this blog out, give it a read."

Jason Birch – Random Notes


"This is an excellent dissertation, where the candidate has developed a novel idea which was entirely their own into a publishable piece of work. The work is significant, timely and well executed. The research paper draws out the key research questions and addresses a range of solutions to implementing thematic maps within Google Earth. The technical report is entirely complementary and explain the technical underpinnings of the work. The appendices clearly illustrate the considerable amount of programming effort undertaken. Setting up a blog was an excellent idea. It not only shows the development of the work very clearly, but has proved an ideal forum to get feedback on the work. This is the best dissertation i have read this year."

Examiner's comments, University of Edinburgh


"This was a technically excellent piece. It was imaginative in its use, its application and the use of a blog. It highlighted the challanges of conveying quantitative summaries at the global scale. It was sound theoretically (revealing a thorough understanding of many of the principles of cartography). I think it provided a very interesting insight into how google and world map viewers in general provide a basis for extending current visualisation methodologies."

Examiner's comments, University of Edinburgh


"On his excellent Thematic Mapping blog (now part of my blog roll), Bjorn Sandvik has been running a series on thematic mapping techniques in Google Earth. Examples have included choropleth maps, bar charts, prism charts, Collada objects, map legends, including examples of animated time series. If you’re into the techy part of this stuff, the series is well worth a look for the ideas you’ll get from it, and the downloadable example files. But for non-techy types, the prospect of learning how to do this might have been a bit intimidating. Heck, I find it intimidating, and I know at least a little about this stuff. But Bjorn has taken his examples to the next level, by creating an online tool that can convert datasets to thematic Google Earth maps on the fly, the Thematic Mapping Engine."

Leszek Pawlowicz, Free Geography Tools