Launch HyperCities

Archive for May, 2011

Todd Presner delivers the keynote lecture at the Coalition for Networked Information (April 2011): “HyperCities; Using Social Media and GIS to Archive and Map Time-Layers in Berlin, Los Angeles, Rome, Tehran, and Cairo.”

If you have a map hosted on an ArcGIS Server, it’s possible to display that as part of a rich object in HyperCities. These maps will show up when a user views the rich object as part of the narrative. Here’s how:
1) Get the URL of the map’s MapServer service. This always ends in /MapServer. In the example below, this is You can find this by browsing the ArcGIS Server Services Directory:
A picture of a map service in the ArcGIS Server Services Directory
2) To add the map to HyperCities, create an object as normal. In the Add Media frame, click on the maps tab.
3) You will see a text box in the middle of the pane to enter the URL you just copied from the ArcGIS Server.
Type in or paste the URL of the map service here:
4) If you would like to use specific layers from the map service, add a slash (“/”) to the URL, then the layer numbers, each one separated by a comma. For example,,17.
5) Click on the “Plus” icon next to it. A map marked “WS Map” (for “webservice map”) will show up in the frame above it. If this was the correct URL, the map will then be overlaid on top of the HyperCities map. Loading the actual images of the map may take some time, up to 30 seconds. Please wait for the map image to be overlaid onto the map before moving onto the next step.
6) To remove the map or adjust its opacity, click on the arrow next to the map URL in the frame above the text box. This will show a box with controls for doing both of these things.
7) To add another map service, follow the same steps. You can delete the text in the URL bar once you’ve added the first map, but this is not necessary.
Please note: Maps entered this way are not added to HyperCities’ map database, but linked to the individual objects users add them to. This feature may be implemented later.

Three HyperCities Now Maps by Yoh Kawano

Japan Crisis Commons Data Layers Map created by HyperCities collaborator, Yoh Kawano.

HyperCities Now Crisis Map focused on Japan Earthquake (linking twitter and GIS) — needs Google Earth plugin.

HyperCities Sendai: Live streaming and archival map of tweets from Sendai since March 10, 2011

Visualization of 700,000 tweets from Japan, 450,000 from Libya, and 400,000 from Egypt (search parameters are based on keyword and displayed as data visualization over time). Choose twitter archive, keyword, and visualization type. Note: will take about 30 seconds to initially query DB and load visualization.

May 6-7, 2011: Links to Presner and Kowano Harvard presentation at Center for Geographic Analysis