Google Earth Thematic Mapping Engine

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.

Bjorn is a project manager at United Nations Association (UNA) of Norway who is currently on study leave to undertaking a master’s in Geography Information Science (GIS) at University of Edinburgh. His Thematic Mapping Engine enables you to visualise global statistics on Google Earth in a way that only a few years ago would of been a showstopper using high end tools such as ESRI’s ArcGlobe.

Its is quick easy with a colour scale that fits the mapping well, our movie below illustrates Global Population in 2005.

It is simple to use – go the the main page of the Thematic Engine and select a required indicator – we picked Population. You can then choose your technique of mapping – we chose Prism – and date etc. Its self explanatory with a KML provided to open in Google Earth.

For anyone interesting in mapping the Thematic Mapping Engine is well worth a look.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  1. Rich Treves - July 1, 2008

    The GE Thematic Engine is powerful but has caused a discussion about the value of 3D mapping, for a summary see:


  2. Søren Johannessen - July 1, 2008

    Yes this is a cool tool – and somewhere at Bjørn’s blog he also has promised in near future to release the tool as open source.

    So for example you can for a local country and if you have the municipalities(zip codes etc) borders then you can import data to compare each municipalities etc. Looking forward to see Bjørn’s releasing it.

    BTW I have also done a danish demo with TME, which runs in the Google Earth API
    (sory only Windows at the moment). This shows (Life expectancy at birth 2005) and I have been using 4 different ways to show the data —
    Click/unclick the “checkbox”es below map to change view

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