SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) and Maps of the World

Lucas Jellema

I have some vague plans for presenting statistics using SVG and a World Map. I was thinking for example about the spread of the visitors of our Website across the countries and continents of the world. And also about a world map with time zones that displays the current time everywhere in the world, rather like those fancy wall decorations, where a bright area indicates Noon and a gaussian gradient fading to darkness indicates the shady, twilight and nightly areas of the world at any time (see for an example).

My starting point if ever anything will come from these plans has to be a world map in SVG (I do not intend to draw an entire world map in SVG myself). So today I took some time and started googling to see whether I could find any such world maps. Note however that for many applications of World Maps in SVG documents, it would suffice to use a World Map image (jpg, png, gif) as long as the coordinates of the countries and continents are roughly known so we can support interactivity (“which country was clicked on”) and geographical statistics (“where to position the object or value that represent a certain statistic for a country”).

Several options were listed by my best friend, Google: A rather straightforward SVG document with a somewhat crude but very useful SVG representation of the world. The website I found this on, , provides more interesting SVG examples. – Where Are We? interactive SVG world map. US Airport Wheather – A very detailed map of the United States; also contains other nice SVG objects such as a thermometer, a wind indicator, an air pressure gauge and a map-navigator. The home of SVG at Many links to SVG initiatives and tools. By the way: SVG Open 2005: The 4th annual conference on SVG will be held 15-19 August in Enschede, the Netherlands. and simple worldmaps with interactivity – when the mouse moves over a country, the name ofthe country is shown. Countries can be selected and deselected – and will change color upon (de)selection. This map seems to have extended the worldmap and taken it to a new level.

Relatively simple, straightforward map of the world. No interactivity, a single color, no country names However, the SVG source code contains <g> elements per continent and per country – that offers possibilities

SVG maps of The Netherland from the Dutch Agency for Statistics, Netherlands, seems only functioning properly in Internet Explorer

Map of Germany – Germany

Black and White, pretty big World Map

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