iPad Atlas

iPad got a new interactive atlas today! It’s the iStat@las provided by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office FSO. This Statistical Atlas of Switzerland gives an  overview of captivating regional issues covering a lot of themes. A user-friendly interactive interface lets discover spatial disparities and relationships, down to the level of Swiss municipalities. Available in German and French.

Whoever does not own an iPad here’s the Flash based online atlas on Statistic Switzerland’s website.

3 thoughts on “iPad Atlas”

  1. Admittedly I am biased, but I bought the app (0.79 Euros – why?) and tried it on a 1st gen iPad. Let me first say it’s a feat to pull this off for a national statistical agency, where – at least in more than one country that I am familiar with – IT usually doesn’t have the opportunity to develop for iOS or any other proprietary mobile platform.

    That said, I am wondering why this native app is slower and less responsive than similar web apps are that are using SVG or Canvas and work flawlessly on iPad and other tablets but from the same code.

    My main criticism however is that a thematic map where the key can only become visible as an overlay is not an optimal visualisation tool. Why not have a portrait option where the key would be displayed in the lower half of the screen? Also I am missing frequency counts and the ability to somehow adjust the classification. Agreed that the “Kanton” regional level is pretty tiny but a lot of data is available only at a lot less granular level.

    It is shameless self-promotion but I invite everybody to direct their iPad, Playbook, Honeycomb tablet, amazon Fire (SVG support not yet confirmed) or Windows 8 slate at the following website and play with the maps in landscape or portrait mode whatever suits your needs best http://vis.uell.net/wahlatlas/

    Worried about offline usage? The HTML5 manifest cache has you covered: Try the following (again on any html5 compliant browser)
    The latter already supports panning the map by touch on iOS.

  2. Many thanks Visuell, is the API you have employed freely downloadable? I’m interested in using it firstly in a blog to become more familiar with the technology but ultimately considering whether any licences would be required to exploit it commercially, subject to SVG licences and basemap requirements.

  3. I don’t have an API employed for the mentioned maps. They are individually handcrafted. Maps as pictures can by used under a creative commons license (print a map to see more details), but layout ideas and program code remains my own (all rights reserved).

    SVG is an open web standard defined by the w3c

    SVG Web is an Apache licensed JavaScript library to render SVG with the Flash plugin for legacy browsers (Internet Explorer 6,7,8)

    The underlying election maps are available from the statistical offices under various licenses. The election map for Germany is available as shape file under a liberal license at

    For some more information on tools used in SVG based mapping you might want to check out the followoing SVGopen 2011 paper of mine

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