One of the things that makes a great story is great timing. When we received a request to map out all of the active NASCAR tracks, I’ll admit that I was caught a little off-guard! While I am not well-versed in the sport, I took the request as a challenge to educate myself on the world of professional auto racing.
As luck would have it, right around the time I tackled this map, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was entering its final weekend. With Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch all in the running for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, race fans from all over the world were eagerly anticipating the season’s conclusion.
One of the ways that we bring content into the Orbitist platform is through Twitter. Embedding tweets into our maps is a great way to leverage the content that makes its way online every day. In just a few short hours I was able to collect and map compelling pictures, videos and gifs, all from tweets from both official sources, such as Dover International Speedway's official account and fans alike.
Another important aspect of Orbitist maps is the icons we use for the points. In this case, we were able to utilize checkered flag icons from Flaticon as well as custom CSS to bring the overall aesthetic in line with the subject matter. Design is a critical part of every map and from the moment you load the map, to the moment you leave, our objective is to make the user feel immersed in the subject matter.
One final advantage of learning about the tracks on a map is that you can zoom in as close as you want to get a better sense of both what the track and the surrounding area look like. Below is Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee!
As Kyle Busch raced to victory, I raced to fulfill a request and along the way opened up a whole new world to myself. Now when the season kicks off on February 21st of 2016, I'll know a little bit more about NASCAR. In the end, we believe this is what Orbitist is about– exploration. We invite you to come explore with us!
You can make beautiful maps like this using Orbitist. Learn how how to make a map in about 8 minutes.