• New York City taxi trips mapped

    June 23, 2014  |  Mapping

    NYC taxi data artifacts

    While we're on the topic of NYC taxi data, Eric Fischer for Mapbox mapped all 187 million trips. Each observation contains the start and end location of a trip, so blue dots represent the former and orange represent the latter. My favorite bit is on the data collection artifacts, such as the map above.

    The patterns at JFK and LaGuardia airports show interesting artifacts of the data collection process. Almost all of the trips there must have really begun or ended right at the terminals, but many of them are attributed to the roads leading to and from the airports, where the last good GPS fix must have occurred.

    See also the New York Times animated map from several years ago that shows taxi activity during days of the week.

  • Watch the U.S. population center shift west

    June 19, 2014  |  Mapping

    Shifting population

    According to the U.S. census, the mean center of the population shifted west every decade since 1790. They show the change in a simple animation.

    The mean center of population, traditionally referred to as simply the center of population, is provided for the 2010 Census and each census since 1790. In 2010, the mean center of population was located at 37°31'03" North latitude, 92°10'23" West longitude in Texas County, Missouri, 2.7 miles northeast of Plato, Missouri.

    The inclination might be to read this as people moving west, which is partially true, but don't forget immigration increasing the populations too.

  • OpenGeofiction, the creation of an imaginary and realistic world

    June 16, 2014  |  Mapping

    Opengeofiction

    Sharing the same collaborative principles as OpenStreetMap, a wiki-based map for the real world, OpenGeofiction is an experiment in mapping an imaginary world.

    Opengeofiction is a collaborative platform for the creation of fictional maps.

    Opengeofiction is based on the Openstreetmap software platform. This implies that all map editors and other tools suitable for Openstreetmap can be applied to Opengeofiction as well.

    The fictional world of Opengeofiction is thought to be in modern times. So it doesn't have orcs or elves, but rather power plants, motorways and housing projects. But also picturesque old towns, beautiful national parks and lonely beaches.

    As you zoom in to the map, you can see many details, from roads, bodies of water, to greenery, have already been added. Some areas look like densely inhabited cities connected by highway, whereas others are miles of forest and nature.

    Winburgh-Willhed-Wearhead

    Browse long enough and you forget you're looking at a fake world.

  • Mercator projection with pole shifted to where you live

    June 9, 2014  |  Mapping

    Extreme Mercator

    Drew Roos made a thing that lets you move the poles of the Mercator projection to anywhere in the world.

    As you probably know, map projections all have their pros and cons since there are challenges that come with transforming a globe onto a two-dimensional surface. The Mercator projection, one of the most well-known, distorts as you approach the poles. The scale approaches infinity actually, which is why we're used to seeing a Greenland that is bigger than Africa. (It's not.)

    Above shows the pole shifted to Washington, D.C. Trippy.

  • Using open data to find the perfect home

    June 4, 2014  |  Mapping

    Finding the perfect home

    Justin Palmer and his family have lived in a dense urban area of Portland, Oregon for the past seven years, but now they're in the market for somewhere more spacious. He narrowed his search down to two main criteria — walking distance to a grocery store and walking distance to a rail stop. The search began with open data.

    I defined walking distance as ~5 blocks, but ~10 blocks is still a pretty sane distance. I want to be close to a grocery store and close to a MAX or Streetcar stop. Unfortunately, none of the real estate applications I tried had a feature like this so I decided to create what I needed using open data that I had already been working with for some time now.

    Code snippets and explainers follow for how Palmer found his target zones, using a combination of the data, a database, and TileMill.

  • Evolution and history of London

    June 3, 2014  |  Mapping

    Using data from the National Heritage List for England, the London Evolution Animation shows the historical development of London. Mainly, it depicts roads and protected buildings, starting with the first road network built in 410 and into the present. The notes at the bottom provide a fine timeline quality rather than a hey-look-at-London-change video.

    [via kottke]

  • Gotham City map

    June 2, 2014  |  Mapping

    In 1998, artist Eliot R. Brown created a map of Gotham City for the Batman No Man's Land series. Brown describes the process of making the map, meant to look something like Manhattan with a lot more villains and a way for the federal government to blast the bridges and tunnels to the outside world.

    Gotham map

    [via Smithsonian]

  • Drought map shows extreme shortages

    May 19, 2014  |  Mapping

    Drought map

    From the U.S. National Drought Monitor.

    The entire state of California is in some level of drought, much of it extreme to exceptional. Snowpack is 50 percent of normal in many locations in the West, and Svoboda noted that a lot of snow has completely melted before it normally would.

    Drought has had a serious impact on fruit and vegetable agriculture in California, and news reports sounded the alarm for grains and livestock in the Plains and South Central West. At least 54 percent of the nation’s wheat crop is affected by some level of drought, as is 30 percent of corn, and 48 percent of cattle.

    Hey, Californians, if you could dial your sprinklers down a couple notches so that we can bathe this summer, that'd be great. Thanks.

  • NBA basketball fans by ZIP code

    May 13, 2014  |  Mapping

    NBA fan map from NYT

    After the popularity of The Upshot's baseball fandom map, it's no surprise the same group followed up with an NBA map of the same ilk. Same Facebook like data but for basketball. And as before, although the national map is fun, the regional breakdowns is the best part.

  • Name popularity by state, animated by year

    May 9, 2014  |  Mapping

    Using baby name data from the Social Security Administration, Brian Rowe made this straightforward interactive that lets you search a name to see how its regional popularity changed over over time.

    Name by state

  • Your mobility at various times during the day

    May 2, 2014  |  Mapping

    Isoscope

    Isoscope, a class project by Flavio Gortana, Sebastian Kaim and Martin von Lupin, is an interactive that lets you explore mobility around the world.

    We drive to the closest supermarket, take the bike to the gym or walk to the cafe next door for a nice chat among friends. Getting around — thus mobility — is an essential part of our being. We were especially intrigued by those situations when our mobility is compromised such as in traffic jams or during tough driving conditions. How do those restrictions impact our journeys through the city and who is affected most? Obviously, a car can hardly bypass a traffic jam, whereas a bike is more flexible to continue its journey. Let alone the pedestrian who can stroll wherever he wants to. Isoscope tries to answer the questions above by comparing different means of transport and their sensitivity for disturbances.

    Similar in flavor to the commute maps before it, Isoscope is a bit different in that it focuses on specific time frames, such as Fridays at 8am. Using data from the HERE API, a travel polygon is estimated for each hour of the day selected. Your initial result is an abstract blot overlaid on a map, but then use the menu to change days and highlight hours.

  • Detailed map of baseball fandom

    April 24, 2014  |  Mapping

    Baseball fandom in SoCal

    For the past couple of sports seasons, Facebook mapped the most liked team by county. They did it for football (NFL), the NCAA basketball tournament, and baseball (MLB). Although generalized, the maps provide a view of sports fandom and people clusters across the country, and plus you know, they're fun.

    The Upshot used the same like data, provided by Facebook, and mapped it at the ZIP code level. Then they took it a step further and looked closer at regional rivalries, such as Cubs and White Sox, Yankees and Red Sox, and Dodgers and Angels. Be sure to scroll down to Mets versus Phillies. They incorporated a tidbit of Josh Katz's dialect map.

    The Upshot is off to an impressive start. It's almost as if The New York Times people have been doing this for a while. [via @KevinQ]

  • Where people bike and run, worldwide

    April 24, 2014  |  Mapping

    Strava activity maps

    Remember those running maps I made with limited data from RunKeeper? Strava, which also provides an app to track your runs and bike rides, has a much more expansive version of popular paths around the world. Their dataset includes over 77 million rides and 19 million runs, summing to about 220 billion data points. Just pan and zoom to your area of interest, and there you go.

  • Music preference by region

    April 22, 2014  |  Mapping

    Music in America

    Movoto mapped music preference for various genres, across the United States.

    We calculated musical taste scores using data from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (via the Martin Prosperity Institute) and state level music preferences from Wikipedia. The scores include music genre preference survey data and genre performer concentrations by metro, weighted by that metro's influence on the music scene. We took the scores for each metro and used a spatial statistics method called nearest neighbors to create the heatmap.

  • Where nobody lives

    April 18, 2014  |  Mapping

    Where nobody lives

    We've seen the map of where everyone lives. Now here's the reverse of that by Nik Freeman: where nobody lives in the United States.

    A Block is the smallest area unit used by the U.S. Census Bureau for tabulating statistics. As of the 2010 census, the United States consists of 11,078,300 Census Blocks. Of them, 4,871,270 blocks totaling 4.61 million square kilometers were reported to have no population living inside them. Despite having a population of more than 310 million people, 47 percent of the USA remains unoccupied.

    See also Stephen Von Worley's map from a couple years ago, which shows blocks in the US with only one person per square mile.

  • High-detail maps with Disser

    April 10, 2014  |  Mapping

    Detailed building map

    Open data consultancy Conveyal released Disser, a command-line tool to disaggregate geographic data to show more details. For example, we've seen data represented with uniformly distributed dots to represent populations, which is fine for a zoomed out view. However, when you get in close, it can be useful to see distributions more accurately represented.

    If the goal of disaggregation is to make a reasonable guess at the data in its pre-aggregated form, we've done an okay job. There's an obvious flaw with this map, though. People aren't evenly distributed over a block — they're concentrated into residential buildings.

    So Disser combines datasets of different granularity, so that you can see spreads and concentrations that are closer to real life.

  • Independent coffee shops and community

    April 9, 2014  |  Mapping

    Independent coffee shops

    As part of the You Are Here project from the MIT Media Lab, an exploration of independent coffee shops in San Francisco:

    Independent coffee shops are positive markers of a living community. They function as social spaces, urban offices, and places to see the world go by. Communities are often formed by having spaces in which people can have casual interactions, and local and walkable coffee shops create those conditions, not only in the coffee shop themselves, but on the sidewalks around them. We use maps to know where these coffee shop communities exist and where, by placing new coffee shops, we can help form them.

    Each dot is a coffee shop, and the shaded spots around the dot represent the areas nearest each shop. It's an interesting, more granular contrast to coffee chain geography and provides a better sense of a city's layout.

    See also the same idea applied to Cambridge. I imagine there are more cities to come, as the data is gleaned from the Google Places and Google Distance Matrix APIs.

  • Regional macrobrews

    April 7, 2014  |  Mapping

    Beer tweeting

    FloatingSheep pointed their Twitter geography towards beer (and wine).

    From Sam Adams in New England to Yuengling in Pennsylvania to Grain Belt and Schlitz in the upper Midwest, these beers are quite clearly associated with particular places. Other beers, like Hudepohl and Goose Island are interesting in that they stretch out from their places of origin -- Cincinnati and Chicago, respectively -- to encompass a much broader region where there tend to be fewer regionally-specific competitors, at least historically. On the other hand, beers like Lone Star, Corona and Dos Equis tend to have significant overlap in their regional preferences, with all three having some level of dominance along the US-Mexico border region, but with major competition between these brands in both Arizona and Texas.

    This of course excludes the increased appreciation for craft beer, as there isn't enough data for significant microbrewery results.

  • Open access to 20,000 maps from NYPL

    April 3, 2014  |  Mapping

    Maps from NYPL

    The New York Public Library announced open access to 20,000 maps, making them free to download and use.

    The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library's Digital Collections page, and downloaded (!), through the Map Warper

    Begin your journey.

  • Planetary layer cake

    April 2, 2014  |  Mapping

    Planetary layer cake

    From Cakecrumbs, a product that helps you learn while you eat: planetary layer cakes. The graduate student slash baker hobbyist's sister asked if she could make one, and at first she thought it couldn't be done. But then she thought more about it.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about it. I don’t admit defeat. Ever. But especially not with cake. Nothing is impossible is pretty much my baking motto, so to say this cake was impossible left me feeling weird. There had to be a way. A way that didn't involve carving or crumbing the cake. I kept mulling it over until I had a breakthrough.

    See how it was done.

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