• Real-time media consumption

    October 7, 2013  |  Mapping

    Bitly media map

    Last year, URL shortening service bitly and Forbes made a map that showed popular news sources by state. However, the map was based on a static month of data, so what it showed then doesn't necessarily apply to now. Bitly took it a step further this year and shows media consumption in real-time.

    They also categorized media sources into newspapers, tv and radio, magazines, and online only for a more detailed view. And to top it off, you can click on states to see a list of top sources, and you can see links driving traffic to the listed sites.

    One key thing to keep in mind as you read the maps: They show disproportionality rather than raw counts. So when you see that Texas is a TMZ fiend, that doesn't mean they click more on the celebrity news site more than on Huffington Post. Rather, it means the relative volume of TMZ-clicking from Texas versus other states is higher versus the relative volume of Huffington Post-clicking.

  • Most visited site by country

    October 3, 2013  |  Mapping

    Top site by country

    Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata for Information Geographies mapped the most visited site based on Alexa data. Countries are sized by Internet population. There aren't many surprises with Facebook and Google in the Americas and and Europe, but it gets more interesting when you look elsewhere.

    The situation is more complex in Asia, as local competitors have been able to resist the two large American empires. Baidu is well known as the most used search engine in China, which is currently home to the world’s largest Internet population at over half a billion users. At the same time, we see a puzzling fact that Baidu is also listed as the most visited website in South Korea (ahead of the popular South Korean search engine, Naver). We speculate that the raw data that we are using here are skewed. However, we may also be seeing the Baidu empire in the process of expanding beyond its traditional home territory.

    The remaining territories that have escaped being subsumed into the two big empires include Yahoo! Japan in Japan (in join venture with SoftBank) and Yahoo! in Taiwan (after the acquisition of Wretch). The Al-Watan Voice newspaper is the most visited website in the Palestinian Territories, the e-mail service Mail.ru is the most visited in Kazakhstan, the social network VK the most visited in Belarus, and the search engine Yandex the most visited in Russia.

  • Greco-Roman mapmaking

    October 1, 2013  |  Mapping

    Peutinger map

    Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity opens at Institute for the Study of the Ancient World of NYU, this Friday. The exhibit serves as an appreciation of maps and more importantly, the history behind them and what they represent of their time.

    Our modern knowledge of ancient cartography relies almost exclusively on written sources. Despite this paucity of ancient artifacts, it is clear that Greeks and Romans applied topographical studies to the mapping of land and sea routes, to the implementation of an accurate system of recording public and private lands, and to promote specific political agendas. In all these instances, the resulting representations of places presented the viewer with a distorted and schematized version of geographic and topographic elements, transforming those regions both on a conceptual and on a physical level.

    [via The New York Times]

  • Cities pulse via Foursquare check-ins

    September 30, 2013  |  Mapping

    Foursquare check-ins can be self-encapsulated and personal to the individual, where each dot represents a specific place in time. Each point represents a stop at a restaurant, store, or place of business. However, look at check-ins from lots of people and movement appears, which is the premise of Foursquare's latest videos.

    Because it's Foursquare, there's an added dimension of location categories, so color codes show people go to work, grab lunch, shop, and get after-work drinks.

    The above shows the pulse of Tokyo. See also: Chicago, London, Istanbul, San Francisco, and New York. [via Fast Company]

  • Great Britain recreated in Minecraft

    September 27, 2013  |  Mapping

    Minecrafting with OS OpenData

    The Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency for Great Britain, mapped 220,000 square kilometers of the mainland with 22 billion blocks in Minecraft.

    Each blocks represents a ground area of 50 square metres. The raw height data is stored in metres and must be scaled down to fit within the 256 block height limit in Minecraft. A maximum height of 2 500 metres was chosen, which means Ben Nevis, appears just over 128 blocks high. Although this exaggerates the real-world height, it preserves low-lying coastal features such as Bournemouth's cliffs, adding interest to the landscape.

    Just download the free archive, load it in Minecraft, and explore. [via NextWeb]

  • Searching for other Earths

    September 26, 2013  |  Mapping

    Searching for Earths

    In a step-by-step narrative, produced by Adam Becker, MacGregor Campbell and Peter Aldhous for New Scientist, is an exploration of possible Earths light years away. Possible planets are marked based on the amount of light they block from their parent star, and then those are filtered based on size and whether or not orbits are in a habitable zone, which leaves possible Earths.

    The Kepler telescope did this for a relatively small spot in the sky for four years and found a handful of possible Earths. When you extrapolate, there are many more. [Thanks, Peter]

  • OpenStreetMap, the work of individuals visualized

    September 19, 2013  |  Mapping

    OpenStreetMap contributors

    In the continued series of meta-data-driven maps, OpenStreetMap shows the work of individuals across the online community.

    OpenStreetMap is created every day by thousands of users logging in and improving the map. Here is a visualization of this amazing social fabric of individuals working together. We generated a color for each road segment from the user ID of the mapper who last edited it to show how many individual contributions large and small add up to a collaborative map of the world. Take a look at how many people have been mapping near you.

    Areas that resemble a Pollock painting represent many contributors in a single area, whereas more solid colors represent uploaded databases and more major contributors.

    Be sure to see the full-sized interactive version.

  • Sasquatch sightings

    September 17, 2013  |  Mapping

    Sasquatch sightings

    Josh Stevens, a PhD candidate at Penn State, mapped 92 years of sasquatch sightings, based on data from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. Before you furiously type that the map is just population density, Stevens addresses that.

    Right away you can see that sightings are not evenly distributed. At first glance, it looks a lot like a map of population distribution. After all, you would expect sightings to be the most frequent in areas where there are a lot of people. But a bivariate view of the data shows a very different story. There are distinct regions where sightings are incredibly common, despite a very sparse population. On the other hand, in some of the most densely populated areas sasquatch sightings are exceedingly rare.

    The bivariate view he mentions is the county map on the left. Bright purple is high sasquatch sightings and low population density, and light green is high population density and relatively low sassquatch sightings. So it's not all about population. More likely, it's the vegetation level of the terrain, because as we all know, sasquatches prefer dense bushes and trees with grainy overtones.

  • Game map from Grand Theft Auto 5

    September 12, 2013  |  Mapping

    Los-Santos

    With just five days left until Grand Theft Auto 5 is out, a map of the game's landscape was leaked, whatever that means these days. It's almost as detailed as Mario Brothers.

  • Where NFL quarterbacks throw

    September 10, 2013  |  Mapping

    Passing the ball

    Kirk Goldsberry, known for his basketball analysis and shot charts, has applied his talents to football passes relative to the line of scrimmage. (Football, a.k.a the sport that I might as well watch until basketball starts again.)

    More than 68 percent of the league’s passes are short throws that target receivers either behind the line of scrimmage or within 10 yards of it. Some may find it surprising that many of the league’s passes target players behind the line of scrimmage. But screen passes and checkdowns are relatively common. Regardless, the most common throws by far are those short positive-yardage attempts.

    I sense player-by-player pass maps in the works.

  • Age of city buildings

    September 4, 2013  |  Mapping

    Brooklyn age

    When we think about the age of cities, it's common to think of when it was founded or established. However, the growth of a city is often more organic, as buildings and homes spring up at different times and different areas. So when you map buildings by when they were built, you get a sense of that growth process. Thomas Rhiel did this for Brooklyn.
    Continue Reading

  • Playgrounds for everyone

    August 29, 2013  |  Mapping

    Playgrounds for everyone

    NPR digs into accessible playgrounds, because everyone should get to play.

    Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest?

    It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships.

    But for kids whose disabilities keep them from using playgrounds, those opportunities can be lost.

    New federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act are changing the landscape for public playgrounds, requiring them to include equipment, materials and designs that provide children with disabilities the same play opportunities as typical children.

    Be sure to look at the app, which serves as both a way to find the nearest playground near you and as a way for you to help build a reference for parents. They've found over 1,200 playgrounds for kids to play at so far.

  • Where non-English language is spoken in the US

    August 20, 2013  |  Mapping

    Common language

    Dan Keating and Darla Cameron for the Washington Post mapped commonly used languages in the US household.

    More than a quarter of counties in the United States have at least one in 10 households where English is not the language spoken at home. Spanish is, by far, the most common language other than English spoken in the home, especially on the West Coast, in the Southwest, the Eastern urban corridor and other big cities. Native American languages are also common in the West, as is French around New Orleans and in some counties in the Northeast. German is a common language in some Midwestern and Western areas.

    Be sure to pay attention to the legend in this one. I bet a lot of people read this map as the most commonly spoken languages by county and thought Spanish is about to become the national language.

  • Map shows illegal activity in San Francisco Chinatown, from 1885

    August 19, 2013  |  Mapping

    Chinatown

    From the David Rumsey map collection, the detailed map of San Francisco Chinatown shows areas of known illicit activity.

    In 1885, at the height of the anti-Chinese hysteria in California, the official Report of the Special Committee of the Board of Supervisors was issued, reporting on the "Condition of the Chinese Quarter and the Chinese in San Francisco." This inflammatory report included the rare folding color map of Chinatown, but in the usual "small-scale" version (approx. 8½x19½ inches). This map was also issued in the San Francisco Municipal Report of 1884-85, and in Farwell's The Chinese at Home and Abroad (see our 5807.000).

    The faded red color indicates gambling houses, green for Chinese prostitution, yellow for opium resorts, and blue for white prostitution. [via Mapping the Nation]

  • Racial dot map

    August 12, 2013  |  Mapping

    Racial dot map

    Dustin Cable, a demographer at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, added another dimension to Brandon Martin-Anderson population map. The racial dot map by Cable draws a dot for each person in the United States based on the 2010 census and colors by ethnicity.

    This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version, each dot is color-coded by race.

    It's like a dottier version of the maps by The New York Times back in 2010. Or the originals by Bill Rankin who drew a dot for every 25 people.

    Keep in mind this is all based on freely available data from the National Historical Geographic Information System. They have data that goes back to 1790.

  • Pangea with political boundaries

    August 6, 2013  |  Mapping

    pangea_politik

    What would Pangea look like if today's political boundaries were drawn on it? Like this. [via]

  • BreweryMap plans your next beer road trip

    August 1, 2013  |  Mapping

    Brewery road trip

    BreweryMap, a Google Maps mashup and mobile app, provides two main functions. The first is that it tells you where the nearest brewery is so that you'll never go thirsty again. The second and far more important function is that you can punch in two addresses, and BreweryMap tells you all the breweries that are on the way from point A to point B.

    Let your fantasy become a reality. Just make sure to spread out your trips.

  • Breathing Earth

    August 1, 2013  |  Mapping

    BreathingEarthJohn Nelson of IDV Solutions strung together satellite imagery for dramatic animated GIFs.

    Having spent much of my life living near the center of that mitten-shaped peninsula in North America, I have had a consistent seasonal metronome through which I track the years of my life. When I stitch together what can be an impersonal snapshot of an entire planet, all of the sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat. I can track one location throughout a year to compare the annual push and pull of snow and plant life there, while in my periphery I see the oscillating wave of life advancing and retreating, advancing and retreating. And I'm reassured by it.

  • Lessons learned from mapping millions of dots

    July 25, 2013  |  Mapping

    Mapping millions of dots

    Eric Fischer, known around these parts for his dot maps, describes the lessons he learned (along with practical tips) from mapping millions of tweets to be visible on many devices. The views above show what you get when you vary dot size when you zoom in to a dot-filled map.

    The first thing that becomes clear when you start drawing the same dots at different scales is that it doesn't look right if you just scale the dots proportionately as you scale the area. Each time you zoom in on a web map, only a quarter of the area that was visible before is still visible, but if you match that and draw the dots four times as big as you did at the previous zoom level, the image is very crowded and fuzzy by the time you get zoomed in all the way. The Gnip maps instead double the area of the dots for each level you zoom in. Here's what it looks like to zoom in on Times Square with dots that quadruple, double, or don't change size at all with each zoom level.

  • Soccer assists mapped

    July 24, 2013  |  Mapping

    Assists-source

    Using Opta data for assists in the Premier League, Kickdex made this straightforward chart to look at where assists typically come from on the field.

    It is clear that to rack up the assists, a direct style isn’t the way to go. Only 14% of all assists come from long balls, and 29% from crosses (many of which are also classified as long balls). Over two thirds of all assists are short, precision passes made from just in front of the box and wide within the box. - See more at: http://blog.kickdex.com/post/56157934804/the-perfect-assist#sthash.lwE8wHgc.dpuf

    As you might expect, most of the passes are aimed towards the goal. [via The Daily Viz]

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.