As megafires in the Southwest are becoming the new normal, NPR reports in a five-part series. An interactive map by Matt Stiles, Stephanie D'Otreppe and Brian Boyer provides a daily update on burning conditions across the country.
Our 2012 Election Heat Map colors each state according to the percentage of red and blue book purchases, based on shipping address, that have been made on Amazon.com during the past 30 days. We take the top-selling political books on Amazon.com and categorize them as "red," "blue," or neutral. We classify books as red or blue if they have a political leaning made evident in book promotion material and/or customer classification, such as tags. We compute percentages, updated daily, for each state and the US by comparing the 250 best-selling blue books during the time period against the 250 best-selling red books during the same time period, including new book launches.
The country is practically colored all red, so there's not a ton to glean from the map. Although I wonder what it'd look like at the county or city level. They should do that. I also wonder what other trends can come from Amazon sales data. They should do that, too.
James Cheshire, a geography lecturer at the University College London, mapped common surnames in London.
This map shows the 15 most frequent surnames in each Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) across Greater London. The colours represent the origin of the surname (not necessarily the person) derived from UCL's Onomap Classification tool. The surnames have also been scaled by their total frequency in each MSOA.
A slider lets you browse through the most common down to the 15th most common, revealing clusters of cultural majorities, down to minorities.
Renee DiResta got to wondering about state stereotypes, so she looked them up on Google and mapped them.
In the months before a US Presidential election, the quality of political discourse hits new lows. Blue State/Red State tropes dominate the news cycle as the media gins up outrage over perceived injustices in the culture wars. It’s all about our differences. So I started wondering, how do Americans really think about "those people" in other states? What are the most common stereotypes? For each of the fifty states and DC, I asked Google: "Why is [State] so ” and let it autocomplete. It seemed like an ideal question to get at popular assumptions, since “Why is [State] so X?" presupposes that X is true.
Roll over a state on the map, and the top four suggestions are listed. Hilarity ensues. "Why is California so... liberal, broke, anti-gun, and expensive?"
Using the same tech Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas created to show wind flow, the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory mapped water flow in the Great Lakes, based on forecasting simulations.
The "Latest" and "3hrs Previous" visualizations depict water motion corresponding to a snapshot of lake currents at the present time and three hours previous to the present time. Lake currents can change rapidly with changing wind conditions.
Surface currents tend to follow the wind direction more closely than currents at depth. Depth-averaged currents represent the average water motion from surface to bottom and tend to follow shoreline and bottom contours.
The default map is semi-live, but you can also see flows for previous months. For example, the patterns during February 2011 are kinda cool, with a lot of swirling and well-defined currents.
Geographers James Cheshire and Oliver O'Brien visualized life expectancy in London as a tube map.
Whilst the average life expectancy predictions show that today’s children are expected to live longer, the range is startling. For the stations mapped, it is over 20 years with those around Star Lane (on the DLR) predicted to live, on average, for 75.3 years in contrast to 96.38 years for those around Oxford Circus. The smaller disparities are no less striking. For example, between Lancaster Gate and Mile End (20 minutes on the Central line) life expectancy decreases by 12 years and crossing the Thames between Pimlico and Vauxhall sees life expectancy drop by 6 years. The stations serving the Olympic Park fair badly and contrast with the Olympic volleyball venue at Earl’s Court whose spectators will be passing through areas with far higher life expectancies and lower child poverty
The tube map metaphor is typically a stretch, in line with the periodic table of whatever, but this actually works. [via Guardian]
WNYC mapped all street stops that resulted in the recovery of a gun, based on data from the New York police department. On top of that, the green spots, they mapped areas where police search more frequently.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly argue the main purpose of stop-and-frisk is to get guns off the street. Out of more than 685,000 stops in 2011, about 770 guns were recovered. That means about one tenth of one percent of all stops result in the seizure of a gun.
But those guns are not showing up in the places where the police are devoting the most stop-and-frisk resources.
I'm sure a lot of people's initial reaction to this map went something like this: "Psh. The police don't have a clue what they're doing," which was one possibility the article suggested. The other was that the stops are working as a deterrent.
What's more likely: Police officers have managed to end up in almost every area where there are fewer guns (and missed where there are more guns), or people with guns avoid the areas where there are a lot officers? I'm gonna go with the police point of view on this one.
Rebecca Rosen for The Atlantic on why maps aren't the best interface all of the time:
Think of it this way. In the days before online trip planners and GPS, if you wanted to know how to get from point A to point B, you would look at a map and trace out a route. But these days few people would use a map that way (I still do just because I enjoy the process but I think I'm in the minority). Instead, they would plug in their request and an algorithm would spit out a route for them. The route would appear on the map, but the map is no longer the tool for finding that answer.
In other words, just because the data has latitude and longitude attached to it, which seems like everything these days, you don't need to automatically assume that you should throw it on a map.
Nicolas Rapp, for Fortune Magazine, mapped the underwater cables that make the global Internet possible.
If the internet is a global phenomenon, it's because there are fiber-optic cables underneath the ocean. Light goes in on one shore and comes out the other, making these tubes the fundamental conduit of information throughout the global village. To make the light travel enormous distances, thousands of volts of electricity are sent through the cable's copper sleeve to power repeaters, each the size and roughly the shape of a 600-pound bluefin tuna.
Jonathan Corum for the New York Times mapped cloud coverage from April 2011 to April 2012.
At any moment, about 60 percent of the earth is covered by clouds, which have a huge influence on the climate. An animated map showing a year of cloud cover suggests the outlines of continents because land and ocean features influence cloud patterns.
So if I'm understanding it right, the continent boundaries come straight from the cloud data, provided by NASA Earth Observations. No lines are drawn underneath, which is kinda awesome. [via @datapointed]
The geographers at Floatingsheep are at it again, this time comparing tweets that mention beer and those that mention church.
Given the cultural content of the "church" tweets, the clustering of relatively more "church" than "beer" content in the southeast relative to the north-east suggests that this could be a good way to identify the contours of regional difference. In order to quantify these splits, we ran a Moran's I test for spatial auto-correlation which proved to be highly significant as well. Without going into too much detail, this test shows which counties with high numbers of church tweets are surrounded by counties with similar patterns (marked in red) and which counties with many beer tweets are surrounded by like-tweeting counties (marked in blue). Intriguingly there is a clear regional (largely north-south split) in tweeting topics which highlights the enduring nature of local cultural practices even when using the latest technologies for communication.
I wonder if searches for "ate too much" or "out for a run" would match up with obesity trends. Hopefully their Data on Local Life and You (DOLLY) project comes to fruition.
While we're on the subject of stars, developer Riley Davis modeled the ones in the zodiac constellations and color-coded them by temperature. He also labeled the constellations and included the celestial equator (the projection of Earth's equator into space), ecliptic (path of the sun), and the sun, which moves in real-time. The interactive starts with a view from space, where the little blue dot is Earth, and when you release the camera, you see the stars from our point of view.
I was disoriented at first with the navigation but got used to it quickly. Movement of the mouse left to right zooms in and out, and movement top to bottom rotates the perspective. Feels a lot like flying through space. Well how I imagine it to be, at least.
When we look up at the night sky to gaze at the stars, we see small, glowing dots that we perceive almost as if they were drawn on a flat surface. However, all these dots vary in distance from us. View of the Sky by visualization developer Santiago Ortiz shows this third dimension of depth.
The constellations are placed on a sphere that you can zoom and rotate. This is an interesting view in itself, but select the perspective for absolute distance and magnitude, and you'll see something completely different. It's no longer a network that resembles a globe, and instead it morphs to a cloud of stars and randomness. Also see Ortiz's first view of the sky that includes stars not part of major constellations.
When you look for a place to live, there are outside factors to consider other than price and square footage. You want to know what the area is like. How's the crime? Are the schools nearby good or bad? Housing search site Trulia provides this information with Trulia Local. Using data from OpenStreetMaps and General Transit Feed Specification feeds, it just got better with their most recent addition that maps commute times.
Commuting sucks. It’s stressful, and no amount of Sirius radio can make a traffic jam fun. Because of this, we know that commuting is an important consideration when choosing where to live, whether you’re in Los Angeles or Boston. So, launching today is Trulia’s first iteration of the Commute Map, a way to visualize driving and public transit times. With this new product, we aim to give Trulia users a better understanding of commute times to work or anywhere important, to help them find the best place to live.
Put in your location, and the heatmap indicates areas you can get to in less than thirty minutes. If you want to see places farther away, you can use the slider to adjust the time, up to an hour away.
I found myself just punching in addresses for fun and emphatically dragging the slider back and forth. The map is responsive, and most importantly informative, especially if you're planning a move.
Google, in collaboration with Vizzuality, are trying to catalog endangered languages before they are gone forever in the Endangered Languages Project.
Humanity today is facing a massive extinction: languages are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. And when that happens, a unique vision of the world is lost. With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage; the understanding of how humans relate to the world around us; scientific, medical and botanical knowledge; and most importantly, we lose the expression of communities’ humor, love and life. In short, we lose the testimony of centuries of life.
A map on the homepage gets the most attention. Each small dot represents a language, and they are color-coded by endangerment risk. Click on one to get more details about the language or add information yourself to improve the records. Zoom out and the counts aggregate for an overview.
Kalev H. Leetaru animated world sentiment over time, based on Wikipedia entries.
See the positive or negative sentiments unfold through Wikipedia through space and time. Each location is plotted against the date referenced and cross referenced when mentioned with other locations. The sentiment of the reference is expressed from red to green to reflect negative to positive.
Sentiment stays green for the most part, with the exception of major wars, and I'm not so sure that a world map is a good way to show the relationships. For example, when the animation hits 2000, the map is basically a green blob. It's a good start though and touches on maybe the next step of the coverage maps we've seen lately.
Online maps have made it easy to find directions from point A to point B, but when you're going on a long road trip, you want to know more about where you're going. What will the weather be like? What is there to do at each stopped? Design and technology studio Stamen made a travel planner in work for the Weather Channel that tells you. Put in your origin and destination and when you will leave, and you get a map with weather icons along the way.
So let's say you're driving from New York to San Francisco, and you're trying to decide whether to go straight across or loop up or down a bit; this will give you a sense for whether it's going to be rainy or sunny when you plan to be in the middle of Nebraska. You can drag around the rainy bits if you like, and also along the way maybe you'd like to stop for a bite to eat, so we're hitting the Yelp API to give you a sense of where to go and what to see.
Give it a try here. It's kind of awesome.
Remember geographer Kirk Goldsberry's analysis of shot efficiency on the basketball court? Jeremy White, Joe Ward, and Matthew Ericson give it the New York Times treatment in this interactive version for this season's finals teams, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. Like Goldsberry's maps, the shooting area of the basketball court is treated as the region of interest where bin size represents shot frequency and color represents efficiency. Roll over the regions to see the exact numbers.