• Coaches are highest paid public employees

    May 17, 2013  |  Mapping

    Coaches map

    Deadspin made a straightforward map that shows the highest paid public employee in each state.

    Based on data drawn from media reports and state salary databases, the ranks of the highest-paid active public employees include 27 football coaches, 13 basketball coaches, one hockey coach, and 10 dorks who aren't even in charge of a team.

  • Map of live Wikipedia changes

    May 14, 2013  |  Mapping

    Wikipedia change map

    On Wikipedia, there are constant edits by people around the world. You can poke your head in on the live recent edits via the IRC feed from Wikimedia. Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi are scraping the anonymous edits, which include IP addresses (which can be easily mapped to location), and naturally, you can see them pop up on a map.

  • Geography of hate against gays, races, and the disabled

    May 13, 2013  |  Mapping

    Homophobic tweets

    In a follow-up to their map of racist tweets towards Barack Obama, the folks at Floating Sheep took a more rigorous route to get around the challenges of sentiment analysis. Over 150,000 geotagged tweets against races, sexuality, and disabled were manually classified and mapped.

    All together, the students determined over 150,000 geotagged tweets with a hateful slur to be negative. Hateful tweets were aggregated to the county level and then normalized by the total number of tweets in each county. This then shows a comparison of places with disproportionately high amounts of a particular hate word relative to all tweeting activity. For example, Orange County, California has the highest absolute number of tweets mentioning many of the slurs, but because of its significant overall Twitter activity, such hateful tweets are less prominent and therefore do not appear as prominently on our map. So when viewing the map at a broad scale, it’s best not to be covered with the blue smog of hate, as even the lower end of the scale includes the presence of hateful tweeting activity.

    Hard to believe this stuff is still around. It looks like I might want to stay clear of some parts of Virginia. (The aggregation at the national level seems a bit aggressive. When you zoom in on the map, the polarity between the east and west doesn't seem so strong.)

    Update: Be sure to read the FAQ before making snap judgements.

  • Cicada insects out to play after 17 years

    May 10, 2013  |  Mapping

    Cicada

    This is my first time hearing about this, probably because it only happens every 17 years. After 17 years of development in the ground (getting nourishment from tree roots), the Cicada insects are starting to swarm on the east coast. Hundreds of millions of them mate, make a lot of noise, and then die. Adam Becker and Peter Aldhous for New Scientist mapped data maintained by John Cooley and Chris Simon from the University of Connecticut to show the cycles of the Cicada.

    There are 17-year broods, which is what's happening now, and there are 13-year broods, with the next one expected next year in Louisiana.

    Click the play button on the top right to see the various broods appear over time, and be sure to turn on the audio (in the left panel) for added flavor. [Thanks, Peter]

  • Exploration of how much geography is needed in metro maps

    May 9, 2013  |  Mapping

    Removing geometry by Fathom

    Terrence Fradet of Fathom Information Design ponders whether metro maps suffer or benefit by leaving out geography. Geographic accuracy is good, but sometimes it can confuse your audience.

    Just how important is it that metro maps represent geography? This piece came from an interest in how metro maps over the past century have tiptoed between geographic and topological representations—topological meaning to forgo all spatial integrity and instead represent the connectivity of a specific environment.

  • YouTube Trends map shows most popular videos by region

    May 7, 2013  |  Mapping

    YouTube Trendsmap

    I don't know about you, but when I go to YouTube, I check my subscriptions and then look at what videos are currently popular. Because you know, it's important to stay up to date on the most current news about kittens, people getting caught doing weird things, and movie trailers. The YouTube Trends Map is another way to see what's popular, but from a geographic and demographic point of view.
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  • Map shows street quality in Los Angeles

    May 7, 2013  |  Mapping

    Los Angeles street grades wideview

    Nevermind the horrible traffic in Los Angeles, where it takes a several hours to get somewhere when it should only take thirty minutes. The road quality isn't so great either. Using data from the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, which scores street segments on a 100-point graded scale, Ben Poston and Ben Welsh for The Los Angeles Times mapped road quality in the city.

    Red represents segments with an F grade, which means resurfacing or reconstruction is required, and green are segments with A grade, which mean no cracking and no maintenance required. Yellow is everything in between. Jump to a specific area via text entry and/or see the data in aggregate, by neighborhood or council district.

    The streets don't look great almost any way you look at it.

  • Fixing bus routes using mobile data

    May 2, 2013  |  Mapping

    Transportation map by IBMIn parts of the world where there are few smartphones and GPS-enabled devices, transportation architecture has to be designed based on less granular resources, such as surveys, which can result in rough estimates. IBM researchers are looking into how data from simple cell phones can be used instead to see how people move.

    The IBM work centered on Abidjan, where 539 large buses are supplemented by 5,000 mini-buses and 11,000 shared taxis. The IBM researchers studied call records from about 500,000 phones with data relevant to the commuting question...

    While the data is rough—and of course not everyone on a bus has a phone or is using it—routes can be gleaned by noting the sequence of connections. And IBM and other groups have found that these mobile phone “traces” are accurate enough to serve as a guide to larger population movements for applications such as epidemiology and transportation.

    [via @krees]

  • History of San Francisco street names mapped

    May 1, 2013  |  Mapping

    History of SF street names

    Where do street names come from? Sometimes there's actual history behind a name, and other times a street just needed a label, so someone pretty much pulled one out of a hat. For the former, there can be some interesting stories at work. Web developer and Knight-Mozilla fellow Noah Veltman mapped the history of street names in San Francisco under this premise. Just click on a blue street in the interactive and information pops up.

  • Shot charts show evolution of Lebron James

    April 19, 2013  |  Mapping

    Lebron James in 2013

    With the start of the NBA playoffs tomorrow, it's worth coming back to Kirk Goldsberry's analysis on the evolution of Lebron James' shot preference. James used to hang around the 3-point line a lot, but he spends a lot more time in the low post these days.
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  • Visualizing the Paris metro system

    April 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    Parisian subway

    Data visualization group Dataveyes looks closer at the Paris metro system from a time and crowd point of view.

    This visualization offers to challenge the way we traditionally view our 2D metro maps. Métropolitain takes on an unexpected gamble: using cold, abstract figures to take the pulse of a hectic and feverish metropolis. The metro map is no longer arbitrarily dictated by the spatial distance between two points. By playing around with two extra variables — time and crowds — users can transform the map, view it in 3D and unveil the true reality behind their daily commute.

    No doubt inspired by the Travel Time Tube Map of the London Underground by Tom Carden, Métropolitain lets you select a station and the lines morph to represent how long it takes to get to other stations. A layer underneath is a heatmap that shows annual incoming traffic per station.

    Finally, you can switch between 2-D and 3-D. I'm not sure if the extra dimension adds much from an understanding point of view, but it is fun to play with. [via infosthetics]

  • Map: Travel safety by country

    April 9, 2013  |  Mapping

    Dangerous travel

    As summer rolls around here on this side of the planet, CBC News mapped countries to avoid in your travel plans, based on foreign travel advisories from the Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

    Naturally, Canada isn't colored on the map because the map was made for Canadians, but I think it's safe to assume that they'd be colored green too and most, if not all, of the advisories apply to those of us here in the United States. [Thanks, John]

  • An experimental map service using 3-D data

    April 2, 2013  |  Mapping

    Stamen Here

    For the past few months, Stamen Design has been working with 3-D data from Nokia's Here. Something pretty came out of the experiment.

    For your viewing, embedding, linking, and otherwise internet-ing pleasure: http://here.stamen.com/ is live today. It uses 3D data from HERE for San Francisco, New York, London, and Berlin to create city-wide 3D browsable maps, and it does this in the browser (though you'll need a WebGL-enabled browser to see it). As in many of our other mapping projects, the urls change dynamically depending on location and other factors, and the data conforms, more or less, to the Tile Map Service specification. What this means, among other things, is that it's not only possible to link to and embed these maps at specific locations and zoom levels, but that it's easy—and as we've seen with Citytracking, easy is good.

    There are a bunch of views to play with, and you should try all of them. My favorites though are the city-planning look in Pinstripe and the glowing aesthetic of the height view.

  • Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    March 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrible, but there have been thousands of gun deaths since. Huffington Post is mapping them.

    Circles represent the number of deaths in a city, and the larger a circle the higher the count. A bar chart on the bottom shows the data over time and serves as a navigation device. Click on a day or a location, and the names of victims appear on the right with a link to the related news story.

    See also: Periscopic's work on the topic, which now has filters and is updated in real-time.

    Also: episodes 487 and 488 of This American Life, which focus on Harper High School in Chicago, where gang violence is a daily concern.

  • March Madness fan map

    March 26, 2013  |  Mapping

    Along the same lines as their NFL fan maps, Facebook had a closer look at March Madness fandom, based on likes for team pages. In the map below, each county is colored by the conference liked the most.

    March Madness map

  • A new brand of cartographer

    March 20, 2013  |  Mapping

    Emily Underwood on new cartographers and the growing field:

    Geographers have traditionally studied how the natural environment contributes to human society and vice versa, whereas cartographers have focused more explicitly on the art and science of mapmaking. Over the past couple of decades, a new field has emerged: geographical information systems (GIS), blending the study and expression of geographic information. Cartography and geography have overlapped and spawned innumerable subspecialties and applications. Modern geographers and cartographers are involved in diverse projects: tracking fleets of vehicles or products, helping customers locate a Dunkin' Donuts, modeling environmental scenarios such as oil spills, and studying the spread of disease.

    You could substitute visualization and statistics for cartography throughout, and it'd almost all still be valid. The reoccurring theme is that although academic programs can be fine resources, most of your success has to do with what you can learn on your own, as data-related fields are changing fast.

  • App shows what the Internet looks like

    March 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    what the internet looks like

    In a collaboration between PEER 1 Hosting, Steamclock Software, and Jeff Johnston, the Map of the Internet app provides a picture of what the physical Internet looks like.
    Continue Reading

  • Average commute times mapped

    March 6, 2013  |  Mapping

    Los Angeles commute

    The United States Census Bureau just released county-level commute estimates for 2011, based on the American Community Survey (that thing so many people seem to be against).

    About 8.1 percent of U.S. workers have commutes of 60 minutes or longer, 4.3 percent work from home, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers had "megacommutes" of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leave their county to work.

    The Bureau graphic isn't very good [PDF], but WNYC plugged the data into a map, which is a lot more informative.

    There's also a link to download the data on the bottom left of the WNYC map in CSV format, in case you want to try your hand at making a choropleth map. Or you can grab some flow data from the Census Bureau.

  • SimCity 2013 is coming tomorrow

    March 4, 2013  |  Mapping

    I'm not into video games, and my experience has been near zero since high school, but I'm excited about SimCity 2013 coming out tomorrow. I think my excitement comes from one part nostalgia and one part GlassBox — the game engine that drives the simulations of the city you build and its citizens:

    All the glowing reviews probably have something to do with interest, too. But that memory of installing SimCity 2000 from two floppy disks in my 486 totally brings back happy thoughts.

    Apparently, the game makers were inspired by Google Maps and information graphics to display the data generated during gameplay. I hope Maxis releases some of that data. It could be fun to compare SimCity demographics to the real world. Then again, who's going to have time to look at the data, when we'll be too busy building arcologies?

  • Stately: A simple map font

    February 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    StatelyAdd another way to make state-level choropleth maps. Stately, a project by Intridea, allows you to approach state mapping in the browser like you would a font.

    Stately is a symbol font that makes it easy to create a map of the United States using only HTML and CSS. Each state can be styled independently with CSS for making simple visualizations. And since it's a font, it scales bigger and smaller while staying sharp as a tack.

    The process is fairly straightforward: Link to the Stately stylesheet, add some HTML markup (an unordered list of states) to your page, and then use CSS to color each state. Boom, you've got yourself a map.

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