• A century of ocean shipping animated

    April 12, 2012  |  Mapping

    Using hand-recorded shipping data from the Climatological Database for the World's Oceans, history graduate student Ben Schmidt mapped a century of ocean shipping, between 1750 and 1850. The above map animates a seasonal aggregate.

    There aren't many truly seasonal events, but a few stand out. There are regular summer voyages from Scotland to Hudson's Bay, and from Holland up towards Spitsbergen, for example: both these appear as huge convoys moving in sync. (What were those about?) Trips around Cape Horn, on the other hand, are extremely rare in July and August. More interestingly, the winds in the Arabian sea seem to shift directions in November or so. I also really like the way this one brings across the conveyor belt nature of trade with the East.

    The bobbing month label is distracting, but its position actually does mean something. Since seasonality (i.e. weather) plays a role in travels, the label represents noontime location of the sun in Africa. Okay, I'm still not sure if that's actually useful.

    If you really must, you can also watch the century of individual shipments during a 12-minute video.

    By the way, Schmidt used R to make this, relying heavily on the mapproj and ggplot2 packages. (Bet you didn't see that coming.) I think he created a bunch of images and then strung them together to make the animation.

    [via Revolutions]

  • Metal bands per capita

    April 9, 2012  |  Mapping

    Metal bands revised

    By Reddit user depo_, this map showing metal bands per capita around the world is making the rounds. Clear dominance in Sweden and Finland.

  • Explore Geographic Coverage in Mapping Wikipedia

    April 4, 2012  |  Mapping

    Mapping Wikipedia

    TraceMedia, in collaboration with the Oxford Internet Institute, maps language use across Wikipedia in an interactive, fittingly named Mapping Wikipedia.

    Simply select a language, a region, and the metric that you want to map, such as word count, number of authors, or the languages themselves, and you've got a view into "local knowledge production and representation" on the encyclopedia. Each dot represents an article with a link to the Wikipedia article. For the number of dots on the map, a maximum of 800,000, it works surprisingly without a hitch, other than the time it initially takes to load articles.

    This is part of a larger body of work from Mark Graham and Bernie Hogan, et. al, which focuses mostly on the gaps, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa.

    There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the sidelines. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world.

    [via FloatingSheep]

  • 8-bit Google Maps, Start Your Quest

    March 31, 2012  |  Mapping

    8-bit Google Maps

    If you go to Google Maps right now, there's an option in the top right corner for a Quest view. Click on that, and get the world in all its 8-bit NES glory. And great news: The map adventure is coming to an NES console near you. Just put in the cartridge, connect to the Internet via dial-up, and you're off to the races. See the world like you've never seen it before.

    Google explains in the video below.
    Continue Reading

  • How Much More Women Pay for Health Insurance

    March 30, 2012  |  Mapping

    healthcare

    So the Obama campaign posted this yesterday. Discuss.

  • Rising Water Levels in the Immediate Future

    March 29, 2012  |  Mapping

    Surging Seas

    Stamen Design, in collaboration with Climate Central, shows major areas that could be affected by probable rising water levels in the not so far off future.

    The context for this work is: while there are a great many papers, scientific studies, meteorological surveys and other things that fall under the rubric of things that normal people accept as true, there remains a persistent and nagging unreality to the idea that, in something like a normal human timescale, we'll see and have to reckon with large-scale changes to the world as we know it. It's one thing to say "the world is changing and all of us will have to deal with it." It's quite another to say "7.6% of the people and 9.1% of the homes may very well be underwater in Boston, and so you'll need to start thinking about that pretty damn soon, is that cool?"

    Boston, you better make friends with Kevin Costner. He is key to your survival.

  • Live Wind Map Shows Flow Patterns

    March 28, 2012  |  Mapping

    Wind Map

    I get kind of giddy whenever I see a tweet from Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas. They rarely tweet, but when they do it's usually because they've released a new project and they always announce it simultaneously. Their latest piece shows live wind patterns, based on data from the National Digital Forecast Database. It's beautiful to look at.

    The most impressive bit is that, despite all of the animation, it's interactive. Roll over flows for wind speed and direction as well as zoom (with a double click) and pan to your area of interest.

  • Perpetual Ocean

    March 27, 2012  |  Mapping

    Using a computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2), the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio (I think NASA has a thing for long names.) visualizes surface currents around the world. This is beautiful science here. Make sure you turn on high-def and go full screen.

    [via @aaronkoblin]

  • What News Sites People are Reading, by State

    March 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Who is reading what

    Jon Bruner of Forbes, in collaboration with Hilary Mason and Anna Smith of Bitly, maps the most popular news source by state.

    Bitly's dataset, wrangled by data scientists Hilary Mason and Anna Smith, consists of every click on every Bitly link on the Web. Bitly makes its data available publicly—just add '+' to the end of any Bitly link to see how many clicks it’s gotten. For Bitly’s collaboration with Forbes, Smith and Mason looked for news sources and individual articles that were unusually popular in certain states compared to national averages. The interactive map starts by showing which news source dominates in each state by this measure: the Washington Post in Virginia and Maryland, the Chicago Tribune in Illinois, and so on.

    You can also select news sources to their click distributions across the country.

    I like how The Onion leads in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Mexico, although I'd be interested to know what other news sources the states read. A color scale might be informative, too.

  • Custom Woodcut Maps

    March 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Woodcut maps

    Just choose the location you want via the Google Maps interface, pick what materials you want, and Woodcut Maps puts your map through the laser cutter and assembles and packs your map by hand. Great gift idea or a nice little something to set on your desk.

  • Watercolor Map Tiles

    March 21, 2012  |  Mapping

    Watercolor maps

    A couple of years ago, when you thought about online interactive maps, what came to your mind? Lots of yellow. Online maps are looking a lot different these days though, and Stamen Design has played a big role in making that happen. In their most recently released project, they offer three tile sets to use with OpenStreetMap data, and they look really good.

    All three are something to see, but the watercolor tiles will knock your socks off. They're computer-generated, but they look hand-drawn by a skilled artist slash cartographer (which is really what the Stamen folks are).

  • Visualizing the History of Everything

    March 19, 2012  |  Mapping

    ChronoZoom

    Big History is a field of study that crosses multiple disciplines such as biology, natural history, and economics to form a single timeline that starts at the beginning of time and ends in the present. It's the history of everything, essentially. ChronoZoom, a collaboration between UC Berkeley, Moscow State University, and Microsoft Research, aims to visualize this seemingly endless timeline.

    You can browse years on top, and rectangles in the main view represent different scopes such as the Cosmos and Earth and the Solar System. Click on one those rectangles, and ChronoZoom, as you might guess, zooms in on the corresponding window of time. Circles within the rectangles provide videos and explanations for significant events in history.

    To get right into it though, move your mouse to the top right. There's a thing that looks like a bar graph, which is actually navigation for the scopes. Click on Humanity and watch it go.

  • Comparing heritage in the Melting Pot

    March 15, 2012  |  Mapping

    Chinese vs Indian

    At first I thought this map, by David Yanofsky for Bloomberg, was your standard county-level choropleth map of demographics. Select a self-described heritage from the first drop down and you see where all the people are by count. That's only kind of interesting, but you often just end up highlighting big cities.

    However, select a heritage from the second drop down menu to compare against the first and you get a relative scale. The above for example shows those of Chinese and Indian heritage. It's a simple calculation that makes a big difference in usefulness.

  • Geography of the basketball court

    March 12, 2012  |  Mapping

    Shooting heatmap by Goldsberry

    Kirk Goldsberry, an assistant professor of geography at Michigan State, applies his skills to the basketball court.

    In the quest to better understand the "average" NBA shooter I have begun making composite shooting charts for each position in the league. My eventual goal is to establish a spatially informed baseline and to map every shooter in the league against an average shooter. These charts are not good for that task, but they're interesting nonetheless. Here are composite shooting charts for each of the 5 conventional basketball positions. I combined the shooting data for every player in positional groups. There are some bizarre trends including some fascinating asymmetries.

    Above shows points per field goal attempt for all NBA field goal attempts from 2006 to 2011. Red means more points and blue means fewer points, so as expected it's orange-red outside the three-point line and dark red in the high percentage key. It starts to get interesting as Goldsberry breaks things down by player and position. Read the full paper [pdf] to really get into it.

    For the record, my personal basketball scoring map would be all red. Don't let my one-inch vertical leap or my low fantasy basketball ranking this season fool you. I can light it up.

    [via Slate | Thanks, Kevin]

  • Geography of government benefits

    March 7, 2012  |  Mapping

    Geography of Benefits - Medicare

    I missed this one a while back, but The New York Times had a look at the growth of government benefit programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, in the United States. On the surface, it looks like your standard choropleth map that shows percent of income from government benefits, but there's a lot going on here that makes the piece really good.

    First, the arrows on the top right let you browse through decades, going back to 1969. Roll over counties to see a time series for the corresponding region against the national average. The sidebar on the left lets you view breakdowns for different programs. And finally, the guide to key trends provides a narrative for noteworthy regions and patterns.

    Now that's some good data journalism.

    [New York Times | Thanks, Jordan]

  • Growing urban populations

    March 5, 2012  |  Mapping

    Growing urban population

    In this simple interactive animation by Periscopic, in partnership with UNICEF, we see the changes in urban population from 1950 up to present, through projections for 2050. Circle size represents urban population and color is an indicator for the percentage of people living in cities or towns.

    The color choice for the continuous scale is not ideal, but I think they were working within the bounds of the existing print report.

    For the map project, we were working with pre-existing content. They had produced the map for their print report, so we had to make it look as similar as possible to that. I know they didn’t use a Dorling cartogram, but I think their intention was to be similar to one. Certain sacrifices were made in order for it to fit the 2-page spread in the report. Unfortunately, the online version had to keep the same locations.

    [UNICEF | Thanks, Dino]

  • Mobile phone digital traces

    March 1, 2012  |  Mapping

    In collaboration with Lift and Near Future Laboratory, Interactive Things explores digital traces left by mobile phones in Ville Vivante. Lines and paths flow from place to place in Geneva, Switzerland, showing how the people move in and out of the city during a 24-hour period.

    It's hard to say exactly what you're seeing here because it does move so fast, and it probably means more if you live in or near Geneva, but speaking to the video itself, you have your highs and lows during the start and end of days. It then cycles through a handful of views, namely one that looks like wind blowing through and another where particles shoot up from the ground.

    There are also interactive views on the project site.

    Reminds me of David Wicks' Drawing Water, which shows the flow of sources in the country.

    [Interactive Things via infosthetics]

  • Wind motion patterns animated

    February 29, 2012  |  Mapping

    US Wind Patterns

    Nicolas Garcia Belmonte, author of the JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit, mapped 72 hours of weather data from 1,200 stations across the country.

    Gathering the data from the National Weather Service was pretty interesting, I didn’t know USA had so many weather stations! The visualization shows wind direction encoded in line angles, wind speed encoded in line lengths and disk radius, and temperature encoded in hue.

    Press play, and watch it glow. You can also easily switch between symbols: discs with lines, lines only, or filled circles.

    [Nicolas Garcia Belmonte via @janwillemtulp]

  • Really old maps online

    February 28, 2012  |  Mapping

    Old maps online

    Maps have been around for a long time, but you might not know it looking online. It can be hard to find them. Old Maps Online, a project by The Great Britain Historical GIS Project and Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland, is a catalog of just that.

    You can browse and search old maps via the map interface by panning and zooming, along with a search bar and a slider for time. Search results then update in the right sidebar, which provides thumbnails and links to the full-size maps.

    If only an overlay like Historypin could be incorporated. That'd be something.

    [Old Maps Online via @jatorre]

  • Giant globe display

    February 24, 2012  |  Mapping

    Hawt. [Tokyotek via @datapointed]

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