• Neighborhood boundaries based on social media activity

    May 8, 2012  |  Mapping

    livehoods

    Researchers at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University investigate the structure of cities in Livehoods, using foursquare check-ins.

    The hypothesis underlying our work is that the character of an urban area is defined not just by the the types of places found there, but also by the people who make the area part of their daily routine. To explore this hypothesis, given data from over 18 million foursquare check-ins, we introduce a model that groups nearby venues into areas based on patterns in the set of people who check-in to them. By examining patterns in these check-ins, we can learn about the different areas that comprise the city, allowing us to study the social dynamics, structure, and character of cities on a large scale.

    It's most interesting when you click on location dots. A Livehood is highlighted and a panel on the top right tells you what the neighborhood is like, related neighborhoods, and provides stats like hourly and daily pulse and a breakdown location categories (for example, food and nightlife). Does foursquare have anything like this tied into their system? They should if they don't.

    There's only maps for San Francisco, New York City, and Pittsburgh right now, but I'm sure there are more to come.

    Want more on the clustering behind the maps? Here's the paper [pdf].

  • An era of human-affected Earth

    May 7, 2012  |  Mapping

    Welcome to Anthropocene:

    Scientific concepts like the Anthropocene, planetary boundaries and planetary stewardship have heralded a profound shift in perception of our place in the world: a growing evidence base of scientific observations show we have become the prime driver of global environmental change. These new concepts are powerful communication tools as we move towards global sustainability.

    There's also a non-narrated version, but I like the narration. It helps you better appreciate what you're seeing. Oh yeah, and ooohh, purdy.

    [via infosthetics]

  • Minecraft server connections

    May 7, 2012  |  Mapping

    Minecraft server connections

    I've never played Minecraft, but maybe this map showing live server connections means something to those who do. "A dot is a server or a client. Lines are traced from clients connecting to servers. Lone dots are local servers." They also have raw hardware data available for download. [Thanks, Erik]

  • Extreme ice time-lapse

    May 2, 2012  |  Mapping

    Glaciers are big, slow-moving objects, and it might seem that not much is happening if you stare at one for a while. The Extreme Ice Survey, founded by James Balog in 2007, aims to provide the ice with a "visual voice" using time-lapse photography.

    One aspect of EIS is an extensive portfolio of single-frame photos celebrating the beauty–the art and architecture–of ice. The other aspect of EIS is time-lapse photography; currently, 27 cameras are deployed at 18 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. These cameras record changes in the glaciers every half hour, year-round during daylight, yielding approximately 8,000 frames per camera per year. We edit the time-lapse images into stunning videos that reveal how fast climate change is transforming large regions of the planet.

    Some of the videos span four years, from 2007 to 2011, and it's amazing to see the sped-up dynamic of the ice. I like this one, which Balog refers to as the cat's paw. It looks like a big paw of ice reaching into the ocean.

    [via Boing Boing]

  • Easter spending patterns in Spain, animated

    April 30, 2012  |  Mapping

    The MIT SENSEable City Lab, in partnership with BBVA, visualizes spending in Spain during Easter of 2011. The animation shows the activity of 1.4 million people and 374,220 businesses, over 4 million transactions.

    The map is less interesting to me since I'm a non-Spaniard (population density?), but the categorizations and spending volume over time is fun to see. Groceries are shown in blue, gas stations in yellow, fashion in pink, and red in bars and restaurants. During the day, you see people filling up the tank, and then as evening comes, the city centers and coast lights up red.

    [via @pkedrosky]

  • Eating healthiness mapped over 24 hours

    April 26, 2012  |  Mapping

    Eating healthiness

    The Eatery app by Massive Health lets people snap pictures of their food and rate the healthiness. The premise is that you don't have to carefully count calories to lose weight. You just need to be more aware of what you eat. Using 7.68 million ratings over a five-month span, Massive Health maps eating healthiness over an aggregated 24-hour time window.

    Mouse back and forth over the map slowly to see the changes. It's interesting that as night falls, desserts and midnight snacks make themselves known and then the green comes back in the morning.

    [Thanks, Thomas]

  • Live flight tracking site shows crash of circling plane

    April 19, 2012  |  Mapping

    Plane crash

    Live flight tracking site FlightAware shows destinations and current routes. It's everyday stuff for the most part, but around noon time today, a plane was circling above the ocean and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

    CNN reports:

    The Air Force, which had dispatched fighter jets to monitor the twin-engine Cessna 421, reported it crashed about 12:10 p.m., said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher O'Neil, a Coast Guard spokesman. The aircraft had been circling over the Gulf about 200 miles south of Panama City, Florida, another spokesman, Chief Petty Officer John Edwards, told CNN.

    The plane took off from Slidell, Louisiana, en route to Sarasota, Florida, with a single pilot on board, a Federal Aviation Administration source told CNN. It had been circling at an altitude of about 28,000 feet.

    Whoa.

    [via @DataJunkie]

  • Tracking drought in the US

    April 18, 2012  |  Mapping

    Drought map

    NPR has a look at weekly drought figures over the past couple of years. The focus is on Texas, a state that's been hit hard the past few months. In 2011, there was an estimated agricultural loss of $7.62 billion.

    The current drought began in October 2010. Though the situation has improved recently, the drought is far from over — and the conditions that caused it aren’t going away anytime soon.

    Texas is a place susceptible to extreme weather, and the last year was no exception. Thousands of square miles were burned in wildfires, billions were lost in agriculture, and its impact could still linger in years to come.

    Hit the play button, and the string of images runs like a flip book. Low tech, but effective.

    [via Matt Stiles]

  • Explore the Solar System like your backyard

    April 17, 2012  |  Mapping

    Game developer Christopher Albeluhn found himself unemployed, so he started to work on a model of Earth in a video game engine to add to his portfolio. He finished that, and thought, hey, might as well keep on going. He eventually created the Solar System.

    Before i knew it, i had all 8 planets (I am SO sorry Pluto), the sun and the Asteroid belt. They all had correct rotations, orbits, locations and speeds; their moons, information regarding the planets and their facts. All of these were fine, but i wanted something more, so i added in the constellations, all 88 of them.

    Still though, this was portfolio work — until a link to the video went up on reddit. With some momentum, Albeluhn hopes to turn his side project into a full-fledged application. Fingers crossed for completion.

  • Interactive Islands of Mankind

    April 16, 2012  |  Mapping

    Squinty-eyed population

    Geography graduate student Derek Watkins has some fun with population densities in an interactive version of William Bunge's The Continents and Islands of Mankind. The above shows areas in the world where there are at least 15 people per square kilometer. In the interactive, a slider lets you shift that number up to 500 where only a few spots in the world remain.

    An interesting thing about this map is that each layer is contained in one 23,000 pixel tall spritesheet to reduce load time. An uninteresting thing is that my workflow was to export black and white density images from QGIS (which I've been working with more lately), generalize in Illustrator, export each slice and then stitch them together into one image with ImageMagick. I grabbed the population data from here.

    [via Derek Watkins]

  • 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.

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