• Make your own safety map in case of emergency

    March 29, 2011  |  Mapping

    Saftey map

    It's a good idea to have a meeting place in case of an emergency and you get split up from your loved ones. Safety Maps, a straightforward application, helps you tell others the safety location. Simply mark your spot, and then share. You can make it public or only let the people you select see the map. Additionally, you get a PDF version via email for printing.
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  • Every river system mapped in World of Rivers

    March 28, 2011  |  Mapping

    World of Rivers from NG

    The annual Malofiej awards, for top graphics in journalism, were handed out last week. The best map of 2010 went to National Geographic for the World of Rivers. Every river system in the world was mapped and scaled by annual discharge.

    We live on a planet covered by water, but more than 97 percent is salty, and nearly 2 percent is locked up in snow and ice. That leaves less than one percent to grow our crops, cool our power plants, and supply drinking and bathing water for households.

    Showing everything doesn't always work with so much data, but it does in this case. It reminds me of Ben Fry's All Streets. See the full-sized interactive version on National Geographic.
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  • Animation: The pain that is Los Angeles traffic

    March 23, 2011  |  Mapping

    LA Traffic

    Los Angeles has a lot of things to do. The trouble is, compared to a city like San Francisco, everything is spaced out and you have to drive almost everywhere you go. There's also a ton of people and therefore, lots of cars on the freeway. Waze, in collaboration with Gray Area Foundation and Nik Hanselmann, visualize 24 hours of traffic in Los Angeles, a subject that holds a bitter spot in my heart.
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  • Firefox 4 downloads in real-time

    March 22, 2011  |  Mapping

    Firefox downloads

    Firefox 4 came out of beta today and is now available for download. As of writing this, there have been about 2.2 million downloads worldwide, and you can watch the action in real-time. Little bits of fairy dusts shimmering worldwide with a counter up top and an hourly time series chart on the bottom.

    The new browser boasts faster browsing, a new way of organizing your tabs, and plenty of other updates. Will it be enough to bring former Firefox users who switched to Chrome? I just closed Chrome, and am writing this in Firefox. We'll see how this goes.

    [Mozilla | Thanks, @juaniux]

  • History of the world in 100 seconds, according to Wikipedia

    March 21, 2011  |  Mapping

    History of the world mapped

    As you know, the world wasn't always how you know it today. Land was discovered, people migrated, and significant events in history played out to shape what society is like now. For a glimpse in this sort of evolution of the world, Gareth Lloyd scraped all geotagged Wikipedia articles with time attached to them, providing a total of 14,238 events. Then he mapped them over time.
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  • Japan satellite photos show before and after

    March 18, 2011  |  Mapping

    Japan before and after

    The New York Times has a set of sobering satellite photos of Japan. Sweep the slider back and forth to see before and after. Bright and sunny to barren, smoky, and flooded. Above shows the area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. Below is what it looked like on November 15, 2009.
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  • Chinese provinces compared to countries

    March 15, 2011  |  Mapping

    China provinces compared

    It's easy to forget just how big some countries are. For example, China:

    China is now the world’s second-biggest economy, but some of its provinces by themselves would rank fairly high in the global league. Our map shows the nearest equivalent country. For example, Guangdong's GDP (at market exchange rates) is almost as big as Indonesia's; the output of both Jiangsu and Shandong exceeds Switzerland’s.

    Select among GDP, GDP per person, population, and exports. There's a similar interactive for the United States.

    [The Economist via Strange Maps | Thanks, Elise]

  • Japanese quake and predicted tsunami wave heights

    March 11, 2011  |  Mapping


    The New York Times maps the reach of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan. The page will probably be updated as they find out more.

  • Animation: North and South Poles melting away

    March 11, 2011  |  Mapping

    Melting poles

    Adrian Meyer and Karl Rege of Zurich University of Applied Sciences visualize the melting poles, starting 21,000 years ago and advancing 1,000 years into the future.

    End summer sea ice is shown. The yellow line shows the actual shoreline. The future projection is based on the assumption of complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions in 2100 (IPCC A2). Because world population is rather uncertain we froze to its current value.

    Check out the video below. Adding some speed could've made it more dramatic, but wow.
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  • Costco growth

    Watching the growth of Costco warehouses

    Costco is one of the best stores ever. It's got everything you need in gigantic volumes and more, so you can imagine my delight when…
  • Well-being of the nation mapped

    March 7, 2011  |  Mapping

    Well-being of nation

    Analyzing Facebook and Twitter updates to gauge happiness is all the rage these days, but Gallup has been doing it old school for the past three years. Every day, Gallup has called 1,000 randomly selected American adults and asked them a series of questions about their well-being such as, "Did you experience feelings of happiness during a lot of the day yesterday?" and "Do you smoke?"

    Matthew Bloch and Bill Marsh for the New York Times mapped the responses for the past calendar year. Use the browser to quickly compare well-being in your area and across the country.
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  • Countdown to the end of Internet Explorer 6

    March 5, 2011  |  Mapping

    Internet Explorer 6 Countdown

    If you've ever designed for the Web, you know what a pain it is to get your work to look right in Internet Explorer 6. It's outdated, and it's not standards compliant, so a design that looks good in Firefox, Chrome, or Safari might look horrible in IE6 (and subsequent versions for that matter). The good news is that Microsoft has started the countdown to the end with a map that shows IE6 browser share around the world. Twelve percent of the world still uses the browser as of February 2011, with a big chunk of that from China.

    [Internet Explorer Countdown | via @mericson]

  • Global Android activations mapped and animated

    March 1, 2011  |  Mapping

    Global android

    iPhone gets all the glory, but there are plenty of Android phones activated every day, worldwide. This quick visualization (below), from the Android Developers themselves, shows just how that growth has gone over the past few years. It starts with a worldwide view and then zooms in on countries for a closer look. Keep an eye on the top left corner for phone launches.
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  • True size of Vatican City

    February 24, 2011  |  Mapping

    True Size vatican

    We saw the true size of Africa, relative to the world's largest countries, by Kai Krause last year. Taking it in the other direction, xefer shows the true size of Vatican City, world's smallest state, with an area of approximately 110 acres. That's just big enough to house a handful of national formations and man-made structures.

    [xefer via Map of the Week]

  • Who drinks the most around the world?

    February 23, 2011  |  Mapping

    Alcohol consumption

    What and how much people drink depends a lot on what country you're in or what culture you're exposed to. Personally I grew up in a low-alcohol family. It's not that we thought it was bad, but just because, well, it didn't really occur to us to do that. The Economist shows these differences via this world map on average alcohol consumption, according to a recently released report by the World Health Organisation.

    The world drank an average of 6.1 liters per person in 2005, but it was significantly more in Europe and the Soviet states. Hey, you gotta stay warm somehow, right?

    Have a look at this map for legal drinking age. Is there any relationship? Doesn't seem to be a very strong case.

    [Economist | Thanks, Elise]

  • Components of the global water cycle

    February 21, 2011  |  Mapping

    NASA briefly explains the water cycle:

    Water regulates climate, predominately storing heat during the day and releasing it at night. Water in the ocean and atmosphere carry heat from the tropics to the poles. The process by which water moves around the earth, from the ocean, to the atmosphere, to the land and back to the ocean is called the water cycle.

    The three animations above show hourly evaporation, water vapor, and precipitation, based on "data from the GEOS-5 atmospheric model on the cubed-sphere, run at 14-km global resolution for 25-days." I'm not even going to pretend like I know what I'm talking about, but it is fun to watch the simulated global water movements. Remember, these are based on actual data. They are not closeups of lava lamps.

    [Video Link via Data Pointed]

  • England crime map comparisons

    February 17, 2011  |  Mapping

    Crime maps

    After a sluggish launch by police.uk to unleash local crime data, the Guardian and Doug McCune teamed up to provide a tool that lets you compare crime rates in different England cities:

    The government's recent launch of police.uk saw a phenomenal public reaction. Within hours of going live, millions of users had attempted to gain access to maps permitting street-level scrutiny of crime incidents across the UK. Dogged by "technical problems", the site was reported by many to have failed in the face of public interest. Although the servers now seem much more capable of dealing with ongoing demand, we couldn't help but wonder if we could offer people some alternative ways to compare and contrast crime levels around the country.

    Turnaround time: four days, completely with SpatialKey.

    [Guardian | Thanks, Doug and Simon]

  • National Broadband Map shows how connected your community is

    February 17, 2011  |  Mapping

    Consumer broadband and population

    To encourage the integration of broadband and information technology into local economies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (with some help from Stamen) now provides an exploratory tool for broadband in your community:

    The National Broadband Map (NBM) is a searchable and interactive website that allows users to view broadband availability across every neighborhood in the United States. The NBM was created by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and in partnership with 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. The NBM is a project of NTIA's State Broadband Initiative. The NBM will be updated approximately every six months and was first published on February 17, 2011.

    There's a lot of data to look at, but you can search for the city or zipcode that you're interested in, and get information on what's available, as shown below. You can also see how your city compares to other locations in the country.
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  • City traffic visualized as blood vessels

    February 14, 2011  |  Mapping

    Traffic hotspots

    Pedro Cruz puts a twist on the traditional map approach to visualize traffic in Lisbon as blood vessels:

    In this work the traffic of Lisbon is portrayed exploring metaphors of living organisms with circulatory problems. Rather than being an aesthetic essay or a set of decorative artifacts, my approach focuses on synthesizing and conveying meaning through data portrayal.

    Vessels swell and wiggle as traffic picks up during the rush hour and then relax and shrink as traffic goes down. More useful than an actual map? Probably not. Fun and engaging? Yes. Catch the short animation below.
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  • Adults with college degrees, over time

    January 31, 2011  |  Mapping

    Adults With College Degrees in the United States, by County

    The Chronicle of Higher Education lets you explore the percentage of adults with college degrees from 1940 up to present, by county. Press play and watch the national average go up from 4.6 percent to 27.5, or select a county for breakdowns and a time series.
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