Almost a year ago, the BBC aired the Beauty of Maps, but we Americans couldn't watch it online. Well, now you can. The full documentary is available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. The hour and a half film is broken up into 12 parts. They've actually been online since August of last year, but for some reason I'm just now hearing about it. Enjoy part one below. Continue Reading
Not many people understand the importance of data privacy. They don't get out how little bits of information sent from your phone every now and then can show a lot about your day-to-day life.
As the German government tries to come to a consensus about its data retention rules, Green party politician Malte Spitz retrieved six months of phone data from Deutsche Telekom (by suing them), to show what you can get from a little bit of private mobile data. He handed the data to Zeit Online, and they in turn mapped and animated practically every one of Spitz' moves over half a year and combined it with publicly available information from sources such as his appointment website, blog, and Twitter feed for more context. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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.
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. Continue Reading
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.
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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.
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. Continue Reading
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?"
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.
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. Continue Reading
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.
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?
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.
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.