• Old map shows slavery in the United States

    December 29, 2010  |  Mapping

    Chropleth map of Slavery in the US

    In 1864, drawing on the most recent 1860 Census data, the United States Coast Survey issued this choropleth map depicting counties with relatively high slave populations. President Lincoln was seen looking over the map so often that it was included in Francis Bicknell Carpenter's painting "President Lincoln Reading the Emancipation Proclamation to His Cabinet."

    Carpenter spent the first six months of 1864 in the White House preparing the portrait, and on more than one occasion found Lincoln poring over the map. Though the president had abundant maps at his disposal, only this one allowed him to focus on the Confederacy’s greatest asset: its labor system. After January 1, 1863—when the Emancipation Proclamation became law—the president could use the map to follow Union troops as they liberated slaves and destabilized the rebellion.

    How's that for a powerful map?

    [New York Times | Thanks, Justin]

  • MacGyver guide on how to use a map

    December 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Macgyver map

    You might think that the only use for a map is to find directions to where you want to go. Or since you're a FlowingData reader, you know they can be used for a bit more — like displaying large amounts of data. But if you think all they're used for, then you've got some learning to do my friend. Learn the steps from the all-knowing MacGyver in the video below.

    The best company you could have in a strange place is a map.

    Words to live by. A map just might save your life several times as you run away from people shooting at you.
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  • Mapping demographics of every block and city in America

    December 16, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mapping America

    Government data technology has felt behind the times the past few years with outdated Java applets and such, which makes it tedious to look at all the data that is offerred. For example, if anyone understands the makeup of the United States, it's gotta be the people at the Census Bureau, but the tools for public access are rough around the edges.

    Luckily, we have the New York Times to move things along. Matthew Bloch, Shan Carter and Alan McLean apply their cartography skills to US Census data and let you explore a variety of demographics. It's like a demographic buffet. There are multiple maps across four topics: race and ethnicity, income, education, and housing and families.
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  • Filling in the black holes of the Facebook friendship map

    December 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    Facebook filled

    While it was fun looking at the worldwide connections on Facebook, I thought it was more interesting to look at the places where there were very few connections, where it looked pretty dark on Paul Butler's map. Some commented that was just a product of no people in those areas. Where there's no people, there's obviously no Facebook. This is true in many areas, but not all them.
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  • Facebook worldwide friendships mapped

    December 13, 2010  |  Mapping

    United States Facebook connections

    As we all know, people all over the world use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family. You meet someone. You friend him or her on Facebook to keep in touch. These friendships began within universities, but today there are friendships that connect countries. Facebook engineering intern Paul Butler visualizes these connections:

    I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line's color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.

    In other words, for each pair of countries with a friend in one country and a friend in the other, a line was drawn. The more friends and distance between two countries, the brighter the lines on a black-blue-white color scale. The "stronger" connections were drawn on top, so they are more visually prominent.

    It might remind you of Chris Harrison's maps that show interconnectedness via router configurations.
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  • How the world searched in 2010

    December 13, 2010  |  Mapping

    Google Zeitgeist 2010

    Google recaps search trends for the year in Google Zeitgeist 2010, from the World Cup and the Olympics to the earthquake in Haiti and the BP oil spill. Above is relative search volumes around the world during the ash cloud in Iceland. You can browse the interactive map, or use the timeline to watch changes over significant events during the year.

    A video (below) also accompanies the interactive, showing how the physical world and digital are melding ever so nicely.
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  • The United States of Autocomplete

    December 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    United States of Autocomplete

    Very Small Array has some fun with Google's autocomplete. Utah... Jazz. Kentucky... Fried Chicken. New York... Times.

    [Very Small Array via @mericson]

  • Awards from Recovery and Reinvestment Act

    December 1, 2010  |  Mapping

    Lights-on Map for Recovery Act

    Between February 17, 2009 to September 30, 2010, 88,791 awards have been funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This animated map shows where these awards have been distributed across the country month-to-month. Each "light" represents an award.
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  • Evolution of the two-party vote during past century

    November 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    two-party vote map

    Political science PhD candidate David Sparks has look at the evolution of the two-party vote:

    Using county-level data, I spatially and temporally interpolated presidential vote returns for the two major party candidates in each election from 1920-2008. The result illuminates the sometimes gradual, sometimes rapid change in the geographic basis of presidential partisanship.

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  • Mapping human development in America

    November 19, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mapping the measure of America

    In work with the American Human Development Project, Rosten Woo and Zachary Watson map the Human Development Index, along with many other indicators in this thorough interactive.
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  • A world of tweets

    November 18, 2010  |  Mapping

    A world of tweets

    We've seen this sort of thing before, with tweets mapped and such, but the recent A World of Tweets by Frog Design is nicely executed (in HTML5).

    A World of Tweets is all about playing with geography and bits of information. Simply put, A World of Tweets shows you where people are tweeting at from the past hour. The more tweets there are from a specific region, the "hotter" or redder it becomes.

    You can toggle between a few different views such as smokey or heatmap, or outline or satellite view, but the highlight has gotta be the 3d view. Unfortunately, I don't have any red and blue paper lens glasses on me. Dang it.

  • Defining neighborhoods with map scribbles

    November 18, 2010  |  Mapping


    TenderMaps brings an informal approach to highlighting the parts of neighborhoods:

    We wanted to move from the static and singular, toward more dynamic, subtle definitions of neighborhoods, definitions emphasizing the nuanced communities and personal experiences that really shape a neighborhood's boundaries. We wondered how we could we harness the implicit mental maps people actually use. What would happen if we defined a neighborhood by the way we moved though it, or by the places we loved in it?

    In this first iteration, the creators walked around the Tenderloin in San Francisco, and asked residents questions about their neighborhood and to sketch on a paper map. The sketches were scanned to make a browsable map, including backstories of each scribble.

    The proof of concept is still rough, and uber slow in Chrome, but it should be able to see how useful this might be. It's much more personal than the markers we are used to seeing and could be a way for non-tech people to see their community in a tech way.

    [TenderMaps via @zainy]

  • The very first NYT election map

    November 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    First NYT election map in 1896

    Matthew Ericson, deputy graphics director of The New York Times, dug through the archives to find the first occurrence of an election map in the paper, in 1896:

    The speed with which the results made it into print boggles the mind given the technology of the day (especially considering that in the last few elections in the 2000s, with all of the technology available to us, there have been a number of states that we haven’t been able to call in the Wednesday paper).

    What a beaut. That day, the paper cost 3 cents.

  • Keeping an eye on election results

    November 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    House Race Ratings on NYT

    All eyes here in the states will be on election results tonight, and all the major graphics desks have been hard at work to provide you up-to-date results as the numbers start to roll in. While you'll be able to see results just about anywhere you look, here are some of the online spots to keep an eye on. They've all got the red, blue, and yellow map, but each provides different functionality.
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  • Iraq War logs released by Wikileaks shed new light

    October 25, 2010  |  Mapping

    Wikileaks War Logs reported by NYT

    This past Friday, Wikileaks released a second batch of reports on Iraq:

    At 5pm EST Friday 22nd October 2010 WikiLeaks released the largest classified military leak in history. The 391,832 reports ('The Iraq War Logs'), document the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009 (except for the months of May 2004 and March 2009) as told by soldiers in the United States Army. Each is a 'SIGACT' or Significant Action in the war. They detail events as seen and heard by the US military troops on the ground in Iraq and are the first real glimpse into the secret history of the war that the United States government has been privy to throughout.

    The New York Times has reported the data in dept with a series of maps, along with a number of articles. One maps shows one of the deadliest days in 2006 in Baghdad, when there were a reported 114 episodes of violence (above).
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  • Mad Men office floor plan

    October 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mad Men Office Floor Plan-resized

    I've never seen an episode, but if my Twitter stream has taught me anything, it's that many of you will enjoy this floor plan of the Mad Men office by @CerpinTaxt. Accurate?

    [Kratkocasnik via Vulture]

  • True size of Africa

    October 18, 2010  |  Mapping

    True size of Africa

    Online maps that we use for directions use the Mercator projection, and this tends to dictate how we perceive the size of countries and continents. If you look at the world map on Google, for example, Africa doesn't look that much bigger compared to China or the United States. In reality though, it's a lot bigger. Kai Krause scales countries by their area in square kilometers and then fits them into a Africa's borders for some perspective.

    This one's for you, cartographers. What do you think?

    [True Size of Africa via Good | Thanks, Cay]

  • How K-12 schools in your area measure up

    October 13, 2010  |  Mapping, Online Applications

    Education scorecard - how does this district compare

    In collaboration with NBC News and The Gates Foundation, Ben Fry-headed Fathom Design shows you how K-12 schools measure up in your area. If you're a parent or soon-to-be parent considering a move, this will be especially interesting to you. The Education Nation Scorecard lets you search for your location or a specific school to see how they perform and how they compare to the rest of the country.
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  • Where refugees come from

    October 13, 2010  |  Mapping, Network Visualization

    Flight & Expulsion - flows

    Thousands of people flee their country every year, and the travel patterns are by no means easy to understand. Christian Behrens, in a revamp of a class project, visualizes these refugee movements with three views. The first is a circular network diagram (above), where each slice represents a region or country. Lines represent flight and expulsions.
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  • Map series of oil spill in Gulf

    October 7, 2010  |  Mapping

    Tracking the oil spill in the Gulf

    Everyone's fascinated with animated graphics, which is cool, but sometimes a series of a whole bunch of maps is just as good. Archie Tse of The New York Times shows the spread of oil over time as several static maps to complement the animated version. Nice, right? You can see the changes from start to finish at a glance.

    [New York Times via @mericson]

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