• 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]

  • Fictional map of online communities

    October 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    Map of online communities

    xkcd + numbers on online communities. Need I say more? Along the same lines as the Web 2.0 Points of Control, xkcd maps online communities with fictitious regions sized by the amount of daily social activity. Beware of the Bay of Flame in the Blogosphere and the Northern Wasteland of Unread Updates in Facebook. Personally, I like to hop between the Twitter and YouTube islands.

    It's most interesting when you compare it to the 2007 map where MySpace, Yahoo, and Windows Live ruled the land. I guess things are a little different nowadays.

    Make sure you check out the large version.

    [xkcd | Thanks, Elise]

  • Typographic maps

    October 6, 2010  |  Mapping

    Typographic map by AxisMaps

    Cartography group Axis Maps continues their run of mapping goodness with the announcement of their typographic maps:

    Created as a labor of love, these unique maps accurately depict the streets and highways, parks, neighborhoods, coastlines, and physical features of the city using nothing but type. Only by manually weaving together thousands upon thousands of carefully placed words does the full picture of the city emerge. Every single piece of type was manually placed, a process that took hundreds of hours to complete for each map.

    Prints are available. Grab the large size for maximum goodness. They only have maps for Boston and Chicago right now, but hopefully the project continues to more cities. I'll be keeping an eye out for San Francisco.

    [Axis Maps via Cartogrammer]

  • Europe geographically stereotyped

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    Europe According to the United States of America

    We tend to see the world in different ways, depending on what part of the world we live in. If you've never been to California, you probably associate it with Hollywood and surfers. If you've never been to the midwest, you think corn and potatoes. Of course, these regions have much more going for them and are a far more varied. Still, the stereotypes are amusing. I couldn't help but chuckle when an old roommate came from Washington to Los Angeles and thought he was going to see movie stars on every block. Boy, was he surprised. It was only every other block.

    Graphic designer Yanko Tsvetkov takes such notions of Europe in his series of stereotype maps, which themselves are stereotypes of stereotypes. The above is how the US sees Europe.
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  • History of the Blitz bombings

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    historypin - the blitz

    In September 1940, Nazi Germany began bombing London for 76 consecutive nights in what is now known as The Blitz. There was tons of destruction obviously, but you'd never know it looking at the streets in current day. Historypin, which launched a few months back, places this important history in their most recent collection. Old pictures are pinned on top of a Google Maps street view so that you can see the destruction of the past and what the street looks like now.
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  • Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    September 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    Instead of breaking up demographics by defined boundaries, Bill Rankin uses dots to show the more subtle changes across neighborhoods in a map of Chicago using block-specific data US Census.

    Any city-dweller knows that most neighborhoods don't have stark boundaries. Yet on maps, neighborhoods are almost always drawn as perfectly bounded areas, miniature territorial states of ethnicity or class. This is especially true for Chicago, where the delimitation of Chicago's official “community areas” in the 1920s was one of the hallmarks of the famous Chicago School of urban sociology.

    Each dot represents 25 people of the map color's corresponding ethnicity.

    Eric Fischer, who has made a map or two, takes the next step and applies the same method to forty major cities. Here are the maps for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, respectively. Same color-coding applies. You definitely see the separation, but zoom and you much more subtle transitions.
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  • The state of mapping APIs

    September 15, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    O'Reilly Radar surveys the state of mapping APIs from old sources (like Google) and new ones (like CloudMade). Spoiler alert: there's a lot of opportunity out there.

    Maps took over the web in mid-2005, shortly after the first Where 2.0 conference. They quickly moved from fancy feature to necessary element of any site that contained even a trace of geographic content. Today we're amidst another location and mapping revolution, with mobile making its impact on the web. And with it, we're seeing even more geo services provided by both the old guard and innovative new mapping platforms.

    [O'Reilly Radar]

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