• Where Bars Trump Grocery Stores

    March 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    Bars and groceries

    FloatingSheep, a fun geography blog, looks at the beer belly of America. One maps shows total number of bars, but the interesting map is the one above. Red dots represent locations where there are more bars than grocery stores, based on results from the Google Maps API. The Midwest takes their drinking seriously.

    Of course there are plenty of possible explanations for the distribution. Maybe people get all their food from superstores like Walmart in the red dot areas, so there are fewer gigantic stores than there are small local bars.

    Then again, the FloatingSheep guys did their homework and found, according to Census, that the number of drinking places in those red dots are really skewed compare to the average. So it's also possible that area of the country just likes to drink a lot.

    Anyone who lives in the area care to confirm? I expect your comment to be filled with typos and make very little sense. And maybe smell like garbage.

    [Thanks, Michael]

  • Sunlight Labs releases mapping framework, ClearMaps

    February 23, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    clearmaps

    Open data is great, but it's useless if you don't know what to do with it. Sunlight Labs, a group focused on using technology to support open government, recently released ClearMaps. It's an Actionscript framework for interactive cartographic visualization.

    In addition to giving designers and developers more control over presentation the project aims to address some of the common technical challenges faced when building interactive, data driven maps for the web. ClearMaps is designed as a lightweight, flexible set of tools for building complex data visualizations. It is a framework not a plug-and-play component (though it could be a starting point for those wishing to make reusable tools).

    It's still in the early stages, but developers will want to check this out I am sure.

    [Thanks, Kevin]

  • OpenStreetMap Edits Towards Haiti Relief

    February 21, 2010  |  Mapping

    Haiti map

    ITO world, who you might remember from a year of OpenStreetMap edits, come back to the map visualization to show the efforts of an impromptu community and Crisis Mappers to produce the most complete and accurate map of Haiti following the earthquake.
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  • Data.gov.uk Gearing Up For Launch, er, Does Launch

    January 20, 2010  |  Data Sources, Mapping

    Update: I had scheduled this post for next week, but apparently, Data.gov.uk launched today. The site isn't loading for me right now though. I guess they weren't prepared for traffic.

    Data.gov, a catalog of US data, launched last year. Now it's the UK's turn. Well, not yet. But soon. Data.gov.uk is still under lock and key, but it has granted access to some developers. Ito Labs, the group behind mapping a year of OpenStreetMap edits posted screenshots of their maps that show vehicle counts (above).

    Here are some comparison maps between 2001 and 2008, by vehicle type.
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  • The Very First Thematic Maps

    January 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    I'm admittedly not very good with historical precedent, but I think we can all agree it's important to know about the work those have done before us. It makes your own work better and lets you appreciate what others do more (or less).
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  • Buy a Print. Support Distaster Relief in Haiti. Please.

    January 14, 2010  |  Announcements, Mapping

    Unless you live under a rock inside a cave in the remotest area in the world, you know a huge quake struck Haiti on Tuesday, and much lies in ruins. The New York Times just posted some before and after satellite images, and it's a horrible thing to see. Buildings gone. People gone.

    It pains me to think about what if that were to happen to me or my family.

    To this end, I'm donating all proceeds from World Progress Report orders, along with this month's FlowingData revenues, to UNICEF's relief efforts. The Report, after all, is an effort to relate to the rest of the world. It only seems fitting. It's not much in the grand scheme of things, I guess, but at least it's something. As they say, every little bit counts.

    Again, I'm taking orders for one week - through January 21. Do some good and get something good too. I'm including How America Learns with all orders now. Buy a print now.

    Or if the World Progress Report just isn't your thing, you can donate directly to UNICEF.

    I mean, seriously, there are 27,000 of you + me. We can make a big difference together.

  • The Geography of Netflix Rentals

    January 11, 2010  |  Mapping

    Some movies are popular everywhere. Others are popular only in certain regions. The New York Times, in a nice team effort, maps rental popularity by zip code for large regions in the US.
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  • The Universe as We Know It

    January 1, 2010  |  Mapping

    The Known Universe from the American Museum of Natural History shows a view of the universe, starting from the Himalayas and quickly moving out to the edge where all is black and scary - made possible by the records in the Digital Universe Atlas.
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  • The Geography of AIDS Around the World

    December 7, 2009  |  Mapping

    It was World AIDS Day last week and UNAIDS published the latest estimates on the number of people around the world who are living with HIV. Xaquin G.V. provides four cartograms (i.e. value-aread maps) to show the numbers. In the final result (above) each square represents 10,000 people with HIV, and regions are color-coded by percentage of people with the virus.
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  • Can You Guess What These Maps Show?

    November 27, 2009  |  Mapping

    I'm no doubt still under massive food coma at this time, but in case you've regained consciousness or don't live in the US, check out this collection of maps from The Morning News. Can you guess what each is supposed to show? If you can guess even one of them correctly, I'll be impressed.

    [Thanks, William]

  • What’s Cooking on Thanksgiving, Mapped and Ranked

    November 26, 2009  |  Mapping

    Food-wise, Thanksgiving is different across the country. In some places you're going to get a lot of chitterlings and collard greens, while in others, turkey and mashed potatoes. Personally, I'm a big fan of the 10-course Chinese feast, but to each his own.

    The New York Times (Matthew Ericson and Amanda Cox), map what's cooking in your neck of the woods based on searches on Allrecipes. The top search, concentrated in the southeast, was sweet potato casserole. I have no idea what that is, but it must be delicious.
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  • Battle of the Coverage Maps: Verizon vs. AT&T

    November 24, 2009  |  Mapping

    Verizon has been running these ads lately that compare their 3G coverage to that of AT&T's. In the ads a Verizon customer walks along on a speedy phone, and a US map pops up that's covered in red. Later, an AT&T customer looks frustrated with a sparsely-covered AT&T coverage map. You've probably seen them by now, but if not, here are the Verizon ones.
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  • Make Thematic Maps With Cartographer.js

    November 5, 2009  |  Mapping, Software

    Like it or not, Google Maps mashups continue to be a Web favorite. It's just so easy to use. Stick a few lines of javascript in your web page, and voila, you've got an interactive map. That's for point-wise data though. It gets a little trickier beyond "you are here" pointers. Cartographic.js, in its first release, aims to make thematic mapping with the Google Maps API easier.
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  • Unemployment, 2004 to Present – The Country is Bleeding

    November 4, 2009  |  Data Sources, Mapping

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most recent unemployment numbers last week. Things aren't looking good for the unemployed, I'm afraid.

    I showed my younger sister the maps. Her response: "It looks like the country is bleeding."
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  • Using Flickr as a Paintbrush

    October 28, 2009  |  Mapping

    Andy Woodruff from Cartogrammar uses average color in Flickr photos to map the colors that people take the most pictures of. The above for example, shows the common colors of Harvard Square. Why all the red? It's because there's so many brick buildings.

    So in the end is a map that provides a different geographic view of what we're used to seeing. We're used to seeing the aerials or the designer-defined color coding of roads and land. This however, while portrayed as a view from above, is what people are seeing on the ground.

  • This Would Be Perfect for a Roomba Commercial

    October 27, 2009  |  Mapping

    roomba

    You know the Roomba from iRobot? It's the robot vacuum cleaner that is supposed to do the work on its own so that you don't have to. I've seen video of the thing picking up dirt and junk but I've always been skeptical that it would cover all areas.

    Well the above, from Signal Theorist, is the Roomba coverage over a half an hour. A camera was setup, the lights were turned off, and the above is a long exposure shot of the Roomba's path. Not bad huh?

    [via Simple Complexity]

  • You Are Not Allowed to Read this Book

    October 12, 2009  |  Mapping

    MappingBookCensorship2

    What would a freshman English class be without Of MIce and Men? No George or Lenny? People in Appomattox, Virginia seem to think it'd be just fine.

    The National Coalition Against Censorship, however, has different ideas on the matter. For the past couple of years the NCAC has confronted such bans and challenges from libraries and curricula. Above is a map of bans and challenges over from December 2006 to May 2009. Other notable works include The Golden Compass, Girl, Interrupted, and yes, brace yourself, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    [via DataViz]

  • The Geography of Job Loss

    October 9, 2009  |  Mapping

    While on the topic of job loss and unemployment, here's an animated map from Tip Strategies that shows job gains and losses over time.

    Red means loss and green means gain, and as you can see above, there isn't much green (read that zero) on the map. The larger the circle is, the greater the number of net loss or gain compared to that of the numbers of the year before in the respective metropolitan statistical area.
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  • Trendsmap Shows Twitter Trends Geographically

    October 7, 2009  |  Mapping

    Twitter shows trending topics, but it's for the entire user base. You can only see what everyone on Twitter is talking about at any given time. Trendsmap, on the other hand, shows trending topics by location. See what's trending in any part of the world in real-time.
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  • Earth Through the Eyes of Astronauts

    September 14, 2009  |  Mapping

    Bella Gaia, or Beautiful Earth, is a unique view of earth through the eye's of astronauts in an effort to provide some sentiment to our home planet.
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Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.