• Mapping what your neighborhood used to look like

    July 1, 2010  |  Mapping

    Getting young and old to hang out

    In part of their initiative to get young and old people to hang out, We Are What We Do, in collaboration with Google, built Historypin. The map application invites people to upload their pictures and pin them in street view. The effort creates something of a digital time machine where old and young can find common ground.

    Obviously, the more people who use it, the more useful it becomes. There doesn't seem to be ton of pictures yet, so all you get is Google street view in a lot of places.

    It's easy to see the potential though. Just imagine being able to watch the evolution of your city, town, or neighborhood, like a block-specific museum with people's personal stories and old photos with modern context.

    [via infosthetics]

  • What America spends on gas and auto

    June 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    Infographic Getting Around Cities

    In a follow-up to their graphic on what America spends on food and drink, personal finance site Bundle, with the help of Nicholas Felton, looks at money spent on gas and auto expenses in major US cities:

    The average household spent $5,477 on gas and auto expenses last year, according to Bundle data, an amount which accounts for about 14.5 percent of daily spending.* That's more than we spend on groceries or utilities, and more than we spend on travel, entertainment, clothes and shoes, and hobbies — combined.

    The sticking-out label thing doesn't really do it for me. The coloring makes the graphic worthwhile though, and the scaled two-section pie charts are pretty good too. What's going on down there in Austin?

  • Where Americans are moving

    June 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    Where Americans are moving

    Jon Bruner of Forbes reports that more than 10 million Americans moved from one county to the other in 2008, based on data from the IRS. The above interactive map show these moves in and out of nine major cities. Red lines represent moves out of the city and black lines show the opposite. The less opaque a line, the less people.

    The interaction is kind of clunky, and it's hard to see all the movement, even when you zoom in, simply because there are so many lines. Further moves, say from California to Florida, get more visual dominance too, when it's actually less than it looks, I think. Placing less emphasis on the lines, and coloring counties as you select the major cities might make this more clear. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting view.

    [Thanks, @jonbruner]

    Update: Check out data.gov and look for 'migration' to get your hands on the data behind the map.

  • Landscape chartspotting

    June 11, 2010  |  Mapping

    charts in landscape

    We saw math principles in nature. Now how about charts? Andy Woodruff does some sniffing around in Google Maps to find charts in rural landscapes. Above, you've got your polar area charts in Bolivia. It looks like an agricultural area. I have no idea how that kind of layout would be more efficient than squares though. Then again, I'm no farmer. Other chart types include pies, bars, and treemaps. Can you find anymore?

  • Find your booty with Bing treasure maps

    June 9, 2010  |  Mapping

    Find your booty with Bing treasure maps

    Maps on the major sites like Yahoo, Google, and Bing have a similar look. You've got your yellow roads, orange freeways, and green parks. Bing Destination Maps takes a different approach. Select your region of interest, and choose the style that you want. You have four choices: European, American, sketchy, and treasure map (above).
    Continue Reading

  • Where the tourists really flock

    June 8, 2010  |  Mapping

    Tourist PIctures in San Francisco

    A couple of weeks ago you saw Eric Fischer's maps of Flickr photos in major cities. The inclination was to think of the maps as a representation of tourist hot spots. The more pictures taken in an area, the more people go there to visit. That's not necessarily the case though. Tourists might flock to an area and might completely neglect another, while locals might avoid the touristy areas.

    In Fischer's second run of maps, he makes an educated guess about the splits between tourists and locals:

    Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

    Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

    Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

    See the full set on Flickr. It's even better than the first. [via | thanks, Joe]

  • San Francisco crime mapped as elevation

    June 7, 2010  |  Mapping

    San Francisco crime mapped as elevation

    Doug McCune maps San Francisco crime in 2009 as if it were elevation. Peaks and valleys emerge with the rolling terrains of crime. The above is the map for prostitution:

    My favorite map is the one for prostitution (maybe “favorite” is the wrong choice of words there). Nearly all the arrests for prostitution in San Francisco occur along what I’m calling the “Mission Mountain Ridge”, which runs up Mission St between 24th and 16th. I love the way the mountain range casts a shadow over much of the city. There’s also a second peak in the Tenderloin (which I’m dubbing Mt. Loin).

    I love how realistic the 3-dimensional models look. They could almost pass for clay figures. Doug notes that the series of maps are more an art piece than they are information visualization, but these would be a great complement to your standard choropleth.

  • Poverty in late 19th century London

    June 4, 2010  |  Mapping

    booth-lg

    Alice Rawsthorn for The New York Times reports on Charles Booth's London poverty maps, from the late 1800s, currently on display at the Museum of London. During a time when people saw rich and poor living separately, Booth's map showed the contrary:

    Mr. Booth had set out to discover how many people were living in poverty, to determine why and what could be done to help them. As well as proving that there was much more poverty in London than the official statistics suggested, his research revealed the nuances of an increasingly complex city with different degrees of hardship, where the rich often lived alongside the poor.

    Of course, no visualization-related piece is complete without a little bit of data overload melodrama and a hat tip to Processing:

    As the data crisis worsens, finding new ways to make sense of this tsunami of information and to illustrate it clearly becomes ever more urgent. One solution is data visualization, a new visual language now being developed by information designers. Using sophisticated programming languages, like Processing, they are distilling colossal quantities of baffling data into seductive digital animations — or visualizations — many of which then change in real time to reflect what is actually happening.

    Ah, that hit the spot.

    [via]

  • BP oil spill if it were where you live

    June 3, 2010  |  Mapping

    If it Was My Home is a simple but effective concept. Enter your location, and the oil spill is overlayed on top. It's gotten to the point where the area the spill covers is greater than the area of some states. Scared? You should be.

  • Uber detailed London map satire

    June 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    Stephen Walter's The Island looks like an ordinary map of London from afar. Just a bunch of scribbles, actually. But zoom in and you get something more.

    The Island satirises the London-centric view of the English capital and its commuter towns as independent from the rest of the country. The artist, a Londoner with a love of his native city, offers up a huge range of local and personal information in words and symbols. Walter speaks in the dialect of today, focusing on what he deems interesting or mundane.

    Zoom in once. Outlines and locations appear.
    Continue Reading

  • Overhaul of New York subway map

    May 30, 2010  |  Mapping

    The ever-popular New York subway map is getting some work done, and will reveal itself with its first major redesign in over a decade:

    The new subway map makes Manhattan even bigger, reduces Staten Island and continues to buck the trend of the angular maps once used here and still preferred in many other major cities. Detailed information on bus connections that was added in 1998 has been considerably shortened.

    Continue Reading

  • Iraq and Afghanistan casualities, home and away

    May 27, 2010  |  Mapping

    In a collaboration between CNN and Stamen Design, Home and Away offers a sobering view into casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2001.

    On the left is a map that shows hometown locations, and on the right is a map of casualty locations. The two maps are linked such that you see where people are from and where they served. Linked filters on the bottom show distributions of age, location, and date. Select or search for an individual to see further details. Friends and family are also able to submit fond memories of fallen loved ones.

    Altogether, the interactive provides a connection between the data and the people behind it. See the full piece on CNN.

  • World atlas of Flickr geotaggers is maptastic

    May 25, 2010  |  Mapping

    Geotagging New York

    In a different look to the let's-map-geotagged-photos idea, photographer Eric Fischer maps picture locations of major cities in the world.

    The maps are ordered by the number of pictures taken in the central cluster of each one. This is a little unfair to aggressively polycentric cities like Tokyo and Los Angeles, which probably get lower placement than they really deserve because there are gaps where no one took any pictures. The central cluster of each map is not necessarily in the center of each image, because the image bounds are chosen to include as many geotagged locations as possible near the central cluster. All the maps are to the same scale, chosen to be just large enough for the central New York cluster to fit.

    Additionally, trace color indicates mode of transportation. Black is walking, red is bicycling, and blue is moving by motor vehicle. From what I gather, photos either come straight from Flickr or a teamed group of people. Unfortunately, that's all I can find though. Some more explanation would probably make these a lot more enjoyable. Nevertheless, they're nice to look at.
    Continue Reading

  • Map of where toursists flock

    May 25, 2010  |  Mapping

    Bluemoon Interactive, a small codeshop, maps touristiness, based on uploads to Panoramio, a site where people share photos of their favorite places. Yellow indicates high touristiness, red is medium touristiness, and blue is low touristiness.

    Europe is much brighter than the rest of the world. The coasts of the US has got some brightness, along with Japan and some of the coasts of South America.

    The question is are we really seeing levels of tourism, or are we looking at who uses Panoramio? I'm inclined to say the latter, simply because all of Europe is so crazy bright.

    [via Information is Beautiful]

  • Fake filming locations of Paramount Studios

    May 21, 2010  |  Mapping

    This might shock you, but many movies are not filmed on location. Yeah. Sometimes they're filmed in completely different countries. Sorry, but it's time you knew. This map from Paramount Studios, produced in 1927, showed investors where movies could shoot, instead of going to the actual places. Does your movie take place in Venice, Italy? No problem, head down to southern California. How about the Mississippi River? Check out the Sacramento River.

    [via A Whole Lotta Nothing]

  • Senate and House races are on

    May 19, 2010  |  Mapping

    I'm not proud of this, but I know very little about what's going on with these 2010 midterm elections. The New York Times just put up their election maps on the race though — for governor, House and Senate seats — so at least you have a way to get informed in a hurry.
    Continue Reading

  • Tracking the oil spill

    May 7, 2010  |  Infographics, Mapping

    For those following the status of the oil spill, the New York Times provides a map tracking the spread. Press play to get the day-by-day. The oil is currently spreading to the west of the Mississippi delta, getting dangerously close to the oyster beds (in red).
    Continue Reading

  • Major wood pallet fires?

    May 4, 2010  |  Design, Mapping

    wood-pallet-fire-risks

    I put this up only because I had no idea wood pallet risks were such a hot topic. No pun intended.

    Of course, if you compare number of pallet fires to number of residential fires, the above almost seems like nothing. There were 20 major pallet fires between 2008 and 2010. There were 403,000 residential structure fires, causing an estimated $8.6 billion in damage - in 2008 alone.

    While I'm sure the pallet fires caused plenty of problems, it's always good to put things in perspective.

    Update: As Douglas points out, the site reeks of plastic pallet propaganda. Another case of forcing an issue by exaggerating the numbers. Tsk.

    [Thanks, John]

  • Seeing the art in cartography

    April 30, 2010  |  Mapping

    In much of the same spirit of the recent Cartographies of Time, the BBC is running a series on The Beauty of Maps. They've got two branches. The first is historical, which is an exploration of some of the world's oldest existing maps. As a complement, the second is a study of digital worlds, or maps of virtual spaces.
    Continue Reading

  • Review: indiemapper makes thematic mapping easy

    April 28, 2010  |  Mapping, Reviews, Software

    It's finally here. Indiemapper brings easy and flexible thematic mapping online. I've been looking forward to this app ever since I got a glimpse of what was to come over a year ago, through the eyes of Indieprojector. The guys at Axis Maps have taken the core functionality of advanced GIS, simplified the work flow with a well-designed interface, and made it it super easy to create beautiful maps.
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