• Visualizing the Paris metro system

    April 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    Parisian subway

    Data visualization group Dataveyes looks closer at the Paris metro system from a time and crowd point of view.

    This visualization offers to challenge the way we traditionally view our 2D metro maps. Métropolitain takes on an unexpected gamble: using cold, abstract figures to take the pulse of a hectic and feverish metropolis. The metro map is no longer arbitrarily dictated by the spatial distance between two points. By playing around with two extra variables — time and crowds — users can transform the map, view it in 3D and unveil the true reality behind their daily commute.

    No doubt inspired by the Travel Time Tube Map of the London Underground by Tom Carden, Métropolitain lets you select a station and the lines morph to represent how long it takes to get to other stations. A layer underneath is a heatmap that shows annual incoming traffic per station.

    Finally, you can switch between 2-D and 3-D. I'm not sure if the extra dimension adds much from an understanding point of view, but it is fun to play with. [via infosthetics]

  • Map: Travel safety by country

    April 9, 2013  |  Mapping

    Dangerous travel

    As summer rolls around here on this side of the planet, CBC News mapped countries to avoid in your travel plans, based on foreign travel advisories from the Canada Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

    Naturally, Canada isn't colored on the map because the map was made for Canadians, but I think it's safe to assume that they'd be colored green too and most, if not all, of the advisories apply to those of us here in the United States. [Thanks, John]

  • An experimental map service using 3-D data

    April 2, 2013  |  Mapping

    Stamen Here

    For the past few months, Stamen Design has been working with 3-D data from Nokia's Here. Something pretty came out of the experiment.

    For your viewing, embedding, linking, and otherwise internet-ing pleasure: http://here.stamen.com/ is live today. It uses 3D data from HERE for San Francisco, New York, London, and Berlin to create city-wide 3D browsable maps, and it does this in the browser (though you'll need a WebGL-enabled browser to see it). As in many of our other mapping projects, the urls change dynamically depending on location and other factors, and the data conforms, more or less, to the Tile Map Service specification. What this means, among other things, is that it's not only possible to link to and embed these maps at specific locations and zoom levels, but that it's easy—and as we've seen with Citytracking, easy is good.

    There are a bunch of views to play with, and you should try all of them. My favorites though are the city-planning look in Pinstripe and the glowing aesthetic of the height view.

  • Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    March 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    Gun deaths since Sandy Hook

    The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was horrible, but there have been thousands of gun deaths since. Huffington Post is mapping them.

    Circles represent the number of deaths in a city, and the larger a circle the higher the count. A bar chart on the bottom shows the data over time and serves as a navigation device. Click on a day or a location, and the names of victims appear on the right with a link to the related news story.

    See also: Periscopic's work on the topic, which now has filters and is updated in real-time.

    Also: episodes 487 and 488 of This American Life, which focus on Harper High School in Chicago, where gang violence is a daily concern.

  • March Madness fan map

    March 26, 2013  |  Mapping

    Along the same lines as their NFL fan maps, Facebook had a closer look at March Madness fandom, based on likes for team pages. In the map below, each county is colored by the conference liked the most.

    March Madness map

  • A new brand of cartographer

    March 20, 2013  |  Mapping

    Emily Underwood on new cartographers and the growing field:

    Geographers have traditionally studied how the natural environment contributes to human society and vice versa, whereas cartographers have focused more explicitly on the art and science of mapmaking. Over the past couple of decades, a new field has emerged: geographical information systems (GIS), blending the study and expression of geographic information. Cartography and geography have overlapped and spawned innumerable subspecialties and applications. Modern geographers and cartographers are involved in diverse projects: tracking fleets of vehicles or products, helping customers locate a Dunkin' Donuts, modeling environmental scenarios such as oil spills, and studying the spread of disease.

    You could substitute visualization and statistics for cartography throughout, and it'd almost all still be valid. The reoccurring theme is that although academic programs can be fine resources, most of your success has to do with what you can learn on your own, as data-related fields are changing fast.

  • App shows what the Internet looks like

    March 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    what the internet looks like

    In a collaboration between PEER 1 Hosting, Steamclock Software, and Jeff Johnston, the Map of the Internet app provides a picture of what the physical Internet looks like.
    Continue Reading

  • Average commute times mapped

    March 6, 2013  |  Mapping

    Los Angeles commute

    The United States Census Bureau just released county-level commute estimates for 2011, based on the American Community Survey (that thing so many people seem to be against).

    About 8.1 percent of U.S. workers have commutes of 60 minutes or longer, 4.3 percent work from home, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers had "megacommutes" of at least 90 minutes and 50 miles. The average one-way daily commute for workers across the country is 25.5 minutes, and one in four commuters leave their county to work.

    The Bureau graphic isn't very good [PDF], but WNYC plugged the data into a map, which is a lot more informative.

    There's also a link to download the data on the bottom left of the WNYC map in CSV format, in case you want to try your hand at making a choropleth map. Or you can grab some flow data from the Census Bureau.

  • SimCity 2013 is coming tomorrow

    March 4, 2013  |  Mapping

    I'm not into video games, and my experience has been near zero since high school, but I'm excited about SimCity 2013 coming out tomorrow. I think my excitement comes from one part nostalgia and one part GlassBox — the game engine that drives the simulations of the city you build and its citizens:

    All the glowing reviews probably have something to do with interest, too. But that memory of installing SimCity 2000 from two floppy disks in my 486 totally brings back happy thoughts.

    Apparently, the game makers were inspired by Google Maps and information graphics to display the data generated during gameplay. I hope Maxis releases some of that data. It could be fun to compare SimCity demographics to the real world. Then again, who's going to have time to look at the data, when we'll be too busy building arcologies?

  • Stately: A simple map font

    February 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    StatelyAdd another way to make state-level choropleth maps. Stately, a project by Intridea, allows you to approach state mapping in the browser like you would a font.

    Stately is a symbol font that makes it easy to create a map of the United States using only HTML and CSS. Each state can be styled independently with CSS for making simple visualizations. And since it's a font, it scales bigger and smaller while staying sharp as a tack.

    The process is fairly straightforward: Link to the Stately stylesheet, add some HTML markup (an unordered list of states) to your page, and then use CSS to color each state. Boom, you've got yourself a map.

  • Languages of New York, via Twitter

    February 27, 2013  |  Mapping

    Twitter language NYC

    In a follow-up to their map on most used languages in London, James Cheshire and Ed Manley, along with John Barratt, mapped the most commonly used languages in New York, based on the ones used on Twitter.

    English (in grey above) is by far the most popular with Spanish (in blue above) taking the top spot amongst the other language groups. Portuguese and Japanese take third and fourth respectively. Midtown Manhattan and JFK International Airport have, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most linguistically diverse tweets whilst specific languages shine through in places such as Brighton Beach (Russian), the Bronx (Spanish) and towards Newark (Portuguese). You can also spot international clusters on Liberty Island and Ellis Island and if you look carefully the tracks of ferry boats between them.

  • Map of Craigslist Missed Connections

    February 22, 2013  |  Mapping

    Missed Connections

    On Craigslist there's a section in the personals for "missed connections" which lets people post missed chances at love with the (slim) hopes that the person he or she saw sees the random post on Craiglist. They usually start off like, "I saw you in that place, and you were..." Dorothy Gambrell mapped the most frequent location for each state.

    In California, there's apparently a lot of eyeballing at 24 Hour Fitness, and in New York it's the subway, which shouldn't be surprising. I like how bars are most mentioned in North Dakota and Wisconsin, which matches up with the bars versus grocery stores map from a couple of years ago.

  • U.S. overlaid on the Moon for a sense of scale

    February 19, 2013  |  Mapping

    US on the Moon

    How big is the Moon, really? Reddit user boredboarder8 provided some perspective with this image of the Moon with an overlaid United States. It's roughly estimated (and others would be better at commenting on the accuracy better than me), but after some back-of-napkin math it seems about right. The area of the United States, not including Alaska, is a little over 20 percent of the Moon's surface area. [via io9]

  • A shroud of cold air descends on the U.S.

    February 15, 2013  |  Mapping

    From NOAA, an animation showing a wave of cold during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend last month:

    A drop in the jet stream sent temperatures across the United States plummeting over the Martin Luther King Jr Holiday weekend. The pronounced change in temperatures can be seen in this weather data from NOAA/NCEP's Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis. Areas colored blue are below freezing. The diurnal cycle of heating and cooling can be seen over time, but the pattern is clear: much of the U.S. is pretty cold.

    While you're at it, you might as well check out other videos on the NOAA Visualizations YouTube channel. Some good stuff.

  • Redrawn United States of electoral votes

    February 14, 2013  |  Mapping

    Electoral college reform (fifty states with equal population)

    Neil Freeman reimagined state boundary lines based on population. He started with an algorithm and the fifty largest cities, considered proximity, urban area, and commuting patterns, and then hand-tweaked boundary lines and shapes. The state names are mostly centered around geographic features (although I would have opted for ones based on dating profiles).

    "Keep in mind that this is an art project, not a serious proposal, so take it easy with the emails about the sacred soil of Texas." [via kottke | Thanks, Mickey]

  • Mapping translations of Othello

    February 8, 2013  |  Mapping

    Transvis

    Tom Cheesman of Swansea University, along with Kevin Flanagan and Studio NAND, dives into translations of Shakespeare's Othello with TransVis.

    TransVis collects, digitises, analyses and compares translations and variations of literary works. In an initial prototype named VVV (»Version Variation Visualisation«), we have proposed analysis methods, interfaces and visualization tools to explore 37 translations of Shakespeare’s Othello into German with more works translated into other languages to come.

    The map is more of a browser to see where specific publications were written, rewritten and published, but I wonder if you'll see anything interesting if you looked at just where something is rewritten or translated. It'd be like seeing ideas spreading. Or you know, Twilight copies.

  • Mercator map puzzle

    January 31, 2013  |  Mapping

    Mercator puzzle

    The Mercator projection can be useful for giving directions, but when it comes to world maps, the projection doesn't hold up well as you move far north and south. By how much? Give this puzzle game a try and match the red boundaries to their respective countries.

  • NFL fans on Facebook, based on likes

    January 29, 2013  |  Mapping

    Football fans in the United States

    As the Super Bowl draws near, Facebook took a look at football fandom across the country.

    The National Football League is one of the most popular sports in America with some incredibly devoted fans. At Facebook we have about 35 million account holders in the United States who have Liked a page for one of the 32 teams in the league, representing one of the most comprehensive samples of sports fanship ever collected. Put another way, more than 1 in 10 Americans have declared their support for an NFL team on Facebook.

    It's a fairly straightforward geographic breakdown based on the most liked team in each county, as shown above. So you can kind of see where rivalries come from.
    Continue Reading

  • Ten years of cumulative precipitation

    January 28, 2013  |  Mapping

    We've all seen rain maps for a sliver of time. Screw that. I want to see the total amount of rainfall over a ten-year period. Bill Wheaton did just that in the video above, showing cumulative rainfall between 1960 and 1970. The cool part is that you see mountains appear, but they're not actually mapped.

    The hillshaded terrain (the growing hills and mountains) is based on the rainfall data, not on actual physical topography. In other words, hills and mountains are formed by the rainfall distribution itself and grow as the accumulated precipitation grows. High mountains and sharp edges occur where the distribution of precipitation varies substantially across short distances. Wide, broad plains and low hills are formed when the distribution of rainfall is relatively even across the landscape.

    See also Wheaton's video that shows four years of rain straight up.

    Is there more recent data? It could be an interesting complement to the drought maps we saw a few months ago. [Thanks, Bill]

  • Global temperature rises over past century

    January 16, 2013  |  Mapping

    Your Warming World

    New Scientist mapped global temperature change based on a NASA GISTEMP analysis.

    The graphs and maps all show changes relative to average temperatures for the three decades from 1951 to 1980, the earliest period for which there was sufficiently good coverage for comparison. This gives a consistent view of climate change across the globe. To put these numbers in context, the NASA team estimates that the global average temperature for the 1951-1980 baseline period was about 14 °C.

    The more red an area the greater the increase was estimated to be, relative to estimates for 1951 to 1980 (especially noticeable in the Northern Hemisphere).

    The most interesting part is when you compare all the way back to to the 19th century when it was much cooler. You can also click on locations for a time series of five-year averages. [Thanks, Peter]

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