Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Mapping Italy's Manchurian Candidate

Vladimir Putin's favorite Italian politician, Matteo Salvini, has been in the news a lot this week. Last week Buzzfeed revealed that a close aide of Matteo Salvini held a meeting with three Russians. A meeting in which he discussed how to illegally channel tens of millions of dollars of Russian oil money to Salvini’s Lega party.

When Salvini isn't busy visiting Moscow or denouncing EU sanctions against Russia he is usually relentlessly campaigning around Italy trying to drum-up far-right support for his extreme political party. Visualize News has released an interactive map which tracks Matteo Salvini's movements based on his official Facebook page.

Matteo on Tour maps out all Salvini's visits around Italy (and abroad) since 2 June 2018. It includes a timeline which is synchronized to an interactive map. Click on any of the visits mentioned in the timeline and you can view the location visited on the interactive map. In total, since last June, Matteo Salvini has covered the same distance as 4 Forest Gumps. Let's hope that his next journey is a short trip to a long stay in prison.

Monday, July 15, 2019

San Francisco's Seasons of Fog

San Francisco is well known for its frequent fog. In fact San Franciscans are so familiar with this weather phenomenon that they are now on first name terms. The reason that San Francisco sees so much fog, especially in the summer, is that big expanse of water called the Pacific. The cold ocean waters of the Pacific cools the warm air above. Cool air doesn't hold as much moisture as warm air. The moisture therefore condenses as the warm air is cooled, creating fog.

In the mornings the sun begins to heat the land. Hot air rises and the cooled foggy air over the Pacific is sucked inland. As the day progresses the sun heats the air and San Francisco's fog is therefore (usually) burned off during the afternoon.

You can see this process very clearly on Fogust, an interactive map visualizing San Francisco's fog by month and time of day. The map uses historical data from NOAA's GOES-15 to provide a visual guide to the historical levels of fog experienced during different months and over the course of a typical day.

The map has three buttons for each month of the year. Judging by the map July and August seem to be the foggiest months. If you switch between the 10 am, 12 pm and 4 pm buttons in July then you can observe the process described above, as the the fog forms over the Pacific, rolls inland and then gets burned off in the afternoon.

OSM Coverage & Population Density

Disaster Ninja is a map of global population density correlated to OpenStreetMap density. It shows the number of OpenStreetMap objects mapped compared to the local population density. The map can therefore be used to quickly identify populated locations around the world which have not been fully mapped on OSM.

Disaster Ninja was initially developed to help disaster relief. The map can be used to quickly determine the level of OSM coverage compared to the local population after a natural disaster. It is therefore a useful tool for organizations such as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, who develop and use OSM map data as part of their disaster response and management efforts.

The Disaster Ninja interactive map uses a bivariate choropleth overlay to show the number of OSM map objects compared to the population per kilometer squared. The red areas on the map are locations which have a high population density and a low number of mapped objects on OSM. The red areas on the map are therefore locations which are likely to not be fully mapped on OpenStreetMap. At the other end of the bivariate scale are the light green areas. These are locations with a relatively small population and a large number of mapped objects.

At a glance India and China seem to be two areas of the world with a relatively high population density and low OSM map object count. The very high population densities in some areas of these countries may partly account for this. However some of the most densely populated areas, such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Beijing actually show up as green on the map and are therefore relatively well mapped on OSM.

Via: Weekly OSM

Map in European Languages

The map above shows the word 'map' translated into a number of different European languages. The continent is mostly divided between those who derive the word 'map' from Latin and those who derive the word from Greek.

The word for 'map' in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech and Serbian comes from the Latin 'mappa' for 'sheet' or 'napkin'. The word's use to describe a drawn representation of an area originates from the medieval Latin 'mappa mundi'. The literal translation of 'mappa mundi' is 'sheet of the world', from Latin mappa ‘sheet, napkin’ and mundi ‘of the world’ (genitive of mundus ).

Most other languages in Europe derive the word 'map' from the Greek word 'khártēs' (meaning map). These include the French, who use 'Carte', the German 'Karte' and the Danish 'Kort'.

In English, despite using a Latin derived word as the name for a map, we use a Greek word for the science or practice of drawing maps. The word 'cartography' comes from the French 'cartographie', from Ancient Greek 'khártēs' (map) + 'gráphō' (write). The other users of the Latin 'mappa' to describe a map (Spain, Portugal, Poland, Czechia and Serbia) also use a word derived from these Greek words (khártēs+'gráphō) to describe the actual science of making maps.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

City Neighborhood Quiz

How well do you know your global cities? Could you name a city just from a list of its central neighborhoods? Let's find out.

The maps below have had all road and building data removed. In fact the only thing left on these maps are the place-name labels of each city's central neighborhoods / boroughs. All you have to do is identify the city featured in each of the maps.

There are seven cities to guess in total.








Answers (highlight the text below to reveal the answers)

1. London
2. New York
3. Paris
4. Berlin
5. San Francisco
6. Los Angeles
7. Sydney

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Tracking Tropical Storm Barry

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) advises that Tropical Storm Barry has become a hurricane as it approaches Louisiana. They warn of "dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions occurring across the north-central Gulf Coast".

For the latest news on Tropical Storm Barry from the NHC refer to:

The NHC's public advisory on Hurricane Barry
The NHC's forecast advisory on Hurricane Barry
The NHC's forecast discussion on Hurricane Barry

CNN has compiled a number of resources related to the progress of Tropical Storm Barry. These include a storm tracking map, the latest satellite imagery and a number of forecast maps showing the predicted levels of precipitation, storm surges and wind speeds. The storm tracker interactive map shows the predicted path of Tropical Storm Barry and the estimated arrival times along its predicted path.

The National Weather Service says that the slow progress of the storm will bring a threat of flooding "along the central Gulf Coast, across portions of the Mississippi Valley and north into the Tennessee Valley." You can view where the NWS has current alerts in place on the National Weather Service map. Just click on any of the colored sections on the map to read the latest NWS alert for that location.

You can also follow Tropical Storm Barry on the Earth animated map. Earth animates the latest wind, precipitation and other weather conditions on an interactive map. Just click on the Earth logo to change the visualized weather layer or to switch to a different map projection.

Putting Water Fountains on the Map

Readers of Maps Mania are mostly very conscious of the effect of single-use plastic on the environment. Which is why they would presumably always prefer to use a reusable water bottle rather than a single-use plastic water bottles. When I leave my home in the summer I nearly always carry a re-usable water bottle. I actually now have a pretty good mental map of the location of water fountains which I can use to refill my water bottle. Of course this mental map only exists in places I know well. When I end up somewhere new I have to rely entirely on luck when looking for a water fountain.

Finding a nearby water fountain can be quite hard. Which is why you should bookmark water-fountains.org on your mobile devices. water-fountains.org is an interactive map which can help you find and discover water fountains close to your current location. The map shows the locations of potable water fountains with a small blue marker and non-potable fountains with a black marker. The map sidebar lists the nearest fountains in order of proximity to your current location. If you hover over a water fountain in this list its location will be highlighted on the map.

The map sidebar also includes a number of options which allow you to filter the results shown on the map. These allow you to view the locations of only potable water fountains or water fountains which are wheelchair accessible. It even allows you to filter the results by type of water (spring, ground water, own supply or tap).

Now for the bad news. Unfortunately at the moment water-fountains.org only works in New York, Geneva, Zurich, Lucerne and Basel. water-fountains.org does say to contact them if you would like to add your city to the map. Presumably they would look more favorably on your request if you were able to provide the location data yourself for the water fountains in your city.

If you live in Italy then you can use Fontanelle. Fontanelle maintains an interactive map showing the locations of drinking fountains in many Italian cities. Their cities on the map list includes information on how many water fountains have been mapped in each Italian city (and a link to the map showing the locations of all the city's water fountains).

Friday, July 12, 2019

Deforestation Supply Chains

Much of the deforestation of tropical rainforests around the world is being caused by agricultural expansion, mainly to grow soy & palm oil and to clear land to graze cows for beef. Trase wants to increase transparency around the supply chains of agricultural products in order to reveal the environmental and social risks of these products. One way in which Trase is increasing transparency is through mapping the supply chains of South American agricultural commodities from production to consumption.

The Trase Explore the Supply Chain map is a simple interactive tool which allows you to view the supply chains of a number of agricultural commodities from South American countries to the rest of the world. Select a product, a country and a year and you can view a flow map showing the volume trade of that product to other countries around the world for the selected year. The top exporting companies of that product are also listed beside the map.

The Trase Supply Chain Interactive Map provides a more detailed overview of the trade and supply chains of some of these agricultural commodities. This map allows you to explore in finer detail where these products originate from and the deforestation risk attached to their production. An accompanying sankey diagram shows the supply chain of the selected commodity, revealing the volumes traded by individual exporting and importing companies and the countries where the commodity is most consumed.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Fly Me to 200 Moons

Jupiter has 67 moons. Saturn has 61. In fact, in total, there are nearly 200 moons in our Solar System. Thanks to National Geographic you can now take a galactic tour of all the Solar System's major moons.

Start scrolling on The Atlas of the Moons and you will take-off from the Earth to play a fleeting visit to the Moon. Keep scrolling and you can travel further out into the Solar System, visiting each of the planets in turn. Stop for gas at a planet and you can take a little tour of each of the planet's major moons.

Each of these individual moon tours includes an interactive 3D globe of the moon. The globe is accompanied with some interesting facts, about the moon's circumference and the nature of its geology & atmosphere. Each 3D globe has a small inset map on which an outline of the United States has been overlaid (to give some perspective on the moon's size). The National Geographic also provides information on each of the space missions which have visited the moon.

If you are a fan of traveling around the Solar System then you will also like NASA's Solar System Exploration website. This is a great destination for anyone who wants to learn more about the Sun, the planets (& their moons), the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.

NASA's Solar System Exploration includes interactive globes of a number of the planets and moons. Each of these interactive globes are labelled with some of the most interesting locations on each planet. If you click on these labeled locations you can view them in more detail using NASA's satellite imagery of the planet or moon. A sidebar panel can be also be opened to view more information about each selected location.

NASA's Solar System website includes an interactive map of the Solar System showing the orbits of all the planets around the Sun. The planets and Haley's Comet are interactive on the map. If you select any of the planets on the map you can click through to navigate to their dedicated section on the website.

Your 2050 Climate Twin

In 2050 London will have climate similar to that currently experienced by Barcelona. The temperature in London is expected to rise by 2.2 degrees centigrade over the next thirty years, resulting in temperatures that you would expect on the Mediterranean today. London is of course not the only city that can expect dramatic temperature increases from global heating. Madrid will be like Marrakesh, Seattle will resemble San Francisco and Washington D.C. will have a climate similar to Nashville today.

The Crowther Lab has explored how global heating will effect 520 cities around the world and matched those predictions with cities that experience those temperatures today. The result is a simple to understand example of the likely results of global heating. Click on your city on the Future Cities interactive map and you can find out which city's climate your city will resemble in 2050 as a result of climate change.

When you select a city on the Future Cities interactive map you can also view details on the expected annual increase in temperature and the expected increase in temperature in the warmest & coldest months. The sharpest rise predicted by Crowther Lab will be in St. Louis. St. Louis is expected to see an increase in annual temperatures of 3.6 degrees centigrade. It will therefore experience a climate similar to that of Dallas today.

Crowther Lab are not the first to use future climate analogs as a way to explain the effects of climate change. 23 Degrees has also released a clever interactive map which allows you to find your climate analog for the year 2080. Using this climate change model Frankfurt in Germany will be as hot as Malawi today and living in Berlin will be like living in Lesotho in southern Africa.

You can find your 2080 climate twin using The Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm interactive map. If you enter your location or click on your location on the map you can view the town or city in the world which has a climate now which is similar to the climate you can expect in your location in the year 2080. The map uses two different climate models. This allows you to find your climate twin for a global heating scenario of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees.

If you live in the USA then you can use the University of Maryland's interactive map, What Will the Climate Feel Like in 60 Years, to discover your 2080 climate twin. The map is based on work by scientists Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert Dunn, who used different climate models to find the contemporary climatic analogs for the weather that 540 North American urban areas can expect in the late 21st century. The study behind the map revealed that the climate in U.S. cities will significantly change over this century, becoming similar to contemporary climates which are hundreds of kilometers away.

Using the interactive map you can click on a town or city to discover which current location has a climate which is similar to the climate you can expect in 2080. The map provides two different analogs for each urban area. One shows the climate analog based on a high emissions climate model and the other view provides a climate analog based on a future where countries have actually reduced emissions.