Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence Aerial Imagery


NOAA’s Remote Sensing Division has been flying its airplanes along the North and South Carolina coast since Saturday. The planes have been collecting damage assessment imagery in order to help and support emergency response after Hurricane Florence.

The Hurricane Florence Imagery interactive map allows you to view the latest imagery on top of a map and pre-Florence aerial imagery. The map includes three layers of aerial imagery, captured on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The imagery captured on the 15th covers the coast from Cape Henry, Virginia to Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. The imagery from the 16th is from Charleston, South Carolina to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The imagery captured yesterday is from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and from Oak Island to Oregon Inlet in North Carolina.

As well as aiding emergency response to the storm NOAA's aerial imagery will be used to assess the damage caused by the storm and flooding. Aerial imagery provides one of the most cost-effective ways to analyse storm damage to both property and the environment.

Mapping Gentrification in Austin


The University of Texas was commissioned by the Austin City Council to research and map neighborhoods in the city where residents are being displaced by development and the rising cost of property. You can view the results of this research on the Austin Gentrification and Displacement Indicators interactive map.

The map allows you to see which Austin neighborhoods are most vulnerable to displacement, which are becoming more vulnerable, which neighborhoods have experienced the biggest changes in property values and which ones have experienced the most gentrification. The different gentrification and displacement indicators can be selected and viewed by selecting them from the menu above the map.

Also See

Turning the Corner - mapping gentrification in Detroit
Urban Displacement - mapping gentrification and displacement in Los Angeles
Displacement Project Alert Map - mapping displacement pressures in New York City
The UCB Urban Displacement Project Map - mapping gentrification & displacement in the San Francisco Bay Area
Ungentry - mapping demographic change and gentrification in Boston

The Land Use of Berlin


Back in July Bloomberg mapped out how American uses its land. In Here's How America Uses its Land Bloomberg discovered that 41 percent of land in the contiguous United States is given over to livestock. Urban areas make up just 3.6 percent of American land use. Of course that urban land is also made up of a number of different types of land use, including buildings, parks and roads.

Now I can't tell you how any American cities are constituted by land type but thanks to Tages Spiegel we can explore how Berlin uses its land. Parts of Berlin is a story map which explores how much of Berlin is dedicated to different types of land use.

The map reveals that Berlin is a very green city. In fact the green areas of the city are as large as the five districts of Mitte, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Pankow, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Spandau combined. That is quite a large proportion of the city. Another 133 square kilometers of the city are dedicated to traffic and travel. These areas are made up of parking lots, roads, railways and sidewalks. The amount of Berlin given over to traffic and travel is about the size of the districts of Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Schöneberg, Friedenau, Tempelhof and Mariendorf put together.

Stealing the Maldives


In 2014 and 2015 the Maldives Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb with the help of President Abdulla Yameen and a number of corrupt local businessmen began leasing out islands and coral lagoons as tourist resorts. These deals were carried out without legally mandated public bids and the profits were embezzled by Adeeb and his cronies. The government and Maldives citizens were in effect robbed of $79 million.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project has now mapped out which islands were embezzled under the corrupt reign of the now imprisoned tourism minister. The Explore the Maldives Island Deals interactive map includes a number of options to filter the data. For example the reader can select the 'Worst Deals' option to just see the island leases which have been singled out as among the worst deals for taxpayers. The 'International Brands' option allows you to see which international hotel brands have been building on the embezzled islands. There is also an option to view 'Local Businessmen, Tycoons, and Cronies' to view which of the deals involved local citizens and who those corrupt businessmen are.

You can learn more about how this corruption occurred in How Paradise Was Carved Up and Sold. You can find out more about who benefited from these crimes in Meet the Businessmen and Global Brands that Got the Islands.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Naming Philadelphia's Neighborhoods.


Everybody loves to argue about neighborhood boundaries.

Don't they?

What makes these arguments so great is that with no official boundaries no-one can prove that their views are correct. Except if you live in Philadelphia.

Residents in Philadelphia who are involved in an argument over a local neighborhood boundary can just refer to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Philadelphia Neighborhood Map. The map settles once and for all where every Phili neighborhood begins and ends.

Or does it?

In fact the Philadelphia Inquirer doesn't want to ruin your arguments. They even invite you to argue with their boundary decisions. If you click on a neighborhood on the map you can tell the Inquirer whether you agree with their choice or not. If you disagree with their name for a neighborhood you can tell them what you call it.


The Inquirer isn't the first newspaper to map their local boundaries. Back in 2015 the LA Times asked their readers to draw the boundary of the Eastside neighborhood.

The boundary of the city's Eastside neighborhood is particularly hard to define because there seems to be no official map of the area's extent. The Los Angeles Times therefore decided to settle the argument by asking their readers to draw Eastside on a map. On the L.A.'s Eastside: Where do you draw the line? map you can use the Leaflet drawing tools to draw your idea of where Eastside's boundaries lie. You can then compare your concept of the neighborhood with the view of the Los Angleles Times and with the views of other readers.

You can view more neighborhood boundary maps on this Crowdsourcing Neighborhood Boundaries post.

How to Find an Electric Citi Bike


New York has a new bike hire system which allows people to rent pedal-assisted electric bicycles. The problem for anyone who want to use one of Citi Bike's electric bikes is that there are only 200 of them dotted around the city and they can be very difficult to find. Unless you consult I Want to Ride an Electric Citi Bike.

I Want to Ride an Electric Citi Bike is an interactive map which shows you which bike docking stations have electric bikes right now. The stations with electric bikes are indicated on the map with a pink circle. The map can also alert you when electric bikes are available near you. Just select from a list of bike stations and you can receive a browser alert within ten seconds whenever an electric bike is docked in one of your stations.



You can explore all the data behind how Citi Bike's non-electric bikes are used on the NYC City Bike App. The NYC Citi Bike App is a Leaflet based interactive map which allows you to explore the number of bikes borrowed and docked from each Citi Bike station. The interactive map visualizes the most popular stations and journeys for any time of day and day of the week.

Bike stations on the map are colored to show which of the docking stations have the most bikes borrowed from them during the selected times and days. Stations colored red have more bikes borrowed from them than are docked at them. This means that they lose bikes during the selected time. The green stations are stations where more bikes are docked than borrowed. These stations therefore end up with more bikes than they start with for the selected time period.

The orange lines show the most popular routes. If you follow the orange lines from any bike station you can see the most popular journeys between that station and other New York bike stations. The data behind the map only shows where and when a bike was borrowed and docked. Therefore these orange lines don't show the actual routes between two bike stations.

The map includes the option to filter the data by time of day. Notice how the orange and green stations change during the morning and evening rush hours. In the morning the red stations (the ones losing bikes) tend to be on the outskirts of the Citi Bike network. In the evening commuting hours the red stations are concentrated in the city center. This pattern obviously reflects the movement of people into the city in the morning for work and then traveling out of the city after work.

What Did Europe Ever Do For Us?


When the UK leaves Europe next year it will finally liberate itself from the shackles of free trade and free movement. Its citizens are eagerly looking forward to their new found freedoms of paying for trade tariffs and travel visas. They are also keen to see an end to the £5 billion a year that the EU invests in the UK.

If you want to know what initiatives, companies, research projects and other organisations will be liberated from their EU funding then you should check MyEU. MyEU is an interactive map which shows some of the initiatives and projects currently funded by the EU. If you search the map by address or postcode you can where the EU invests money in the local area.

The map also includes a handy link that can help you get in touch with your local Member of Parliament. You may want to thank them for leading the UK out of Europe and putting an end to all that local inward investment.


When the UK leaves the EU its citizens will also be freed from the choice of being able to live in another European country. The free movement of workers is one of the basic principles of the European Union. In Europe citizens of countries in the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are free to live, study, work and retire in any other EU or EFTA zone country.

1,220,000 people from the UK are currently living in other EU countries. 2,880,000 people currently living in the UK were born in other EU countries. You can find out where these European travelers live and have moved from on this interactive map. The Pew Research Center created the map to visualize how many Europeans have moved to live in other European countries.

The Origins and Destinations of European Union Migrants within the EU allows you to select an individual EU country and discover where the EU immigrants living there have originated from. You can also discover where migrants from individual countries have moved to in order to work.



Swissinfo has also been looking at the effect of free movement on the net migration rate in each of the countries in the EU & EFTA. 

Which European countries attract the most immigrants? shows the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants in each country based on movement within the free movement area. Areas with a positive net migration rate (where more people are moving to) are colored blue on the map and areas & regions with a negative net migration rate (where people are leaving) are colored brown on the map.

As you might expect migrants within Europe tend to move to regions that have the strongest economies. Conversely the areas and regions where the most people move from tend to be areas with weaker economies.

This map is featured in Swissinfo's 'migration' series. This in-depth series explores the issues of migration around the world (particularly in how it effects Switzerland) and includes a number of maps and other data visualizations of global and European migration data

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Exoplanet Explorer


The Exoplanet Explorer is an interesting attempt to create imagined solar systems showing the orbits of all the known exoplanets. An exoplanet is a planet that has been discovered outside the Sun's solar system. Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered, mostly with NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

The Exoplanet Explorer uses data from NASA to create imagined views of the three thousand exoplanets discovered so far. These views are based on the data known about the visualized planet. Alongside this imagined view of the planet you can view information about the planet, such as its temperature, size and the length of its orbit around its sun. I have no idea how accurate these exoplanet maps are but I assume they are generated based on this information.


You can see a more accurate view of the exoplanets on the Exoplanets Viewer. The Exoplanets Viewer is a WebGL visualization (with a little help from Unity) of the Universe, showing the location of all the exoplanets discovered so far. The Exoplanets Viewer shows the position of all the known exoplanets as seen from your current location and time.

The color of an exoplanet on the map represents its temperature. The green exoplanets are those situated in the habitable or 'Goldilocks' zone. The hottest planets are colored red while ice worlds are colored blue. If you are looking for a new home then you want to choose one on one of the green planets.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Real-Time Maps of Hurricane Florence


The Washington Post is mapping the amount of rainfall from Hurricane Florence in near real-time. The animated map in Hurricane Florence’s Deluge, in Real Time shows the track of Hurricane Florence and the cumulative rainfall that has fallen since 7pm on September 12th.

As the Post's animated map plays you can see the hourly rainfall markers sweep in following the track of the tropical storm. As the map continues to play you can see the accumulation of the rainfall as the colors darken on the map. Beneath the animated rainfall map is another map showing the size of the storm surge along the South and North Carolina coast.

The Washington Post's map uses real-time flood gauge and precipitation data from the National Weather Service and observed and predicted tidal data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


You can also follow the progress of the storm in real-time using the Earth animated weather map. This real-time map uses weather data from the Global Forecast System to show current wind and wave patterns around the world. The map also includes a 3 Hour Precipitation Accumulation layer which shows how much rain has fallen in the last three hours. Earth's animated weather layers really do provide a dramatic visualization of the power of tropical storms like Hurricane Florence.

The World History Map


The WorldMap is an open source mapping platform from Harvard’s Center for Geographic Analysis. Users of WorldMap can quickly create a map using their own data layers or using the hundreds of data layers already added to the WorldMap.

WorldMap has 23,000 registered users who have created over 6,000 maps with 29,000 data layers. You can explore some of these by following the links in the Examples section of WorldMap. These examples include the Trade Routes and Cities in Europe from Rome to the Middle Ages interactive map. This map includes layers which allow you to explore the major historical land and sea trade routes which were used to transfer goods in Europe, North Africa and the Middle-East.

Another interesting history map created with World Map is the AP World History Map, which provides a number of overlays related to topics in the AP World History curriculum. The topics on the AP World History Map are organized into seven categories, including Civilizations, Trade Routes and Travel & Exploration. The Travel and Exploration/Conquest Routes category includes overlays showing the three voyages of Christoper Columbus, the travels of Ibn Battuta, the travels of Marco Polo and the travels of Zheng He.

If you want to learn more about the travels of Ibn Battuta then you might also want to have a look at the UC Berkeley's The Travels of Ibn Battuta. This guide to Ibn Battuta's medieval travels includes maps of his travel routes accompanied by his own observations, as recorded in his book of travels the Rihla.