Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Average Temperature World Map

Following yesterday's beautiful Average Earth from Space 2018 interactive map I went hunting for a map of average temperatures around the world. The trophy I bagged was Temperature Sensei's Temperature and Weather Conditions of the World.

Temperature Sensei's Temperature and Weather Conditions of the World includes a map of the average temperatures in countries around the world. It also includes a series of maps showing the average temperature, precipitation and snowfall in each U.S. state. Greenland is the country with the coldest average annual temperature at -1.44 Fahrenheit. The hottest county I could find was Ghana, with an average yearly temperature of 80.96 degrees.

Surprisingly the average yearly temperature of the USA is a chilly 47.39 Fahrenheit. According to the maps the highest temperature ever recorded in the USA is 134.1 Fahrenheit. The state with the highest average yearly temperature is Florida with a temperature of 70.7 degrees and the state with the lowest average temperature is Alaska at 26.6 Fahrenheit. The wettest state is Louisiana with an average total yearly precipitation of 60.1 inches. New York is the state which receives the most average annual snowfall with a total of 123.8 inches.

What Powers America?

Coal is still the main source of energy for the USA. However, despite President Trump's campaign promises, the use of coal continues to fall. The consumption of coal during 2018 is expected to be the lowest in 39 years.

You can explore America's power supply on the U.S. Power Plants map. U.S. Power Plants is an interactive map showing the locations, size and type of America's electric power plants. The map is a great way to see where different types of power plant are located, how much each type of energy source contributes to the country's power supply and how much each source contributes to CO2 emissions.

The number of map filters on U.S. Power Plants means that the map can provide lots of different insights into American power supply. For example the individual fuel filters allow you to see where different power sources are concentrated in America. Select hydro power and you can see that hydro power plants are concentrated in the north-west and north-east of the country. While solar power plants are mainly located in California.

If you click on an electricity power plant marker on the map you can view details on the plant's capacity, net generation and CO2 output. The drop-down menu also allows you to re-scale the map markers by the the amount of CO2 produced by each power plant.

Esri's Atlas of Electricity is another great way to explore where the USA gets its electricity from and how it distributes this power across the country. At the heart of an Atlas of Electricity is an interactive map plotting the location and size of the grid's power plants and transmission cables. This map allows you to explore the location and capacity of the country's electricity producing power plants and how they connect to the national grid.

As well as mapping the physical infrastructure of the electricity grid this story map examines the primary energy sources used to generate electricity in the USA. It maps the size and capacity of coal-fired power plants, natural gas power plants and petroleum power plants. Alongside these fossil-fuel sources of power An Atlas of Electricity plots the size and capacity of the U.S.'s nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power plants and solar & wind power plants.

One Hundred Views of Edo

Utagawa Hiroshige was one of Japan's finest ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. Hiroshige is probably most well-known for his series of woodcut prints, such as The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō, One Hundred Famous Views of Edo and Famous Views of the Sixty-odd Provinces.

You can view some of the views from these three series of prints on the Ukiyo-e Map. This interactive map has placed each Hiroshige print on the actual location depicted in Hiroshige's landscapes. If you select a marker on the map the image will open in a new tab or window. It is a shame that the images don't open in their own information window on the map. However Hiroshige's brilliance makes it worth the effort of switching between different tabs in your browser.

If you want to view some of Hiroshige's work in more detail the Chester Beatty Digtial Collections and the Wellcome Collection both own some of Hiroshige's woodcut prints which you can explore using their respective iiif viewers.

Geo-tagging and mapping artworks is an old idea. Perhaps the best example of an art map is the Tate's Artmaps, an interactive map showing 23,000 works of art in its collection. All the mapped artworks are associated with a specific location, either through information in the work's title, in its description or as depicted in the artwork itself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Washington's Environmental Hazards Map

The Washington State Department of Health has released an interactive map which shows details about the environmental and public health risks in every census tract in Washington state.The Washington Tracking Network allows you to see the level of environmental-health hazards across the state and to view local socio-economic details in every census area.

Using the map menu you can select to view from a range of environmental-health hazards on the map. For example you can select to view the levels of diesel pollution or the local risk of lead exposure. When you select an individual environmental-health hazard from the menu the map updates to provide a choropleth view of the selected risk in each census tract area. 

If you click on a census tract on the map you can view demographic information about the local population, such as a breakdown of the tract by race, sex & age and the recent population trend. The map menu will also update to show how the chosen census tract ranks for the displayed environmental-health hazards. This combination of demographic / socio-economic data with local environmental-health hazards allows users of the map to explore which social groups and which areas of the state are most at risk from the different environmental-health hazards.

Average Earth 2018

Johannes Kroeger has created an interactive map which shows the average cloud cover across the world in 2018. The map shows the medium cloud cover experienced at every location on Earth based on information taken from daily satellite images.

To create the Average Earth from Space 2018 interactive map Johannes analyzed the per-pixel median color in the daily images of the satellite-based Soumi VIIRS sensor for the whole year of 2018. The result is a very beautiful map which provides a reasonable picture of where you can expect to experience cloudy days around the world on any average day. It is also a map which makes it very easy to find the locations of the world's major deserts.

You can read more about how the map was made and view many different projections of the Average Earth from Space 2018 map on Johannes' blog.

Where's Everyone Moving in Holland?

Relocations 2017 is an interactive map which shows where people relocated to & from in the Netherlands during 2017. The map uses data from Statistics Netherlands to show how many people moved between different Dutch municipalities.

If you hover over a city on the map all the flow lines to and from that city are highlighted on the map, showing where the city's residents relocated to & from in 2017. The thickness of the flow line between two municipalities reflects the number of people who moved between those two areas. When you hover over a town or city an information window also reveals the number of residents who moved out of the city and the number of residents who relocated to the city in 2017.

The map itself created with, a simple to use tool for creating flow maps. To create a flow map with you just need to have some origin-destination data in a Google Spreadsheet. Then to create your map you simply append your spreadsheet key to the URL.

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Little Sports Atlas

How the rest of the world loves to laugh at baseball's 'World Series'. A competition which is only played by teams in North America. However it turns out that the rest of the world is wrong. Baseball is in fact a sport that is played in lots of countries around the world, including Cuba, Japan and countries throughout Europe.

I know this because Zeit Online has been busy creating world maps for lots of different sports. In the Little Sports Atlas Zeit Online has used OpenStreetMap data to show where different types of sport are actually played across the globe.

The popularity of many different sports has a geographical basis. For example ice hockey is most popular in a thin band of latitude in the northern hemisphere. A thin band of latitude which is often cold in the winter and where water often turns to ice. Cricket on the other hand is popular in a few different countries. Countries which were all at one point part of the British Empire. The one true world sport in the Little Sport Atlas is football. In fact the map of where football is played could almost double as a map of the world's population.

Mapping Shrinking Glaciers

The Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps is the source of the Rhône river. Over the last 120 years the glacier has shrunk by a very large extent. In recent years, during the summer months, the glacier has been covered with UV-resistant fleecy white blankets. These cover about 5 acres of the shrinking glacier and are believed to reduce its melting by up to 70%.

You can view how far the Rhône Glacier has melted using the superb maps produced by the Swiss Federal Office of Topography. The Karten der Schweiz, the official mapping platform of the Swiss Confederation, includes an option to view vintage maps made by the Swiss Federal Office of Topography. You can even animate through these vintage maps to show how locations have changed over time.

For example you can animate through all the maps of the Rhône Glacier from 1850 to the present day. The resulting animated map is a very effective visualization of the startling extent by which the Rhône Glacier has shrunk over the last century.

You can also use Google Earth Engine to view how the glacier has shrunk over recent years as seen on satellite imagery. Google Earth Engine only has satellite imagery going back as far as 1984. Therefore the extent of the glacier's retreat isn't as pronounced as can be seen by viewing the historical Karten der Schweiz. However even since 1984 it is possible to observe that the glacier has visibly shrunk in size.

Since 1850 Switzerland's glaciers have shrunk by around 50%. The World Glacier Monitoring Service say that this process is likely to continue and that 80 to 90 percent of glacier ice mass will be lost by 2100.

In 2017 the Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger visualized the extent of Switzerland's shrinking glaciers over the last 160 years. In So Schmolzen die Schweizer Gletscher in 160 Jahren Weg the paper produced a series of multiple maps visualizing the change in size of the country's 38 largest glaciers. These maps show the size of the glaciers in 1850 compared to the size of the glaciers in 2010. Each mini map includes data on the surface area lost in kilometers and as a percentage of the glacier's size in 1850.

Tages Anzeiger reports that the Rhône Glacier has shrunk by 4.7 km² or about 23.4% in size.

London's Bike Sharing Network

London Bicycle Hires 2017 is an interactive map of around 1.5 million trips made on the city's Santander Cycle Hire network. The map visualizes the number of trips started from individual docking stations on the network and the most popular journeys taken between different stations.

As you might expect the most busy individual docking stations in London's bike sharing network are the city's mainline train termini. In particular King Cross and Waterloo stations stand out on the map as being very popular docking stations. It appears that cycling is a popular way for visitors to the center of the city to get around once they arrive by train.

It is also very apparent that hire bikes are also a very popular way of exploring some of London's larger parks. On the map Hyde Park in central London and the Olympic Park in the East End stand out as almost separate networks within the larger citywide network. I suspect that many users find the parks safe and attractive places to cycle and also find the bikes a great way to explore the respective parks.

You can explore the journeys for yourself by hovering over individual docking stations on the map. If you hover over a station you can see all the trips made to and from that station to other stations on the network. The size of the flow-lines on the map show the number of journeys made between each station.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Hawaii's Sea Level Rise Map

The islands of Hawai'i are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. It is believed that 6,500 structures and 19,800 people in Hawai'i could be exposed to chronic flooding within the next 60 years. The Hawai'i Sea Level Rise Viewer has been released to show which areas of the state will be most affected by rising sea levels.

The map allows users to see which areas could be exposed to coastal hazards from sea level rise, modelling the effect of passive flooding (still water high tide flooding), annual high wave flooding (over wash during the largest wave events of the year), and coastal erosion. The map models sea level rise for four different sea level rise scenarios (these are sea level rises of 0.5 ft, 1.1 ft, 2 ft or 3.2 ft).

The Sea Level Viewer also includes two layers which model the economic loss that could result from rising seas and the possible impact of flooded highways. 38 miles of coastal roads in the state are vulnerable to rising sea level rises. If these become chronically flooded and impassible then access to many communities would become much more difficult. The economic loss layer visualizes the possible cost from land and structures being flooded in the mapped area.

The Hawai'i Sea Level Rise Viewer uses global sea level rise projections from the UN. This model predicts seas could rise by as much as 3.2 feet by the year 2100. More recent models suggest that a rise of 3 feet or more could happen as early as 2060.