Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mapping America's Education Deserts


11.2 million Americans live in education deserts - in areas which are more than 60 minutes from the nearest public college. For many students (for example older students, students with child-care duties, students who work full time or those who attend college part time) higher education is only possible if they can attend a local public college. If there isn't a college nearby then they can't continue their education.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has mapped out where Americans are living in education deserts. Who Lives in Education Deserts? is a superb story map which cleverly visualizes America's education deserts. The story map starts by adding 1,500 two and four year public colleges to a map of the USA. It then adds 60 minute drive time isochrones around each of those colleges to identify the areas of the USA within an hour drive of a public college. Who Lives in Education Deserts? next adds in all the census blocks that fall outside these areas to calculate the population of the country who don't live within 60 minutes of a college.

3.5% of the adult population live in the education deserts identified by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Most of these areas are rural and predominantly in the west. Over three quarters of the people living in these rural education deserts are white. Native Americans also often live in education deserts. Nearly 30% of Native Americans live more than 60 minutes drive from a public college.

Given the number of people living in education deserts it is is astonishing the U.S. really has no equivalent of the UK's Open University (OU). The OU is a public distance learning and research university where students study principally off-campus. It is one of the UK's biggest providers of undergraduate education. Many of those undergraduate students are the students (older students, students with child-care duties, students who work full time or those who attend college part time) that the American system is currently failing.

Britain's Broadband Speed Map


The Financial Times has mapped the average broadband speed in every postcode area in Great Britain. Surprisingly the map reveals that the inner cities often have the worst broadband speeds.

You can enter your postcode into the FT's Broadband Speed Map to see the average broadband speed in your area and how that compares to the national averages. The red areas on the map are the areas with the slowest average download speeds and the yellow areas have the fastest download speeds.

As well as the interactive map the FT article includes a small multiple map visualization showing the average download speeds in nine of Britain's largest cities. These maps show that city centers often have slower internet speeds than city suburbs and many rural communities. The FT explains that one reason for this is that most recent investment has been into installing ultrafast broadband networks in the suburbs. While rural and inner-city areas have been left behind.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Māori Map of New Zealand


Andrew Douglas-Clifford has created an interactive map of New Zealand with Māori place-names. The Te Reo Māori Web Map is a Mapbox map of New Zealand which shows the Te Reo place-names of New Zealand towns, cities, lakes, rivers, mountains and other notable locations.

The map uses the Te Reo place-name data from OpenStreetMap. This meant that in order for the map to work in the whole country Andrew had to spend months adding Māori names as alternate language names in OSM. If you like the Te Reo Māori Web Map then you can buy a print of a similar static Te Reo language map of New Zealand from Andrew's website.


Earlier this year the New Zealand Herald created an interactive map which colors place-names depending on whether they are English or Māori. The Our Place Names map reveals that North Island is dominated by Māori names and South Island is dominated by English place-names.

The map is made using data from Te Pūnaha Matatini, Dragonfly Data Science and Te Hiku Media. They used algorithms to identify Māori words in the New Zealand Gazetteer of place-names. If you hover over a place-name on the map you can view the actual name.


Apparently most automated voice systems struggle to correctly pronounce many Māori place-names. To rectify this problem Vodafone and Google created an interactive map to crowdsource all the place-names that Google Maps manages to mispronounce. Anyone can drop a pin on the Say it tika map to show a location where Google struggles with the correct Māori pronunciation.

If you click on a place-name's marker you can listen to how Google Maps pronounces the name. If Google gets it wrong then you can drop a map pin to inform Google of its mistake. All these highlighted place-names will then be sent to Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori (the Māori Language Commission), who have promised to teach Google the correct pronunciations of Māori place-names.

Street Orientations - Anywhere Edition


Today I was going to post a lot of other street orientation visualizations for global cities that have been posted to the Data is Beautiful subreddit over the last few days. But now I don't need to because you can create your own street orientation compass rose for any location in the world with the Streets Orientations Mapbox map.

Visit any location on the world on the Streets Orientations Mapbox map and you can view a compass rose showing the street orientation in the current map view. Instantly! Want a street orientation visualization of Istanbul? Then just center the map on Istanbul and you have one. All roads lead to Rome, right. But where do Roman roads lead? Find out with this map showing the street orientations of the Italian capital.

Obviously the main advantage of this Street Orientations map is that you can instantly create your own street orientation roses for any town, city or village anywhere in the world. However, another great advantage is that you are also able to compare the completed street orientation rose with the map itself. One of the most interesting things for me in looking at these visualizations is exploring why the street orientations in certain cities (like New York in the picture above) veer from the cardinal directions of the compass (north-south, west-east). Having the map and the orientation compass rose side-by-side allows you to see which geographical or natural features might play a role in  the directions of a city's street orientations.

The Street Orientations Mapbox map was made by Mapbox employee and Leaflet.js creator Vladimir Agafonkin. You can explore the code behind the map on the Street Orientations GitHub page. You can also learn how the map was made in just 80 lines of code on the Mapbox Blog (in particular you might be interested in the two Mapbox libraries the map uses - cheap-ruler & lineclip).


If you still insist on exploring ready made street orientation visualizations then check out:

Comparing City Street Orientations - Geoff Boeing's original visualization of American cities
Street Orientations Russia - a neat series of street orientation roses for Russian cities with accompanying road maps
UK Cities
Indian Cities
German Cities
Israel
France
Netherlands
Canada

Monday, July 16, 2018

Elevation Kaleidoscope


Landschach is a global kaleidoscope made from a map of the world.

It might not look like Landschach is made from a map but it is. What you are seeing is a map in which a sine wave has been applied to elevation values. This results in blocks of colors without the normal gradients you would get in a traditional elevation map. You can see this more clearly when looking at the same map without the kaleidoscope effect.

The kaleidoscope effect in Landschach is created by having four instance of the same map view. As you travel around the four map instances in sequence the map is flipped 180 degrees. This results in a trippy kaleidoscope effect.


Landschach was inspired by Rorschach Satellite. Rorschach Satellite is a fun little map which is designed to create a kaleidoscope effect using Mapbox aerial views. The map was created by Mapbox's Damon Burgett.

Essentially Rorschach Satellite places two maps side-by-side. On one map the satellite image is flipped so that it shows the mirror image of the other map. The result is that Rorschach Satellite creates patterns very similar to the ink blot patterns used by psychologists in Rorschach tests.

If you like a pattern created with Rorschach Satellite you can copy and past the map URL to share a link to your view on Rorschach Satellite.


#rorschmap uses the Google Maps API to create a very similar effect. #rorschmap can create a kaleidoscope view for any location on the Earth. Essentially the application displays the Google Maps satellite view of a location and, using the same principle of multiple reflection that you find in kaleidoscopes, creates an animated Rorschach test effect.

The map works in a similar way to Rorschach Satellite but actually has four different map views rather than two.


If that doesn't impress you then why not try #rorschmap Street View Edition. Just enter your address into the app and you can drop-down the rabbit-hole and create a kaleidoscope from the Google Maps Street View of your own home!

Mappa Monday


In the 7th century the scholar Isidore of Seville wrote an encyclopedia of universal knowledge. His 'Etymologiae' included a description of the known world. Some medieval manuscripts of  Etymologiae include a map based on Isidore's description of the world. These are widely known as T and O maps.

You can view a 15th century interpretation of a T and O map on Mappae Mundi, my collection of vintage world maps. To view the T and O map just click on the '600' date in the map menu and wait for the map to load.

T and O Maps are simple circular maps depicting half of the Earth. The antipodes, being unknown, are not shown. The simple depiction of the known world includes three continents Asia, Africa and Europe. Asia (east), which is twice the size of the other two continents, is shown at the top of the map. Jerusalem is often depicted in the center of the map (although not in this T and O map).

The T and O map I've included in Mappae Mundi comes from the Etymologiae in the Kraus Map Collection, at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas.

The Yangon Time Machine


The Yangon Time Machine is a Google Map showcasing vintage photographs of Yangon, Myanmar. Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, is steeped in history. The city boasts the highest number of colonial-era buildings in Southeast Asia. It also boasts a large number of impressive Hindu and Buddhist temples.

You can browse the vintage photographs of Yangon by location by using the Yangon Time Machine interactive map. Select a marker of the map and you can view an historical photograph of the chosen location. This view includes a slide control which allows you to compare the vintage photograph with a photo of the same view today.

As well as showcasing beautiful historical views of Yangon's colonial buildings and religious temples the Yangon Time Machine allows you to view a 1914 vintage map of Rangoon. This vintage map viewer uses an OpenStreetMap map of modern Yangon with a spy glass tool which allows you to see the 1914 Rangoon map superimposed on top of the modern map.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Street Orientations - World Edition


Geoff Boeing's Comparing City Street Orientations has been very popular over the last week. Geoff's compass rose visualizations show the street orientation patterns of 25 major American cities. This series of compass roses reveals that nearly all U.S. cities adhere to a fairly strict grid system of roads.

Now Geoff has turned his attention to other major cities around the world. City Street Orientations around the World includes compass rose visualizations showing the street orientations of 25 cities across the globe. When you look at the street orientations of American cities side-by-side with some of the much older global cities you can see how older cities tend not to have the same strict grid cities of younger cities across the world.


It is also interesting to explore why some city street orientations deviate from the cardinal directions. You can probably guess why Manhattan doesn't have the strict North-South and East-West street orientation of most American cities. If you aren't sure of the reason then you might want to look at a map of New York.


A few years ago Visual Statistix also explored the road direction patterns in America and in a number of European cities. Visual Statistix included maps of each city next to the rose diagrams of urban road patterns. These maps allow you to explore how geographical and natural features (most often rivers) might contribute to the orientation of city streets in cities whose streets deviate from the cardinal directions.


Thanks to a number of Reddit users we now also have street orientations for cities in a number of other countries around the world. ddofer created (the above) compass rose visualizations for cities in Israel.


oxymiro made a similar visualization showing the street orientations of the sixteen biggest cities in France.


In the Netherlands bartkappenberg created compass roses showing street orientations for fifteen Dutch cities.


DSPublic made a visualization showing the street orientations of the most populous cities in each Canadian province.

Friday, July 13, 2018

How much do you know about NATO?


Vladimir Putin and his flunkies have launched a coordinated campaign designed to undermine support for NATO around the world. NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. It is in effect a system of collective defence whereby member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

You can learn more about the role of NATO, its member countries and NATO's partners by playing the NATO Map Game. The NATO Map Game asks you a series of questions about countries around the world. Your role in the game is to identify countries on a map of the world. There are a number of different categories of countries which you are required to identify. These include NATO members, NATO Partner countries and other countries who cooperate with NATO on security matters.

The NATO Map Game includes a study pack about NATO countries and NATO Partners. The game itself also includes definitions of the different NATO partnership arrangements with non-NATO countries.



If you want to learn more about the role of NATO before playing the NATO Map Game then you should view 'NATO on the Map'. NATO on the Map also helps to explain how the organization functions and how & where it operates around the world. NATO on the Map allows you to view which countries belong to the alliance, which countries it works in partnership with and its influence on global peacekeeping.

The map allows you to view the locations of NATO's civilian headquarters, military commands and headquarters around the world. It also shows examples of where NATO has sought to "project stability in its neighbourhood and beyond." A 'Security Challenges' layer shows some of the present global threats to peace and security that NATO and its partners currently faces across the globe.

Where Work Pays


If you've ever wondered if you could earn more money by moving home then you need to check out the Hamilton Project's Where Work Pays interactive map. This map allows you to see where people in your profession earn the most in the USA.

Where you work in America can make a huge difference to your salary. To find out where you could earn the most money you need to select your occupation (or a larger occupational group) from the map's drop-down menu. You can then view a choropleth map showing how much people in the selected occupation earn in different areas of the country.

You can refine the map to take into account your age. You can even adjust for local income taxes and the cost of living in each area. You can hover over an area on the map to view the exact median earnings for your selected occupation. You can also choose up to three different areas on the map to compare the salaries with each other and with the national median wage for your occupation.