Thursday, July 18, 2019

Europe's Boom & Bust

Zeit has published an interactive map which shows which areas in Europe are becoming more popular and which areas people are leaving. Zeit's The Commuter Belt Effect map visualizes population growth and loss from 2011-2017.

The orange/red areas on Zeit's maps are the areas which have seen a growth in population over the last six years. The blue areas have seen a fall in their population during the same period. Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania seem to be countries which have seen some of the most widespread falls in populations. Many areas of the former East Germany, aside from Berlin, have also seen a fall in population.

On Zeit's map Europe's Blue Banana shows up as a more appropriate yellow-orange color. The Blue Banana is an area which stretches from northern England through the Benelux countries & Germany and down to northern Italy. This area has traditionally (since the industrial revolution) been an area of very high population density and urbanization. It is interesting to note that on Zeit's map most of the Blue Banana is still seeing population growth. Only its southern tip, in Italy, seems to be experiencing a fall in population.

Zeit point to a 'commuter belt' effect across the whole of Europe. The outer suburbs of cities across the continent are experiencing a growth in population. At the same time many rural areas across Europe are seeing a decline in their populations. This commuter belt effect can even be seen in countries which, like Spain and Portugal, have seen a large overall decline. Even in these countries cities, such as Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona, are seeing population growth, particularly in their suburbs.

The First Men on the Moon

Neil & Buzz is a super scrolly-telling account of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's first two hour walk on the moon. As you scroll through Neil & Buzz you can follow the conversations between the astronauts and mission control using the transcripts from the original transmission log. A small inset map shows the Lunar Module and the positions of  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they move around during their moon walk. Make sure to hover over the small inset illustrations which appear on top of this map to view actual footage from the Apollo mission.

Apollo 11 was just the first lunar mission to land astronauts on the moon. In the few years following the landing of Apollo 11 a number of other Apollo missions successfully landed astronauts on the moon. Esri's History of the Lunar Landings is a 3D interactive globe of the moon, which shows the locations of all the Apollo landing sites. If you click on the markers on this map you can learn a little more about each of the Apollo missions to the moon.

Google Earth has also released an interactive tour which explores the history of the Apollo 11 mission. Apollo 11: Countdown to Launch is a short tour of some of the important developments which led to the first astronauts walking on the moon. This tour keeps its feet firmly on Earth but it does allow you to explore some of the locations essential to the Apollo 11 mission, including Mission Control in Houston, the launchpad in Cape Canaveral (which you can tour in Street View) and the splash-down location in the Pacific ocean, where the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on their return to Earth.

National Geographic has also been exploring the history of lunar space mission. It has created a new map of the moon and has used it to plot the history of lunar exploration. In Explore 50 Years of Lunar Visits National Geographic has plotted out all the manned and unmanned landings on the moon. The map includes a timeline of all the missions to the moon since Russia's Luna 2 space probe landed on September 14th, 1959. The map itself shows where all the lunar missions have landed on the moon. The vast majority of these landed on the near side of the moon. Only 8 lunar missions have so far landed or orbited on the far side of the moon.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji

Katsushika Hokusai's 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' is one of the most iconic pictures of all time. His famous woodblock print is just one of a series of prints of Mount Fuji from 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji'. In these prints Hokusai depicts Mount Fuji from many different locations and at different times of the year.

You can now place yourself in Hokusai's geta clogs using the Views of Mount Fuji interactive map. This map overlays seven of Hokusai's prints of Mount Fuji on top of the actual view as seen in ArcGIS Scene Viewer. The seven prints in Views of Mount Fuji includes The Great Wave of Kanagwa. It also includes the print 'Fine Wind, Clear Morning', which can be seen in the screen-grab above (also known as 'South Wind, Clear Sky' and 'Red Fuji').

Hokusai belonged to the school of ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artists. Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th century through to the 19th century. Hokusai was one of the finest artists of the genre. Perhaps the only other ukiyo-e artist to rival Hokusai was Utagawa Hiroshige. 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 this map. However Hiroshige's brilliance makes it worth the effort of switching between different tabs in your browser.

Where People Buy Groceries Online

According to CBRE nearly half of of all Americans now shop for packaged groceries online. They also claim that the number of consumers buying groceries online is expected to rise to 70% in the next few years. CBRE's estimations could be a little high. For example, Business Insider say that "only 10% of US consumers ... regularly shop online for groceries". However nearly everyone agrees that the online grocery market will greatly expand in the next few years.

CBRE has created an interactive map of the Online Grocery Purchase Index, which shows where Americans are least and most likely to shop for groceries online. On this map census tracts are colored to show how likely it was for someone in the block to buy groceries online over the last 30 days. If you select a census block on the map you can view the number of people who have purchased groceries online in the last 30 days and the total population of the census block. You can also view the overall Online Grocery Purchase Index score for the block.

This interactive map of the likelihood of Americans to buy groceries online is part of CBRE's series Food on Demand. I couldn't find any information on the CBRE website about how their Online Grocery Purchase Index is calculated or where they get their data from.

Creating & Editing GeoJSON Data

I have a new favorite mapping tool. When I'm creating an interactive map I usually spend way too much of my time searching for or creating GeoJSON files. When I need country polygons I often use Natural Earth, which is a great resource of free vector and raster map data. However when I download country polygons from Natural Earth I often spend a lot of time optimizing the size of the GeoJSON data I need by manually removing the data for countries that I don't need for the map I am currently working on.

This is where GeoJSON Maps of the Globe will now save me lots of time. GeoJSON Maps of the Globe allows you to easily build your own country polygon GeoJSON data by simply selecting countries on an interactive map. For example, if you just want to create a map of EU countries you could use GeoJSON Maps of the Globe to build a GeoJSON file with only the county polygon data for the 28 European countries that you need. The resulting GeoJSON file will therefore be a lot smaller in size than a GeoJSON file that includes the polygon data for every country in the world.

The data for GeoJSON Maps of the Globe comes from Natural Earth. If you use Natural Earth Data a lot then you will find GeoJSON Maps of the Globe very useful. Once you have built your map by selecting the required countries on the interactive map you have a choice to download the data in three levels of resolution, depending on how detailed you need your map to be.

I used GeoJSON Maps of the Globe when creating my 'Map' in European Languages map. For this map I only needed the polygons of countries in Europe. I therefore simply clicked on the countries I wanted on GeoJSON Maps of the Globe and downloaded the resulting GeoJSON file. I then imported the GeoJSON data into Mapbox Studio, where I colored the countries depending on whether their word for 'map' is derived from Latin or from Greek.

I actually could have created my 'Map' in European Languages using Leaflet.js. GeoJSON Maps of the Globe includes an option to download all the code needed to create an interactive map using Leaflet.js and your downloaded GeoJSON file.

If you also use GeoJSON data a lot then you might also like another GeoJSON tool, which I use on an almost daily basis for building and refining map data. is an online tool for editing and creating GeoJSON map data.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Gun Violence Trends in US States

The USA has one of the highest levels of gun violence in the first world. Not only is the level of gun violence in America shockingly high the number of gun deaths is actually rising in nearly every state.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government has released an interactive map which allows you to explore the trends in gun violence in every U.S. state from 2001-2017. Exploring the data in the Gun Violence Dashboard it appears that of the 50 states the only ones that saw a downward trend in gun deaths from 2001-2017 were California, New York, Hawaii, Arizona and Connecticut. The District of Columbia also saw a decline in the number of gun deaths during that period. Every other state appears to have seen a rise in the levels of gun deaths per 100,000 people since 2011.

The Gun Violence Dashboard visualizes a number of different measures of gun violence by state and by year. Not only can you explore the state trends in total gun deaths you can also view the levels of gun homicide deaths and gun suicide deaths. In terms of the overall number of gun deaths per population Alaska ranks the highest of all states. The rate of gun deaths in Alaska is almost ten times as high as that of Hawaii, which has the lowest rate. Alabama, Montana, Louisiana and Mississippi are, after Alaska, the states with the next highest levels of gun deaths.

Leaving America

The un-American President has opened his vile, racist mouth again. Among the best responses to his desperate attempts to destroy the principles of the United States is Flowing Data's If We All Left to “Go Back Where We Came From”.

Using a series of dot maps Nathan Yau visualizes a USA which has been de-populated of all the Americans who are the descendants of immigrants. The series starts with a dot map of the USA without all its non-Hispanic white people. Next to be removed from this map of America are all Asian and Black Americans. Thirdly Hispanics are removed from the map. The final dot map in the series shows the USA with only 2.1 million Native American and native inhabitants left.

The data for this series of dot maps comes from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey. In his article Nathan links to some other examples of dot maps. One dot map (which isn't linked to) is the University of Virginia's Racial Dot Map. This interactive dot map of the USA allows you to zoom-in on individual cities to explore their racial make-up.

Also See

The Racial Dot of Brazil
The Racial Dot Map of South Africa
The Racial Dot Map of Estonia
The Racial Dot Map of Australia

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