Saturday, December 15, 2018

Breaking Through the Bronze Ceiling


You may have heard of the Guerrilla Girls, who have been campaigning against the under representation of female artists in art galleries around the world. Back in 1989 the Guerrilla Girls surveyed all the works of art in New York's Museum of Modern Art. They discovered that less than 5% of the artworks in the Modern Art Department were by female artists. While 85% of the nudes featured in those artworks were female.

Women aren't only under represented inside art galleries. You probably won't be too surprised to hear that they are also under represented in those works of art that are displayed in public spaces. For example in Budapest there are more statues of animals than there are statues of women.

Atlatszo has analyzed all the statues that are owned and maintained by the municipality of Budapest. Of the 1,173 statues in the streets of Budapest 785 depict men. Only 150 statues depict women. A large proportion of the statues depicting men are of historical figures. Only 35 of the 1,173 statues in Budapest are of named historic women. The majority of the other statues of women are unnamed nudes. You can find out where all 150 statues depicting women are on the streets of Budapest on an interactive map in Atlatszo's Data Visualization of the Hungarian Bronze Ceiling.


Women aren't only under represented in artistic memorials. They are also under represented in the very names we give to the streets in which we live. For example an analysis of the Street Names in Vienna reveals that 4,269 streets have been named for men. Only 356 have been named for women.

Geochicas have also been investigating the under representation of women in street names. Their Las Calles de las Mujeres is an interactive map which shows all streets named for men and women in a number of Spanish and Central & South American cities. A pie chart on each city's map shows the percentage of streets named for both men and women in that city.

Mapbox has also created an interactive map showing the distribution of male and female street names in major cities across the world. According to Mapping Female versus Male Street Names if you add up all the streets in Bengaluru, Chennai, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, and San Francisco only 27.5% are named after women.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Eating the World


If everyone in the world had the same diet as an average American then the Earth would soon run out of food. What we eat is extremely important in determining the amount of land required to produce our food. Livestock takes up nearly 80% of global agricultural land, yet produces less than 20% of the world's supply of calories. If every country in the world adopted the US's meat based diet then we would need 138% of the world's current habitable land area. In other words we would be incapable of feeding ourselves.

Our World in Data has created an interactive map which shows the share of global habitable land needed for agriculture if everyone had the diet of each country. The countries colored red on the map all have diets which would be completely unsustainable if the whole world adopted the same diet.

Currently around 50% of the world's habitable land is used for agriculture (77% livestock & 23% crops). The countries colored green on the map are those with diets which if adopted worldwide would allow the world to continue using 50% (or less) of habitable land for agriculture. The countries colored yellow have diets which if copied across the globe would mean we had to increase the percentage of habitable land devoted to agriculture. This could be feasible as none of these country's diets would require more than 100% of habitable land being used for producing the world's food requirement.

Where Sharks Attack


The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) has been tracking shark attacks around the world since 1958. The ISAF is housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History and is the only scientifically-generated database that documents and monitors shark attacks on a global basis.

The ISAF has released a new Unprovoked Shark Attack Interactive Map, which allows you to browse the ISAF's historical records by location, date and by shark species. The map shows where sharks have attacked humans around the globe. It is possible to filter the shark attacks shown on the map by fatal and non-fatal attacks. In the map filters (below the map) you can click on the external link icons to learn more about the different species of shark.

The ISAF Maps & Data section of the Florida Museum of Natural History includes more interactive maps about shark attacks around the world. In this section you can view regional maps which provide more localized heat maps showing where shark attacks have occurred off the coast of different countries and regions of the world.

Exploring the Life of Maimonides


Moses ben Maimon, commonly known as Maimonides, was a medieval Jewish philosopher. He is revered as one of the most influential Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. The Israel Museum and the National Library of Israel is holding a joint exhibition on the life and works of Maimonides. It has also created an interactive map which allows you to discover more about some of the unique items being displayed in the exhibition.

In There was None Like Moses you can select individual artifacts on the map to learn more about their history and their role in the Maimonides exhibition. The map shrinks the globe down to a size that reflects the world known to Maimonides in the 12th century. The map is therefore not entirely geographically accurate.

The four cartouches in the map corners allow you to learn more about Maimonides and his work. The cartouche in the bottom left corner of the map provides a link to the Ktiv - The International Collection of Digitized Hebrew Manuscripts website of the Israel National Library, where you can view the digitized transcripts of Maimonides' works and manuscripts.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Racial Dot Map of Australia


voomMaps has created a series of dot maps which show the distribution of racial groups in Australia's largest cities. Race Dot Maps uses 2016 census data to plot the racial classification of each person living in each census area in 14 different Australian cities.

The colors of the dots on each map indicate the racial group of each individual. If you click on the 'Legend' button on a map you can learn which racial group each color represents. The Australian census recognizes 300 different categories for ancestry. For the purposes of the Race Dot Maps these 300 categories have been aggregated into seven racial groups. To protect anonymity the dots for the different racial groups are distributed randomly within each census tract area.


After the 2011 ABS census the City Science group at Monash University created an Indigenous Dot Map of Australia. showing the distribution of Australia's indigenous population. Every dot on this map shows an indigenous person counted in the 2011 Australian census. The map shows the spatial distribution of the 699,990 indigenous Australians counted.

Indigenous Australians make up 3% of the total Australian population. Looking at the map indigenous Australians seem to make up a larger proportion of the population in the north of the country. Apparently the Northern Territory has the largest proportion (30%) of its population who are indigenous, which appears to be borne out by the map.

The City Science group has also created a Chinese Population Dot Map of Australia. This map shows the distribution of the 866,001 Australians who self identified as Chinese in the 2011 census.

Also See

The Racial Dot Map of the USA
The Racial Dot of Brazil
The Racial Dot Map of South Africa
The Racial Dot Map of Estonia

US Average Life Expectancy


Where you live can have a huge influence on how long you can expect to live. People who live in New York's Chinatown have a life expectancy of 93.6 years. However people who live in nearby Roosevelt Island have a life expectancy of just 59 years. You can discover the average life expectancy in your neighborhood on this new interactive map from Quartz.

Quartz's Life Expectancy Map reveals the average life expectancy in nearly every US neighborhood. The map uses data from the Center for Disease Control's U.S. Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project, which tracks life expectancy at the census tract level. If you hover over your neighborhood on Quartz's map you will discover the average life expectancy in your census tract and how that compares to the state and national average.

The average life expectancy in the USA is falling. Between 2016 and 2017, the average life expectancy in the US fell from 78.7 to 78.6 years. The CDC blames this fall on the large increase in drug overdoses and suicides. The UK is also now experiencing a similar fall in life expectancy, while not suffering from the same scale of deaths from opiate abuse as the USA. In both the US and the UK there is obviously growing health inequality, where those who who live in more economically deprived areas can not expect to live as long as their neighbors in wealthier neighborhoods.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Place-Names of America


John Nelson recently noticed that navigable passages between mountains in the USA have lots of different names. Some are called passes, others are called gaps and some are even called notches, or saddles. Being a cartographer John wondered whether there could be any regional variation in the use of these names for navigable valleys. He therefore mapped out where these place-names are used in the USA and released the results in the Gap, Pass, Notch and Saddle story map.

To examine the regional variations in the words given to navigable valleys in the USA Nelson downloaded and mapped every named place from the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. The result is a fascinating map of 2.3 million place-names in America. As you scroll through the Gap, Pass, Notch and Saddle story map you are shown how place-names in the USA concentrate where humans settle along coastlines, along transportation routes and in major conurbations.

As you progress further though the Gap, Pass, Notch and Saddle story map the non-valley place-names are removed from the map. The different navigable passage place-names are then each given a different color. The result is a map which reveals the regional variations in how these passages are named throughout the USA.


If you are interested in carrying out your own toponym research John has included a link to download the huge place-name database from the U.S. Board of Geographic Names. Alternatively you could be lazy and play with Places! instead.

Places! allows you to map the relative density of place-names in different countries around the world. Using the application you can enter place-name prefixes or suffixes and view a map showing the geographic distribution of place-names containing those terms.

For example, in the USA we can enter the prefix of -Las to see where towns and cities have names starting with the Spanish word for 'the'. In the UK we can view where place-names include the suffixes -thorpe and -thwaite to see where the Vikings settled in Britain (the resulting map shows that these two place-name endings are popular throughout the area that was once known as the Danelaw, following the Viking invasions of the ninth century).

The Places! application uses OpenStreetMap for the place-name data. The application includes a number of options which allow you to adjust the size of map, circle points and an 'advanced' option which allows you to carry out 'regular expression' searches.

You can have hours of fun with Places! For example in the USA if you are interested in where Spanish plays a large part in local place-names you could also search for the distribution of the San- or Santa- prefixes. On the other hand the suffix -ville might be a good indication of where French immigrants originally settled in the USA.

Where's the Plaque?


Read the Plaque has mapped the location of over 17,000 plaques around the world. Using the Read the Plaque interactive map you can search for plaques marking historical or interesting locations around you.

As well as searching for plaques by location you can search Read the Plaque by tag or by the most recently submitted plaques. You can also select to view a random plaque from the over 17,000 recorded plaques. When you select a plaque on the map you can view its dedicated page, which includes a photo of the plaque and a transcription of the text on the plaque. A map also shows the plaque's exact location and the location of nearby plaques.

Anyone can submit a plaque to Read the Plaque by taking a photo of the plaque and marking its location on an interactive map.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Euler Spiral Map Projection


A Euler spiral is a curve whose curvature changes linearly with its curve length. A Euler spiral can therefore be used to create a map projection by projecting a curved globe onto a flat spiral. The interesting point for cartographers is that the more spirals used in a Euler spiral map projection the less distortion there is.

Now for the math. By cutting a sphere along a spiral with width 1 / N and flattening out the resulting shape we create a Euler spiral when N tends to the infinity. In other words we can create a map projection whose distortion tends to zero as N tends to the infinity.

If this sounds a little confusing then it might help to play with an interactive Euler spiral map. This interactive Euler Spiral Map allows you to adjust the number of spirals used in the projection by changing the thickness of the spirals. By reducing the thickness of the spirals you can increase the number of spirals used in the map projection. The more spirals you create then the less distortion in the projection.

Unfortunately for cartographers a Euler spiral map projection is not very useful for navigating with. If you are still confused then this excellent Numberphile video explains the projection far more clearer than I can:


Where You Should Worry About Earthquakes


The OpenQuake Map Viewer provides free and open-source visualizations of global earthquake hazards. Each of the Map Viewer visualizations uses the OpenQuake engine, a seismic hazard and risk calculation software, to show seismic risks & hazards and seismic exposure around the world,

Currently the OpenQuake Map Viewer provides three separate interactive Leaflet powered maps: the Global Seismic Hazard Map, the Seismic Risk Map and the Global Exposure Map. The Global Seismic Hazard Map shows the potential for seismic activity based on hazard and risk calculation models. The Seismic Risk Map visualizes the average annual cost of seismic activity around the world. The Global Exposure Map is a visualization of the built upon areas of the world.

The Global Seismic Risk Map can provide individual country seismic risk assessments. Click on a country on the Risk Map and you can view details on the annual cost of seismic activity for residential buildings, commercial buildings and  industrial buildings. You can also download the full OpenQuake profile for the selected country.