Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Geography of UK Pub Names

Constantly Plotting has been busy mapping out the geographical distribution of pub names in the UK. In The Geography of UK Pub Names he has created hundreds of static maps showing the distribution of different pub names in the UK.

The results are endlessly fascinating. Some of the maps make immediate sense. For example pubs named 'Miners Arms' seem to be most popular in areas where lead and coal mines once dominated the landscape. Other geographical patterns are less obvious to explain. For example I can't explain why pubs called 'The Bull' should be mostly located in the south while pubs called 'The Black Bull' are more likely to be found in the north.

The maps in the Geography of UK Pub Names are very basic. They provide a a general overview of where individual pub names are distributed in the UK but aren't detailed enough to show you exact addresses. If you want to know the exact co-ordinates of all the pubs then you should check out the project's GitHub which includes a csv file of all the pubs with their latitude and longitude co-ordinates.

You might also be interested in this dot map of Every UK Pub, which uses pub data which, like the Geography of UK Pub Names, was also derived OpenStreetMap.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Homeless in Seattle

As part of its Project Homeless series the Seattle Times has mapped out the results of the 2018 Point in Time count of homelessness in King County. The map shows the change in the rate of homelessness since 2017 in each census tract in the county.

Homelessness across the county is up 4 percent from last year. The Where are people homeless in King County? map colors each census tract by the rate that homelessness has risen or fallen. Census tracts are colored white where there has been no significant change in the number of homeless people. If you select a tract on the map you can view the number of the homeless counted in 2017 and 2018 and the percentage change in the number of homeless people. The census tracts outlined in black on the map feature in some of the Seattle Times homelessness series of articles. If you select one of these tracts you can view the links to the featured articles.

The Seattle Times has also created a series of static maps which compare the city's homelessness crisis to other cities in the USA. Is Seattle’s homeless crisis the worst in the country? maps out the ten worst places for homelessness in the U.S. using a number of different metrics. These include the top 10 homeless populations in America per 10,000 residents, the top ten cities by the percent of people living outside and the top 10 cities by number of people in homelessness. No matter how you measure it Seattle is in the top 10 worst cities for the numbers of people in homelessness.

Also See

Understanding Homelessness - a dot map showing where the homeless are located across the U.S.
Bussed out: How America moves its homeless - the Guardian has mapped out the homeless bus relocation programs that American cities use to try to shift their homeless problems on to other cities
Where are L.A. County’s Homeless? - a dot map of Los Angeles homeless people (from 2015)

The Map of Languages

The Europa Polyglotta is an eighteenth century map of the world's languages and alphabets. The map was published in 1741 as part of Gottfried Hensel's early work on comparative linguistics, the Synopsis Universae Philologiae.

The map is divided into four continents of Europa, Asia, Africa and America. Each of the four continent segments includes a map of the continent and a list of the alphabets used in those continents. Countries on the maps are labeled by the languages that are spoken there. Each country also includes the first (and sometimes second) phrases of the Lord's Prayer written in the local language ('our father who art in heaven (hallowed be thy name)').

The languages of Europe seem to be very well covered. Asia appears to feature many of the major languages (although the Chinese and Japanese characters look very odd to me). The languages of Africa and America are hardly shown at all.

The map is colored to show the areas of the world which were settled by the three sons of Noah. Japhet is pink, Shem is yellow and Ham is green. I believe that in the Synopsis Universae Philologiae itself Hensel argues that all languages derive from a common origin in Hebrew (presumably from the Tower of Babel myth).

Mapping the History of Liverpool

Historic Liverpool allows you to explore and learn more about the history of Liverpool through historic vintage maps of the city and an interactive map highlighting the city's most historic buildings and monuments. The site includes a number of interactive vintage maps dating from 1847 through to 1898.

My favorite vintage map of the city in the collection is Ackermann's Panoramic View of Liverpool (1847). This panoramic map shows the city in the mid-nineteenth century at a time when the city's docks were at the center of global trade. Albert Dock, which opened the year before this map was made, had recently revolutionized the way docks operated by halving the time in which ships could be unloaded and turned (with modern developments such as hydraulic cranes and fireproof warehouses).

By the end of the 19th century 9% of all world trade passed through the docks in Liverpool. You can see in Ackermann's map that even in the middle of the 19th century the entire north bank of the Mersey in Liverpool was dominated by the city's docks and warehouses.

Historic Liverpool also includes a modern map of the city on which the city's most important historic buildings and monuments have been marked. The History Map contains a number of categorized map markers showing the locations of archaeological sites, buildings, monuments and natural features important in Liverpool's history.

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

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.