Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Maps of the Week


I was very impressed this week with the Urban Institute's World's Apart map. The map has the simple objective of showing only the top 10% most advantaged neighborhoods and the neighborhoods home to the bottom 10%. This simple idea starkly reveals the economic dividing lines in America's cities.

The World's Apart map shows a familiar pattern across much of the United States, where cities are vastly divided into rich and poor areas. The less advantaged predominantly live in dense central urban neighborhoods, while the rich live in suburbs, well outside the limits of the city centers.

The map includes the option to view the data for the census years of 1990, 2000 and 2010. This option reveals that there has been little change over the decades. The pattern of suburban wealth and inner-city deprivation has remained largely unchanged over time and also shows that rich neighborhoods tend to remain rich and the poor neighborhoods tend to remain poor.


I have spent a lot of time this week browsing the BFI's Map of Britain on Film. The map is an amazing way to step back in time and view historical film footage of locations throughout the UK.

Zoom-in on an area on the map (or use the search box) and you can find nearby locations which feature in old films. You can then click on the displayed map markers and watch a video of the selected vintage film. The map features thousands of film, providing an amazing insight into British life in the Twentieth Century.

As well as searching by location, you can search this mapped archive of historical film by decade and by subject. I have definitely spent more time viewing this map (and the linked vintage films) than any other map. Every country should have their own version of this map.


Stage 17 of this year's Tour de France includes the popular Col d'Allos mountain stage. The Col'Allos is one of the most popular mountain passes in the Tour de France. This year will be the 34th time the route has been included in the race.

The Wall Street Journal has taken a detailed look at the big descents in this year's Tour de France. The Madness of the Descent looks in particular at the Col d'Allos. During Stage 17, after a steep climb, with an average gradient of 5.5%, the riders will face a 10 mile descent, where they will lose 3,400 feet in vertical elevation.

The Wall Street Journal's article includes an impressive 3d map of the Cal d'Allos pass. The 3d Col D’Allos visualization was created with WebGL and three.js. If you select one of the three yellow map markers the graphic pans and rotates to highlight different views of the Col D'Allos descent.
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