Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Crap is Back on the Map


This week San Francisco's crap is back on the map, with a new animated visualization of human waste found on the streets of the Californian city.

One of my all time favorite styled Google Maps is Jennifer Wong's (Human) Wasteland map. The map uses San Francisco Department of Public Works data to create a steaming heat-map view of human waste in San Francisco. The map might not be the most edifying of Google Maps but you can't argue that the color choices are entirely appropriate to the subject on the map.


Now someone else has taken the San Francisco Department of Public Works data on human waste found on the streets of San Francisco to create an animated Torque powered map. The Reports of Human Waste map allows you to view the daily recordings of human waste in the city by location from 2008 to 20015.

Torque powered animated maps have in the past been accused of being crap burger cartography. One problem with a lot of these animated maps is that the time dimension often seems unnecessary. The temporal aspect of this Reports of Human Waste map just might add something to our understanding of this problem of people using San Francisco streets as their own al fresco toilet.

The hot-spots on the map really don't seem to change over time. However it does appear that the problem of human waste on San Francisco's streets is getting worse and worse over time.
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