Thursday, March 29, 2018

Firebomb that City


Outrider's Bomb Blast map rightly acknowledges Alex Wellerstein's NUKEMAP as a source of inspiration (and data). Alex's Restricted Data - Nuclear Secrecy Blog provides a fascinating insight into the history of nuclear weapons and the secrecy around them. It also features some interesting data visualizations.

In Firebombs USA Alex explores some historical data visualizations of the American nuclear and firebombing campaigns against Japan during World War II. For this blog post he also creates a modern interactive map using data from an historical US Army Air Force's magazine map of the American air campaign against Japan. The historical map attempts to show the human cost of the American air campaign on Japan by showing an American map on which American cities have been paired with Japanese cities of roughly the same population. The map shows the percentage of the population that were killed in each of these partnered Japanese cities.

Alex's Firebombs USA map uses the same city names and damage percentages to similarly visualize the number of deaths caused by the American air campaign in Japan. Alex's map also pairs American cities with Japanese cities of similar population sizes. It uses scaled circles (or pie charts) to show the percentage of the citizens who died in each of the Japanese cities.
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