Thursday, May 23, 2019

What Happened to the Romanovs?


The Russian Imperial Romanov family ruled over Russia for over 300 years. That rule came to an end with the Russian Revolution. In 1917, during the revolution, seventeen members of the imperial family lost their lives. 45 other members of the extended Romanov family managed to escape Russia and fled to other parts of the world.

The Russian news agency Tass has created a data visualization project which traces the history of every single member of the Romanov family from 1847 to 2007. The project consists of a family tree, an interactive map and a timeline. The interactive map in The Romanov's Twilight shows where individual members of the Romanov family ended up after the revolution. 13 of the family, including Emperor Nicholas II and his immediate family, were killed in the city of Yekaterinburg. Some members of the Romanov family managed to escape the revolution and ended up living in countries around the world, including the USA, the UK, Argentina and Egypt.


If you click on an individual Romanov in the extended family tree you can view a brief biography of the chosen individual. This biography also includes an interactive map. This small map shows the individual life journey of the selected Romanov. The map shows their place of birth, where they died and other places where they may have lived in between.

If you are interested in Russian history then you might also like Borders of Russia 1462-2018, which is an interactive map visualizing the ever changing political boundaries of Russia since the 15th Century. You may also be interested in Histography's interactive map of Russian History. This map explores Russia's history from the year 862 right up until the present day.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Where the Richest Australians Live


Australia's richest people seem to live in New South Wales and Western Australia. All 10 of the top neighborhoods for income earners can be found in these two states. Ashburton in WA has the highest proportion of residents who are in the top income bracket in the whole of Australia. According to ABC this is due to the 'prevalence of the mining industry in the area'.

ABC has mapped out the average annual income in each local government area (LGA) in the country. ABC's How does your income compare to everyone else’s? includes a story map which takes you on a tour of a choropleth visualization of the average income in each LGA. This story map highlights the areas of Australia with the highest and lowest average incomes. The areas with the lowest average incomes can often be found in regions with a higher than average Indigenous population. These areas also tend to be very remote.

As well as this interactive map the ABC article includes a tool which can tell you where you sit on the scale of the lowest to highest-earning Australians, based on your income. Enter your weekly income into this tool and you can find out the percentage of the country who earn more than you and the percentage who earn less. The article also includes information on which professions make up the largest proportion of those in the top income bracket.

The Global Internet Map


This blog post was written on my laptop in London. From there it was sent digitally along fiber optic cables from my home to my Internet Service Provider's port servers. From there the post traveled to Google's servers and from there it travels via the global internet network to computers around the world. To reach your computer or phone this blog post has traveled along thousands of miles of terrestrial and submarine cables.

The Infrapedia - Global Internet Network, Datacenter and Infrastructure Atlas is an interactive map of the data centers, undersea cables, premium vendors, IXPs and networks which make up the global internet. The map is fully interactive, which means you can select individual cables and data centers on the map to discover information about who they are owned by and when they were built.Where available this information also includes a link to the service's Wikipedia page.

If you select the 'Future Only' option you can view cables which are currently under construction or which are in the planning stages. Selecting these cables on the map allows you to learn which year they will become active.


Every year Telegeography releases a new updated version of its interactive map of the global network of undersea telecommunication cables. The 2019 Telegeography Submarine Cable Map highlights the huge recent building boom in submarine cables. In the next few years around 107 new submarine cables will be laid around the world, adding over 400,000 kilometers of new telecommunication cable to the global network.

A number of information insets along the bottom of Telegeography's 2019 internet map help explain this new building boom. These include insets showing new countries which will soon be connected for the first time and the amount of new cables being laid in the different global regions. Content providers, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft, are investing and driving much of this new building boom in submarine cables. An inset for each of these companies shows where each company is driving the construction in new submarine cable infrastructure.

Rivers Should Flow Free


The number of free-flowing rivers around the world is falling drastically. Of the world's longest rivers (over 1,000 kilometres in length) only a third remain free-flowing. These remaining free-flowing rivers can only be found in areas which are relatively underpopulated by humans, for example in the Arctic and the Amazon and Congo basins.

The result of restricting the free-flow of rivers is extensive damage to the environment, river biodiversity and floodplain agriculture. The free-flow of rivers can be disrupted in many ways, including dams & reservoirs, the construction of buildings & bridges, agriculture and disruption to natural aquifers and floodplains. Free-flowing rivers contribute to biodiversity, they help to maintain natural floodplains, they help to maintain fish stocks and contribute enormously to the recreation and tourism industries. Where possible rivers should be allowed to flow free.

The World Wildlife Fund is creating a global database to map the world's remaining free-flowing rivers. They have also released the Free Flowing Rivers interactive map to visualize the worlds remaining free-flowing rivers and to allow you to explore in what way the free-flow of rivers is being disrupted. The 'Story Mode' section of the map takes a closer look at the drastic impact of human construction on natural river environments around the globe. It also explores how removing outdated human infrastructure can help to restore the natural flow of rivers.

What's Next For Google Maps?

If you've been wondering where the Google Maps API is heading then you might have already watched the live streams from the Google I/O conference last week. Traditionally the Google Maps team have used I/O to announce any big changes or developments to its interactive mapping platforms.

If you didn't view the live streams then you can catch up on the latest developments on the Google Maps blog post What’s next for Google Maps Platform. From an outsider's perspective the two main announcements made at I/O this year (as far as maps are concerned) are Deck.GL's support for Google Maps and the beta release of the new Maps SDK for Android.


Deck.GL

Google Maps has partnered with Deck.GL so that Deck.GL can now be used with the Google Maps API. Deck.GL is an opensource data visualization library which uses WebGL technology to enable the visualization of very large datasets on interactive maps. For example this Paris Trees map, created with Google Maps and Deck.GL shows the location and genus of 203K trees in the French capital.

To get started using Deck.GL with Google Maps you should check-out the Deck.GL / Google Maps documentation.

Maps SDK for Android

Google also announced the beta release of the next version of the Maps SDK for Android. The big change in the new Maps SDK for Android is that it is built on entirely the same infrastructure as the Google Maps mobile app. This should lead to improvements in performance and lead to a large decrease in data consumption.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Storm Chasers Live


Live Storm Chasing is an interactive map which allows you to follow a number of storm chasers as they track storms across the USA. The map also provides information about the latest weather warnings and storm reports from across the country. Most importantly you can watch the live broadcasts of storm chasers directly from the Live Storm Chasing map.

The current positions of the storm chasers are shown on the map using colored dots. The storm chaser locations are updated every minute on the map. You can see which storm chasers are currently broadcasting in the map sidebar, where active broadcasters are indicated with a red 'live' indicator. You can watch any of these live broadcasts by clicking the eye icon in the map sidebar or by selecting a storm chaser on the map.

The map sidebar also allows you to filter the weather information shown on the map. These weather layers include a number of different options for viewing the current weather conditions across the United States. A radar layer provides up-to-date precipitation information. Local storm reports provide updates on local storms around the country. You can also view the latest hail, snow, flooding and tornado reports.

Mapping Europe's Wolf Populations


The wolf population in Switzerland is growing. In 2010 there were only five wolves in the whole of Switzerland. Last year a total of 47 individual wolves were counted. Switzerland's wolf population is also moving more widely throughout the country. At the beginning of this decade the wolves, which entered Switzerland from Germany, were found only in the west of the country. They are now more evenly distributed across the whole country.

Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung has been mapping out the spread of wolves in Switzerland. In Wolf in Switzerland the newspaper has published an interactive map which shows where wolves have been spotted during the last year. The newspaper has also created a map which shows the movement of one of the wolves over the course of just two months. In January and February the wolf M75 walked across the whole width of Switzerland from south to north.


Switzerland's wolves entered the country from Germany. The wolves in Germany in turn originally came from Poland. Back in the year 2000 the first wolf in modern times arrived in Germany, crossing from Poland into the eastern state of Saxony. There are now reported to be over 1000 wolves in Germany. The Berliner Morgenpost has created an interactive map which animates how these wolves have repopulated the country.

If you press 'play' on the interactive map in W├Âlfe in Deutschland you can watch how wolves have spread, mostly across the north of the country, since the turn of the century. The map includes colored markers to indicate single wolves, pairs of wolves and wolf packs. The map also includes a search function which allows you to view how close the nearest wolves have been spotted to your home.

The wolf is not only on the rise in Germany. All countries in mainland Europe now have wild wolf populations. The Guardian has published a static map showing the wolf populations in different European countries. The Selected European Wild Wolf Populations map shows that the southern countries of Spain, Italy and Romania currently have the largest wolf populations in Europe.

Hate Crimes in India


India’s National Crime Records Bureau does not record hate crimes separately from other crimes. It is therefore unable to document or spot the rise of religious based hate crimes in India. Which is why the Hate Crime Watch project was started in 2018. Hate Crime Watch is tracking crimes which have been committed against people or groups in India because of their caste, religion or ethnicity. Although the project was only launched in 2018 it includes data on religious motivated hate crimes carried out in India since 2009.

The Hate Crime Watch interactive map plots individual hate crimes to the location where they were carried out. The map includes a number of filter controls which allow you to filter the hate crimes shown on the map by year, type of assault and by individual state. If you select an individual dot on the map you can read details on the selected hate crime and view the source where Hate Crime Watch learned of the crime.


As has already been mentioned India’s National Crime Records Bureau does not record incidents of hate crime as actual hate crimes. Which is why Amnesty International has also released an interactive map that tracks incidents of hate crimes across the country. Halt the Hate maps crimes which have been committed against people or groups in India because of their caste, religion or ethnicity.

The Halt the Hate map is a very basic interactive map. You can't zoom in on the Amnesty International map and because the map has no place-labels it is very difficult to search this map by location. However the map does include a number of filter controls which allow you to explore the data by year, motive and individual states. Each hate crime incident shown on the map is based on media reports.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The Problem with Australia's Election Maps


The 2019 Australian Election has been a bit of a disappointment for those interested in election maps. Generally the maps visualizing this year's election have been unimaginative and on the whole deceptively misleading.

There is a glaring problem with mapping Australia's election results, which comes from the huge variations in size between different electoral divisions. For example, Durack, in the north-west of the country is 1,629,858 square kilometers in size and bigger than many countries in the world. While, at the other end of the scale, the electoral district of Grayndler is just 32 square kilometers in size.

Here lies the major problem. Both Durack and Grayndler have one member in the House of Representatives. Yet Durack appears nearly 51,000 times larger on the map than Grayndler. Durack was won by the Liberal Party in the 2019 election. Grayndler voted for the Labor Party. On all the election maps I've seen of the Australian election the blue colored Durack has a huge visual impact, while the red of Grayndler is almost impossible to see - despite both electoral divisions having the same number of members in the House of Representatives. This is a visualization nightmare.

I challenge you to find Grayndler on The Age's How America Voted interactive map (the same map also appears in the Sydney Morning Herald). Grayndler is so small that it is almost impossible to find on the map. One purpose of using a map to present election results is that people can quickly find different electoral divisions to view the local results. If you need to use the search facility to find Granyndler then I would argue that the map is lacking as a search tool and that the data would be better presented in a table or chart.

There might have been some purpose to The Age's election map if it provided some kind of visual guide to the results. However reading the map based purely on the proportion of the different colors suggests that the Liberal Party won around 75% of the votes and the Labor Party won around 20%. In fact the Labor Party (so far) has won 65 seats and the Liberal Party has won 42.

This problem of visualizing election votes is not unique to Australia. Many countries around the world, including the USA and the UK, have similar patterns of voting - where right-wing parties often win the large (in geographical size) seats while the left-wing parties win the smaller urban and suburban seats. The problem is just exasperated in Australia because of the really huge differences between the largest and smallest electoral divisions.

Any election map of Australia, which sticks to any kind of geographical accuracy, is going to visually under-represent the Labor vote while over-representing the Liberal vote. The Guardian's Australian Election 2019 interactive map manages to cope with this problem better than The Age's map. The Guardian's map still gives far too much visual weight to the Liberal Party but it has more clearly defined the boundaries of the electoral divisions. While the color blue still clearly dominates the map you can more clearly see on The Guardian map that the Labor party has won a lot of seats in urban areas.

Note: Despite being the largest individual political party in terms of the number of seats won the Labor Party have lost the election to the minority Coalition (consisting of the Liberal Party and the National Party of Australia) who between them will win enough seats to form a government.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Sea Monsters & Fantastical Beasts of America


Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin was the first official cartographer in Canada. Franquelin first arrived in Canada as a trader in 1671. The Governor of New France soon employed him as a cartographer. Franquelin's 'Carte Genlle. de la France Septle' is just one of the many maps of North America produced by Franquelin for the Governor of New France. The map was made with the help of Father Jacques Marquette and explorer Louis Joliet after their 1673 voyage along the Mississippi River.

Cartographic Beasts is an interactive tour of the many wonderful beasts depicted on Franquelin's 1675 map. Most of the animals depicted on the map, such as deer, rabbits and bears, are real. However a few of the beats seems a little fantastical, particularly the manitous, which Franquelin described as having "horns like a deer, red eyes, (and) a beard like a tiger".

The joy of Cartographic Beasts is being able to explore the wonderful drawings of the North American animals in close detail. The descriptions which accompany each of the creatures featured on the map include a judgement on whether the illustrated beast is real or fantastical.


North America is not the only land where fantastical beasts are known to roam. Wonderful creatures can also be found in Scandinavia. At least many strange beasts are shown on Olaus Magnus’ Carta marina. The Carta marina is the earliest map of the Nordic countries that includes place names. The map depicts an area which includes the modern countries of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. It also includes a number of fanciful sea beasts just waiting to be rediscovered.

Slate has created an interactive map of Magnus’ beautiful 1539 Carta marina. This means that you can use Slate's map in your search for mythical creatures. The Carta marina is brimming with wonderful sea monsters. Slate has made each of the monsters selectable on their interactive map. Users of the map are therefore able to click on each of the monsters and read how Olaus Magnus described the monster in his own commentary to the map.


Modern maps are also sometimes known to feature the odd sea monster or two. Telegeography's 2015 Submarine Cable map was inspired by medieval and renaissance cartography and therefore features not only a vintage map style with map border illustrations but also a number of scary sea monsters.

The sea monsters featured on the Submarine Cable map are actually taken from real vintage maps. These mythical sea monsters are each accompanied on Telegeography's map with a little text which references the historical map the creature first appeared on.

The Eurovision Song Contest Map


The final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Tel Aviv this Saturday night (the second semi-final takes place tonight). Ten acts from the two semi-finals will be joined by the hosts (Israel) and the 'big five', the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. This year's final is taking place in Israel because they won last year's competition.

You can listen to every country's official song in this year's Eurovision competition on Esri Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest 2019 interactive map. Just click on a country on the map (each country is represented by its national flag) and you can watch a video of the chosen country's song.


I haven't heard any of the songs (I did click on Russia on the map but 'forgot' to turn on my computer's speakers) so I cannot tell you which country is most likely to win this year's competition. Reddit user Mackelowsky has created a static map showing every country in Europe which has never won the Eurovision Song Contest (I assume they are the countries colored red).

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Global Runway Orientation


More runways around the world are built on a north-south orientation than on a north-west axis. You can see this beautifully visualized on the Trails of Wind map. This interactive map colors airport runways around the world based on their orientation.

Aircraft are easier to land without a crosswind and planes can more easily take-off and land upwind. Aircraft also need a lower ground speed at both landing and take-off when pointing into the wind. As a consequence runways are usually built to point in the prevailing wind direction. In fact compiling a wind rose showing local wind directions is often one of the first steps taken when building a new airport runway.


On the Trails of Wind interactive map airports around the world are displayed with colored lines. The color of the lines reflect the orientation of the airport runways. Blue lines indicate runways on a north-south axis and yellow lines show runways on an east-west axis. If you zoom in on the central states in the USA you can clearly see a majority of runways have a north-south orientation. In Europe, the UK, France and Germany seem dominated by east-west orientated runways, while around the Mediterranean runways appear to be constructed along a north-south axis.

The Uber Driving Times Map


Uber Movement Speeds visualizes the normal driving speeds of Uber drivers on an interactive map. Using the map you can discover the historical aggregated speed achieved by Uber drivers during different times of the day and on different days of the week. The map comes with a whole range of filtering tools which really allow you to dig deep into the data of the average speeds that are really driven on our streets.

The map's default view colors road segments by the average speed driven. If you click on an individual segment of road you can view further details, including the street name, the average speed, and the percentage from free-flow speed. These details also include charts which show the average speed trends over time and when the speed on that stretch deviates from the norm.

Using the filter tools you can visualize speed averages for specific date-time ranges, day of the week, and time of day. You can also use the color bar to filter the map to only show roads with specific average speeds.


Obviously the average speeds which are achieved on roads can greatly affect the driving time of a car journey. If you are interested in how long a journey might take then you can check the Uber Travel Time map.

This interactive map allows you to view the average travel times between two different neighborhoods. If you click to place your point of origin and destination on the map the Uber Travel Time map will display the average time for your journey. All the other neighborhoods are color coded to show the average journey times to those neighborhoods from the starting point of your journey.

When you query a journey time the Uber Travel Time map also shows you charts which visualize the average journey time for different days of the week and for different times of the day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Most Populated Places in America


The most densely populated square kilometer in the USA is in Manhattan, New York. According to a new interactive map 42,673 people are tightly packed into one small area of New York. You can discover for yourself the 200 most densely populated square kilometers in 14 of America's largest cities on Garrett Dash Nelson's Square Density interactive map.

Select a city from the drop-down menu and you can sit back and watch as the map animates through the most densely populated places in your chosen city. A polygon overlaid on top of aerial imagery shows you the location of each of the most densely populated square kilometers. A smaller map shows you where that square is in the selected city. The text beneath the map shows you how many people live in each displayed square.

If you want to explore the map on your own then you can pause the animation and select any of the 200 most densely populated square kilometers by clicking on the chart, running along the bottom of the map.


This square kilometer in Barcelona is probably Europe's most populated location

According to Alistair Rae's examination of European population density, Think your country is crowded? These maps reveal the truth about population density across Europe the most densely populated square kilometer in Europe is in Barcelona. The Catalan city actually has one square kilometer housing 52,000 people. Of course there are locations outside of the USA & Europe where people live in far more densely populated locations.

If you want to explore population density elsewhere in the world then you should view the SEDAC Population Estimator (GPWv4). This interactive map uses NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) to show where the world's population lives. The map includes a tool to draw an area on the map to see an estimate of the population that is living there. You can therefore draw a square kilometer on the map to make your own comparisons with Europe's and America's most populated square kilometers. For example, I drew a square kilometer at random in Dhaka, Bangladesh and the map gave me a population estimate of 107,804. This is over twice as many people as the 52,000 people living in Europe's most densely populated 1km² in Barcelona.

Finding Retreats Away from Streets


During the 2012 London Olympics cars were banned from all the roads around my home. For one glorious month I could walk around my neighborhood without the fear of death from moronic driving, without having to breath in toxic levels of air pollution and without having to listen to the incessant noise pollution of hundreds of combustion engines. Since that time I've strongly believed that banning cars in London (or just in a one mile area around my house) would improve the quality of my life beyond measure.

If I lived in Berlin I could use the Retreats Away From Berlin's Streets interactive map to find the areas which are the furthest away from road traffic. Using Hans Hack's interactive map you can view the point in every city block which is furthest away from a road used by cars. On the map circular markers are used to show the distance from a car free retreat to the nearest street. Therefore the largest circles on the map indicate the locations in Berlin which are furthest away from road traffic.

The map includes three views. If you select 'All' you can view all the car free retreats for every city block. Alternatively you can choose to just view the 'Top 30' retreats, the thirty locations in Berlin which are the furthest from car traffic. The 'Top Neighborhoods' view shows you the location in every Berlin district which is furthest away from traffic. The map also shows you the location of all Berlin's bars, cafes and restaurants which are at least 50 metres from a street used by cars.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Native Villages of Los Angeles


The Tongva were the original people of Los Angeles. They lived in Tovaangar, a land which reached from Palos Verdes to San Bernardino and from Saddleback Mountain to the San Fernando Valley. You can learn more about the Tongva people on a new L.A. Times story map which explores the locations of Tongva's native villages.

Mapping the Tongva Villages of L.A. begins with a map of modern Los Angeles. As you scroll through the L.A. Times story map the first thing that happens is that all the modern place-names and thousands of L.A. roads are removed from the map, leaving a simple relief map of the Los Angeles Basin. Scaled markers are then added to this map to show the locations and relative sizes of the original Tongva villages. As you continue scrolling the story map takes you on a small tour of some of the Tongva villages which existed long before the Spanish arrived. During this brief tour modern place-names are added back to the map to help you understand where modern L.A. sits on top of native Tongva settlements.

The interactive Tongva story map is part of the L.A. Times' series Saving Tonga, which explores Los Angeles' native language. As well as the interactive story map this series includes an audio tour of the Tongva language, as spoken by its students and teachers, and a study guide for teachers who are interested in teaching their students about the native people of Los Angeles.

You might also like Native Land, an interactive map documenting the territories and languages of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia.

The Impact of Trump's China Sanctions


On Friday the United States more than doubled the trade tariffs it applies to Chinese goods. American companies buying goods from China will now have to pay a 25% tariff instead of the previous 10%. A cost they will presumably pass on to consumers. Donald Trump's own economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said that 'both sides will suffer' from this new trade dispute.

Axios has released an interactive map which visualizes the concentration of tariff-affected industries in each county compared to the national average. The darker the color on the Trump's Trade War map then the higher the concentration of affected industries in the county. The green and pink colors show whether the county was won by Trump or Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. If you hover over a county on the map you can see how many industries are affected in the area and which sector those industries are in.

'Concentration' relates to the number of people employed in an industry as compared to the national average. If the map says that an industry is 2x more concentrated in a selected county then that means the industry has two times the share of employment in the local area than the national average. For example Las Vegas would have a larger concentration of workers in the leisure industry than the national average.


China says that it will retaliate against America's new tariffs but as yet has not confirmed how. Last year the Brookings Institute did map out the counties with the highest share of workers in industries affected by China's 2018 retaliatory tariffs on 128 American products. The Brookings' map in How China’s proposed tariffs could affect U.S. workers and industries shows that many of the counties affected by American tariffs on China appear to be the very same counties most affected by China's tariffs against American goods.


After the imposition of tariffs on American goods in 2018 many commentators, including Donald Trump himself, wondered if China had deliberately targeted Trump voters. The New York Times in Firing Back at Trump in the Trade War placed a map of where the tariffs most affect American voters side-by-side with a map of where voters backed Trump. There does appear to be a large similarity between the two maps.

Axios's new map, visualizing the counties affected by Trump's tariffs against China, also seems to closely resemble a map of Trump voters. If Donald Trump was right to wonder if Chinese tariffs were deliberately designed to hurt Trump voters perhaps we should also ask if Trump's tariffs on China are also deliberately designed to punish his base. 

Mapping the City Skyline


Zurich, like many cities around the world, has an ever changing skyline. A skyline which is increasingly interrupted by new imposing skyscrapers. The city's Department of Building (Hochbaudepartment) has released a 3D map which allows you to view and explore all of Zurich's growing number of tall buildings.

Zurich's High Rise Viewer is an interactive map of the city in which buildings are shown in 3D. On this 3D map all the city's skyscrapers are shown in blue. For this map skyscrapers are defined as buildings with a height over 25 meters. Under the map is a synchronized timeline graph which shows when each of Zurich's buildings were built and how tall each building is. This timeline therefore provides a great overview of which decades saw the biggest skyscraper construction booms and exactly when the city's tallest buildings were constructed.

If you select a building on the map or in the interactive timeline graph then the building is highlighted on the map and an information window opens providing information on the building's height and construction date.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Have You Gentrified Yet?


Gentrification is said to have happened when traditionally low-income neighborhoods experience rising numbers of higher income residents. However how we identify and measure that rise can vary depending on the method used. There can therefore be some debate about whether a neighborhood has gentrified or not.

Enterprise Community Partners has devised an interactive mapping tool which allows you to see whether neighborhoods in 93 different U.S. cities have gentrified under three different established measurements of gentrification. Select a U.S. city on the Gentrification Comparison Tool and you can see which local neighborhoods have experienced gentrification, in any of the last four decades, under three different measurements of gentrification.

It can be a little difficult to compare neighborhoods across the three different maps in order to see which neighborhoods have gentrified under all three definitions. If you want to see which neighborhoods have been deemed to have gentrified under two or more definitions then you can select 'Two Measures' or 'Three Measures' under the 'Overlap in Gentrified Tracts' heading in the map sidebar. This will highlight on the map only those neighborhoods which have gentrified under more than one definition. For example, in Seattle in the first decade of this century only one census tract (in West Seattle) has gentrified under all three measures.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

The UK's Most Stressful Commutes


If you hate your morning journey to work just be thankful that you don't have to commute from Westhoughton to Manchester. The Co-op have ranked this journey as the most stressful commute in the UK. The 33 mile round-trip commute from Westhoughton to Manchester would take you 3 hours and 40 minutes to drive during the evening and morning rush hour.

The Co-op's Rush Hour Routes is an interactive map which can calculate the stress levels of your daily commute and how your journey to work compares to the most stressful commutes in the UK. If you enter the postcode of your home and your workplace into Rush Hour Routes you can view the Co-op's estimation of how long your commute should take during rush hour and how long it would take during a clear run. It will also rank your commute in terms of how stressful the journey is compared to other commutes in the UK. The Co-op calculates the stress level of a journey based on the time increase percentage of your journey during the rush hour. The longer your journey takes during rush hour, compared to your journey time on a clear run, then the higher the stress score.

Rush Hour Routes uses the latest data on travel times from the Google Maps API. This means that the data and the predictions are regularly changing. In general the most stressful routes are usually in London and Manchester. The Westhoughton to Manchester commute, mentioned above, is usually in the Rush Hour Routes top 5 most stressful commutes. Golders Green to Central London and Elephant and Castle to Central London are also normally in the top 5 most stressful commutes.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Berlin's Bike Plans


Berlin's 'Vision Zero' mission plans to eradicate all fatalities on the city's streets. As part of this mission it is planning to greatly extend Berlin's cycling infrastructure. Tagesspiegel has
looked at Berlin's current provision for cyclists and where it plans to build new bike paths and protected bike lanes. The paper has also looked at where in the city drivers overtake cyclists too closely.

In Radmesser the German newspaper has mapped out where Berlin will build new cycling infrastructure. You can click on individual roads on the paper's new new cycle paths map to learn more about what is planned and what already exists in terms of protected bike lanes on each of Berlin's roads.

As part of its Radmesser series Tagesspiegel is also exploring the distance that car drivers give cyclists when they overtake. The police recommend that drivers leave at least 1.5-2 metres space when overtaking someone on a bicycle. Tagesspiegel has fitted one hundred bikes with sensors to find out how much space car drivers really give bike riders and where in the city cars give the most and least space to cyclists when overtaking. The cyclists chosen for the experiment live in 99 different zip-code areas in the city.

The 100 sensors have been on Berlin's roads since October and the data they record is collected everyday. So far these bikes have measured over 16,000 cars overtaking bikes. On over half of these occasions (9,402) the cars did not leave the legal 1.5-2 meter space. On 3,019 occasions cars left less than 1 meter when passing cyclists. Radmesser not only maps out where drivers in Berlin are not leaving the prescribed space when overtaking cyclists it has also looked at the time of day (between 10-12 am) when drivers pass the closest.

European Productivity


A new interactive map showing the levels of productivity across Europe reveals the economic fault-lines in the European Union. The map not only displays the sharp divergence between Eastern and Western Europe but also how lots of regions in Western Europe are also being left behind economically by the more economically successful regions.

The Big European Sort is a choropleth map of regional productivity, measured by the economic output of each worker. On the map the deepest blue colored regions are the areas with the highest productivity per worker and the deepest red colored regions have the lowest productivity.

The map reveals an obvious chasm in productivity between countries from the former Eastern Bloc and countries in Western Europe. However even some regions in the west of the European Union are struggling with productivity. While the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Sweden manage to sustain productivity across all regions other countries in the west appear to have some productive cities and regions which are leaving less successful regions behind.

A good example of this is the UK. In the UK London stands out as an area of high productivity, with a number of regions with high productivity surrounding it. However many regions of the UK are being left behind economically and have much lower levels of productivity. One useful feature of the map is that if you click on a region you can view a comparison showing which other region in Europe it most closely resembles. If you click on South Lanarkshire for example, you can see it most resembles Greece, and clicking on Northumberland reveals that this UK region has a similar level of productivity to Cyprus.

The poor productivity levels of many UK regions is just one of the many reasons that the country is likely to struggle economically if it ever succeeds in leaving the European Union. Other areas which stand out on the map are Portugal and Southern Italy for their low levels of productivity, and Ireland -with all of its regions showing very high levels of productivity.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Driving Suspended


In New York if drivers don't pay their traffic tickets the state suspends their license. This policy can have a devastating effect on low income drivers, who can be forced to choose between losing access to work, health care and food or continue driving on a suspended license and risk criminal charges and bigger fines.

Opportunity Suspended is a story map visualizing the number of traffic debt suspensions imposed in New York in 2016. The map starts by using proportional markers to show the number of traffic suspensions issued in each zip-code area in the state. The second map in the story shows this data normalized, showing the number of suspensions in each zip-code area per 100,000 people of driving age.

The third map in Opportunity Suspended uses proportional colored markers to show both the number of suspensions and the racial compilation of the zip-code. On this map large purple square markers show where there was a large number of suspensions in an area with a high percentage of people of color. The small grey squares show a small number of suspensions in areas with a small percentage of people of color. A choropleth layer is then added to this map to show the poverty levels in each zip-code area.

The maps in Opportunity Suspended reveal that there is a strong correlation between the number of traffic suspensions with both race & poverty. In New York the suspension rate is 9 times higher in the 10 poorest zip-code areas than in the 10 wealthiest zip-code areas. The suspension rate is 4 times higher in the 10 zip codes with the highest concentration of people of color than in the ten zip codes with the most concentrated white population. In other words in New York traffic suspensions are issued most often against those who are probably the most reliant on being able to drive.

South Africa Election Maps


Votes are currently being counted in the 2019 South African election. The governing party, the African National Congress, won 62% of the vote in the last election in 2014. The ANC are widely expected to be the largest party again in this election, but with a reduced level of support. At the time of writing, with only about 30% of the votes counted, the ANC are currently on around 55% of the votes.

TimesLIVE, News 24 and The Citizen all have live interactive maps showing the latest election results from South Africa. All three maps are very similar and there really isn't much to choose between them. Each map provides a choropleth view showing the leading political party in each province and each provides an overview of the percentage of votes won (so far) by each of the political parties. All three maps show the ANC are currently winning in all South African provinces, except the Western Cape, where the Democratic Alliance currently have the largest share of the votes counted.

The TimesLIVE and News24 maps do provide more detail on the results within each province than The Citizen map. Using the TimesLIVE and News24 maps you can select a province to view the latest results in each municipality within the chosen province. Both of these maps also provide an update on the percentage of votes that have been counted so far.

The News24 map also includes the option to view the results of past South African elections ('99, '04, '09 & '14), which is useful if you want to compare the results from this year's election with the results from previous elections. For example this shows you that the Democratic Alliance were also the biggest party in the Western Cape in the 2014 South African election.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Mapping Quiet Locations


If you want to escape from the noise of traffic, people and other forms of noise pollution you should explore the Hush City map. This interactive map and mobile application can help you find quiet areas close to your current location. The Hush City map shows you the small, quiet spots nearby where you can go to escape the busy chaos of everyday life.

Hush City started life as a citizen science project created by Dr. Antonella Radicchi. It has now developed into a fully fledged mobile app and website which allows users to find quite spaces and share them with other users. Using the mobile app users can record the soundscape of a location, measure the sound levels in decibels and post the results to the interactive map.

When you are in desperate need of a little quiet time you can use the Hush City map to find the nearest quiet spaces uploaded by other users. The map uses color coded map markers to indicate the noise levels recorded at different locations which have been submitted to the map. Green markers indicate the quietest locations and red the noisiest places. The colors are determined by the decibel levels recorded by users at each location. Before you decide on whether to visit a quiet spot or not you can actually listen to these recordings and check out the recorded soundscape for yourself.

Regional Variations in Cancer


Last month the Office for National Statistics released the Cancer registration statistics, England: 2017. These cancer statistics revealed that there are distinct regional variations in the cancer incidence rates in England. These regional variations are most apparent when the incidence rates are visualized on a map.

Cancer in England uses the ONS data to map the incidence rates of cancer in the regions of England. I created the map using the Leaflet mapping library. The basic structure of the map was created by combining the Leaflet Interactive Choropleth Map with code borrowed from Mapbox's Fly to a location based on scroll position demo story map.

While creating the map I found two tools very useful in helping me to create the GeoJSON for encoding the polygons for the regions of England. I used mapshaper, an online tool for simplifying shape files and GeoJSON, to drastically reduce the size of my GeoJSON file. I also used geojson.io to painlessly add the cancer incidence rate data to each of the regional polygons.

Please feel free to reuse the map for any purpose. Also feel free to adapt the choropleth story map code for any purpose. The code for Cancer in England can be cloned on Glitch.

The Map of Myth & Legends


In 1487 a ten year old boy invaded England in an attempt to depose Henry VII and make himself King. Lambert Simnel, who was really a tradesman's son from Oxford, pretended to be Edward Plantagenet, the Earl of Warwick, raised an army of Irish Soldiers and then led them on a campaign against the might of England.

Simnel's army was defeated at the Battle of Stoke Field in Nottinghamshire. Henry VII pardoned the young Simnel and, rather than execute the young pretender, put him to work as a spit-turner in the royal kitchen.

Lambert Simnel's tale is just one of many (not all of them true) on English Heritage's new interactive map of myths and legends. English Heritage's Map of Myth, Legend and Folklore includes a number of incredible stories which are associated with English Heritage properties throughout England. As well as all of these wonderful legendary tales the map includes a number of fun Easter eggs. Search around the map and you can find ships being dragged to the bottom of the ocean by many tentacled sea monsters, sea serpents riding the waves, ships being swallowed whole by huge whales and gigantic lobsters with deadly claws.

If you are interested in visiting any of the listed locations on the map then you might want to click on the flag markers on the map. These markers indicate special events which are taken place at English Heritage properties throughout 2019.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Map to the Stars


The Star Atlas is an interactive map showing you the position of the stars in the night sky. The map shows over 60,000 stars up to a magnitude of 8.5.

If you share your location with the Star Atlas you can view the current position of the stars in the sky from where you are in the world. It is easy to translate the map to what you can actually see in the sky. The horizon is clearly shown on the map and you can click and drag the map to change the map to the direction that you are looking (the compass directions are shown along the horizon on the map). If you click on the clock in the bottom left-hand corner then you can change the atlas to see the position of the stars for any date or time.

You can interact with the stars on the map to find out more about what you can see in the night sky. Click on a star and you can discover its name, how far away it is and what constellation it belongs to. One of my favorite features of the Star Atlas is the play controls. If you click on the fast forward button you can sit back and watch a sped-up version of the stars passing across the night sky as the Earth turns.

GPS Jamming & Electronic Warfare


Over the last three-four years there has been increasing evidence that Russia has been using GPS jamming around the world to disrupt military exercises carried out by NATO and other forces. This has been done with little regard to the dangers that blocking GPS signals poses to civilian aircraft and other vehicles which rely on GPS signals to navigate safely.

Russia uses electronic warfare weapon systems, such as Borisoglebsk 2, to disrupt communications and GPS systems. GPS systems work by receiving radio signals from four or more satellites. It is relatively easy to block or jam those radio signals. GPS jamming works by sending out radio waves on the same frequencies which the satellites use in order to override or distort the radio signal. GPS spoofing works by sending radio signals which mimic the radio signals sent by the satellites. If a GPS unit can't receive the radio signals from four or more satellites or receives a spoofed signal then it can't accurately calculate its position on Earth.

Aerospace Security has mapped out evidence that Russia has been sporadically jamming GPS signals in northern Scandinavia. It has mapped out areas which have experienced a loss of GPS signals during three different military exercises, Russia’s Zapad-2017 exercise, NATO's Trident Juncture exercise, and the United Kingdom’s Clockwork exercise. During all three military exercises it is the Russians who are believed to have been responsible for jamming GPS signals.

The interactive map in GPS Jamming in the Arctic Circle allows you to select any of the three military exercises. You can then view an animated heat map which plots the areas which suffered GPS loss over the course of the chosen exercise. This signal loss has been calculated using 'publicly available reports from regional media outlets and federal authorities'. The interactive map also shows the locations of known NATO and Russian military units during these military exercises.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Do I Need a Visa?


If you are an international globetrotter then you should apply for citizenship of the United Arab Emirates. Travelers with a UAE passport can travel easily to more countries in the world than citizens of any other country. UAE passport holders can visit 167 countries with relative ease, 113 countries without a visa and 54 countries with a visa on arrival. Only 31 countries require UAE passport holders to obtain a visa before travel.

German passport holders are almost as lucky as those from the UAE. If you are German only 32 countries require you to have a visa before travel. 127 countries can be visited without a visa and 39 countries require a visa on arrival. Twelve countries (including the USA) tie for third place. These twelve countries only require a visa before travelling to 33 countries around the world.

If you want to know what visa requirements you need for visiting different countries around the world then you can use the Visa List interactive map. Enter your nationality into Visa List and you can view an interactive map showing the visa requirements for every country in the world. On the Visa List interactive map light green countries don't require a visa. The darker green colored countries require a visa on arrival. The red colored countries are probably best avoided (visa refused). 

If you like your visa advice in 3D then you might prefer using Travelscope, which is another interactive visualization of the visa requirements of countries around the world. This interactive map also comes with options to view the population and GDP of every country in the world.

I really like the animated transitions when you switch between Travelscope's two different map views. When you switch between the map and 3d globe view the map actually wraps itself into a sphere. The map also includes animated flow-lines, which are used to show all the countries that you can travel to from your selected country.

The 2019 Indonesia Election Map


The Indonesian election on 17 April 2019 has been called the most complex single-day election in history. Perhaps because of its complexity it proved lethal for many election officers. It is reported that at least 225 election officers died of exhaustion during the vote count for the Indonesian elections. One reason given for this tragic turn of events is the decision to hold the presidential and legislative elections on the same day for the very first time.

You can view the results of both the presidential and legislative elections in Indonesia on the Indonesia Election Visualized map. This interactive map provides a choropleth view of which party is winning in every electoral district for the presidential election and for the legislative election for the People's Consultative Assembly. The map shows the percentage of votes cast for each candidate in the presidential election and the winning party in the legislative election.

The current president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is shown as red on the map. The challenger Prabowo Subianto is shown in blue. Jokowi looks to have won a second term as President of Indonesia. Despite being the most popular candidate across the whole country the president appears to have performed poorly on the largest island.  of Sumatra. The President's political party the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle have also picked up the largest share of the vote in the legislative election (currently 30.4% of the national vote).

Saturday, May 04, 2019

The Craters of Mars


Mars by Kenneth Feld is an interactive 3D map of Mars. The map uses elevation data from NASA to create an impressive 3D map. A map which allows you to explore the craters and valleys of Mars. Turn the heating off and hold your breathe and it is almost like you are really on the red planet.


Olympus Mons

If you open the 'slides' menu (located on the red bottom panel) you can find quick links to a number of important geological features on Mars, such as Olympus Mons, Valles Marineris and the Noctis Labyrinthus. Olympus Mons (pictured above) is a shield volcano which is around two and half times as tall as Everest. Olympus Mons is the second largest mountain in the solar system (discovered so far), after Rheasilvia on Vesta. Valles Marineris (pictured at the top of this post) is a huge series of canyons. The canyons are 2,500 miles long, 120 miles wide and up to 23,000 ft deep.

At the western most tip of Valles Marineris is the Noctis Labyrinthus. The Noctis Labyrinthus is a series of deep, steep valleys. These valleys are believed to have been caused by volcanic activity in the Tharsis region of Mars.


The 'slides' menu also includes a quick link to the Gale Crater, which is where the Mars rover Curiosity landed in 2012. At the center of this crater is the mountain Aeolis Mons. You can get more first person views of Gale and Aeolis Mons by exploring 'Street View' images of the crater captured by Curiosity at 360cities.

You can learn more about many of the other craters and mountains found on Mars by clicking on the labels on Keneth Feld's map of Mars.

Friday, May 03, 2019

UK Election Map


Yesterday a number of local elections were held in England and Northern Ireland. Wrongly or rightly many people are today viewing the election results for local councils as a referendum on Brexit. The big headline news is that the Conservative Party, the main supporters of Brexit, have lost a huge number of voters since these council seats were last up for election. The Labour Party, who are prevaricating but still supporting some form of Brexit, also lost votes since the last election. The Liberal Party, the main Remain party, made the biggest gain in the number of seats in yesterday's election.

You can view the results in all councils using the BBC's Local Elections Map. On this map local councils are colored to show the winners in each council. You can also switch to view which councils have changed hands. Under the main interactive map are a number of static maps which show the councils where each of the parties have made gains and losses.


Among left of centre voters today there is a big clamour for the Labour Party to clearly declare support for another referendum on Brexit. The map above perhaps hints at why Labour is still not fully behind Remain. The map seems to show that Labour lost the most seats in areas that voted in the highest numbers for Brexit. This may suggest that they are losing the most voters among voters who want to leave the EU and not among people who want to Remain. It is important to note however that this map shows where Labour lost seats and not necessarily the areas where it lost the most votes.

The main problem for those who are keen to see these council elections purely as a referendum on Brexit is that despite their losses the Conservative and Labour Parties were still the political parties who won the most votes yesterday. It is also probably wisest to wait for the results of the EU elections on the 23rd May, which will probably give a much clearer sign of where the UK currently stands on Brexit.

The German Internal Migration Map


The former East Germany shows up clearly on many maps visualizing German socio-economic data. In Germany's Red Belt Area you can see some examples of maps revealing how the former German Democratic Republic under-performs the former West Germany in a number of areas, including income & disposable income. However, 28 years after reunification, there is now some evidence that this inequality between the former East & West Germany is beginning to narrow.

For example yesterday Zeit Online published an interactive map which explores the history of migration between areas in the former East Germany and regions of the former West Germany. The animated map in East-West migration: The millions who left visualizes the patterns of migration between East and West since German reunification. It reveals that although huge numbers of people fled East Germany after reunification the tide has now turned and many Germans are now moving in the opposite direction.

The map clearly shows that after reunification there was a huge exodus as millions of former East Germans relocated to regions in the west of the country. Nearly 25% of the former German Democratic Republic moved to the West in the first few years after reunification. This huge loss of population had a devastating effect on the infrastructure of the region. Many schools, hospitals and cultural institutions were forced to close down because they no longer had enough employees to keep them open.

However, nearly 30 years after reunification, the tide has finally turned. Now for the first time since the Berlin Wall was destroyed more people are moving from West to East than the other way round. It appears that people are now being attracted to live in the East. This may be because the socio-economic inequalities between East and West Germany are finally becoming less pronounced.

Last week the Hamburger Abendblatt mapped the amount of disposable income across Germany. While this map revealed that the regions of East Germany have less disposable income than Germans in the rest of the country it also showed that East Germans are in fact catching up. The disposable income map of Germany includes a choropleth layer which visualizes the areas which have seen the biggest increases in disposable income since 2011. On this measurement East Germans are doing much better. According to the Hambureger Abendblatt "with an increase of around 13.9 percent, the increase in income in the East was above the national average".

Thursday, May 02, 2019

European Population Density


A new interactive map made by 23Degrees.io visualizes Europe's population as 3D mountains. The Population Density in Europe interactive map uses height and color to show where people live in Europe. The result is an interactive map which shows Europe's most densely populated areas as population mountains or towers.

The red population mountains on the map reveal the most densely populated areas of Europe. You can click on different regions on this map to view the number of inhabitants living in an area per square kilometer. It is possible to zoom in and out on the map and to change the angle of inclination. This is useful if you want to explore a densely populated city in close detail (tip - if you want to see behind a large 3D tower use you right-mouse button to change the angle of inclination or to rotate the map).


You can view a more finely detailed view of European population density on the EU Population 2011 by 1km Grid interactive map. Dan Cookson has mapped out the population in the European Union at the 1km square level. The EU Population 2011 by 1km Grid visualizes the number of people living in each square kilometer of the whole EU.

You can hover over individual 1km squares on the map to view the total number of people living in that square. If you zoom in on individual cities the map reveals the most densely populated areas and also the outlying satellite commuting towns and suburbs.


Berlin, Paris & London

Berlin, Paris & London all share a similar pattern of population density, with densely populated centers surrounded by ever less densely populated suburbs. In Berlin the population snakes out of the city along the S-Bahn rapid transit rail lines. You can see similar lines snaking out of Paris and London along popular public transit commuting routes.

A good accompaniment to Dan's EU population density map is Alasdair Rae's article on The Most Densely Populated Square Kilometre in 39 European Countries. In this post Alasdair uses the same 2011 data to reveal the most densely populated kilometer square in each country.

You might also be interested in this 3D Global Human Settlement visualization of European population density. This map provides another 3D view of Europe's most densely populated areas as population mountains. If you want to view population density outside of Europe then I recommend the SEDAC Population Estimator (GPWv4). This interactive map uses NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) data to show where the world's population lives.

The SEDAC Population Estimator map includes a tool to draw an area on the map to see an estimate of the population that lives there. You can therefore draw a square kilometer on the map to make your own comparisons with Alasdair's most densely populated square kilometers in Europe.