Wednesday, February 08, 2023

A Heat Map of U.S. Road Fatalities

Hot Spots of Fatal Crashes

The US Department of Transportation has released a series of interactive maps to visualize the impact of motor vehicle deaths on communities across the United States. In Our Nations's Roadway Safety Crisis you can view a heat map of fatal crashes, a map of county roadway fatalities compared to the national average, a map comparing fatality rates and population size, and a map showing the distribution of fatalities in disadvantaged communties.

In recent years the 30 year decline in roadway fatalities has stalled. In fact the number of fatalities on the country's roads actually increased in 2020 and 2021. In response the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the National Roadway Safety Strategy in order to address the number of serious and fatal injuries on US roads. The maps in Our Nation's Roadway Safety Crisis help to identify where roadway fatalities occur on the nation's roads.

Locations of NYC Road Fatalities

The Hot Spots of Fatal Crashes map shows a heat map of roadway fatalities over the last five years. If you zoom in on your town on this map you can view the locations of all the local roadway fatalities over the same period. Click on a roadway fatality marker on the map and you can view details of the crash (including date, time, day of week, number of vehicles involved and the number of fatalities.

Number of County Road Fatalities Compared to National Average

The Concentration of Roadway Fatalities map visualizes the number of roadway fatalities in each county compared to the national average. On this map individual counties are colored to show if they had higher or lower fatalities than the national average. Brown counties had higher than average and blue counties had lower than average.

Fatality Rate vs. Population

Obviously some counties have much larger populations than other counties which may have a significant impact on the number of road fatalities in that county. The Fatality Rate vs. Population map allows you to compare the levels of road fatalities in relationship to local population levels. On this map counties with a low population and high road fatality rate are shown in yellow. The counties colored blue have a high population and low fatality rate. 

Exploring Fatalities and Equity

43% of the communities with the highest roadway fatalities are historically disadvantaged. The Exploring Fatalities and Equity map visualizes the levels of roadway fatalities in 16,514 disadvantaged census tracts. The darker the color of the tract on this map then the higher the number of roadway fatalities.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Scrollytelling Video Mapping

Last year ProPublica posted a story map in the article The Tragedy of North Birmingham which includes an impressive combination of a story map with a scrolling video. As you read through the ProPublica account of the industrial air & land pollution being caused by industry in this Alabama town you might notice how a Mapbox story map seamlessly and impressively elides from a satellite view to an overhead aerial drone video.

If you watch the GIF above closely you can spot the transition from overhead satellite view to scroll driven aerial video. The transition is used to move from a general discussion of the dangerous overall levels of pollution in Birmingham to a focus on one resident, Lamar Mabry. In the story this focus on Lamar is used to personalize the effects of the dangerous levels of toxic contamination in Birmingham. This personalization of the story is achieved visually by transitioning from an overhead map aerial layer of Lamar's neighborhood to a drone video pan into a close-up of his home.

This visual transition is achieved by cutting from a Mapbox Storymap to a ScrollyVideo.js driven video. The Mapbox Interactive Storytelling template allows users to tell stories with maps. It allows you to create mapped data visualizations which include scrolling information windows, that are used to provide written context as a map pans and zooms to show different locations or data. 

In The Tragedy of North Birmingham ProPublica has combined the use of a Mapbox Story Map with ScrollyVideo.js. ScrollyVideo is a JavaScript library which creates responsive scroll driven videos. Apply the library to a video file and you can progress (or rewind) through the video by scrolling on a web page. Using time-stamps in the video you can overlay scrolling information windows, which (as in a Mapbox Story Map) can be used to provide written context to the visual media.

ProPublica combines a Mapbox map with ScrollyVideo video in its article by simply replacing the map element with the ScrollyVideo element. The transition works so well because the map ends with an aerial view which is almost identical to the first frame of the overhead video. 

Sunday, February 05, 2023

Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2023

The ACLED Conflict Severity Index uses four different indicators to assess and rank the complexity and severity of conflicts in countries across the world. Based on violence measured in countries around the globe in 2022 the Index has identified 46 countries and territories which are experiencing severe levels of conflict.

You can explore Conflict Severity Index rankings for individual countries and the 46 countries identified with severe levels of conflict on ACLED's new interactive map. The map includes a choropleth layer which shows the number of incidents of political violence in each country. In 2022 political violence was seen in nearly every country but in some countries the incidents and number of incidents were more severe.

Ukraine witnessed the highest number of political violent events and the most fatalities from political violence in 2022. Myanmar saw the second highest number of fatalities from political violence. ACLED's Index uses four indicators to measure the severity of conflict within countries: deadliness, danger, diffusion, and fragmentation. Countries such as Syria, Haiti and Yemen measured severely on all four indicators during 2022.

The International Crisis Group has released an interactive storymap which highlights ten locations around the world where conflict crises could become apparent (or continue) in 2023. As you scroll through the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2023 you are taken on a guided tour of the world visiting ten locations that Crisis Group believes may experience conflict during the coming year.

The Crisis Group list of the ten countries to watch includes countries, such as Ukraine, where conflict is already ongoing. The list also features Taiwan where tensions continue to grow as China maintains its claim over the country and continues its frequent incursions into Taiwan's air space.

Elsewhere in the world conflict in Pakistan may be evident as the country enters an election year (with 'a deeply divided body politic'), while struggling to recover from last year's catastrophic flooding. The rampant gang violence in Haiti continues to have a devastating effect on that South American country. While in Africa tensions continue to mount in the Sahel region in the north of the continent and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Global Population Density

Top Row: Paris, Barcelona, New York, 
Bottom Row: London, San Francisco, Los Angeles

US cities tend to have lower population densities than cities in most other countries in the world. The maps above show the populations living within a 5km radius of the centers of a number of major cities. As you can see San Francisco and Los Angeles have significantly lower population densities than Paris and Barcelona. Only New York rivals its European counterparts, with a population density higher than London.

Tom Forth's interactive map Population Around a Point allows you to click anywhere in the world to view the estimated population living within a defined distance. It is a great tool for exploring the differences in population density in different countries and continents. I used Tom's map to discover and compare the population densities of a number of U.S., European and Asian cities.

Top row: Dhaka, Mumbai, Manila
Bottom row: Kolkata, Beijing, Tokyo 

If you think Paris and Barcelona pack a lot of people into a small space then you haven't visited Dhaka. With a population of nearly 5 million people within a 5km radius of the city center it has almost well over twice the population density of Paris. However it was a surprise to me to discover that Paris actually has a higher population density than Tokyo. Despite being probably the most populated city in the world Tokyo actually has a lower population density than the capital of France.

If you are interested in population density then you might also want to read Alasdair Rae's analysis of population density around the world (with a focus mainly on Europe). In Think your country is crowded? Rae has mapped Eurostat’s population density grid data for 2011. This map visualizes the population density in each square kilometer in Europe. 

Alasdair has also created a table which shows the population density of each European country. This table includes a column showing how many people in each country live in the the most densely populated one square kilometer of that country. By comparing this figure for each country you can see where the most densely populated square kilometers are in Europe. In Barcelona more than 53,000 people inhabit a single 1km². This is the most densely populated area in Europe. Paris has the second most densely populated km², with a 1km² containing more than 50,000 people. 

Alasdair's article includes a brief discussion of some of the most densely populated areas outside of Europe.

Friday, February 03, 2023

Speed Limited Travel Times

The City of Winnipeg is introducing new speed limits on local and collector roads in four neighborhoods. In this reduced-speed pilot program speed limits will be reduced from 50km/h to 40km/h in the neighborhoods of Worthington and Richmond West. In Bourkevale and Tyndall Park speed limits will be reduced to 30km/h.

The city's Travel Time Estimator Tool allows drivers to see how the new speed limits are likely to effect their journey times. Using the interactive mapping tool drivers can enter a starting point and destination in Winnipeg. The map will then calculate a route and estimate the increased travel time for the route with both a 30km/h limit on local and collector streets and with a 40km/h limit. 

The map is an incredibly useful tool for drivers as it provides a very accurate estimation of how the city's new speed limits will affect driving times. It is also a pretty effective tool for the city as the map demonstrates the relatively small effect the new speed limits will have on travel times, with most journey travel times being increased by less than a minute.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Why Your Street Has That Name

James Joyce's novel Ulysees starts and ends in Eccles Street, Dublin. The novel's main character, Leopold Bloom, lives on Eccles Street with his wife Molly. I have just discovered that the street was named after John Eccles who was the mayor of Dublin (1710-1711).

You can discover where other Dublin street names originated on the Dublin Street Names map by Conor O'Neill. Click on a street on Conor's map and you can discover the meaning behind its name. For example if you click on the famous Grafton Street you will learn that the street was named for Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, an illegitimate child of Charles II.

The map includes a number of layer options which allow you to view the streets colored by year (the earliest appearance of a street name), by gender (revealing the streets named for men and the streets named for women), and by category (royals, politicians or nobility).

Also See

History of San Francisco Place Names - the meaning of San Francisco street names.
Strassenkrieg - the meaning behind Berlin's military themed streets
Open Etymology Map - MapComplete's global street name map based on WikiData.
Open Etymology Map - Daniele Santini' global street name map also using WikiData

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

The Viking Invasion

The Vikings: The Invasion of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms is an interactive map, created by Nir Smilga, which documents the history of the Viking incursions into the British Isles during the early-Middle Ages. These invasions eventually led to the Danelaw and Viking control of much of eastern and northern England.

The map covers a period of 201 years from the Arrival of the Great Heathen Army in 865 to the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. The numbered timeline at the top of the interactive map allows you to progress through the history of the Viking invasion. This mapped history includes the Battle of York in 866, the Treaty of Wedmore (establishing Danelaw) in 886, the Battle of Maldon in 991, and the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 (when King Harold defeated an invading Viking army).

The Vikings interactive map provides a fascinating potted history of the Vikings in Britain. If you are interested you can explore evidence of the lasting legacy of the Vikings and Danelaw in the continuing prevalence of Viking placenames in some areas of England. 

The Placename Patterns map allows you to visualize geographical patterns in the distribution of different types of placename. Using regular expressions it is possible to explore the distribution of different suffixes and prefixes in placenames in a number of different countries.

For example we can use the Placename Patterns to explore the geographical distribution of placenames ending in 'thwaite', 'thorpe' and 'by'. When we map these old Norse words we find their geographical distribution matches quite closely the Danelaw, the area of the UK which was once ruled by the Vikings. 'Thorpe' is an old Norse word for homestead. 'Thwaite' means wooded clearing and 'by' means farmstead or small village.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Iceland's Shrinking Glaciers

The map above shows the size of the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers at the end of the 19th Century (yellow line) and in 2019 (red line). Glaciers in Iceland have in total shrunk by more than 2200 km² since the end of the 19th century. You can explore the extent to which each glacier has changed in size for yourself on the Icelandic Glacier Web Portal.

The Icelandic Glacier Web Portal displays measurements of Icelandic glaciers taken since 1890. The maps are based on a number of different sources. The Icelandic Glaciological Society have carried out measurements of the country's glaciers since the 1950's. Other institutions such as the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Meteorological Office also carry out regular measurements of glacier mass and termini.

Using the portal's interactive map it is possible to view outlines of the extent of each of Iceland's glaciers at different dates from 1890-2019. In this way it is possible to explore how each glacier has changed in size over time. The interactive map on the portal uses the Leaflet.js mapping platform. As well as the glacier extents layer the map includes layers which show terminus measurements and historical photographs. All these layers are available as both #WMS and #WFS map tiles and can be used under a CC-BY 4.0 licence.

You can explore other powerful interactive visualizations of glacial melt in the Maps Mania post Melting Glaciers.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The Distribution of Surnames

The superbly named Namensverbreitungskarte is an interactive map which can show the distribution of surnames in Germany. Enter a family name into the map and you can see where people with that name lived in 1996 and in 1890. The distribution is based on German casualty lists of the 1st World War and the German phone directory from 1996.

One neat feature of Namensverbreitngskarte is that you can visualize more than one name at once. Search for a new name and its distribution will be added to the map using a different color. For example the map above shows the 1880 distribution of the names Kruse, Kraus and Krause. The Benrath Line (a line which roughly divides German northern and southern dialects) can be seen in the distribution of the name's variations across Germany. If you click on the 'About Name distribution map' link you can view a few more interesting examples of the distribution of various German surnames. 

The German Surname Map is another fascinating tool for visualizing the geographical distribution of surnames in Germany. Enter a surname into the tool and you can view a map showing where people with that name are distributed throughout the country. 

If you enter the name Merkel into the map (the name of the ex-German Chancellor) you will discover that it is a common surname in Germany, with quite an even distribution throughout the country. Angela Merkle was born in Hamburg. There appear to be quite a few Merkles in Hamburg, although the biggest concentration of the surname appears to be in some of the southern states.

In Germany you can also use GeoGen to view the geographical distribution of German surnames. The use of three dimensional stacks on this map helps to make it a little more clear where a particular surname has its highest concentration in the country.

Searching Merkel on GeoGen and the German Surname Map seems to suggest that the highest concentration of Merkels in Germany can be found in Baden-Baden. However as neither map uses place-name labels it isn't always easy to determine individual towns on either map (the highest concentration of Merkels may therefore be in one of Baden-Baden's closest neighboring towns). 

If you want to research the geographical distribution of surnames in other countries then you can use:

You can also explore the global distribution of your family name using Forebears. You can use Forebears to undertake a global search for your surname. If you enter a surname into Forebears it will tell you both the meaning of your name and show you a map of the global distribution of your name. Beneath this generated map you can view a list showing the number of incidences of your surname recorded in each country around the world. It also shows the ratio of people with your surname in each country and the rank of your name in comparison to the incidence of all over surnames in each country.

The 2023 Czech Presidential Election Maps

The pro-western retired general Petr Pavel has swept to victory in the 2023 Czech Presidential Election. In yesterday's election he convincingly beat the ex-Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

Czech newspaper Blesk has used the Leaflet mapping library to create an interactive election map of the 2023 Presidential Election. The map colors each region to show the presidential candidate who received the most votes. If you click on these regions you can view the exact percentage and number of votes cast for each candidate. If you zoom in on the map you can also view the results in each electoral district.

Dnes has also released an interactive map of the 2023 Presidential Election. The Dnes map colors each electoral constituency to show the winning candidate. You can hover over a consituency to see the percentage of votes won by the winning candidate and you can click through to view the percentage of votes cast for each candidate in every town in the constituency. 

Denik has created its own similar map which colors each region to show the winning candidate. Hover over a region and you can view the percentage of the votes won by the leading candidate. If you click on a region on the map you can also view a map of the results in each district in the selected region.