Friday, July 19, 2024

30 Days of Crashes in New York City

animated map of Manhattan showing the locations of crashes between June 15th and June 25th

Between June 16th and July 15th, 149 people were injured by cars in the planned New York congestion zone and 4 people were killed.

At the beginning of June New York Governor Kathy Hochul canceled New York City’s planned congestion zone. Under the planned congestion zone vehicles traveling into or within the central business district of Manhattan would have been charged a fee. 

In response to Huchul's cancellation of the congestion zone scheme Transpo Maps has begun mapping all the crashes in the planned congestion zone area. The map plots the locations of vehicle crashes over the last 30 days using data from NYC’s open data portal. Apparently the map is updated as new data is made available on the data portal.

The NYC Congestion Zone Live Crash Tracker shows the locations of crashes where people were injured using orange markers. Pink markers are used to show crashes where there was a fatality. If you click on a census tract on the map you can view data on the number of crashes in the block during 2023, and data on the number of cyclists, pedestrians and car drivers injured and killed in car crashes last year. You can also view data on the number of 'vulnerable residents' and car-free households in the selected census tract.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

The 2024 European Election Map

2024 European Election Map colored

Zeit has created an interactive map which visualizes the results in the 2024 European Union elections in 83,000 municipalities. The map in Explore Europe's Most Detailed Electoral Map colors each electoral area in Europe based on the politics of the leading candidate in the election.

The map allows you to compare the 2024 European Union election results with the results from 2014 and 2019. By switching between the 2014 and 2024 results you can see that there has been a general shift across much of Europe to more right-wing parties. The far-right in particular have made huge gains in France, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Germany.

Zeit's accompanying article (in German) explores some of the most interesting results to emerge in June's election. For example the article explores a pattern across much of Europe where inner-city areas tend to vote for more left-wing parties than those in rural areas, who tend to favor parties of the right. 

The newspaper also notes that Poland once again seems politically split along a 100 year old border. In August, 1772, Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a treaty that partitioned Poland. Poland regained its independence and reunited as the Second Polish Republic in 1918 after World War I. However, the pre-1918 geographical divide seems to re-emerge in the results of every Polish election. Zeit notices that in this European election 'In the western and northern regions that were once German, people vote differently (usually more liberally) than in the former Russian regions.'

The German newspaper also points out the political differences between the Wallonia and Flemish regions in Belgium and the split in Germany along the old West and East German border.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Battles of World War II & American Wars

Map of Europe showing the locations of battles of World War II

HistoryMaps has been very busy in the last few weeks, releasing new interactive maps visualizing the:

Nono Umasy's HistoryMaps website is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in world history, offering hundreds of interactive timelines and maps that explore historical events across the scope of human civilization.

The latest three interactive maps on HistoryMaps provide a mapped guide to the battles of World War II, the American Revolution and the American Civil War. On each of these individual maps the locations of important and significant battles are displayed on an interactive map and listed chronologically in the map sidebar.

You can click on the individual battle markers on the map to read the battle's synopsis in the sidebar timeline (each of which includes a link to the battle's Wikipedia entry). The map sidebar also includes a timeline control which allows you to filter the battles shown on the map by year. Other controls allow you to filter the battles by 'Naval', 'Land' and 'Sieges' (and on the World War II map by 'Aerial').

On the cartography side the underlying maps seem to use chronologically accurate borders. For example the country borders for the World War II map includes Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, East Prussia and other historical geopolitical entities which no longer exist.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Your Urban Heat Island Score

Climate Central has mapped out the urban heat island hot-spots in 65 major U.S. cities. Each city map on Climate Central's Urban Heat Hot Spots shows an Urban Heat Island (UHI) Index score for each census tract, revealing where UHI boosts temperatures the most and least in each city.

As well as providing individual UHI maps for 65 cities Climate Central has also released a national interactive map which shows how much additional heat communities across the country face due to living in a built environment. The UHI Index score for each city census tract is based on an estimate of how much the urban environment increases temperatures. The estimate is based on local factors such as land cover types (green spaces, paved etc), building height and population density. 

Urban heat islands are areas of towns and cities which can become unbearably hot, especially on days with extreme heat. These areas can often become 10-20 degrees warmer than other areas in the very same city. A lack of trees and tree cover in cities is one of the biggest causes of urban heat islands. Urban heat islands tend to occur in areas with the densest built environments and with very little shade provided by tree canopy cover.

The US Tree Equity Score map can help you to quickly determine those neighborhoods in your city that are most in need of increased tree canopy cover. If you click on a neighborhood on the Tree Equity Score map you can discover its 'tree equity score', the current percentage of tree canopy cover, and the local levels of air pollution. The 'tree equity score' uses a range of factors to calculate "how well the benefits of trees are reaching communities living on low incomes and others disproportionately impacted by extreme heat, pollution and other environmental hazards."

Monday, July 15, 2024

Trains, Balloons and Automobiles

GIF of a train passing through a level crossing on a webcam with the train's position shown on a map.

I have died and arrived in train spotting heaven.

The Train Positions map combines a live real-time map of Dutch trains with the locations of traffic webcams. The result is that you can track the positions of trains in real-time and actually see them pass locations on live webcams.

Unfortunately a lot of the webcams featured in the Train Positions map are currently offline or have poor views of the passing trains. Nevertheless there are still some gems to be found. My favorite is the webcam of a level crossing at Mierlo-Hout, east of Eindhoven (shown in the animated GIF above). This provides a great view of the train line, with the added bonus that you know when a train is coming because of the level crossing warning lights and chimes (obviously you can also see it arriving on the map).

If train-spotting is not nerdy enough for you then you might prefer the SondeHub Tracker live map, which allows you to follow the paths of weather balloons in real-time. 

A radiosonde is a meteorological instrument used to measure and transmit atmospheric data. The instrument is carried aboard a weather balloon and sends its data to a ground station in real-time by radio signal. The SondeHub Tracker is a live real-time map of active radiosondes (an historical view of past flights is also available), which is used to assist with the tracking, recovery and re-use of meteorological radiosondes.

As well as showing the real-time position of active radiosondes the map also shows the past flight-path of the radiosonde, its predicted forward path, and (where in operation) the real-time position of the chase car.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The D-Day Map Room

The Southwick House D-Day Map of the English Channel with animated ships and places moving across the Channel

The Map Room at Southwick House in Portsmouth was where Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower and General Montgomery spent much of early 1944 planning for D-Day. The walls of the Map Room were hung with huge maps of the English Channel. Maps that are still in place in the Map Room at Southwick House to this day.

In particular one wall of the Map Room is covered by a very large map of southern England and the west coast of Europe - including Normandy.  On this map each of the landing beaches (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword), are clearly marked as well as the routes that the Royal Navy ships would take across the English Channel after mine-sweeping ships had successfully cleared safe routes.

Richard Osgood, Senior Archaeologist at the Military of Defence says that the map played a key role in the preparations for the Normandy Landings, “D-Day was a massive event, it changed history. And all of it was meticulously planned on this very map. That’s how important this map truly was, and still is today.”

The National Museum of the Royal Navy has now released an impressive interactive presentation which allows you to explore the map in detail. The D-Day Map - Operation Neptune is not only an interactive online version of the huge D-Day wall map at Southwick House, it is also as part of a chronological guide to the planning, preparation, operation and outcomes of D-Day itself.

The map is part of a guided history of D-Day and is used to explain how the Allies planned and prepared for the massive Operation Neptune. During this guided history of D-Day little model ships and planes are animated on the map to help explain troop movements, landings and the other important events of Operation Neptune.

Via: Webcurios

Friday, July 12, 2024

Your Future Climate Twin

screenshot of Future Urban Climates map connecting New York to Ola, Arkansas

If you want to know how climate change will affect New York City in 60 years time you just need to travel to Arkansas today. In the town of Ola, Arkansas you can experience today the climate that New York is expected to have in 2080, when summer temperatures will be 12.1°F warmer and 5.3% wetter.

The concept of climate analogs is often used in climate science to describe a location whose current climate is similar to the projected future climate of another location. The idea is employed to help people understand the potential impacts of climate change by comparing familiar climates to projected ones. A new interactive web map developed by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science enables you to discover the climate analogs of 40,581 locations and 5,323 metro areas worldwide.

Enter your location into Future Urban Climates and you can discover your climate twin. The location today that has a climate which is the most similar to the climate in your town in 2080. The future climate analogs generated by the map are based on "high and reduced emissions scenarios, as well as for several different climate forecast models".

The use of climate analogs has become an established tool to help explain the dangers of global heating. Just last month The Pudding published its Climate Zones map. The Pudding's Climate Zones - How Will Your City Feel in the Future? explains the current climate zones of 70 global cities and the climate zones that they will experience after global heating.  The map allows you to select a city, observe it moving into its future climate zone and learn how average temperatures in the city will be changed by global heating.

You can also explore climate analogs in the National Geographic's Your Climate Changed (an interactive map showing the future climate analogs of 2,500 cities around the world), on the Analog Atlas (2050 climate analogs based on two different climate change predictions), and on the Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm map (using global heating scenarios of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees centigrade).

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Europeans Profiting from American Deaths

map of US mass shootings since 1982

Around a third of the guns used in mass shootings in the United States were manufactured in Europe. In European Weapons, American Victims the German newspaper Tagesspiegel investigates how German and Austrian arms manufacturers are profiting from exploiting America's love affair with guns.

Guns are the major cause of children's deaths in the United States, ahead of both traffic accidents and cancer. These deaths are a lucrative business for gun manufacturers. Two of the most successful gun brands in the US are the German SIG Sauer and the Austrian Glock. In an in-depth investigation Taggespiegel explores how both SIG Sauer and Glock are profiting from American deaths.

In an 8 part series the newspaper examines the 'US gun cult and its European profiteers, concentrating on the role of SIG Sauer and Glock. The investigation uses data from the Mother Jones Mass Shootings Database. You can also explore US gun crime on the Mass Killing Database, a collaboration between Northeastern University and the Associated Press. This database keeps track of all multiple homicides in the United States from 2006 with four or more victims.

The Gun Violence Archive also collects data on gun-related violence in the USA (the Mass Killing Database isn't limited to mass killings involving only guns). The Gun Violence Archive reports that there have already been 285 mass shootings in the USA so far this year. To date 126 children have been killed by guns in 2024 and 312 children have been injured by guns.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

John Snow's Proximity Mapping

I've probably seen over 100 modern interactive visualizations of John Snow's famous map of cholera victims during the 1854 cholera outbreak in Soho. John Snow's map shows the locations of cholera deaths clustered around a water pump in Broad Street. The map helped to disprove the prevailing miasma theory on the spread of diseases and establish that cholera was actually spread by contaminated water.

Despite the central importance of proximity to John Snow's interpretation of the Soho cholera outbreak I think that Carto's new 1854 Soho cholera outbreak map is the first of the 100+ reinterpretations of the data to actually visualize which water pump the victims lived closest to. 

On the Carto map straight lines are drawn from John Snow's recorded victim's homes to the nearest pump. The purple lines indicate all those victims which lived closest to the Broad Street Pump. As you can see a number of victims actually lived closer to other pumps. John Snow wrote in a letter to the 'Medical Times and Gazette', "In five of these cases the families of the deceased persons informed me that they always sent to the pump in Broad Street, as they preferred the water to that of the pumps which were nearer. In three other cases, the deceased were children who went to school near the pump in Broad Street."

John Snow's original Broadstreet Map showing cholera cases clustered around the Broad Street water pump

You can view an interactive version of John Snow's original map on the Wellcome website. The map, was originally published in 1855 in Dr. John Snow's 'Report on the cholera outbreak in the Parish of St. James, Westminster, during the autumn of 1854'. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

AI Satellite Search

boats indentified by AI on an aerial image of Southampton
boats identified by AI

In recent years machine learning and artificial intelligence has revolutionized the way we analyze the world from above. The ability to automatically detect and identify objects in satellite images has unlocked a myriad of possibilities, including monitoring deforestation, tracking wildlife, and enhancing disaster response.

Some recent examples of machine learning being used to search aerial imagery include OneSoil (which uses AI to detect the types of crops being grown), Земляна проказа (identifying illegal amber mines) and Curio Canopy (identifying tree canopy cover in European cities).

Robin Wilson has released an impressive Aerial Image Search Demo which allows you to explore an AI image search of aerial imagery for yourself. Using the map you can search an image of Southampton for any object that you want. For example in the screenshot at the top of this post you can see the results of my search for 'boats'. 

The map says that under the hood it uses "the SkyCLIP vector embedding model, and Pinecone vector DB". If you are interested in developing your own AI satellite image search there are links to both models. Meanwhile you can have fun searching Southampton for shipping containers, churches, crops, car parks, swimming pools - or anything else that you can think of. 

Unfortunately my own searches of the map reveal that Southampton may be harboring a large number of illegal amber mines and nuclear weapon silos.

Via: Weekly OSM