Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Segregated States of America

The Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California has released an interactive map which visualizes the level of racial segregation in every neighborhood in the United States. The map reveals that 81 percent of metropolitan regions were more racially segregated in 2019 than they were in 1990.

The United States Segregation includes a timeline which allows you to view the level of segregation across the country in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 & 2019. If you click on a county on the map you can view the percentage of the Asian, Black, Latino, Native American and White populations for the chosen year. You can also change the map to view the levels of segregation at the neighborhood or city level.The map includes a number of segregation stories. These are detailed investigations into the history of segregation in different cities.

The United States Segregation map is part of the Roots of Structural Racism Project. According to the report many rustbelt cities in the industrial Midwest and mid-Atlantic, including Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Trenton, are among the most segregated cities in America. The report also says that household incomes in white neighborhoods are nearly twice as high as those in segregated communities of color.

The Altimeter

Steve Attewell was inspired by a recent QGIS experiment by Alasdair Rae to create an interactive terrain scanner.Steve's Terrain Elevation Viewer is an interactive map which visualizes elevation along a line of latitude.

The yellow line on the Terrain Elevation Viewer shows the elevation along the red line. The map uses Mapbox GL's queryTerrainElevation feature to return the elevation all the way along the red line on the map and visualizes this elevation value by the height of the yellow line. The result provides a cross section of the displayed terrain's elevation.

Alasdair Rae was inspired to create his elevation scanner in QGIS by Nicolas Lambert's Elevation Scan. Elevation Scan is another clever interactive map which visualizes the relative elevation of land across the world.

Press the 'play' button on Elevation Scan and a line moves north from the bottom of the map to the top. As the line moves a graph shows the elevation height along the line of latitude. For example on the screen shot above you can see the high elevations of the Himalayas rising up from the line of latitude running across the map. 

If you press 'pause' you can manually explore the map and the relative elevation of locations around the world by moving the slide button left and right. 

The Arun Valley in the South Downs National Park, England

You can also explore levels of elevation around the world using Peak Map. Peak Map is a fantastic interactive tool which you can use to create a joy-plot map for any location on Earth. To create your own joy-plot map you just need to center Peak Map on your chosen location and a very artistic elevation profile will be generated automatically by the map.

Joy-plots (or ridgeline plots as they are sometimes called) are inspired by Joy Division's famous album cover for their Unknown Pleasures record. Since the 1970's the Peter Saville designed cover for Unknown Pleasures has become an iconic image. The original cover was inspired by a visualization of the radio waves emitted by a pulsar, which was published in the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy. 

In data science a visualization which is inspired by this radio waves graph is often called a 'joy-plot' in acknowledgement of Joy Division's iconic album cover. Over the years a number of maps have used ridgeline plots or joy-plots to visualize different types of data, often to show population density or to visualize elevation. Using Peak Maps you can create your very own joy-plot visualizations of elevation data for any location on Earth.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Mapping the New York Mayoral Primary

Yesterday the people of New York City voted in the Democratic and Republican primaries for the 2021 New York City mayoral election. The winner of the Democratic primary is expected to go on to win the November 2 election for New York Mayor (which is probably why all the interactive maps I've seen have only bothered to map the results of the Democratic primary).

The Gothamist has created an interactive map and bar graph of the Democratic Mayoral Primary Unofficial Results. The results show that Eric Adams, a retired police captain, has stormed into a significant early lead. However the map also shows that Eric Adams was not the first choice in much of Manhattan, where Kathryn Garcia seems to be the most popular Democratic candidate. The Gothamist's Tableau powered map includes a filter which allows you to see in which electoral districts each candidate was the most popular candidate.

RRH Elections has also published an interactive map showing the results of the Democratic primary. This map also colors each electoral district to show which candidate won the most votes. Like the Gothamist map you can also hover over an individual district on this map to view a detailed breakdown showing the percentage of votes won by each of the candidates.

The Gothamist bar chart of the number of votes cast for each candidate shows that Eric L. Adams currently has a clear lead. However for the first time in this year's mayoral primary a ranked-choice system is being used and the final result is not expected for several weeks. Adams was the first choice for more than 30% of voters. A candidate needs 50% of first choice votes to win overall. No candidate achieved that so now the candidate who won the least votes will drop-out and the second choice votes from their voters will be counted. This process is then repeated until a candidate reaches the 50% threshold. 

I believe the NYT has as interactive map of the results as well. However The Most Detailed Map of New York City Mayoral Primary Results is behind a paywall so I can't actually see it.

Europe's War on Yemen


Since 2015 at least 8,759 civilians in Yemen have been killed by airstrikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Many of those airstrikes were carried out using arms sold by Europe. European governments and the European arms industry provide the coalition with bombs, missiles, fighter jets, components and spare parts. They also provide maintenance, training and support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

Despite never having declared war much of Europe is effectively supporting the military bombardment of Yemen. European Arms in the Bombing of Yeman is an interactive map which is plotting documented airstrikes in Yemen while revealing the contribution of European governments and arms companies to the crimes carried out by Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The information provided in the map can be filtered by country and by company so that you can see the indirect role that individual countries and companies have taken in providing arms to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The markers on the map show the locations of documented airstrikes on Yemen. If you select one of these markers you can view a summary of the attack and links to the documented sources for the attack. The source data comes from research carried out by Forensic Architecture, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Yemeni Archive, and Bellingcat. 

Al Jazeera has mapped out 16,000 of the air raids carried out against Yemen between 2015 and 2019. The interactive map in Death From Above shows all air raids carried out by the Saudi led coalition since March 2015. The map includes a timeline control which allows you to see where and when air raids have been targeted in Yemen by month. As you progress through the timeline a running total keeps track of the total number of air raids launched. The bar chart below the map shows the total number of air raids directed at individual cities over the course of the timeline.

The data for the Al Jazeera map comes from numerous sources, including official records, local and international news agencies, reports by international human rights groups and reports from national and international NGOs. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Mapping Excess Deaths

The number of excess deaths in the last year far outweighs the number of official Covid-19 fatalities. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between the beginning of February last year and the 9th June this year there have been up to 713,873 excess deaths. Nearly 25% of those excess deaths (up to 169,687) were not officially attributed to COVID-19. 

The large discrepancy between the number of recorded Covid-19 deaths and the actual number of excess deaths means that if want to get a truer picture of the effect of this pandemic we should be looking at where the greatest number of excess deaths has been the highest.

In COVID-19 Deaths: Who Wasn’t Counted? Capital and Main has mapped out the number of excess deaths at the county level. Capital and Main argue that these "excess death numbers suggest the pandemic’s impact on the country is likely even greater than the official statistics have shown". However even Capital and Main's excess death map could be obscuring the true picture. The huge discrepancy in the number of excess deaths recorded in counties in North Carolina compared to neighboring counties in other states suggests that the way excess deaths are recorded is different in different states (or North Carolinians have some innate immunity to Covid) . 

The Moscow Building Age Map

The Central Moscow Buildings Age map is a beautiful looking visualization of the age of all the buildings inside Moscow's Garden Ring. On this interactive map individual buildings are colored to show the historical period when they were constructed. 

The building ages shown on the map are divided into five historical periods: Old Moscow (pre-1813), Russian Empire (1813-1917), Soviet Moscow (1917-1958), Post-Stalin's Moscow (1959-1982) and Russian Federation (1991-present).

You can also explore the age of Moscow's buildings on The History of Moscow Housing interactive map. The History of Moscow Housing is an exploration of how housing has developed in the Russian capital over the last few centuries. On this map individual buildings are also colored to show their year of construction.

This map is not quite as beautiful as  the Central Moscow Buildings Age map but it does have more features. The History of Moscow Housing includes a handy date control at the bottom of the map which allows you to view houses built during different time periods. It is also possible to select individual buildings on this map to view the year that they were built. 

How Old is this House is also a building age map of Moscow.How Old is This House uses a sequential color scheme - ranging from red for the oldest buildings to blue for the most recent. This is very effective in providing an historical overview of the age of Moscow's buildings

How Old is This House also provides extensive information about many of Moscow's buildings. If you click on an individual building footprint on the map you can view its year of construction and, where available, pictures of the building & links to its Wikipedia page.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Public Transport Equity

Public transport is an essential part of many people's lives, connecting them to their jobs and to other goods and services. Unfortunately in many American cities there are huge gaps in transit access. Gaps which often reflect other social inequalities in land use determined by racial and economic demographics. In other words the people who are most dependent on public transport often have the worst access to transit networks.

TransitCenter's Transit Equity Dashboard is a new data visualization platform which is designed to visualize "how well transit networks in six U.S. cities connect people who’ve been marginalized by segregation and discrimination to the jobs, services, and amenities they need". The dashboard has been designed to help public planners and transit experts to make more informed decisions by highlighting where the biggest transit gaps exist and who are most effected by these gaps in provision.

The Transit Equity Dashboard provides interactive map visualizations of the state of transit equity in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and the San Francisco Bay Area. These maps show where there are gaps in frequent transit provision and also provide data on access to jobs, and the transit times to hospitals and grocery stores.

Select any of the available metrics and you can view a choropleth map showing the chosen metric's availability by transit from every neighborhood in the city. For example the screenshot above shows the number of jobs within 45 minutes transit journey time in New York City. You can also view map layers which visualize the journey time by transit to parks, grocery stores, hospitals, pharmacies, and colleges & universities.

Air Pollution in Europe

Nowy Sacz in Poland has the most polluted air of any city in Europe, according to the latest report on air pollution from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA's Air Quality in Europe 2020 has been released, and while the report shows some improvement to the quality of air across the continent it also reveals that more than half the cities in Europe analyzed for the report recorded "bad" or "poor" air quality during 2020.

The Air Quality in Europe report provides an annual assessment of the status and impact of air quality in Europe. Air quality in Italy and Poland is particularly bad. Both Poland and Italy have two cities each in the top five most polluted cities in Europe. The three cities with the cleanest air are UmeƄ, Sweden, Tampere, Finland and Funchal, Portugal. The EEA report only analyzed cities with a population over 50,000 and which have air quality records for at least 75% of the year.

You can explore the results recorded for individual cities across Europe on an interactive map showing each city's air pollution data. How Clean is the Air in my City? is an interactive visualization of the Air Quality in Europe 2020 report. Individual cities on the map are colored by the recorded annual mean concentration of PM2.5 (with green being the cleanest and dark red the most polluted). The map is accompanied by an interactive table, which ranks all the 323 cities with air quality data from the cleanest to the most polluted.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Where UEFA 2020 Players Were Born

Where Do the Players Come From? is an interactive map which shows where ever single player in this year's EUFA 2020 tournament were born. The map uses information from Wikidata to plot the birthplace of all the players in every team in this year's European international football competition. 

The map uses scaled markers to show the number of players born in individual European cities. Helsinki appears to be the European city where the most players in this tournament were born. Nine players in the Finnish team were born in the city.

Lyndon Dykes of Scotland appears to be the player who was born furthest from Europe (and from the country he represents). Lyndon Dykes was born in Australia. However he isn't the player born the furthest south. Italy's Jorginho was born even further south than Dykes, in Imbituba, Brazil. Six players in this year's tournament were actually born in Brazil (now representing Italy, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine).

Finland's Annsi Jaakkola was born the furthest north of all the players in EUFA 2020. He was born in Kemi, in Lapland, Finland. England may be the country with the most players in this year's tournament. Not only were all the England players born in England (except Raheem Sterling, who was born in Jamacia) but it is also the birthplace of a number of Welsh players and one player representing Scotland.

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Soiled Underpants Map

Lots of people in Switzerland have been posting pictures of their soiled underwear to the Beweisstuck Unterhose interactive map. Now I know what you are thinking - and you are right - these people are taking part in a clever citizen science project designed to test the health of Switzerland's soil.

Healthy soil is a vital and extremely valuable resource. It is essential for plants and animals. Humans also rely on healthy soil, both to grow crops and to filter the pollutants from our drinking water. Beweisstuck Unterhose is a citizen science project which has been designed to test the health of the soil across Switzerland, by testing how much a pair of underpants degrades after being buried in the soil for one month.

People across the country have been encouraged to bury two pairs of underpants and two teabags. Then after one month they need to dig-up one pair of  the underpants and one of the teabags. They can then take a picture of the underpants and post it to the Beweisstuck Unterhose interactive map. After two months they can then dig-up the other pair of underpants and the other tea-bag. They are then encouraged to post the underpants,  teabags and a soil sample to the Beweisstuck Unterhose laboratory where they will undergo scientific analysis.