Monday, July 04, 2022

Small Multiples of Global Heating

Germany is heating up. Mean hot days per year in the districts

In response to the recent extreme heat which has been experienced in much of the northern hemisphere a number of data visualization practitioners have turned to small multiple maps in order to show how climate change is leading to hotter temperatures over time.

A small multiple is a series of maps (or graphs or charts) using the same scale, which allows a series of data to be easily compared. Like climate stripe visualizations small multiple visualizations of average annual recorded temperatures can be very effective in showing the effect of global heating over time. 

More and more extremely hot days

For example Spiegel (paywalled) recently published this small multiple visualization to show where weather stations across Germany have recorded temperatures over 35 degrees centigrade since 1971. The series of maps clearly shows that extreme temperatures are becoming much more common in Germany, particularly over the last decade. 

The small multiple visualization at the top of this post was published by Zeit (paywalled) last week. This data visualization shows the number of hot days (over 30 degrees) recorded since 1951. Again this small multiple provides a very clear and very easy to understand visualization of how global warming is leading to ever more days with extreme temperatures in Germany.

Germany's Heating Up. Number of Days above 30 Degrees

The same data has been used by Marco Sciani in his visualization Germany's Heating Up. His GitHub page Germany's Heating Up uses R to create a small multiple visualization of the effect of climate change on German temperatures. 

Back in 2020 Zeit also released Too Warm Here, a tool which allows you to generate the climate stripes for any German town. Zeit's Too Warm Here included a small multiple maps visualization of how temperatures have changed in the whole of Germany over the last 137 years.

In this small multiple maps visualization Germany is colored for every year since 1881 to show the average annual temperature for that year. The map visualizes very clearly how in the last 22 years Germany has experienced temperatures which are far hotter than the previous average annual temperatures.

Saturday, July 02, 2022

Mapping Local Population Changes

The UK's Office of National Statistics has released a wonderful data visualization of the UK's latest population change statistics. Earlier this week the latest population and household estimates for England and Wales was released based on the 2021 census. You can discover how the population has changed near you on the ONS's How the Polpulation Changed Where Your Lived.

One of the most impressive features of How the Population Changed Where Your Lived is that the visualization can be customized to each and every one of the 331 local authorities in England & Wales. If you pick your local authority area from the drop-down menu you can learn all about how the population has changed in your local area and how that compares to population changes across the whole country.

As you scroll through the ONS' data story you can find out how much the population has increased (or decreased) both locally and nationally. You can discover which age groups have increased or decreased in both your local authority and in all of England & Wales. You can also view a visualization of how population density in your area compares to other areas of the UK.

Friday, July 01, 2022

The Climate Shift Index

The Climate Shift Index shows you how much global heating has influenced today's weather. Every day the Climate Shift Index map reveals where in the United States temperatures have been affected by climate change. The map reveals just how much global warming could be affecting the weather on any given day.

The colors on the Climate Shift Index map where that day's temperatures are more or less likely due to climate change. The darkest areas on the map indicate those areas where climate change has had the greatest effect on the day's weather. For example, an area shaded dark red, with a CSI score of 5, is experiencing weather which climate change and global warming has made five times more likely. In other words the local temperatures being experienced in those locations would be nearly impossible without carbon pollution creating global heating.

The Climate Shift Index is updated daily in order to show the local influence of climate change, every single day. The map provides a 3-day CSI forecast for US weather, which means you can view the CSI forecast for the current day and for the following two days.

You can learn more about the Climate Shift Index and how it is calculated on Climate Central's Introducing the Climate Shift Index.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Mapping Vintage Newspapers

The Library of Congress' Chronicaling America project digitizes historic newspapers from across the United States. Using the site anyone can search and read historic newspaper stories published at any time from 1777-1963. A new interactive map now allows you to search these vintage newspapers by location.

The new Exploring Chronicaling America Newspapers interactive map allows you to browse the LOC's collection of digitized newspapers by the location of their publication. Each dot on the map represents a location with one or more digitized newspapers. Click on a dot on the map and you can learn more about the local newspapers at that location, including information on how many issues have been digitized. You can then click through to view the digitized editions of the selected newspaper.

The LOC map includes a timeline control which allows you to filter the newspapers shown on the map by date. 


You can also find and read historical newspaper articles using Ancestry's Ancestry's claims to be the largest online archive of newspapers. The archive includes searchable articles from over 21,000 newspapers dating back to the 1700's (although there seems to be a distinct bias towards English language newspapers).

A similar service exists in the UK at the British Newspaper Archive, which allows you to search archived British newspapers for free but only allows registered users to read actual digitized content from the archived papers.

You can search and read through 129 years of New York Times' back editions on the newspaper's TimesMachine website (again a subscription is needed). Using the TimesMachine's interactive interface you can read the Time's contemporary accounts of historical events, including the shooting of President Lincoln, the sinking of the Titanic and the landing of the first men on the moon. 

Wikipedia also maintains a list of online newspaper archives. This list includes links to both free and paid archives of newspapers around the world. The Wikipedia introduction to its list includes the handy advice that your local library may have subscriptions to newspaper archives which you can access for free if you have a library card.

One other option is to explore the archives of still operating newspapers. The Newspaper Map provides direct links to thousands of newspapers currently operating all around the world.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Introducing Mapbox Globe View

Mapbox's 3D globe view is now available to all developers. The new globe map projection option in Mapbox GL and Mapbox mobile SDKs allows you to turn your 2D maps into fully interactive 3D globes. The new globe view includes a number of styling options which allow developers to "adjust the color of space, (the) visibility of stars, and the color of the atmosphere around a globe".

If you want an idea of what you can do with the new Mapbox globe view then have a look at the Twitter hashtag #mapboxglobe, which Mapbox has been using to share some of the globes that developers have already begun creating with this new projection option. These maps include Steve Attewell's Mapbox Globe from the ISS.

Sam Lerner's impressive River Runner map is also now available with a 3D globe view. Click anywhere in the world on the River Runner map and you can follow the journey that a raindrop might make from that location to the nearest ocean (based on the local terrain).

You can also use the globe view projection with vintage maps. I used an 1845 map from the David Rumsey Map Collection to create this vintage globe. This map overlays William Woodbridge's 'Moral And Political Chart Of the Inhabited World' on top of Mapbox's globe view. 

If you want to try this yourself you can clone my map on its Glitch page. You can then drop in any georeferenced map from the David Rumsey Map Collection.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Game of Populations

The UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today released the latest population and household estimates for England and Wales based on the 2021 census. The population of England & Wales is now 59,597,300. In the previous census (2011) the population of England & Wales was 56,075,912 The UK population as a whole is now almost 67 million.

In celebration of the new population data for England & Wales the ONS has released the Census 2021 Population Game. In this new daily game you have to travel across a map of Great Britain, step by step, until you reach the suggested destination. To move forward across the map you have to guess correctly at each stage whether the next local authority area has a higher or lower population than the local authority area that you are currently located on (on the map). 

Each time you get an answer wrong that local authority area is marked red. Turn too many local authorities red and you will end up blocking all the possible routes to your destination. In which case you lose the game. Winning the game is simple - you just need to reach the stated destination.

The Census 2021 Population Game has taken quite a lot of inspiration from Ahmad Barclay and Sam Cottrell's MapBusters game. MapBusters requires you to travel the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John O'Groats by guessing the population of local authority areas. This game, released last year is very, very similar to ONS's new game but used 2020 mid-year population estimates rather than the newly released England & Wales population data.

They Paved Paradise

USA Parking Lots is an interactive map of the United States which blacks out every single parking lot in the country. Of course because this is America it means that if you zoom in on a major city the map displays a lot of black polygons.

Because the map doesn't have a FAQ page I don't know how the data for the parking lots was obtained. If I was going to make a similar map for the UK I would probably use Overpass Turbo to retrieve the data from OpenStreetMap. 

America is very much still in love with the automobile and as a European it is always shocking to see how much urban space in the United States is devoted to the car.  This is perfectly illustrated by Better Institutions. Back in 2016 Better Institutions created an interactive map to visualize the 200 square miles of Los Angeles parking lots as one huge circle.

Los Angeles has around 200 square miles of parking spaces. This means that there is more space for each car in Los Angeles county than there is for each person. To help illustrate the amount of space given over to parking cars in LA Better Institutions lumped all these parking lots together to create one big imaginary parking space. This parking space is 16 miles in diameter.

You can see how much room all LA's parking spaces take up in Mapped: All 200 Square Miles of Parking in LA County, As One Giant Parking Lot. The actual interactive map itself no longer works but you can still see a screenshot of the map (shown above).

Unfortunately the USA Parking Lots map doesn't include any measurements detailing the amount of space dedicated to car parking spaces in individual American cities. If I had one feature request for this map it would be to show the total area of space in the current map view which is dedicated to car parking (possibly using turf.js to calculate the area inside all the parking lot polygons in the current map view) 

This Percent Built On map from Ordnance Survey has the kind of functionality I'm after. This OS map allows you to define an area by drawing on the map and then calculates the percentage of the selected area covered by buildings.  It would be great to have the same functionality on the USA Parking Lots map in order to show the percentage of the defined area that is covered by parking lots.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Explore the Pyramids of Meroë

Fresh from climbing Mount Everest in 3D today I'm undertaking a tour of the Pyramids of Meroë. If you travel south down the River Nile through Egypt to Sudan, just before you get to Khartoum you will come to Meroë, the ancient capital of the Kushite Kingdom. Here you will discover an ancient city which is home to more than 200 pyramids.

Google Arts and Culture's Pyramids of Meroë is a fascinating virtual tour of the Nubian pyramids located in the Sudanese desert. The Pyramids of Meroë were constructed in the Kingdom of Kush during the Meroitic period (542 BC–4th century AD).

As you scroll through the Pyramids of Meroë you are taken on a virtual tour of a 3D model of the pyramid of King Arkamani the First. This tour explains how these distinctly steep sided structures were built over 2,500 years ago. Keep scrolling and you can dive inside the pyramid, explore the hieroglyphs on the Offering Chapel's walls and view a 3D illustration of the pyramid's underground tomb.

After exploring this 3D model of King Arkamani the First's pyramid you can explore Meroë for yourself  using Google Maps Street View. This Street View tour includes interactive panoramic images of the partially buried pyramid of King Kalka Kaltaly, the pyramid of Queen Amanitore and the pyramid of King Adeqetali.

GoeGuessr for Art

Geo Artwork is a fun game in which you have to guess where individual works of art were created. The game is very similar to the popular Geoguessr game, except instead of trying to work out the location of Google Maps Street View images you have to work out the origins of individual works of art.

In Geo Artwork you are shown a painting (or another type of artwork) and using your knowledge of art history and global art you have to guess where the artwork was created. To do this you just need to point to the location on the Geo Artwork map. You are then awarded points based on how close you guessed to the correct location.

If you need a little help with a painting you can click on the 'Learn More' button. This will reveal the artwork's entry on Google Arts and Culture, which includes information on the title of the artwork, the name of the artist and the museum or gallery where it is exhibited.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Where is Abortion Illegal?

Following Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade the legality of abortion has now been handed over to individual states. This means that a woman's right to choose in the United States depends on a patchwork of laws which range from states with outright bans on abortion to states where the right to choose is enshrined in law.

To help inform women of their local laws Planned Parenthood has created an interactive map which explains the current abortion laws in each state. Where is Abortion Illegal? colors each U.S. state based on the legality of abortion. As you can see from the screenshot of the map above many states have already banned most abortions (states colored black).

You can also find out more about the legality of abortion in individual states on the Guttmacher Institute's interactive map Lay of the Land. If you click on a state on either the Planned Parenthood or Guttmacher Institute maps you can view details of the state's current abortion policies. Both maps have color-coded states using seven different categories from those with the most restrictive abortion rights to those with the most protective abortion rights.

If you want to protest against the overturning of a 49 year constitutional right to an abortion then you can refer to Women's March's interactive map of protests against the Supreme Court ruling. We Won't Go Back shows the location of protests and days of action across the United States.

If you select a marker on this map the details of the protest will be displayed in the map side-panel. You can filter the protests shown on the map by date and by type of event. The map can also be searched by city or zip-code.