Monday, February 09, 2015

Mapping Bacteria on the New York Subway

On Saturday Maps Mania reported on the Wall Street Journal's map of Bacteria on the New York Subways. The map plots the results of a Weill Cornell Medical College study into bacteria found in 466 New York subway stations.

The study found genetic material from 15,152 different species at the different subway stations and the map allows you to explore which bacteria were found where. I'm not entirely sure why the WSJ felt the need to map the data. Most of the bacteria found by the researchers was harmless and if the study was to be repeated I assume they would find completely different results.

However the first rule of neo-geography says that "if there is data available it must be mapped". Therefore we already have a second interactive map of bacteria on the New York subway system.

The main advantage of the Pathomap map is that it provides a heat-map view that partially resembles a huge bacteria attacking New York. The map is probably most interesting for the heat-map controls which allow the user to adjust the heat-map opacity, heat-map radius and the heat-map color scaling. Now that is interesting.

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