Sunday, October 09, 2016

Maps of the Week

My favorite map this week doesn't involve any cartography but it does use the navigation tools that we have come to know from interactive maps. OneZoom is an interactive map which allows you to explore the complete tree of life on Earth. It uses an interactive map interface to visualize the evolutionary relationships between every species living on our planet.

Each leaf on the OneZoom tree of life represents an individual species. The branches represent the lineage of these individual species. The points where the different branches diverge on the tree of life show where different groups have split from one another. At each divergence point you can see the geologic time of when it is believed this divergence took place.

Red leaves on the OneZoom tree of life are those that are currently under the threat of extinction. When you zoom down to the individual leaf of a species you can click on that leaf to learn more about the selected animal from its Wikipedia entry.

A Day in the Life of the Trimet is an impressive animated map which allows you to a view an animated playback of any day on Portland's bus and light rail network.

Using the map you can select to create an animated playback of any day and any combination of bus routes on the Trimet. You can even see how many people were on each bus during the map playback of your created transit animation.

By creating an animation of the movements of buses over the course of one day you can really see how the frequency and speed of the buses rises and falls over a day. The number of buses on the Trimet begins to pick up around 6 am. Conversely the number of buses on the network drops sharply after 10 pm. You can also clearly see the number of buses peaking during the afternoon rush.

USAID has created an interactive map to show where and how historical U.S. foreign aid has been given to countries around the world. The Foreign Aid Trends map visualizes where U.S. foreign aid has been spent from 1946 to 2014.

The map allows you to view the total amount of foreign aid given to individual countries by year, funding agency and by assistance category. These data filters really allow you to explore where and how U.S. geopolitical and military influence has waxed and waned around the world since the Second World War.

For example, if you select to view just the military assistance category and animate through the whole date range, you can see how the focus of U.S. military aid has shifted over the decades. Immediately after World War II most U.S. foreign military aid was given to European countries. In the sixties and early seventies a lot of this military aid budget was being spent in Southeast Asia. Since the 1980's you can see how a lot of U.S, military aid has been focused on the Middle East.

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