Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ships Waiting to Unload

Yesterday NASA released this satellite image of dozens of cargo ships stranded off the Californian coast, waiting to offload. High consumer demand and supply chain problems caused by Covid has led to record backlogs at the Port of Long Beach and at many other ports around the world.

Here is the same area of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean on MarineTraffic early on the morning of the 16th October (1.20am). This map shows that most of the same container ships are still waiting to unload. Cargo vessels on this map are shown in green. The green circles are cargo ships which aren't moving. 

Californian ports are not the only ports to be struggling with large backlogs of cargo vessels unable to offload. For example in the UK last week cargo companies were having to reroute ships from Felixstowe to European ports, such as Rotterdam and Antwerp.

Cargo and tanker traffic near Hong Kong

However the problems being experienced at the Port of Long Beach and Felixstowe pale into insignificance beside those of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The cargo ports of Hong Kong and Shenzhen currently have nearly 100 ships waiting to offload. This week the ports were forced to close for two days because of a typhoon. This only compounded the delays already being caused by Covid outbreaks. 

Ships waiting to offload

According to the Financial Times there are currently (as of yesterday) 584 container ships waiting to offload outside ports around the world. The FT explains that the current problems of cargo vessels being unable to offload has been caused by "Increased demand for consumer products, Covid-induced disruption to container ship schedules and a shortage of port workers and truck drivers".

Friday, October 15, 2021

The World's Carbon Center of Gravity

The Guardian has published an animated map which shows how the world's carbon 'Center of Gravity' has shifted over the last 200 years. The visualization reveals both how industrialization has been a disaster for the environment and how the major producer of carbon emissions has shifted from the UK in the 19th Century to the USA in the early half of the 20th Century and in the last 50-60 years towards China.

In How the world’s carbon ‘centre of gravity’ moved over 200 years The Guardian has calculated the carbon center for every year since 1800 by taking an average of each country’s latitude and longitude and by working out each country's annual carbon emissions. The countries which emit the most carbon in any year exert 'the strongest gravitational pull on the centre of emissions'.

The Guardian has included an explanatory note with its animated map pointing out that although China is now the world's largest emitter of CO2 there are still 36 other countries around the world that have per capita higher carbon emissions. 


The World Resources Institute has also created an animated map which visualizes carbon dioxide emissions around the world over the last 160 years. The Changing Global Emissions Map however doesn't show the carbon 'center of gravity' but instead uses scaled circular markers to show the total carbon emissions of each country around the world increasing over time.

If you use the timeline beneath the map you can view an animation of the growth of carbon dioxide emissions over time. The timeline shows that a few western countries have managed to stabilize and have actually managed to slightly reduce their emissions over the last few years. Unfortunately these reductions pale into insignificance compared to the huge growth in carbon emissions in the rest of the world.


The Historical Global Emissions Map is another mapped visualization of carbon dioxide emissions through history. This map shows a gridded view of CO2 emissions weighted by the human population over time. This timeline view of the world's CO2 emissions provides a fascinating glimpse into the spread of the industrial revolution around the world and the staggering impact it has had on the world's environment.

Using the map timeline you can see how industrial revolutions in countries around the world have contributed to the huge growth in global CO2 emissions. Starting in 1750 we can see that there were negligible amounts of carbon dioxide being emitted around the world. However by 1809 the United Kingdom was emitting 33 metric tonnes of CO2.

In 1806 the United Kingdom was responsible for 94% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. However other countries around the world were not too far behind. Using the map's timeline we can see that just 41 years later, in 1850 the UK's share of CO2 emissions had fallen to 62%, as the USA, France and Germany had begun their own industrial revolutions. 

It would take more than 50 years for the United States to overtake the United Kingdom in the amount of CO2 emitted per person. In 1906 the United States emitted 12 tCO2 per cap to the UK's 11. By this time the United States was now responsible for 41% of the world's CO2 emissions and the UK's share had fallen to 18%. 

If we fast forward a century the United States total share of the world's CO2 emissions has halved to 20% and China (22%) has become the world's largest CO2 polluter. Although in terms of per capita emissions the USA still leads the way, with 19 tonnes of CO2 being emitted per person - more than double the per capita emissions of nearly every other country in the world.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Real World Model Train Sets

Moving Hamburg is an impressive 3D animated public transport map for the city of Hamburg. The map was created using the latest WebGL features of the Google Maps API together with a little Three.js magic. 

If you zoom in on the Moving Hamburg map and tilt the angle of view you can watch the trains actually moving around the city's rail network in glorious 3D. The result is a little like having your very own model train set of Hamburg - only on an interactive Google Map.

Moving Hamburg reminds me a lot of Mini Tokyo 3D, the live real-time map of Tokyo's public transit system. This fun map shows the live position of Tokyo's trains in 3D moving around the capital of Japan.

Mini Tokyo has two different map views. If you press the eye icon button you can switch between the 'underground' (pictured above) and 'overground' layers. The underground mode highlights the city's subway system with colored subway lines on top of a dark base map. In this mode the overground trains are shown faded out on the map. The overground mode shows all the city's buildings in 3D. In this mode all the subway trains are shown faded out as they move around under the city and all of Tokyo's overground trains are shown in full color. 

You can have even more locomotive fun with Mapbox with Trains. Mapbox with Trains is a very impressive interactive map which allows you to watch a 3D train moving around on top of a map of Oakland, California. This interactive virtual train set includes a number of user options which allow you to control the number of carriages on the train and the camera's point of view.

In essence Mapbox with Trains animates a 3D model of a train on top of a Mapbox map, following the Bart train tracks in Oakland. The map is presented as an Observable Notebook which means that if you want you can fork the project to create your own interactive train set for the town or city of your choice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Historical Election Violence Map

Violence around democratic elections seems to be a growing problem in the 21st Century. To understand this problem and find possible solutions it might be a good idea to explore the violence which was prevalent around elections in Victorian England and how that pattern of violence was eventually eliminated.

The 20 general election in Britain between the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the Great War starting in 1914 were often accompanied by extreme violence. This violence often included major riots involving thousands of people, leading to the deaths of many people and large scale property damage. For example just on one day (17th November 1868), on the first day of polling in the 1868 General Election, there were at least 18 different riots across England & Wales. 

The Victorian Election Violence Map visualizes nearly 3,000 incidences of violence which occurred in England and Wales during the 20 General Elections held between 1832 and 1914. The map shows where violent election events took place, from minor incidents (such as the breaking of windows) to major political riots involving the deaths of many people.

For example a map marker placed over the Welsh town of Blaenavon recounts one of the 18 riots which occurred during the 1868 election. During this riot,

"property and businesses were vandalised and looted in the town, and the military arrived from Newport and cleared streets. 45 prisoners were marched to Pontypool and the soldiers returned to Newport. 1000 men from Blaenavon marched on Pontypool to rescue the prisoners"

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Segregation in America

According to the 'Roots of Structural Racism Report' Detroit is the most segregated city in America. Closely followed by Hialeah, FL and Newark, NJ. However these cities are not alone in having high levels of residential segregation. In fact residential segregation is becoming more common in the majority of U.S. cities.

The Roots of Structural Racism Report includes an interactive map, Mapping Race in America, which visualizes the levels of segregation in every neighborhood in the United States. The map uses data from the 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 & 2020 censuses to show the level of segregation in every census block area and how these levels of segregation have changed over the last 40 years.

On the map the most segregated counties are shown in red, while the most integrated are shown in blue.Using the map sidebar you can change the map to show segregation at the city level or at the individual census tract level. The map sidebar also includes a 'Year Selector' filter which allows you to observe how levels of segregation have changed over the last 40 years.

81 percent of American cities are now more segregated than they were in 1990. Only 40 of the 209 regions in the U.S. have become less segregated. The Roots of Structural Racism Report also looked at differences in income & poverty levels, home values, life expectancy, and rent prices between those areas which have high levels of segregation and those which are more integrated. This analysis discovered that people of all races fared worse in all these indicies when they lived in segregated 'Black and Brown' neighborhoods.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Czech Election Maps

Andrej Babiš, the billionaire Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, has been beaten in the country's latest election. His Action for Dissatisfied Citizens 2011 (ANO) party finished second in the popular vote behind the center-right Spolu (Together) alliance. Neither party has won by a large enough margin to form a majority government. 

The Spolu party has declared that it will not form a coalition with Andrej Babiš. Despite losing the popular vote the ANO 2011 party actually won one more seat than Spolu. However ANO 2011 looks to have no way to power, with Spolu and the liberal-left faction, Piráti-STAN, expected to enter into a coalition government.

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, had said before the election that he would ask the leader of the party with the most seats (which is ANO 2011) to form a government. However the president has become gravely ill and is now in intensive care. With the president incapacitated and no clear general election winner the country could be thrown into a constitutional crisis.

Czech newspaper Blesk has published an interactive map which shows which party won the most votes in each region of the country. If you zoom in on the map you can view the results in each election district. If you select an election district on the map you can view the exact number of votes and the percentage of votes won in the district by the biggest three parties. If you select the name of a political party from the map legend you can then view an interactive choropleth map showing how well that party performed in each electoral district in the country.

You can also view an interactive map of the 2021 Czech general election on the website of the newspaper Denik. The Denik map allows you to view the number and percentage of votes won by each party by selecting an electoral district. This map also allows you to see how each party has performed nationally by selecting a party name from the map legend. The Denik election results page also includes an interactive map showing the results of the 2017 general elections. It is therefore possible to view how each party has performed in this election compared to its performance in the last general election.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Mapping the La Palma Volcano Eruption

The ongoing volcanic eruptions of the Cumbre Vieja on La Palma is causing continuing disruption. Since the first eruption on September 19 more than 800 buildings have been destroyed and around 6,000 people have had to evacuate their homes on the island. 

Magma flow on OpenStreetMap

The magma flow from the eruption has forced the closure of many local roads. It has also led to a slight increase in the size of the island of La Palma. This means that all maps of the affected areas will need to be updated. A challenge which so far seems to be only being met by OpenStreetMap. OSM not only shows where roads have been closed by the volcanic eruption on La Palma, it also shows the extent of the magma flow from the eruptions and (where the magma has reached the sea) where La Palma has grown.

Google Maps

In contrast Google Maps has yet to update to show which local roads have been forced to close. Google Maps also has no indication of the location or the extent of the lava flow. Where Google Maps does win out is in showing the closure of local hotels, restaurants and other businesses. In the areas affected by the volcanic eruption and the magma flow Google Maps does indicate which businesses are 'temporarily closed'. 

HERE maps like Google has not updated its map of La Palma to show road closures or the location & extent of the lava flow. 

Apple Maps is a closed garden to which I do not have a key.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Aerial Archaeology

Historic England has released a new interactive map which identifies archaeological sites in England which have been identified, mapped and recorded using aerial photography. The map brings together and makes freely accessible over 30 years of aerial mapping projects.

When you are zoomed out on the Aerial Archaeology Mapping Explorer the map shows in red areas where aerial mapping exists. When you zoom in monument extents are shown on the map in grey. These grey areas show the extent of the archaeological features recorded at the site. If you click on one of these grey areas you can view the complete archaeological monument record for the site. 

From my brief exploration of the map this morning I think that the Aerial Archaeological Mapping Explorer has been designed not so much to give the public access to the actual aerial photography and LIDAR data captured by Historic England but to show where this aerial imagery has been used to reveal archaeological monuments. The map can therefore be used to discover where important archaeological sites can be found and to view each site's Historic Environment records and any available reports made about the recorded site.

If you are interested in viewing aerial imagery of what is probably England's most famous archaeological site then you might like Historic England's Stonehenge World Heritage Site Landscape Map. This interactive map allows you to view aerial imagery of 46 listed archaeological sites in and around Stonehenge, learn more about each site and download each site's report.

Historic England's 2002 National Mapping Project of Stonehenge discovered around 539 important archaeological sites around Stonehenge. About thirty percent of the newly discovered sites were prehistoric or Roman in date. These included ring ditches, field systems, round barrows and enclosures of various forms dating from prehistory.

46 of these new sites can be viewed on the Historic England map by clicking on the numbered markers on the map or by selecting them from the map sidebar. When you select a site from the sidebar or map, the map zooms to show the listed site and information for the site is displayed in the map side panel. A link to download the individual site's National Mapping Project report is also provided in the map side panel.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

Mapping the Last Tati Department Store

Last week the last ever Tati clothing store closed in France, bringing to an end the company's 78 year history. The first Tati store was opened by Jules Ouaki in the Barbès-Rochechouart district in Paris in 1948. Over the next 78 years the company expanded its operations, until it had established stores in many French cities. Last week's closure of the Tati store on Boulevard Barbès ends Tati's presence on French streets, however the brand still exists as an online only store.

To mark the closure of one of Paris' most iconic stores Le Parisien has managed to retrieve the original plans of Jules Ouaki's original Paris store. In How Tati made her mark in Barbès Le Parisien uses these plans to create a 3D interactive tour. This 3D tour visualizes the original store and shows how it expanded over its 78 year history into a number of its neighboring buildings. The tour also includes vintage photographs of the store and the accompanying text explains how the store and the Tati brand managed to grow and expand during its 78 year history. 

Animated 3D tours are becoming a popular method of engaging readers in a story. For example last month The Straits Times released a very impressive scrollytelling map visualizing how the city-state plans to develop over the next decade.

As you scroll through Singapore 2030 an interactive 3D map flies over the island of Singapore taking you on a tour of some of the country's planned developments. A combination of this 3D map and artists' impressions of the planned projects provide the reader with a detailed view of how the planned developments will change the landscape of Singapore for ever.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Mapping Trees in 3D

Chee Aun was so impressed with Apple Maps' new 3D trees that he decided to replicate the feature using Mapbox GL. The result is ExploreTrees 3D, a 3D map of Singapore which (you guessed it) is replete with hundreds of thousands of 3D models of the country's trees.

Explore Trees uses data from, which is a map and database of over half a million trees in Singapore. The data on includes information on each tree's girth size, height, age, species and type. Chee Aun has used this height and girth data to help create a 3D model of each and every tree.

If you are on a mobile device then you might prefer the 2D layer of ExploreTrees. This map also allows you to explore half a million Singapore trees. If you hover over a tree on the 2D layer the map will reveal the species of tree, its girth, height and even its age. 

If you intrigued by ExploreTrees then you can read more about how the map was made on Chee's blog post Building ExploreTrees.SG.

Strava Art

Unless you've been living in a tree during the last two weeks then you have probably seen news stories about how Pete Stokes recreated Nirvana's famous Nevermind album cover with just a bicycle and a GPS tracker. Pete's baby picture is just one of the many works of glyph or GPS art that have been created by users of the popular Strava location tracking application. 

You can view more of these amazing GPS artworks on, a website dedicated to curating the best works of art created by the joggers, cyclists and hikers of Strava. To create a work of Strava Art you first need to meticulously plan a route whose GPS track will create a recognizable picture. Next you will actually have to run or cycle the route whilst using the Strava tracking application.

You don't have to be a potential Da Vinci or Van Gogh to have your GPS art featured on The website features GPS tracks of incredible detail but it is also home to some very basic stick-men type drawings.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Gerrymandering in Texas

This is a map of the Republican Party's proposal for TX-33, a congressional district in the city of Dallas. Last Monday the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature unveiled maps of how it plans to redraw Texas' political map. Under these proposals TX-33 will become probably the most gerrymandered electoral district in all of the USA, if not the world. It is a spectacular testament to the Republican Party's contempt for both democracy and the American people.

In Explaining the Most Bizarrely Shaped Districts in Texas’s Proposed Congressional Map the Texas Monthly explains the incredibly gerrymandered proposal for TX-33 very simply as an attempt to "pack non-Anglo voters into one district". The bizarre shape of TX-33 is a blatant attempt to pack possible Democrat voters all into the one district, in the process making marginal neighboring Republican districts much less marginal.It is an attempt at vote packing which can be seen all over Texas' proposed new political map.

In How Texas Plans to Make its House Districts Even Redder the New York Times has published an interactive map which shows the boundaries of all the proposed congressional districts in Texas and also visualizes the 2020 Presidential vote margin in each precinct. By overlaying the vote margin on top of the proposed new electoral districts the NYT clearly shows how the Republican Party is trying to pack Democrat voters into as few districts as it possibly can. 

The result is a political map which will contain some of the most bizarrely shaped electoral districts that Texas has ever seen. A map which is so gerrymandered and undemocratic that any politician supporting this map should by right be automatically barred from standing for office ever again.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Who Owns the Most Cars?

Trulia has mapped out where people in the United States own the most cars. On average there are 0.68 vehicles per person across the USA. However the number of cars owned by each household isn't equal across the country.

Trulia's People per Vehicle interactive map shows the average number of people per vehicle in each zip -code area in America's largest cities. If you hover over a neighborhood on this map you can view the average number of people per vehicle and the average number of vehicles per person in a zip-code area. The map also tells you the average income in the neighborhood and the number of people per square mile.

Trulia's interactive map reveals that there are two main factors affecting car ownership - population density & income levels. Areas with higher income levels tend to have higher levels of car ownership. However in city centers (especially in cities with good public transit) car ownership is often much lower than the U.S. average, even in relatively wealthy neighborhoods. In fact Trulia suggests that the cities with the fewest cars are often the ones with the most affluent households. 


A similar picture seems to exist in the UK. A map by CityMetric visualizes car ownership in towns and cities across England & Wales. This map also reveals that car ownership in the UK is also affected by population density.

When I explored the map back in 2016 I found that the lowest percentage of car ownership could be found in city neighborhoods across England & Wales. As you move out into city suburbs car ownership grows. And, once you get out into the countryside, then nearly every household owns a car.

Unfortunately the CityMetric map used Google Fusion Tables so it no longer actually exists. It is therefore not possible to check the map to see if car ownership in the UK is also affected by average incomes. I suspect it is and the band of low car ownership along the Thames east of London (on the screenshot above), where there are relatively low average incomes, suggests that income levels do affect car ownership levels.

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Building Height Map of Spain

Spanish newspaper El Diario has published an interactive map which shows the height of all 12 million buildings in Spain. On this map all buildings in Spain are colored to show how many stories they have. The map can also be viewed in 3D, which means that you can actually see the height of all buildings in comparison with each other. 

The No. de Plantas Sobre Rasante map allows you to explore the differences in building heights that can be found in different Spanish cities. The El Diario article introducing the map, The map of the heights of all the buildings in Spain, includes a fascinating analysis of the urban landscapes found in ten Spanish cities. For example the map of Toledo reveals that the medieval center of the city is dominated by historical buildings and all modern buildings have also been restricted in height. 

Building heights in Toledo

In contrast the high population density of Barcelona is supported by blocks and blocks of tall apartment buildings. The result is that the center of Barcelona has one of the highest population densities in Europe. 

Mapping the height of every building in Spain is a fantastic achievement but it isn't the first time that the height of every building in a country has been mapped. That honor goes to The Tallest Buildings in the Netherlands, an interactive map which allows you to explore the building heights of every building in the Netherlands - all in 3D.

Every Dutch building on this map has been modeled in 3D using the height data of buildings from the Dutch Land Registry. All the buildings on the map have also been color-coded by height. You can even click on any of the buildings, anywhere in the whole country, to view the building's height in meters.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Mapping Mortality Rates from Covid

El Confidencial has published an interactive map which visualizes the mortality rate from Coronavirus across Spain. The map in The Black Hole of Covid Mortality reveals that there have been quite large differences in the mortality rates across different Spanish municipalities. 

The article accompanying the map does a good job at dismissing some of the possible reasons for the large differences in mortality rates from Covid-19 across the different regions of Spain, without ever really tying down the real reasons why some municipalities have fared far worse from Covid-19 than others.

My first thought was that the differences might be related to age. However El Confidencial discovered that "the municipalities with the most deaths per inhabitant do not coincide with those with older populations". I also wondered if the differences in mortality rates may be related to population density. However El Confidencial was only able to obtain mortality rates for municipalities of more than 500 people. Therefore the overall picture revealed by the interactive map is skewed a little because large areas of Spain (those with the lowest population densities) don't show any mortality rate data on the map.

In both the USA and the UK average income levels has had an impact on infection rates. This may be because those on the smallest incomes are less able to furlough, are more likely to rely on public transit and more likely to work in occupations which require face-to-face interactions with the public.

Left: Mortality rates from Covid-19. Right: Average Incomes

Spanish newspaper El Pais has mapped out the average income per person across the whole of Spain. The Map of Spanish Incomes, Street by Street shows that there is quite a stark divide between the north and south of the country. A comparison of El Confidencial's mortality rate map with El Pais' average income map doesn't reveal an exact correlation between income levels and mortality rates from Covid-19. However a comparison of the two maps does suggest that mortality rates in some of the poorest municipalities in Spain are particular high - especially in the south and in the north-east of the country.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Map Projection Playground

Projection Playground is a useful tool for exploring, editing and visualizing different map projections in the browser. The tool allows you to compare nearly 100 different types of map projection and adjust the projection settings to explore how different changes effect the way that the world is displayed.

Playing with the different projections in Projection Playground and adjusting the projection settings is a great way to explore how different map projections distort the size of countries around the world. 

Over the years there have been quite a number of clever interactive demonstrations of how different map projections represent the geography of the world. Here are a few other interactive tools which can help you learn about map projections.

If you are interested in how different map projections distort the world then you will probably like Projection Face. Projection Face is a great illustration of the distortions created by different map projections. The interactive shows how 64 different map projections effect our view of the world by showing each projection's effect when applied to something very familiar - the human face.

The distortions of each of the different projections can be illustrated further by clicking and dragging any of the mapped faces. This illustrates how the different map projections can be distorted themselves simply by changing the center of the map.

Projections Face is an interactive version of a 1924 illustration from Elements of Map Projection with Applications to Map and Chart Construction.

Comparing Map Projections is a clever visualization of different map projections. It allows you to directly compare different types of map projections and see the levels of distortions which each map projection introduces by visualizing a globe in two dimensions.

This interactive visualization provides a useful overview of the advantages and the disadvantages of specific map projections. For example if you select the much maligned Mercator map projection you can see that it scores very low for angular distortion. This means that all the lines of longitude are straight (compare the vertical lines of longitude on the Mercator projection to those on the Sinusoidal projection). The result is that a Mercator projection is really useful for navigation.

However when you explore the Mercator projection on the Comparing Map Projections interactive visualization you will also see that it has very large overall scale and angular distortion. A consequence of having a very low angular distortion is that the Mercator projection distorts scale (especially the further you move from the equator).

As you can see from Comparing Map Projections all map projections introduce some degree of distortion. 


If you want a little help deciding which map projection you should use for your current map project then you can use the Projection Wizard to decide on the best projection.

This map projection guide allows you to select the extent of the map view you are working with by outlining the area on a Leaflet map. Once you've highlighted your map bounds you can choose a distortion property (Equal-area, Conformal, Equidistant or Compromise).

The Projection Wizard will then suggest which map projection you should use depending on the extent and the distortion property of the map. The suggested projections are based on 'A Guide to Selecting Map Projections' by the Cartography and Geovisualization Group at Oregon State University.

A Proj.4 link is provided next to each suggested projection, which opens a popup window with a Proj.4 library. Once you've settled on your map projection you might want to check-out the Proj4Leaflet plugin for using projections supported by Proj4js with Leaflet powered maps.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Mapping Internet Speeds

The European Data Journalism Network has mapped out internet speeds across Europe. The interactive map Average internet speed across Europe allows you to view the average download and upload speeds in areas across the continent, as recorded in the second quarter of 2021. 

The fastest average internet speeds can be found in Iceland, Switzerland and Denmark. The slowest internet speed is in North Macedonia, with Albania and Greece not far behind. Within most individual countries there can also be large gaps in internet speed, with urban areas tending to have far faster speeds than rural areas across the European continent. 

The data used for the map comes from Speedtest. This data reveals that overall in Europe over the last 18 months average download speeds have increased by 51.9%. Cyprus (+87.4%), France (+76%), Italy (+74.8%) made the largest improvements in average download speeds. 

Earlier this summer the U.S.'s Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a new interactive map that visualizes key indicators of broadband needs across the USA. The map uses data from a number of different sources to show broadband availability and speeds at the county level.

If you click on a county on the The Indicators of Broadband Need digital map you can view details on the percentage of the local population without Internet access, the median broadband speed available, and the percentage of downloads completed over 25 Mbps.

The map reveals that large areas of the country have broadband access which is below the Federal Communications Commission's recommended benchmark of 25 Mbps download / 3 Mbps upload. The map also includes a number of other economic data layers which allow you to view and compare poverty data with broadband access data.

Monday, September 27, 2021

German Election Results

The Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly beat Angela Merkel's CDU party in yesterday's federal elections in Germany. Although the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) appear to have come a close second, the rise in popularity of some of the other political parties means that the CDU achieved their worst ever election return.

You can explore the election results across Germany on the Berliner Morgenpost's Bundestagwahl 2021 interactive map. This map colors each electoral district to show the party with the highest votes. You can also select each individual political party individually to view how the party performed in every single electoral district. The Berliner Morgenpost's map shows a clear geographical north-south divide with the SPD proving the most popular party in the north and the CDU performing best in the south of the country.

The extreme right-wing German Nationalist party AfD was the most popular party in a number of electoral districts in the former East Germany. The Green party was the most popular party in a few electoral districts in some of the larger cities, such as Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

The Berliner Morgenpost has also created a very detailed map of the results in every one of Berlin's 1507 electoral wards. The Bundestagwahl Berlin 2021 map provides an extremely detailed view of how each party performed at the neighborhood level in the capital. The Berliner Morgenpost maps were created by the Funke Interaktiv data visualization team of the the Funke Media Group. They have also created very detailed interactive maps for their local newspapers in Hamburg and Thuringia

The German newspaper Zeit has also published an interactive map which shows the national German election results. Zeit's Bundestagwahl 2021 map colors each electoral district to show the level of support of the leading political party. The newspaper has also published small multiples maps to show how each of the six political parties performed across every district. These individual maps allow you to explore how each party performed across the whole of the country. For example the AfD and Linke both performed best in electoral districts in the former East Germany. Conversely the CDU appears to have achieved its least number of votes in districts in the former East Germany.

Hat-tip: Lisa Muth has been compiling links to some of the best data visualizations of the German election results on this Twitter thread (I have written only about some of the maps mentioned in this thread)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

High Vaccination, Low Hospitalization

Kenneth Field has posted a nice critique of a Washington Post bivariate choropleth map showing America’s hospitalization and vaccination divide.The Post's bivariate map uses colors to visualize two different variables on one map - the Covid-19 vaccination rate and the Covid-19 hospitalization rate in every U.S. health region.

Kenneth's Cartoblography post praises the map for making it very clear that "Regions with more vaccinations have fewer hospitalizations." This is where I have to make an embarrassing carto-confession - I often find bivariate choropleth maps difficult to read. When I first looked at the Post's map I thought that the dark colors in Texas, Florida and Oregon identified these areas as having high rates of vaccinations and also high rates of hospitalizations. I also read the map as saying that the light colored Kansas has a low rate of vaccinations and a low rate of hospitalization.

The Post's article also includes a scatterplot of the same two variables which I find a lot easier to read. Looking at this scatterplot reveals that Kansas probably is an outlier (although because the plot isn't interactive I am having to guess that one of those two dots in the bottom-left segment indicates Kansas). However this scatterplot also reveals that there are no regions in the highest vaccination / highest hospitalization sector (however it does appear that parts of Oregon and Florida are in fact close to that sector)

I think that I find the Post's bivariate choropleth map hard to read because it has 16 different colors and it isn't just a matter of light hues = good / dark hues = bad (or vice versa). As Kenneth points out in his critique the Post does help the reader by using annotations both on the map legend and on the map itself to help the reader understand the data.However I do find that the use of so many colors on bivariate maps means that I often have to work towards comprehension. That in itself isn't necessarily a bad thing but it might be a factor worth considering if you want to visualize two different variables on one map.

Obviously the Post's accompanying article also makes clear the correlation between vaccinations and hospitalizations. The data is unequivocal - vaccinations work. Areas of the country which have the highest vaccination rates tend to have the lowest hospitalizations for Covid-19. Conversely those regions of America with the lowest vaccination rates tend to have some of the highest hospitalization rates for Covid-19. 

The message couldn't be clearer. If you haven't done so already then you need to get vaccinated! 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Your Probable Future

Climate change is likely to seriously effect your life in the coming decades. Many of these effects are hard to predict. However scientists are able to predict with some certainty how global heating is likely to effect such things as the temperature, extreme precipitation and the occurrence of droughts around the world.

Probable Futures has mapped out how different climate change scenarios could effect future weather conditions around the world. This includes interactive maps which show you how different levels of global heating will effect the likelihood of extreme drought conditions, the number of extreme heat days you can expect, and the frequency of extreme precipitation events.

Using Probable Futures' maps you can explore how different climate change scenarios are likely to effect the climate where you live and at other locations around the globe. The Probable Futures visualizations are part of a growing trend to help explain how global heating is likely to effect our lives.If you live in the USA you can also discover how climate change will effect you on a ProPublica interactive map.

In New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States ProPublica show how different parts of the U.S. are likely to be affected by global heating. The ProPublica map shows where extreme heat will become commonplace, where growing food will become very difficult and where dangerous 'wet bulb' conditions will become the norm.

The New York Times has also released an interactive map which attempts to explain how global heating will effect the climate where you live. If you enter your county into Every Place Has Its Own Climate Risk. What Is It Where You Live? you can find out which climate risks will become most extreme in your area.

The NYT's interactive map colors areas of the United States to show the climate risks which will be most extreme in different part of the USA. For example most of the East Coast will face increased risks from severe hurricanes, much of the Midwest will experience extreme heat, the Western states will face extreme droughts and the Western states will see higher risk from wildfire. If you hover over your county on the map you can see the risks that your county will face in six different categories; hurricane risk, extreme rainfall risk, water stress risk, sea level rise risk, heat stress risk and wildfire risk.

Of course as a result of global heating most countries will experience higher average temperatures. A National Geographic interactive feature can show you how hot your region will become by comparing it to a city which currently experiences average temperatures that your home town can expect in the year 2070.

If carbon emissions continue to rise at the current rate then by 2070 the world will experience devastating climate change. For example Boston, Massachusetts will experience temperatures 5 degrees centigrade hotter than today and 49 mm more rain will fall. This is similar to the climate that Bardwell, Kentucky has today.

In Your Climate, Changed the National Geographic uses an interactive map to show the future climate analogs of 2,500 cities around the world. These analogs are based on worst-case climate change scenario assumptions. The map automatically detects your location to show you your nearest future global heating twin. The map also explains what kind of climate zone your city currently experiences and compares that to the likely climate it will have in 2070.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

1914 Street View of New York

Chris Whong has mapped out a collection of vintage photos from the New York Historical Society to create a virtual Stroll Down Flatbush Avenue circa 1914. Chris recently discovered the society's Subway Construction Photograph Collection, 1900-1950". This collection of vintage photographs of New York includes a continuous series of photographs taken on Flatbush Avenue, from Grand Army Plaza to the present-day Barclays Center. Chris has geolocated and mapped every one of this series to create an historical Street View tour of 1914 Flatbush Avenue.

It is not often that you get a chance to travel back in time over 100 years. I had a lot of fun walking down Flatbush Avenue on Chris's map just noting the many sights that you now no longer see in New York. These sights include barber poles, cigar store Indians, trolley stations, hat cleaners and horse-drawn delivery carriages. 

Being a bit of nerd I also took a virtual walk along the same section of Flatbush Avenue using Google Street View. The 21st Century walk is a lot more unpleasant than the early 20th Century walk. Nowadays there are four lanes of busy car traffic (with an additional two lanes of street parking), 90% of the stores seem to sell fast food and worst of all there are far fewer hats than there used to be. 

If you enjoy exploring the New York of yesteryear then you can also explore vintage photographs of the city on the excellent Street View of 1940's NYC and Street View of 1980s.NYC. In the 1940's, and again in the 1980's, the New York Works Progress Administration took photographs of every building in the city, in order to help estimate property values and property taxes. These two interactive maps allow you to browse these huge collections of New York street scenes by location. Like Chris's map they allow you to travel back in time and explore Street View scenes of New York during different eras of its history.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The La Palma Volcano Eruption

On Sunday the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma erupted. The lava flow from this eruption has already destroyed over 200 homes and led to the evacuation of 5,000 people. Like all of the Canary Islands the island of La Palma was originally formed from volcanic activity. Along with Tenerife La Palma is one of the most volcanically active of the Canary Islands.

Mapbox's Jonni Walker has used data from the Copernicus Rapid Mapping Team to create a bird's eye view map of the lave flow (shown at the top of this post). This map does an impressive job of showing the scale and direction of the lava flow.

You can view an interactive map of the lava flow which was created the Instituto Geográfico Nacional de España. The institute's map shows the extent of the lava flow, the location of the volcanic eruption and the location of all recorded earthquake tremors on La Palma recorded in the last ten days. 

Spanish newspaper El Pais has mapped out the forecast path of the lava flow over the next few days. A slowdown in the advance of the magma means that the lava flow has yet to meet the sea. The red areas on this map are those which are most likely to be affected by the lava flow.

It is estimated that the eruption has led to the emission of around 6,000-9,000 tons of sulfur-dioxide (SO2) per day into the atmosphere. The impressive animated weather map Windy includes a SO2 layer, which means you can view an animated forecast of where this S02 is likely to end up over the next few days. The map suggests that the SO2 is already drifting over northern Africa reaching as far as Turkey and Syria.