Friday, April 28, 2023

The Noisiest Cities in America

Which is the noisiest city in America. According to Esri (using 2018 data from the US Department of Transport) the town of Elizabeth in New Jersey has the highest levels of noise pollution in the United States. However a recent study by Apple and the Univeristity of Michigan disagrees and says that the city of Saginaw, Michigan actually ranks as the noisiest place in the US.

The Apple Hearing Study team, a partnership between the University of Michigan and Apple, has collected noise level data from 130,000 Apple watches across the United States. The study aims to measure people's explosure to noise and its impact on health. The study is looking at exposure to sound over time in order to help uderstand the impact of excessive noise on people's hearing.

During the study environmental sound levels were collected by Apple Watch wearers. This data was then used to "calculate an average daily environmental sound exposure level". The data from the study can be explored in the Interactive US Maps of Noise Exposure. The nationwide map visualizes the percentage of the population exposed in each state to excessive noise, while individual state maps show the percentage exposed to excessive noies in each metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area of each state.

Of the 52 states and territories mapped in the study Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of people exposed to excessive noise levels (44%). Delaware (39%) has the second highest level and Rhode Island (38%) has the third highest percentage of the population exposed to excessive noise. Of the 531 metropolitan areas in the United States Saginaw, Michigan ranks first, as the area with the highest percentage of the population exposed to excessive noise. Jonesboro, Arkansas (52%) has the second highest percentage of the population living with excessive noise. Hinesville, Georgia (52%) ranks third.

According to data from the Department of Transportation the city of Elizabeth in New Jersey is actually the noisiest town in America . On average noise pollution in Elizabeth is higher than any other city in the United States, with the city of Inglewood, California coming in a close second.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a noise model map showing the noise pollution around airports and roads in the United States. Esri has added DOT's data as a layer in its Living Atlas interactive map. The USA Transportation Noise - Road and Aviation 2018 layer allows you to look up any American address to see how much noise pollution is likely to be present from road and airport traffic.

Esri has also used the DOT data to determine which are the noisiest cities in America. Using the DOT noise model data Esri has compared the predicted noise levels in all towns and cities with a population greater than 50,000. Elizabeth, Jersey tops the list of the noisiest cities. This may be partly due to the heavy freight traffic generated by the container port, Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal. Inglewood, California (America's second noisiest city) is on the flight route into Los Angeles International Airport. Low flying planes coming into land contribute to the high levels of noise pollution experienced by the citizens of Inglewood.

You can view all the results from Esri's analysis on its interactive map Sensory Overload: Lights and Noise for Cities and CDPs greater than 50k. This map not only ranks all cities with a population over 50,000 for their levels of noise pollution but ranks all cities based on their levels of light pollution. The light pollution rankings are based on the mean light pollution from the nighttime lights annual composite map by the Earth Observation Group.

Traveling without a Passport

In the United States there are 34 different towns and cities called Springfield, 31 cities called Franklin and 29 called Clinton. Recently The Pudding devised a geolocation search engine which is able to determine which location a person is searching for when they are looking for a town which shares its name with many other towns in the US. 

The Pudding's Most Likely Town map calculates "what place someone is most likely referring to (in the United States), depending on where they are". However many American towns and cities also share placenames with locations which are outside the United States. It probably isn't that surprising that a country settled by immigrants has numerous towns and cities named after places abroad. 

Axios has decided to celebrate these international toponym homonyms by creating 50 travel itineraries which allow Americans to travel the world without ever leaving their home state. In Visit Paris Without Leaving Home you can enter the name of your state and retrieve an interactive map which shows an optimal route around the towns and cities in your state which share a name with a foreign location. 

For example the map at the top of this post shows a route around Florida which takes in Venice, Naples and Melbourne (among other places). However you won't need a passport to visit these locations because this Venice, Naples and Melbourne are all situated in Florida.

The Axios article also includes a number of heat maps which show the "concentration of U.S. cities with names from different regions of Europe". Who would have guessed that New England is full of towns named after towns in old England?

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Google Updates Satellite Imagery of Ukraine

Google Maps has updated some of its satellite imagery of Ukraine, revealing some of the devastating damage caused by the illegal Russian invasion. 

During the siege of Mariupol the theatre was used as an air raid shelter by civilians. On March 16th 2022 Russia bombed the theatre, killing over 600 people. The new Google Maps satellite imagery shows the theatre after the Russian bombing. You can still make out the word 'ДЕТИ' (children) painted on the ground in front of the theatre, which was written in the hope that Russia wouldn't bomb civilians or children. 

On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the 24 February 2022 Hostomel Airport was attacked by the Russian military. Ukraine retook the airport in April 2022, but as you can see the airport has been extensively damaged.

The Mayor of Mariupul, Petr Andryushchenko, claims that the new satellite imagery also reveals new mass graves dug in the Novotroickoe Cemetery in Mariupul.

Also See: 

Undeniable Street View - custom made Street View imagery of just some of the damage that Russia has inflicted on Ukrainian infrastructure.
War Up Close - Street View and 3D imagery of the war in Ukraine
Culture in the Crosshairs - 3D photogrammetry models documenting the destruction of culturally important Ukrainian buildings 
360 War - more panoramic 'Street View' imagery from Ukraine 
3D Models of Ukraine - Hidenori Watanave's photogrammetry models of destroyed buildings & vehicles The Virtual Museum of War Memory - custom made Street View panoramas captured at different locations in the Kyiv Oblast.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

US Car Fatality Hotspots

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released a series of interactive maps which visualize where fatal road accidents are a problem on America's roads. The number of roadway fatalities and the fatality rate on U.S. roads increased in 2020 and 2021. In Our Nation's Roadway Safety Crisis the DoT has created a series of maps which visualize fatality hotspots, fatalities compared to the national average, and fatality rates & population density.

While I would normally wholeheartedly support a geographical analysis of road fatalities across the country I think that the DoT's mapped analysis ignores one important factor - the growth in SUV ownership. According to the "truck/SUV market share increased by 9.9 points between 2019 and 2022". SUVs and pickups in the "first four months of 2022, (made up) 72.9 percent of total passenger car sales". I suspect that if you are looking for a reason for the sudden uptick in road fatalities in the USA then you needn't look past the rise in SUV ownership. Those things are lethal.

The first of the DoT's maps looks at roadway fatality hotspots over the past five years. In some ways this map obviously resembles a population density map. When you are looking to reduce the overall number of road fatalities then it does make sense to look at where the most fatalities actually occur (even if the actual fatality rate adjusted for traffic or population density is actually relatively low). 

Other maps in the DoT's analysis do adjust for local population numbers. For example a Fatality Rate vs Population map (shown at the top of this post) uses a bivariate color ramp to show in yellow areas with a high fatality rate and a low population. These areas are therefore identified as target areas for the DoT's roadway safety initiatives. What those initiatives are I cannot say as the DoT says that "future iterations of this analysis will explore how USDOT funding is addressing roadway safety".

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

The World is Getting Hotter

Half of the people in the world have experienced all-time record temperatures in the last ten years. As a direct result of global heating in just the last decade more than half the world has experienced the highest ever temperature recorded at their location.

Carbon Brief has visualized where in the world locations recorded their highest daily record in each year in the last decade. As you scroll through the map you progress back through the last ten years (2013-2022). The red areas on the map show the areas which have experienced a record high temperature. A percentage total in the bottom right-hand corner of the map shows the percentage of the world which has experienced record heat. As you progress through the last ten years this total increases, until in 2013 it shows that 38.8% of the world's surface has experienced a record temperature in the last ten years.

According to Carbon Brief "approximately 6.3 billion people live in areas that have seen all-time record heat over the past 30 years" (the global population is estimated at 7.888 billion). Carbon Brief has also created a map which overlays a global population density layer on top of places which have recorded record heats in the last decade. 

This map reveals that India (one of the most densely populated countries) has experienced few record temperatures in the last decade. However over populated areas, such as western Europe, have experienced many record temperatures over those same ten years.

Monday, April 24, 2023

The Game of the World

Le Jeu du Monde is a French board game, which was released in 1645 by Pierre Du Val. It is one of the oldest known geography games. The purpose of this board game is to progress from the world's poles to the center of the world (France).

Players take it in turn to roll two dice and move forward based on the number rolled. Each position on the board is one country. The first countries as you progress from the poles are in America. You then progress through the countries of Africa, then the countries of Asia and finally through the countries of Europe. The winner is the player who reaches France first.

You can explore an interactive version of the map on the David Rumsey Map Collection. I have also used ADNO to create another interactive version of the map with English translations of the rules and explanations.

ADNO is a fantastic new tool for editing and sharing stories using IIIF images. If you can get a IIIF manifest for a historical map (or any other image) you can easily use ADNO to create a presentation of the map. ADNO is incredibly easy to use (for example I created my Le Jeu du Monde example in about one hour).

Many museums, libraries and the David Rumsey Map Collection provide IIIF manifests for their images of vintage historical maps. Using ADNO you can now create interactive presentations or story maps from thousands of vintage maps, paintings and many other types of online image.

If you want to create a IIIF powered interactive vintage map with one of the many popular JavaScript mapping libraries then you might want to use my own Leaflet-IIIF-GeoJSON mapping tool. This tool is fairly similar to ADNO. It allows you to upload and annotate a IIIF manifest. My tool however allows you to save your annotations as a geoJSON file. This file can then be used with any mapping library which supports GeoJSON and IIIF.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

AI Map Markers

Map Channels has been experimenting with using AI to create custom map markers. Using Bing's Image Creator he has designed a number of (mostly animal themed) map markers which can be used with interactive maps.

a cat map marker made by AI

Following the instructions and tips provided by Map Channels I have spent the last hour attempting to create my own custom made AI Map markers. With variable results:

three map pins with a 'metallic' theme

The Map Channels AI Map Markers article also has a number of links to AI generated maps in the style of famous artists. For example this world map in the style of Hieronymus Bosch.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The Map of Reddit Now Has Street View

The Map of Reddit now has a 'Street View' option which allows you to explore this organisational network map of the world's subreddits as a 3D environment. 

The Map of Reddit is an interactive map which organizes and plots subreddits based on their similarity. Subreddits are individual subject forums on the social news forum Reddit. On this Map of Reddit individual subreddits are positioned near each other based on how many users leave comments on both subreddits. The proximity of subredddits on the map is therefore based on the shared interests of Reddit users. 

The new 'Street View' option allows users to roam around the map in 3D, with individual subreddits displayed as 3D blocks. I don't own VR glasses myself, but if you do then I suspect that the Street View option provides a particularly fun way to explore the world of Reddit.

If you zoom out on the map you can view a number of 'countries' where similar themed subreddits have been grouped together. The largest of these 'countries; include 'Television', 'Gaming' and 'Programming'. You can also search the Map of Reddit for individual subreddits (for example if you like maps then try searching for 'mapporn'). This will allow you to see what other subreddits are liked by users of your searched Reddit forum.

The Map of Reddit is very similar to a map developed by Randal Olson in 2014. The Reddit World Map also represents every subreddit as a dot and organizes them based on how many Reddit users comment or post on two different subreddits.

Subreddits on this map which have many connections are mapped in red and those with few connections are mapped in blue. By grouping the subreddits by user activity clear communities of Reddit users emerge on the map. In fact the blog post introducing the map includes an interesting static version of the map where the continents of Reddit are picked out on the map.

The History of the Ordnance Survey

In 1801 the Ordnace Survey published its first one-inch-to-the-mile map. The first map detailed the north of the county of Kent. Maps of south Essex soon followed. The Economist explains that these first maps covered the mouth of the Thames "reflecting worries that the French might invade. ... This is the naval route to London and a highly vulnerable part of the country."

You can learn more about how the Ordnance Survey completed its first complete detailed map of the UK in How intrepid Victorian surveyors mapped the length and breadth of Britain. This scrollytelling history of the Ordnance Survey slowly proceeds to fill in a blank map of Britain with the Ordance Survey completed map sheets. As you scroll through the article you can follow the chronological progress of the OS's surveyors as they painstakingly map the whole of Britain, one geographical area at a time.

The Economist's article uses Rachel Hewitt's history of the Ordnance Survey 'Map of a Nation' to help tell the story of the production of the UK's first ever highly surveyed map. The scrollytelling presentation itself uses digitised versions of the original OS one-inch-to-the-mile maps. At the end of the article an interactive map allows you to explore every single map sheet of Britain in reasonable detail. If you want to explore historical Ordnance Survey maps in more detail then you should also check out the interactive versions of OS maps published by the National Library of Scotland.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The American Treasure Map

The Americana Treasure Map is a pictorial map showing the locations of 'lost mines' and 'sunken and buried treasures'. In the map's own words it shows where you can find "the Approximate Locations of Some of the Best Known Lost Mines, Sunken and Buried Treasures in the Western Hemisphere According to Authenticated History and Legend". The map was created in 1952 by John D. Lawrence.

Lost mines are indicated on the map by lettered markers and the map includes a handy 'Legend of Lost Mines' which provides a little information about each mine. On the interactive version of the map you can simply click on a mine marker on the map to read the relevant information from the map legend. Sunken and buried treasure locations are shown on the map by numbered flags. These numbers relate to the numbers in the map's 'Legend of Sunken and Buried Treasures'. Again you can read each marked location's legend entry simply by clicking on a marker on the interactive version of the map.   

I cannot promise you that you will find real treasure by successfully uncovering one of the locations shown on the map. However I have managed to confirm that at least some of the sunken ships shown on the map did actually sink near to where John D. Lawrence claims. 

For example No.38 , 'the S.S. Rio de Janerio', really did sink off "SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., in 1901". In fact the wreck of the ship was discovered in 2014 by NOAA, during a two-year study to document shipwrecks in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. NOAA even reports that the "City of Rio de Janeiro was rumored to be full of silver treasure". However it also reports that the accounts of a shipment of "Chinese silver" were in fact bars of tin. Therefore it probably isn't worth risking a visit to the wreck, which is located in "fast, dangerous waters in the main shipping lanes".

If you are interested in learning more about the Americana Treasure Map and the map's creator, John D. Lawrence, then you should read the fascinating article published in the Los Angeles Times last week, L.A. actor's map shows gold hidden in San Berdardino County.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne

Mapping Aboriginal Melbourne is an interactive map which celebrates the Australian city's First Nation history. The traditional custodians of the land where Melbourne now stands were the Wurundjeri, Woi-wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples

At first glance this map of Melbourne may be hard to navigate as this is a map of the land before the construction of noisy roads and ugly buildings. Instead the map shows a landscape that is filled with trees, rivers and lakes. If you need a little help in navigating this pre-urban environment you can turn on layers which overlay Melbourne neighborhoods and significant buildings and landmarks on the map.

The map contains a number of map markers which provide information about the stories and the rich history of Traditional Owners. For example you can learn the creation story of the Koala bear by reading the tale of Koob-borr. The map also allows you to discover what used to exist in some of modern Melbourne's significant locations. For example the Melbourne Cricket Ground was once a gathering place for the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Government House was a gathering place for the Bunurong Boon Wurrung.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

US Level 0

My social media accounts have been lit up today by people posting their US Level and Europe Level scores. US Level and Europe Level are two very simple interactive maps which can score your globetrotting experience by awarding you points based on the number of states or countries you have visited.

Working out your US Level is very easy. All you have to do is click on each U.S. state and choose whether you have Lived, Stayed, Visited, Stopped, Passed, Want to Visit, or Never Been. You are awarded 5 points for having lived in a state, 4 points for having stayed, 3 points for having visited, 2 points for having stopped and 1 point for having passed. Your final US Level is calculated based on your total score.

The US Level and Europe Level maps were inspired by the original China Hegemony Generator. The China Hegemony Generator is a very similar interactive map which can give you a score for your travels in China based on which provinces you have visited.

If you truly are a global trotter then you might want to work out your Global Domination score. The Global Domination Generator is another map inspired by the original China Hegemony Generator. This time however you get to play on the world stage (country placename labels in Chinese). 

If you live in Japan then you might want to try the JapanEx version of this popular new format instead. While travelers in the Philippines can work out their My Philippines Travel Level.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Population Stripes

Julien Gaffuri, a cartographer at Eurostat, has created an interactive map which allows you to place stripes of any size and orientation on a map of Europe and discover the percentage of the continent's population living within the area covered by the stripe.

Julien's Population Stripe map uses population data from the statistical office of the European Union, and provides some very iinteresting ways to explore and visualize population density across Europe. For example the animation above shows the percentage of the population in Europe in horizontal stripes from north to south. It shows how little of the EU's population live in the north of the continent. 

This can be visualized even more clearly by changing the size of the stripes:

We can adjust the orientation of the stripe to also explore the proportion of the EU population which lives in the eastern and western half of the continent. This reveals that the east-west split is a little more even than the north-west split. 
Julien Gaffuri has also created an interactive map which allows you to use circles to explore the EU's population, instead of stripes. His Population Circle map allows you to place a circle of any size anywhere on a map of Europe to discover the percentage of the population who live within the area of the circle.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido

The Tōkaidō road in Japan, linked Edo, the shōgun's capital, to the imperial capital of Kyōto. The road was the major trade and pilgrimage route between the two cities, and it was also used by the shōgun and his entourage when they traveled between Edo and Kyōto. Along the Tōkaidō road were 53 government-sanctioned post stations (shukuba) where travellers were able to rest. The stations provided stabling for horses, and lodging and food for weary travelers.

The artist Utagawa Hiroshige created a series of beautiful ukiyo-e woodcut prints of each of the 53 stations of the Tokaido after he first traveled the road in 1832. In creating the prints Hiroshige made use of the numerous sketches he made on his trip to Kyōto and on the return journey to Edo.

You can now explore Hiroshige's Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō on an actual map of the route on Sorami Hisamoto's interactive scollytelling map Tokaido Middle Scroll Chestnut Hair. I actually have a number of Hiroshige's prints adorning the walls of my home and it is fantastic to be able to use Sorami's map to learn more about each station which is depicted in these prints. 

Sorami's map displays the route of the Tōkaidō road and the 53 stations along its route. As you scroll through the map you visit each station in turn. As you reach each station on the route you can view Hisroshige's ukiyo-e print of the station and read a description of the station provided by Wikipedia.

Katsushika Hokusai's 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' is probably the most famous ukiyo-e print and one of the most iconic images in all art history. His famous woodblock print is just one of a series of prints of Mount Fuji from 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji'. In these prints Hokusai depicts Mount Fuji from many different locations, and drawn at many different times of the year.

You can now place yourself in Hokusai's geta clogs using the Views of Mount Fuji interactive map. This map overlays seven of Hokusai's prints of Mount Fuji on top of the actual view as seen in ArcGIS Scene Viewer. The seven prints in Views of Mount Fuji includes The Great Wave of Kanagwa. It also includes the print 'Fine Wind, Clear Morning', which can be seen in the screen-grab above (also known as 'South Wind, Clear Sky' and 'Red Fuji').

The Great Wave of Kanagwa and hundreds of other Hokusai's prints can also be explored in detail on Google Arts and Culture. You can also explore Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo in loving detail on Google Arts and Culture. Google's presentation of Hiroshige's prints allows you to zoom in on each of the images. It also provides an introduction to the painter, his influence and his actual printing techniques.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Did Spring Come Early This Year?

The USA National Phenology Network collects data on the effect of the seasons and the climate on animal and plant life. It observes and studies how seasonal and interannual variations in the climate affect biological life cycles. As part of this work it has created an interactive map showing where Spring in the United States has arrived early and where it has arrived later than usual.

The NPN interactive map Spring Leaf Anomalies shows where in the country Spring leaves appeared earlier or later than normal compared to the average from 1991-2020. The red areas on the map show where Spring arrived early this year and the blue areas show where Spring has arrived later than usual. 

This year low pressure in the west of the United States meant that Winter was colder and wetter than usual. Conversely a ridge of high atmospheric pressure kept the east relatively warm. These conditions have fed into the late arrival of Spring in the west and its early arrival in the east.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Mapsaws - Jigsaws Made from Maps

Jigidi is a free online jigsaw game. On Jigiidi you can choose to play thousands of online interactive jigsaw puzzles. If you join Jigidi you can also create your own interactive jigsaw puzzles. Many members of Jigidi have of course already made some fun jigsaw puzzles out of maps.

Here are three OpenStreetMap jigsaw puzzles for you to try created by Karlos. These include a 330 piece jigsaw of a map of the world, an easy 54 piece jigsaw map of London, and a much harder 600 piece jigsaw map puzzle of London. All three puzzles use OpenStreetMap maps.

You can find a few more map jigsaw puzzles on Jigidi by searching 'OSM'

If you enjoy map jigsaws then you should also like Jigsaw Explorer. Another website where you can make and play your very own online map jigsaws. The Jigsaw Explorer interface allows you to create interactive online jigsaws from any image. Which means that you can make your very own interactive jigsaw maps from the image of any map.

Here are some interactive jigsaws that I've created from maps in the David Rumsey Map Collection:

Monday, April 10, 2023

Mapping Global Water Shortages

During this century the combination of a rising global population and the increasing effects of climate change are very likely to lead to severe shortages of many natural resources. Already the demand for water in many locations around the world exceeds the supply from groundwater and rivers. 

The National Geographic has created the World Water Map in order to help visualize where water gaps exist and explain why they arise. The map is based on a global model developed by Utrecht University, Netherlands.

The World Water Map shows the demand for water around the world and how big the gap is between that demand and an area's renewable water supply. The areas on the map are defined by individual watersheds and smaller sub-basins. As well as showing the total water gap in locations around the world the map can also visualize sub-sets of water gaps for irrigation, domestic water use, and industrial water use in the same regions.

National Geographic's map is accompanied by an explanation of what a water gap is and a closer look at some of the major water gap hotspots around the world.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Caltech's New Map of Mars

Caltech's Bruce Murray Laboratory for Planetary Visualization has unveiled a new online interactive map of Mars. The map has been created using a 5.7 terapixel global image of Mars created from 110,000 individual images. Images which were captured by the Context Camera (CTX) aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

The Global CTX Mosaic of Mars interactive map contains a number of handy links to help inter-planetary explorers avoid becoming lost on the red planet. Clicking on the provided links will automatically pan and zoom the map to some of the planet's most memorable topographic features and to some of the locations on Mars which have been traversed by NASA's Curiosity and Perseverance Rovers.

Caltech's map uses Esri's SceneView interface. This enables the new imagery to be viewed on an elevation model of Mars. It is therefore possible to use the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars to explore the planet's mountains and craters in 3D. For example using the map you can pan around Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano in our solar system. Alternatively you can dive into the huge Jazero or Gale craters on this high resolution map of Mars.

According to NASA the new map is "the highest-resolution global image of the Red Planet ever created". NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been capturing imagery of Mars since 2006. This new mosaic of this imagery provides a resolution of around 25 square meters per pixel. The highest resolution at a global scale was previously 100 meters per pixel. The new map therefore represents a 20-fold increase in resolution from previous interactive maps of Mars.

Friday, April 07, 2023

Artificial Maps

I began my Easter vacation this morning, so I've handed today's post over to my two artificial assistants, DALL-E and Bard. All the maps on this page were created from prompts given to DALL-E and their descriptions are curtesy of Bard.

Jackson Pollock's USA

A map of the United States painted by Jackson Pollock which is a chaotic and abstract work of art. The map is covered in thick layers of paint, with no clear borders or landmarks. The colors are vibrant and swirling, and the overall effect is one of movement and energy.

Pollock was a famous American painter who was known for his "drip paintings." In these paintings, Pollock would drip and splatter paint onto a canvas, creating a work of art that was both beautiful and chaotic. 

Ukiyo-e Japan

A map of Japan in the Ukiyo-e style. The map is decorated with intricate patterns and designs, giving it a truly unique and Japanese look and feel. The Ukiyo-e style is a type of Japanese woodblock printing that was popular in the Edo period (1603-1868). Ukiyo-e prints often depict scenes of everyday life in Japan, such as people going about their daily business, festivals, and landscapes. The style is known for its use of vibrant colors and bold lines.

Aboriginal Australia

A map of Australia painted in the style of Indigenous Australian art representing the land, the people, and the stories of Australia's Indigenous people. The colors are vibrant and earthy, and the overall effect is of beauty, power, and connection to the land. 

Indigenous Australian art is a diverse and rich tradition that has been passed down for generations. The art is often used to tell stories about the land, the people, and the Dreaming. The Dreaming is the belief that the world was created by ancestral beings who traveled across the land, creating the features of the landscape and giving life to the plants and animals.

Pizza Italia

A map of Italy made out of pizza is a delicious and visually appealing work of art. The map is made from one slice of pizza, arranged in the shape of Italy. The overall effect is one of color, flavor, and creativity.

Fromage France

A piece of cheese arranged in the shape of France. A better map would be made up of individual pieces of cheese, each of which would be shaped like a different region of France; Camembert for Normandy, Brie for Île-de-France, Roquefort for Occitanie, Époisses for Bourgogne.

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Dot Maps of the Chicago Mayoral Race

Brandon Johnson is set to become the new mayor of Chicago. Johnson beat Paul Vallas in Tuesday's runoff election with 51.44% of the vote. You can see where people voted for each of the candidates at the neighborhood level thanks to two different dot density maps created from the results of the Chicago Mayoral election.

CBS in Breakdown of Chicago mayor vote by precinct has created a combined dot density map which uses different colors to show where votes were cast for each of the two candidates. In this map (pictured at the top of this post) Brandon Johnson votes are shown with green dots and Paul Vallas votes are shown in pink. As you can see from the map Paul Vallas did well in many northern and south-western electoral precincts. Brandon Johnson performed better in the West Side and in many of the southern neighborhoods.

Forest Gregg has also created two dot density maps of the mayoral election. His Observable maps 2023 Mayoral Election Runoff, Dot density maps use black dots to represent 10 votes cast for each candidate. Forest has created a separate dot density map for each candidate. With the two maps placed side-by-side it is easy to see where in Chicago each candidate performed best 

If you want to know exactly how many votes were cast for each candidate then you can view this 2023 Chicago Mayoral Runoff map. This map colors each precinct to show which candidate won the most votes. You can hover over the individual precincts on the map to view how many votes were cast for each candidate.

It is always interesting to compare election maps with maps of other metrics. CNN's Racial Dot Map of the U.S. provides a neat visualization of the racial demographics of Chicago neighborhoods. The image above shows CBS's dot density map of the mayoral election side-by-side with the racial dot density map of Chicago. On this later map light blue dots are white, orange dots represent Black citizens and red dots indicate Hispanic residents. 

A very rough comparison of the two maps suggests to me that Black majority neighborhoods tended to vote for Brandon Johnson, while many of the white majority neighborhoods voted for Paul Vallas.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

The Drug Map of Europe

According to German newspaper Tagesspiegel drug use in Europe is on the rise again after a brief lull during the Covid pandemic. The paper has used data from the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to map evidence of the levels of drug use in 104 cities across Europe. You can view the results in the paper's article Drug Analysis in 104 Cities

Tagesspiegel's map shows the levels of different drug residues found in the sewage wastewater in each of the sampled cities. The EMCDDA analysis tested for six different types of recreational drug residues: cocaine, crystal meth, MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines and ketamine. The map allows you to observe the levels of residues found for each drug in each of the 104 European cities.

The map reveals that crystal meth is a growing problem in east Germany and the Czech Republic (if you click on a map marker you can view graphs showing the measured levels of each drug in that city over time). Across Europe cocaine use seems to rising, while use of MDMA is falling.

As well as the interactive map Tagesspiegel has created an interactive chart which allows you to view which cities recorded the largest and smallest levels of each drug. Amsterdam had the highest levels of MDMA residues found in its wastewater. Barcelona appears to be the ketamine capital of Europe. Cannabis was highest in Geneva. Antwerp had the highest recorded levels of cocaine. Gävle in Sweden had the highest levels of amphetamines, and Ostrava in the Czech Republic is the city with the largest crystal meth use.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Is Ukraine's War our War?

The Dutch broadcaster VPRO argues that for many Dutch people the war in Ukraine feels like 'our' war. This therefore raises the question of who 'we' are. VPRO suggests that living in the Netherlands means you are Dutch, European, a member of NATO and a member of the 'free West'. All of which could make the Russian invasion of Ukraine feel more like 'our' war. 

However identity is a very personal matter and VPRO wanted to know exactly where Dutch people feel the border between 'us' and 'them' exists. The broadcaster therefore asked its readers to draw where they think the border between us and them is located on an interactive map.

In Us Against Them you can draw an outline on an interactive map to show exactly where you think this us and them border exists. Once you have drawn on the map you can see the results of all the other responses by VPRO's readers. As you can see from the screenshot above a lot of respondents seem to have drawn a rough border around Europe. Many other respondents have drawn a rough border around the Netherlands and (if you zoom out you can see) a reasonably large number of respondents have drawn a border around all the countries of the world. 

If you want to carry out your own map survey similar to VPRO's Us Against Them you can remix my Where is Texas map on Glitch. Just click on the fish icon on this map and select the 'Remix' option. You can then create your own version of the map  (although you do need a Mapbox access token).

Monday, April 03, 2023

Who has the Best Cellular Data Speeds?

A brand new cellular coverage map can help you choose which cellular network operators has the best coverage where you live. All of the cellular network operators provide their own coverage map, showing where they have coverage, but these are notoriously inaccurate. aims to overcome the inaccuracies of the network's own maps by creating a coverage map which includes user submitted data. The map allows cell phone users to compare the data speeds and signal strength of the different cellular networks operating where they live to find out which ones offer the best download and upload speeds.

Using CoverageMap's filter controls you can choose between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Dish Wireless and US Cellular to view their coverage across all areas of the United States. When you select a carrier their data speeds are then visualized on the map using different colored hexagons. Click on a hexagon and you can view the average download and upload speeds of the carrier in that area. You can then use the filter control to discover the average download and upload speeds of all the other network operators in the same area.

If you live outside the United States then you can check OpenSignal instead. OpenSignal provides cellular coverage maps for many countries around the world (including the USA). The OpenSignal coverage maps are based on data speeds provided by OpenSignal app users around the world. 

Saturday, April 01, 2023

The 100 Most Boring People in America

Who is the most unnotable person in your town?

I asked ChatGPT to find me the most unnotable people in America's biggest towns and cities. The results can be seen on my Unnotable People map. On this map the placename labels of the 100 largest towns and cities in the USA have been replaced with each town's most insignificant person.

Using ChatGPT to find each town's most unnotable person means that the map may contain errors. Because the people who are featured on this map have achieved very little in life it was difficult to confirm their existence. It was even more difficult to find out what each of these people had achieved in life (mostly very little).

If you want to know your town's most notable person then you should also check out Topi Tjukanov's Notable People map, or The Pudding's A People Map of the USA.