Friday, July 12, 2024

Your Future Climate Twin

screenshot of Future Urban Climates map connecting New York to Ola, Arkansas

If you want to know how climate change will affect New York City in 60 years time you just need to travel to Arkansas today. In the town of Ola, Arkansas you can experience today the climate that New York is expected to have in 2080, when summer temperatures will be 12.1°F warmer and 5.3% wetter.

The concept of climate analogs is often used in climate science to describe a location whose current climate is similar to the projected future climate of another location. The idea is employed to help people understand the potential impacts of climate change by comparing familiar climates to projected ones. A new interactive web map developed by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science enables you to discover the climate analogs of 40,581 locations and 5,323 metro areas worldwide.

Enter your location into Future Urban Climates and you can discover your climate twin. The location today that has a climate which is the most similar to the climate in your town in 2080. The future climate analogs generated by the map are based on "high and reduced emissions scenarios, as well as for several different climate forecast models".

The use of climate analogs has become an established tool to help explain the dangers of global heating. Just last month The Pudding published its Climate Zones map. The Pudding's Climate Zones - How Will Your City Feel in the Future? explains the current climate zones of 70 global cities and the climate zones that they will experience after global heating.  The map allows you to select a city, observe it moving into its future climate zone and learn how average temperatures in the city will be changed by global heating.

You can also explore climate analogs in the National Geographic's Your Climate Changed (an interactive map showing the future climate analogs of 2,500 cities around the world), on the Analog Atlas (2050 climate analogs based on two different climate change predictions), and on the Summer of 2080 Will Be This Warm map (using global heating scenarios of 4.2 degrees or 1.8 degrees centigrade).

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Europeans Profiting from American Deaths

map of US mass shootings since 1982

Around a third of the guns used in mass shootings in the United States were manufactured in Europe. In European Weapons, American Victims the German newspaper Tagesspiegel investigates how German and Austrian arms manufacturers are profiting from exploiting America's love affair with guns.

Guns are the major cause of children's deaths in the United States, ahead of both traffic accidents and cancer. These deaths are a lucrative business for gun manufacturers. Two of the most successful gun brands in the US are the German SIG Sauer and the Austrian Glock. In an in-depth investigation Taggespiegel explores how both SIG Sauer and Glock are profiting from American deaths.

In an 8 part series the newspaper examines the 'US gun cult and its European profiteers, concentrating on the role of SIG Sauer and Glock. The investigation uses data from the Mother Jones Mass Shootings Database. You can also explore US gun crime on the Mass Killing Database, a collaboration between Northeastern University and the Associated Press. This database keeps track of all multiple homicides in the United States from 2006 with four or more victims.

The Gun Violence Archive also collects data on gun-related violence in the USA (the Mass Killing Database isn't limited to mass killings involving only guns). The Gun Violence Archive reports that there have already been 285 mass shootings in the USA so far this year. To date 126 children have been killed by guns in 2024 and 312 children have been injured by guns.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

John Snow's Proximity Mapping

I've probably seen over 100 modern interactive visualizations of John Snow's famous map of cholera victims during the 1854 cholera outbreak in Soho. John Snow's map shows the locations of cholera deaths clustered around a water pump in Broad Street. The map helped to disprove the prevailing miasma theory on the spread of diseases and establish that cholera was actually spread by contaminated water.

Despite the central importance of proximity to John Snow's interpretation of the Soho cholera outbreak I think that Carto's new 1854 Soho cholera outbreak map is the first of the 100+ reinterpretations of the data to actually visualize which water pump the victims lived closest to. 

On the Carto map straight lines are drawn from John Snow's recorded victim's homes to the nearest pump. The purple lines indicate all those victims which lived closest to the Broad Street Pump. As you can see a number of victims actually lived closer to other pumps. John Snow wrote in a letter to the 'Medical Times and Gazette', "In five of these cases the families of the deceased persons informed me that they always sent to the pump in Broad Street, as they preferred the water to that of the pumps which were nearer. In three other cases, the deceased were children who went to school near the pump in Broad Street."

John Snow's original Broadstreet Map showing cholera cases clustered around the Broad Street water pump

You can view an interactive version of John Snow's original map on the Wellcome website. The map, was originally published in 1855 in Dr. John Snow's 'Report on the cholera outbreak in the Parish of St. James, Westminster, during the autumn of 1854'. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

AI Satellite Search

boats indentified by AI on an aerial image of Southampton
boats identified by AI

In recent years machine learning and artificial intelligence has revolutionized the way we analyze the world from above. The ability to automatically detect and identify objects in satellite images has unlocked a myriad of possibilities, including monitoring deforestation, tracking wildlife, and enhancing disaster response.

Some recent examples of machine learning being used to search aerial imagery include OneSoil (which uses AI to detect the types of crops being grown), Земляна проказа (identifying illegal amber mines) and Curio Canopy (identifying tree canopy cover in European cities).

Robin Wilson has released an impressive Aerial Image Search Demo which allows you to explore an AI image search of aerial imagery for yourself. Using the map you can search an image of Southampton for any object that you want. For example in the screenshot at the top of this post you can see the results of my search for 'boats'. 

The map says that under the hood it uses "the SkyCLIP vector embedding model, and Pinecone vector DB". If you are interested in developing your own AI satellite image search there are links to both models. Meanwhile you can have fun searching Southampton for shipping containers, churches, crops, car parks, swimming pools - or anything else that you can think of. 

Unfortunately my own searches of the map reveal that Southampton may be harboring a large number of illegal amber mines and nuclear weapon silos.

Via: Weekly OSM

Monday, July 08, 2024

France Defeats the Far-Right

two maps of France comparing winners in the first and second round votes
first round (left) and second round (right) election results


The left of center New Popular Front has emerged as the most popular party after France's second round of voting in its national parliamentary election. Le Pen's National Rally party has fallen from its first round triumph to a third placed position, behind both the New Popular Front and President Macron's center-right coalition. 

Comparing Le Monde's second round election map with the national picture after the first round of elections reveals the scale in the drop in support for Le Pen's National Rally party when the voters were given a clear choice between a far-right candidate and a candidate from the center-left or center-right. The brown of the National Rally (in the map's above) is far less prominent after the second and final round of voting, particularly when you consider that the scale of the National Rally's support is skewed on Le Monde's election map by its popularity in the geographically larger rural election areas.

map of France showing where the National Rally won seats

Le Parisien's second round results map includes controls which allow you to filter the results by party. The map of National Rally's winning seats (shown in blue in the map above) reveals that the far-right party swept nearly all of the seats on the Mediterranean coast and that the party also has a lot of regional support in the north-east of the country. 

Interestingly every UK election map I saw after Thursday's election included a hexmap cartogram view and none of the French election maps I've seen have offered anything over than a strict geographical view. Providing an equal representation view of electoral areas, for example by using a hexmap layer is one way of ensuring that every electoral district is given equal visual weight, regardless of its geographic size.

two maps of France's 2024 European election results, one geographical and the other a proportional symbol map

After the success of the National Rally in the French European elections in June Neocarto did create a map which used proportional symbols to try and give more of an equal visual weight to the different sized electoral areas. The comparison above of the geographical view of the results1 with a proportional symbol map shows how a strictly geographical electoral map can skew the visual picture. The proportional symbol map (on the right) shows in red the areas where the New Popular Front's combined votes could have won in the European elections. 

Not only did the Neocarto proportional symbol map show a more balanced picture it also hinted at how the unification of left-wing parties after the European elections in the New Popular Front (NFP) provided a clear challenge to the supremacy of the RN in many electoral constituencies. It will be interesting to see if Neocarto creates a similar proportional symbol map for France's parliamentary election results.

1. these maps don't show the actual European election results but how the results would have looked had the left-wing parties  already joined together into the New Popular Front. The New Popular Front was formed on the 10th June, in response to the electoral success of the National Rally in the European elections on the 9th June. 

Saturday, July 06, 2024

The Car Free Cities Atlas

map of New York showing where people have access to car-free spaces

The cyclists of Helsinki have the best access to protected bike lanes of any citizens in the world. 94% of people in the city live within 300m of a protected bikeway. This means that Helsinki scores number one out of the 1095 cities ranked in the Atlas of Sustainable City Transport.

The new Atlas of Sustainable City Transport ranks and maps cities around the world based on how easy residents can access public transit, protected bike lanes and car-free places. The map allows you to explore the sustainable transport options in over 1,000 cities around the world.

The Atlas provides a global data dashboard that shows how cities are performing in terms of sustainable transportation by tracking nine indicators. These indicators focus on factors such as how close people live to sustainable transportation options like bike lanes and public transit and how many people have access to essential services without needing a car.

Using the map it is possible to select from 1095 cities around the world and explore how each individual city performs under each of the nine sustainable city transport indicators. The map also provides a ranking for each city under each of the nine indicators allowing you to see which cities around the world have the best and worst sustainable transport options.

The residents of Minneapolis have the best access to protected bike lanes in the United States. In Minneapolis 40% of people live within 300m of a protected bikeway. It is a long way short of the 94% in Helsinki but is way better than the situation facing the residents of Bakersfield, Louisville and the five other U.S. cities where 0 citizens live within 300m of a protected bikeway.

24 cities in the United States have no rapid transit infrastructure. The best performing city in terms of access to rapid transit is New York, where 43% of residents 'live within 1km of high-capacity public transport running on a dedicated right-of-way.' Even that doesn't quite live up to Leipzig, where 75% of residents live within 1km of public transport.

Friday, July 05, 2024

2024 UK Election Maps

UK election map with seats colored by the party of the winning candidate

The Labour Party has swept to power in the UK and the ruling Conservative Party has lost over half of their seats. At the time of writing the new Prime Minister Keir Starmer has 410 seats in the new government (with 11 seats to declare). This means that he has won well over the 326 seats needed to form a majority government.

The BBC election map includes a cartogram view which does a very good job at visualizing the scale of the Conservative losses in this election.

UK election cartogram map
The map shows that the Conservative Party failed to win any seats in Wales, has won only three seats in Scotland. This cartogram view of the election reveals that the Tories have now become a regional party with a core base remaining mainly only in Southern and Eastern England. However even in the South of England the Conservative Party seems to have been all but wiped out in some previous Tory strongholds, such as Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

The BBC map does a very bad job at visualizing the surge in support for the extreme right in this election. The Reform Party won over 4 million votes. However one of the quirks of the UK's first past the post system is that even though Reform received more than a half a million more votes than the Liberal Party they won only 4 seats, compared to the Liberals 70 seats. Consequently while the Reform Party won 14.3% of the UK vote it has little representation in Parliament and little visual impact on the BBC map.

side by side UK election maps showing vote share gains for Labour and Conservatives.
This means that the BBC map does not provide a great picture of where support for the individual parties may truly lie. The Guardian election map does include a Labour Party and Conservative Party 'vote share gains' view. This view (shown above) reveals what a good job the Labour Party did in improving their vote across the whole country, but particularly in Scotland. Conversely the Conservative Party failed to improve their vote share in any seat in the whole of the UK.

UK election map showing seats which have changed hands, colored to show the winning party
The Financial Times map includes a 'Change' view which shows which seats have changed hands in this election. This map reveals how Labour managed to pick up seats from the SNP in Scotland and from the Conservative Party in the North. In the South both the Liberal Party and the Labour Party were able to win a number of seats from the Conservatives. The Conservative Party were able to win just one new seat - in Leicester East, where a couple of independent candidates split the previous Labour vote.

Again, however, the Guardian and FT maps do not include a simple vote share view for each political party. This means that it is therefore impossible to use any of the maps to see where in the country the individual parties won their most and least support. I've read that the Reform Party was the second placed party in 92 constituencies and so far none of the maps I've seen have attempted to visualize this surge in support for the extreme right in this election.

UK election map showing second placed parties
Update: Open Innovation's General Election 2024 map does include an option to view constituencies colored by the second placed party in Thursday's election. This reveals that Reform were in second place in 98 constituencies. 

In his typically ungracious acceptance speech Reform owner Nigel Farage warned that the party was 'coming for Labour'. The Open Innovation map shows that Reform is in second place in many constituencies in the Labour strongholds of the North and Wales. This should be a stark warning to the triumphant Labour Party that a failure to deliver in these regions could prove disastrous for the party and for the UK.

UK election map with seats colored by winning party
I was actually in the process of creating my own election map (because I wanted to view the second placed party in each constituency) when I stumbled on the Open Innovation map. This means that I now don't have to worry about that (if you want to view the second placed party you can now view the Open Innovation map).

However I will still post a link to my UK Election 2024 Map, as it includes a couple of features I haven't yet seen elsewhere. My map includes political party filters which allow you to select to only view the seats of individual parties (or any combination of parties). 

If you click on a constituency on my map you can also view data on the majority and the vote share of the winning candidate. This allows you to explore the margin by which a candidate won a seat. For example if you click on South Basildon and East Thurrock you can see that Reform won the seat by 98 votes and with a vote share of only 30.79%. This reveals that the seat is extremely marginal and Reform may well struggle to retain this seat at the next election.

Thursday, July 04, 2024

The Riskiest Places to Live in America

map of US counties colored to show the level of risk from natural hazards

Los Angeles County is a dangerous place to live. According to the National Risk Index the residents of Los Angeles County are more likely to suffer from a natural hazard than anywhere else in the United States. 

The residents of Los Angeles County are more likely to experience an earthquake than any other US location. They also have one of the highest chances of experiencing a landslide and have a high chance of risk from heatwaves, wildfire, tornadoes and lightning. On the plus side if you live in Los Angeles County you have a very low risk of experiencing extreme winter weather.

You can discover your levels of risk from natural hazards on FEMA's National Risk Index map. The map colors US counties and census tracts to show which are most at risk for 18 natural hazards. If you select a natural hazard risk from the map's drop-down menu you can view the counties which are most and least at risk across the whole country.

For example if you select to view the map of earthquake risk, as you might expect, counties along the San Andreas Fault are shown to be most at risk. The hurricane risk map reveals that counties in Florida have the most risk of experiencing a tropical storm. The risk from avalanche is highest in the mountain range counties of Wyoming.

If you live outside the US then you can discover your degree of earthquake risk on the Global Seismic Risk Map. The Global Earthquake Model Foundation is a non-profit organization working to assess and help manage the risk from earthquakes and seismic activity around the globe. Part of its mission is to assess and share open data on earthquake risks and hazards.

The Global Earthquake Model Foundation has released two interactive maps, the Global Seismic Risk Map and the Global Seismic Hazard Map, which can be used to explore the risk from earthquakes at locations around the world. The estimated hazards are based on the foundation's own OpenQuake engine, an open-source seismic hazard and risk model.

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Climate Change by Electoral District

hexmap of Great Britain showing temperature increases since the 1970s

With the UK on the eve of a general election one political issue that has been conspicuous by its absence during the election campaign is climate change. I don't blame the political parties themselves too much for this. They spend a fortune on opinion polls and focus groups. Presumably they therefore know that the voting public are not concerned by climate change.

They should be!

A new map from University College London reveals that much of the UK has already warmed by 1°C since the 1970s. Using the Climate change projections by constituency over Great Britain map you can click on your electoral district and view the local temperature increase since the 70s. The map also allows you to view the 'past changes' in precipitation, and the increase in temperature on the hottest day of the year.

The UCL map can also be used to view a 'near-term future' projection of climate change by constituency. These changes are predicted using  a range of different global projections'.

The hexmap of UK constituencies used by the UCL map was created using Open Innovations' Hexify. This is a tool that can be used to turn defined areas into a hexagon map. You can use Hexify to create a HexJSON file which can then be used with Hexviz to create a hexmap. A hexmap of UK 2024 General Election constituencies is also available from Automatic Knowledge. Automatic Knowledge's UK Constituency Files contain a number of downloadable election resources, including a hexmap of UK electoral areas.

Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Tory Candidates Violently Attacked

a black and white engraving entitled Election riot on 26 June 1865 in Nottingham
Election riot on 26 June 1865 in Nottingham

Disturbing reports of violence, carried out by supporters of the Liberal Party, have been reported across the whole of the UK. In Shoreham a gang of 300 Liberal supporters attacked poll clerks. In Grantham Liberals set polling booths on fire. In Alfreton a crowd of thousands attacked properties 'associated with Conservatives'.

These acts of electoral violence took place during UK elections in the 19th Century and are all documented on the Victorian Election Violence Map. The Victorian Election Violence Map visualizes nearly 3,000 incidences of violence which occurred in England and Wales during national 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.

There were 20 general elections in Britain between the Great Reform Act of 1832 and the Great War starting in 1914. These elections 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 on the first day of polling in the 1868 General Election, there were at least 18 different riots across England & Wales. 

Supporters of the Conservative Party were not averse to using violence themselves. For example in Worthing the Liberal candidate for Mid-Sussex, Mr Hubbard, was "showered with stones upon his arrival to an election" and a "member of his party, Major Gaisford, was reportedly badly cut in the face". In "Andover, the Conservative party brought in railway navigators from Salisbury and Bishopstoke and plied them with beer, then set them loose in the crowd."

Monday, July 01, 2024

France Surrenders to Facism

a choropleth map of France dominated by the brown color of the National Rally

The far-right National Rally has won 33% of the vote in the first round of France's parliamentary elections. You can view the results in each constituency in Le Monde's French elections: Map of the first round's results.

Le Monde's map is a sea of brown, revealing that the National Rally has managed to become the most popular party in electoral districts across the whole country. There is a degree of the non-equal representation of districts on the map over-egging the popularity of the National Rally. Generally the party performed better in the larger rural areas and not so well in the smaller inner-city districts.

map of Paris electoral districts in the colors of the Left Alliance and Renaissance Ensemble

Zoom in on many of France's largest cities and you can see that the National Rally is not quite so popular in the more multi-racial areas of the country. For example there is a distinct lack of support for the National Rally in most of the electoral districts in Paris, Lyon and Toulouse (although the National Rally were the most popular party in nearly every district in Marseille - the second most populous city in France).

However despite the fact that Le Monde's election map visually over emphasizes the scale of National Rally's success there is no denying that the far right party were the most popular party in the first round of the French parliamentary elections.

If you click on a district on the map you can view which candidates have qualified for the second round of the election. On Sunday France will hold the second-round of elections. In previous elections the center-right and center-left parties have often agreed to stand down candidates in order to avoid splitting the anti-National Rally vote. The left-wing alliance, the New Popular Front, has already announced that they will withdraw all their third-place candidates from the next round of elections. The French President Emmanuel Macron has also asked voters to support 'republican and democratic' candidates.

map of France with electoral districts colored to show the fall in support for Macron since 2022

In The main lessons of the first round in six maps (paywalled) Le Parisien has mapped out the success of individual parties across the whole of France. For example the map above shows the rise and fall in support for Macron's 'presidential bloc' since 2022. Macron's bloc has seen a significant fall in support from 26% to 20% in just two years. Le Parisien has also mapped the high turnout in Sunday's election across the whole of France (almost up 20% since 2022). 

One result of the high turnout was that a number of candidates were able to be elected in the first round. The main winners were again the far-right National Rally, who already have 39 deputies elected to the French parliament from the 76 candidates directly elected in the first round of the French elections.

map of France with peak markers showing the increase in votes for National Rally

Bloomberg published an interesting map visualizing the surge of support for Le Pen's National Rally. In Le Pen’s Support Surges in Nearly Every City, Town and Village in France (paywalled) peak markers are used to show the rise in votes for National Rally at the municipality level. The map shows that the party increased its share of the vote across most of the country.