Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Maps from the Berliner Morgenpost


Over the last few years the Berliner Morgenpost has created an impressive number of mapped data visualizations. I'd say that at the moment only the New York Times matches the consistency and quality of the interactive maps being published by the Berliner Morgenpost.

You can view and learn more about some of the best of the Morgenpost's maps on Maps at the Berliner Morgenpost, an interactive slideshow highlighting some of the paper's amazing maps. The slideshow actually contains working embedded examples of each of the maps. The slideshow also contains a brief overview of the libraries used in some of the maps, links to GitHub, a mapping tutorial and links to view the maps in full on the Berliner Morgenpost website.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Everybody's Gone Dot Map Crazy


Where the Renters Are is a dot map visualizing where renters and owner occupiers live in the United States.

Zoom-in on a city on the map and you can get a great overview of which areas are dominated by owner occupiers and which areas are dominated by renters. In most cites the general pattern appears to be that city centers are dominated by renters and the suburbs by owner occupiers.

Where the Renters Are also wins the prize for being the first map I've seen to use Mapbox GL's new perspective view. Click on the 'tilt' button and you can view the map from an oblique view.


If you like dot maps then you should also have a look at Where are the Jobs. Where Are the Jobs uses data from the 2010 census to map every job in the USA. Each dot on the map represents one job.

The dots are colored on the map by four different industries and sectors. The colors reveal some interesting patterns in the spatial distribution of jobs and types of jobs. Zoom in on a city on the map and you can not only see where jobs are concentrated but where the different sectors are located in the city.


The Where Are the Jobs map was inspired by Cooper Center's Racial Dot Map. The Racial Dot Map uses a similar methodology to map every person in the United States.

The map uses data from the 2010 US census, with each of the 308,745,538 dots on the map representing the location of one American. The Cooper Center's dot map however goes beyond being just a visualization of geographic distribution as it also visualizes the distribution of race and ethnicity in the United States.

Mapping the Health of Canada's Rivers


The World Wildlife Fund has been assessing the health and threats to Canadian rivers. A new interactive map has been released, WWF Watershed Reports, which allows you to view the health and threat level to Canada's watersheds.

The zoomed out map view on WWF Watersheds Reports provides a choropleth view of the health and threat level to twelve Canadian watersheds. You can select any of the twelve watersheds to view a more detailed overview of the selected watershed, its current health and the threats it faces. When you select an individual watershed the map also zooms in and provides a more detailed choropleth view of the health and threat level in the whole watershed area.

Currently the WWF has assessed the health of twelve watersheds. More watersheds will be added to the map when their assessments are completed.

The World's Drunkest Countries


A few weeks ago the travel section of The Telegraph newspaper discovered CartoDB. Ever since they have gone made mapping the world's data.

Their latest map shows the World's Most Soused States. The map uses data from the World Health Organisation (2014) to show the amount of alcohol consumption in each of the world's countries. Countries in the former Eastern Bloc are among the world's top drinkers. Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia make up nine of the top ten countries.

Andorra is the only non ex-Eastern Bloc country to make the top ten, sneaking in at number 7 on the list.

The Telegraph's other recent maps rank countries based on population density, the threat from terror and the risk of natural disaster.

Mapping the Math Universe


OpenMathMap is a Leaflet powered map of Mathematical Subject Classifications. Each country on the world map of math is a separate Mathematical Subject Classification.

Each country on the map is scaled by the number of publications on that subject classification. The closeness of the different Mathematical Subject Classifications on the map is determined by the ratio of papers that are published in both MSCs simultaneously, so that neighboring countries are those with a high number of papers published under both of them.

The map includes a search option to search the map by author, class and formula. The search option appears to be a work in progress as at the moment it doesn't seem to return any results.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Maps of the Week


This week I was really impressed with how Chicago's Million Dollar Blocks used a choropleth map of Chicago to tell the story behind the huge cost of incarcerating citizens. Illinois will spend 1.4 billion dollars on the Department of Corrections. A large proportion of that money will be spent on locking up Chicagoans from the low-income neighborhoods on the west and south sides of the city.

Chicago's Million Dollar Blocks maps how much money is being spent on incarcerating individuals from each Chicago block. A large number of these blocks in the west and south sides of the city are costing the city over a million dollars. The data is based on sentence lengths and on an estimation that the Department of Corrections spends approximately $22,000 per year for each inmate.

The map includes two main layers: All Offences & Drug-Related. If you mouse-over a block on the map you can view the cost to the state of both drug-related incarcerations and for all offences. If you zoom out on the map you can also view a choropleth layer showing the cost of incarceration at the neighborhood level.


This week the Oregonian also used a choropleth map to visualize the buildings in the city most likely to suffer earthquake damage, based on building age. 

In 1974 Oregon enacted its first statewide building code. In 1993 western Oregon adopted its first seismic standards. Franz Rad, a professor of civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University, argues that these dates provide a "broad-brush look at the vulnerability of buildings".

Portland buildings that predate 1974 are likely to be the most vulnerable to seismic activity. Buildings erected after 1974 are better built, and those built after 1993 are even better.

Earthquakes: How Vulnerable are Portland’s Buildings? takes the Portland building age data and colors the city building footprints to show buildings constructed before 1974, those constructed between 1974 & 1993 and buildings erected after 1993. You can therefore use the map to assess the likely vulnerability of any Portland building during an earthquake.


El Pais has also created an informative interactive map, to tell the story of Spanish municipality debt.

The Variation of Municipal Debt in the Last Legislature map shows which Spanish municipalities have increased or lowered their level of debt since 2011. Municipalities colored red on the map have increased their levels of debt and the municipalities in green have reduced their level of debt. You can find out the exact level of an individual municipality's debt by clicking on it on the map.

It is hard to get a complete overview of the numbers of municipalities that have managed to reduce their debt and those that have increased their overall debt just from the map view. It looks to me that about half of the municipalities are performing better economically and about half are performing worse. The good news is that many of the larger cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia all seem to have managed to reduce their debt since 2011. 

Close Encounters of the Mapped Kind


The UFO Sightings Map plots over 90,000 reports of UFO sightings since 1905. The map uses data from the National UFO Reporting Center.

UFO sightings are shown on the map using scaled map markers. The size of each marker relates to the number of eye witnesses. If you select a marker on the map you can actually read the witness reports. Many of the reports are accompanied by videos or pictures recorded by the eye witnesses.


QuantBait has created an animated map of all United States UFO sightings from 1933-2010. The UFO Sightings and Visualizations map also uses data submitted to the National UFO Reporting Center.

The map uses CartoDB's Torque library to animate through the decades of UFO sightings. The map reveals a clear trend of increasing numbers of close encounters through time. I'm not sure if this is the result of more and more alien invasions or increasing air traffic in the United States.


For a number of years UFO Stalker has been using the Google Maps API to show the locations of the latest UFO reports to MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network).

The map includes a number of filters, which allow you to filter the aliens on the map by date and the type of close encounter. If you click on a map marker you can read the event details of the reported sighting. It is also possible to search the map by location and date and view the latest reports in list format.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Battle of Britain Map


75 years ago in July 1940 the Luftwaffe began the Battle of Britain. This concerted air campaign, waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom, was an attempt by the German Air Force to assert authority over the Royal Air Force.

Batalla de Inglaterra is a comprehensive map of RAF and Luftwaffe bases in the summer of 1940. The map also includes the locations of radar stations and the maximum flight range of the German Messerschmitt 109 and the ranges of the RAF's radar coverage,

The RAF recently published the Battle of Britain Campaign Diaries, so the resources are there for anyone who wants to undertake the mammoth task of mapping the whole Battle of Britain campaign.

The UK's Top Tech Cities


This is a very interesting look at the location of GitHub users in the UK. It also has some very pretty scaled Octocat markers.

Where is GitHub most popular in the UK is a map of the number of GitHub users (who give a location) in UK cities. Perhaps the most surprising result on the map is London. Despite East London Tech City (aka Silicon Roundabout) being widely viewed as the center of the UK's tech scene London itself has a very small percentage of GitHub users.

The top city for GitHub users is Cambridge, with 3 times as many users as Brighton (the city with the second highest number of users). London itself comes quite a way down the list of the cities with the highest percentage of GitHub users. This could be because London has a more diversified range of industries than other cities. The results also might be different if we looked at a smaller geographic area in London. The percentage of the population with GitHub accounts in the area around Silicon Roundabout could well be a lot higher than London as a whole.

Around 1% of the population of Cambridge has a GitHub account. This is a third of the percentage of San Francisco, where over 3% of the population have a GitHub account. You can view a list of the top U.S. cities with GitHub accounts on The Top Tech American Cities.

You can also read more about how the 'Where is GitHub most popular in the UK' map was made in this blog post.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Kickstart the MapWheel


I've been lusting after a MapWheel for a while. MapWheel lets you design and order your very own beautifully crafted toposcope.

A toposcope is a marker or signpost which indicates the direction, and usually the distance, to notable locations. MapWheel lets you design your own personal circular toposcope pointing to locations (or people) important to you.

The MapWheel website uses the Google Maps API to enable you to customize your own MapWheel. You can enter as many locations as you want and MapWheel will automatically add the direction and distance of each location to your own MapWheel. When you have finished designing your personal MapWheel you can then choose from a number of different woods or stainless steel for the finished product.

MapWheel is now on Kickstarter. The two person company behind Mapwheel, Waypoint Ventures, is hoping to raise $30,000 by Aug 23rd. The rewards for the different values of pledges look very tempting to me.