Maps Archive:

Wow! The excellent online thematic map software Indiemapper is now free.  Unfortunately, this decision appears to go hand in hand with one to reduce future development – which means we aren’t likely to see easy excel integration anytime soon (always a drawback in my mind).  The features that are there, however, are beautifully integrated. The method for assigning classed and unclassed color ranges using an interactive histogram, for example, should be a model for other software; and the ease with which you can switch map projections is almost magical.

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The Post is doing a great job visualizing the election so far, with a number of clear tools that they are keeping very up to date.

First up: Maps and interactive filtering of spending on ads, including videos of the ads themselves:

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A Primary Tracker: mapping out candidate visits, “pre-game analysis”, results by county, and “post-game analysis” – for EACH state!

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And a campaign finance explorer:

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They also have something called the @MentionMachine that supposedly tracks candidates by twitter mentions and other media references that you can drill down through. Unfortunately, it isn’t working for me on either Firefox or IE.

David Imus created a new map of the United States by applying careful attention to details, design, and symbology. The figure below compares Imus’ version (on the right) to National Geographics (left). An article over at Slate highlights some of the design choices Imus made, as does a pamphlet from Imus’ website. Personally, I think it’s great that people are re-examining the “standard” way to map things, and love the way Imus squeezed in as much information as possible, without sacrificing clarity – on the other hand, it apparently took him two years and over 6,000 hours to complete. Yikes!

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Who has some of the coolest data around? NASA, of course. While you can dig around their numerous websites looking for gems, they have pulled together many of their best work into a free iPad App. The quality of the visualizations is incredible, and most of them are well annotated/narrated. They add 8-10 new visualizations each month.

Here are stills from some of the videos:

Wind currents:

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Ocean currents:

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Snow cover:

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Carbon absorption:

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There are a lot of these graphs out there. What I like about this presentation from the WSJ is that each dot in each bar can be clicked on for a short biography of the person who died – a nice combination of information and gravitas.

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CNN’s tool maps out where they came from and where they died, and provides an area for others to leave memories for each fallen. While information rich, this one felt very sterile to me, and I couldn’t find anyone that had the “memories” section filled in.

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The NYT’s went strangely artsy, with a digitized mosaic menu of the fallen’s faces:

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The Washington Post’s Faces of the Fallen feature does a good job of presenting summary information, as well as photos of each soldier:

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And the Huffington post comes up with the least interactive, self-identified as interactive (ALL CAPS IN THE TITLE!!!), series of charts I’ve even seen. Pretty sad.

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I’m not a big fan of these subway map mashups, but I know some of you enjoy them. Designer Cameron Booth clearly did a lot of research and work to produce these representations of the Interstate highway system, and the old Route system.

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The Washington Post added family type to it’s interactive map of census data (the map also allows you to filter over time, race, density, etc). You can zoom in and see how your county compares to the rest of the country. Interesting observations: Married people with children only make up 7% of Washington DC?!? Utah is one of the few remaining regions with high “married w/children” percentages, compared to previous years when it was more common across the country.

Just 51 percent of all adults who are 18 and older are married, placing them on the brink of becoming a minority, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census statistics to be released Wednesday. That represents a steep drop from 57 percent who were married in 2000… In 1960, for example, when most baby boomers were children, 72 percent of all adults were married. The median age for brides was barely 20, and the grooms were just a couple of years older. (related article)

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Using ice penetrating radar, scientists have mapped out the ground and mountains that lie beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets. The project is interesting because it draws on decades of work from many different teams and datasets, and will help create more accurate models of melt rates.

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The Guardian mapped 369,629 road fatalities – you can zoom in a see them in your area. Pretty depressing data. (via)

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This is an interesting example because they really tried to have every part of the graphic convey information: color, size, and line type. (via The Big Picture)

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If you look at the 2011 update of the report, you can see they have used a similar, but somewhat cleaner design. The labels are all clearer, and the use of a lighter background map and grey text improves the contrast considerably. Finally, I think using the color of the arrows instead of width for the value was a good call – as that’s easier for the eye to distinguish.

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Unfortunately, I don’t know of any software that let’s you produce these quickly – you generally have to draw them by hand.

Personally, I like to stare at the Peters when I’m pondering global issues, but I use the Winkel-Tripel when I’m double checking a choropleth or cartogram and need to be sure which shape in the middle of eastern Europe really is Slovenia – I have large versions of both on my office walls.

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Harvard has released an interesting new index of “economic complexity” which is the productive knowledge of the economy, based on analysis of its output composition.

… the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) is based on the number and the complexity of the products that a country exports with comparative advantage. Empirically, countries that do well in this index, given their income level, tend to achieve higher levels of economic growth. The ability to successfully export new products is a reflection of the fact that the country has acquired new productive knowledge that will then open up further opportunities for progress.

The index is then used to make detailed growth projections, and identify export opportunities on a country-by-country basis.

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There are also interactive versions of most of these visualizations that you can explore and filter:

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(via)


What is Chart Porn?

An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.

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