Wednesday, November 30, 2011

American Migration

Forbes has a very nice interactive map showing migration within the USA. Click on any county and you can see where people are coming from (in blue) and where they are leaving for (in red.) Hover over a county to get the specific numbers. Clicking the year under the bar chart will give you the figures from that year.

Data is from the IRS and a more detailed description can be found here. You can see the effects of the housing bubble when comparing 2005 to 2009 in certain cities, especially Las Vegas which went from mostly blue to an almost even split. The per capita income figures are also shown for each county. This shows that many cities and other areas are exporting wealth and importing poverty. Click the map above and explore.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Native American Industry

Thanksgiving is a time to travel, shop, cook, watch the Cowboys lose and argue with your relatives. It is also a time to honor those who were here before we took their land. We may think of Native Americans in simplistic cliches, but the interior cultures had an extensive network of production and trade called the Hopewell Exchange System.

This map shows the extent of trade among the different cultures that flourished from about 200 BC to about 500 AD (or CE.) The map's author, Hieronymous Rowe has numerous maps of Native American culture on Wikipedia.

A few centuries later, members of the Mississippian Culture began quarrying chert, a stone used to make tools and ceremonial objects. The raw material was dug up and transported to nearby settlements to be made into hoes, spades and other tools. Here is Rowe's map of the production sites at Mill Creek, Illinois.

Tools were then traded extensively as seen here.

And you thought they only made turkeys and yams!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Your Favorite Map Projection Says About You

xkcd, everyone's favorite nerdy webcomic takes on map projections this week. I'll be the first to admit that I've never heard of the Waterman Butterfly or the Peirce Quincuncial. And I call myself a cartographer!
Click for better legibility.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Web 2.0 Map

In the last couple of years I've seen many attempts to show the internet using a metaphoric map. Most of those attempts have not held my interest and left me confused. The Web 2.0 Map is also confusing (after all the web itself is a confusing place) but it captured my interest because it is attractive, well organized and interactive. You can pan and zoom and also click the icons for further information.

The map is like a Risk board with icons for the primary players in the industry. If you click on them you get a somewhat advertise-y description of each one. As you zoom in more companies appear on the map. It is built on Google's mapping API and is organized from north to south with the "Clouds of Infrastructure" then the "Oceans of OS and UI", the "Platform Plateau", a couple of continents to hold social networking, searching and payment and at the bottom a "Subcontinent of Advertising." There's also some good puns scattered about.

At the top of the map there are alternate views for "Movements" and "Data Layers." Movements is designed to show "how a handful of major actors in the Internet Economy are moving from their bases of power into other points of control across the map." At the moment this view doesn't appear to change anything. The "Data Layer" tab was built for the 2011 Web 2.0 Conference. This view represents eight major internet players as cities, with skyscrapers for different data categories such as social, location, search and and content.

  Each city has the same buildings at different heights so in the view above we see Twitter having interest data as its highest building, Facebook has tall buildings for social and wildcard (uncategorized) data, Google's tallest building represents search data and Yahoo's is content.

Confused yet? For a description of the main map see John Battelle's Web 2.0 Summit blog post. For a description of the Data Layer (or Data Frame) see his Searchblog post.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Melting Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean

Ice in the Arctic Ocean is melting faster than climate models have predicted. A recent article from The Economist looks at the causes. Included is this map comparing average and recent sea ice extents.

The article also links to an animation that shows the opening up of potential new shipping routes - also shown on the map above. Here is a still frame.

Some interesting notes from the article:

Melting ice creates a "feedback loop" where there is more water and less ice. Water absorbs light and heat, while ice reflects it. More water and less ice means more heat is retained.

Melting ice will enable the extraction of more fossil fuel from the area, creating another feedback loop in which more greenhouse gas emissions will be created.

The melting of the ocean ice will do little to raise the sea level, however eventually more ice will melt off of Greenland and other land areas and that will cause a sea level rise.