Saturday, May 19, 2018

101 Mass Shootings in 2018


Yesterday's tragic shooting in a Texas high school was the 101st mass shooting incident in the USA this year. You can see the locations of all 101 mass shootings on ABC 15's interactive map. The map plots every mass shooting incident so far this year according to the Gun Violence Archive's database.

The Gun Violence Archive is also the data source for Vox's interactive map of Mass Shootings Since Sandy Hook. Vox's map shows the locations of all 1,686 mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. since Sandy Hook in 2012.


Esri's School Shootings Map concentrates only on those mass shootings which have occurred in schools. This map shows every school mass shooting since Columbine in 1999. Esri's map uses the Washington Post’s database of school shootings, which has had to be continually updated since 1999.

Esri's map is the best map of the three. It's use of scaled markers shows the number of casualties at each incident. Unfortunately, because mass school shootings have now become so common place in the USA, the Esri map could now use a timeline feature. This would enable users to filter the results shown by date to get a sense of whether school shootings in America are really becoming more frequent year by year.

The Royal Wedding Map


The UK's Ordnance Survey has released a story map which allows you to follow today's royal wedding on an interactive map. The story map includes all the important locations on this important day.

The Royal Wedding map plots Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's movements over the course of their special day. It follows the royal couple from Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel, where the marriage ceremony is taking place. As you progress through the story the bird's-eye view map zooms and pans around the royal town of Windsor to highlight all the featured locations.

The map sidebar includes information about the happy couple, the guests and the featured locations. It also include times of when all the important events will take place on this royal wedding day. You can therefore easily follow Harry & Meghan's marriage journey on the Royal Wedding map as you watch the coverage on television.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Plastic Polluted Pacific Ocean


Henderson Island is a remote island in the South Pacific. Nobody lives there but, despite being uninhabited, its beaches are covered in rubbish. In fact 19 tonnes of trash made up of 37 million separate pieces litter this deserted island.

In What Happens to the Plastic we Throw Out National Geographic explains how domestic plastic trash ends up polluting a remote island in the middle of the South Pacific. As you progress through National Geographic's story a background map of the South Pacific shows the levels of mismanaged municipal plastic waste produced by countries on the Pacific Ocean. Much of this plastic waste eventually ends up in the Pacific. Carry on scrolling and the map updates to show the levels of plastic waste entering the ocean from rivers in Asia and North, Central & South America.

National Geographic identify the Yangtze River as the most polluted river in the world. Most of that pollution eventually ends up in the Pacific by way of the East China Sea. The background map animates the modeled pathways of marine debris to show how the plastic from the world's rivers ends up creating the huge plastic gyres polluting our oceans.

Can You Guess the City?


City-Guesser is a fun map quiz which tests your knowledge of world cities. In City-Guesser you are shown the maps of major cities around the world. All you have to do is name which city is being shown in each map. To ensure that the game isn't ridiculous easy all the place-name labels have been removed from each city map.

If you guess correctly you proceed to the next round. Guess wrong and it is game over. You get points for each correct answer. The game keeps a record of the maximum level you reach (the number of correct answers in one game) and your highest score. Your aim therefore is to beat your own high score and your highest level reached. Or you can try and beat me. So far I've reached level 7

You might also like these other map based games:

Quizzity - point to the named locations on a map of the world.
Guess the world city from its cold war Soviet spy map
Guess the city from its bike lane map
Click that 'hood! - a geography game that tests your knowledge of city neighborhoods.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mapping LA by Night


Just Downtonw's LA Streetlights is an interactive map of street-lighting in Los Angeles. The map features dark extruded building footprints lit up by models of all the city's streetlights.

I don't think that the map was created for any other purpose than it looks really striking and provides an interesting map of the city at night. You can see, however, how the map could be useful to city planning departments, especially for reporting faults, scheduling repairs and maintaining the city's streetlights.

The map itself uses Mapbox GL's extrusion property both to show the city's buildings in 3d and for the streetlight models themselves. The data for the maps comes from Los Angeles GeoHub, the city's new public website for location-based open data.

How Gerrymandered is Your State?


PlanScore has mapped the level of gerrymandering in all 50 states in the USA. PlanScore includes a comprehensive historical dataset of partisan gerrymandering, so you can examine the history of gerrymandering in each state and which political parties the districts have been gerrymandered to support.

The PlanScore choropleth map shows the level of gerrymandering in each state for both the U.S. House and State House elections. The darker the red or blue colors on the map then the more skewed the districts are towards the represented political party. If you select a state on the map you can view a more detailed report on the partisan bias in that state and how that compares to the level of gerrymandering in other states.

PlanScore has also developed a scoring service which allows you to test how fair or gerrymandered new district plans are. To use this service you just need to upload a shapefile or GeoJSON file of a district plan. PlanScore will then reveal the levels of the plan’s underlying partisan skew, showing how much the plan has been gerrymandered.

Also See

What's Your Vote Worth - an interactive story map which explores the history of America's voting system, the right to vote and how voter representation is skewed under the present system and map. The story map includes a choropleth view of how much one vote is worth in each state.

The Gerrymandering Project - FiveThirtyEight has had a go at redrawing America's voting districts for themselves. In the Atlas of Redistricting FiveThirtyEight has created a number of new congressional maps, each designed to show how districts can be redrawn to favor different political parties.

How Gerrymandered is your Congressional District? - this 2014 map from the Washington Post colors each congressional district based on its gerrymandered score (determined by the Post's analysis).

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Erosion of the World's Coastlines


The State of the World’s Beaches is a report into how the world's coastline has changed since 1984. The authors of the report analyzed 33 years of satellite imagery, from 1984–2016, to create a global dataset of shoreline change rates. From this analysis it was determined that 24% of the world’s sandy beaches are eroding and 28% are accreting. 48% of sandy coastlines remained stable over the 33 years analysed in the study..

You can view where shorelines are eroding or accreting on the Long-term Shoreline Changes map. This map shows shoreline erosion and accretion rates for the whole world. The lines marked red on the map show where erosion took place over the 33 years and the green areas show where shoreline accretion has occurred. The length of the lines visualize the extent of the erosion or accretion over the 33 years examined in the study.

You can click on the individual lines on the map to view a time series chart. This chart shows the shoreline position for each year available from the satellite analysis. You can read the full State of the World's Beaches on the Nature website.

The Car Crash Prediction System


A new mapped based tool claims to be able to predict the likelihood of automobile collisions for every street and intersection. It uses machine learning and historical collision data to determine the future risk of car crashes on city streets.

The Louisville Automobile Collision Prediction System color-codes sections of Louisville's roads based on their predicted collision risk score. Using the colors of the roads you can determine the predicted risk of a future car collision. If you select individual road segments on the map you can view the underlying historical collision data on which the collision risk score is based.

The slide control in the map control panel allows you to filter the section and intersections shown on the map by a risk score range. This therefore allows you to search the map for the most risky sections or intersections or to locate the safest roads and intersection in Louisville.

You can read more about how the collision prediction system works by clicking on the 'Full Report' link above the map.

If you remain a little skeptical about these types of precog maps then you might enjoy the satirical White Collar Crime Risk Zones interactive map.

Open Palestine


This year Israel is celebrating its 70th anniversary. It therefore seems like an appropriate time to remember what existed before the creation of the State of Israel. 70 years ago 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes to create a Jewish state. Over the last 70 years Palestinian villages have been destroyed or renamed and the map has been almost entirely redrawn.

Palestine Open Maps allows you to browse historic maps from the period of the British Mandate of Palestine and to view information about both the present day locations and those erased in the last 70 years. At the moment the platform allows you to explore vintage maps from 1880 and from the 1940's & 1950's.

This is very much an alpha release of Palestine Open Maps. The release notes say that you can add data about "present and erased localities' but none of the layers under the "Change of status since 1945' heading appear to be working. The split screen option also seems to be a work in progress, which means you can't yet compare the vintage maps with the present map of the area side-by-side.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Examples of Global Warming


EarthTime is a compelling visualization of real examples from around the world of global warming, deforestation and rising sea levels. The site uses historical satellite imagery to demonstrate how the Earth is changing over time due to the impact of the human race.

If you select the Stories tab you can choose from a number of different environmental stories curated by some of the world's leading scientists and environmentalists. These stories includes visualizations of deforestation, shrinking glaciers, expanding urban centers, coral bleaching and sea level rise. All the stories use animated satellite imagery to show how different locations around the world have changed over time.

The use of animated satellite imagery allows the user to witness for themselves the impact that humans are having on the environment. EarthTime was developed by Carnegie Mellon University and uses data collected from respected government and non-governmental agencies around the world. All of this environmental data is open source.