Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Rapid Growth of Chinese Metro Systems

This remarkable animation from Peter Dovak shows the rapidly accelerating growth of metro systems in China, including Taiwan.
China's first metro opened in Beijing in 1969. Growth of the systems was modest up to 1990. From then until (proposed) 2020 you can see how quickly things changed. The animation is an adaptation from his wonderful mini metros project where he designed a bunch of icons for wordlwide metro systems, many of them instantly recognizable, such as Washington DC (bottom) - Beijing is the one below.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

English Settlement

 The English Landscape and Identities Project has some tri-variate maps of England showing eras of archaeological sites. The author, Chris Green, begins with an apology to those with color deficiencies. Because three color channels are needed, it would be hard to make this more legible to color blind readers*. The legend is shown first to see what you are looking at.
Darker areas are more "complex" - meaning there are sites from more time periods. The primary colors show more specific time periods as seen above. Magenta is Roman in case the image is hard to read.
There is a second map based on more local variation on the blog post, but I find this one easier to interpret. Some of the patterns that show up are settlement along Roman roads (magenta lines), some clusters of prehistoric sites in the southwest and northeast and a much lower level of intensity in the west (fewer archaeological sites here?) Some of the darkest, most intense areas are along major river valleys where quarrying activities have possibly uncovered more sites than average.

This map is based on available data and may not tell the full story but it does give an idea of the variation and complexity of archaeological records.

* This color scheme (via StackExchange) would have worked for color deficiencies.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Seattle Awareness Map

In 1978 the Seattle Department of Community Development published this map to raise awareness of the city's cultural landmarks.
Seattle Municipal Archives posted a scanned copy on their Flickr site. The cover is a nice grouping of buildings, statues and ferries.
Inside the map is densely populated with landmarks and yellow descriptive text bubbles,
sometimes with additional info or commentary added.
 Some more detailed scans can be found on Rob Ketcherside's Flickr pages.
One final view-because I briefly lived near the Arboretum Gate House

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LEGO Poland

Last year, the first LEGO store in Poland opened, in a Warsaw shopping mall. The event was celebrated with a huge 3D model of the country built by kids and adults.
Here are some photos from various stages of completion via this Flickr gallery.


A couple more from the Hive Miner page


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Follow the Advancing Japanese Empire

In 1942 this map was published in Japan for children so they could follow the progress of the imperial forces during World War II.
Japan, occupied and allied countries are shown in bright red. The map is full of caricatures of the natural resources of each area. Bold red arrows show the hoped direction of conquest.
Here are some details from northern Africa and southern Europe.

The map, titled "From the East, from the West" was produced at the high point of Japan's war effort for a children's publication.

-via History Today - where you can see the entire map.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mexico City's Shaky Laky Foundation

Mexico City, one of the world's largest urban areas is built on a lake. The Aztecs built what was Tenochtitlán on an island in Lake Texcoco, connected by causeways to the mainland.
When the Spanish arrived they decided to expand the city by draining the lake. They did not manage the water properly as the Aztecs had done. Draining and pumping water from underground has caused the city to sink. This in turn has caused very frequent flooding and also ironically made water scarce.

I was curious to see what areas of the modern day city sit on top of the ancient lake beds but have not found a map on the web that makes this very clear. This circa 1519 map on Wikipedia shows some locations, but not the modern urban area.
I took the .svg version of this map through a complicated software process and georeferenced it as best I can with my limited knowledge of the area. Here are two versions of this map overlaid on two different base maps to give and idea of where the ancient lake was. The first is on a National Geographic map via ESRI.
Keep in mind that the location of the lake is based on my best estimates. To avoid the assumption of higher level accuracy, I did not make a zoomed in version.
Here is another version using CARTO for the background. Each map has its advantages and disadvantages for legibility. On the one below, you can see the subway network which is kind of cool.
There are some interesting ideas of how such a large city can cope with the ecological and public health problems it faces including an ambitious proposal for a 145 million square mile Lake Texcoco Ecological Park - 23 times the size of the city's huge Chapultepec Park. Clicking the numbers on the map below, you can see some of the proposed projects.
The Texcoco Lake Ecological Park will become a tangible symbol of how our society can enter as an integral part into natural processes and help the proper functioning of the landscape.

Lake Texcoco Park is a work in progress, a vision of a remarkable place conceived by a collaborative group of scientists, engineers, biologists, chemists, ecologists, architects, urban planners, landscapers, and politicians.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Transit Voyeurism

1. Sydney, Australia programmer Ken Tsang created this live view of the city's transit system showing all vehicles.
 Every vehicle transmits its location and Transport for NSW has opened the data to the public. It shows all buses, trains, light rail, ferries, delays and track inspections. You can filter by vehicle type. The screen below also serves as a legend of sorts. Trains are in orange, buses blue, light rail red, and ferries green.
You can also see an online version of the station signs.
Just watching all the vehicles moving around is mesmerizing

NOTE: If you are in North America and looking at this early in the day, you won't see much activity because it will be the middle of the night in Sydney. Wait until later in the day and then see how things pick up.

-via EFTM

2. Will Geary, a data science student has created this wonderful video of a day's transit in New York and suburbs. It is not real time data like the one above but does show an incredible wealth of data - and comes with musical accompaniment!

- via City Lab