Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day

Happy Pi Day (3/14) - here are a couple of related mapping projects. The Pi Project is a series of hand-casted sculptures of each digit in the pi sequence.
This project "will one day be recognized as the largest art installation in the world using data visualization and sculpture, centered around the infinite number sequence of Pi." The numbers are shipped around the world-here is an interactive map of their locations. You can hover over each number to see its location and sequence within Pi's digits.

Martin Krzywinski is a scientist and data visualizer who has created many Pi Day visualizations. This year's version involves road maps.
I'll let the author explain in his own words - full details here

City strips are horizontal arrangements of patches of roads sampled from a city. The order of the patches is determined by the digits of π, which are used to select regions of specific density of roads. 

No color—just lines. Lines from Marrakesh, Prague, Istanbul, Nice and other destinations for the mind and the heart.
 Last year he created an imaginary star chart using successive series of 12 digits from pi to define latitude, longitude and brightness. The stars are grouped into constellations honoring extinct animals - our evolutionary ancestors. Here is an example - the artwork can be purchased here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Dark Side of Drifters

Last week's tale of ocean drifters has an ominous side. In the past decade 14-18 feet (depending on the source) have washed up on beaches in British Columbia. Here's a detailed map with descriptions of the first 12 feet - via Global News
While this sounds like some sick amputation ritual and has inspired some dark literature, scientists say that it is natural for feet to separate from the body and that these deaths were not from foul play. The deaths are considered drownings or suicide. Most of these feet were wearing sneakers (or running shoes or athletic shoes or trainers, depending on the article and your regional term.) These shoes may have helped preserve the feet while other parts of the body have decomposed or possibly been eaten.

While there are probably bodies floating around most coastal areas, the unique geography and currents of the Salish Sea (including BC's Strait of Georgia and Washington's Puget Sound) have made these feet more likely to end up on the shore. Here's a map from the Sun (UK edition) showing the entire region.
There's also a Wikipedia page about this phenomenon with its own (less dramatic) map.