Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Sea Level Rise-Coming to a City Near You

Conspiracy of Cartographers has a series of maps showing what will be underwater in various cities after 215 feet (66 meters) of sea level rise. Keep in mind that this is "end point" sea level rise and not anything we would see in our lifetimes. A recent page highlights new maps of Philadelphia,
and Washington, DC.
Both maps show similar patterns with the central cities completely flooded and the land being mostly peninsulas in the hilly north and western suburbs. There are also some nice puns.
In Philadelphia, Hunting Park becomes Fishing Park, University City becomes Irreversibly Pity, Wayne Junction, Drain Junction, and Northern Liberties is now Northern Fisheries.

Other maps have been done for cities in the U.S., Australia and England as well as a few larger regions. Here are Cascadia,
 The Palm Springs-Coachella area of California,
an almost completely waterlogged Brisbane,
and Los Angeles, featuring one of my favorite puns- the Ex-LAX airport.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Topological Map of the World

Here is an interesting map from the Map Porn Reddit (yes that is a thing). It shows the world from a standpoint of topology-meaning that relationships between countries (specifically boundaries) are emphasized. The shapes of countries are disregarded.
It is designed to look like the T-O maps of medieval times with the round shape, the seas looking like rivers and "oriented" with east at the top.
A T-O map via Wikipedia
There's a lot to pick apart as commenters have gleefully done such as non-existent borders (Chile-Paraguay) and misspellings (Nicaragua). You can get into heated debates about boundary politics or whether Lithuania borders Russia or not (technically it does) if that's your thing. I prefer to focus on the interesting perspective provided. I also like the way the island nations surround the map-though they do get a bit out of sequence.
You can click the top map to see higher resolution or visit the Reddit post to see the comments.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Greenwood Massacre

The 1921 Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa is one of the most horrifying incidents in US race relations. This map via Tulsa World details the significant events that took place there.
You can click above for a more readable version. Here is a detail to get a feel.
There is a locator map in the corner but it shows the city pre-expressways and if you don't know the city very well it is hard to see where this is. Here is the Google Maps view. It looks like much of the neighborhood has been sacrificed for highways, a stadium and a university, a common fate for many African-American neighborhoods.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Mapping the Locust Swarms

Locusts have been deviating crops in Africa and South Asia in the worst attack in decades. This map, via Business Insider India shows where the swarms are and where they are heading.
The article is full of disturbing photos (if you don't like locusts) and details some interesting efforts to drive them away such as beating thalis (small hand drums) or playing loud music. A silver lining is offered in that these locusts are a healthy food option for birds and fish (people not mentioned) and can be profitable to those who catch them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mapping Police Violence

Mapping Police Violence is a research collaborative that tracks police shootings in the United States. Here is an interactive map of incidents during 2019,
 along with clickable information for each incident.
The site also includes some other useful graphics.
It is not all negativity. Here is a chart showing proven solutions.
More info here - you can donate to the cause here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Schematic Newton

I have worked in the City of Newton, Massachusetts for almost two decades creating maps of the City. As part thought exercise and part learning project for using Inkscape, I decided to try a very schematic map.

Newton's geography is very complicated. There is no downtown, rather 13 (or 14 depending on who's counting) villages, each with some central downtown or at least crossroads. The city outline was extremely simplified. The diamond shape I went with made it hard to fit in some major roadways in the far eastern (Hammond, Hammond Pond) and western (Grove and Lexington) parts of the city.  
The EST. and INC. are from the signs at the borders.
This evolved quite a bit after finding some mistakes (this was all done from memory) and some comments from city residents and even elected officials. I like simplicity of this early version, though there is a major mistake in not showing that Commonwealth Avenue crosses Interstate 90 in the western part of the city. Still there's always a level of accuracy that gets lost in the name of simplicity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Remarkable Maps of Mr. Tornado

Last night I watched "The Remarkable Mind of Mr. Tornado" on PBS. Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita was a pioneer in meteorology, known for developing the F-scale to measure tornadoes. His studies led him to draw many maps of this nature.
What I enjoyed the most was his personal maps. When he was invited to the University of Chicago to work with professor Horace Byers, he experienced his first airplane flight. During the flight he drew this charming map showing the clouds he passed through on a multi-day flight with two stopovers on Wake Island and in Hawaii.
Via PBS, "American Experience"
This map is a bit hard to read at this size so here is some detail. Click the picture above to see the entire map at higher resolution.
In his own words "Without wasting the expensive flight time, I began sketching the vertical time cross section of clouds along the flight path. Shortly before 1600 JST, the aircraft flew into towering cumuli, encountering severe turbulence. I heard crashing sounds of dishes and utensils in the flight kitchen. A moment after, the flight became smooth and I saw a beautiful arc of low clouds.”

After settling in Chicago he began to document his travel throughout the United States and Canada, first by railroad, then by car.
He traveled through every state except Rhode Island. According to the map he only missed it by a few miles. I have chronicled my own travels in this manner but not with nearly as much charm or detail.

Highlights of this map include the tornado-chasing squiggles through Oklahoma and the green elevation contours.

More on Mr. Fujita here.